You guys! There’s so much I want to chat with you about. Going weeks without much crafting makes my head spin with new ideas for projects and BIG thinking about what it means for me to make stuff. Well, okay, I’m also getting myself all worked up about the world in which we make stuff. Someday I’ll end up spilling here and piss off a buncha folks, but for now let’s keep it safely about me.

Here’s a radical notion: I don’t want to buy quilting fabric anymore.

I know. Right? We’re still looking for signs of alien abduction over here.

I find myself continuously angry at the industry. We’ll save those issues for later. More than that, though, I am continuously angry at myself because I can’t bring myself to use the contemporary quilting fabric yardage that I own. It’s not hoarding. I just know that I don’t design naturally with these prints in amounts more than a small scrap each. Yes, they are beautiful fabrics and I covet them all, but they are not me.

Okay. The exception is classic French country style in reds and whites: yarn dyes, linens, well-worn dusty reds and creams that are made more than amazing only with roosters. Every time there’s a new line from French General, I shove aside the prints and invest in the classy solids, neutral plaids, and heavier wovens. And I mean invest. These are not cheap fabrics; they are high-quality greige goods and the price reflects this.


And I’ve never sliced into them.

So imagine me in my quiet local T*rget on the day the zig-zags happened. After filling up on zig-zag presents for friends far and wide, I ran into these cotton/linen tea towels (the towels are available separately). For less than $30 I got 8 towels and in less than an hour I had a quilt top I’d always imagined making with those fabrics stacked above.

Grainery Quilt: close up

The quilting took a long time because it was tedious. A tight 1″ diamond lattice takes a long long time and just enough concentration to be horrific. The results are kinda almost worth the pain, however.

pushed aside

There was also RealJob and SmurfFest2011 and the quilt just sat there on the machine patiently waiting to be finished. Oy.

The result does not disappoint me. It’s incredibly tactile with all the nubbly natural raw wovens and it will be durable.

Grainery Quilt

I think I just made this winter’s couch snuggler.

The Details:

Design: super simple use of fabrics on-hand
Materials: cotton/linen tea towels, cotton yardage for backing, osnaburg cotton for the binding
Techniques: machine pieced, machine quilted, hand bound
Size: 58″ x 64″

Started: September 5, 2011
Finished: October 10, 2011