Thursday, September 29, 2011

simplifying quilts & A BOOK GIVEAWAY

remember when mequell, jill, and i took a quilting class back in may? well, mequell actually finished her quilt! she came to visit me in bedrest land the other day and brought it so i could see the final product. it turned out great! love the smile and look on her face. she should feel good about this, her first quilt. and she reports her daughter absolutely loves it, too. now she just needs to make one for each of her boys. jill and i were actually all set to get together last friday and work on our quilts again, but then the dreaded orders from my dr. came through. oh, we'll get there jill. january?

mequell really wanted to use minky on the back of her quilt to match the inner squares of her blocks. after doing the blocks she had a healthy respect for how stinky minky can be to work with, so she smartly opted to have louise long-arm quilt for her. bravo! she got a fun swirly floral pattern for her quilting and she didn't have to torture herself with working on minky or trying to fit the quilt through her vintage machine's less-than-optimal arm opening. or buy an expensive walking foot, either. sometimes you just need to know when to go with a different option. down with purism, i say! do what works for you.

knowing at least one of them had expressed interest, i asked mequell if she was going to make a quilt for each of the boys and we talked about how she could just do something much simpler with large squares or strips that would be less labor-intensive and time-consuming but still wonderful for her sons to have. and it would get done. i hope she finds an idea and tackles them.

i'm starting to lean that way myself in my quilting philosophy. patchwork is a fabulous look and fun to do, but it can take more time than a busy mom has. i also really like quilts that incorporate large pieces of fabric to showcase prints that i love. i'm not ready to throw out the patterns i have waiting in my 'to do' pile just yet because i'd really like to complete those quilts. however, i'm going to look for more simplified quilt designs, too. like this fairytale quilt from rachel hauser of stitched in color.

i absolutely love what she's done with these heather ross far, far, and away prints. i've collected a few and was wondering how to best showcase them. this fantastic idea was absolutely perfect. if only i didn't have about 10 projects in front of it in priority.

i've been reading jane brocket's the gentle art of quiltmaking, which has greatly inspired me to do more of what i've already done a little bit: just make up my own patterns. that's what i did with both "star cookie" and "out on a limb." i already have another version of each of those quilts in the works, pending the end of bedrest (and the first few weeks of baby's life, i'm sure.)

like all of jane's work, this book is a fascinating read. she takes you through her relaxed, exploratory approach to quilting and how the 15 featured quilts evolved. here's what i love about jane: she inspires us to just go for it when we want to try something new. don't worry about mastery or perfection, give it a go and see what you can do.

in the intro jane describes how she wanted to quilt for years but was always scared to because it seemed too complicated. a friend told her something like, 'oh, jane, just cut up some fabric and sew it back together!' really, it's that simple. learn the basic skills from someone who knows what they're doing, then play. this is not what most quilters tell you. there are rules and regulations all over the place, admonitions to be precise, dire warnings of what disasters will transpire if you do or don't do such and so. it's totally intimidating. but not my beloved jane. she says make quilts you will like and use them.

jane and i have vastly different taste in color play, but i so appreciate her underlying philosophy, which anyone could apply to their own personal style. she has even taught me to respect kaffe fasset, whose style also varies greatly from mine, but who'd ideas and passion i can respect. once again, thank you jane!

so here's my dilemma at this point: i'd really like to give away a copy of this book to someone else who thinks they'd like it. i enjoy doing giveaways. but there are about three people reading this blog regularly at this point, two of which might not even like this book. i'm at the point with this blog that i really am writing it only for me with little interest in catering to or building an audience, but i don't mind others looking in and i do enjoy some interaction with like-minded crafters. i suppose what i'll do is this, if i can get 10 comments entered in this giveaway in the next 10 days, i'll send one of them a copy of this book.

to enter, simply leave me a comment describing what you like about quilting, what's worked for you as a quilter, why you would like to quilt if you don't, or what you like about jane brocket. something along those lines related to what i've just talked about.

that will be sufficient. and please, do tell a friend who might like this book. i'd really like to give a few people a chance at winning it. at least ten, okay? if someone sent you here for the giveaway, please mention them.

and for anyone worried about my failed follower giveaway (still working on those!) i have learned my lesson: don't offer something i don't already have on hand or that i have to mail yourself. i can order this book and have it sent directly to you, so it will go out.

*regrettably open to domestic u.s. residents only

1 comment:

  1. I love quilting because it is, though at times unnerving, peaceful. I remember watching my great grandmother quilt for hours and attending quilting bees with her. I quilt because I feel like the result is something my children can keep and pass down for generations.


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