Pret-a-Porter Patchwork

I realize that at some point I will run out of p-words to alliterate with patchwork, but so farI’m on a roll. And this particular title is quite fitting. You see, the semester has finally settled and I actually know what courses I will be taking; my thesis (of course), the Folklore of Women, Ancient Mesopotamian Art and my beloved Visual and Environmental Studies (=art) class which basically enables me to quilt and knit for credit!

Despite my excitement for the semester- the beginning of the term is always so optimistic and fresh- I can’t help but look forward to my mid-March Spring break. My thesis will be done, my senior year coming to a close- and I’m headed back to Puerto Rico! (Withdrawal set in quickly; I bought the plane tickets my last day there). So in the day-dreaming spirit, I decided to make myself  a little patchwork something that won’t actually be put into use until either 1. The weather warms up here or 2. I go somewhere where the weather is always warm. Something tells me the latter will happen first, so I’ll call these amy Puerto Rico Patchwork  Shorts:


OK, I realize they’re sort of goofy but, as my friends and family and poor boyfriend can attest, I’ll really wear them! If nothing else, they’ll be fun lounging-by-the-beach-wear (and you probably recognize some of the antique fabrics, I couldn’t resist sneaking some scraps in). But that’s not the only reason I made them. After following the pattern for that Patchwork Purse, I decided to exercise a little more precision on my own. These shorts are therefore the product of a lot of measuring and borderline tedious attention to detail. At the risk of sounding preachy, those little details really are worth it! In the end, the project was a whole lot easier since everything fit together so nicely. That’s not to say I won’t continue to embrace my improvisational methods. These have a time and place of their own (they’re not really suited for something that’s mean to be worn) and a way to be ‘harnessed’ so that the end product at least somewhat fulfills the initial vision. Michael James and the traditional quilting world is having its influence, but I’m sure that in the end my approach will fall somewhere between the technically pristine and the freewheeling.

I should probably note that this isn’t the first time I’ve made wearable patchwork. There’s my bag and hat which I’ve already shown, and a skirt that I made this past Fall. It was quick and simple to make, and a pleasure to wear:


I guess what it boils down to is the fact that I truly love the patchwork aesthetic; whimsical juxtapositions, the sense of salvage, and of course the color and pattern. And part of that love involves, apparently, a desire to actually wear patchwork. Filmmaker and performance artist Jack Smith- again, not an artist that I have much of an immediate parallel with- completely immersed himself in his aesthetic, filling his New York apartment with debris from the streets. I suppose I have the same impulse. I even have a patchwork key-chain:


On another note, I’ve concluded that my Birds in the Air quilt is finished; I’m just working on the back and waiting for the batting to arrive. I enjoyed my foray into truly traditional quiltmaking  but I have to admit I’m itching for a little innovation, a little something different and all my own. So far, my many ideas haven’t been translated to the page or the needle and are confined to my mind’s constant musings. So I’m giving myself this weekend to ponder, conjure and see what I come up with before embarking on my next quilt.


1 Comment

Filed under accessories, clothing, quilting

One response to “Pret-a-Porter Patchwork

  1. Glad you liked PR. What your not knitting anymore. Quilt.tin is fun and all but I think I hurt myself alot more quilting. Good luck with the these I am rolling about grad school and whether that is what I really want to be doing.

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