Why is it whenever someone finds out that I do my quilting and piecing all by hand, they freak out and tell me I’m nuts? I’m not nuts, I just enjoy it, and really respect people that still do the majority of their work by hand. I’m not against machine quilting and piecing, but it’s just what I prefer to do. It may take longer, but in the end, if it’s a quilt that I’m giving to someone (and I’ve never yet made myself a quilt at this point, they’ve always gone to people as gifts) I think it’s something very special to receive a piece of art that someone has taken that much care to make. Stop freaking out about people who hand quilt! Geez!
So I didn’t get any of the things I had suggested for my birthday on Wednesday. Don’t worry. All of those things could still work for other holiday gifts.
As a treat to myself, I headed off to my local quilt shops to see what was new. It really just turned into a bizarre event. I don’t think that people in quilt shops must take me seriously about why I’m there. I finally made it to a store in Lansing called the The Quilt Depot, and I wasn’t too impressed. It’s not like I’m odd looking, or repulsive, or have blue hair (that’s pretty nice!), but the people in the store acted like I had no reason to be there. It bothers me (and I’ve run into this problem at other quilt shops) that people seem to think that since I’m 23, that I have no idea what I’m looking for and/or what I’m doing in general. But on the other hand, like most times I’ve been there, the people at Country Stitches don’t act like I’m an idiot. Hey! I do happen to know what I’m doing.
I’m getting pretty close to having everything but the border on the wedding quilt I’m currently working on, finished. As thrilled as I am to be closer to finishing up, I have no idea how to quilt the border. It’s three strips of fabric, and I’ve never had to come up with a quilted border design. Everything else I’ve done has just gone to the binding. I bought a stencil to trace a design on one of the strips, but I just don’t think it’s going to work. In the end, as long as it looks good, I don’t care what it looks like.
So I’ve heard that quilting is supposed to be making a comeback with the younger crowd, but I’ve honestly yet to find it. When searching for “quilt” and “quilters” and “quilting” in the LiveJournal search, I came up with some strange and often “not very appropriate materials to be viewing while using the company’s computer” pages. Am I missing something?!? There’s several goth quilting and, well, I don’t know what this has to do with quilting, but there’s one blog that’s all about women wearing gags. Maybe sometimes my quilting makes me a little sick to my stomach, say, if I stich something wrong, or a color doesn’t look so good next to each other, but I’ve never felt the need to use my quilts as gags! Strange and freaky people out there…
Hey! My birthday is still coming up! This time I’ll suggest a very nice idea for a quilting related gift. I love the 1930’s reproduction fabrics, and Keepsake Quilting (America’s largest quilt shop–Why don’t I have one of these around here??)has a really cool collection of them. Just don’t look at the price when you order!
I’ve been looking around to find other good quilting blogs, and I’m really surprised that there aren’t any that are 1. good, or 2. updated on a yearly basis. Not that I’m interesting or anything, but it seems to me that I may be one of the few quilt blogs around. Now people just need to find me. So far searches on yahoo and google yield no links to me. I’m going to have to find publicity somewhere!
I was pretty impressed at the QuiltArt page I found this evening while trying to avoid writing about Detroit trash at work. Some of the art there is really unbelievable. I wouldn’t even know where to start to make the quilts found there. To me though, the fine print about many of those quilts is that although in the pictures they look big, some are just the size of a piece of paper. That’s my goal–start reeaally small. I plan on making an art quilt that’s the size of a pin. Nobody really knows I didn’t make one! It’s ART!
Countdown to my birtday: sometime this week. If you’re looking for something nice to give me, this mirror at Target would be perfect.
Yesterday we decided the side of the house needed some sort of flowering tree. Today we planted one. We went large shrub/small tree shopping, and brought ourselves home a hydrangea tree. It’s quite wee right now, but it gives me a good excuse to buy new plants to put all around it. I really wanted something like a flowering dogwood tree (they were everywhere when I lived in North Carolina) but I don’t think they’re the most hardy tree in Michigan. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the one we bought will actually live.
I’ve been outside for the last couple of days, since it’s been too warm to keep the quilt on my lap when I work on it. Maybe someday we’ll invest in an air conditioner. Maybe not. Tomorrow’s supposed to be cooler, but I’m working in the evening too. I wonder if anyone would notice me doing that instead of typing. It’s not like they ever give me enough work to do anyway.
Countdown until my birthday: a few days! And if anyone would like to give me a present, fabric and plants are always a thoughtful gift. I also like green candles, picture frames, and this coffee table from Pottery Barn.
I’m not really “down,” but it’s finally nice here, and all I want to do is roll around outside in the grass. If I did that though, people would think I had fleas. It’s also been warmer, and working by hand on a queen size quilt isn’t so great. So I have plans! I’ve already been outside, and managed to prep two garden beds around the house. One was really nasty, since it had about three years of mushed leaves stuck around and inside my shrubs. (I totally have shrubs now! How freakin cool!) The other must have been a veggie garden last year, since I found carrots stuck in the ground. They both look very niceee now.
I believe that my goal in life is to do as many projects as I can at once, possibly without finishing any of them at all. My house will turn into a dead projects graveyard, and everyone will laugh at me. “You had potential to make a nice quilt” or “We don’t want to be your neighbors anymore because your yard looks like dogs dug holes up everywhere and then left.” Really, any number of those comments could be made at that point. If I could just stick to one thing at a time, I’d be a boring person.
I like to think that I have a pretty good handle on gardening and growing plants. I worked in a plant nursery for three summers in college, and didn’t manage to kill many of the plants (on my own watch, at least) through neglect. This year, I’m living in a house of my own with a pretty nice yard that’s perfect for starting a little garden. I think I may just be a failure at starting plants from seed though. Out of 10 or so seeds I’ve started so far, only my African Daisies have seen the beam of my grow light. Tonight I’ve been checking out the articles at You Grow Girl to see if there might be any hope for me. If nothing else, they have some of the coolest pictures of gardening related things there. I’m thinking I may have to invest in a “Garden Hoe” tool apron for my outdoor work this summer. One thing there did tell me to relax a little, and not be such a perfectionist about my garden, but how can I even have a crappy garden when I can’t get any of my plants to grow?
I mentioned yesterday about the “Many Deaths of Sunbonnet Sue” quilt that I came across at the Michigan State University museum a few summers ago, and today I actually found it at the The Quilt Index. It’s a really interesting site that serves as a database for quilts made during different time periods, for different functions in Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Turns out the quilt is actually titled “The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue,” and was made in the great quilting state of Kansas. And if I didn’t think it was a great quilt to begin with, turns out the quilting was all done by hand! They’re quilters after my own heart.
I’ve recently been rummaging around the Internet to see if there’s any possibly that there’s people out there who consider quilt making to be something other than an over-50 hobby, or for that fact, even a real art. As hard as it is to find some of these people, there are some really cool fiber artists who do some interesting work. The latest website that I’ve come across are the quilts done by Martha Bruin Degen, and I think they’re pretty cool. She does a lot of work by hand, and although I’m a believer in the old-fashioned school of hand quilting, they’re not your typical Log Cabin quilt. I really love the fact that while some of her pieces look like traditional quilts, they have processes in them that most quilters, even good quilters, wouldn’t ever think about doing. Some of it reminds me of the “Many Deaths of Sunbonnet Sue” quilt. It’s definitely interesting art either way.
Stepping away from quilting to a fiber art that I really have no interest in trying, but think is somehow perfect for any new-age domestic lady in waiting to try is cross-stitch. The Subversive Cross Stitch website would be where I would start if quilting ever got boring for me. It’s just hilarious. I’m thinking about ordering the “People Are Cattle” kit. Put away your frilly dress, get a unique piercing, and do a little sweet cross-stitch.
The swatch books at JK Quilting are a really interesting idea, but I’m not so sure that I couldn’t make one of those myself. It is a pretty good idea though, since I imagine that it could be helpful in picking out things like a backing fabric. Sometimes it’s not so easy to just guess at what colors you have in your quilt. Then again if you go to the store without anything and expect to have an easy time shopping for fabric, you’re just silly. Really.
I’ve just got too many old lady hobbies on my hands right now. I need to pick up something that people my own age do. Bar hopping sounds like a plan.