To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
It’s been three years since I finished the War of 1812 challenge quilt, and it’s still traveling around as part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail 1812 Quilt Challenge traveling show! This winter, it spent time in Baton Rouge, and is now on display in the Classroom Gallery at the New England Quilt Museum through June 28.
I never would have guessed I’d be saying “one of my quilts is hanging at NEQM!” when I first started working on this one in 2011.
It’s been a while since we’ve been in Lowell, but if we make it back there to see the 1812 quilts hanging, I hope to stop at the American Textile History Museum as well. I visited Shelburne Museum multiple times when it was hosting the ATHM’s traveling Homefront & Battlefield exhibit. I don’t buy a lot of quilting books, because I rarely want to make the patterns they contain (although inspiration is nice), but Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War made it into my library because of the history.
The book is dense but interesting, and has highlighted a few other museums I’d like to visit due to objects from their collection being involved in the show, including the Rokeby Museum that is just down the road from home. While the quilts in the show were wonderful to see, I was facinated by a shaker-style dress that belonged to Rachel Rokeby. The construction details were very interesting, including the obvious use of selvage along the skirt side seams (and pocket openings), and a very-tightly blanket-stitched hem.
We spent 10 days in April traveling from VT down to SC and back, with a chunk of time in Virginia. Between stops at Ashlawn-Highland, Montecello, and Colonial Williamsburg, I think I’m inspired to make another more traditional quilt in the coming months. I was focused more on experiences than photographs, but even floor-coverings were inspiring.
For now, though, I have a few more modern projects to muddle through. I haven’t sewn much this year, but I managed to put a dent in my current work in progress at the guild’s sew-in this weekend!
There’s really no debate: the Met puts on wonderful exhibitions, and typically has a nice catalogue or book to accompany each. And now, they’ve put many of the out-of-print publications up as free PDF downloads. While this isn’t restricted to costuming—there are publications on all manner of art—I think that the fashion ones might be most interesting to you, so here are a few that are available.
Now, I just have to wait a few years for the Alexander McQueen one to go out of print…
To see more of the Fashion/Textile-specific ones, use this link, but do poke around the other sections as well. Who knows what you will find. (Note, the link above doesn’t filter out in-print publications; you’ll have to click through to see which ones are and aren’t [hint: most of the ones that are more than ten years old seem to be available for download]. Even the ones still in print often have an online preview though, to tempt you).
… and possibly divorcing the Farmer, but more on that after I explain the EPP.
I’m really trying to get more involved in the local quilting community, and meet more local people. When the LQS announced that they are going to have a monthly sit-and-sew focusing on English Paper Piecing, I decided that it is a great way to do that, as well as try EPP, as I’ve been wanting to do lately, all in the cold winter months.
So I am, starting today.
It’s not something we have to pay for, but we are required to get one of two books and must work on an EPP project while we are there. The two books they specified are English Paper Piecing: Fresh New Quilts from Bloom Creek and Lucy Boston: Patchwork of the Crosses.
I bought English Paper Piecing, as it was the one in stock (and was cheaper, and struck me as a more general-purpose book, and “of the Crosses” didn’t seem my style, etc.), but I’m rather disappointed. For a book titled as a specific technique, one would think more than a few pages would be dedicated to that specific technique. But, that’s all there is. And, most of the projects in the book simply combine small bits of EPP with other techniques (mostly machine piecing and applique). I don’t have an alternative to recommend, but frankly, if you’re looking for a beginning EPP book, I don’t think this is the right one unless you’re particularly drawn to one of the projects.
Meanwhile, I looked up Lucy Boston. She was a rather interesting lady! Somehow, I made it through childhood having never read her books (a point I plan on remedying post haste). But, her patchworks are very interesting as well, so I think the second book may join my library eventually (although I have doubts that it is a great resource on EPP too). There’s a coffee table-style book about her as well (Patchworks of Lucy Boston), which I wish my local library system had, but alas.
As to my statement about divorcing the Farmer—I haven’t even opened the box in which my Farmer’s Wife project lives for over a year, yet I truly love the fabrics I was using. So, I think I’m going to shift them to this EPP project and plan a way to use the Farmer’s Wife blocks I did complete (perhaps minus a few I wasn’t happy with, plus a couple more if I feel motivated) in the EPP quilt. They could make an interesting border or a patchwork medallion—but most of all, they will get out of the box and into a quilt top someday.
I think it’s a good compromise. An amicable split, if you will. Here the blocks are again, looking bright and happy last August before I put them away.
Now I just need to sort out the type of EPP project I want to make before the first event. I better get brainstorming!
During the Spring QAL, Melanie or Chris suggested to use Elizabeth Hartman’s quilt sandwich tutorial, and I was hooked on her tutorials. When I finally had money to spend on books (and had a great coupon, of course), I picked up her relatively recent release, The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker (Stash Books/C & T Publishing), figuring if I loved one of her methods that much, I wanted to see what other knowledge she had to impart. I even want to share—don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom!
Sunday, we were at our local Barnes and Noble, which normally doesn’t have any fashion books at all, and not only did I get a chance to flip through 100 Dresses (henceforth filed under “nice to have, but won’t spend my own money on it”), I found Fashion: A History from the 18th Century to the 20th Century from the Kyoto Costume Institute for $20 in the bargain section. Gorgeous photos of even more gorgeous extant garments and decent essays.
On Monday, my copy of Linda Sparks’ The Basics of Corset Building arrived in the mail. I ordered it mostly just to have a quick reference book on construction. I heard mixed reviews, but thought I’d give it a chance. So far it looks like a decent book.
Tuesday, the book for my next “Sew you want to quilt” class came: Dancing with Thread. I’ve only thumbed through it so far, but I really wish I had it when I was squaring the bargello quilt. It has a great section on that. The next class is focusing on applique and using free-motion quilting to add visual interest. I’m very excited.
That same shipment also had a bunch of bobbins, so I don’t have to choose between unwinding or not sewing any time soon.
Wait, there’s more! On Wednesday, the sample book from a digital custom fabric printing site came. I’m waiting on a sample book from another place, but I have some crazy thoughts in my head for a quilt involving custom printing. We’ll see how it goes!
On the current project front, I have one side of binding left to stitch on the Bargello, so look for a post on that and final photos this weekend. I started cutting out pieces for my next project on Tuesday. I don’t know how much I’ll be posting on it while I work on it, because it’s a present for someone who occasionally reads this blog.
I’m also working on making a copy of a friend’s favorite vest for them, so do stay tuned for updates and information about that project soon!