Monday, November 30, 2015

Jolie laide

Another finish! And though I use an exclamation point at the end of that short sentence, as if I feel triumphant, I am in fact ambivalent about this quilt. This is one of those "almost" quilts - it's almost what I wanted it to be, it's almost good, I almost like it. Which makes me feel a little sad for it. Maybe it will grow on me. There are definitely aspects of it that I feel good about, and certainly I learned new things working on it, so there is that. But still. I guess it's particularly apt, the name I've been calling it as I work on it—Jolie laide. Such a great phrase. Beautiful ugly. I guess it is properly only feminine, but I can certainly think of any number of men who could be described the same way: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Abraham Lincoln, that actor on Girls with the wonderful torso and enormous ears, what's his name? Adam Driver.

The bits I am digging are: the long vertical strips of that old Amy Butler print, the way the big flowers are fractured in places with other pieces of fabric. The yellow and pink combination. The fact that I was able to use all those half-square triangles originally created for a different quilt. The kinda vintage-y feel it has, overall.

The bits that bug me: somehow, the dimensions are wrong, it should be a rectangular quilt instead of a square one. It should also be bigger, with maybe another sort of block introduced to mess it all up a bit more. I quite consciously put on that red binding, thinking I'd like that bit of clash, but now it reads more McDonaldland palette to me. I wonder if I wash it, if I'll like it better? More wrinkly? I might try it.

Anyway, in other news, I have loaded some yardage and scrap bags in my Etsy shop, if anyone is interested in taking a look. I have a lot of fabric to re-home before we leave in January, so if you're in the market, please check it out. I feel a little weird doing this bit of promotion, but it's GOT TO GO.

Friday, November 20, 2015


I've named this quilt Gertrude. After a painting by Ferdinand Hodler (Swiss!).
Gertrude the quilt.
Gertrud Müller the painting.
I've Americanized the spelling of Gertrud for my own purposes. Is titling or naming quilts hopelessly pretentious? I am inclined to think so, but after enough quilts you've got to have some way to differentiate them, yeah? But also, apt! Look at that dress she's got on, those marvelous pinks! And bits of orange and purple! I kinda think it's a perfect name/reference for that quilt. Anyway.

I started this quilt, when did I start this quilt? It was back in September (?) of 2014. I originally started it with the idea of doing a tutorial (of sorts). As suggested by Melody A. I thought I'd sort of remake this quilt*, taking snapshots along the way and then write it up in a how-to sort of thing. But that was about the time that my camera seemed to stop focusing properly. So I took pics with my phone, but they looked like crap so I could never get myself to really execute the whole thing. But I did finish the quilt eventually, so there's that.

In truth, there isn't that much to convey in terms of how-to. It's sort of a matter of: 1) Gather a bunch of similarly colored fabric scraps together. 2) Sew like-sized pieces together, trimming as you go, until you get a bunch of blocks. 3) Sew all those blocks together and voila! A quilt. Okay, here are some crappy in progress photos for anyone interested:


I love the fabric for the back for this quilt. Kaffe Fasset, bought on super sale from Hancock's of Paducah. Is there anything sweeter than the finding the perfect fabric at 40% off? NO. 

*That quilt has been eyeballed 9,392 times according to flickr, "favorited" 104 times. It enjoys a healthy pin-life on Pinterest, too. I have no idea why. I've come to think of it as the hot blonde cheerleader of my quilts.