quilts and clothes and everything as poetry
A575EE28-8BA7-44C2-BA2D-C0E512945118.jpg

Notebook

Notes on process, on being, on feelings, on life -- honestly probably half for me and half for you. 

Posts tagged What is the Work?
What is the Work? - March Twenty
 

"What is the Work?" is an ongoing series, a daily log of studio time. What I worked on, how it went, how I felt, what I drank, what I listened to, what the weather was like. A way to mark passing days, to notice how it feels, to figure out what the work is. You can find the whole series under the tag "What is the Work?"

Today, I...

worked on cutting fabric for my March quilt, did a bunch of quilt math, and made two signal flags. 

I'm really excited right now because I'm planning to make the March quilt my first EVER pdf quilt pattern!!! So, so excited. Really ever since I started quilting I have wanted to figure out how to bring other people in on the process. I love designing quilts and making quilts, but I also love sharing, teaching and collaborating, things I haven't had much opportunity to do up to this point in my textiles practice. It has always been a goal to eventually release patterns, and I feel like I now have the right quilt and enough skills to start! The March quilt is perfect because it is extremely simple, literally just the same size square sewn together again and again, but it still looks AMAZING and the pattern teaches all of the necessary skills for quilt-making. 

It's a great added challenge to try to figure out how to translate my quilt design and construction process to a pattern that is accessible and exciting for beginners and skilled sewists both. Up to this point, I've been mostly working on constructing my sample quilt. I have four more blocks to sew, and then I'll move onto hand-quilting it. Today, I really started in earnest planning for my pattern-writing. I started working on all the necessary quilt math, which is actually one of my favorite parts of the process. I love sitting down with graph paper and a calculator and getting everything straight. 

Yesterday, I launched a new applique pillow I've been working on for the past couple of days. I'm really happy with how it turned out and excited to work on a few more colorways. It's all stitched by hand except for the construction of the actual pillow, so it is more on the higher-end of my products as far as price goes. I loved making the first pillow and couldn't wait to make another!

am listening to Spring Awakening an old-friend of a musical, to celebrate the first day of spring.  

am drinking decaf coffee in the afternoon as a treat and motivator for flag-sewing. 

am feeling like it would really do me good to take a walk every afternoon to clear my head. It's usually right around that post-lunch lull that the self-doubt starts to creep in again. A walk in the cold to go look at the unfrozen water at the channel really helps. 

am reading The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits. Read it a long time ago from the library and never could get it out of my head. My own personal copy just arrived in the mail and it's wonderful to come back to it.  

What is the Work? - March Twelve
 

"What is the Work?" is an ongoing series, a daily log of studio time. What I worked on, how it went, how I felt, what I drank, what I listened to, what the weather was like. A way to mark passing days, to notice how it feels, to figure out what the work is. You can find the whole series under the tag "What is the Work?"

Today, I...

worked on a bunch of signal flags, a couple of bandanas, and the beginning of putting together & binding my tamarack jacket. 

I love making signal flags because I don't have to think very hard. I've made so many at this point that I can just sort of get into the process and crank them out. It's a good feeling.

Had a major breakthrough in bandana development today, since the cotton lawn I ordered came in the mail. Cotton lawn is the PERFECT bandana fabric (apart from actual silk, but that's a different thing. Made a two-tone pink and red lawn bandana and then wore it for the rest of the afternoon because it's perfect. So soft, so silky, so light and airy. I really did like the linen/cotton combo I came up with before. That bandana was more substantial and certainly warmer. But this one is easier to wear and tie, and it just feels so nice and has a great drape. I'll be wearing mine frequently, I think. 

Finished the hand-quilting on my tamarack jacket pieces, so now we're onto construction. I didn't have quite enough pink linen for the amount of binding I need for the front borders of the jacket, so luckily another yard came in the mail today (currently being washed so I can turn it into binding tomorrow. I'm trying really hard to figure out how to make my jacket reversible because I love my lining just as much as my outer fabric (in fact, I originally imagined them reversed.) It will take some maneuvering of seams and such, and maybe some reimagined closures. I already did away with the welt-pockets in the pattern. Planning to go with some patch pockets instead, when all is said and done. We will see. 

Finished my day hand-stitching some binding on the bottom edge of the back of my jacket while watching Mozart in the Jungle. All in all one of the nicest heavy-sewing days I've had ina long while. 

am listening to MUSICALS. If you know me well you know that I love musicals and know very many of them by heart. It's always been like this for me. My whole life I've been a broadway baby. Today I listened to Hamilton, which I haven't listened to in a while (IT'S STILL VERY GOOD), The Light in the Piazza all the way through four times in a row, no joke, and selections from Children of Eden (which isn't on Spotify??!! Had to track it down on YouTube. What gives??) Light in the Piazza was really getting me, especially "Dividing Day." 

am drinking lime la croix, only it's Aldi's version of la croix (cheaper and just as good). 

am feeling like sewing and listening to musicals / singing along is one of the best ways to spend a day. 

am reading Wendell Berry poems. 

What is the Work? - March Eight, Nine, Ten
 

"What is the Work?" is an ongoing series, a daily log of studio time. What I worked on, how it went, how I felt, what I drank, what I listened to, what the weather was like. A way to mark passing days, to notice how it feels, to figure out what the work is. You can find the whole series under the tag "What is the Work?"

These days, I...

am making a hand-quilted tamarack jacket

I did my quilt sandwiching for the jacket (where you make and baste the three layers of the quilt together) on Thursday night, listening to music. Since then, I've been slowly stitiching my way through the hand-quilting on each individual pattern piece. I originally was planning for the indigo polka-dot fabric to be the outside of the jacket, but now I'm thinking I may flip it around, showcase how beautiful the quilting looks on the pink linen I intended as the lining. 

I'm hand-quilting with DMC Pearl Cotton Size 8, my personal favorite thread in the world. It's soft and silky and comes in every color imaginable. For this piece, I decided on very light purple thread with a few rows of canary yellow sometimes. 

I'll be slow-stitching this for the next while. If I ever forget that hand-quilting is my favorite thing, please remind me. It is my favorite work, my favorite way to be quiet, my favorite way to think and wait. I'm quilting in an improvised scallop pattern, thinking about hills--the hills I'm returning to soon, lifting my eyes up to the hills where my help comes from, the way that where there are hills there are also valleys. If you need me, I'll be stitching hills, quietly, on my couch. 

am listening to the Lady Bird soundtrack and the audiobook of Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad.

am drinking coffee from the Dominican Republic, brought back for us by a friend. 

am feeling like everything is changing and the best way to deal with it is quiet stitching. 

am reading a bunch of books from the library, including Miriam Toews' A Complicated Kindness. She is one of my favorite contemporary fiction authors, right up there, in my mind, with Lorrie Moore.