Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Acts of Quilting

"It's alright to be little bitty..." so goes the song; I thought it could apply to these little guys too...

Little crazy quilted stockings just right to hang on the tree, the knob of a drawer or the post of a lamp. I love making these and have a few for the upcoming Sale. I like to scatter all them over the room to show people what you can do with them; they always sell out.

I also love making the body of the stocking in various light coloured fabrics and then the cuff in a pale print; sometimes I use Christmas prints as above but sometimes I use pretty floral fabrics - really, the sky and your imagination are the limit.

Speaking of the Sale, it's right about now I start rummaging through cupboards looking for things I have made and stashed away, things I decided I was keeping but am now wondering if I shouldn't sell. It's all because I am certain I have nowhere near enough made for the number of people invited. (I go through this every single year and I always have enough - it's just anxiety - Glenda, if you're reading this I need to either be talked off the ledge, or given a shot of tequila, your choice).
Anyhow, I found this, made several years ago from some of my most favourite fabrics. And I ain't selling it! All four of these fabrics were the kind that made every project that I used them in sing. They always worked, made everything look better and I kept going back and buying more, until the last bit was gone. I am down to the barest scraps of some and others are gone entirely.

Truth be told I don't know if that's because I just really like them, or if they are of a very good design.... I know some fabrics are harder than others to use for certain quilting patterns; it has to do with the scale, repeat, direction and coverage of the design motif printed on the fabric. And that also explains why some fabrics look better on the shelf than when they are unrolled at the cutting counter. Things that weren't apparent in a side view of 2" become glaringly obvious when looking at a few feet, and I have had more than one or two customers change their minds when looking at a larger chunk.
When I am helping people choose fabrics the first thing I say is that you don't have to like every fabric you put in a quilt, you just have to like what they bring to the mix. More than once I have had people turn up their noses at something I suggest only to pause, tilt their heads and say "Ohhhh..." when I plunk it down. 
I say it's like a play - anyone should be able to audition - as the Director you get the final say, but you should at least let them try out for the part.

You might just surprise yourself with what you find!


Dorthe said...

Dear Jillayne,

They are real cute, and so beautifully made,-I admire your wonderfull handsewn things, alwayes to see,they are made with love.
Yes I too know what you means about a piece of fabric,that one might not realy like, but which can bring just the right to a patchwork-or other composition, so let our eyes look at the whole, and not only the single.....

Have a happy day, dear.

MosaicMagpie said...

What a wonderful little stocking and just the right size to be easy to create and show off a special stitch.

Suztats said...

Such an adorable little stocking! Sometimes I use a fabric that is really nothing special in itself, but when paired with another, it brings out the colours or the design to make it stand out. It's all in how they mix, as you said.

Tina Eudora said...

I love that little stocking Jillayne and yes I have all kinds of stuff half finished and stashed away in totes! I even have an almost finished stocking I started 2 years ago...hmmmm maybe I should finish it for this year!
Have fun finding and finishing!
Tina xo

Anonymous said...

Jillayne, the stocking is precious!

Here's something to try with yourself and others....make an UGLY quilt. It's a project I heard about in a quilt shop. People all brought in what they thought were their ugliest fabrics and the teacher taught them how to use them in ways they never dreamed would match and/or work together. They came away with some of the prettiest quilts they ever made.

And sometimes just sections of a piece of fabric have just the right color or pattern even though the rest of the design might not work. This is where "fussy cutting" is at its best!

I always like the fabrics YOU choose!

Hugs, Diane

Createology said...

Your little handmade stockings are precious. I can see how they would sell out for you. As for your fabrics that sing...what a wonderful way to put how well they work in your projects. This piece is beautiful. Ledge vs. Tequila??? Never the ledge!!!
Happy creating...

Becca said...

Oh Jillayne, what a cute little stocking! Everytime I see you make something it makes me want to run to the sewing machine and play! The fabric in your table runner works great together, I don't think I could have picked out a more beautiful match. I love all of the light fabrics you use too!

Maggie said...

I am so glad I took the class with you on the Victorian Stocking...not only have a learned many new stitches and many ways to embellish but I had allot of fun as well. Since then I have made many smaller stockings in xmas fabric for my special friends and filled each one with bubble bath, hand cream and lindor chocolates....I am sure they are going to be a hit. I can see me making many more in the future...Thank you Jill you are a very talented lady and I have learned much from you.