Thursday, May 28, 2015

Dear Baby, You are Loved.

Dear Gwendolyn,

I had a hard time starting this letter; there are just so many things I want to say to you. I know you are just a little one and it will be years before you can understand these words that I type.

Let me start with the easiest thing, you are so special little one, so loved, and so precious.

Your parents are pretty great. I mean, you are a pretty lucky little one. I know they will be there for you forever. I know this because I know them. I have known your mom many years before the beginning of your time. She is the best. I have known your dad for some smaller number of years before your time, but he has proven to be a pretty awesome guy too.

I know your parents probably have many hopes and dreams for you little one, but let me add a few. I hope that you have a happy childhood, full of tire swings, time machines, daydreams, and fairy tales. I hope you experience sledding down hills at top speeds, climbing mountains, waking up to clear bird calls in sun filled tents, and hearing echoes. I hope there are flowers, mud, and bugs. Eating warm wild strawberries, dandelion necklaces, mosquito bites, bicycles, macaroni and cheese.  Mud puddles and rainbows, tree houses, story telling, legos, and cold mountain lakes.

I dream that you will grow up confident and happy. I dream that you will have convictions and beliefs and that you will keep them and change them as you find you need to. I dream that you will be a girl who knows she is strong and woman who knows she is stronger. I dream that the world you live in accepts you for who you are and treats you as an equal.

Most of all, little one, I dream and hope you turn out a lot like another little girl and woman I admire a great deal, your mom.

Sending warm love and kind regards. May the force be with you.


PS - I am sorry if this is a little cheesy, but real like can be like that.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: A combination of paper pieced pattern set at random. Strawberry by Sew-ichgo, paper crane by Kitten’s Mittens, mushroom and gnomes by Artisania, and paper airplaine by Quiet Play.
Fabric: Assorted stash fabrics, Heather Ross, Alison Glass, Carolyn Friedlander, Joel Dewberry, Bonnie and Camille, among others…
Quilting: Shell pattern with white Aurifil
Size: approximately 40” x 40”

Finished: March 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bacon Punk

I had trouble putting words on this screen to talk about this quilt. 

It is everything I love about a quilt. It is everything I love about quilting. 

Recently, I have been trying to shift my quilting focus towards trying all the hard things. I want to look at patterns and designs and feel empowered instead of scared. I want sewing and quilting to feel like a journey. Personally, I believe that perfecting my craft is part of the fun and that you have to know the rules in order to break them. I am proud to consider myself a quilter within the tradition and I embrace my quilty forebears. Someday, we can sit down with a cup of coffee and I will share my opinion on all the divisions quilting (modern, traditional, art, oh my). For now I will just say, we are all quilters.

When I first saw Jen Kingwell's Steam Punk quilt, I loved it. But then, the little voice inside my head told me that I could not make that. It was too hard. Templates. Curves. Appliqué. 

On a whim, I went for it. I ordered the pattern, I ordered some acrylic templates. I opened my scrap bins. I combed through my stash.

Each block was an adventure. I didn't have a plan. I just started making blocks. There was some intense fussy cutting and a large number of cats (honestly because I have a lot of cat fabric in my stash, no particular design plan). 

Because rainbows. 

Then, all of a sudden, I had all of the blocks. 

Over a couple of work trips, I hand appliquéd. It seemed to go fast.

Scraps on the back. I guess we could call this improv?

It is not perfect, I could probably point out all the mistakes. It is mine and I am so proud of it.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Bacon Punk
Size: approximately 71" x 71"
Pattern: Steam Punk by Jen Kingwell
Quilting: Shell free motion quilting with Aurifil white thread
Finished: April 2015