#instaquilt

instaquilt

How far do your quilts travel? Quilting and technology have converged to create an online sewing community that allows us to find inspiration, share our process, and get instant feedback on our ideas. Recently, I realized that my finished quilts were stacked in a closet while my photos and blog posts continued to reach people. It made me question whether the finished object or the digital image was more important.

We take photos of quilts as they are pieced together, on our laps while we stitch, or with our children and pets snuggled up on them. We share the image and it becomes a digital object, a separate work of art created during the process.

Sarah Phillips of Intown Quilters and I are hosting an activity in the Makers Tent at the Decatur Book Festival this weekend so we decided to expand on the idea of image sharing to create a collaborative digital project where everyone will create their own quilt block, photograph it, and share the image through social media. Then we’ll compile the images into a digital “quilt” that we’ll share online.

How can you participate?

Begin with two 10” fabric squares and create a half-square triangle block. One fabric square should be a neutral white or linen while the other piece may be patchwork, hand-dyed, embroidered, or made with any other creative technique you’d like to use. Or you can simply choose your favorite fabric. Then take a photo of your half-square triangle block and share it on social media with the hashtag #instaquilt. We’ll then assemble the photos and share the collaborative digital quilt both here and through social media.

Add your block to flickr here, pin it to Pinterest, share on Instagram, post to Facebook, or share it any way you choose.

And for those who are willing to contribute their finished block, we’ll sew them together and make a quilt to be displayed at Intown Quilters. You can drop your block by the shop or even mail it. Please note that we may cut down the blocks if necessary to make the quilt a manageable size. We’d like to get all of the entries by the end of September, so make a block today!

If you live near Atlanta, come sew with me and Sarah Phillips from Intown Quilters at the Decatur Book Festival this weekend! We’ll be in the Makers Tent on Sunday at 3pm. We’ll have fabric, sewing machines and other supplies so that you can make an #instaquilt block with us. But don’t worry if you can’t make it; anyone can participate in the project!

For instructions to make half-square triangles, click on the image below for a .pdf excerpt from my book 1, 2, 3 Quilt.

hst-instructions

I made a couple of samples using my new Framework fabric and solids below. Of course if you use the technique above, you’ll have two blocks so you can start a quilt. And if you’re just photographing it for the project, the block could really be any size. Let’s make an #instaquilt!

instaquilt-samples

1, 2, 3 Quilt of the Day

Lopsided-Squares-Quilt-FULL-SHOT

Today’s quilt is from the Squares chapter of 1, 2, 3 Quilt. This Lopsided Squares Quilt is partly improvisational and requires very little measuring, which makes me happy. The mix of brights and neutrals is still one of my favorite combinations.

Squares-Chapter-Opener

lopsided-squares-quilt

Hand quilted by Diana Taylor. Photographed by Laura Malek.

1,2,3 Quilt of the Day

Cluster-Dots-Quilt

Here’s the Cluster Dots Quilt from my book 1, 2, 3 Quilt. This one features appliquéd circles made using a freezer paper technique for neat circles. I machine stitched them with a zig-zag stitch for speed and durability.

Although it looks like this is a whole cloth quilt, it’s made up of individual blocks. If you used patterned fabrics for the background pieces, this would make a very different quilt. I used a combination of quilting cottons and Liberty of London lawn fabrics. This is a 72″ x 90″, or twin-sized quilt.

Cluster-Dots-Quilt2

The very talented Tia Curtis did the quilting on this one with simple pebble quilting to echo the circle design of the fabric. Photos by Laura Malek.

Here’s a detail:

Cluster-Dots-Quilt-Detail

 

Summer

framework-corners-bag

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here! I guess I’m in summertime mode, but things have seemed busy. You can see some project photos from my Framework collection over on the Kokka blog here and here. It should be shipping to stores soon. Photo above is by Kokka.

And I just submitted my collection for fall, which seems very close. Kokka works a little closer to production than some other fabric companies, which I like because I don’t have to wait too long to see the designs. I’m impatient. This summer I am also trying to wrap my head around my next book idea and leap over the mental hurdles that seem to be blocking me. In the meantime, I posted a few of my designs over on Nuvango (formerly Gelaskins), so you can order cases for your phones or tablets. Now they have a version to fit most any device. I’m excited to see what my designs look like in this context.

gelaskins

A few weeks ago, we went to the beach and I read Heather Ross’ new book, How to Catch a Frog and Other Stories of Family, Love, Dysfunction, Survival and DIY. The book is about her unconventional childhood and her perseverance to find success. It’s well-written and gives insight into her fabric designs, which are lovingly romanticized expressions of her childhood memories. The book has clever DIY projects tied into each chapter. With charming storybook illustrations throughout, this memoir will help you remember to look for the beauty in life — even when it’s hard to find.

how-to-catch-a-frog

It seems to me that these days artists and designers are putting more of themselves out there for the world, both in books and online. Whether it’s a natural result of the end of anonymity in our digital age or a conscious choice, it’s a brave thing to do and frankly, something that I’ve avoided as much as possible! But I’ve been thinking more about things now that I’m getting older and I want my work to have greater meaning. I just need to figure out what comes next.

Wise Craft

wise-craft

I was very excited when I discovered that the inspirational Blair Stocker had written a craft book and I was delighted that she sent me a copy. I’ve enjoyed Blair’s blog wise craft for what seems like forever in the life of craft blogs. Her quilts are beautiful and she is always experimenting with different techniques and ideas. In her book Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love she explores various techniques and ideas for making meaningful things to fill your home.

With charming illustrations by Lisa Congdon and warm photographs by EJ Armstrong, the book feels like a cozy spot on a rainy day, a place to quietly reflect and get inspired. With projects that include craft, crochet, and sewn objects, the book is perfect for people who like to dabble in a bit of everything. Projects include picnic blankets, woven chair backs, journal covers, photo banners, embellished ceramics, and home decor. The book is divided by seasons, with each set of crafts evoking the feeling of that time of year. I especially love her zombie Barbies and sweater trees to celebrate the holidays.

After reading through the introduction, I felt inspired and have a new sense of purpose in my making. It’s so easy to get lost in deadlines and career goals, that sometimes I need to get back to making with meaning.

Below you can see the Dip-Dyed Toile Dishes and Hand-Loomed Place Mats.

wise-craft-cups

wise-craft-placemats

You can read more about the book and watch a trailer here.

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