Blogger’s Quilt Festival Post 1

After listening to QuiltCast for many months and digging into the world of modern quilting and its heroes, I am excited to participate (however modestly) in this month’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy Ellis. I am entering two quilts, one in this post and one in this other one.

This quilt, which you’ve seen in pieces as I assembled it in my small studio, is for the modern baby. I brought together bright and muted colors to capture the feeling of a baby’s sunshine. Like all my quilts, this is machine-pieced and hand-quilted.

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Blogger’s Quilt Festival Post 2

Here, as I mention in my other post, is my second entry to the Fall 2014 Blogger’s Quilt Festival.

This quilt has special significance to me as a wedding present I made my best friend and college roommate when she married a wonderful man this past summer in Providence, RI. She and I learned to make quilts together with our one shared sewing machine on the floor (no table space) of our college dorm rooms.

I also made it right as I was leaving the East Coast to move to the Midwest and so it had a seat of honor in my overflowing car with me as I drove to the wedding and then immediately headed west with the rest of my belongings.

The pattern is a Scandanavian Sky pattern, by the Quilt Woman. I did not follow the pattern exactly, but made my own slight interpretations with shape and fabric. It is, as usual, machine-pieced and hand-quilted.

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The Value of Handmade

Hello readers,

In this first “content” post, I wanted to introduce you a little bit to the reason I started Lane 33 ½ and to reflect a little on why I love making items that will be enjoyed as gifts to yourself or others.

One of the reasons that I love handmade gifts is that the gift provides joy at the moment your friend or family member receives it, like any other purchased factory-made gift would, but it has a power before and after that moment as well. You pay attention to a project for a long time before you are actually able to complete it and send it. Handmade gifts take that moment of finding the perfect gift in a store and extends it – I experience that connection with that person during the whole process, from thinking about what she would like and choosing a project I’d like to make for her, to thinking about how she will use this gift and how I can make it to especially fit that person’s taste and lifestyle, to making the project and paying attention to the details so it is really high quality.

Then, after you pack it up, mail it off, and imagine your loved one opening the gift, hopefully what happens is that they get that experience on the other end in reverse to some degree. They are not just opening it and enjoying a gift made in a factory somewhere, but it also allows them to think about and appreciate the process that you went through, realizing that you did spend that time thinking about them during the creation of that gift.

So what happens when you buy something that is handmade instead of making it yourself? I have purchased several handmade gifts over the years from other artists and craftspeople. In this, I realize I am one step removed from making the gift with my own hands, but so much of the experience actually resonates for me in the same way. By looking at their shop information, blogs, or contacting them directly, I get to know the artist, their process, what goes into creating a beautiful piece, and the story that I will share with the recipient of the gift when I talk to her about how I chose this particular item and why I felt that the quality and product were so powerful.

If you’ve ever bought something handmade for yourself or someone else, or if you’ve given gift you made to someone in your life, why did you do it?

Opening our doors

This month marks the official launch of Lane 33 ½ and I am excited to celebrate beginnings, new stones to overturn, and embarking on long-awaited journeys.

I have had an immense amount of help opening Lane 33 ½ over the last several months and turning a wispy thought into a humble reality. To those who have discussed this dream, shared thoughts on the story and “look” of my design, slept under my early quilts, and encouraged me to take an adventure, thank you.

For those who are new to hear about Lane 33 ½, I encourage you to read a little about my story here and to see my latest projects here.