Monday, March 14, 2011

"...and 1 for good luck!"

I can recall a very specific conversation between me and my fellow foodie Angie that occurred well over 5 years ago:
Angie: "If you've never made me a quilt for any other reason by then, I want you to make me a quilt for my 40th birthday."
Me: "OK."
Angie: "And this is what it'll look like."
(Anyone knowing Angie will surely know I did not make that up)
Angie: "I want a quilt made up of mason jars filled with all different kinds of food."
Me: "OK."
The idea apparently came from a quilt her grandmother had or had made called a "bug jar" quilt where the mason jars are filled with fabrics that have, well, bugs of course.

Knowing her 40th was coming up, I starting scrounging around for food related fabrics over the past year, and now that the birthday girl is in receipt of her gift, I can show you this:

Jars full of fruits, veggies, candies, and the like, and the backing fabric with utensils.

I designed the quilt to have a few jars on the back too, since there needed to be a total of 41. Hence the name.

Any idea how hard it is to find 41 different fabrics with food on them? Not easy! So I took some liberties and threw in a few novelty fabrics and a little joke here and there.

You have to be friends with this gang to get this one, referring to our pal Larry's infamous "chicken in a jug" story.

And since it's a quilt for Angie, there had to be cocktails involved too.

This was the 1st time I ever used a professional quilter to do the quilting, but I rarely work on a project so big and I just wanted it done well. She used this very cool geometric interlocking squares design and it's really neat. In the beginning I really thought the quilt would be terribly loud and crazy with so much going on, but in the end (as always) I just love love love the way it turned out.

What I didn't love? The leftovers. Hard to even refer to them as "scraps." In case you don't know, you can never buy less than 1/4 yard of a fabric. Multiply that by 41, and subtract one small rectangle for each jar, and you're essentially still left with 41 1/4 yards of fabric.

So Angie got a little lagniappe! I had a pattern for quilted tote bags that I always wanted to try, so she got 1 made of fruits and 1 of veggies.

They have cute little pockets inside too!
That took up 1 strip of each fabric, and now all I have left is.....essentially 41 1/4 yards of fabric. AAAARGH! I can't look at it anymore!!! What on earth am I going to do with broccoli fabric?!

Now wouldn't you know, after all of this, Angie opened up the quilt and had absolutely NO recollection of our conversation. But I did have at least 1 witness, so I'm not crazy. And despite the lack of memory, Angie did adore the quilt and the totes and the love and work that went into them, so it's all good.


The Houston's said...

Carl, you are too much. That is absolutely amazing!!! I am sooo impressed!!

Emily said...

That is really impressive!! I never would have been that creative, but I love the "bug in a jar" idea!!

AUNTIE A said...

Such talent - I guess I know who got all the sewing abilities in the family! Why don't you make some grocery tote bags with the left over material - hint, hint!

Mallory said...

Carl, that quilt is absolutely phenomenal. First, it is absolutely perfect for Angie, and second, it is so freakin' cool!!!! And I love, love, love those adorable bags. Congratulations on giving Angie gifts that were spot on perfect.

Andra said... blown away by this quilt, your talent, your creativity, your everthing! Mallory said it Angie, so cool!

Sabrina said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. I'm speechless. Carl, beautiful job. A labor of love, I know. xoxox

leslie said...

It's your stalker. Just popped in & am blown away by the quilt. And loving even more the tote. Hope you and Joseph and Brent are well!

Anonymous said...

You really are the tops -- and she deserves every pricked finger!

love -- Jane and Sam

Anonymous said...

skingsCarl,you are amazing!Your quilts are so impressive and I love what you are doing w/ your backings.Maybe I know who to call when I need a label now. Felicia

Anonymous said...

If you ever tire of medicine, there is a whole new design career waiting for you. I absolutely love it!

Holly S said...

Carl, Just saw this - beautiful! What a perfect and thoughtful gift! And as a New Orleanian, I of course love the lagniappe ;-).