And as I was photographing Quilt No. 03, someone snuck away from Daddy and popped in for a visit. She busied herself with some masking tape, an empty spool of thread, and the TV remote (“Mommy, I make TV on!”) before pausing for the briefest of moments in front of the quilt. I snapped this photo before she could dash away again.
Thanks so much to K from thirdstoyies.com for featuring my quilts on her blog – you can see the post here. Her blog has been a constant source of inspiration since I stumbled upon it via Young House Love over two years ago. Readers of my old blog (hi, Mom) may recall that I posted about her blog in the past. She writes from the heart – about her home, family, emotions, food, goals – pretty much everything. We have never met in person, but I have literally laughed and cried with her just by reading her blog. And her house – omigawd, the house – will make you drool. I particularly liked reading about her ombre powder room, plans for an addition, and how a stair hall was turned into a celebration of childhood. And if you’re here because of K’s post – welcome!
The day that we first met our daughter was warm and sunny. It was after a usual workday but the sun still shone for hours after first meeting her. I remember being struck by how small she was, how enormous her two Afro puffs seemed in comparison, how beautiful her face was (and still is), and, most of all, how absolutely cheerful she was. She has been our sunshine ever since.
I attempted to bring a little bit of that sunshine to Quilt No. 03. The quilt’s front is centered on a sunny orange surrounded by the white and gray arms that define the ADOPT collection. That center is the exact color of the tangerines that my brother and I picked from our backyard tree in California when we were kids.
The backing is a sizzling orange. My sewing room has white walls and a skylight. I left this quilt backing-side-up one night. When I returned the next morning, the walls were glowing like a soft sunset from the light reflecting off the fabric. It was gorgeous.
As with Quilt No. 02, I pre-washed the backing fabric to check for color transfer. No dye migrated to other fabrics in the wash, so I felt comfortable sewing it with the light-colored front. Now that it’s done, I’ll wash it again to get a delicious crinkly quilty texture.
Thanks, friends, for the positive response to the opening of HIPPworks. It is a bit terrifying to put myself out there. But it is also something that I needed to do for the sake of my own happiness. Anna from Door Sixteen has described this as “Look at me, don’t look at me!” syndrome. So please, do look – at my blog, at my quilts, at my photos, at me. But don’t be surprised if I turn away shyly and start talking about the weather….
Quilt No. 02 in the ADOPT collection is done and listed for sale! Check it out and please tell anyone you know who might be remotely interested. It is described as “perfect as a baby quilt, playmat, stroller blanket, or wall hanging”, but realistically anything smaller than 40″ x 32″ can be covered by it for snuggly protection. Your cat? Yup, that’ll work. Your lap? Uh huh. An uncomfortable bench seat at Busch Stadium? Oh yeah. It’s machine washable and handmade – this quilt is meant to be USED.
This quilt has a minty green center surrounded by the white and gray arms that define the ADOPT collection. The backing is a cheerful and saturated green in a linen/cotton blend. I played around with using other colors as the center – an acid yellow, a hot pink, a deep forest green – but as soon as pulled out this minty color, it was over. They were made for each other.
I worried a lot about that saturated green bleeding onto the rest of the quilt, so I washed and dried it before sewing. I am happy to report that the color did not transfer at all to the other fabrics washed with it, which were other backing fabrics in lighter tones and a pair of old jeans, so any dye transfer would have been noticed. As an additional measure, I washed the quilt again after it was finished. The result is a soft, crinkly quilt with white, gray, and mint colors that remain crisp and bright. (Whew!)
See that little square in the lower right corner of the backing? Funny thing about that. I drafted a label design and sent it off to Spoonflower for printing on a fat quarter. I selected the standard printing and shipping option before realizing it wouldn’t arrive before my deadline for getting Quilt No. 01 to the fundraising auction. I panicked for a hot second before I realized “Hey, I’m a crafter. I can just make my own label.” The Spoonflower labels still haven’t arrived (my fault for ordering them late) so the label here is hand-drawn onto white cotton using a black fabric marker. I turned under the edges and appliqued the label by hand after quilting and binding. I’m actually really pleased with how it turned out. It’s sort of a final handmade goodbye from me to the quilt.
And for you quilt nerds out there, here are the full specs:
- Fabrics: Kona cotton solids by Robert Kaufman in Cypress (center), Snow (white arms), and Iron Grey (gray arms). Essex by Robert Kaufman in Kelly (backing). Small Gingham by Riley Blake Designs in Black (binding)
- Batting: Warm & Natural Needled Cotton Batting by The Warm Company
- Thread: Gutermann Sew-All in Nu-White
- Methods: Pieced with my sewing machine and all seams were pressed open. Quilted by machine with straight lines spaced 2.5″ apart. Bias binding attached to the front by machine and sewn to the back by hand.
Thanks for stopping by to look at the new quilt! Have a great rest of your weekend.
My day job, in general, is pretty terrific. It is interesting, purposeful, challenging, and I am fortunate to have good people by my side. But one thing I don’t get to do in my day job is use my hands for creativity. For me, there is a fundamental difference between intellectual creativity and physical creativity. I get intellectual creativity in abundance at my day job – solving problems, writing papers, building relationships, analyzing data. I get to be intellectually creative 40+ hours a week, and the time and priority of that is well-defined. But physical creativity has always had to be shoehorned into the already overflowing category of Non-Work Time. There is never enough Non-Work Time and the other things that fill it end up feeling higher priority than creativity. So after many months of thinking, dreaming, and overcoming fears, I am finally reserving a space in my life for being creative.
You guys, I am super delighted to announce my new little shop: HIPPworks!
There will be small collections of handmade quilts for sale. I’m intrigued by the idea of developing a concept for a collection, then getting to play with different colors and fabrics within that concept to make each quilt unique. Talk about scratching a creative itch!
I’ve already gotten started with my first collection of quilts: ADOPT.
The ADOPT collection is inspired by the adoption of our daughter, Micah. She has added a bright center to our lives, and our arms can’t help but wrap around her and hold her tight.
This collection is a riff on the traditional log cabin quilt block, with arms of iron gray and snowy white wrapped tightly around a bright center of color. I chose to do the backing with a single piece of of a durable linen-cotton blend to add a bit of texture and also unify the colors from the front. The black and white gingham binding is just for fun! It livens up the solids and makes a defined border. Each quilt will have a different colors for the center and backing, but the design, the white/gray arms, and the gingham binding are the common links in this collection.
Quilt 01 is done and displayed in the HIPPworks shop…but it is already gone! To kick off this new venture, I have donated it to a fundraiser auction for the scholarship program at a local child care center. Quilt 02 is done and will be listed on the shop as soon as I can get good photos, and Quilt 03 is almost finished. I’ll add a blog post when each one is ready to go! I have plans and supplies for 10 total quilts in the ADOPT collection so stay tuned for more fun.
It is exciting to have a creative outlet. It is exciting to have a goal and work toward making it happen. And it is exciting to share it with you. Thanks, friends!
It seems like the start of every blog post I’ve written could have started with “So much has happened since the the last time I posted!” That’s always true but it is a ridiculous way to start a post. If a lot hadn’t happened, there wouldn’t be much reason to document it on the blog, and there would be more time available to blog about it.
In this case, so much has happened since the last time I posted that I can’t even wrap my head around how to begin sharing it with you. There has been an abundance of joy, a dose of surprising disappointment, and some healthy productivity. More details on all of these as I figure out the best way to tell the story. It will likely be over multiple posts and interspersed with the-right-now. But in the meantime, I leave you with this:
I am a mother now.
I am quilting more than ever.
What I do for a living will change.
Do you know which design aesthetic fits you best? This quiz from BuzzFeed is a silly but fun way to have a stranger provide insight into your soul. My result was “Scandinavian DIY blog” – an appropriate fit, although I have made great strides in embracing the inescapable clutter. Take a 5-minute silly break and do the quiz. What was your result?
I have had various versions of a blog since 2006, with several stretches of active posting followed by doldrums of silence. The earliest version was about crafting – knitting, mostly – and was used as a way to keep track of my projects and share them with the then hyper-active knitting blogosphere. Other versions expanded slightly to other forms of crafting, and the latest version expanded further to home improvements, decorating, and life in St. Louis.
All those various blogs and posts, scattered across various platforms, hosting services, templates, and writing styles, are now all gathered into one place. Here. My new place. Feel free to troll through the archives for spurts and sputters of my thoughts from the past 8 years.
And I’ve even sprung for my very own domain name: mrshipp.com. Fancy!
The most recent doldrums of silence lasted a year and a half. My last post was in July 2012 (!). Time to end the doldrums. Let’s hope for a good long stretch of active posting. I’d love if you join me for the ride!