Monday, April 12, 2010

You couldn't pay me enough to work this hard...................

If I had worked as hard at a paying job, as I work for "free" in my sewing room, Heaven only knows how much I might have accomplished. I find it strange that self motivation is a thousand times more powerful than financial remuneration. At least it is for me. I've been laboring over this top panel as if the house was on fire, and I had to finish it before I could leave. It's just weird, that's all I'm saying. There is no deadline on this, not even one implied by the "Block of the Month" title that we fall for, because (let's be honest here) isn't it appealing.........the whole concept of receiving one block a month, just one little block (that's all!), and if we just do that one little block, we'll have a finished quilt one year from the day we begin? Plus, who doesn't love receiving a little giftie in the mail, with pretty bits of fabric and a little diagram and photo? Some years ago, my husband, surely one of the most supportive spouses in the quilt world, told me he wished I would never again purchase a BOM. He didn't forbid it, now, he just "wished". He wished for extremely valid reasons, too. The fact is I have never (not hardly ever, NEVER) done a single one of the BOM's I've purchased. They are all in pristine condition in a big old Rubbermaid bin on an inaccessible shelf of my sewing room. This isn't to say that I've never utilized parts of the BOMs. I've taken blocks from one pattern, mixed them with another pattern, added my own fabric, and Voila! a quilt that is unrecognizable except as a block from here, and a block from there. I hasten to add that I always give credit to the designer, too, I don't mix patterns and claim it as my own design. I've also taken fabric from the BOM packets and used it for a totally different project. I don't know if there are rules prohibiting this sort of activity, but I do it. Anyway, that is what the current project, working title is "the yellow quilt", has turned into. Here is what has kept me quite busy this past week:

The top panel is from Celestial Dream by Susan Powell, and, as you know, the other blocks are from Les Fleurs des Jardine, by Lisa DeBee Schiller. I don't know what all may find it's way into this top before it's finished. That is what keeps it exciting for me. I wasn't at all sure she would work in my garden, but I think I have decided I really do like her. I would love to know what your response is to her, if you have one.


This one's a bit closer. Then I thought I'd share a photo of the only strip Round Robin that I've ever participated in. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and Janine Holtzman, who set it up, really knew how to make it work. We did 6" strips the width of the fabric, any design/style/color scheme we liked, then forwarded it to the next person. We had two months to do the next person's, when we received it, and it was a really great "growth" challenge to make their strip in the colors/styles they had chosen. It can be hard to do "primitive" if you are accustomed to working strictly with bright contemporary fabrics, or vice versa. This was my row of Poppies:

Here is the quilt just before quilting and binding, which have since been done. I was delighted with the entire experience, and really happy with my finished quilt.

Lastly, I wanted to show the first quilt I entered in Paducah. This was back in April 2007, and it was a very meaningful thing for me to see my work hanging in that venue. I didn't win anything there, but it truely was okay, because I never dreamed I'd ever even have my work hanging in the same show as those people we've all heard about.

Hope your weekend was a pretty, Spring one. Thanks for stopping by. Michele
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  1. I love the angel inserted into Les Fleurs. I've been trying to think of something similar to do instead of that wide block at the bottom; I don't like it one bit.

  2. The wings on the angel are just gorgeous!

  3. Michelle your work is truly amazing. Love that gold background you are using. And your poppies on that strip are glorious.

  4. Wow Michele, love the angel, perfect addition. I to love the poppies. Your work is perfect to me. Your Paducah quilt took my breath away! Oh my goodness, this quilt is more then outstanding. Thank you so much for sharing, Elaine

  5. Wow Michele! The angel at the top totally changes the look of the quilt for me. Her wings are stunning! I had a chuckle at the BOM's, especially about taking fabric out to use with something else?

    Your strip quilt looks fantastic too.

  6. I've never taken part in a BOM, and now I'm warned. :-) Systems or rules like this may be a kind of grid that some creative people are quite grateful to follow, because it gives them a safe feeling and helps them to work consequently. Other types of quilters, although trying to adapt the rules, turn out to be fenced in more than supported. I guess you are more the free creative type. My impression is that your style unfolds best with less influence from others.
    The appliqué quilt you sent to Paducah is so beautiful. This is my idea of craft in early America.

  7. She adds a magical aura to your quilt-- and she has a 'Monalisa' chuckle going, too! I am stunned by your work. I love her wings, your poppies... But mostly your quilt... OMGoodness!

  8. I have admired that pattern forever...your Celestial dream block is wonderful.

  9. Wow Michelle, Your work is absolutely lovely. I think that what you like yourself... thats what is important. Everyones tastes are so different. What you have done is great :)

  10. your applique is so beautiful!!! And I love all the colors!!!!

  11. Your angel quilt is coming along wonderfully. Love the colors and richness.
    You're so right about working hard for no pay - my friend and i used to joke it was working in a sweat shop with no pay, lol.

  12. oh Michele
    I LOVE your quilt and yes it deserved to be in Paducah.
    wow it is just amazing.
    love the borders, love the blocks....wish you would write a pattern I would make this quilt in a heartbeat.
    BEAUTIFUL I am looking for quilts for our living room wall, this is just perfect.

  13. I love your idea of mixing the blocks, I was wondering if you still have Block One from le fluers du jardin as I have the BOM kit but that one is missing. Please let me know if you can share it with me. THANKS


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