Tag Archives: patchwork


One to the other. Season. Place. Ground and sky. A flight back to Colorado later today. Special china’s been put away but the folding chairs — not yet.

I called this patchwork a “whimsy” elsewhere. An unstoppable doodle. Irrepressible play. Now that the pile of these is growing, I probably ought to figure out what to do with them. Maybe make longer panels for the hall double hungs upstairs? Facing east, those windows get blasted by morning light, so the cloth’d be like glass for a few hours a day.

There was a big smudge on my phone camera lens. Ambience or malfunction?

And, after a couple days away, it’ll be back to the story.

PS  Deb Lacativa‘s cloth is playing a star role in this patchwork (from my recent lottery win, blogged about here). Some of my recent walnut dunks show up, as well as older indigo creations of mine.

A little happy cloth

In the spirit of finishing things, in the spirit of working with sweet themes, I finished a half-worked patchwork yesterday. I love it –  not because a thing has to be sweet to be loveable, but because I do.

This one I think I will add batting, backing, hand quilt and offer for sale. It could serve as a baby cloth (to be tucked into diaper bag, say) or as a hanging.

(The house is appliqué. The rest, pieced).

Friday in between

IMG_6503Yesterday’s meal and company and fire were nice: delicious, warm, companionable. We had a couple of birthdays to celebrate, too.

IMG_6467.JPGIMG_6464.JPGIn the quiet aftermath, I have resumed work on the second Middle Passage quilt. In this one, the top band of cohesive and colorful culture is very narrow and grows increasingly fragmented as one works down toward the bottom, where the ocean resides.

IMG_6501.JPGThe pale green and white triangles are meant to signify the sails of the slave trading ships. The brown striped batik also signifies the slavers, but this time, the planking on the ships.

I forgot how much I like working this way.

deemallon, quilt, piecingIMG_6489Using photo apps to strip out color or intensify it can be a useful trick to find weaknesses in design.

I blogged about the first (and now complete) Middle Passage quilt here, but it occurs to me I have yet to post a good picture of it, finished and bound.

I’m afraid from now until the end of the year, my felt creatures will be hogging most of my time (not to mention Christmas), but in the New Year? Archives of everything! Binding and finishing at an amazing clip! With no significant writing time consumed!


stitching and stitching some more

IMG_7544There is the sense, with this Global Warming panel, that I could continue quilting for as long as time permits. The process of ‘connecting up’ some of the lines and colors between rectangles could just go on and on and on. Nevertheless, I think it is nearly done.IMG_7453 IMG_7455 IMG_7456 IMG_7457 IMG_7460Down in the studio, I have MANY other sections of this series pieced up and ready for something. Pondering, as I clean downstairs, what will become of them. Maybe some sections will stay very small. Maybe others will be surrounded with white. We’ll see.

surround this with white?

surround this with white?

make a narrow vertical?

make a narrow vertical?


patchwork to work

This is the chair we bought on Craig’s List a lot of years ago.
It was pretty ratty even then, so you can imagine what ten years of living has done to it.  I won’t qualify that with ‘living with two boys’ because it’s just living that has worn it to a fray, not a particular gender’s style of living (though we will never forget the Sharpie Sleepover incident, which ruined a perfectly good Pottery Barn canvas duck slipcover that had at least another ten years in it, and possibly, (maybe?) was related to the sex of the sharpie owner?)

My mother would have made a muslin mock up, stitched the whole thing together, and then taken it apart to use as pattern pieces.  But remember, I am committed to keeping this simple. No muslin patterns. No piping. No zippers.  Here is the near-trapezoid that I pieced for the armchair’s cushion.  It is laid on paper, which will be cut to use as a pattern to cut the fabric for the back of the cushion (which will not be pieced).

I pieced this section laying the fabric directly on the cushion, which made it very easy for my simple brain to see what kind of allowances I needed, and how the pieced sashing would line up with the top. Here is the sashing, pinned in place.
A small pleat is necessary, even at the curved corners.
The back to the cushion cover will be in two sections, so as to allow the insertion of the seat.
Here is a temporary chair back  — a quilt-in-progress that was folded up nearby.
Although I am open to using pieced sections in ways other than originally intended, I think this one will still be finished as a wall quilt — another installment in the “Global Warming Series”.  I want the back of the chair to use the same fabrics as the cushion.  Given my lack of upholstery experience, these next areas will surely be jerry-rigged!

After snapping the Craig’s List chair picture, I walked into the other room, and saw a “Middle Passage” work-in-progress serving as a temporary chair back.  Happens all the time, and we have all been stuck with pins more than once!

Now on to other things

The T-shirt “quilt” is done.  It is actually a duvet cover.  This picture shows it empty.  It can work that way.  Or, a comforter could be placed inside.

I am going to count the number of shirts before the hand-off tomorrow.  My guess?  47.  [Try – 70!!!]  It was challenging not just because of the number of shirts, but because their sizes ranged from toddler to teen.  Assembling fifteen or sixteen years of shirts is also, of course, what made it charming.

My advice to Tshirt quilt makers boils down to a few pointers:
1)  Interface right up to the edge of your rectangles (using a presser cloth) (I used fusible midweight);
2) Make sure you know which T-shirts have priority;
3) Make sure customer knows some stains that laundered out will be visible again with heat from iron;
4) For a large, multi-shirt quilt, work in four quadrants;
5) Rather than quilt a queen-sized blanket, consider making a duvet cover;
6) Consider adding some top stitching here and there as you go to further stabilize the patchwork;
7) Get rid of voluminous scraps when delivering quilt (unless you plan to use them for something immediately).

I really am so happy to be working with woven cotton again.  As a treat to myself upon duvet-cover-completion, I made a great pair of cotton pants (pictures tomorrow).  They were a pleasure to make because the material was good quality, ironed well, and didn’t stretch under the needle.  Plus, start to finish, the project took an hour and a half!

Now I am covering one of our raggy chairs with patchwork slipcovers.  Again, working with woven cottons feels so pleasurable after man-handling all that knit!!  My goal with the slipcovers is to let the process be easy (lesson learned in Jude Hill’s boro class).  Anything I create will be a vast improvement on the faded Waverly vines that I have been judging as a mess for many years now.

With both boys gone, the house assumes a different rhythm.  We are eating more lightly, more leftovers, and cleaning up!