Friday, March 2, 2012

Identity Quilt Update: Paper-piecing gone crazy

My back is on the mend.  Thanks for the well-wishes!  It's still tricky to sit upright in hard chairs but luckily a number of my classes were cancelled this week and I could take it easy. I missed only one, on Monday, and to be fair, it was an 8am class. While I'm starting to catch up on things put on hold during my incapacitation, I should still be writing papers right now.  But I'm taking a break to show you some of the blocks for the Teacher Identity Project Quilt.
Gorgeous, isn't it?  I didn't make this one.  This is the centre from the one made for me by materials&method.  I love it.

I've been doing a ton of paper-piecing.  I still feel quite new at it but it's an addictive little process and I love the possibilities it opens up. This one is the Love block by Kelbysews (made at 50% of the original size.) It can be found at SewMamaSew.

This matryoshka block pattern was found at this wonderful little Etsy shop after I spied one done at AlaMode.  I used a matryoshka print I'd been hoarding for just the right project.  Well, what could be more perfect?  
The idea behind this block is simply this:  I lived six months in Russia and the experiences that I had there are deeply entrenched in who I am as a person, which affects who I am as a teacher.  I remember very well the tough-love grandmothers who scolded any and all strangers for not wearing hats or for drinking cold pop while at the same time, sharing knowledge about art or helping with directions.

I found a number of other paper-piecing projects to capture my nerd side.  Let's face it:  whatever my interests, excitements, and passions are, they will show up in my teaching. Most of these came from Fandom in Stitches.  Fun stuff.  At this point, I'm thinking the Batman crest will appear as a thought bubble in Yoda's mind.

The Apple logo.  During my internship, Steve Jobs died and I couldn't help but reflect on the impact he's had on my daily life.  My computer, my phone, my music, etc, and a philosophy of being all have a Mac mark on them.  Macs have always had close ties to education as well.

The red block is an interpretation of a potholder design from the latest issue of FatQuarterly.  I'm a subscriber and the collaborative energy behind it inspires me. I've learned a great deal from reading it. Here's the twist:  obviously it's not a potholder. I'm repurposing the design and adapting it to what I need, using the resources I have to suit my goal.  It looks like a pair of darts.  I see feathers. So we'll see how that turns out.

Okay.  The MockingJay completely kicked my A&%! 
I did not tidy it before taking this picture because I want to be completely transparent about my own capabilities.  All that white stuff? Ripped seams.  I took parts of it apart a few times but it still isn't aligned quite right.  And it's small.  5" finished size.  It looks a tad more warped in the photo because of all the seams; it's not lying flat.  Including it because: a) not every plan I have as a teacher goes smoothly, b) I love The Hunger Games and hope to use the books in my class someday, and c) mistakes and challenges are part of the game - admitting my own and learning from them helps me to empower others to do the same.  We learn more from our mistakes and grow more when we are challenged than we do when we are always successful and do only those things that we are already capable of doing.  Plus, the books are about survival and I survived this block.  It'll be a scar in the quilt but I earned it!

And as for my incapability of the last week, I had to do SOMETHING. So I worked on these socks.  I started them in August, started teaching and hadn't touched them in months. I'm past the heels now but it'll likely be a while before you hear about them again. Back to the papers...


  1. your paperpieced blocks are amazing! Love the doll block. Perfection!!

  2. your paper piecing looks great! the LOVE block is my favorite.

    next month i get to go to penny @ sewtakeahike's paper piecing retreat and i can't wait. i get to learn from an expert! :)

  3. Your paper piecing is impressive! I've actually got that russian doll paper from that exact shop and am too scared to try it. :)

  4. That mockingjay may have kicked your butt, but it looks awesome. I knew exactly what it was as soon as I saw it!! I love the Hunger Games too - I'm really hoping the film does the book justice.

    And how cool that you're going to try and use those books in class. That sounds much more interesting than the usual stuff that gets studied.

  5. Hello Carly, I am SOOOO pleased to see your Matryoshka, she's lovely! (I am Cyrille, the creator of the pattern). Could I use your picture in a post on my blog? I like to show what my customers sew with my patterns. And if you are interested in winning some other block patterns, just have a look at my blog, I run my first giveaway with 13 patterns to win! (
    Happy Easter!

  6. Cool comment above! I have that pattern too, and the matryoshka fabric. Your block is wonderful! So are the others, including the Mockingjay. I really liked the movie--it's disturbing in that I believe something like that could actually happen. Now midway through Book 2.


Who doesn't love comments? I appreciate every single one and try to reply to each. Unless you're a no-reply commenter. Then I can't. And I have a little sad moment. Like a dropped ice cream cone. So if you're a no-reply commenter and have a question, check the comment thread and I'll try to reply there. :-)