Utilitarian

November 16, 2011

I have a memory of being in a museum quilt exhibit with my aunt, looking at a quilt pieced from sample books of wool menswear fabric. My aunt told me something I didn’t know: my great grandma made just such quilts, from sample books that came from my great- uncle’s general store. How awesome would it be to follow in her footsteps, not to mention the footsteps of all the other women who made this type of quilt out of need for cover or a desire for beauty? That’s what I was thinking when I picked up the wool sample books I wrote about in my last post.

This is the kind of utilitarian quilt I’m talking about.

Now (of course) my need to be TOTALLY AWESOME has clouded that original intention. I took samples out of their books and spread them out on the living room floor, fairly paralyzed with indecision (the mental equivalent of running around going eh! eh! and twiddling my fingers). Should I make a fancy one like this? How can I decide which fabrics go best together? Should I piece them as they are or cut them up? At random, or in a pattern of lights and darks?

I think too much right?

Other ideas I have for these fabric samples:

1)  scarves

2) applique (I almost wrote appliquet, but thank goodness it looked weird).

3) stuffed christmas ornaments

4) pillows

In other news, I am knitting hats. One thing I know how to do is knit hats. And the recipient of these hats not only provided the yarn, she also requested a hat made from this pattern. There was very little scary decision-making involved.

Fancy Hat

Regular Ol' Hat

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5 Responses to “Utilitarian”

  1. Your hats are better than the ads. I LOVE the menswear quilt, all basic and blocky and metaphorical of the working man/building blocks of society, etc. I wonder if you can make a soft lunchbox, you know, to metaphorically represent the decline of steel masculinity, into a much gentler, kinder masculinity. But then that would be metaphorically stimulating, but probably artistically flat. Well, flat until you put in three apples for the lunch in said soft lunch box.

    • I am clearly a crafter instead of an artist, because the first thing I thought was, gee, that would be one unwashable lunch box. But dude, you should be making conceptual art. And writing artist statements!

  2. Loving the blog Nellsdottir! Purity of thought and writing with a delightful dash of ‘gee whiz’ as can only be produced by someone who appreciates the beauty in materials and working with them. You go girl! Write on! Sew on! And I want a fancy hat to call my own. :-))

  3. […] of the earflap hat), who suggested I make troublesome sis a hat too- one like the fancy hat from this post. I looked at the hat I was knitting and thought, gee, she’d actually love […]

  4. erika said

    How on earth did I miss this post? And how have I failed to send pictures of me in my new favorite hats???!!

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