Work is Love Made Visible

January 25, 2012

Thimble on hand-quilted table runner

“Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love
But only with distaste, it is better
That you should leave your work and
Sit at the gate of the temple and take
Alms from those who work with joy.”
— Anonymous

I like the notion of work as a sign of love — the meals I cook for my family, housecleaning, yardwork . . .  Whenever I do hand-quilting, I feel that I am stitching with love and that those feelings will bind me to the recipient of my labors.

I spent last week on a new quilting project — a table runner adapting the Zipper pattern I found in The Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.  The cold, snowy days made perfect weather for relaxing inside with a sewing project.  This small handmade item is destined for a wedding gift.

Searching for coordinating prints from my fabric stash

Cutting the pieces and arranging them

Sewing on the dining room table

Pressing the seams as I go along


Methodical stitching

Finished table runner


Re-Purposed Dresses

October 17, 2010

My daughter wearing a dress given to her by her Samoan host family

When my daughter was in high school, she took a school-sponsored trip to Samoa where she stayed with a host family.  During her stay, they sewed and gave her several cotton dresses.  Now that she has graduated from college, my daughter has started going through her old things, deciding what to keep and what to donate to Goodwill.  Among the things she was ready to pass on were several of her Samoan outfits.

I know that she will likely never again wear these dresses, but it seemed hard to just give away such lovely gifts.  I decided I’d take one or two dresses and re-make the fabric into table runners and placemats, so that she can still have a keepsake of her trip, but in a usable form.  Here are the table linens I pieced from a blue print dress:

Pieced table runner and place mats from Samoan fabric

I used the “Safari” quilt block design that I found in the quilt book, New Cuts for New Quilts: More Ways to Stack the Deck by Karla Alexander.