Memory Quilt Study

The time I’m finding for hand-stitching in 2021 is making me really happy. It is color therapy while resting my eyes from screens all day, sometimes I even sew while watching. I have two more traditional hand applique projects, one I started in January with Alisson Glass fabrics I bought myself for black Friday, feeling blue and looking for something cheerful while supporting a small beloved business. I’m also thinking more about digital design this year and want to start playing with digital image and pattern making to supplement my little graph paper sketchbooks. I am taking Daisy Aschehoug’s Adobe Illustrator workshop at Quiltcon this weekend and thinking about playing with design and applique shapes in the future. 

I started a project from my stepmother’s clothes a few years ago and this week, with the new year of (my) ox, a burst of creative sewing energy as I take my mid-winter break, its sprawled into 4 different pieces so far. This is my smallest one, a 6×8 piece called “Kansas City” I’m submitting for the 2021 SAQA Spotlight Auction. Trying to solve the next step in this quilt project has unlocked something inside of me and I am sewing every spare minute of the day. This slightly larger 7 x 10.5 mini started out as a tester for my next and presumably last piece from my stepmother’s clothes. I will gift it to her sister even though it may be a bit weird.

Last month I decided I really wanted to also take Heidi Parke’s whole cloth improv class to satisfy my recent return to hand stitching.  I thought it might help me with the “back” for the memory quilt top I’d already made from work clothes, jeans and synthetic fabrics.  But testing out cloth, fabric and trying to substitute DMC No 8 perle (I have No. 5 and its too bulky) for visible hand applique and quilting has helped me realize I want to make two quilts, not one.  So yesterday I’m “fronted” and backed the utility quilt with the Lonestar pattern with some silk selvedge that was the perfect width.  I’m cheating and facing the backing on 3 sides, then folding it over to the “front” for the applique on the rough pocket-y side. She was a painter and wiped her hands on her hips a lot on this pair of jeans. She also loved silk pajamas so I’ve been gently deconstructing some silk french seams.

This concludes my enthusiastic Quiltcon Together post, I hope you are having fun out there. And for folks in Texas, I hope you are warm and dry and your phone is charged, I’m so heartbroken for this mess some of you are in.

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