Friday, September 27, 2013

The Vdaim Scrap Quilt

Remember all those vintage, hand cut two inch squares I mentioned at the bottom of this post? I've been trying to think of a way to use them. I tried sewing them up with some of my scraps and a pretty Delft blue Kona, but it wasn't enjoyable.

Postage Stamp Border Blocks
The two inch size of the hand cut squares is not consistent and it made matching the seams a real pain. There was a lot of stretching and pinning involved and in the end, they are still distorted.

Sewing Scraps
I was playing with the hand cut scraps this morning with some of the scraps from my overflowing scrap bins and thought that if I trimmed a few of them down (to 1.5" x 2" or so) and then sew them together, it would create more of a brick pattern and I wouldn't have to match the seams.

Let's see, stretching and pinning hundreds and hundreds of two inch squares or willy-nilly sewing them together with abandon? Willy-nilly it is!

intentionally mismatched intentionally  mismatched 2
I figured that with seams that wonky, I needed to give my quilt a name to help explain the mess. I Googled the names that initially came to mind, but they were all taken... hot mess, vomit, etc. 

The following is a transcript of what went on in my head:
I could just call it the Visually Disturbing quilt because that's exactly what it will be, visually disturbing. But then it's nickname would be "the VD quilt" and nobody wants to cuddle up under that. Maybe something like the Intentionally Crooked Visually Disturbing quilt?  No, that acronym is ICVD. Again, gross. Replace "crooked" with "mismatched"? IMVD? Um, nope. Flip it around? Yea, that's it!

The Visually Disturbing And Intentionally Mismatched scrap quilt.
I'll call it the "VDAIM" for short.

So, I present you with the first four blocks of my VDAIM scrap quilt. 
I'm going to square them into 12.5" blocks and wait until I have more blocks before sewing them together.

After typing this post, I thought I should probably Google VDAIM and make sure it doesn't mean something inappropriate. Guess what? Vdaim is already in the Urban Dictionary! Here's the definition:
1. vdaim

1. Departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern.

1. An individual who deviates markedly from an established norm, especially a person of odd or unconventional behavior.
2. Physics. An oblong solid mass that has properties somewhat defiant of gravity; Similar to a gyroscope.
Mary: "Have you seen Frank?"
Jessi: "Nah that kid's vdaim"

Departing from the conventional norm or pattern? Yes, I think this name fits. And, there truly is nothing new under the sun.

Fractured quilt in progress

Fractured quilt
Ever since the wonderful weekend I spent with six of my stitchy friends earlier this month, I've been in a quilting mood! I pulled out the Farmer's Wife quilt I started in 2011 and have made some decent progress; I'll have to share that later. In addition to a couple of new scrap quilts, I also started on the Fractured quilt (photo above) from Kathy Doughty's new book, Making Quilts with Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession: 21 Authentic Projects. link

First Fractured blocks
The first blocks I made were single color scrappy with a one dark fabric for each block, but ultimately, I decided to go with two fabrics per block as in the top photo.

Pulling fabrics for this quilt was fun! I'll be able to use some of the lighter fabrics that have been sitting in my stash for a long time. It's a good stash-buster and really fast and easy to sew.
Fractured quilt fabrics 1 Fractured quilt fabrics 2\

Sewing up the Fractured quilt has me thinking about my scraps. I got distracted this morning and started making some new scrap blocks that might just become my long-term scrap elimination solution.

It feels good to be blogging about quilts again!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Vintage Fabrics Swatch Book

I've been collecting old/vintage fabrics for some time now. I use them as inspiration for work and enjoy simply re-folding and re-stacking them on occasion while the lovely colors and patterns make me smile. After looking at images of antique textile sample books in the online digital collection of one of the major museums (I think it was the Met, but I can't remember), I decided I should create my own book of swatches. Since they have no monetary value to speak of, mounting them in a book seemed like a fine option to me.

i love books + i love textiles = i love love books of textiles

I began by hand sewing them into an acid-free sketchbook, but that was taking far too long to hold my interest, so I've settled on using acid-free glue to mount them. I thought I would share a few pages with any fellow fabric lovers out there.

Vintage Fabric Swatch Book Pages
I'm sorting them by color.

Vintage Fabric Swatch Book Pages
At first, I was going to nicely square up and pink the edges of them all, but many are so small that I would loose a part of the pattern (or repeat if it existed)  if I cut any portion of it off, so I decided to mount them in whatever shape and edges would preserve as much of the pattern as possible. 

Vintage Fabric Swatch Book Pages
Initially, I thought I would just mount all the 30's, 40's, and 50's fabrics together, but then I decided to include the 60's and 70's. Now I'm just calling it my collection of 20th Century Fabric Swatches.

Vintage Fabric Swatch Book Pages
Some of these fabrics I purchased, some were given to me or passed down from others, and I've also taken many from old "cutter" quilts I've found at the flea market, antique malls, and thrift shops. 

Swatch book pages
I still have many fabrics that I've been unable to bring myself to cut, such as whole flour/feed/sugar sacks.

Vintage Fabric Swatch Book Pages

Vintage Fabric Swatch Book Pages

Vintage Fabric Swatch Book Pages

Vintage Fabric Swatch Book Pages
This is one of the cutter quilt tops I've taken some swatches from. It's not in the greatest condition, but it has a wonderful assortment of  un-faded fabrics. I have taken swatches from old quilt pieces and it's amazing how colorful the fabrics were before the quilts were used and washed again and again. The original color hidden in the seam allowances is a fun surprise!

Fabric Charms
One of my favorite recent finds was this shoebox of 2" fabric squares which have been hand cut and were obviously destined for some lovely project. There is an assortment of fabrics, but the all appear to be early 1970's and older. They aren't quite big enough to use in my Hexie Charm Quilt, but I won't be able to resist turning them into a postage stamp quilt after I take one of each fabric out for my swatch book.

So, that's what I'm doing with my old fabrics. I've got hundreds of additional bits and pieces I need to press and mount, but I'm just going to take my time and enjoy the process.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Is it June already?

Percy has been helping me make a swatch book.

I've been absent from the blog for a long while now, but I have been keeping very busy.
On my agenda for this week:
* finish up new curriculum, patterns, and samples for my sewing summer camps,
* start working on designs and developments for NY Home Textiles market in September,
* teaching three separate 3-hour private sewing classes in the studio,
* spend a day volunteering in the conservatory at the Botanic Garden where we are busy propagating plants for next year's butterfly exhibit,
and, * get my house and garden cleaned up to host a dinner party for a few friends on Friday night.

Next week, I'm teaching two sewing camps in the studio, so I'll have four girls from 9:00 until noon and four girls from 1:00 until 4:00 each day. I know we will have a great time, but I also know I'm going to be exhausted when it's over!

Here is a peek of what's been going on in my sewing room.

  floral fabrics
I've started pulling together fabrics for my dream quilt. Floral, floral, and more floral.

in the sewing room
My sweet hubby put some great shelves up in the sewing room above my sewing table a while back, and I love them!

sewing shelves
I like having my stuff organized, but out where I can see it.

fabric stash
I refinished a large curio cabinet for my quilting fabric and I love it too. The closet is still full of fabric, and there are probably about 10-15 big plastic totes in the basement/storage of fabric too, but at least this fabric is out where I can enjoy the wonderful colors.  

My desk
This is where I'm sitting right now, writing this post instead of working on that 'to do' list above. I guess I need to get back to my list.

I hope your summer is gearing up to be full of fabulous fun!