Sunday, February 2, 2020

Just how Future-y did 2020 Look 40 Years ago?

It's 2020, and I'm carrying on as usual, making quilts, sewing up a storm in my little shop, and subsequently I'm embroidering quilt labels as I finish them up. I always include the year and then my signature. It's easy and I enjoy the slow down needed to complete an embroidered label.

The number 2020 itself is a nice, solid looking number, graphically. I really like it... compared to embroidering any year since 2016 (which I liked too), this is the year I like to embroider the most so far.

It's a great design element, but I was suddenly struck by it the other day while watching an old dystopian film made in 1975 called The Ultimate Warrior, by Director, Robert Clouse. It's not a great film, in my humble opinion, but with Yul Brynner and Max von Sydow starring... and a "villain" named Carrot (OMG, Ha, ha ,ha!), it was super fun to watch. Both Jeff and I hadn't heard of it and considering we were 10 when it came out, we probably simply weren't allowed to see it. The other day we were both struck by the flash of the year... 2012....Ha!  Any year that began with a 2 was a very futuristic number back when we were ten... but the film has a less than optimistic view of the future of humanity at that point, and as so many films set in the future do. Am I right?  

from The Ultimate Warrior...

Obviously we passed 2012 eight years ago, and we aren't quite as desperate as they are in The Ultimate Warrior, but there are still reasons to suspect a not so bright future given the direction we are heading (i.e., the Climate Emergency and the rise of something that smells a lot like Authoritarianism on the wind). (on that subject, See They Live, (1988) by John Carpenter... in which they do not give a specific future year but could so easily be interpreted in the current political world, despite how goofy and heavy handed this movie can be at times.... although I'm not saying we lack goofiness in our current contemporary times... we so clearly do have loads of goofiness... ok, I digress). 

What am I trying to say? I'm not precisely sure, but I do know that when I look at the year 2020, from the perspective of a child born in the 60's, I re-examine what I thought the future would look like from that child's eyes. It's disappointing that the world isn't a more peaceful place, that the Earth isn't healthier, that our energy sources aren't completely sustainable, etc. I feel like we should be so much more advanced in these things. It made me want to take a look at other films with "Future Dates" that fall around our current time. Here are a few with the year made and the date they are set in the future.  

Metropolis (1927) - Future year 2000
The Ultimate Warrior (1975) - Future year 2012
Blade Runner (1982) - Future year 2019
2001 A Space Odyssey
A Boy and His Dog (1975) - Future year 2024
Soylent Green (1973) - Future year 2022
Escape From New York (1981) Future year 1997
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - Future year 2001
Roller Ball (1975) - Future year 2018
The Last Man on Earth (1964) - Future year 2020
Silent Running (1972) - Future year 2001
West World (1973) - Future year 1983 

(ahem...) OK, so I'll admit that the future doesn't look so good in nearly all of these, except maybe one of them (I have a favorite), and we have advanced in certain ways, I mean we aren't scrounging in rags and crawling over the skeletons of our neighbors after all, but there's still so much more to do/fix.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

DIY Quilted Shaker Serving Tray Liner - Because You Know You Want to Make One!

A Funny thing happened on the way to my next blog post. You'd be wrong to think "well, it's been nine months since she last wrote on this dumb blog, so I guess maybe she had a baby or something."  If you guessed that, you'd be wrong, of course, me being of the "childless by choice" faction!  I thought about starting this whole blog thing over again, but honestly, there's a lot of history following behind this post and I cannot bear to part with any of it, however boring some of it may be. I'm popping in to post this DIY Quilted Shaker Serving Tray Liner that I made up today because literally everyone needs this and will want to make one! Disclaimer though: there are no promises that I'll actually write another blog post before another nine months have passed again. So here's this DIY!
This beautiful, handcrafted tray is made by the Early Americana Workshop called NHShakerShop which you can find on Etsy via the link. I'd been searching for a clean beautiful design, simple wood serving tray and immediately started looking at Shaker versions. This one matched all of my demands and I couldn't be happier with it. I wanted to create a quilted liner for the tray. Mainly because I'm compelled to try to solve many issues with quilting somehow, but mostly because I wanted to protect the beautiful wood surface from scratches, and ideally for something to keep items from sliding around on the tray while carrying it from place.  

Here are the steps (illustrated as simply as possible):

1. Take your tray and measure the width and length of the oval and base your fabric needs on that. Mine measures 14" wide x 19" long, so I used just under a half a yard of fabric.

2. Fold fabric with right sides facing and selvedge edges together and lay on a piece of batting the size of the folded fabric.

3. Place your tray on the fabric/batting pile and trace around the edge using some kind of marker. DO not use a permanent marker...
4. See, I'm using a Crayola washable marker. Get the fine line ones! I love these things. Clean the edge of your tray immediately if you get any marks on it, but try not to.

5. Cut the shape out.
You should have two layers of fabric (right sides facing) and batting.

 6.  Pin layers together. Put your walking foot on. Sew a 1/4" seam through all layers, leaving a 4" opening or so. 


7. Pull the insides out through the hole. Here's your opportunity to check that it fits your tray properly. Flatten it out. Put it in the tray. Too big? Turn it back and sew a larger seam allowance to get the fit you'd like. 

 8. Once your size is good, flatten it out and press the whole thing so that the seam lines up around the edge. I use one of my long paint brushes to accomplish this!

 9. Now sew your opening closed however you want. I just sewed it with my machine very close to the edge with black thread. Can't even see it.  

 10. Now quilt it however you'd like. I'm a big Alabama Chanin fan and have made a bunch of Natalie's clothes and accessories using her hand sewing techniques. I thought this style of stitching would look really nice on my tray liner, so I used Button and Craft thread and left the knots and tails on one side. I can turn it over for a smoother look, but I love the visible knots. If you haven't looked at Alabama Chanin style, and don't know what I'm talking about, do yourself a favor and do so. Natalie has several classes on Craftsy too. I started with her Swing Skirt Class.... which I made using old tshirts. So cool!
I digress. This post is about my Tray liner. Well, there you have it. I hope you'll try it out. I supposed you can use this technique to make liners for lots of other things too. So have at it! See you in nine months... maybe :)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Well Hello There

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

It has been a long time. So much has happened and obviously my blog has taken a back seat. This year I'm working to set some new goals and achieve some goals that have been floating around for a while. One thing is figuring out how to weave all of my social media, websites, shops and everything else, together in some way. 

Boy, would I like to hire someone to help me figure it all out! For those who have remained during this long hiatus, THANK YOU!  Stay tuned for the future :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

From @CheeseandOlive on Instagram
Making lists has not always been a thing for me. Although, when I make them, they tend to expand into ten different lists (i.e., the market list, the pet food store, the farmer’s supply, and stuff I have to do, etc.). The cascade of list making creates lots of post-it’s all over the place, and the inevitably lost grocery list by the time I make it to the market.  Awesome.
5 Things:

Monday, July 27, 2015

More About Vintage Rescue Quilts – cuz you need to know all the things

Vintage Quilts have always been a favorite thing. Especially the really old ones, all worn, soft, and full of imagined stories about the women (or men) who made them.
Pile of vintage quilts

You may have noticed that I’ve recently started listing Vintage Quilt Rescue Quilts in the shop. This all came about because I was contacted by someone who wanted me to finish some quilt tops that her great-grandmother had made. Normally I never take in quilt tops to finish, either new or vintage, but I was curious and asked her to send me some images of what she had. I was blown away! Here were quilt tops, made as early as the 30’s, some of them were hand cut and hand sewn (this was the days before rotary cutters, people!), and they were perfectly preserved with brilliant colors and fine stitching.
After some discussion, we decided to go ahead with the project and she sent me the quilts, from California, and I finished three very beautiful quilt tops for her. Imagine, all those years she held onto these precious family heirlooms and only thought about having them finished.  I sent them back and she was thrilled.  The circle was complete and the quilts were whole and completely transformed!
Wheel of Fortune Quilt, After Completion

Hourglass Quilt, after completed

After this experience, I was completely hooked! Scouring nearby vintage shops, and searching on-line, I came across several unassuming (and unfinished) quilt tops and purchased them. It’s great to feel complete and utter inspiration with a new discovery, and I quickly worked on the new tops, repairing small holes and seams that had let loose, choosing fabric for the backs, and getting them on the frame to quilt.
Grandmother's Garden Quilt, after finishing

This pink grandmother’s garden quilt was the first. Now, I’m not a pink girl… AT ALL… but I saw this top and saw its potential and took it home. Thus started my fascination, obsession, and love for all things antique quilts! The older and more neglected, the better.  Such lovely things happen when a long forgotten and abused vintage quilt top comes to life. I feel like they are all just waiting for their chance to become “real” in the world. They are waiting for their chance to be loved and held, and cuddled. After all, isn’t that what the first intentions were when they were created?  In the end, it’s all about being loved and feeling complete that makes us all so happy.
Isabella claimed this quilt first! We are keeping it!

I fell totally in love with this quilt top. It is now in my personal collection.

To see all the Vintage Rescue Quilts that I have available for sale, check out the shop under Vintage Rescue Quilts!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Follow Me on Instagram. If You Don't, You'll Be Sorry!

Because THIS is on there!

Are you on Instagram?  No? GO THERE and see the wonders. I’ll be posting news on sales, new quilts added to the shop, and all kinds of photographic wonderment. Like this, Ginger, my niece-puppy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Support an Independent Artist's Independent Website

The official Btaylor Quilts website is alive, fully stocked, and fully full of my quilting inventories!  Yay!  It took a while and there were many tears and stress along the way, but in the end, it will be nice to have my own site outside of Etsy. Best not to have all of your eggs in one basket.  

I'd love to hear from you with suggestions or comments, and of course, if you are tempted to own some quilt goodies, remember to visit me at the new website!!  I will be mostly communicating sales and new items through Instagram, so if you are interested in being in the know about future sales, find me there @BtayorQuilts