Neighborhood

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This is my version of The Local Quilt by Carolyn Friedlander.

I admired her original in the show at QuiltCon 2013, and marveled over the quirky houses, her fabric designs that seem to work so well with the aesthetic (she is an architect by training) and those straight-but-not straight quilting lines. Those "are they free motion or straight line and how tedious that must be" quilting lines. 

As the universe worked out, she re-released the pattern last year, since before that it was impossible to find, even on the internet. She also released my favorite fabric line maybe ever, Carkai, and so I knew I needed to finally make my version, using those. 

It's a block-of-the-month, and the paper piecing is tedious enough that you kind of need a month in between each block to rest your brain and return with renewed energy -- paper piecing does not favor the tired brain or someone looking for mindless patchwork. I started in March and finished the quilt top by September, then spent about six weeks quilting all those lines. 

Yes, that's right, I also mastered (ok, tackled and felt good about) her method for quilting as well. In 2016 I discovered CreativeBug, which is basically Netflix for craft tutorials, so as long as you're willing to pay $5/month, you have unlimited access to thousands of their tutorials. I will say more things elsewhere on Be The Ink about how I learned weaving and how to crochet in 2016 as well, all thanks to CreativeBug and the cadre of fantastic talent they have teaching online tutorials. I'm a walking advertisement for that resource. 

My point is, Carolyn Friedlander did a two-parter on modern quilting, including a demonstration of how she gets these lines in her work. They are free motion. Yes, they require a fairly steady hand. Yes, the lines are never perfect. Yes, there are plenty of weird mistakes in mine if you get close enough. But seriously, compared to straight line quilting all of that, flipping the quilt that many times? I would never have done it. The lines end up being an incredible part of my overall finished piece. The texture is incredible just to ponder and to run your fingers over.

It hangs on the wall in my office. Coworkers and students delight, and it makes me happy when I need a moment to breathe. 

 
 
the local quilt be the ink
close up the local quilt carkai
Happy office wall

Happy office wall