Sunday, October 19, 2008

Silk Quilt from a Sow's Kimono

One of the things I like best about fall, aside from the beautiful weather, is the return to doing things indoors. I spend more time in the kitchen and we once again start eating hearty meals: soups and stews that simmer on the stove for hours and make your mouth water with their tantalizing smells. Gone are the grilled meals and salads that we enjoy during summer, giving us a break so that we will enjoy them again when the weather turns warmer next year.
In addition to cooking I get to return to one of my favorite hobbies: quilting. Somehow, there is so much to do outdoors in the summer that I don't make time for it. Plus, who wants to have fabric draped over their lap on a hot and humid afternoon?
This fall I've kept to my frugality pact with myself... no more new fabric. I've been having a good time using the closet-full that I already have, and it hasn't even put a dent in my supply! It feels good to use up what is already there, I never "need" more fabric, but sometimes when I see a beautiful print I think, "oh, I just have to have that!" This year I'm resisting that impulse and using what I already have.
I have a friend whose husband is Japanese and has a huge collection of kimono that he inherited from his mother when she passed away. The fabrics are all silk and have the most gorgeous patterns. I've been helping her "recycle" these kimono by using them in quilts, something I've always wanted to try. The photo above is the completed top of the first one I made, I'm happy with how it turned out. I need to piece the batting and backing together (no new fabric, remember?) and then I'll finish it up. I think it will be cool to have an all silk quilt and I'm already planning on the one I'll make to give to C in exchange for the kimono.
The fact that I'm recycling something and putting it to good use makes me feel happy. I also like the challenge of having only so much to work with, which forces me to think outside my narrow mental box. Sometimes there isn't enough fabric to make the quilt as I had originally planned- it forces me to be creative with a solution and to be flexible- not locked in to my original idea, something that is good for me to practice.
In the pictured quilt, I had hoped to have enough of the main kimono fabric for the 4 borders, but it became apparent that was not going to be the case as I got closer to being finished. What to do, what to do.... I decided to extend the center pattern out into the top and bottom borders to make up for the lack of continuous fabric, and I think it worked out well. Here's to being flexible and creative solutions!

1 comment:

Tina said...

oooo it is beautiful Kim!
Yay for you and your recycling ventures. It always makes me feel good when I can stretch what I have, new is not always better in my eyes!
Plus the pride I get from saying "I made this" is a huge perk!