I am very excited to announce that I am making quilts for Levis! You may have noticed a little lull in my online presents over the last couple of weeks. This was all due to my gusto and focus on getting a series of quilts designed and crafted for Levis - Made Here Stores. Made Here is a project created and run by Jay Carroll, a concept designer for Levis. Made Here are special Levis stores that deliver a bespoke interpretation of the Levi’s® brand. A meaningful component of the Made Here store is the initiative to sell beautiful objects (non-Levi’s) that are locally and/or hand made by people who have a passion for craft, design, and artisanship.
You may have heard about Jay from his awesome American Heritage road trip project called One Trip Pass. Jay is magic. It's been amazing working with him on this project. I am continually blown away at his incredible talent for discovering artisans and being an all around curator of life. Made Here has 4 stores located in Malibu, Boston, San Francisco, and New York. I am making 3 quilts for each store, so 12 quilts in total. To start.
To get the order done in a reasonable time frame, and still hold true to my love for hand quilting, I reached out to the community and hired some helping hands! I'm not too surprised that all of the responses I got were women, but I am pleasantly awakened by the quality relationships that have developed from meeting and coaching the women who are helping me with the hand quilting. Often times it takes multiple hands to make one quilt, and by nature quilting can bring together people from multiple backgrounds. I am touched by the quality new relationships that are developing through quilting, and can feel a lot of growth happening in my life. I surprise myself with my business suaveness, I realized how strong I was with managerial skills last year when I ran the tomato crew at JBG. I will admit it's nice to be a woman and pair my soft side with my tough side, it seems to be the best recipe for leading a crew. I picked up most of my business skills from observing my father throughout the years, he has been involved with Human Resource Development pretty much my whole life (recently retired though). When I was a teenager I would sometimes wish my parents were crafty artist just like me, but I now realize it was a blessing to have practical parents who provided a good example for operating a business.
The partnership with Levis is a dream come true. I have always been obsessed with denim, and I am having the time of my life doing what I love, making quilts, and reusing their denim. All the folks over at Levis have been a joy to work with. They keep filling me up with admiration and as a result I am creating some of the best quilts of my life. My quilt designs start with a small water color painting. Painting helps me to develop a fluid perspective for a geometric patchwork format. I then choose a design from my thumbnail paintings and lay it out on a grid paper to gather rough measurements. Once the measurements are hashed out I prepare and cut my fabric. This is where I play around with hues and tones, as well as create spontaneous patchwork. This part of the process is very playful and forgiving, allowing me to work improvisational with interchanging fabric colors and textures. It is where I diverge from traditional quilters and make it very much my own vision and process. I finish my quilts with traditional techniques, that even the most technical quilters would approve of, hand quilting and making my own double bias binding.
I will be sharing the news and information about the Levis quilts as it develops. The quilts for Levis are 60 inches x 60 inches, they are a standard throw size, and I am loving the square format. For those of you who may be wondering, I will continue with my 50 American States Series in just a few weeks. I can feel my schedule getting back to a rhythm soon. I am so excited to execute my quilt designs for Florida, Georgia, and Hawaii...hint black and white, and colorful plaids to come.