Monday, December 5, 2011

Sweet Dreams, Baby Girl!

I just finished this little crib quilt for the newest member of my husband's side of the family, Molly Claire.


I've been working on this quilt on and off for a couple of months. The pattern, one from a circa 1996 quilting magazine, combines pinwheel, half square triangle, and Irish chain blocks. It's the first time I've done an Irish chain and it came out better than I thought possible. The smallest squares in the Irish chain measure 1.5" finished and I don't think I'll attempt making them any smaller!


But it wasn't the little squares that threw me off on this quilt. No, it was the flannel backing. Even though I used a walking foot on my sewing machine and had basted the quilt well, it was plagued by a myriad of little pleats and puckers when I quilted it. Every single line had two or three annoying little pleats! First I threw the quilt down and swore at it. Then I debated ripping out all the quilting seams and redoing it, but then decided against that. There was no assurance that it wouldn't just do it again if I redid it, so I decided to take out sections of the seams and then re-quilt those sections while trying to ease out the pleats the best I could.


And ya know? It worked. I was able to remove most of the pleats and puckers and I'm largely satisfied with the backing now.

I was afraid that the pretty pink and purple flower pattern in the binding would be lost against all the other pinks, so I added a pale green border with the pink corner blocks to the original design. I think it helps set off the pink squares and relieves some of the intensity of those hot pinks. 


There's always a moment when I question how I've designed and made a quilt. Those seams aren't straight, those squares don't measure up, I've got pleats on the back, and I'm not sure about those colors. Thankfully much about a quilt seems to improve after it's been washed and dried. I felt much happier about how this one turned out the moment I took it out of the dryer and held it up to see it.


I hope Molly Claire enjoys her new quilt. In fact, I hope it's completely stained and bedraggled by the time she goes off to first grade, 'cause that's how you know a quilt has been really loved by a baby girl.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Joeseppi's Victory Garden of Tomorrow on Etsy

My next featured shop on Etsy is joeseppi, which offers some wonderful vintage looking posters and t-shirts with a gardening theme. Got someone on your list who gardens, preserves, or keeps chickens or bees? You can find great, affordable gifts here for $20.00 and under!

Joe Wirtheim, the shop owner, states in his profile that he draws the inspiration for his artwork from the NYC World's Fair of 1939 and World War II era propaganda posters. That's readily apparent in his art with its retro mix of victory garden and atomic age themes. The letterpress printing with a mix of nolstagic and futuristic colors and fonts, make these posters and 

A good friend of mine recently sent me this Grow Food poster for my birthday, which now  hangs proudly in our kitchen. I can't look at this very optimistic chicken without smiling.

Some of the items have a distinct "The World of the Future" feel. These would be great for an gardener who also appreciates science fiction or space exploration.

Other posters are just awesome propaganda for composting, beekeeping, and canning.

In addition to the very affordable posters, joessepi also carries t-shirts and postcards with the same images. 
You can read more about Joe Wirtheim and his modern campaign for civic innovation at his blog,