I recently finished a quilt for the latest addition to our family, my niece Rowan. I used a deceptively simple pattern for it called Square Play. I really liked how it turned out as it gave each of the fabrics that I used a chance to really pop out.
This was a nerve wracking quilt to make. It was the first quilt I’ve ever made where I ordered all of the fabrics for it online. Have I mentioned that color matching based on photos online is a little unnerving? Are the colors true? Are the proportions right? You get the idea. The story ends well, since I’m pleased with the results.
If you want to see more pictures of the quilt, just click on one of the photos and that will take you to the set on Flickr.
Since I’d like to start keeping a list of what fabrics I use for each of the quilts, I figure here’s a good forum for that. So here goes.
Prince Charming Turtle Bay, Aqua
Valori Wells Wrenly Wildfield, Gypsy
Valori Wells Wrenly Rosette, Cerulea
Valori Wells Wrenly Bloom, Cobalt Blue
Valori Wells Wrenly Ingrid, Cobalt
Valori Wells Wrenly Wildfield, Cobalt
Valori Wells Wrenly Wildfield, Cherry
Valori Wells Wrenly Boho Stripe, Cerulean
Valori Wells Wrenly Bloom, Citrus
Valori Wells Wrenly Wren, Cobalt Blue
Valori Wells Wrenly Bloom, Mandarin
Every Thanksgiving I try to sit down for at least a few minutes and remember the things that I am thankful for over this past year. I’m typing this up a bit later than I usually like, but considering I spent a considerable amount of my time today in the kitchen with no computers around, I think it’s acceptable. I have so much to be thankful for this year. There have certainly been many points in the year in which I am reminded how wonderfully blessed I am. Where to start…
I am thankful for having the large supportive family that I have, both the one I was born into and the one that I was married into. Sean and I have made a few tough decisions this year and our families have been incredibly supportive in those decisions.
I am thankful for the friends that I have. I am thankful that one of my good friends has recovered from a serious accident late last year and got the opportunity recently to move back home finally. I am thankful that I have friends that I can call up late in the evening and still have a chat with them like we never stopped talking. I am thankful that I have friends that are willing to drive a distance to our house and sit down for a meal with us (even if it means they eat an experimental recipe).
I am thankful for my job. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t realize how much I would truly be thankful for something like that. I used to think that my job was so solid that nothing could touch it. Well, the economy’s gotten bad enough, that yeah, it’s definitely something to be thankful for. I am even more thankful that I have a job I can go to every day that I love. I might not love every day of my job, but the sum total of it is that I love my job.
I am thankful for the wonderful yoga community that I have become deeply embedded in over the past year. I’ve gone to my yoga studio for almost 3 years now, but studying to be a teacher has helped me discover so much more in that community that I never knew was there. I have developed friendships that I hope last my lifetime and I have learned so many new things about myself that I wouldn’t have had the courage to learn without the loving and understanding community that was there for me.
I am thankful to the craft beer community that has welcomed Sean and me into the group. I think that Sean and I have finally found a community that both of us can equally belong to. There are so many aspects to this that I don’t even know where to begin. I am thankful of finding a group of awesome women that support other women who love craft beer. I am thankful to the great guys that always have awesome beers on tap at the back of a Whole Foods Market (I swear it’s true). I am thankful to the terrific group of home brewers who have welcomed us into their group.
The one thing that I am most thankful for, though, is Sean. He has pushed me when I needed a push in the right direction. He’s given me hugs and kisses when I’ve needed them most. He’s cooked me countless dinners so that I can be out late at work or in a yoga class. He’s just been there for me whenever I’ve needed him.
I am thankful for the life that I have. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The latest of my quilts that I’ve made was a bit of a fanciful flight for me. While I normally love to use bright colorful fabrics, I usually tone them done with some calmer solids. This time, though, I decided to have fun with all of the fanciful fabrics and just sew them together in a spiraling pattern outwards.
When I started the quilting, at first I thought I would do diagonal lines against the straight lines in the pieced top. Instead, though, I decided to stipple the quilt to give it a lot of curve against such straight lines. I’m really pleased with how it came out.
The quilt was a real treat to make. I was sorry to see it go, but it went to a good home. Good luck Kelly and Jeremy!
Eight years ago we held hands during a thunderstorm and vowed that our lives would be bound together forever. Eight years later here we stand still together. We’ve had our bumps (I blame it on the lightning and thunder during the ceremony), but overall we’ve had a great eight years together so far. A lot has happened
this past year.
We got a chance to go snowboarding up at Snowbowl finally. You got a chance to spend a day cruising the blue slopes and I got a chance to realize how much fun snowboarding can be. I can’t wait to get another chance to go snowboarding with you again. Maybe one of these days we can even hit the slopes together and I’ll be able to keep up with you.
We survived me studying for my yoga teacher certification. We also survived you finishing your bachelor’s degree from ASU (I still think yours was the harder goal to accomplish) and we got a chance to celebrate with family and friends. We even finally got a chance to do a pig roast like we’ve wanted to do. It even came out tasting great!
We have done a lot of home brewing over this past year. This has been a great journey to take with you because we’ve found a hobby that plays off of both of our strengths. I must say that it’s been a very tasty journey so far, too. We also discovered a great new community over this past year of homebrewers and beer lovers. I foresee many fun events and gatherings in our future.
We always take a long vacation together. Part of the reason it’s so long is so that I have an opportunity to completely decompress from my job, but a lot of the reason I like taking such a long vacation is that it gives me so much time to spend with you. This year was no exception. We didn’t journey far from home this year. We just hopped over to California, but what a blast this vacation was! We surfed, we toured vineyards and breweries alike, we had lots of great food. Most importantly, we got to spend a lot of quality time with each other. That made every day on this vacation incredibly special to me.
Eight years. Life has changed a lot over those eight years. I’m really glad that you’ve been a constant in my life and I’m looking forward to what the next eight years brings to our lives. Together.
Part of my yoga teacher training including an independent project. How do I apply the yoga I learn on my mat when I get off my mat? For my independent project, I made a quilt of the chakra colors. While the colors are beautiful and have a lot of meaning, it wasn’t my primary focus when making the quilt. My primary focus was the process itself of making a quilt and how I felt that this quilt is a story of my life.
Quilting can be broken down into two major parts. The first part of the process is the piecing. The fabric must be cut into various shapes and sizes and pieced together. While the matching of the colors is very artistic, the cutting and piecing of the fabric is mathematical and precise. If you don’t cut each piece to be just the right size with straight and accurate lines, your fabric won’t be sewn together straight. You can even cut the fabric correctly and then sew the pieces together too quickly or clumsily and the fabric can bunch together. Intersections of where multiple pieces of fabric fit together line up incorrectly. The design of the quilt is completely changed by carelessness and hurry in the foundation. If care, though, is taken to cut each piece with straight lines and in the right size and shape and then if those pieces are sewn carefully together a beautiful quilt top can emerge. This is the part of the quilt that the world sees most easily.
This quilt top is the part of me that the world sees. I can choose to not care for my body and soul. I can not take the care and time to figure out who the real me is. This person can get through life, but so much of it will be illusion. I can also choose to take the care and time to properly cut out the different parts of me and put them together into a tapestry of who I am. I can examine each piece and choose to get rid of the parts that don’t go with the rest of the quilt or the pieces that just don’t fit. When I’m finished, I will have a representation of who I am to show to the world.
The second part of quilting is the most important part in my opinion. Once the quilt top is finished, that’s all it is; a single dimension of fabric that while it’s pretty it has no depth to it. This is where a piece of batting (cotton or wool that’s been pressed together almost like felt), the quilt top and a backing are layered together. Once these three pieces have been layered, the pieces are stitched or quilted together with thread and needle. Each stitch binds these layers together a little more tightly. Quilting can be done quickly and it will hold the pieces together for at least a short period of time. Over time, though, the pieces will slowly unravel and all you will be left with is a quilt top, a piece of cotton or wool and another piece of fabric. If the stitching is tight and done carefully, though, these pieces of fabric can be held together for generations.
The quilt itself is my world. It is the ties that bind me to all of the relationships I have formed in my life and will form as I continue through my journey. Each stitch is a person that I have been touched by in however a minor way. That tie can either be loose and eventually unravel or that tie can be held tight by care in the making and maintenance of it.
My studies have taught me how to look at myself and be honest with the person that I want to be. I’m willing to take the care and time to construct a quilt top of all the pieces that make up who I am. I have also learned how to interact with the world so that I can make ties that bind and hold with the people around me. This quilt is my life.
The best part of the quilt was when I presented it to my classmates. We shared ourselves and our lives when we were in that class. I wanted to take that with me, so I had my classmates and teachers sign a piece of fabric and I appliqued it onto the back of my quilt. Now, whenever I look at this quilt, I will remember what a wonderful experience teacher training was for me and the great friends that I made.