Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pie Love

About 10 days ago a client came to my studio and wanted to commission a small quilt for a friend's graduation gift. The recipient loved to bake, especially Lemon Meringue pies. Could I make a quilt about that? I drew up some sketches, and we settled on one:

We chose some fabrics that spoke to us of lemons and pies and blue skies, and meringues, and looked at some images on the internet to get the colors right. The top of the pies brown especially at the peaks, but when you cut a slice, the underneath meringue stays white. We liked the idea of the lemon slice overlaying the pie and the words "Pie" and "Love" on it.
I converted the drawing to a pattern on Freezer paper, cut out some pieces and started assembling the quilt.It struck me that I could manipulate the meringue fabric to provide texture, and I loved the result, but then it would be difficult to find a pleasing way to overlay the lemon slice. The bumpy texture of the meringue might make threadpainting bumpy, and fusing fabric over it would also result in lumps. In the end I added a lemon, and used the slice idea in the quilting, as I did with the words, and also some eggs and wheat.
I used fusible batting, so I could hold the texture of the meringue in place while I quilted it. The binding fabric was used on the back as well, and has silver stars in it, so it ties the spoon together with the pie in the sky.When you get lemons, make lemon pie!
The silver spoon added a bit of invitation to enjoy, and the whole thing has a folk arty feel. Yum!
I hope the client likes it, too! I'm not sure of the title yet, but call it "Pie Love" in my mind!
Size: 19 inches X 19 inches.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pashmina Jacket

As a lover of textiles and intricate prints and patterns, I often am seduced by the beautiful Pashmina shawls for sale in midtown Manhattan. Over the years, I have purchased several of them which are beautiful, soft, warm and colorful.
Trouble is, I never wear them. In fact, I rarely ever wear shawls. Recently I was folding and admiring the pashmina shawls I have and an idea popped into my head: why not turn one into a jacket? My shawls are 27 inches wide and 72 inches ( 2 yards) long, excluding fringe.
I got out one of my favorite simple classic jacket patterns, Butterick 6474, and laid it out on a shawl which I folded in half:

If laid out this way, the fringe would be on the cuffs and front edges, but not on the back.
I cut out the pieces, and sewed them together using overlock stitch and french seaming when possible, as the weave is a bit loose and the wool is somewhat ravelly and delicate.
Here is my friend Sue Dennis ( www.suedennis.com) , visiting from Australia, modeling my jacket:

A comfortable, warm and light jacket! And Sue makes a great model.