Ahhhh, October. For some folks, October means hot apple cider, cozy nights by the fire, or the crunch of fallen leaves. For us stitch-obsessed types, October has another significance altogether…. it’s Quilt Festival season, folks!!! Join us this month for free quilt projects, interviews with quilt designers, and all kinds of quilting fun as we get geared up for festival.
First up this month is Victoria Gertenbach, totally inspiring quilter and blogger over at The Silly Boodilly. Victoria created a project for our book Quilts, Baby!, and we’ve been transfixed by her hand stitching ever since.
Free Project: Trilogy: River, Morning Glory, and HoJo Space Spores (best quilt name ever, right?!?)
What is your favorite thing about hand stitching? My favorite aspects of hand stitching would be the personal connection that you develop with the cloth. You hold it more, meditate over it more, and it becomes a part of you and you of it. I think it’s akin to a farmer working his land… if he uses a tractor, he gets the job done fast and efficiently, and it looks good. However, if he plows by hand, it takes way longer and the rows might not be as straight, but he has felt ever bit of the ground under his feet, his sweat has mingled with the earth, and he knows his land on a much more intimate level.
Where do you draw your inspiration? I draw my inspiration from several places, the first being the rural countryside around me. I live in Lancaster County, PA. (where I actually have the privilege to witness farmers plowing their fields by hand!) and am surrounded by beautiful old worn and weathered barns. I am captivated by the lines, shapes and colors of these structures and never grow weary of looking at them. I am also greatly inspired by old, patched utilitarian quilts, antique Japanese boro, Korean pojagi, hand stitched patchwork from India and woven textiles from South and Central America.
And about your always-fabulous photos, do you have any tips for photographing quilted projects? When I photograph my quilts, I first and foremost want to really highlight the quality of the cloth; the stitching, the texture, the drape. I play around with folding it, scrunching it, draping it, and then I get in close and take a zillion photographs from all different angles, just in the hope of having five or so good ones that capture the essence of the piece. I also like to show various ways of displaying the work… hung on a wall, draped over a chair, laid out on a table top… and have a lot of fun staging shots; bringing in bowls of fruit, vases of flowers and other simple items I have laying around. For the technical aspects, I use a basic digital camera and natural lighting, and I do any editing, (cropping, color correction, cutting out unwanted backgrounds) on my computer using iphoto or photoshop elements.
Loving these as much as we do? Take a peek in Victoria’s Etsy shop.