November 14, 2013

Everything Comes Together

This is a quilt I made several years ago for our bed, from Liza's pattern called "Gridlock."The fabric is printed by Marcia Deerse (take a look at her work at
Gridlock looked really great for the two days it was on our bed and it was fun to wake up to all the different color stories going on from block to block. Then, daughter (Thing One) decided it would look great on HER bed and Gridlock moved to Chicago.

I love this pattern and decided to do Gridlock Two, with a strong chain anchoring it to the bedpost because there are three more Things that amble by. But I guess the two years that I've been a groupie at Jude Hill's Spirit Cloth have really changed me. I didn't want to buy any fabric.  And I didn't want a quilt that looked like it came from a book.

But I wanted Gridlock.

So I started Gridlock Two, with two rules.First, I want this quilt to feel like ME, not a quilt book. Me, I am blue denim, brown cowboy boots, and red silk.  So that was my palette.  Second, I could use only fabric that comes from my shelves that I absolutely love...each piece has to be something that I have because I felt in love with it for its own self (see rule 1).

Then, as I started to assemble the blocks on the design wall, my eye caught the four or so pieces of cloth I have created by hand, my spirit cloths. You can flip back through my blog to find them. They never really found a good home and were just hanging out on my design wall. Well, look at that, all four are the same palette: blue, red, ivory. Isn't that just amazing? When I walk into an ice cream store, I will always get the same flavor (vanilla or banana). When I stitch from my heart, the same colors emerge...

Anyway, without the slightest Worship at the Altar of But I Can't Cut Up My Work, I sliced these babies down to the requisite 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 square and now they have a home! Talk about feeling like me.

So here's where I am so far, with many of the pieces not sewn together yet. And blocks may move around or get bounced once I get all 64 (sigh) done. 

 Here's an equally bad pic:

 It is really fun, everything I ever collected just because I loved it is all fitting together.  Like the old sugar bags:
Everything has a history:

I have the pocket to Himself's fat jeans and am going to use that for a center in one of the non-grid blocks. And in that pocket, I am going to stitch down the handkerchief I stole out of my dad's top dresser drawer when I moved away from Detroit. I've got some other mementos that will no doubt make their way into the blocks.

And on a totally unrelated note, here's some advice from Dr. John, who was on the soundtrack from the second season of Treme that I blasted while sewing today. (A good beat turns all the back and forth between iron and cutting table and design wall into a great Second Line  strut.) In that creaky ole voice, he sings this: "life is a near-death experience."

I'm trying my best to tie that into the rest of the post, like I usually do, but I'm stumped. I just liked it and its my blog. So there.


  1. this makes me
    Julie stitching Julie
    and near death?, well, sure. yes. of course. it's Life.
    love to you
    and so happy to see Red Horse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. She waits for her tail and mane...i imagine that being the very final final step on this quilt.

  2. what a good way to use all your Spirit Cloth and good on you claiming it for your very own I give the special things that fall out of my hands to Old Man Crow so I can't be tempted to give them away or sell them even in the most dire times.
    had to google Treme, love Dr John & spent the best 24 hours ever in N'Awlins in 1999!

    1. I often gift stuff but this felt too personal, somehow. And glad you found Treme, its a great series and a really good look at what post-Katrina REALLY meant for people on the ground. I went on a business trip to NOLA in my other life, when I was in my 20s. The only time in my life that I ever missed a plane...just never woke up on that day!!!

    2. and that Dr John line "life is a near-death experience." that's moving memory, making a trace then an erasure... a palimpsest... perhaps...