It has been almost a month since I have connected with you people. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have been busy traveling, teaching, and making a new quilt.
Every day, I get up and stitch, write, think, make, walk, talk until seven or eight at night. Then I sit down and knit and talk to my husband and watch the world fall a part on the t.v. for a bit. Then I go to bed.
The next day, I get up and do it all over again. I like feeling as if my life has a lot purpose. With a deadline around every corner, it always feels that way.
The most recent deadline involved American Made Brand Fabric. American Made Brand cottons are completely made in the USA.
I used American Made Brand cotton textiles to make BIG TRI, which is on the cover of the book.
For BIG TRI, AMB sent me exactly that I love—a large USPS flat rate block full of a mixture of fabric in all colors and sizes. PERFECT.
After the book came out, AMB asked me if I would be interested in working with them again. This time, I would make a quilt or two for their booth at Quilt Market Portland.
Of course, I said yes. First, I made HOT SEAT!
All the while Quilt Market Portland is getting closer and closer. FINALLY. I got back from teaching on the East Coast, and I cleared the deck. Life was going to be about this quilt and only this quilt until it was in the box and headed to AMB headquarters.
I made a sketch.
I am interested in taking some of the prints from my book and combining them in new ways. I decided to work with pointy shapes, the traditional quilt block called Courthouse Steps, polka dot rows, and short rows.
I pulled a palette.
I stitched some short rows.
I took notes to get the sections to fit together in the end.
As I build, I am constantly shaping the “blocks”. By shaping, I mean shaving tiny bits of fabric off of each block to create clean lines for piecing.
If I have time, which I really did not, I will play with the units to see if they have the potential to be used in other ways for future quilts.
I am constantly documenting my progress, and, for the past year, I have been putting that documentation Instagram. Thank you Instagram followers for your cheerleading. It really does make a difference.
As the units are built, they go on the design wall.
Sometimes an idea doesn’t work or needs tweaking. I decided to change the two major columns from polka dot rows to a checkered print (also known as a continuous nine-patch). Graphically I needed something that was bolder, and I thought the checkered print would do the trick.
I was disappointed with the first attempt, so I cut it up.
Bit by bit, I lock into the final composition.
Once the top is done, I always have a sinking feeling, because I know that my next task is long, tiring, and monotonous. Yes. That is how I describe the quilting process. Not all of the time. Some times it is beautiful, meditative, and thoughtful.
Thread. Thread. And more thread.
If you want to know more about my quilting process, you might enjoy this blog post.
I am constantly timing myself to get a good idea of how long each section will take to quilt. Of course, I have to actually shower and eat and show up for the car pool. But for the most part, it is tunnel vision time.
Finally, the facing goes on. Here is the how to on that.
At some point in the process, I realized that the composition was an abstracted electrical fence! At the Wrangell Mountains Center in McCarthy, Alaska, our compost pile is protected from bears with an electrical fence. All three sons had to confirm for themselves that the fence was indeed electrified. That’s testosterone for you.
This quilt is finally on its way to Portland, via Seattle. I hope it makes its destination in time. I wish I weren’t always working up until the very minute. Still, I think that is how I get so much done. Each deadline bumps up against the next one, and I just keep going–one stitch after the next.
Thank you American Made Brand for the opportunity to work with you and your incredible fabric!