Monday, May 12, 2014

Mid-Century Monday: Patchwork quilt by Alexander Girard

photo from Alexander Girard by Todd Oldham and Keira Coffee
This grainy image is tantalizing proof that Alexander Girard made—or at least designed—a quilt! It’s from a bedroom Girard designed for the Scoren house in 1977. The fabrics are his own stripes, checkers, and probably solids or woven textures (from what I can tell), with a simple piecing pattern of squares. It’s so exciting to see one of my design heroes working in my own medium!

I’m sharing this today because I’m just about to set off for Seattle, where one of the lectures I’m giving is Mid-Century Modern Quilts. Though I don’t know much about Girard’s quilt, it’s a great point of connection between the work of well-known mid-century designers and mid-century styles in quiltmaking.

Bonus Girard quilting connection: quilt artist Jean Ray Laury thanks him in the acknowledgments in her book Wood Applique...perhaps the “high” designers of the period and their craft-oriented colleagues were closer connected that we might think....

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Stitch ’n Swap Blog Party

Have you been following Generation Q’s Blog Party to celebrate the release of their new book? It’s Stitch ’n Swap: 25 Handmade Projects to Sew, Give and Receive, and I’m on today’s party circuit!

My contribution to the book was a pair of potholders made from a version of Rail Fence blocks that reminded me of parquet floors—hence the alliterative project title, Parquet Pot Holders.

Though they look quite different, both of the potholders were made from exactly the same block structure. In bare black and white, it looks like this:

Not much to it when stripped down, but there’re loads of ways to dress it up! I envisioned a swap or guild challenge in which participants would all use the same basic design and “color it in” with different fabrics to show the versatility of the block. To make sure it was doable, I challenged myself to come up with some other designs for the same potholder block. These are just solids, but the possibilities multiply even further when using stripes and other prints.

Make sure to check out GenQ for the rest of the blog party and to enter to win your very own copy of the book. Good luck, and happy swapping!

How does this giveaway work?

I'm so glad you asked. Comment on the original Generation Q Stitch 'N Swap post letting us know if you've ever participated in a swap and the coolest thing you've ever gotten in a swap. That's it!

All winners will be chosen from the Generation Q Magazine post Wednesday May 7th and posted Thursday May 8th.

Stitch ’n Swap: 25 Handmade Projects to Sew, Give and Receive
compiled by Jake Finch of Generation Q
112 pages

Get a signed copy from GenQ

Monday, May 05, 2014

Photo catch-up

It’s been a wild couple of months with a very full schedule—lest you think the piles of fabric and paperwork of my sewing room has finally swallowed me whole, here’re some shots from the more fun moments. (The paperwork piles are very real, but no fun, so I won’t subject you to them.)

Pomeranian in a picnic basket

Spring means picnic time with Miss Fluffinstuff! We couldn’t resist putting her in the oilcloth picnic basked I sewed for Stitch.

Pomeranian in a picnic basket

Pomeranian in a picnic basket

Pomeranian in a picnic basket

Pomeranian in a picnic basket

I’m teaching next week for Quilters Anonymous near Seattle, so I just finished a new trapunto pillow class sample…

trapunto rings pillow

A while back I stole a few minutes for a trial run of some screen-printing on fabric—lots of fun!

screen-printing test

I’m really itching to sew something with the test swatch, and my head’s buzzing with ideas for designing and printing fabric. Sometime this summer I’m going to have to take a vacation to the print studio (that is, our garage) for some uninterrupted playtime. But not until after Quilt Market!