I’ve always been a sucker for new sketchbooks. The smooth, crisp pages of a blank sketchbook get me rolling with inspiration, not to mention that fresh new paper smell. I caved and picked up a new book the other week at MUJI, which brings my tally of active sketchbooks to around six, each half full with notes and random ideas. This sketchbook had my name all over it – the gridded sheets screamed 25 quilts waiting to be sketched and stitched.
These photos were taken in Houston on the grounds of the Menil Collection, a museum designed by Renzo Piano, and the Rothko Chapel. Thanks to my friends Kristi and Tony for their top-notch hand modeling services.
I’m learning to surf. Most people don’t associate NYC with surfing, but yeah, it’s a thing here too – although I wouldn’t say the surf culture and quality rivals Australia or California or Indonesia. For a wee learner like me, it’s totally fun. I face a split-second conundrum every weekend: work on sewing projects or head to the beach? Duh. I head to the beach, with my adventure-seeking lady friends in tow. The other weekend I needed to figure out a way to photograph my latest quilt and catch waves on the same day. Solution? The quilt ventured with us to the Rockaways, sprawled itself across the sand, and soaked up the sunshine.
This quilt is a gift to my dear friends Ayça and Evan. Their wedding was the most spectacular dance celebration in Rhode Island last month. I’m still smiling from the memories, and hoping the quilt accompanies them on a lifetime of love and laughter. The top is pieced from men’s dress shirts sourced from Goodwills across the Eastern Seabord. The finished size is too big to measure, so hopefully Ayça and Evan plan on buying a king size bed sometime soon.
Special thanks to my friends, Shannon and Danielle, for making these photos happen.
This quilt is for Hannah, my cousin-to-be down in Georgia. Hannah will be the first baby born amongst the eight cousins on my mom’s side. Can’t wait to meet the little one!
Made from men’s dress shirts, this is probably the most amount of colors I’ve ever used in a quilt. The back is two yards of Liberty of London, which seems to be my fabric of choice for making baby quilts.
A huge thanks to my dear friend Ayça for being the model behind this quilt. She has the strongest fingers and most quilt holding endurance of anyone I know. We photographed the quilt together around our Brooklyn neighborhood last weekend, cheering up the slushy snow from recent storm Nemo.
Let me introduce you to my bicycle. She’s a 1972 Schwinn Breeze, manufactured in our very own Chicago, Illinois. The Schwinn catalog will tell you her color is Burgundy, although I like to describer her as Raspberry, pronounced razzz-berry (sounds so breezy, right?). She was a gift from a long-ago boyfriend, and while he didn’t stick around, she found a place on display in my apartment. I was initially attracted to her glitter handlebars, and the two-tone seat sealed the deal.
I have a love/hate relationship with this two-wheeled beauty – she’s a bit slow, very heavy, and loves to run out of air. Maybe a few of those things could be fixed, and she’d certainly look heavenly with a wicker basket and streamers at the end of those magnificent handles, but while she’s on winter hiatus, let’s just leave her be. She’s resting up for summer, where she will make her way to various Brooklyn beaches, fending off catcalls from hipsters whizzing by on their fixed gears.
Winter hiatus. Or you could call it winter hibernation. It’s the few weeks each year I take vacation from work to stay in the city to explore, rejuvenate, get inspired, and make things. The quilt in the background is my most labor-intensive yet, totaling exactly 2,808 pieces, 13 men’s dress shirts, and almost a hundred hours (so far!). It will be a few months until I finish putting all the layers together, and make important decisions such as, “What should the back look like? What color should the quilting thread be? And the binding…?” After finishing the patchwork last night at 3am, I’m looking forward to taking on some smaller endeavors in the meantime.
On her latest visit to Brooklyn, my friend Stephanie suggested a quilt block exchange amongst our trio of textile lovers, including Tara. We formed our rules: each person must make six squares sized 24″x24″ using shades of white and creams. Each person keeps two of their own squares, and sends two squares to each of the others. The deadline was December 19, but of course, none of us hit the deadline (poorly timed with holiday gift-making season!). This week, after somewhat mastering the skill of quilting circles, I delivered my pieces to Stephanie and Tara.
My fabrics are a mixture of men’s dress shirts and purchased yardage. I wanted an excuse to start using the 3,287 (maybe a slight exaggeration) decorative stitches that my sewing machine can produce, so I added texture with rows of embroidery. I’m going to create a throw-sized sampler quilt with all six of our combined blocks, so stay tuned.