Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

88 Triangles Down, 712 to Go

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Dear Kay,
As Scooby Doo would say, “Ruh roh.”
Saturday afternoon I endured that most difficult of trials, a trip to Michael’s with the two fellas. This was no trip in search of paint or clay or July 4th bunting or little shells to glue on boxes or soap kits with lavender-smelling drops or any of the other 46 reasons we go to the crafts store. Oh, no. This was a trip for ME.
To get this:
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The Olfa 45 mm rotary cutter. The world’s most life-threatening craft tool. It’s like the X-acto knife people put their heads together and thought, Man. If we could just make this blade more dangerous.
I just couldn’t help myself. I have all of Hubbo’s dad’s shirts sorted out, and there are enough to make a stripey quilt, a checked one, a solid one, and a madras one.
The stripey shirts called to me all day, and finally I had to have a go at them. I got out my Math-o-meter 2000 and calculated how many triangles I would need to cut in order to make a Kaffe Fassett Striped Boxes Quilt (see Found Objects), and 800 isn’t really THAT many triangles once you pop in that depressing Beck record and get in a malevolent groove. My Olfa can cut five layers of fabric at once, plus one small finger or cat tail.
The plan is to enlist the help of Elmira, quiltmistress of Greenville, Alabama, to piece and quilt these triangles into their Kaffeish destiny. Thank you to Dr. Betty Ruth of Point Clear, Alabama, for pointing me in the direction of Elmira.
And really extraspecial thanks to Julie M. for sending the copy of Passionate Patchwork, which got this whole mania started.
I’m looking forward to figuring out the lay of the squares, once I finish snipping.
There is not even the remotest chance that we will need to rename our blog Mason-Dixon Quilting, but I hope you’ll bear with me while I get this out of my system. I frankly don’t know how people can do this particular craft. But I’m sure the quilters of the world are over there wondering about those weird knitter people.
Love,
Ann

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Put down the rotary cutter, ma’am.
    What can I say? This is going to be one awesome quilt when Elmira gets through with it. I will personally sneak into your house and steal it.
    Worse yet, I will knit myself a Striped Boxes Quilt, and then people will realize we are both crazy and stop reading our blog and we will go back to emailing each other about such matters.
    Hope you were joking about the finger and the tail, and even about Beck. I’m guessing Beck does not think he is making music to quilt by.
    xox Kay

  2. I LOVE my rotary cutter.
    Except when I forget to put the guard back up over the blade and pick it up on the wrong end like the moron that I have an incredible ability to be. :)

  3. oh my god! you totally rock! i’ve been thinking about quilting for a long, long time. in fact i think i may have to put in a call to my aunt judith in tenessee and take a trip out there to get some quilting going… you are such an inspiration!

  4. Ever since I saw that Kaffe foto yesterday I have been thinking about quilting and wondering if there is a quilters blog ring . . . I’ve not made too many, but I enjoyed the process just as much as knitting. Dare I say it, for me quilting offers a bit more creative freedom because of the choices one can make — whereas I’m not so skilled a knitter that I can make up my own designs. Not yet anyway. I’m not going to quit knitting either, but I bet I’ll quilt again, too. All that aside, your Herb’s Boxes quilt will be a marvelous thing, no matter who assembles it — and you are the driving creative force behind this fine tribute!

  5. Ruh roh is right! But gosh, Ann, “Herb’s Boxes” is looking awesome already! I’m getting off-task myself and looking at, er, crochet. It’s for a baby blanket, not clothing, so you don’t have to worry about me yet.
    (sent email separately–did you receive? our server’s been on the fritz)

  6. Um, word of warning if you are the pack rat type. (I am.) Quilting is a dangerous kind of thing to start. Before you know it every piece of fabric that is at least 1″ square seems like it should be saved and made into something more glorious, even dishtowels. I’ve only made a couple of quilts, but it is all (vicious rotary cutter included) tucked away now, because quilting requires a lot of surface area. The yarn and WIPs collections, however, are very modular and much more conducive to being squirreled away in every corner of every room of the condo. Nevertheless, the bits and pieces of future quilts are in a large trunk at my mother-in-law’s house, waiting for…my retirement? the lottery? one of my sons to marry a quilter?
    All that said, Herb’s Boxes is lovely, both esthetically and emotionally, and it is an inspired project!

  7. Kay–Joking about cat tail injury with the Olfa; dead serious about Beck. I love that guy. He’ll end up on Martha Stewart Living yet, explaining how he makes quilts using old stage costumes from Bootsy Collins and Robert Johnson.
    Lisa S.–Come on, you have a fambly member who quilts? You have no excuse! Legacy time! Heritage time! Jump in.
    Maggi–There is an open-endedness to quilting that is really appealing. Maybe this project will get me to be more of an improviser with knitting, the way Kay sits down with a zillion shades of Handknit DK and ends up with a fabby blanket. Or maybe I’ll just slice off a finger. (This rotary thing is DANGEROUS!)
    And Evelyn: last night, after finishing up Shirt No. Two (44 triangles per shirt, y’all, is the recipe), I held a button placket in my hands and thought, Wow. I really need to hang on to this . . . for . . . uh . . . something . . .
    I see what you mean about every scrap becoming precious. What if I Need This? Very dangerous.

  8. TELL.ME.ABOUT.IT.
    When Carrie was born, Laurie My Oldest Friend basically let me know I would be a very bad mother indeed if I did not save all her little dresses for a quilt someday. So I’ve got Rubbermaids stuffed with quiltable textiles. I think there are 2 Rubbermaids of Joseph’s pique polo shirts alone (they are going to be a FAB bedspread….someday…stained on the front but pristine on the back, and getting bigger every year).
    Evelyn: Dishtowels ARE precious. Think how much time one spends with them!! I’ve saved all of those that have escaped the catastrophic Bleaching Episodes that occur when I leave the house during one of my mom’s visits; I come back to billowing clouds of Clorox emanating from the kitchen. (Mom has this thing about liberal bleaching of everything in the kitchen being the one true way to prevent sickness.) I will even admit that I now retire my dishtowels before they get too raggy to be useful for that great picnic quilt I’ll make out of them one day. Picnic quilt? I know!!! It’s a sickness!!! xox (sos!) Kay

  9. Ann, that is going to be a fabulous quilt. I do however have a tingling feeling of fear that we might be losing a great knitter here. I`m so happy the new Rowan mag will be out soon to keep you on track…

  10. Picnic quilt? Picnic quilt of dishtowels? My eyes are getting a glazed look…of course…yes…that’s what I need. I will run a rescue mission through the dishtowels bin tonight when I get home.
    This is not good. Not good at all. Do you suppose I can hide the dishtowels in the yarn stash? Or should I roll them up in the unfinished needlepoint tapestry?

  11. Rubbermaids, Evelyn, Rubbermaids.
    Plus you get to replace the old dishtowels. A win-win proposition. xox Kay
    P.S. Apologies for any stash-enabling on my part. But you are so susceptible, Evelyn.

  12. Ann–Is Beck the auteur of ‘I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?’ I love that.
    Aggrieved to have discovered a musical area in which you have left me in the dust with the old people, Kay

  13. Kay, it’s not really your fault, although I will freely blame you if my husband catches me saving the dishtowels. We all know, don’t we, that it’s the Great Depression survivor legacy from my mother and grandparents. (There’s a wonderful passage in one of Margaret Atwood’s books about being a Depression era kid. Something along the lines of “We saved things. We saved string.”)
    When my mother died, we found at least fifty empty Cool Whip containers in her basement. Pristine clean and stacked neatly. I don’t recall her ever eating or serving Cool Whip; it still mystifies me where she could have gotten them all. The basement also had a suitcase full…of rags…because I guess you never know when you might need to flee the country with a good starter set of rags. And a box that clearly had been moved wholesale from my great-grandparent’s attic to my grandparent’s attic to my mother’s basement. High button boots and ostrich feather fans! Really!

  14. ann! is it just me or does anyone else think “pizza cutter” when i look at your latest purchase from michael’s craft store?
    and evelyn LOL on the cool whip container stashing mom. my father saved coffee cans, for reasons that were not necessarily clear…his response to me inquiring of the need for them after discovering them in the basement, “people will need them!!” still not sure who those people were that he was referring to!

  15. Not really relevant, but it is about quilts – saw a news item today about some ladies in America who are hand-sewing quilts for every family who has lost somebody in the present Iraq war – each one incorporates the stars and stripes and motifs that are relevant to that family. There is also an embroidered quote from Geo. Bush in the centre panel with the person’s name on.
    Am not sure I would want one, if I was on the receiving end, but I appreciate that it is well-intentioned.

  16. what the ?? ! ?? what on earth is a “Rubbermaid ” ? ? ?
    I’m thinking fetish here Kay ! … combine it with a “Cool Whip” (? I’m telling you it’s a whole different language !) a pizza wheel and a dishtowel and we’ve got us a party !
    Heather

  17. Well, Heather, this is one of those moments when, if I were, say, ANN, I would put in a little link to Rubbermaid.com. Rubbermaid makes plastic stuff. I assume they started out making rubber stuff, back when rubber was the trendy new substance. There is a famous story in my family about the time my mom chased me around the kitchen hitting me with a Rubbermaid dustpan (pale turquoise in color). (My mom is not only extremely well-moisturized, she is a touch highstrung.) They make all sizes of plastic containers. Some quite fancy. Some quite plain. Red and green ones for your Christmas wrapping paper stash. Orange for your Halloween stash. Some are gigantic, coffin-sized things. You get the idea. They are handy for storing cloth items for generations. Just open the lids and let a little air in now and then, no worries about bad stuff getting in.
    Evelyn, I recently weeded out my rag collection, winnowing it down to the creme de la creme, the Cool Whip de la Cool Whip, of rags. It had gotten out of hand in the 90s when every weekend I collected a cheesy free t-shirt from a 5K or 10K run or whatever. I just cut those things up di-reckly for rags. Do you know that there are plenty of people right here in New York City who do not have rags? I am highly to be praised for my bountiful rag stash. Stored in a Rubbermaid, of course. And yes, I believe it is a Depression Thing. xox Kay

  18. Speaking from personal experience: Band-Aid Advanced Healing Strips. Have some on hand; pre-emptive strike and all.

  19. Ann that rotary cutter looks pretty scary (but I really really want one!). Love the look of your triangles. I’ve actually been out and hit the second hand stores & have 3 shirts – may take a while to get a good number together but I’m inspired! Estimated completion date somewhere in 2005.. oh and it’s definatley a baby quilt!

  20. I have to confess to having started a quilt (iddy biddy ickle one) – it’s not even big enough for a baby quilt but “someday soon” it’s going to be the front of a roman blind for the landing window. My enthusiasm for curtain & blind making disappears pretty rapidly after measuring windows & buying fabric. Rarely do I get as far as cutting out the fabric panels before at least 6 months have elapsed after fabric purchase! Going to have to get moving on the curtains for the baby’s room, or he’ll be here before I’ve even contemplated whether I should have tab tops, triple pleat or plain gathers…

  21. I’m dating myself by asking, but surely you are NOT attempting to use a rotary cutter while listening to JEFF BECK? ack. That said, I was fortunate enough to have attended the quilting class with kaffe where the Quilt In Question appeared in person. OMG. I took Brandon’s knitting class for balance, you understand. My stash expanded in both directions. Rubbermaid, indeed. Buy stock. Speaking of which, the only known cure for knitters attempting to quilt is Krispy Kreme donuts. ;)

  22. Sissel–If you saw my ineptitude with that cutter thingie, you’d be amazed that I’m even trying. It’s like lining up grains of rice–all those stripes waver ever so slightly once I touch them, and whoof: start over. Yarn just doesn’t treat me this way.
    Kay and Greta–Beck is indeed the author of “I’m a Loser Baby,” just Beck the way Cher is just Cher. He is the ULTIMATE synthesizer of funk/old soul/rap/delta blues/shopping mall muzak. He got all melodic and heartbroken in an album last year, Sea Change, when his girlfriend broke up with him. Excellent depressing quilting music.
    Jill–I want to know what the quote from W is in the center of each quilt! IMHO they could have done just fine without immortalizing our simple-talking President right there in the middle.
    Fellow Ann–Sutures and novacaine, too!
    Sarah W–You’ve been shirt shopping? Fantastic! I’m here to tell you one shirt can give you a LOT of triangles. You’ll be doing a full sizer before you know it.
    Jo–I love the Kaffe quilted window shade. Very cool. Get on it, you hear? Bump is not getting any smaller . . .
    xoxo

  23. Lis,
    Your father is right – people will/do need those coffee cans – in fact I am on the hunt for 2 right now for my sons second grade book report. Wished I lived nearer I would come and take them off your hands!

  24. Not sure how or why the previous post said it was from Lis when it wasn’t. It should have said from Carol. Wierd especially as I was replying to a comment Lis left earlier.

  25. Ann–Not to quibble about things I know absolutely nothing about, but (here comes quibble), isn’t Greta correct? Didn’t Beck lose his Jeff in much the same way that John Cougar became John Cougar Mellencamp and then, when sufficiently famous, lost his Cougar? I was rooting for him to go all the way and just be Mellencamp and finally, M.
    Sarah W.–Weren’t you planning a visit to NYC sometime? Do you want me to save Hubby’s elbow-less shirts? He has pointy elbows (common in the legal profession) so he produces a pretty good supply of shirts in traditional checks and stripes & solids that are in good shape if you don’t mind mid-sleeve ventilation. Plus, given his height (6’7″)and circumference, I’m confident you’ll get substantially more than 44 triangles per shirt. I’m guessing he’s wearing at least a baby quilt’s worth right this minute. I’ll throw them in a Rubbermaid until I hear from you.
    Ann–Have you gotten any free stuff from Rubbermaid yet?
    xox Kay

  26. AAH ! Rubbermaid = Tupperware ! Now I get it..

  27. Tupperware Writ Large.
    Rowboat-sized Tupperware.
    xox Kay

  28. Y’aaaaaaaaall, rilly now.
    Jeff Beck = grizzled guitar legend born in 1945.
    Beck (Hansen) = ungrizzled master of funkifusion born in LA, 1970. So glad I had the chance to wallow in http://www.jeffbeck.com and http://www.beck.com to root out these biographical nuggets. I left some messages for Beck on his bulletin board. He’ll be joining us at MDK any day now. Mrs. Beck. Mrs. Ann Beck. Hm. Not sure how Mrs. Beck handles that.

  29. I’m just going to curl up and die now, so uncool am I. Rilly.
    xox Kay

  30. Kay – I’d love your husband’s old elbow ventilated shirts if you’re sure you don’t mind saving them! Current plan is to visit NYC in mid or late June(ish) & will happily bring goodies from Libertys in exchange.
    I’m curious though… why do many of the legal profession have pointed elbows….. I can think of some reasons why they would be useful – commuting maybe… but is there some special law-type reason?

  31. Anna, sorry, couldn’t read the quote – looked like one short sentence, but it was upside down and folded up – and the tv commentator wasn’t saying!

  32. Since you mentioned Gen. Clark’s sweater, I was wondering if you’d seen this auction:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3655267737&category=39721&sspagename=STRK%3AMEBWA%3AIT&rd=1

  33. Wow Kay! Those quilts are going to be beautiful. I just took a quilting class this fall. I hated it. :( For me, it’s just not as forgiving as knitting. I have one quilt in the works, from when I was pregnant with my first made of old flannel boxers and jeans. I should get back on that. I can’t wait to see the finished quilts! Have fun with your rotary cutter. Are you layering the fabrics to cut quicker?