Thanks for all the love for my as-yet untitled new quilt! I’m working on another positive affirmation project because it’s fun and fulfilling to keep these mantras in my head for a while.
Today, I decided to join in on the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, a bi-annual gathering of quilts and quilters sharing their work in one place. Definitely click on this link or on the button above to go see more of the quilts. They are all really inspiring.
I thought that I’d share with you a quilt I made with traditional fabrics. Yes, these are the fabrics traditionally used for patchworking in my quilting ancestry. There was no money and especially no money for buying fabric to slice and dice. You make quilts to keep your family warm and use whatever fabrics you can get your hands on that have been salvaged from their initial primary purpose.
This denim, corduroy and khaki twill is harvested from a buncha old jeans, painter’s pants and khaki pants sent to me by various members of my family who work different sorts of jobs: from skilled manual labor to middle-management office jobs. The pants had holes, paint splatters and well-worn areas. I collected these for about three years and finally in 2008 felt that I had the skills to make something with them.
Inspired by this one, I decided to play with the ranges of indigos in the faded jeans and the range of browns in the painter’s pants, the khaki and the corduroy in a large courthouse steps block.
These heavy cottons need a little help with stabilizing the seams, so I sewed 1/2-inch seams with 1/4-inch top-stitching.
Right? So basically, I sewed the patchwork twice. Eventually I got really glad that I chose such a simple design because that double sewing was challenging to keep motivated for, that is, until the design started to show itself. And then I just couldn’t wait to see it develop!
In keeping with the motivation and style, I decided to handquilt it. Using some cotton string and a large gauge needle, I quilted simply and slowly. And I enjoyed every single stitch.
My love for this quilt is primal. The source of the fabrics, the organic colors, the textures, and the heft of the quilt all combine to remind me of my family’s past, present and future.
The backing is a vintage sheet given to me by a dear friend, decommissioned from his parents’ linens. And the binding was my first franken-binding, made from all the blue cotton scraps leftover from my first few quilts.
How about a glamor shot?
Pattern: Courthouse Steps inspired by this one
Materials: recycled denim, khaki, and corduroy from my family; full-size vintage sheet, cotton batting, DMC Cebelia crochet cotton (#30, color 800), cotton strip scraps for binding
Techniques: Machine pieced (0.5″ seams, 0.25″ top-stitching), hand-quilted, hand-bound
Finished patchwork size: 60″ x 63″
Finished quilt size: 58″ x 62″
Started: June 14, 2008
Finished: July 13, 2008