Monday, June 4, 2012

Dolls and Quilts

I was feeling the need for some visual inspiration late last week. In general I don't find it satisfying to surf the 'net for that kind of thing. I want to experience it in person if at all possible. Obviously it's not that possible anymore. Books and magazines are where I used to go next, but now I have to be very careful of printed material. Since my diagnosis I have had to wean myself away from the quilting magazines I used to rely on for visual input. Over the course of time I have learned that the publications produced by Stampington & Co. are safer for me than most others. So I walked into JoAnn Fabrics last Friday, knowing full well that I would have to pay the price for going into such a toxic atmosphere, but I had to have something new to look at! This is what I came away with:

Prims is a volume dedicated to primitive dolls. Sew Somerset is a compendium of various sewn items, from small quilts to fiber journals.

There's something about dolls, whether they are sophisticated, finely crafted sculptures or simple rag dolls or weird squishy creatures, that appeals to me. I think it may be that I enjoy seeing the result of someone else's creative energies at work. But it's more than that because that can shine through other types of artwork as well. Maybe it has something to do with my love of story. Quilts don't tell their tales as readily as dolls do. Dolls also allow us to create our own stories in a way that most quilts don't.

What I am most intrigued by in Sew Somerset are the fiber books. There aren't stories involved necessarily, but they hint at one at least. Or they are lovely ways to store needles and pins and the other little tools of the trade. Just delicious. I'm probably going to have to make one for myself in the not-too-distant future. ;- )

After I recovered somewhat from my excursion in to JoAnn's I played around with my scrappy Broken Dishes blocks. I really liked the rectangular format the newest blocks had fallen into so I just kept that format. This is what I ended up with; it would finish at about 13.5 x 18 inches.

But the granddaughters were here yesterday so I asked for their input on this potential doll quilt. Mostly I wanted to know whether the rectangle would work for them or whether it needed to be bigger, or square, or something else. DD gave me her suggestions, based on how she has seen doll quilts get used in their home. The girls didn't quite understand what I was asking so I pulled out my bin of strings and let them have at it. This is what they created:

I may sew the strips together to make a back for the quilt...

Today I had enough energy to lay my chevron text blocks out on the living room floor.

There has been much rearranging in an effort to keep the same print from showing up too close to itself. Reilly got a little bored with the process.

The blocks are still on the floor as I write this. I think I have them in the final layout but needed to take a break before I start labeling them so I can keep them in order when I get them back to the studio. Fortunately I have several hours before someone will need to walk across the floor. I don't expect Reilly will mess them up, and since we have no cats I feel pretty safe leaving them in place!


  1. Loving those blocks on the floor ... some wonderful fabrics in that mix!!!

    Enjoy your new magazines . . .

  2. Those magazines look like they have lots of inspiration in them! I had no idea Stampington had branched out into so many different mags. I understand what you mean about craving new inspiration.

    Your doll quilt is very cute! What a great idea to let the grands play in the strips. They did a nice job.

    I love your text blocks! I love the little flashes of colors in your skinny strips from the prints and plaids you used. Yes, the layout can take a lot of re-arranging to get it the way you want it. Riley looks like he was a big help. He just wore himself out! hee hee! I can't leave mine in the floor because the cats never like what I've done and have to re-do it for me. They're just no help.

  3. I'm really loving watching this quilt evolve. Now it looks very 3D.


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