Me and John Lithgow

27 06 2011

John Lithgow with his quilt, 2011

I proclaim myself

Quiltmaker to the stars

Or, perhaps more accurately, to the star . . .

I was very pleased to get the opportunity to gift one of my quilts to one of my favorite actors, so I took it.  My wonderful sister-in-law Wendy worked with John Lithgow on the upcoming sci-fi-action drama The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and she did me the favor of delivering one of my creations to this marvelous actor.  I thought this was only a fair trade, since Mr. Lithgow has given me so many of his creations, including my two favorites, Dr. Dick Solomon and Arthur Mitchell, the Trinity Killer.  Yes, I’m a huge fan.

I chose this quilt for John because of its intricate pattern and its nature colors.  He appears to be pleased by the choice.  This quilt is one in a series of what seems like thousands of quilts.

Trip Around the World, 2008

(Unfortunate photography by Susan Dague)

There is a history for this quilt, of course:

Way back in 1998, trail-blazing quilter extraordinaire Mary Ellen Hopkins lectured at my guild (EBHQ), and, just as an aside, said the following magic words:  “Clean up your fabric stash—cut all your small scraps into 2 ½ inch squares and give yourself permission to throw away anything smaller.”  I started doing this with my small scraps, and I have never stopped.   Eventually I ended up with fabric drawers  like these:

Drawer One

Drawer Two

And I use these squares in exactly the way that Mary Ellen had suggested.  Whenever I feel like I just want to sew, I pull out a pile of these squares and make them into four-patches.  Sometimes I just make a small quilt out of colors that I love or try to find an interesting pattern for the scraps I happen to have on hand (the technique used for the Lithgow Quilt).

In upcoming posts I will display some more of these quilt, a few or a lot . . . I’ve not yet decided.  But there is a warning:  If you try this technique for dealing with your fabric, you may become as addicted as I am.  No problem.  The world is full of people who deserve quilts.

Trip Around the World, Detail

Kristin’s Quilt

1 06 2011

For Kristin, 2011

With all apologies to those 2007 PHS graduates whose quilts have not yet been documented here, I include here the story of this graduation quilt, since it is the most recent.

I wanted to make a quilt for daughter Maggie’s friend Kristin, since the two of them were graduating from college in May.  Maggie met Kristin during NSO, or New Student Orientation, the week of service activities before her freshman year at Lewis and Clark College even began.  These two became fast friends, and remained so during their four years in Portland.  This quilt expresses my appreciation to Kristin for her continued friendship with Maggie.

This quilt was also just tons of fun to make.  I gathered up green and purple fabrics (and other related fun scraps), cut squares, paired the squares, and made two half-square triangle units from each set of pairs.  With piles of blocks on hand, getting them all into the same quilt was loads of fun.  This quilt is one of those that I describe as having “made itself”, since the blocks went together so easily.

For Kristin, Detail, 2011

The first border was a no-brainer, coordinating almost all the fabrics in the quilt.  The second border was more of a challenge:  the fabric I had originally intended for this border did not work when the quilt was at this end stage, so I had to dig in my stash.  I found this wonderful plaid border that I had purchased ages ago and never had been able to find a quilt in which it would work.  I think it is perfect for Kristin’s quilt.

Maggie and Kristin

Simple quilting seemed the best for a quilt with such a simple block as this.  This particular simple quilting is fast becoming a favorite.

Photography by Sibila Savage