I doubt the concept of a Girl Crush is new to anyone reading this blog. But in case it’s a new concept for you, a Girl Crush is when you’re completely and utterly in love with a woman. You don’t really want to do sexual things with them. You just realize that if you were ever in their presence, you’d go all flush and giddy. Because deep down you believe that if your Girl Crush got to know you, she want to be your BFF too. Which is completely delusional, but aren’t most crushes?
I think my first official GC wasn’t until later in my life. No Punky Brewster or Blossom GC’s for me. I “matured” in college. It was the late nineties and my first Girl Crush was Gwyenth Paltrow in Sliding Doors. I chopped off my hair. I became obsessed with the pink/brown “natural” lipstick shade. I wanted her fashion silhouette: full pants and slim top. I even wanted to walk in on my boyfriend shagging someone and then slam into a funny/quirky Brit. But I didn’t want to get pregnant and die. There have been more G.C., but Gwyenth’s the first.
Recently, I’m crushing on quilters. G.C. today? Elizabeth Hartman from Oh Fransson! Every quilt she puts up, I want to fondle it. She shows a new quilt and I start to dream about when I’ll start it. If I ran into her at a local shop, it wouldn’t go well for the both of us. She’d be creeped out and I’d be sweaty and fumbly. It’d begin when she walked into an Ohio fabric shop. I’d be startled and have to check four times to make sure it was her. This is where she’d begin to feel awkward about the creep staring at her. I’d debate in my head if I should say, “Hi” and I’d unknowingly start to discuss this aloud. Now she’d be even more afraid of the gawking stranger who’s talking to herself. I’d start checking out fabrics close to the ones she was looking at. Great. Now the lunatic is fondling bolts near me. And finally, I’d suck up the nerve to say, “Hello.” I’d blush. Say something ridiculous. Have her sign a swatch of fabric (her choice of course). I’d walk out of the shop a happy woman. And she’d end her trip by asking the clerk for the nearest police station.
When she put Sparkle Punch on her blog, I knew I had to make it. But I also knew it was going to be difficult. Until this quilt, I had never made one that required anything more than straight seams. While the seams on Sparkle are straight, I had to cut, position, and create blocks: a.k.a. more work than I’m used to. I’ve said it before, I don’t really know how to quilt. Each quilt teaches me something. Sparkle Punch gave me my most quilting knowledge to date. Here’s a few things I learned:
1. Sewing with linen makes for bulky seams. Odd choice, Erika when the quilt has a shitload of seams… I ironed a lot with this one. And I’m a neurotic iron-er to begin with.
2. I think after Sparkle, I will be ironing the seams open. The linen was too thick to do this and I was worried about the top being bulky. Surprisingly it didn’t seem to matter. However, with cotton I like the finished look of opened seams.
3. Embraced the linen. Despite the bulky seams and sometimes fray, it gave the quilt a nice heavy feel. You know when you visit the dentist and they put the xray shield on you? And how it feels like someone is giving you a odd-ish all over hug? That’s how this quilt feels.
4. I’ll be cutting threads as I sew from now on. Usually, I do it at the end. Or just let them get cut off in the process. Sparkle has lots of thread ends. Afterwards I had lots to do and got lazy about snipping. I’m still clipping threads on Sparkle.
5. Iron the batting. I’m really lazy when it comes to sewing. But this step really helped with the puckering. There’s only a few tiny bits of puckering on this quilt.
6. This particular linen seemed to get lighter after the second wash. And that makes the stars not pop as much as I would like.
I’m really happy with this quilt. It looks more complicated than it was. Take your time and you can do it too. My current GC gave me a wonderful pattern to follow. What did Gwyenth ever do for me? Shit, Woman. Step your game up. And don’t count Goop. I never understood that crap. Sorry, GC #1.
…loves you, Gwyenie.
More Oh, Fransson! inspiration: Space Invaders.
Another Girl Crush from the past: Nigella