Exploration in Red

So, this week I started what I plan to be a three-part series where I explore variations on red and white log cabin quilts. They will all be the size of wall hangings and I will machine-piece and hand-quilt them all.

Red Log Cabin 3

I wanted to do this because red and white can be so amazingly graphic and allows me to highlight the possibilities of simple variation in piecing and quilting within a very tightly specified set of parameters.

Red Log Cabin 2

Today’s slow stitching has been to start hand quilting my pieced top. The pattern (Baptist Fan or Sashiko, depending on what tradition you pull from!) is such a fun way to have an organic and round shape interplay with this highly regimented square Log Cabin. Looking forward to how the dynamic looks on the full top.

Red Log Cabin 1

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Slow Stitching Sunday

Happy Sunday! I’m using this as my first linked post to Slow Stitching Sunday. Since I love the feel, process, and results of hand-stitching, I wanted to make sure to post this week and talk a little about what I’m working on and why I love the chance to sit back and work a little slower, especially during a busy time of year.

Slow Sunday Stitching
I quilt all of my felt miniatures by hand and hand-quilt the pillows in my Etsy shop, and in the last several weeks, I’ve really been gearing up for two upcoming craft shows where I’ll be selling my products and some special things I’ve dreamed up for the holidays. This means that although I’ve been sewing the way I like, it still feels “fast” most of the time because I want to finish so many things before this deadline.
Because of all this, I’ve been reflecting a bit this week on how to make sure to have time for my “own” projects as well, and to use that as a chance to learn some new skills and create things that I feel will brighten my own home. This is particularly nice because since we moved to Indiana, we are still filling our house and trying to curate what kind of things we want for artwork, decor, etc.
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A few weeks ago, I finally decided to treat myself and buy Savor Each Stitch, the new book by one of my favorite quilters, Carolyn Friedlander. Her modern applique, geometric and color choices, and philosophy of gathering inspiration from her surroundings and working by hand to translate forms into quilts feels so “right”. I have long admired her quilts and although I usually don’t directly follow patterns from others, my new personal project was going to be a take on her Aerial Grove Quilt. This uses very small appliqued rounds of many fabrics to showcase color spectrum and your favorites from your fabric collection. You can see below that I’ve gathered a range of things to use for mine, have finished basting, and now am working on doing the actual needle-turn applique for the first few rounds.
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I’m aiming for beauty in imperfection (one of Caroyln’s themes in this quilt) as each round turns out slightly different, the color transitions are my own choosing rather than a preset order, and I’m learning needle-turn for the first time. Lots of good things together there to make it meditative, enjoyable as I move through each fabric I love, and a very ‘slow’ way to sit back for a while from the work of sewing for sale.
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In any case, to anyone else sewing today, happy Sunday!