Friday, May 9, 2008

hello my name is...

hi. i write the blog happy stuff and i come from a family of mennonite and amish quilters, so i suppose you could say that i was born to quilt. i made my first quilt when i was probably about ten years old. i don't have a photo handy, but it was (if memory serves) an atrocious combination of nine-patch and four-patch bright eighties prints and solids that was painstakingly pieced on my great aunt's "featherweight" machine and then tied (no actual quilting involved) with yarn. after that, i did lots of sewing projects, but didn't attempt any more quilts until (like many of you) denyse schmidt opened my eyes to the possibility of a more modern looking quilt. after seeing "drunk love in a log cabin" i attempted to mimic her wonky squares with an applique patch pocket on a tote bag, but... it wasn't quite right. and then, she published a book! with instructions! and small, quick projects! i couldn't decide what do make first (and was enamored with some other craft medium at the time) so the book sat on my shelf for awhile until one day, i was flipping through it and actually looked at the quilts section. before, these had always been in the "would take too much time" category, but i noticed that "big zig" had very little piecing, no pattern pieces to follow and was a very attractive design to boot. i went out, bought fabric, and a few crafting sessions (and a few blue quilt markers) later, i had my first, finished (as an adult), quilted throw!

emboldened by this success, i thought i'd try to make some pillows using the "ice pops" pattern from the same book. i like the way they turned out, but i was frustrated with trying to enlarge the pattern and having to piece papers together to make it big enough. back to patternless, seat-of-your-pants sewing (my favorite!).

my next quilt was inspired by the background of this photo on flickr. i liked the simplicity of it and it looked easy enough to "fake," and here's how it turned out:

i'd found a backing fabric that i loved, but there wasn't quite enough on the bolt, so i added my own, hand-painted strip that mimicked the fabric's pattern.

a friend of mine was so jealous that i agreed to make her one too, so here they are side-by-side. i don't know if you can see it on this picture, but i chose an easier quilting pattern with her quilt and... i liked mine better. you can also see my sneaky kitty's tail.

my next quilting project was a duvet cover for my bedroom (okay, it was just pieced, not quilted) and was inspired by lady harvatine (on one side)--although i think it would look a lot better if i'd been able to quilt it. that just seemed like too much work for a duvet. i am such a lazy crafter! here are photos of each side (and my lazy kitties--they're a bad influence on me):

my current quilting project is a very involved project for a dear friend of mine. it's being kept under wraps until i've finished it and sent it to her, and it might take awhile, but i'll be sure to post it when it's finally done!

when i was invited to be a part of this project and saw the list of other invitees, i was so excited! i've been admiring many of your quilts on flickr for awhile now and i'm so thrilled to get to know you all better and have the chance to play with fabric at the same time.

p.s. my name is carissa. i forgot to mention that earlier.


Indigo Blue said...

This sounds interesting and rather complicated so I shall watch from afar to see how it all develops.

Jacquie said...

I have a Mennonite background as well. My family came from Russia and Holland to Canada. How fun is that!

Rebekah said...

amish and mennonite quilters! Such a cool heritage.

And seeing your big zig quilt reminded me that I found your blog through a big zig search when I was trying to figure out the triangles on the quilt I was making. I saw that you were a librarian, but I was afraid to email you about it : )

bettyninja said...

I love the popsicle pillows!

abcgirl said...

i am such a dink. it has taken me two months to realize that the comments for this blog won't be e-mailed to me and that if i want to read them, i have to go LOOK AT THE SITE! (so embarrassed, but also pleased to stumble upon such nice "surprise" comments!)

Jacquie--how cool that we have "common heritage"!

Rebekah--I'm so glad you were brave enough to e-mail! it's always such fun to find other crafty librarian folks and I am EVER so glad to be involved in this fun quilt-y project. Isn't it funny how daunting leaving first comments on someone else's blog can be? I am very guilty of lurking without comments, but I'm slowly changing my ways as I realize how very much I enjoy getting comments from new readers (or readers I didn't know about anyway!). :)

betty--thanks! I think the pattern makes great pillows, but I do kind of wish they were bigger. next time!