Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rag quilts and other homemaking attempts

This week I finished my third rag quilt. I am sending it to my brother for a birthday gift next week (yep, he doesn't read this blog, so I am perfectly safe posting before his special day). The quilt is draped over our famous free couch. Also note: our living room has cool toned blue carpet combined with warm, creamy colored walls. This combination bothered me when we first moved in, because I wasn't sure how to tie it together. But over the past few months of living with it, my color sense adapted and I don't care anymore. And speaking of crazy colors, I love my new birth ball. It makes me think of a bubble blown from a wad of classic pink Bazooka gum. I call it my "bubble of peace." (Hypnobabies pun...har har). I have been using the birth ball as a chair lately to encourage Little Tam to have proper positioning. He has gone from breech to transverse in the last few days (hoping that means he is headed in the right direction). AND one more interesting point to this picture: our treadmill has finally relocated to this corner by the front door. We had a formal complaint filed against us for using the treadmill in our bedroom, and then later when we moved it to the dining room it didn't help matters. Most unfortunate. I have decided our next apartment has to be on the ground level to avoid bothering the neighbors.

Anyway, back to the latest rag quilt: This quilt for my brother was the first time I tried piecing together non-square scraps. It seemed like a brilliant idea at first, because the overall effect was like the random color patterns of a landscape, if looking at it from an aerial view. However, as soon as the sewing began I realized my idea was flawed; with different sizes/shapes/types of fabric, the rough seams did not line up correctly and I had a lot of trouble with holes where the seam corners intersected.

On the plus side, I have always wanted to do a bit of embroidery on my rag quilts and finally made it happen with this one. I never embroidered before, so don't laugh, but I think this "Justin" roper boot turned out alright (my brother's name is Justin, for those who don't know). There is kind of a Western theme to the other fabrics on the quilt as well, with sage greens, cowboys on horses, coyotes running in the desert, etc.

Where's, can you spy the next rag quilt in this picture of Little Tam's nursery? I know there is a lot of junk piled, so good luck...

We got that cute pixar lamp at a yard sale for one dollar. I am still trying to figure out how to organize the great baby items we have acquired over the past few months, but obviously the crib has become a receptacle for all kinds of stuff to the point that there isn't room for a baby in there anymore. eek.

If you haven't found it yet, the quilt is laying on top of the basket.
And here's a close up. This one obviously used regular 5 inch squares, in somewhat random placement. There are 50 different fabric designs, with each represented twice so the quilt can be a "matching quilt."

Some of the colors might seem girly, but I think it is good for a little boy to have some pink in his life. Especially when that little boy made us think he was a girl to start with. Anyway, the panda is fun to show Little's Chinese heritage, and the frog is still kind of boyish despite its pink lily pad.

Here is my favorite square: our Little missionary.

I love rag quilts because they are pretty foolproof--even a non-seamstress like myself can whip one up and make it halfway cute. Besides, they almost look like they are meant to have mistakes, with the fringing and frays. So I feel like overall it is a forgiving project for a beginner to attempt.

I hosted a craft night at my house a few weeks ago and some of my friends came to work on their own rag quilts. This table and chair set we found on Craig's list earlier this summer when we were waiting for our household goods to arrive. It was just $40, and very clean/sturdy.

Anyway, there are a few other rooms in our house that I might highlight in the next couple days. We really are happy to have found this apartment. I don't know if the homemaking report is interesting to anybody but my mom, but at least the pics will be documented here for posterity. =)


Anonymous said...

Your living room has the same colors as Justin's bedroom --earth and sky! I have always appreciated your artistic ability, Courtney. Your quilts are beautiful and original. I hope your little bro' also appreciates the love and time that has gone into his gift! I'll tell you what; before I hand over your gift to him, I'll clean his room!!
Another interesting quilt I noticed at someone's house is "three dimensional" and reminds me of a clown suit. I don't know the name of the style, but the way it is made is six layers of solid colored fabrics in different shades are sown together with straight lines one inch apart traversing through the whole quilt (sandwich effect). Then scissors are used to cut in between the lines, the whole length of the line, all the way through five of the layers of fabric. The effect is the fabrics bunch up together to make a multi-colored ruffle. One whole side of the quilt will be one mass of ruffles right next to each other.
love, Mom

Trina said...

I love your apartment! It looks so homey and peaceful. That's too bad about the treadmill :( I've seen the kind of quilt your mom is talking about and it is awesome, although I've never taken the time to make one, maybe one day. Loved your quilts by the way.

Jacob, Amber, and Baby Kyla said...

these quilts are cute! I wish i had the ability to do something like that!