Tag Archives: damask tablecloths

The Denim (And Other Old Stuff) Challenge

One of the good (and bad) aspects of art quilt groups is their love of challenges. It’s good to have a starting point for a piece, but I find it can distract me from more long term work. If I have a choice between analyzing and fixing what went wrong on an existing piece and plunging into a new piece, guess which I pick.

At first I wasn’t going to join a recent challenge to use denim and/or old shirts in a piece. I had already used my husband’s shirts (with his permission) to make Shirtsleeves, and I didn’t have any all cotton old jeans.

Then, my husband asked if I could use a pair of his old jeans and a shirt. It was kismet, so I began my challenge piece under the influence of Rayna Gillman’s latest book, Create Your Own Improv Quilts.

I saw that I didn’t have enough denim, but did have damask tablecloths and napkins I had dyed shades of blue.  More kismet. I decided on 6 inch squares as my background, and fused lightweight interfacing to the damask before I cut it. If you don’t stabilize it, the damask will stretch out of shape.

I loved how the denim look changed depending on which side I put up.

Next, I began to slash the squares diagonally and sew strips onto the larger piece. At this point I decided to finish each square with the smaller piece I had cut off. I liked how it made the center small diamonds see-through.

Rayna’s version fills the centers with color, but I thought more color might be too distracting for mine as the background was already different colors. I think my version looks quite different, which shows how versatile some loose guidelines can be for improv work.

The top is done, named (Damask and Denim,) and just needs quilting inspiration.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process, Inspiration, Modern Quilting

Just Peachy

A recent trip to a local orchard yielded a peck of peaches.  Yes, peaches do grow in Ohio.  My husband and I spread them out on our dining room table to finish ripening.  Funny how little that table is used for eating.  Instead I fold laundry and baste quilts on it.  I do make table runners for it because the poplar wood is such a pretty color. And they’re easy to whisk off when the table is actually needed.

But, back to those peaches – both of us arranged them on the table, placing them at opposite ends.

peaches_scientificpeaches_artisticGuess who did what arrangement. Hint: my husband is trained as a scientist; I’m not.

And this post does relate to fabric.  The tablecloth underneath the peaches is a hand-me-down that I plan to dye.  I hope the striped damask pattern will show up better then.


Filed under Commentary