Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quickly Quilting

As I may have mentioned before, I have quilting on the brain.

It happened shortly after my birthday, when my mother-in-law gave me a book on home decor on the cheap. It's actually kind of really awesome. There are some great up-to-date DIY projects, and some examples of some really gorgeous bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens.

My only criticism of the book is that unless it's suggesting Ikea or a thrift shop, it's not decorating on the cheap. It's decorating on the "holy crap they commissioned a stand-alone chimney to be built outside their house" expensive. And even their idea of "second hand" is expensive, with examples of second hand purchases that were "steals" being
-a $500 dollar headboard,
-a (very ugly) lamp at $400,
-getting a plain red roll of carpent for cheap but then paying a few thousand to have it custom-trimmed and finished to be shaped like a gigantic pool of blood (although that's a pretty cool idea, especially since the carpet spills down a case of stairs and pools out on the lower landing...)
-or buying a couch second hand for $150, but then dropping $2,000 to have it fitted with Lucite legs.
Yeah. That's just to name a few expensive things-- and those were only the examples of the "cheap" details.
Oh and also, they're not actually "thrifting." It may be second-hand, but honey, you are ANTIQUING. There's a difference.

In any case, there was a picture of the room that took homey-quilting to the extreme, and while this one blanket wasn't particularly mentioned and probably wasn't meant to be the focal point of the photo, it jumped out at me: a tied quilt pieced up of hexagons.

So simple and so attractive, I wanted one that INSTANT.
I like tied quilts a lot too, they have a more hand-made homey feel to me than the ones you pay someone else to sew all over with those gigantic free form sewing machines to hold the batting in place or just to embellish.
Tied quilt, by the way, are quilts that, when the top piece and back piece and batting are all sewing together, have yarn or thick string tied in little knots every few inches or so.

The idea was also attractive to me because I collect a lot of scrap fabric from the D.I. and other thrift shops. So I have a lot of pieces of fabric that are precut at odd shapes or lengths, pieces that have both limited and infinite potential. This gave me an opportunity to use all those fabrics, albeit, at least one hexagon from each.

Kind of what I'm making only not...

And the final reason I decided to make the hexagon quilt was that I also collect clothes and consistently do not wear them. I love clothes. I love their fabrics, their prints, or they have sentimental value and even though I haven't fit into it for years (some hoodies and shirts I've kept since I was 12 or even 9). In this case, I would take one hexagon from the garment and scrap the rest. Many shirts with Black Chandelier prints will be featured, so much so that I am a little bit afraid that people will just identify it as my Black Chandelier quilt, which, I guess, is fine too.

The choice to do hexagons with my scrapped tees also has an artistic factor. I like the idea of putting shirts you like but don't wear anymore into something else to give its function back, but when I looked at other peoples examples of tee-shirt quilts, I thought they were really ugly. It wasn't like they were trying to take the thing they liked about the tee-shirt and make it into a quilt, it was more like they were making a quilt that looked like it was made from a tee shirt, you know?

Like this. This is ugly.

Anyway, I am seeing hexagons everywhere. I didn't even make the connection that the Black Chandelier logo is a black chandelier WITH A HEXAGON AROUND IT. Great. Even more imagery to enforce a "black chandelieriness" with the quilt. Also, there are hexagons covering a wall at Spencer's work.
Once I get this quilt done, and my rosette-thing for my mom and any other quilting ideas I have for the holiday season, I'll probably ease up with the quilting and move on to other projects. I do this a lot.

I've been obsessed with writing once in a few years, joined a literary magazine and carried a writing notebook with me. I "gesso'd" Masonite boards and painted things. Or at least I planned to. I went CRAZY with charcoal and pastel drawings. I love them. I also got way into pottery and sculpture. I'm not so great with a kick wheel but a couple of my sculptures are still in my high school teachers office on display.
I've crocheted for days, making mini-scarves and cozies for just about anything, apples, water bottles, iPod cases, cats. Altering tees for friends (I need a serger before I do anymore tee altering though; no more ripped armpits.)

Now it's quilting, and it's really fun. I was afraid I wouldn't finish this quilt... I like to get into stuff, projects, hobbies, and while a few of these infatuations produce some great work, a lot of the time it also produces some great but unfinished work. But it's coming along pretty quickly, even with my mother-in-law warning me that a hexagon quilt has no real short-cuts and may take awhile to piece.

This isn't to say it hasn't had some set-backs. A lot of the pieces I'm memorializing are screen-printed, which means they absolutely cannot be ironed! Which also means I can't press some of the seams down, which makes for a funky sitting block.

Also, I have never actually quilted before. Every. Well wait. There was this one time in the 4th grade where we all quilted pot-holders for our parents, and I sent my to my dad and I haven't really seen it since. I think I did ok with it, but it was all hand-done and square, SO... Not really the same here.

I will post pictures of the progress I've made tonight, if I can find Spencer's camera. If not I'll try to get some O.K. pictures with my phone. Sound good? Good.

1 comment:

karlie said...
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