Posts Tagged ‘Memphis’

Crosstown Quilt for Project Modern Inspiration Challenge

November 26, 2010

The quilt is finished and the quilt-as-you-go method gets two thumbs up!

The inspiration: a parking garage next to the historic Sears building in the Crosstown neighborhood of Memphis, TN.

Parking garage quilt inspiration

The quilt

Crosstown Quilt for Project Modern

Measuring in at 54″ x 70″, this is the largest quilt I have ever made. The prints are all leftover fabric from a stack of thrifted clothes I sent out for a block swap last summer.

I used the quilt-as-you-go-method and will definitely do this again unless the long-arm fairy visits me in the meantime. Here are the steps I used:

1. Made all lantern and rectangle blocks. Arranged them on design wall.
2. Decided the quilt should be larger and made 21 more blocks for an extra row and two more columns.
3. Pieced the blocks into 9 larger sections measuring about 18 or 20 inches square.
4. Quilted each larger block to a piece of batting.
5. Sewed the larger blocks together.
6. Pressed the seams from step 5 very very flat with lots of steam and Mary Ellen’s Best Press.
7. Basted the seams from step 5 down using long running stitches to keep them from bunching up in the wash.
8. Pin basted the top to the back and quilted the whole thing by stitching in the ditch on some of the vertical and horizontal seams.
9. Pieced the binding from remaining fabrics and stitched it on.

detail of Crosstown Quilt

I was concerned that the seams with batting in them would be too bulky and look lumpy. Here are my recommendations for preventing this problem

* Use low loft batting such as Warm & White.
* Piece blocks into larger sections before quilting them to the batting. Fewer quilted sections means fewer seams with batting in them.
* Vigorously press seams with batting and baste them down as in step 7 above.
* Allow for a 3/8″ or larger seam allowance (instead of 1/4″) as these seams have some extra bulk. I did not do this and found myself with a few seam allowances that were too narrow to be stable. They had to be reinforced with hand stitching and it took forever.

For the back, I used a thrifted sheet.

The back is a thrifted sheet

I love this quilt even though all that precision piecing nearly left me cross-eyed. Now I am inspired to do a series of smaller quilts with Memphis-inspired themes and imagery. But that will have to wait until next year because there is much holiday knitting and sewing to be done!

Outdoor shot

Here are links to other quilts I’ve made from recycled clothes:
Men’s shirt quilt
Cherry print clothing quilt
Jumpers Baby Quilt
Pink prints mini quilt


The A-Go-Go’s Do Memphis

July 14, 2010

Jek A-Go-Go (aka Lobstergirl, Jekbot, Jek-in-the-Box) has been an internet friend of mine for years, and last month I had the pleasure of meeting her and her uber-creative husband, Mr. A Go-Go in person. These two had a few hard knocks and decided to chuck it all and travel this summer. They are documenting their travels so that we can all ride along on a virtual road trip.

The A-Go-Go's visit Memphis!

They were only in Memphis for a day, but we made the most of it. Our first stop was Graceland to take in all things Elvis. I hadn’t been there since the 80’s and was glad to see it all again.

The living room
Graceland living room

Cute poodle wallpaper in Vernon and Galdys’s bathroom
Vernon and Gladys's wallpaper

The pool room. Every surface except the pool table is covered in fabric.
Graceland Pool room

The infamous “Jungle Room” lounge. Check out the waterfall wall, fur lamp and tiki bar.

Graceland jungle room wall

Jungle room fur lamp

Tiki bar in the Jungle Room at Graceland

There was plenty of memorabilia to see, such as gold records, movie posters, various awards and costumes. I love the leather duds Elvis wore in the ’69 Comeback Special. Glitzier Vegas jumpsuits were also on display in all their rhinestone glory.

Graceland '69 comeback special outfit

Graceland - Glitzy vegas costume

Mr. and Mrs. A-Go-Go like to collect jumping photos and were very happy to get this one in front of the mansion.

The A-Go-Go's jumping at Graceland

At the end of the tour, we went back to check out the graffiti on Graceland’s walls.

Graceland walls

The rest of the day was spent downtown. Here we are eating lunch at the Arcade, Memphis oldest cafe.

A-Go-Go's in Memphis

Feeling refreshed, we visited the Memphis Rock n Soul Museum and spent a little time on Beale Street. Before they took off for Jackson, we all did one last jump together. Can you tell I have had years of ballet training?

One last jump before hitting the road.

Jek and Jeff are both very talented artists, each with a boundless imagination. Jek writes for Craft, Mixtape, and Blanket and has a fun Etsy shop. Her two blogs are a visual treat. Jeff is a master of sock monkeys and has made many astonishing sock reproductions of Buddha, Venus de Milo, Michelangelo’s David, and Venus of Willendorf to name a few. Click the link and prepare to laugh until you cry.

The White Stuff

February 9, 2010

We woke up Monday morning to beautiful snow. Fluffy, sticky snowman-and-snowball snow.

Snow Day

Snow Day

Kitty print

Snow Day

Snow Day

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