A Strange New Quilt

I went to a quilting class on Friday night, and started working on this:
Enough with the #&$&^# Orange

I’ll admit, it’s strange.

I am in the process of making at least 12 more blocks for it (so that it’s 8 blocks by 5 blocks), so that with the right border, it might look nice on the wall over our bed. Gotta find the right border, though… It has been my experience that odd quilts like this really NEED a border to tame them. There’s one that I made (the one Jerry named “O, My Eyes Are Bleeding”) that was totally obnoxious until I got a border on it. Now it’s just mildly obnoxious, and I like it a lot better.

This is the same kind of a quilt. Once I get the top all put together, I’ll have to take it out and audition border fabrics to see if this one can also be tamed.

Because I Can.

Tonight I went to a quilting class (Art Quilt Club) that will meet the first Friday of the month for the next three months. Our instructions were to bring “a variety of hand-dyes and tonal solids cut to 7-1/2″ squares, and graphic prints cut 1″ wide by the width of the fabric.” Most people brought squares of many, many colors. I tried to stick to greens and blues, which ended up keeping my quilt from being as erratic in color as most of the others. My 1″ strips are all cool colors (blues, greens, purples) — and of course, my signature orange. Because I can. And because I have quilts that Jerry has named the following: “O, My Eyes are Bleeding,” “Again with the Orange?” and “Not Enough Orange.”

I can only really think of two quilts I’ve made that have no orange. Interesting.

This one has some growing to do… Gotta finish the blocks (I have 19 made, 9 more in process, and I think I’ll need probably either 12 or 20 more), play with them on a design wall, sew them together, and then find The Perfect Border Fabric for them. If Jerry and I both like the way it turns out, it may end up hanging at the head of our bed in place of a headboard.

I’m excited about it. Laying the blocks out on the floor here, it all took a different color than it had at the quilt shop, and I didn’t like it as much. I look forward to being able to play with it in natural light, when I get my stuff moved up to Helen’s old room.

And then I’ll share pictures. Too early to share pictures now…

Evidence of Disease

Okay, so I said I had a sickness. Here is proof:

Alice modeling a dress I made, Helen's dress in background

I finished these today. Complete with matching panties for Alice. The dress is a bit big on her because she’s 8 months old and I made a 12-months dress. Because I anticipate she’ll wear this most of the summer.

Helen wasn’t here today, so she’s not in her outfit. Which is just as well, because there’s no way I’d be able to get her OUT of the outfit if I put her in it. She’s kinda like that about handmade clothes. I think the cotton must feel good, because she seems to really like to wear them… Which of course just feeds my disease.

Proud of myself for actually finishing these relatively quickly. I cut them out last Tuesday night, and finished them this morning. Just over 5 days — not too shabby!

Dressing My Children

I have a sickness. I like to dress my children in crisp cotton dresses that I’ve made out of high-end quilting fabric. Not just any fabrics, mind you, I must dress them in the most obnoxious colors I can find. I don’t know why I do this. They’re going to hate me one day. In the meantime, however, people are always commenting on how nice my children look in their cute little clothes.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Alice hasn’t really worn much handmade yet — I didn’t start sewing for Helen (basically, I didn’t get my shit together so I’d have time to sew) until she was about 9 months old. So all of the nice handmade stuff is from that time and after. Alice is just now coming into that age, so the hand-me-downs have started. It’s fun, really — to get to revisit beloved outfits I made two years ago.

But I can’t leave it there. No, of course not. I have now ventured into the abyss of making coordinating clothes for my children. My current project? I’ve made Helen a shirt-and-pants outfit out of blue and yellow batiks. Now I’m making Alice a matching dress — so they coordinate but they’re not actually wearing the same design.

If I had twins, would I dress them the same? No. But these children are very obviously not the same age. So I don’t see it as a problem. And Helen thinks it’s really cool to match right now.

Growing up I remember a woman at church who had two daughters about two years apart. She would make dresses for the girls out of the same fabrics, but the dresses would be different patterns (or styles) so that they’d still be unique. And sometimes the mom had a matching dress or blouse, too. I remember thinking that was really neat, and that I hoped I could do that one day.

So while my husband may think it’s weird, I’m getting to fulfill a childhood dream of sorts. Kind of neat, really. And my kids look adorable. Right? RIGHT?!