Yay – nothing like getting packages in the mail. After shopping around Montreal I realised just how much better it is to shop online. For fabric at least (and I know it’s the same for lots of other things). I prefer to go to the store and browse and touch etc, but at almost half the price, I browsed on etsy instead. I love etsy, it’s good for so many things, especially as Christmas comes closer.
Here’s a sneak peak at my new material. Coming up tomorrow – the first of my quilt blocks. We’re meant to do 2 a week, but so far I’ve done 9 in a week, which is probably good because most people in the quilt along are a year ahead! Although – it shows what a newbie I am – I already made the same square twice. Duh. Out of about 100 designs you’d think my random choices would be more random. Now I know I have to mark off the ones I’ve already made… Ha.
Yesss finally some Ellen Luckett Baker of my own. As well as some Grey Dash Stripe from Aneela Hoey, some Woodland yellow Circles by Natalie Lyner and Pick Me, yellow floral from General Fabrics Company.
I saved the best for last. I loooove these fabrics. Especially Anthology’s Raining Rainbows – Raindrops, possibly my all-time favorite fabric I’ve ever bought (big call I know) and also the gorgeous blue of Josephine Kimberling’s Hope Chest.
I have always crafted as much as I’ve arted. Initially I was going to question the difference between the two, but after discussing it at length with Ange, I realised it’s pointless. He says even having a conversation about the difference between them is twee and for the over-educated, because the two are equally creative. But if you are interested I just read the book “The culture of craft” by Peter Dormer, who really delves into the cross-overs and historical differences between craft, design, art and technology very thoroughly.
The reason I’ve been thinking about this is because I often feel as though my craft is not as ‘valid’ as my artwork. Which is ridiculous. Craft and art are both wonderful and I’m learning to feel as accomplished when I finish a new quilt as when I have an exhibition opening. So with that, let me tell you about my new project!
It’s called The farmers’ wife quilt, which I initially found out about because of many hundreds of quilters doing a quilt-along, but specifically from this wonderful blog. I am over a year late, but have joined along with other latecomers and decided to attempt it over winter. It was started by Amanda and Angela who are now finished/close to finishing, but I find their completed quilt blocks good motivation, if you buy the book you can join too! I can see much frustration in my future, but I’m going to embrace it whole-heartedly. I feel equal parts enjoyment and anger at sewing. We’ll see which emotion wins.
The farmers’ wife quilt is a compilation or ‘sampler’ quilt made up of over 100 different quilt blocks. It comes from a lovely book compiled by Laurie Aaron Hird and is a remarkable collection of letters from farmers wives from the United States in the early 1920′s. A popular magazine at the time – The farmers wife, held a country wide competition asking women to write in and tell people whether or not – in all honesty, knowing what they did about the life – they would want their daughters to marry a farmer.
Over 7000 farmers’ wives wrote back, and a resounding 94% were for their daughters doing the same. Their letters are beautifully written and their answers are so dear and heartfelt, I really enjoyed reading them. Then I set about cutting out the roughly 110 tiny templates…
With Mitch’s help.
Had a mini panic thinking that I’d printed them all too small and spent the entire weekend cutting out tiny pieces of useless paper. But some careful measuring and I was OK. Although a later thought was that I should have printed the templates out bigger.
I also took the time to colour code each of the lots of 15 that I divided them up into. That way I can grab the template I need and know it’s #1 of the lot if it’s red and #12 if it’s blue etc. Plus I always work better when I arrange things into colour.
Any quilter knows the best part about a new quilt is choosing fabrics. It could literally take days or weeks or months. A color theme? Certain patterns? All one fabric designer? Scraps? Seeing as my stash is divided over a few of continents, I went for scraps. That way I can use whatever I can find, although I did spend the better part of a Sunday in one Montreal fabric store. My stash in Canada is partly provided by lovely Mere, who in fact, I couldn’t sew without, it’s also her machine!
And as I am known to do – I chose all colours! I decided to go for lights, pastel and greys, but we’ll see. A quilt with over 100 blocks will definitely evolve.
So that’s it for today. This week I am going to start cutting fabric (I know, the excitement) and begin sewing. Wish me luck (because I’m going to need it).