I've Still Got It

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ok, I am a quilter. But I haven't made a quilt for myself or anyone in almost 4 years. Had a bit of a rough spot there for awhile and just couldn't do it. You know? Quilters block.

I mean I QUILT- ALL-THE-TIME. I am a machine quilter. I quilt other peoples quilt tops for money on a big APQS Ultimate 1 machine. I'm really good at it. I go to the studio, put a quilt on the frame, plug myself into my ipod (which is filled with country music) and I just quilt away. I do my best thinking while I'm quilting. My specialty is a little stipple, which is a random, meandering stitch about 1/4"- 1/2" apart over the entire quilt. The stitches never cross over or touch each other. It's kind of cool, actually. I like this method of quilting because when it's done, and you bind and wash your quilt, it gets all puckery and old looking like a vintage quilt. Also, because of the random pattern of quilting, you just see the QUILT, not the QUILTING. (If you're not a quilter, you'll be getting confused here). I can explain later.

The APQS belongs to my dearest friend Sandy Klop, who is the BEST QUILTER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. She can make anything, and I'm not kidding. We have worked together for 12 years and she sews all day, every day. She has made thousands of quilts in her lifetime and that is not an exaggeration.

A few years ago, Sandy started designing fabric for MODA. The rest is history. We brainstorm new fabric design ideas together in her studio and rearrange stuff to make new patterns work. Her company is called American Jane Patterns. www.americanjane.com

I have made a lot of quilts in my time. My three kids each have at least 5 quilts. My sisters and each of their kids have at least one quilt. Thats two sisters and 7 nieces and nephews. Mom, Grandparents, Aunts Uncles, Dad, they all have quilts I've made them. And the ex-husband kept at least 10 of my quilts. (I should be flattered, but I'm still just pissed about that).

After all of that, I only personally own 3 of my own creations. So I figured it was time to start making quilts for myself again. This quilt is made entirely of fabrics designed by Sandy Klop (except for one tiny white with green polka dot piece that is from the 1997 Piece o' cake line). I cannot tell you how good it felt to make that quilt this week.

Sandy was out of town, so I went to the studio on Monday morning about 11am and sewed strips and cut them into triangles until 6pm. Came back to the studio Tuesday morning about 10:30am and pieced it together. It took until 5:30pm. I did leave each day at 2pm for one hour to get a latte at Peets before getting back to work.
Wednesday, Sandy was home from her trip to Indiana and I came over and quilted it. Thursday night I sewed the binding on and I will do the handwork on the binding tomorrow (Sunday).....(What? I have a date tonight in San Francisco with my favorite man, a girl needs a day off now and then!)

A whole big quilt completely done in less than a week! That's with my law firm job on Thursdays and Fridays and shuttling the girls to and from school and soccer m-f. I guess I'm pretty proud that I can still do it! I feel like Diane Lane's character in "Under the Tuscan Sun" after she has sex with the handsome Marcello and she gets home to her own room and dances around saying "I've STILL GOT IT!!! I've got it! I've got it! Yahoo!!!"

I really feel as cool as my sweet 11 year old thinks I am. And that's saying something!


Sparkleneely said...

lara, you ARE as cool as your 11 year old thinks you are -- I've thought so since WE were 11! kudos for making thse amazing pieces of art, and kudos again for writing about it. Yay!

PS Did you see that quilt show in San Jose? My friend Dolin wrote about it on her blog and it sounded amazing: http://lulubliss.typepad.com/lulu_bliss/

Love you!!!!!!!!!!!


larajanepark said...

Dolin sounds like she's my kind of girl!!! I love her little dog Domino...And her studio is FAB. I'd like to meet her sometime! xxlm

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