Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fabric Reincarnation

Have you ever seen the movie "The Dress"? It's a dark Dutch film that follows a dress from its design through various hemlines and second hand shops to scraps. Everyone who comes into contact with the dress has incredibly bad luck. Not a feel-good pick-me-up movie. But what I liked best was seeing the various reincarnations of the fabric. (Spoiler Alert) It kept me watching as all the characters died off. Anyway, anyone who has ever been to a fabric store with me might be surprised to find out that I like to repurpose fabric.

Here is a photo of me wearing a skirt that my friend Lilo gave me. It was taken in 2005.  I am outside Lebanon, Kansas at the geographic center of the contiguous United States! Definitely an outing that called for a cute skirt. Lilo and I lived together in Miami, now she lives in Ibiza and I haven't seen her in years. But I have fantastic memories of going to the beach with her, running into the waves, and screaming and shouting in that way you can only do at the beach without looking completely insane.

I'm sure Lilo got this skirt second hand, she got everything second hand. I loved this skirt. The colors are great and it was so comfortable. But its soft faded look became washed out and my style has moved on a bit. But all is not lost. Now the skirt is a quilt!

I'm not one for quilt patterns, I always am certain that I can figure out the blocks by myself. And everything went well until I had to trim the blocks down and I lost all the points. I need to practice making my own patterns. This picture shows the resulting zig zag lattice still has a nice effect from this distance. I don't know how many people wore this skirt besides Lilo and I and I don't know who might use the quilt after me. But it's interesting to imagine.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Orange and Green Invasion

 It all started at Jessica's house. I picked out this lovely assortment of colors to take to her stitch 'n bitch. As per usual I paid no attention to color value, light or dark and just picked the colors that caught my eye. I generally gravitate towards bright colors. I am conscious that this tendency often results in quilts looking infantile or clown-y. So I tell myself to try and be careful -but who wants to be careful when it comes to selecting fabric anyway? Not me, I throw caution to the wind.

I was excited to start something new- because why finish an old project you have when you can start a new one? I was inspired and started making these fractured zig zag blocks. But something went wrong, the colors just didn't work very well. There isn't enough light and dark contrast between the oranges and greens to make this pattern work well. So I set the blocks aside until I figure out what to do with them. Maybe if I add some yellow or blue? How about brown? Any thoughts?

So logically, I started another new project.

I loved the look of Jessica's rose star. And she made it look so easy. I have never tried EPP. But so far so good. I have all the pieces basted on pieces of construction paper that I cut myself. I also outlined the hexagon with a sharpie before I cut so there is the potential for my pieces to be a bit inconsistent. I will let you know once I start sewing it together.

But did you notice anything? Again with the green and orange! 
It is possible that my orange and green phase started long ago. I've been thinking a lot about this color combination and I realized that this winter, I have been pairing my green jacket with   this fantastic hat that I got in Kyrgystan (purchased in 2008- and modeled with a green shirt in the picture seen here). There is no escaping, orange and green are taking over!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

15 minutes?

Thank you E for introducing me to 15 minutes of play. I have to admit that while I love the idea I'm having a few problems. I have come to the conclusion that you ladies are either speedy quilters or have an incredible amount of self discipline because I just simply can't stop at 15 minutes! How in the world do you do it?
Is there such a thing as quilter time? You know, like dog years. If 1 dog year is 7 (?) human years, does 15 minutes of play in quilter time equal 2 hours of regular time?
Either way, I have put together these lovely purple blocks and an idea for a floral quilt. (Really Bernadette? Floral? Is this you typing? You are not a floral kind of gal! What is happening? Where is the real Bernadette? Maybe she is lost in a quilter time warp.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Phat Quilt

My friend studies lipids. One day he showed me a model of how the fat molecules naturally assemble to form these layers, which then happily attach themselves to the cells on your belly and the underside of your upper arm. I was struck by the bold geometric pattern and immediately thought that they would make a great quilt. Here it is, "The Fat Quilt". 

When you think about it, there are many ways that lipids are like quilts.
1) They accumulate gradually, small pieces at a time, and before you know it you have enough to share!
2) They can keep you warm in the winter.
3) They both are a lifestyle.
4) Both are difficult to get rid of. 

I love this quilt.

This was my first attempt at long arm quilting. The woman at the quilt store was supremely annoyed that not only had I pieced the back (oh the horror!) but I had also failed to square the sides off exactly. She sighed exasperatingly and shook her head every time she looked at it. She also told me at least a dozen times that I needed to take her basic quilting techniques class.  No, thank you.

Once I got it all set up and pinned on, the long arm was a lot of fun. I may have gotten a bit carried away and the result is reminiscent of 'Harry and the Purple Crayon'. But I think it goes well with the circular theme of the quilt. Don't you?