Saturday, March 20, 2021

Pandemic Porch Quilt Show, Days 54 - 55: Hands for Grandma, Grandma's Hands

On Day 55, I hung two baby-related quilts that date back to the 1990s - and the one on the right was inspired by a quilt 140 years older than that! 
First, a nap quilt I made for my son, when I'd done very little applique, and wanted to dip my toe in the water. The flowers are raw-edge appliqued, with zigzag stitches to contain the fraying. The leaves were straight-stitch machine-appliqued, so their edges are nicely frayed.
Amazingly, the flowers and even their hand-embroidered centers have held up well over the years.  

The second quilt was made from my son's handprint, when he was about 3. It was a gift for his grandparents, who hung this quilt proudly in their home. 
The next photo shows the simple quilting. 
Don't credit me for the striking design - it was inspired by a red-and-white hand-print quilt I saw at a 1997 exhibit at Los Angeles' Gene Autry Museum, called, "Quilts in the Machine Age." That quilt, made in Kansas circa 1878, was an early machine-quilted masterpiece. Find a photo at the Kansas Historical Society archives, HERE. Warning: You will probably want to make your own version! My 2013 blog post with more info about this quilt is HERE.

DAY 55 I didn't make this quilt - it was one of my greatest thrift shop finds! I'm guessing it was made in the 40s. It's been well used-  there are threadbare spots - but it is still charming. 
The fabrics are faded but still fascinating. 
In the next photo, note that the pink/white/orange checkerboard hexagon (with puffy white flowers), just right of center, is made of two pieces of fabric joined! She must have been working from very small scraps!

The back is just as impressive, thanks to the exquisite hand quilting. (By the way, the big light splotches below are sunspots, not necessarily worn spots, though the quilt does have those, too.) 

Next installment: A lot more color! 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Pandemic Porch Quilt Show, Days 50 - 53: Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, Japan

Everyone need at least one muse, but the more, the better. Plenty of humans inspire my work, but I also have a liquid muse: Coffee! And I have the quilts to prove it! On Day 51, I hung out my first series: 

These are tessellated mugs, with 3D "prairie point" folded handles that stick out. If you're scratching your head, you're not alone; so many people have told me these don't look like mugs at all; they see fish, aliens, and/or chicken heads. Fine! Whatever! I see mugs! The ovals are not alien eyeballs, they're the coffee! My first version used solids, for a clean modern look. 

With my second, I used batiks - the borders especially looks (to me) like poured coffee. (Some people might see fish in muddy waters, though). 

And finally, a version that combines prints and solids - I call this, "Clouds in my Coffee."

But wait, there's more! On Day 52, I showed off the next four:

First, a long, tall piece with what looks like eyeballs staring out of  cups. It's black-and-white and red all over, and only required about 5 fabrics (not counting the binding or back). 

Second, (52B), a piece headline "100 Cups of Coffee on the Wall.)

Along the right-hand side, it's strung with empty cream cups and a black plastic coffee cup at the bottom....

The lettering on top was cut from  a foil supermarket coffee bag (for "100 cups".) and a genuine burlap coffee bag (for "on the wall").

Third, (52c), my good luck/good coffee amulet quilt. You need a lot of knowledge, plus all the luck you can get, to make a perfect cup. I did quite a bit of research into coffee-making modes that are also graphically pleasing! 

The red lines are genuine coffee stirrers. Here's a closeup of the Moka pot corner: 

Fourth (52d) is my "Need Coffee" wallhanging, made from batiks. It has an imaginary coffee pipeline, starting with the sun (on light blue) in the upper left corner; then the beans are green moving to the right; they turn downward, get darker and darker brown, before finally spilling into a sea of coffee down the bottom. 

Patterns and/or directions for most of these quilts are in my "Quilts for Coffee Lovers' booklet, available from my etsy shop, CathyPStudio. Click on the link HERE.  

Finally - a couple of weeks ago you saw a bunch of large quilts inspired by my residence in Japan in the early 1980s (HERE.)

Here's one more - it was made for relaxation between the larger Japan projects. I'm not sure if it's a baby quilt or an art quilt - it measures 34" x 42". 

I used improvisational curved piecing, a technique that has taken the quilt world by storm , with an interesting history. Several years back, I blogged the history, and my own tutorial, HERE. Debbie Bowles' book, "Cutting Curves from Straight Pieces," was helpful, too. 

I got plenty of quilting practice, making feathers and vines, in the red area. 

The back has many more Japanese (and Japanesque) fragments. The grey in the borders are from a traditional jacket...

The tossed doll fabric  on navy was from a furoshiki, a wrapping cloth....

And the fabric with the white x's (third strip up from the bottom), is from a yukata, a long lightweight robe that I loved wearing for many years!
More porch quilts to come!