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You Inspire Me To Quilt

ski-parka-quilt-front-1000
Last year, I got an email from my friend Cheryl, asking if I would like to contribute to a new book she was writing. I would have said yes before I even heard the project description, but what she described sealed the deal for me. You Inspire Me To Quilt is for all of us who are constantly presented with those sometimes harebrained, sometimes, off the wall, and sometimes sweet and inspirational ideas from our loved ones. As I contributor to the book, I was asked by Cheryl to take one of those ideas and turn it into a quilt. I was excited because I knew exactly what I wanted to do.READ MORE

Friday Favorites: QuiltEssential by Erin Harris

I am inspired by so many things, I decided that every Friday, I will highlight a favorite person, thing, or idea. Maybe you will be inspired too! See all past Friday Favorites here.

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QuiltEssential

 
 
Erin and I have known each other for a long time in blog world years, and she’s a creative inspiration to me and many others. She seems to have limitless amounts of energy and she’s fun to hang out with in person too! When she asked me to interview me for her first book, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation. QuiltEssential, A Visual Directory of Contemporary Patterns, Fabrics, and Color is a quilter’s first stop. Folks who know quilting from the “outside” may confused by the special language quilters have. And there is a special language, believe me. Erin covers lots of ground level techniques and terms in this book, giving the sewer the knowledge to know where and how to start. Beautiful photographs, inspiring images, and practical information sprinkled throughout the book. Everything you need to know to make your quilt your own is here.
And because I’m nosey, I asked Erin some questions about her book. And because she’s nice, she agreed. Grab your coffee and settle in!
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A New Floral Quilt

floral quilt
During our April spring break trip to Florida, I read 15 Minutes of Play by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. This quilt book intrigued me because it isn’t so much about the process and precise technique of making a quilt, or recipes for specific projects. Really it’s more about the concept of quiltmaking and relating it back to the idea of play to spark creativity. Not about practicing a skill, but composing as you sew, raiding your scraps, and creatively letting go- the perfect book to read on vacation, right?READ MORE

Friday Favorites: Favorite Quilting Books

I am inspired by so many things, I decided that every Friday, I will highlight a favorite person, thing, or idea. Maybe you will be inspired too! See all past Friday Favorites here.

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I have a special bookshelf in my studio that is filled with favorite quilting books. The ones I pull out to look through when I feel in a creative rut. Each of them inspire me in different ways (some for color, some for pattern, some for symmetry of design) and they are the ones I turn to again and again. In my eyes, these books represent quiltmaking as an artform, not simply craft. I thought I’d share a few of them.
Anna Williams: Her Quilts & Their Influences by Katherine Watts
quilting book
This book was published by the American Quilter’s Society in 1995, so not really vintage, but the quilts of Anna Williams span a lifetime of instinctual, brilliant color patchwork piecing, a lifetime of honing a skill she described as “what I do to take my mind off my troubles”. The copies of this book left in circulation are not cheap, and it is shockingly thin (a mere 25 pages), but it is truly inspiring. As Denyse said in her workshop where I first learned of Anna, “you can’t fake” what Anna did with color, pattern, and quilting. Sadly, Anna passed away in June of 2012. I love having this book of her work to inspired me.
Quilts by Roderick Kiracofe.
quilting book
 
This book was a gift from Erin and I absolutely love it. Not an old book at all, quite new in fact, available as a self-published book on Blurb.The colors, the patterns, the entire collection of quilts in this book is completely inspiring on so many levels. Some of these quilts were shown at QuiltCon recently (another reason I should have gone!) and it must have been wonderful to see these in person. Great fabric and color reference on these pages. And something about seeing beautifully colored quilts on a stark white background really appeals to me.
 
Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition by Jonathan Holstein
quilting book
 
This book is the story of an exhibition that opened in 1971 at the Whitney Museum in New York. This book reminds and inspires me to remember the art of quiltmaking. There is an entire story within the pages of this book of how the exhibit came to exist, along with full pages of the quilts themselves with information about each one. There is page after page of graphic inspiration and use of color and pattern. This is a beautiful book for any quiltmaker to have in their collection.
 
Patchwork Simplified by Alice Timmins
quilting book
 
This is a well-used old library copy with a copyright of 1973. I love the mod, geometric feel of the patchwork in this book. Look at those wonderful quilted skirts above (although I’m sure she is beating her head against the wall on the right, wondering why she didn’t just make that fabulous patchwork into a full quilt instead of a skirt).
 
Patchcraft by Elsie Svennas
quilting book
 
Another treasure, beautiful use of color and shapes within quilts. Gives great examples of applique and embroidery used in quiltmaking, although many of the images are black and white. Still…
 
The Perfect Patchwork Primer by Beth Gutcheon
quilting book
 
This book is just a great reference book for so many techniques, standards, and really just the whole idea of quilting’s place in a creative life. A must-have for any vintage quilt library.
I would love to hear what quilting books you have to inspire you!
Happy Friday!

Carving Stamps

Carving Stamps
When I turned in the first draft of the manuscript for my book a few weeks ago, the first thing I did was treat myself to a few new craft books. While busy writing, I had avoided purchasing new books that would distract me. But now I was in the mood for someone to tell me how to make something. I happily flipped and got inspired for a couple of days, and one of my favorites is Geninne Zlatkis’s book Making An Impression. I have been inspired by Geninne online for years, and it was just as inspiring to read about her process of hand carving stamps. And, as luck (and a stocked craft room) would have it, I happened to have some easy carve blocks and the needed carving tool on hand. (I love it when I can immediately jump in!).
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Hitting Restart

me

(me, a couple of months ago)

smoothie

Hi.

I hesitate to write a post like this. Putting things like this out there creates a whole new sense of awareness that I’m never sure I want. I’m living it regardless, but now everyone else knows I’m living it. I have committed to it in a whole new way. But this morning I woke up and decided to write about it instead of drinking coffee.
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how to make your own anime mural wall

wall murals
Now that the anime mural wall for the kid’s bathroom is finished, my husband Peter did a little write up on his process of redoing the kids bathroom with anime images pasted to the wall, hopefully it all makes sense.READ MORE

Clean Sheet Day

 
 
 
Clean Sheet Day
 
On Sundays at the wise craft house (if people play their cards right), by bedtime we all have clean sheets. Once in a while, like today, I’ll even go so far as to wash our bed quilts and do a complete strip, wash, and re-fluff (mattress covers, blankets, everything). (Disclaimer- I will also admit to many Sundays when I merely smooth the covers, throw on a fresh pillowcase, and call it good, promising I’ll get to it tomorrow- which doesn’t always happen.) But today, everything was washed. Another reason I love quilts. A handmade quilt can be washed with no worries. It doesn’t have to be dry cleaned. It comes out clean, fresh smelling, wonderfully rumply, as close to perfect as I can imagine.
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Tiny Felt Friends

 
Tiny Felt Friends
 
Tiny Felt Friends
For Emma’s 11th birthday this past November, I gave her a stack of felt in every color I could find, an assortment of beads, sequins, embroidery thread, and this book.
I think it was a hit!