Friday, January 9, 2015

Funky Fabrics / Jealous of Jack

Four weeks or so have gone by since there was anything here to blog about, thanks to the holiday hubbub and a 2-week bout with the flu. Winter has its perks (chili, homemade soups, warm pajamas) but flu ain't one of 'em. Anyway....

Needing to occupy myself with something fairly sedentary (except for getting up to press seams every two minutes) while recovering, I began another quilt-as-you-go project for the Center for Women and Families, using my late mom-in-law's 1962 Singer 503 Slant-o-matic. And boy, has the 503 appreciated the workout! She's running fast again, even if her motor does sound a bit rough.

These somewhat wonky blocks are made mostly from the fabric rescued from 142 upholstery sample books I was given last spring.

There is some really funky stuff here. I suspect these fabrics were intended for foreign markets, or at least for Americans who travel and like to reflect those travels (and some hobbies) in their home decor. We're talking tigers, oxen, dogs with their own teddy bears, monkeys climbing coconut trees, monkeys wearing clothes (think organ-grinders), elephants bearing howdahs, Oriental tableaux and even some Medieval scenes...all of which are making the blocks very interesting to sew. Plus sailboats, seashells, equestrian paraphernalia and race-car-related themes. Quite an eclectic mix! Here are a few examples (click to enlarge). None of the blocks are squared yet, by the way:

Yesterday we had a visit from Jack Frost, which left me wishing I could freemotion-stitch feathers even a fraction as beautiful as the ones he left on the studio windows! But he's a fun guy, so no doubt he was trying to inspire me, not make me envious...

Hooking up here with Lizzie Lenard's Free Motion Mavericks--and hoping Muv will forgive me for substituting Jack's free-motion work for my own! Check out her beautiful sampler, as well as her readers' links at the bottom of the blog. Also hooking up with Sarah Craig's Whoop Whoop Friday. What kind of quilt would you make for a little girl who can't see? Sarah has the answer--and a perfect one, at that.

That's all for now. Hope everyone is staying warm if you've been hit by the 'Arctic blast.' We were down to actual zero degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, and quite a bit below that with the wind chill.

And happy 2015!



  1. oh I sure hope you are on the other side of the illness. I took three weeks to stop coughing, and my energy is only now returning after a month. This kind of project is perfect for recovery... fun prints, not too many decisions, getting to choose fabrics to go together and peacefully piece. An old Singer! I have several and just got a featherweight. Singers were the only machines used in my house while growing up. And you are doing good works?? What a good way to start the year. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

    1. Oh, that never-ending cough...! It's always the last to go, and this cold air is not helping. Oh yeah, that Singer is my hero. My mom-in-law used it so much for so long, it's a miracle it's still going as strong as it is. I'm so glad to hear you have some old Singers and that you appreciate them. They are such workhorses. Yes, the Center for Women and Families is my favorite way to contribute, and they are so very grateful for the quilts and afghans they receive. I'll get back to the quilt for my granddaughter (due in March) as soon as that one is finished. Have a wonderful new year! Looking forward to seeing more of your projects. They are always unique and so inspiring.

  2. Your blocks are like little works of art - there are so many I really like, Linda. I invite you to link up to WIPs Be Gone on my blog. Ends Monday, midnight.

  3. Happy New Year, Linda!

    Sorry to hear you have had the flu. No fun at all.

    What beautiful frost patterns! They make me nostalgic for the freezing cold winters of my childhood. These days I live too far south west for such thrills.

    The fabric patterns are ideal for letting the imagination run riot. The monkeys are definitely my favourite.

    Love, Muv

    1. Muv, the funny thing is, that beautiful feather-frost only appears on the upstairs (studio) windows, and only on the side where there are trees, ivy and ferns. On the other side, where there is only grass between us and the house next door, we get solid frost with no detectable patterns.


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