Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Fabric Free-For-All!

I don't want to get all sappy here, but is there anything sweeter than a husband who treks all over foreign cities to bring you back something unique?

Clay told of his adventure to find yarn for me on the streets of Pune, India here.  He was determined to find authentic Indian fibers after he had brought back "Russian" yarn, which (after reading the very fine print below all the Cyrillic) we determined was manufactured in China.

I'm not sure if he had to go to such heroic lengths to find the treasure he brought back yesterday, but it really is something:

6 yards of African fabric.  He said, "I thought this was very pretty and very unique, but I'm sorry, it was made in Holland."

Certainly no need to be sorry.  I'm not a fabric professional (more like a fabric aficionado), but I knew from the feel of this that it was special.  So I did a little googling, and found out that there is an amazing history to this fabric, dating back almost two centuries, and involving Dutch traders, Indonesian batiks and West African indentured soldiers.  There is a great article here (on a Steampunk site -- how interesting).  You can see more beautiful fabrics at the The Vlisco Company site -- they have manufactured fabric specifically for the African market since 1846, and their designs are bright and bold -- to me, sort of like African Lily Pulitzer.

But then I read that Vlisco fabrics are considered to be on par with Rolex watches and Louis Vuitton luggage.

Good grief.  What am I going to do with 6 yards of expensive hoity-toity African fabric?  Although I am thinking of a duvet cover and pillows for the guest room, all suggestions are welcome.

Back to America (and the quilting Midwest, to be exact).  Here are a couple of quilts in the works:

I have a thing for Little Red Riding Hood.  This fabric is Tasha Noel for Riley Blake.  So cute.  And this simple grid pattern worked up quickly.

I tried to do some fancy machine quilting.  Some of it came out nicely:

Some of it came out not-so-nicely.  But I'm not going to show you that.  I picked it out.  And picked.  And picked and picked.  Have you ever picked out quilting?  I wouldn't recommend it.

This is just the top of a quilt done with a quilter's jelly roll.  It's a bright pattern my Moda -- wish I could remember the name.  I was going to do the now famous "sew all the ends of the jelly roll together, then fold in half and sew again and again and again" quilt.  (What do they call that one?)  But I decided to just do my own thing, and got this:

It makes me happy, and I need to get it finished and to the sweet little girl I had planned it for.

So I went to Crimson Tate last week, and am ashamed  embarrassed proud to say that I had to be upgraded to the large shopping bag.

These first three sets were in one handy bundle:

 Some Ruby Star I thought I should have, just in cases.  (Yes, that is my very favorite line from Love, Actually.  You know, where Aurelia learns English "just in cases" Jamie comes back?  Ahh, sweet.)

 And a little Amy Sedaris fabric for my Amy Sedaris-loving sister:

That's it.

For this week.

Finally, here is a sweet picture of Zoe, just because.  She was helping me with my photography today; she shies away when I try to take a picture of her, but I pointed the camera without turning toward her and lucked out with this one.  Isn't she the cutest?


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