By Athena Knibbs
I love patchwork. Simply put. When I began sewing as a teen my focus was making my own clothes. I used to scour the thrift stores and rework slick polyester mumus (ok, this word was not in spell check but you all know what a mumu is…you know those really big house dresses) into strappy sundresses. Now, quite a few years later, I no longer wear spagetti strapped polyester slip dresses with knee high dr. martens. My focus has definitely changed. I quit sewing in my late 20’s and it wasn’t until I had kids that I started again. Well, actually no, it was the first year I met my husband. I made him a man quilt. A man quilt is a quilt worthy of a sports watching, backwoods camping, dog owning, tree loving man. So, no flowers, paisleys, polka dots or cute animals. His man quilt took me a matter of 4 hours, a simple hand tied quilt comprised of PLAID, WOOL and CORDUROY. Yup, that’s the man quilt. Ladies, if you are wanting to surprise your man with a quilt, just raid his closet. My passion for sewing reawakened tenfold when my first son was in the womb. I made him three blankets before he was born. Then I made about 26 cloth diapers. When he grew out of them I was so tired of making diapers I gave up the cloth diaper scene. I am so ashamed….Actually, that reminds me of a wonderful Merideth that makes these awesome wool diaper covers….I will save that for another post! Then, as some of you know, I began sewing children’s clothing and began selling them at the Mountain Market under the name of Our Ilan. Then came Quinn, so now it is Our Ilan & Quinn. Anyways…for any one who creates, our tastes evolve and it reflects in our craft as we move through different stages. Right now I am into patchwork. I love what you can do with little bits of fabric. Below is a few of my Flickr faves, all examples of what can be done with the traditional quilting process. Quilting can be very cool yet functional. It can be as expensive or inexpensive as you make it. Some people go for structure in a mathematical precision in planning out a pattern. Me, I prefer more improvising, clashing of unexpected pattern and contrasting colors. The quilting can be loose and imperfect or precisely organized. Which ever way, there are so many ways to put pattern together. You can repurpose old clothing, sheets, curtains etc. and pair them with funky cotton prints. The possibilities are endless! So take a look at these flickr favorites and let them inspire you. You may want to break out that old Singer and piece a few scraps together. Who knows were it will lead and that is the exciting part.
1. Tuesday pillow redux, 2. More Gum Drop Pillows, 3. Nature Walk Potholders – Front, 4. P3010007, 5. beach blanket, 6. Shades of green wristlet, 7. makes me want to make a huge one for our bed, 8. P3100021