Thursday, August 27, 2009

Liberated Log Cabin

And here's another one I'm working on - Liberated Log Cabin, per Gwen Marston's method. I think this will be a pillowtop; I added a 2" solid dark purple/blue border all around, to rein it in a little, and now am busy procrastinating on the part I don't like, all that business with getting it backed and finished, with enough overlap so that it doesn't come busting out of the velcro or buttons or whatever. Simple, huh? But I've come to really dislike the "drudge" part of making quilts!

Making pieces like this one and the previously-posted one is, I'm sad to report, how I "clean up" my sewing space, which is why these two pieces have so many of the same fabrics in them. They come about by a combination of serendipity and an obsessive-compulsive-like fervor to use up ever-smaller bits of fabrics. I wander into my sewing room and see the exciting heaps of scraps, and before I know it I find that I'm sitting at the machine and "just sewing these little bits up to clear off my work area". Hours or days later, I emerge from the mess with a bunch of crazy looking blocks and strips and chunks, and an even-smaller pile of tiny scrips and scraps. Usually, I just put the newly-pieced creations away in what I like to rather grandly think of as my "Parts Department" (a la Gwen Marston & Freddy Moran), rarely to see the light of day again. But, like all true fabric nuts, it makes me feel happy to know they're there, a resource safely stashed away just waiting to be used some day when I "need" them - like what, the day I run out of fabric??? Not bloody likely, at least barring a major act-of-God-proportioned disaster, in which case the loss of my fabric supply will be the least of my problems!
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Are There Hummingbird Gardens in Gee's Bend?"

So here's a very rough shot of what I've been working on this week, unfinished and still up on the design wall. Its working title: "Are There Hummingbird Gardens in Gee's Bend?", because the colors and general wild, bright layout are inspired by my own hummingbird garden here outside of Ithaca, NY, and because it is done in a very spontaneous and not-straight-line manner of construction. A little not-too-straight cut with scissors here, a little curved line piecing there, a little Nancy Crow meets the quilters of Gee's Bend meets Gwen Marston.

It's not that easy, when your mother has spent your whole lifetime training you in the skills of precision and exacting measuring and cutting, to force yourself to throw off those careful habits and sew things crooked on purpose! And by no account would I claim to have mastered the free-piecing skills of the Gee's Bend and other traditional African-American quilters, but I'm trying.
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