Monday, November 25, 2013

Threaded Potpourri

Organic Fibers
Now sewing. Various projects, all feeding my need to make.

My interest in reverse applique is continuing with the triptych. There is a detail of its progress at left. The applique is probably complete so now it is a meditative way to just stitch, outlining and decorating.

5X7 Challenge in silk and linen
Fiber Art Fusion has a 5x7 challenge each December. We eat dinner and exchange the little pieces. It's a good way to see what people are doing with fiber. For me, it had to be applique augmented with stitch.

Even a non-sewing project like changing the chair covers. I was surprised by how satisfying this was.
left-old; right-new

A friend in my book group brought in four quilts from her husband's family, a nice viewing given that we were reading a book about relationships formed over needle and thread (Prayers for Sale). Then she said that they were no longer wanted in her family. I was so fortunate to take home a 7 foot by 7 foot whole cloth piece with lots of lovely appliqued poppies, scalloped edges, a few stains and tatters. I'm thinking of replacing the very worn binding as that is where the bites are located. I cannot decide what to do about the stains. The colors are amazingly bright and the batting is white flannel. Can this really be from 1937???
Someone loved making this.

Speaking of old quilts, this one was made 25 years ago by my daughter. A kind woman in Princeton gathered a small group of 11 year olds and taught them to quilt. Free form. Not many rules. Great opportunity for them to express themselves. And she has used it all these years, now putting it on her own daughter's bed. 

It had become frail and torn in some places and, because it was tied together, it was a bit lumpy. She entrusted it to me to repair so that granddaughter could continue to sleep under it. I added butterflies to cover the places where the batting (an old blanket) was exposed. And added quilting lines plus a new binding to hold it together for maybe another 25 years. I like that thought.
Daughter loved making this.

And I continue to work on Diane Ericson's Fault Lines pattern. This is a pattern that looks simple but is not. It is a puzzler and so I work on it only when I'm fresh. The undershirt is composed of 4 pieces and looks so basic, yet I sewed and unsewed many times to get the inside finish and outside look the way I wanted it. It will change more once the jacket is further along. It is a lovely design and a great way to stretch myself. Working with bias is magical.


  1. Is it just me, or is it sad that no one in the family wanted the quilts? If I had something that a grandmother/great aunt etc had made I would treasure it. I find it shocking that no one wanted them.

    On the other hand, how great for you to get one and enjoy it.

    1. ElleC - you are right. It is sad. I'm just glad she didn't toss them. And I will enjoy it, and try to honor the maker.

  2. I have an extensive collection of wedding photos which I love. It breaks my heart to think that for whatever reason they ended up unwanted. Some are quite old. How lucky that the quilt found your lovely home. I have a whole cloth quilt that my great grandmother made. When I washed it, I hung it to dry and was able to see that inside is another quilt, probably one that my great-great grandmother made. The quilt brings back lovely memories of sleeping at my great grandmother's house and snuggled in piles of her quilts.

  3. You never fail to inspire, Martha. Thank you so much for this post.

  4. Love your finish treatment in the last photo. Low-key and elegant.

  5. Wonderful things underway here. The quilts are beautiful, even in their tattered states. And I love what you're doing with the Fault Lines pattern. The hand stitching on the shirt is perfect!