I’ve been working on a photo collage for my the wall behind my bed, incorporating all kinds of fantastic old pictures of my parents, and little pieces of vintage coolness. I knew that I wanted to incorporate some illustrations of vintage patterns with fabric, so I came up with a fun way to do it: just stitch a (paper) picture to a piece of fabric, and then use the fabric to cover a piece of blank canvas.

Super easy!
I used an illustration from Wade Laboissonniere’s book, Blueprints of Fashion. (As an aside: this is a really cool book, and I referenced it in several places in Sew Retro.) I simply cut out an illustration I liked (you could also scan, if you don’t want to cut into a perfectly good book), picked out some complementary fabric (this is a scrap of seersucker), used some double stick tape to hold the picture in place, and then carefully did a zigzag stitch all the way around.

I was worried that when I pulled the fabric tight over the canvas that the stitching would pull. But it didn’t. So, when you staple the fabric over the canvas, make sure to pull it taught, and wrap your corners neatly.
I love the effect, and it looks great hanging on my wall. I'm wondering how I could use this technique next . . .
Max, on the quilt
So I'm super excited that an essay of mine just went live on AOL's ParentDish! I wrote about how the quilt I made inspired my toddler Max to (finally) start talking. Because of a little copyright thing called exclusivity, I can't reproduce the essay here, but you can read it here at ParentDish!

I can give you the gist though! In a nutshell, it's like this: Max seemed behind (in my very un-objective view) on his language development, and I was obsessing over getting him to just flippin' talk already. Then, unrelated, I made a big patchwork quilt for my bed. And suddenly Max had something to talk about and bam, his language development kicked in. Okay, I say it better than that in the essay, I promise. I have to give props to my friend, Kristine,  for suggesting that I write this essay. I posted about the quilt to my little writer's group, and she was like, um, duh, you're a writer and you need to write about this (of course, she said it much nicer than that).

I really do love this quilt. I made it fairly large, enough to cover our queen bed, plus have extra for overhang. I think the finished dimensions are something like 96 by 104. I just know it was a whole lot of fabric to deal with. But the assembly was easy: I just cut out bunches of 9" squares and patch-worked them all together. I would have loved to have sent it out for professional quilting, but the straight-stitch machine quilting will do. I backed it with a pretty seersucker.

The definition of random patchwork!