Process

Fine, I’ll admit it. I’m using Instagram and actually enjoying it. I have a non-iPhone, so just downloaded the new app recently. Aside from the filters which I find alternately annoying and interesting, it’s a great way to quickly share photos and I enjoy snapping photos while I’m working in my sewing room. It’s making me think about process more and see the beauty in it. If you want to follow me on Instagram, my username is thelongthread. The images above are things I’m working on with my new Quilt Blocks fabric, a project for my book and a Liberty dress that I’m working on for my daughter. Shirring done, now it needs to be sewn together. I’ll continue to share process photos. It’s so much faster to snap and share this way.

Etc.

Quilt top by Rosie Lee Tompkins of Richmond, California. Quilted by Willia Ette Graham of Oakland in 1986. From Eli Leon’s collection, from the exhibition Who’d A Thought It: Improvisation in African-American Quiltmaking at the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum.

Just thought I’d share a few links from around the internet. I’ve been thinking a lot about quilting, obviously. Why am I buying fabric, cutting it up and sewing it back together? That’s odd. So I’m thinking about necessity, hobby and art. People quilt for those reasons and many more, I’m sure.

I’ve also been thinking about quilting traditions and the differences in European style versus the folk art, improvisational style of rural American quilts made in places like Gee’s Bend. What I keep coming back to is the fact that when I see a beautiful, detailed and perfect quilt, I am amazed by the technical skill of the maker. But when I see a graphic, improvisational quilt, I often have a strong visceral response. I think any argument about which quilts and styles are better than others is nonsense. Everyone should make what they want for their own reasons.

I thought this article comparing improvisational quilts to jazz was really interesting.

And in unrelated news…

If you are thinking about trying to publish a craft book, Kathreen’s series over on Whip Up is full of helpful tips and guidance.

I’ve enjoyed reading the Reflections and Predictions series over at Sew, Mama, Sew! If you missed it, it’s worthwhile to go back and check it out.

A college friend and photographer, Kathleen Robbins, has an achingly beautiful photography project featured on NPR, called In Cotton.

And I thought I’d mention the internet piracy bills again. It’s worth educating yourself about this topic and speaking out if you feel so inclined. Although SOPA appears to be dead, this will continue to be an issue and we should pay attention.

And if you live in Atlanta:

the beehive is having its giant warehouse sale this weekend, so go check that out. I love this shop and so glad to see local, handmade things close to home.

Speaking of, Youngblood Gallery is having a nice show of local artists in February, and of course they always feature great artists in their shop.

The new fabric collection, Washi, from Rashida Coleman-Hale, is popping up in fabric stores. You can head over to Intown Quilters to check it out.

Photography & Felt (and a giveaway)

In the past, I’ve written about the  work of my friend Laura Malek, who took the photographs for 1, 2, 3 Sew.

You can see some of the book photos here and also on her website, but I wanted to show some of her other photography. As I was thinking about my personal favorites, I realized that I am drawn to the abstract quality found in many of her images. You can almost always discern the subject, but the image itself is more about color and texture, evoking a quiet, ethereal mood. Here are a few of my favorites that reflect that abstraction and remind me of the changing seasons.

And there’s a giveaway! In addition to being a talented photographer, Laura also makes small felt works of art for her Etsy shop, felt jar. Today she has offered the beautiful needle felted bird below, perfect for fall. As someone who has tried needle felting, I can tell you that Laura’s work is truly outstanding. She pokes each one of these little creatures thousands of times with a needle until the felt transforms from a puffy ball into a surprisingly dense object. Her wet felted acorns and rocks are beautiful too. You can see the influence of nature in both her felt and her photography.

To enter to win the little birdie above, please visit Laura’s Etsy shop or her website and then come back here to leave a comment about what you like. Please comment by midnight (eastern) Saturday night and I’ll choose a winner at random. This giveaway is open to residents of North America only. Thanks!