My Dot Cabin quilt (I decided this name flows better than Log Cabin with a Twist) is complete. Hard to believe, especially when I begin to calculate the amount of time that went into each of those polka dot squares. Then again, I always stop myself from this kind of calculating anyway. Quilt-making is not about speed or efficiency but the pleasure of taking your time and committing to a single project for days, weeks or even months. Especially as my senior spring sets in, the ability to indulge in hours of quilt making is something to be relished. The flannel polka dot fabrics that I ordered for the back were a little more pastel than I had anticipated, but kind of fun nonetheless. I tried to make the entire back a blown-up Log Cabin motif which was semi-successful since I only had a few different fabric patterns. Nonetheless, my utimate conclusion: I love this quilt. It’s fun and vibrant and definitely a design I would moderate and try again.
Completing a quilt is always a little bittersweet. They become companion projects to look forward to in those odd moments of spare time- or those entire afternoons. Fortunately, there hasn’t really been a lull in my quilting. First of all, this past week was the Original Quilt and Sewing Expo in Worcester, MA (http://www.sewingexpo.com/cities/worcester.htm). So I took advantage of my class-free Friday and spent the day surrounded by quilts, fabrics and every sewing knick knack you can imagine. Of course, I walked away deeply inspired- though not in the way I had expected. Of course, there were many beautiful quilt and quilting fabrics and I picked up a few fat quarters that I simply couldn’t resist. I’ve never not found a use for a fat quarter, after all.
However, the expo had a large focus on clothing and fashion sewing, something that I’ve certainly dabbled in though never seriously pursued. I found myself very intrigued. I love the idea of custom-made apparel and enjoy the few items that I’ve made for myself in the past. Suddenly, surrounded by all these lovely garments, I wanted to try something more ambitious- just like yarn and fabric stores, expos can have an oddly intoxicating effect. I bought some interesting fabrics from Vogue Fabrics (which had a huge sprawling layout in the middle fo the display floor), along with a few sewing patterns to guide me, and am planning on making my own jacket at some point soon:
The multi-colored fabric is so interesting; it’s 100% silk and has a very open, loose weave. The dark purple is a soft wool and the blue is simply a cotton plaid. But, in the spirit of taking things one step a time, I decided I should get going on a project that’s under a bit of a time constraint before diving into my next sewing adventure. So I spent my Saturday surrounded my piles of plaid flannel fabrics and came up with this simple, purely patchwork quilt that I plan on giving to my brother as his high school graduation gift. Every dorm room needs a good quilt. (Pardon the sun spots; my camera and the lighting just wouldn’t cooperate).
It doesn’t get much simpler than this- each block is about 12 inches square so it only took a few hours to sew them all together (I suppose quilt making can be efficient after all). Since my brother’s nickname is The Spartan, it suits him well. Let’s just say, he loathes excess and tends toward the minimalist lifestyle. He’s also very touch-oriented so I think he’ll appreciate the soft flannels. And I have to say, though I’m drawn to bright colors and patterns, I really love this. It’s so quintessentially patchwork. I have some red flannel for the back; all I need now is the batting and I’ll put it all together.
I suppose that I have plaid on the brain because this week’s mini quilt seems to be inspired by that pattern. Let’s just say my sewing machine was not cooperating with my vision of nice clean zig zag stitches but these minis are only ‘sketches’ after all so all the little snags and nonlinear stitches aren’t such a big deal.
I’m going to finish this quilt-filled weekend with patchwork of another kind- the kind I haven’t done in quite a while. My mother bought me the most wonderful cook book, “Chocolate and Zucchini” (inspired by an equally wonderful blog: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/) so I’m going out to my house to cook Sunday night dinner- which will at least include the recipe for pistachio, tomato and choirzo loaf which I’m dying to try.
According to the author, Clotilde Dusoulier, the title “Chocolate and Zucchini” is meant to reflect the dual but complementary elements of what she loves about cooking- the simple and the indulgent. Sounds very patchwork-esque to me!