May 31st

Fabrics for a baby quilt


Color scheme


Lining up the details

Quilting and Musing

Finished quilt top

Have you ever read the book, or seen the movie, “Como Agua Para Chocolate?” It’s one of those stories that stays with you for ages. Specifically, I love the thought of emotion being transferred into creative works — in this case, food. The main character cries as she cooks, invoking an unexpected tirade of tears later at the dinner table as the guests eat her sorrow. I’d guess most women have found themselves crying into a sink full of dishes or over a stove at some point, thankful their emotion wasn’t later detected with such Hollywood flare.

When designing a project for a loved one, I enjoy thinking of how it will be used — ultimately what I want the end result to say. I’m learning to create less, but do so with more intention. The fabric, thread, yarn, ingredients are all being selected with a bit more care, often hidden meanings and emotion tucked away never to be revealed to those unwrapping the bow or picking up a knife and fork. It’s enough that I know. My instinct to over think such things makes most uncomfortable. Social grace is something I’m still learning.

I’ve made countless wedding and baby shower gifts wrapped in happiness, joy and optimism in a new start, a fresh future. I love making aprons thinking of the bounty of satisfying meals to be created with it wrapped, hugging the recipient. Bright birthday handbags being toted around the mall, making their own content, confident statements in a sea of Coach and Dooney repetition. Or the adrenaline filled rush fueling runs down snowy mountains with ski caps and scarves I’ve knit.

This project isn’t quite finished; if I could wrap it my feelings they’d be unconditional love, caring, kindness, joy, relief, optimism and the luxurious pleasure of opening the front door after a long trip away, take your first deep breath and swimming in the comfort of home.

From my weekly wordy email list: Suppose you’d called your theme ‘textile words’? Now there’s a reminder of how words and metaphors relating to textiles pervade our language. Textile is derived from Latin texere, to weave, also the origin of text — words woven into a fabric. Then think how we lose the thread of an argument; spin a yarn; give credence (or not) to a tissue of lies; spout homespun philosophy; and travel from one airport terminal to another on a shuttle bus. Nor must we forget the Greek and Roman Fates, spinning, measuring, and cutting the thread of each of our lives.


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Domestic Art, handmade, Journal
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17 Responses

  1. It’s a beautiful piece, I love brown and turquoise (or teal) together. It’s lovely that you put all those hidden meanings into your handiwork. I would find it hard to keep it to myself, too. Sometimes social grace is a little tough–but I’m sure there are many recipients who would enjoy knowing all the symbolism involved–just discernment, I guess, to know who is which kind, and discernment isn’t easy either.

  2. I love chocolate and turquoise fabric combos!! Beautiful. Love that your work is gifted with such good meaning behind it.

  3. that is a beautiful piece! I would never have picked those colors together, but seeing them here, they are devine. Just warm. Cozy. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Gaaaahhh. Kelli, you have rendered me speechless with your creating and your writing. I just don’t have words for how much you inspire me. Hope your week is AWESOME. Hugs…

  5. Love the quilt and the fabric, and of course how you created it with love and meaning! You are such an inspiration…

  6. I love this idea, of creating with intention. You might like a post I wrote back in 2006, about a quilt I was (still am) making:
    and another, about joy and cooking:

    so nice to catch up with you again. I still owe you a bag. I have not forgotten. I plan to finish that this summer. I am ridiculously tardy.

  7. Like the others, I too am a huge fan of browns and aquas/turquoises together. And I too sew my heart and love and dreams into things!

  8. oh oh! I think I may know who this is for?
    It is beautiful, and so beautifully written, too 🙂

  9. I read the book, saw the movie, and loved ’em both.

    This is such a beautiful quilt! The patchwork looks like it’s floating in a pool; very refreshing.

    Although I always have tried to put a lot of thought and care into my gifts, it’s only in the last couple of years that I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of carrying through enough to convey my intentions properly. I read something in Alababma Stitch about “blessing your thread” before you begin a project, and it really is a good practice! It’s made me slow down and think about the recipient more, which I hope comes through in the finished product.

  10. The quilt is going to be so lovely – I am sure the recipient will feel the love you put into it. The color combination is great too!

  11. I have become pretty picky about who I give handmade gifts to (especially very time consuming ones) because I, too, tend to invest a lot of thought and care into the gift, and I get very disappointed if the recipient doesn’t seem to appreciate it. When they do, though, it’s a wonderful feeling. I love the quilt – are you sending Matty home soon?

  12. I LOVE that quilt. It’s going to be beautiful when you finish it. Great job Kelli!

  13. Sometimes our tears just need a way out…..sometimes doing this alone clears the system, but doing it with friends gives us the comfort we sometimes need too. I love the quilt.

  14. Oh wow-your quilt is so lovely! I love the colors!

  15. The quilt is lovely! I am an over-thinker, too. Though it has lessened a bit with time. 🙂

  16. You do sprinkle your creations with love! I can feel it as I tie up my wedding-shower apron, put another stack of diapers in the toile storage caddy, and put my baby-girl on her African inspired tag quilt! Through these objects, you have made me feel love and joy! Thank you again and wubbin!

  17. Oh I just love this:)