Monday, May 12, 2008

Martha MacGyver Chimes In

Hi, I'm Wendy and I blog over at Martha MacGyver. A package of fabric arrived in the mail today from Rebekah which I took as a sign that I should get working over here.

-The nickname came from some blogging friends when we had a get together at Blogher last summer. At the time I wasn't blogging(just a groupie) and the friends I was meeting weren't from the craft blog world. Up until then I was simply taking pictures of projects I'd completed and emailing them to friends who liked to sew or craft. While I love to create, I hate to write and blogging(even a craft blog) seemed to involve too much of the latter. After a lot of encouragement from them, it finally occurred to me that a blog would be an easier way to document what I'd been making and the question of what to call it had been answered. I took the plunge last October.
-Sewing has been a lifelong interest of mine. I started on a little toy machine when I was 7 and can vividly remember the first pair of pants I made for a doll. They didn't fit and were a bitter disappointment. However, they taught me something and I kept going with fabric scraps from my mom. Over the years my sewing has changed to meet my needs - doll clothes when I was little, clothing in high school and college, home dec after moving out of my parents' home until now, and most recently, clothing and toys for my kids. Quilting has been a part of that evolution. It started with a baby quilt as a gift that I tied because my old machine would not have handled quilting well at all. The baby who recieved that quilt is entering high school soon.
-This quilt was made for my daughter Ellie's room when she outgrew her crib. The style was purposely simple - I had little time to figure out a pattern, I wanted to showcase the Laura Ashley fabrics I'd saved for it and I spent plenty of time making the ruffle trim that went all the way around it (the ruffle also trims the curtains for that room). This was one of my earlier free motion quilting experiments as well. Each block has a daffodil quilted in its center.

This was a gift for my mother-in-law's 70th birthday. She chose the pattern and fabrics. Again, another learning experience. Those 1/4 inch seams are VERY important if you're following a pattern. I did a lot of manhandling of fabric when I had to line up all those seams. I bought a 1/4" presser foot for my machine not long after I made this one.

Then I jumped on the doll quilt bandwagon that hit craftblogland a year or so ago. What a great way to play with fabric and have something done so quickly and easily. This one was very strongly influenced by turkey feathers and was a gift for a friend's daughter. Needlework is another interest of mine and putting little touches on these quilts has been a great way to combine my enjoyment of both. I'm slowly working my way through a book of doll quilt patterns called Prairie Children and Their Quilts. The scale is perfect for trying out patterns that I want to experience, but not in a full scale quilt that likely wouldn't fit in with my overall decor. (And I can channel my childhood dream of being Laura Ingalls Wilder.)

This was my break-out-of-my-rut-quilt. Also a gift for a friend's newly adopted son. I felt obliged to include a DS piece after reading my cohorts posts. Not only was this a departure for me, but I was able to include fabrics that were dear to me and reflected other projects that I'd worked on or pieces of clothing that had meaning to me. While this is definitely a version of What a Bunch of Squares from the DS Quilts book, I skipped the pattern and just cut and pieced until I was happy with it. Freeing, I tell you.

There've been more in between, before and after the four of these, but they seem to represent where I'm at now and how I got here. What I'm most looking forward to this year is pushing myself outside of what I would normally do and playing with fabrics I wouldn't normally buy. I can't wait to see how all these blocks influence what I make for myself in the future.


Rebekah said...

I love the embroidery on your looks so cute with your vintage repro fabrics. I'm so glad that you could join us and I loved reading about how you got started with blogging : )

Amy said...

Macgyver, I wanted to be like Laura Ingalls Wilder too. I remember one of the books mentioned making a button necklace for the youngest sister out of the Mother's button collection as a christmas present. Just think, Laura was a bit of a Macgyver too.