Inspiration: Japanese Tape

I think I might have a problem.
I can't stop buying Japanese tape.  Masking tape, shipping tape, scrap-booking tape.  Gotta have it all!
It's so pretty!

Inspiration: Sujata Shah

A couple days ago, Sujata from the Root Connection did a feature on her blog about my quilts.  What an honor!  I've been admiring her quilts through flickr as well and decided to return the love.  A girl who loves color, does strippy circles and stripey stripe quilts from reclaimed materials is a girl after my own heart!  She also designs patterns!  My favorite design that she has a pattern for is Wagon Wheels.
1. Wagon Wheel, 2. String Quilt, 3. Shirts from the Goodwill Store, 4. Inspiration from Gee's Bend

Making: Fun with Linen and Denim

Since I was dealing with a disaster in my bath-tub, I decided to make something fun.

I hand-dyed some linen curtain remnants, mixed it with a natural linen and threw in some denim as sashing.  It's soft and wonderful.  And it worked, now I'm happier!

Inspiration: Victoria Gertenbach

Quilts by Victoria Gertenbach

I have been loving these "work" quilts by Victoria Gertenbach (aka the Silly Boo Dilly) since I noticed them on Flickr.  They look so wonderfully tactile.  And then I saw her post on her newest series of small quilts.  Totally love them!  I love quilts that incorporate and feature old fabrics and all their "flaws."  So, now I get to brag, I am the lucky new owner of Rural Roads!  Here is a picture of it, hanging in a place of great honor behind my sewing machine and above a baby picture of my grandfather. I love, love, love it!
Rural Roads posing with my  Bernina

Disaster, or why you should always finish projects in a timely manner.

This is the quilt top:
Silk Carnival Quilt based on a pattern by Norah McMeeking
...and this is what happens to it when you leave it folded on the sofa in your studio under the shelf where you often leave your tea...for months...because you haven't gotten around to finishing it yet...and then you open it up one day, thinking, perhaps this week, it will get finished...and find matching Rorschach stains of disaster.
...and this is what it looks like after you try to remove the stain.
Bleeding, rumpled, mess of ruined silk

Not a good day.

P.S. Just in case you think I'm completely mad for trying to remove the stain myself, after reading countless online tips for removing stains from silk, I did consult a dry cleaner, who was not at all willing to take the risk to remove it there as the entire thing is backed with fusible interfacing.  But, here's the lesson learned from that - if there's red silk involved, perhaps have them just give it a try before dunking it in a tub of oxi-clean??? 

Making: Pennant Bunting Advent Calendar

Oh my, did these ever take forever to finish!  I had this idea back in September that I could make up a bunch of sets in time for December 1st, and I barely finished two sets by the last week of November!
Advent Calendar
Can't wait until December 1!
Although I might not endeavor to make more in the future, I love how the two sets I did make came out.  I used my Cricut to make fusible fabric numbers and they turned out perfectly.  Here's a picture of what my cutting table looked like for the past few weeks!
Santa's Workshop

Update: You can now buy the pattern for the Pennant Bunting Advent Calendar on Craftsy!

Inspiration: Kim Eichler-Messmer's Beautiful Hand-dyed Quilts

I recently discovered these beautiful quilts while perusing Pinterest. I love everything about them.
Kim Eichler-Messmer's Quilts

To find out more about her, check out her blog or her website.

Love, love, love.

Making: Blue and White Split Log Cabin (with a little persimmon thrown in!)

I created another version of my split log cabin quilt for a class I'll be teaching at New Pieces Quilt Shop in January.

Blue and White Split Log Cabin

For my first green and white version I used only upcycled and vintage fabrics, but for this one, I chose to use all new fabrics for the front.  I found this wonderful, textured cotton that is very reminiscent of vintage flour sacks as well as some beautiful Kaffe Fassett shot cottons and a cotton called "Quilter's Linen" by Robert Kaufman (it looks textured like linen, but it's not!).

Split Log Cabin Detail

Split Log Cabin Center Detail
If you're wondering what the back looks like, well...I was a bit of a procrastinator as this quilt was due to be on display at New Pieces by today, so I literally cut the last threads, took a couple of photos and drove it down there, forgetting to photograph the back!  I used the same ticking stripe for this one as for the green and white as well as some inset blue denim.  I love it!  I'm so excited about teaching the pattern, it's so much fun!

Inspiration: Grandmother's Flower Garden

Grandmother's Flower Garden

I love the beautiful vintage textiles used to create this entirely hand-sewn and quilted Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  This quilt has definitely been loved.  Many of the white hexagons and some of the printed ones have shredded, but it's still in use!
Grandmother's Flower Garden - Detail
I love the edge detail and the pattern the hand quilting makes on the reverse.

Tools: Thimbles

I'm hoping to get a lot of hand quilting done this weekend, so I pulled out some thimbles!

Starting with my favorite, ending with the ones I never use!

Making: Gingham!

I love gingham!  There's nothing like having a cute bowl filled with scraps...except maybe seeing the finished project.
Gingham scraps
A towering stack of picnic napkins

Inspiration: Martha Jane Pettway

This is the quilt that inspired me to make my green and white linen split log cabin quilt.  The original is in the Quilts of Gee's Bend collection. It is also made of corduroy, which I love in a quilt, but I cannot imagine hand quilting through corduroy.

I think I remember from the show that the corduroy used was leftover scraps from home goods that women in the town were sewing up for a regional department store.  For my version, I used thrift store linen tablecloths and bits of old blue jeans.

PSsst - Click on the link below the Martha Jane Pettway quilt to see some A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. quilts.  You can also see loads of contemporary quilts by clicking on the Blogger's Quilt Festival button below!

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Tools: Restoration for a Handmade Tablecloth

In honor of Halloween, I have a scary story to tell about a ghoulishly stained tablecloth.  Deep in a dark corner of the basement (where there was recently spotted a very large black snake and is a well-known haunt of the abhorrent jumping camel cricket, are you scared yet?) I found this once beautiful tablecloth.  Brought back from a long ago trip to Venice, it's cream colored linen and handmade lace was stained and mottled with black and green mold.

The horror!
Bone-chillingly horrendous stains!
But, I heard of a product called Restoration that claims to extract stains from vintage textiles.  It was a bit pricey for what I thought was merely a gentle laundry detergent.  What I found out is that this powder has supernatural powers. I followed the directions on the container and had to repeat the application of my precious powder twice, but, at the risk of sounding like an info-mercial, the results were astounding.

It's a miracle!

 There is still one tiny ghost of a stain left from the large patch of black mold, but it's so small that I can only see it when it's inches from my face.

 I can't wait to use this to revive more of my stained treasures.