Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Several years ago one of my afternoon routines was to take a "break" and watch 2 home decorating shows and one food show on TV--my only daytime TV. (These days it's Simply Quilts and Martha Stewart, but I usually walk and/or jog in place while watching .) I remember so vividly in those early years of my retirement hearing Lynette Jennings speak of "color, pattern, and texture". As my 2 daughters were at the time in the beginning years their careers in art and decorating, I had as yet not had the opportunity to learn from their expert advice. (Things have certainly changed since then: They ARE my artistic mentors, especially in the realm of using color.) But I digress, I thought I'd show you a bit of my work with these three elements of design, even though it's on something as simple as baby quilts.

I have been making baby quilts for several years, typically sewing 5 inch squares together, basting polyester loft batting to the wrong side of the pieced top, then sewing that right sides together with my backing. Sometimes there would be lace or ruffles or piping sewn in to the edge seam. After turning it right side out, I would then usually follow the pattern of the squares to do some machine top stitching (not sure it would even qualify as quilting). If there was no edge treatment, I usually chose 3 colors from the pattern in the fabric and top stitched the edges. I have in the past year learned a bit more about what I call real quilting, and I must say, that even though I am certainly not an expert, I like the difference in my finished products. But I still like to play with TEXTURE!

This is cotton, chenille, and fleece and the binding is flannel. I love using soft fabrics for baby quilts. (I will admit that until about a year ago I didn't know the difference between "run of the mill" flannel and quilter's flannel. Even though I have to pay more for the good stuff, I'm never going back!)

For this quilt, I even toyed with a different stitch for my machine "quilting". I think that, in itself, adds a bit of texture, too.

So this is my soft texture baby quilt:

Yes, there is a bit of color in the above quilt, but this color and pattern combo (chosen by my daughter- in-law, for their new baby) I think is fabulous. Once I get all the snipping done on the raw edges, run it through the washer and dryer, it will be a rag quilt (another first for me) and also have some texture too, I guess. I had never seen a rag quilt except in flannel, but I really love the combination of the sophisticated cotton and the "down home" rag method.

Well, I guess I'd better get to snipping; that quilt will go into my suitcase when I head to NY to see this new little girl when she makes her arrival. I should have at least a couple weeks left, but who knows?!

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