Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Left over bits and pieces to make a fabric postcard for a friend.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Strawberry Patch

It all started with a strawberry ~ well, four strawberries to be exact, embroidered on a set of cotton napkins. No one in the family remembered where they came from or who might have stitched the sweet designs by hand.

I could have kept them in a linen cupboard, neatly pressed and folded for posterity. Or I might have used them occasionally when special friends came for coffee. But they deserved to be enjoyed everyday ~ and not just by me.

Using the strawberries in doll quilts was an idea inspired by Vickie from turkey feathers. She created a series of simple quilts with squares of cheerful fabrics, as basic as can be. What made them so charming was her inclusion of a single square embellished with embroidery. I’m telling you, that little detail knocked my socks off!

So, out came the strawberry napkins and whatever red, green and yellow fabrics I could gather. After years of sewing exclusively with reproduction fabrics, I had no pure reds and yellows, no checks and polka dots, no whimsical, “happy” fabrics in my collection.

Honestly, it’s taken me quite a while to collect fabrics for this project. It seemed kind of silly to make just one doll quilt after all that effort. With four embroidered strawberry patches, I could make four quilts. The first one would go to my good friend Barb, with whom I exchange birthday quilts each year. The next two were for my friends Sheila and Mary, who work selflessly to keep me quilting (and end up doing most of the work themselves). The last little quilt was for me. Four dear friends, four doll quilts, four times the joy; I sure put those napkins to good use!

Strawberry Patch doll quilt

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Preposition Proposition

I’ve done it again… uttered those words that send my family scattering like pins on a hardwood floor: “I’m looking for a piece of fabric.”

With frenzied panic, they fumble for excuses:“Dad wants me to shovel the driveway… now!" “Gotta finish my homework. It's due tomorrow!” “I’m on the phone… long distance!”

Fear not, dear ones. This time, I know exactly where it is:"Go through the kitchen, into the dining room. It’s amongst the sewing things, on the chair, nearest the door. It’s in that pile of stuff, under the magazines, between the homespun plaids and batiks."

Uh oh, I’m beginning to lose them. When it comes to tracking down fabric, they’re like puppies or young children. They can only follow one command at a time.

"You can’t miss it… it’s red… red toile." Oh no, I’ve confused them with a technical term. Better redirect. "It's Christmas fabric… with scenes of Santa."

“Found it!” I hear someone cry triumphantly.

“Great! Now can you find the coordinating prints?”

They have glazed looks. I know better than to push my luck.