Find Your Own Voice Challenge

I just finished my quilt for the MQG challenge ~ YAY!!!!  My fingers are sore because I whipped out the binding this afternoon.  Usually I like to take my time with those, but I wanted to be done on time.

So here is what I entered… plus a few more pictures 🙂

The challenge to “find your own voice” was difficult to start.  I began by making all sorts of block patterns… but stopped realizing that the first thing about me is that I’m not so rigid.  Then I started looking through my stash and found everything was too new, too clean or too crisp to truly represent me.   I was stumped for a while… but eventually I decided to just start sewing.

I cut into an old skirt I was saving (you know… for the fabric) to test a sewn in circle technique I’ve recently learned from friends at the PMQG.  I liked it so much I decided  to use it in the quilt.  Then I started going through more old clothes that I’ve been saving just for the fabric… and the idea hit me to use them in the quilt.   I divided them by the years I wore them to make into 8 blocks.  Each group of fabric represents a span of 5 years and the clothing I wore at that time.  Most fabrics are repurposed clothing, and the rest are newer scraps that emulate the age.  I’m not quite 45 yet, so the ninth block is mostly white… awaiting it’s own color.

I had no plan when I made the first block ~ I just put fabric together till I liked it, then I tried to recreate the block.  I chose to use a solid bone color as my “background”  to highlight all the different fabrics.  My first re-creation was a mess because I didn’t write it all down the first time… but I plugged through and figured it out and the rest of the blocks went more smoothly.  Once I had all my blocks put together I pretty much knew it was definitely going to be MY quilt ~ who else would like something so random?  My first thought went to my favorite childhood character, Pippi Longstocking, who lived in a house in which this quilt would fit right in… Villa Villa Kula.  So that is the name of my new quilt!

With Pippi in mind, I free-motion quilted my quilt.  It’s a bit random like the quilt top… and definitely not perfect (just like me).  I had fun using different patterns in the quilting.  Some stitches radiate from the circle centers to denote growth, some are blocky to denote a good foundation, and some just arrows directing the flow through the years.  I added daisies around the edges for fun… and now I love it.

Last, but not least… I added some text into each block:

born a Earth Monkey
wanted to be Holly Hobby
sweet sixteen
street schooled
punk rock mama
coastal caravan gypsy
name change for love
living life creatively
forward to the future

This last bit really made it sing to me, and that’s the voice I want to hear.

Villa Villa Kula Quilt
Finished September 29, 2011
63″x84″

Quilting… finally!

I am working on a quilt for the “Find Your Voice” MQG quilt challenge.  I finished the top and back… and it’s all basted and ready to quilt!  FINALLY!   I got some stitches in last night (teaser pic).

This quilt has been a blast to work on.  Since it’s “my voice” I can be as crazy and unperfect with my sewing as I want to be ~ and that is making it really fun!  I know it’s going to be my quilt when I’m done… I don’t know that anyone else would find it as appealing as me.  Just hope to be able to get it all done and photographed by next week!

I’m so excited to get to more quilting later today… however, I’m a little stuck as to HOW I’m actually going to quilt the rest of it.   Oh well, doesn’t really matter ~ there is no pressure… and boy, does that feel good!

Hard To Focus

Lately it’s been a little hard for me to focus on things, especially design and other decision-making skills, and it’s a bit disconcerting.   My work is slow and my math needs to be worked out on paper, so I can follow through on plans correctly… but it’s not efficient at all and it’s frustrating.  I’m fairly sure I’m suffering from fibrofog the way my whole body has been screaming at me lately. 

Needless to say this type of brain dysfunction is making it very difficult to do simple math for my quilty needs.  The quilt I’m working on now just needs some sashing… and I spent all day yesterday trying to see if my figures were correct, before cutting into fabric.  Now I’m just hoping I did it right ~ or I’ll have to get more fabric! (I guess that wouldn’t be all bad!)  I’m just feeling a bit on the stupid end of things lately… but it’ll pass, it always does.

However… I did make some good progress on my “My Voice” quilt over the weekend, and I’m pretty happy with it so far.  I don’t want to share just yet… but above is a psychedelic take on some work I did this weekend:  Enjoy!

A “Me” Quilt

So I’ve been thinking and thinking about the Modern Quilt Guild Challenge a lot lately… it’s hard when the criteria is to make something that is uniquely “your voice”.   I spent some time and came up with quite a few new block patterns that I’m excited to try…. but I’m too messy to use them in my “my voice” quilt.  I think I have to piece as I sew and just see what happens!  

I don’t know if any of this will make it to my quilt… but here is what I’m looking at fabric-wise,  I want to use fabrics from some of my old clothing, so it will be an upcycled piece:

I was also playing with sewn-in circles… and thanks to Rachel, I think I have circle sewing in the bag… what do you think?

I’m pretty happy with the results!  Now… I just have to motivate myself to work on it.  It’s been hard due to the fact it is beautiful in Portland right now… and I’m having a hard time sitting inside.