Sunday, December 31, 2017

BHG American Patchwork & Quilting 1985

I have a large collection of quilt books purchased mostly BTI (before the internet) and I always enjoy browsing through this thirty-two year old volume.  There is now an American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, and I assume that came about after the success of this book. 

It's full of classic patterns, excellent instructions, interesting techniques, and great ideas.  It did inspire a few quilts and I loved making the Ocean Waves picture frames.

This book features some fashions of the times (mutton sleeves, cutter quilt jackets and vests, patchwork skirts), unfortunately reminding me of Ralph Lauren who caused a crisis in the quilting community by starting the trend of cutting up quilts to make fashion. 

What I like the most about this book is the blend of classic and modern and the presentation of techniques that deviate from the classic quilt-making methods.  In the mid-eighties we were redefining "quilt" to include many more artistic versions.  And this was also BTQK (before the quilt kit), so if you wanted to make a quilt you had to go out and find, buy, and cut all your own fabrics BY HAND. 


Friday, December 29, 2017

A birthday treat!

Thirty years ago, the Queen of QAYG!  $19.95

Who remembers Georgia Bonesteel?  Remember Lap Quilting, something we fondly nicknamed "quilt as you go."   This is her book published in 1987, original price $19.95 plus tax.  Although it's full of wonderful quilt patterns and fabulous photos thereof, I made zero quilts using this book.  Typical.

The other day when I was at the library I found a book by a young author (all the quilting books these days are from young authors; if only there were new ideas) called Quilt as You Go Made Vintage, a follow-up to her previously published Quilt as You Go Made Modern.  Of course, the difference between the "old" 20th century QAYG books and the QAYGMM books is the fabric. 

Oh, there are other differences, too.  The old 20th century books are hardbacks for durability.  Also, the approach is more dignified, scholarly, artistic.  The "modern" books are all about FAST, EASY and focus on the fabrics. And they constantly rename old block patterns . . . all part of the modernizing process or the copyright issues, I dunno. It's all good, though.  I mean, whatever it takes to get people interested in making quilts and buying lots of fabric, right?

This is one of the gifts I got for my birthday this year.  Unfortunately, my camera did not do it justice.  It is a handcrafted seam ripper with a beautiful wooden handle (Indian Rosewood) made by Marlynn Dexter of Kearney, Nebraska.  It was purchased at Bluestem; you might be able to find one at their website.  Marlynn also makes pens using beautiful wood.

And, then, I tell you I got my sewing mojo back today.  I made five blocks with the Kaffe Fasset prints and I hope to continue making more tomorrow.  Stay tuned!  Oh, and stay warm!!  xoxo

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

So, what happened?

Birds in the Air quilt made back in the 90's.  A classic pattern.
So what happened?  No blogging for almost a year!!  I lost my sewing mojo.  All I have made this past year were a few tote bags and a few other little accessory items.  No quilts.  I blame it on the Kaffe Fasset fabrics.  I hate the I Ching blocks that I made!  I enjoy making classic scrap quilts like the one above.  This quilt actually was not a favored quilt and sat in the basement on the old sofa.  We only used it when there was a tornado warning or when guests came and we vacated the upstairs bedrooms.  This was a basement quilt.  But I found it during one of my "gotta clean up this freaking chaos" moods and it was the perfect storm:  Bhu had just horked up on the upstairs bedroom quilt, so I had to wash it.  I replaced it with this and it remains to this day.  We love it!  Lively, colorful, happy!  THAT is the kind of quilt I want to make.

"So, who's stopping you," you ask?  No one, except me.  I just can't get into it.  I drafted the pattern for this quilt long ago and so I figured I could still draft the pattern from scratch.  When I should have a 9" block, I wound up with a 7" block.  So when I say I lost my sewing mojo, that's part of it.  Apparently, I have also lost my geometry mojo.  God help me I don't lose my checkbook reconciliation mojo!! 

I guess I will keep at it and try drafting the pattern again and stick with it until I get it right (or surrender to modern times and google the pattern).  One of the side effects of losing the sewing mojo is that none of the fabric gets used.  It just sits there collecting dust.  Someone suggested going out and buying a new piece of fabric to "jump start" the mojo; but I've done that several times this year and it don't work, folks.  Just no.  I need no more fabric.

Has this ever happened to you and what did you do or not do that made the difference and got you your sewing mojo back??  

Monday, January 16, 2017

I Ching Quilt Day Two #51

Hexagram #51:  Kan -- Shake (or Shock)
The lasting impact of a major shock can be stimulating or debilitating, depending on your inner strength of character.  The critical factor is your ability to become immune to fear, thereby enabling you to transform anxiety into laser-sharp perception.  Or so it has been interpreted.

What will I do if the coin toss brings duplicate of hexagrams already revealed?  That's the point of random; I will be duplicating them. 

See you tomorrow!  xoxo

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I Ching Quilt

An interesting selection of Kaffe Fasset fabrics.
 Right after the election, I decided to make a healing quilt using some of the most upbeat, cheerful fabrics I could find:  Kaffe Fassett.  Then in early December my 19 year old Himalayan kitty crossed the rainbow bridge and the sadness was very, very deep.  Then a few weeks later I had eye surgery and am now dealing with a temporary vision impairment that makes it difficult to sew.  What a perfect time to consult the I Ching!  I decided to make a quilt from the hexagrams and started this morning with a coin toss. 
I Ching book from 1963, another year of political turmoil and the assassination of J. F. Kennedy. 
This book, purchased new in 1963, cost $2.95 (can you believe it?)!  I am using three parking tokens instead of coins for the toss.   So here we go:

#54:  Kwei Mei, Converting the Maiden . . . Action will be evil and in no wise advantageous"
Resulting block
To make this block, I cut 2" strips of the dark fabric and 1-1/2" strips of the lighter fabric.  The broken lines are made with two 5" strips sewed together with a 1-1/2 separator.  The blocks are 10-1/2" wide and 14-1/4" long.

Tomorrow we shall see what the token toss brings!