music

New Wave Quilt FO

New Wave Quilt FO

Woohoo! My New Wave Quilt is finished! Another thing off my finish-it-now to-do list – I’m just knockin’ those suckers back now! – and ready to use for the summer. Because it’s lightly quilted, it’ll be nice and light for summer nights, even if it is only a large lap quilt (a good size when you don’t want lots of blanket, but can’t stand to sleep without one).

New Wave Quilt FO

I chose to use Kona Charcoal and Kona Pomegranate for the sashing and binding, respectively, because it was just a bit off the obvious color choices the prints I used suggested. The easy option would’ve been a dark brown for the sashing, and some kind of gold for the binding, but a friend of mine has the Kona color card (lucky gal) and I had the luxury of sitting with my pile of prints, holding each one against all the different Kona shades. I felt that the Charcoal really did the prints justice while still standing up for itself and contributing something of its own, and the Pomegranate tied together all those bits of pink and red and kind of girl-ified the masculine colors a bit. I’m so so pleased with my choices!

New Wave Quilt FO

I used a vintage sheet – well, actually, part of a duvet cover – as the backing, pieced with a strip of a vintage pillowcase. I got both for peanuts at the charity shop I volunteer for – actually, the pillowcase was a big mess and would’ve been tossed, all full of holes and marker stains, weirdly. I managed to chop out just enough good fabric to piece that strip in – here’s to making awesome use of garbage! I love that main print, from the duvet cover, but it really did need to be broken up with something that would brighten it up.

New Wave Quilt FO

I’ve named this one for The Partridge Family (audio of this, perhaps their most classically corny song, here) because this quilt is all about the gloriously brown-and-gold colors of the 1970s and, let’s face it, when am I ever going to be able to name something for The Partridge Family again?! This is no joke, I really do love them – I’ve got the dvds, the albums, even books about the show. That zany singing family and their absurdly cheesy, terrible songs just make me so very happy!

The New Wave pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!. See more photos of my finished quilt in my Flickr photostream!

FO: Snow Crystals Mini-Quilt

Snow Crystals Mini-Quilt

Such a wonderful, comforting project, sadly finished. I mean, I’m happy to be able to hang it somewhere and move on to something new, but this was one of those rare projects that don’t come around that often.

Snow Crystals Mini-Quilt

I loved everything about this little quilt, from picking out the fabrics on a lovely day out with a friend, for no reason other than their charm, to picking the traditional Snow Crystals block for them, through the paper piecing phase and the quilting. Every bit was a joy.

Snow Crystals Mini-Quilt

I sewed this entire thing by hand — well, nearly anyway. I sewed the binding onto the front by machine – I’d probably have done it by hand for the sake of completism, but I just did it automatically. I notice now that my corners are over the place; I suppose I could block it and see if that helps? I’m not sure exactly what’s up with that whole quilt-blocking thing. And my only real complaint is that I used a red Pilot Frixion pen to mark the quilting lines and no matter how hard I ironed, it’s still a teensy bit visible. Not enough to get upset about, but I won’t use a red one again. I don’t think I have the same problem with black or blue.

Snow Crystals Mini-Quilt

This project meant a lot to me, so it couldn’t be named for just any old song (I always name things for songs, that’s just how I roll). I chose Elvis Perkins’ “Send My Fond Regards to Lonelyville”, which is just so, so beautiful. Perkins is a very special artist, totally, massively underrated, and never ever fails to make my heart swell. He’s an amazing songwriter, has one of the most captivating voices I’ve ever heard, and he makes the kind of music that makes me feel like it’s hard to breathe. In a good way. So, so beautiful.

Snow Crystals Mini-Quilt

Anyway, so there we have it: a tiny quilt that helped keep me comforted through a rough time, named for one of the prettiest things I know, ready to live on my wall and just be quietly lovely.

(Click over to Flickr to see more photos.)

Vintage Sunday: The Del Vikings

I’ve been listening to the Del Vikings like crazy over the last few weeks – even when my iPod is on shuffle, I basically just wait for more Del Vikings to come on. They’re the absolute kings of doo-wop, and I dare you to find a more charming and cheerful music. I double-dog-dare you not to dance, at least a little chair dancing, while you listen to their wonderful version of “A Sunday Kind of Love” from 1957.

By the way: the Del Vikings are also awesome for being formed in my hometown, Pittsburgh, PA, and for being one of the first racially integrated music groups. Badass.

Eels lyrics, now with tiny flowers.

Eels Lyrics WIP

I love this project so much! I just want to work on it all day. But then it would be finished, which would be sad. Like when you love a book and can’t put it down, but don’t want it to end. Not the worst problem to have, though.

Anyway, I’ve finished the text and I’m really happy with how it came out. I used one strand of Soie d’Alger silk thread, and did it all in back stitch.

Eels Lyrics WIP

Now I’m adding in some lovely teeeeny tiny flowers (sorry about the poor photo, it was late last night when I started tracing them into place), from a vintage pattern and found in the Flickr Hoop Love Vintage Transfers group. If you’ve never been there, go check it out – you’ll have a stack of new projects to start before you finally force yourself to leave!

Crafting it Slow.

The other week, Nicole from Follow The White Bunny wrote a post about “Slow Crafting” and it was funny timing because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately too. Ever since I announced at the beginning of the year that I was determined to steal back a little more time for my own personal, non-business projects, I’ve been enjoying the kind of craft that really lets you take your time and sink your teeth in. So I want to take this week to share my slow projects with you guys and talk a little about why slow crafts are so awesome.

To start, I want to show you something that I just started this weekend. This is not just a slow project, it’s one that may continue throughout my whole life if it goes as I have in mind.

I’ve mentioned before that music is very important to me, and I even used to think I would write about music professionally one day. That seems a little silly now – if I’m honest about it, I was never really so good at it anyway, and I kind of feel that if it didn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be. But music still is one of the biggest loves of my life, and I’m always looking for a way to connect it to my needlecrafting loves.

Eels Lyrics

A while ago back, I had a notion to stitch up some lyrics. That’s not a hugely original idea on its own, I’ve been inspired by lots of stitched lyrics I’ve seen online. I’ve even done a couple myself, but those didn’t seem like enough. It’s such an obvious way for me to pay tribute to something I love so much.

But I couldn’t choose just one line from one song! I couldn’t even narrow it down to a genre. So I thought on it some and ended up thinking that all the lyrics I love deserve to be stitched equally. Funny hip-hop rhymes, sad country lines, inspiring folk poetry. I love them all the same.

I decided to stitch them all, of course! Not all at once, that would be madness. But each as its own little mini-project, to gradually become part of a larger whole. My vision at the moment is that eventually I will have a whole wall or corner in my house dedicated to these embroideries, each one a line that inspires me in some way big or small. They won’t all match, they’ll all be on fabric and in styles that suit them, but they will belong together.

Eels Lyrics

This weekend, I finally started the first one. This is a line from “Hey Man! (Now You’re Really Living)”, by Eels (one of my very favorite bands, who I am ridiculously excited to be seeing live for the first time in April, EEP!). This is such a special song because it joyously celebrates ALL of what makes up a full life, all the wonderful bits and sad bits and all the bits in between. It’s so beautiful. Eels get me every time.

I’m working on a linen handkerchief that I think my parents bought for me at Versailles, or maybe just France generally, about a hundred years ago. I found it packed away when I redecorated my bedroom and it asked to be stitched on. I’m using silk thread and will probably add some sort of floral embellishment on it after the text is finished. And that will be just one part of a much larger project. So, while I finish, tell me about your slow projects!

(Thanks for bringing this topic up, Nicole!)

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