Friday, September 03, 2010

Bermuda baby

Our good friends in Bermuda welcomed a beautiful baby boy and I made them this quilt. I wanted him to be wrapped in the colors of the island whether he was there or away. It's a little hard to make out, but the base color on the front is a very pale green and the binding is a light brown with cream dots (both from Purl). I absolutely love this one.

(Click on pics to see bigger versions, I am having some technical issues!)

Front of quilt
Pattern: Marquee from The Modern Quilt Workshop (inspired by this).
Fabrics: From the stash.
Date completed: August 2010.

Back of quilt
The back.

Block from Marquee
Block detail.

Alexander Henry owl detail
Who can resist a little owl?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My first quilt

When I was about 13 I decided I wanted to make a quilt. Having no idea what this entailed, I settled in with a pile of pink and purple fabrics (what else), pinking shears, a spool of white thread and a needle. I painstakingly cut out piles of squares, and then commenced sewing them together. By hand. With no regard for seam allowances (of which I knew naught), ironing, backstitch, or really anything else.

After finishing one row of squares, I set forth on the second row. When that was done I eagerly set both rows together and still remember the crushing disappointment when I discovered the squares did not line up in the slightest (see ignorance of seam allowances, above). I think I put my quilt down for at least a year at that point.

At some later point, still while in middle or high school, I picked it up again and slowly assembled the whole mess, and then put it in a closet never to be seen again until last week, when my mom unearthed it while cleaning out the basement. I am so thrilled it's survived! Yes, it's a hot mess, but I can't wait to wash it (it's got some questionable stains, possibly from sitting with festering dressmaker's chalk for 20 years), patch up some holes and make it into the quilt it always wanted to be. Maybe one day I'll even get over the color scheme.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Auction Fail

Last night was the auction at my friend V's son's nursery school and my quilt was on the [silent auction] block. I was led to believe that the clientele would be a bunch of high rollers looking for an excuse to throw a lot of money around in the name of benefiting their children's education, and that the handmade items historically sold very well.

Well, they started the bidding on my quilt at $37. That's right, $37 for a one-of-a-kind, completely hand-made quilt. I don't want to get too high on my horse, but, really? That barely covers the cost of materials. Did I mention I completely hand-stitch the binding? I mean, I realize no one who doesn't sew realizes what that entails, but I didn't realize quite how poorly it would translate.

After 2 hours there were a whopping 3 bids: $37, $42 and $57. How. Depressing. As this as unfolding I was updating my dear friend M, who particularly loved the quilt, and she flew to the rescue, all the way from Pittsburgh. With only minutes left in the silent auction, she called V, asked her to make a telephone bid and won the quilt for $150. It will now have a happy home with a fellow craft-lover who is having a baby this summer. I am so touched that M did this, and really feel pretty bad that she laid down so much cash for something that the "market" (or at least the market of West Village mommies and daddies) obviously valued at 1/3 of the price! But, I am also so pleased that it's going to someone who will truly appreciate it.

In the meantime, lesson learned: no more charity auctions for the moment. Le Sigh.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Seamus' Quilt

This is a very belated baby present to a kid who is now over 3 months old. Oops...

I used a pattern called Venetian Dream from Fons & Porter Easy Quilts, Fall 2009 issue. I made a bunch of modifications, including leaving out the outer border and decreasing the number of squares. I love how it looks finished, but unfortunately this was quite a project because there are no shortcuts to piecing the squares (e.g., no sew-three-strips-and-cut-across to make magic like some other fun patterns). So, it took a lot of attention and many many little seams.

The prints I used for the big panels are from the Frolic line by Wendy Slotboom (which I ordered from Fabricworm, although it seems they are all out). I love the squirrels!! The spaceships and other little squares are from my stash and alas, I don't remember their origin. The gray solid and border (which is pale yellow with teensy white polka dots) are from Purl, bien sur.

There are more details of the individual squares and their super cute fabrics here.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

(Hopefully) sold to the highest bidder!

My good friend V is a member of her son's coop preschool and asked me to make something for their annual auction. The proceeds support the school. Her initial request was a knit hat and mittens but I said I'd rather make a quilt.

The tricky part was that since the item was for sale, I had to come up with my own pattern; I didn't want to risk infringing on anyone's copyright. I'm very pleased with the result!

The quilting is pretty light - only a row of loops across each of the linen panels. The fabrics are from the California Dreamin' collection (purchased here), Jay McCarroll's Garden Friends Collection (purchased here), and others from Purl Soho and the stash.

I was originally going to do all rows of the colorful fabrics but was afraid it would be overwhelming and would not apply to a broad audience of potential purchasers, so I toned it down. Of course, that was after I had cut all the rows of colorful fabrics so I have enough left over to make four more of these (and I just might).

Now hopefully everyone will think any wonkiness is just homemade charm and pay top dollar for it...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

A Matchbox Rainbow

We spent the weekend at my parents' house where my mom has painstakingly gone through my brother's (now vintage) Matchbox and Hot Wheels car collection to find all of the ones with opening doors, hoods, trunks and sunroofs and polished them off for the child. Needless to say, he's in hog heaven at Gamma's house (and not for this reason alone - where else does he get undivided attention and all the juice he can drink?). After I grew bored of endless trips down the car ramp and mini 50-car pile-ups, I made us a little car rainbow.

PS: It seems you can't get a modern day Matchbox car with opening doors anymore - where's the fun in that?!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

California Baby

My crafty friend M had a beautiful baby girl in November. I know it's crazy to make the quiltmaker's daughter a quilt, but I loved these fabrics and they had to go to sweet Lila in California. Of course it took me 3 months to get the thing out the door, but better late then never. Whoops.

The design is inspired by my Counterpane Quilt and this. I did loopy quilting in the open spaces which was really fun. The fabrics are from Fiber Notion and ye olde stash.
The back is this delicious organic cotton from Purl Patchwork that got so soft after I washed it. So cozy for a new baby!