December 31, 2015

Darn It! - Creative Mending

This post about creative mending is in honor of my personal New Year's tradition of mending everything I can during this week.  (I don't just do sewing mends, but I'm not going to tell you here about the new seat in my bentwood rocker and stuff like that.)  I like the symbolism of starting the year with a clean slate.  Or mostly clean slate.  I'm coming to terms with the reality that Life is never fully mended....

A short while ago, my blog was mentioned on a site called "Sew Mama Sew" - nice name, huh?  The article is called "All About Textile Repair: How to Repair with Stitching".  The theme is about making repairs that add something new - sparks of color, whimsy, a new design element, etc.

The photos in the article show loads of ways to use darning, sashiko stitching, and the like.  It looks really fun!  It makes me reminisce about the good ol' hippie days, when jeans were patched/embellished with colorful fabrics and embroidery.

December 22, 2015

More About Conversation Prints

The previous post is about a 1940s hexagon quilt that has opened my eyes to mid-century conversation prints.  Barbara Brackman in her book Clues in the Calico defines conversation (aka conversational) prints as prints with recognizable objects other than flowers.

There are conversation prints from the late 1800s onward.  Brackman distinguishes the 20th century prints as less detailed and having more colors than the 19th century prints.  I would add that they tend to be very whimsical.

While poking around for info on these fabrics, I discovered a book that I think is going on my wish list:  Conversational Prints: Decorative Fabrics of the 1950s by Joy Shih

Here's a look back at some other blog posts of quilts I've repaired that I now realize have some very fun conversation prints:

December 21, 2015

The Joy of Conversation Prints

I recently repaired a 1940s hexagon quilt.  It was made by the owner's mother when she was a teen.  It's a smallish quilt, quite likely made for a twin bed.  There are cottons, rayons, and also, I think, a couple of silks.  It's what is generally called a summer quilt because it has no batting.  It needed several hexagons patched and a whole new back.

To be honest, this mid-century period is just not my favorite design-wise.  This is true of the fabrics and colors in the quilts as well as furniture design, and so on.  In other words, when an estate sale is full of supposedly exciting mid-century items, I usually don't go.

But this quilt taught me that I actually do like some of the fabrics from this era!  This is a good thing, since quilts of this age are coming to me more and more often for repair.

I am in love with conversation prints!  The most succinct definition of conversation (aka conversational) prints I've found (Barbara Brackman's Clues in the Calico) is that they have renditions of recognizable objects other than flowers.

December 18, 2015

Favorite Quotes #11 - So Many Truths

Musings as we spin from the old year to the new one.....

I've liked this quote for many, many years.  It is from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.

" patience towards everything in your heart that has not been resolved and to try to cherish the questions themselves....  Do not hunt for the answers just now -- they cannot be given to you because you cannot live them.  What matters is to live everything.  And you must now live the questions.  One day perhaps you will gradually and imperceptibly live your way into the answer. "

December 8, 2015

Indigo Baskets

Indigo and white quilts are clear and clean, always eye-catching.  And the basket block always has such a lovely, old-timey feel.

This one, besides having such a lovely look, has the date quietly embroidered in the center block: 1888.