How to Make an American Quilt

While digging through some of my old stuff at my parents' house, I found a great box of old quilting fabric that I had collected a long time ago. My parents are in the process of moving, so I'm trying to absorb or throw out a lot of my old things that were still lurking around in their home... This box was one of my greatest finds (along with tons of Lisa Frank stationary and stickers - remember Lisa Frank?!), and what I thought was really funny was that my style hasn't changed much since I was in middle school choosing these fabrics all those years ago. The colors and floral patterns are exactly the types of things I would have chosen on a trip to the fabric store today:

Miss Ruby Roo helped me pull out some old quilt squares I had been handsewing a few years ago from a big bin of half-finished fabric projects back at my place. I decided I wanted to work on making some more squares for a fun quilt for the house that I've been meaning to work on for quite some time. Since designing the quilt is such a slow process (even though I'm going to do some machine sewing on the upcoming squares), I don't plan on being done with this project anytime soon, but every little bit helps... It also helps to put on the movie "How to Make an American Quilt" (one of my favorites) as you stitch. I actually learned how to hand quilt in a college English class! It was called "Writing about Quilts," and our teacher taught us how to stitch, write, and make an online "quilt." It was one of the best college classes I took, and we even got to watch "How to Make an American Quilt" as a class. The guys in the class got into it too, and everyone was so proud to come out of it with a little handstitched quilt. (I took another class from the same cool instructor, "Writing About Fairy Tales and Comic Books," and I loved that one too. We watched "Ever After" and "Unbreakable." I can't believe I got writing credits for such fun classes!) The hand embroidery on the squares below was the toughest part, but it's what I'm most proud of:
Sometimes getting out the camera is just way too exciting, and Roo just can't sit still!
More fabric love:
I also figured out a convenient little way to store and display part of my yarn stash! This clear shoe organizer was $6 at Target, and I love walking past this door in the hallway to see all my luscious Rowan yarns, yum!
Oh, and that's where my screens (purple things on bottom left) live when they are drying.

While I was in the hallway, I decided to snap a few other shots so you can see what else the hallway is hiding...

This is a Derek Buisch painting that I was lucky enough to snag at a silent auction a few years ago:

Here's part of an installation I made for a solo show a few years back:

I just noticed that one is missing at the bottom... That one has always been a little loose due to a weird, thrifted frame.

Time for bed! I have a lot of work I want to get done for the shop in the morning, then I have to teach painting and drawing at night. Hope your week is a good one so far! :)

P.S. Any suggestions on what to add to my Netflix queue? I watch movies and TV on DVD the whole time I'm working on images and sewing, and I'm running low on ideas. I just got done watching just about all of Alfred Hitchcock's movies and Arrested Development on DVD... My two favorite movies are "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset." My taste is all over the place, and I'm up for any suggestions... Thanks in advance!


  1. How To Do an American Quilt...that was a great italian the movie is called something like "the years of memories"...weird! It happens often here...
    By the way, I love what you are doing!
    And, about Netflix, have you ever seen Things I Never Told You, by Isabel Coixet (1996, with Lili Taylor and Andrew McCarthy)? I like a lot this little movie :-)

  2. I love that you had stockpiled that fabric so long ago!
    The new quilt project sounds fun and you'll cherish it for years to come!
    I'd suggest seeing Waitress with Keri Russell and my boy Nathan Fillion.
    Stock up on baking ingredients for afterwards.

  3. Anonymous7:25 PM

    oh, have you seen Science of Sleep? It's really are some others I love (you may have already seen them):

    The Weeping Camel
    Cave of the Yellow Dog
    Triplets of Bellevile
    The Price of Milk
    Harold and Maude
    Little Women.......

    okay, I'll stop....; )

    I love your work!! HAve fun quilting!!

  4. Anonymous10:51 PM

    I watch movies non stop too.... I bet you have seen em all though...I watch Little Women on repeat all the time. And right now I am watching the Halloween treats... Silly like Practical Magic, love the aunts and the house. I just saw weeping Camel last night but it is subtitled, great movie though. The Carnival series??? Something Wicked this way comes... I like watching fantastical treats, otherwise just listen to music while I work...

    Anyhow, enough of my babble!!! I have to say, your fabric collection is wonderful!!! Love your idea for yarns, and all your art sharing!! Wonderful installation from a few years back too!!! xxo (Always good, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, all the period stuff?)

  5. Wonderful fabrics! A quilt project sounds like a very nice thing to start out the winter that is coming up.

    We're watching NCIS (TV on DVD) but I'm not sure if a crime investigation series is up your alley. I was surprised Mark liked it enough to pre-order the 4th season from Amazon.

    Nice use of a shoe organizer too!

  6. lots of cool stuff, what an amazing post!

  7. you know, you have the worlds most cute, distracting doggie, that it is hard to concentrate on anything else!
    Roo steals the limelight, as always!

    i love that installation, so inimate and precious. and how i wish i could make quilts and even sew! but i cannot, it is what you might call one of my lesser talents, hehe.



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