Today's challenge is to post a picture of something that makes me happy. There are so, so many things to choose from, but I thought I'd share something that's a really important part of my creative life.
|My shelved batik fat quarters. |
I have more in yardage and fat quarters stored with various projects.
I don't just sew with batiks - they are my favorite, though! - but with all kinds of cotton prints. I generally don't do solids and I honestly don't think I even have any anymore - a tone on tone works better for me.
Most of my quilts have black backgrounds and Hoffman 1898 Ink Batik is by far my favorite fabric (it's a black-black with a blue undertone) and I usually buy it at Quilter's Cupboard because they stock it and, if it's sold out, they happily order it for me and ship it (so far) for free. Heck, any place that I can call from a hundred some miles away and say, 'Hey, it's Tammy and I'm out of black again' and they know EXACTLY who I am and what I'm talking about is a damn great quilt shop.
When I first started sewing, I bought almost all of my fabric at a BenFranklin store not far from where we lived (because it was really inexpensive and we were broke), but now I shop almost entirely in quilt shops and I pay a lot more attention to the fabric and its color than how much it costs.
|There are about 40 different blacks in this quilt's background |
and I lost count how many other fabrics (80 some, I think). All batik.
Photo by Roni Rork from our 2010 quilt show.
Quilt in the collection of Stuart MacBride, Aberdeen Scotland
|Malaysia always helped me put on binding. |
Can you see some of the different black fabrics?
She's laying on the lower left corner of the whole quilt shown above.
I am a scrappy quilter in that I tend to use a LOT of different fabrics in any given quilt instead of choosing a few coordinating fabrics, but there is usually a method to the apparent madness. First, I almost never use 'scraps', the leftover bits and pieces from other projects, although I do dip into my scrap stash if I need just a smidge of something I'm otherwise out of. No, I go to my stash in the closet, ponder awhile, and start pulling fabric which I then custom cut as the quilt demands. 40-80 fabrics in a quilt are not uncommon for me, and I think the most I'd used in one quilt was over 400.
|There are approximately eighty background fabrics alone.|
I made it for us, and it's the only bed size quilt I kept.
Sometimes my preference to 'go scrappy' drives other people a bit crazy. I made the quilt below during a class taught by the pattern's designer and she was pretty insistent that scrappy would not work for the pattern and I needed to choose 3 or 5 fabrics. I think it turned out great.
|About 40 fabrics, all batik.|
I don't always go scrappy, or batik. This next quilt is neither. Despite having 100 fabrics, it's actually made from one charm pack, 100 5 inch squares from the Fossil Fern fabric line, and they are prints, every one of them. I liked it so much I kept it, and it hangs over my sewing desk. :)
|Charm Dance Color Wash,|
and, yes, this is where I sew. :)
Sometimes I see a fabric that just screams a particular person. Sometimes there's a compelling reason to make one (like a baby on the way). Sometimes I see a pattern and think Oooh! I know who would love that!! Then and only then do I sew.
The last quilt I want to show is the most recent baby quilt I made, for my friend LeAnne's daughter, Katie, and her newborn daughter, Kitsune.
|Kit's quilt, from a Moda Bakeshop pattern.|
One charm pack, one background fabric.
So there you go, a quick survey of my quilting. I quilt because it makes me happy.