Friday, November 22, 2013

the one where my daughter kicked me off my longarm......

For me,  one of the special things about hand crafts is the inter-generational aspect.  Most crafters learn from their mother or grandmother, especially sewing and quilting.   Every quilter I've ever met has wonderful memories of learning their skills from an older friend or family member.

2007: Kid's Quilting challenge entry, age 7

I've made projects with my daughter since she was very small, and her enjoyment of quilting waxes and wanes.   At age 7, she loves the bright fabrics in a kid's quilt challenge.   She created the design, fussy cut and fused the central blocks and completed all the seams and quilting.  I helped through all the steps, drawing the line at the rotary cutter.

While she might not say much out loud about our work together, I can see all I need  when I look into her room and our quilts are prominently visible.   And on some days, that's not easy given her teenage idea of what "picked-up" really means.

When I first began to look at long arm machines, she was there with me. Even if she was only 3 feet tall.   She love to "drive" them at the shows and make squiggly lines.    So it should have come as no surprise that she'd essentially kick me off my machine while I was working on a practice piece.   I had plans for that piece, because like all quilters, no scrap shall go to waste.    But she wasn't very interested in MY plan.

2013,  age 13
And she took over the handles, and off she went.   So much for my plan.
 "Um, now what are we going to do with this?" I asked.   
 "A pillow mom, I want a pillow".  
"well, get sewing"  I said.   
 "I don't know how" she answered.  
 But really, she did.   After I cut a backing for her (yeah, still afraid she'd slice off a finger with the rotary cutter),  she sewed it together like a pro.


Finish it up Friday....

Recently, Illinois became the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage.    Since this affects me in no personal way, I am unsure why it's so important to me.  Does it even matter?   But I was very happy the day it was decided, and even happier the day it was signed into law by Governor Quinn.

But I'm sure everyone can agree, that the design is great.  So great, I HAD to execute it.

And here's how I did it:

Using a jelly roll I had on hand of rainbow hued batiks,  I selected an array of 6 colors.
I trimmed then to 1.5" strips in order to get all the colors in the applique.

I then checked my friend Google, and downloaded an outline of the shape of IL.

Once the strips were joined using scant 1/4" seams, and ironed,
I then ironed my piece to a  fusible product
Then, I placed the shape and pinned it to my fabric and fussy cut along the border

I  ironed my "Illinois" applique to a black background square.
Using straight stitching, and going very slowly, I stay stitched around the border.

If you look very closely, you might notice  some texture within the strips. Lesson learned: iron-on fusible does have a shelf life. And if it's crunchy,  it might give you trouble. 

I'm loving how my vision turned into something finished. Or almost finished......I have no idea what to do with this block now that it's done.   

Ideas, anyone?