posts tagged: quilts

blogger’s quilt festival

Amy's Creative SideWell whaddaya know, there’s a whole quilt-blogger thing going on right now. I’ve been a knitblogger for just shy of 7 years, but I’m only just now really starting to quilt. I’ve been adding quilt blog after quilt blog to my blogroll, and suddenly everyone I follow is participating in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, an amazing community event put on by Amy! I want in, too! I’ve found a bunch of great quilting blogs, and this will be a great way to find more. While this space will always be a healthy mix of knitting/crocheting/quilting/eating/photography, I hope there’s something that other quilters will enjoy, too. I feel badly that I’ll just be featuring the quilt from the previous post, but my current stance is that my most favorite quilt is always the one I just made, so how can I resist? I’ll show a few different photos of it, though.


(the top, pre-quilting—despite the fold creases, the best pic I have of the top)

In my last post I was awfully cursory in details about the quilt, so this gives me an opportunity to share a little more about it. The truth is, this quilt was inspired by a crocheted blanket! I used to work at a crochet magazine, and we had a folder full of “swipe”—images pulled from vintage pattern books, etc., to use as inspiration. This one, from some anonymous old pattern book, was never used in any of our crochet designs. The blanket in that photo (which I can no longer find) was made of just three colors, and it was honestly hideous, in red, blue, and white. Somehow, though, it did not strike a patriotic air. Just a mismatched, sad one. But it gave this optical-illusion of depth and the idea got into my head as perfect for a quilt.

I toyed with making the quilt solely out of 3 colors, like in the original, but I had that Poseidon pack of fat quarters, and it seemed a good way to make use of it. I thought I could eke out all the squares with just fat quarters and my large stash of Kona Snow, and I came so very close, but the secondary color in each of the outside two rounds of squares needed more fabric. I started this quilt in the summer of 2010, during my friend JulieFrick’s “60 Blocks of Summer” challenge—for which I was successful only because of these little squares! But then I stalled, and didn’t pick it back up again until one week before the quilt was given to my friend’s sixteen-month-old. Each block measures 6 x 6 finished. The final quilt is 7 squares wide by 9 squares high, so it comes in at around 42 x 54. That’s actually pretty big, in my opinion, for a kid’s quilt, and if I were to use this design again (and that’s highly likely), I’d make the darker center just two squares high.

Since finishing this quilt, I’ve sketched out other configurations. I know they’re not rocket science or anything, but it was helpful for me to see this visually, to be able to make it small and see what it will look like from afar. My boyfriend and I want one for our living room (likely in shades of green, hence the colors in my sketch—obviously, not nuanced at all here, just something to get the effect), and I’m not sure exactly how I want to make it larger, whether just more squares or to actually increase the size of the finished squares to 8 x 8 or something. I was highly systematic in the measurements of the first (the way the center square steps down and the outer ring steps up is by a quarter inch each time), and changing the final dimension might not allow me quite the same perfect finesse.

Stay tuned for more variations! See all my photos of the quilt, including more of the backing and the label, in my original post.

blanket for eleanor!

I cannot even muster up any modesty here. My love for this blanket exceeds well, most anything else I’ve ever made. Isn’t it fabulous? I had a vision, and it came together even better than I had imagined!

The fabrics are all from the Kona Poseidon pack of fat quarters, though I did have to buy more of two fabrics, all bordered by Kona Snow. The binding is another turquoise Kona—I didn’t pay attention to the name when I bought it. Basically, I have no idea what all the colors are, exactly, but they’re all Kona, and the bulk of the colors are from the Poseidon pack. My original idea was to have all the squares made out of the same 3 colors, allowing the changing size configuration to give it graphic punch, but I was able to make good use of just quarters by working out this progression; the effect gives it even more depth, I think. I love it so much that I want another, larger one for myself—and have thought about writing it up as a little pattern, once I tweak and perfect a few hiccups—but picking the fabrics is going to give me agita: how ever will I get the combo right a second time??

Because yes, I gave this one away, to my friend Liz’s daughter. I started the quilt for her before she was born but ran out of fabric/took forever to get more/got distracted by other things, so only finished it up last week, in anticipation of finally meeting the little stinker, who is now 16 months old, this past weekend.

It’s backed in a single panel of corduroy to give it some warmth and softness (though it added a slight challenge in the quilting—definitely needed the walking foot!). I give thanks to the awesome staff at Purl, who immediately had great suggestions when I said I didn’t want to piece the back. The label is embroidered on a small patch of Kona snow. I love it, too, especially because I’ve never had the patience to actually create a successful embroidered label before. I also have my personalized ribbon, which I added to the top corner. The white text is kiiind of not as legible as I’d have liked, but it suffices.

Wavy quilting lines also help to soften the rigid structure of the piecing; it was my first time doing wavy lines. I know they’re not especially difficult or crazy, but I’m taking baby steps with each quilt and my quilting, so this felt like an accomplishment to me! I’ve seen the technique used by many quilters, but I was definitely inspired by Bijou Lovely, and her video helped me feel confident when I tackled it myself. I used three different colors of thread for the quilting just for some variety, especially since the backing was solid. (Those creases are from folding and transporting it to Maryland.)

My experience with little kids is extremely limited, but I learned this weekend that there is nothing cuter than a baby saying “baby?” Eleanor’s reaction upon being told that the blanket was for her was so awesome. “Blanket for baby? Baby?” And then shrieks and grabs and even putting it in her mouth and carrying it around the house. For once, listening to a little toddler cry out “mine!” gave me pangs of pride. So enjoy your blanket Eleanor, made especially for you by Aunt Erin!

2011 in fabric!

year-in-fabric

Last year I said that I’d start blogging about my sewing “soon,” but that was clearly a lie, since the only blogging I did about sewing was about my two finished quilts (the wedding present for my cousin and the baby gift for Mixtape). The fact is, 2010 marked the dawn of Minty the Quilter, but in 2011 I really got comfortable with it. And right now, at the end of the year, I’m staring at a long list of quilts in progress. Luckily, I got a new sewing machine for Christmas, which will hopefully make the rest go quickly! My old machine wasn’t broken, but it was about 8 years old, all mechanical, and clearly a starter machine. The new one is still “starter” like, but it’s computerized and just seems more efficient already.

mixtape’s quilt

mixtape-quilt

When you’re trying to pick a name for your unborn child, it’s always recommended to suggest a few “out-there” options. Throw people off the scent of your actual top name choices, you know? But did our friends realize that “Mixtape” was going to stick? It did, so this quilt, designed especially for the baby, has been named in its honor.

infinite variety

infinite-variety_preview

True brilliance is fleeting, it turns out, because the Infinite Variety quilt exhibit, featuring the collection of Joanna Rose, was on display here in New York city for only six days. It was phenomenal, and I hope that she, and the American Folk Art Museum can work out getting it on display elsewhere. But for now, let me show you some of the many, many pictures that I took of the display…