Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Babies are an exciting gift of a new generation. My life-long dear cousin MAJ, has two daughters, and the elder is expecting a baby any time now. A darling baby quilt was called for. Quilts are my best way to show love and supply stories and hugs. I was gifted the Elizabeth Hartman quilt pattern, North Star, from my sister PJC. The pattern suggests a small quilt, 48" square, with four blocks of otters, each block having a pair of otters holding paws as they drift on their backs. Collective nouns for otters include A bevy of otters, A family of otters, A kennel of otters, A lodge of otters, A raft of otters, A ramp of otters, and A romp of otters. I used colored crayons to add contrast to the pale green otters. Just color the fabric, then lay paper towels over the fabric front and back and iron to set the wax. The last photo shows the bias stripe binding, my thimble and name label, and the lime dotted back. Best Wishes for peaceful nights and happy days.
Monday, November 14, 2022
When someone you thought you had lost shows up, you are in for a rollercoaster of emotions. The years somehow fall away when you connect. I recently was contacted by a young woman who I knew as a baby and little girl. She reached out like a magic wand and splashed stars and sparkles with her wise words and glorious smile. We are all delighted and relieved to have her in our lives once again. She had a birthday last week. Over the years when we had lost touch, her birthday was a whistful time of hoping she was happy and felt loved. Now we could celebrate with her. The best gift I can give is a quilt I've made. I sewed up a most Cheerful quilt out of summer batiks, nine different colors. The pattern is slices of citrus fruits in oranges, yellows, and greens, with a blue gradient background. Because the batiks are tightly woven I did raw edge machine applique. For the back of the quilt, the part that touches you, I used three different shades of minky in green and blue. I used a technique that makes the backing fold over to the front and slef-bind.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
I recently read a book that had a big influence on my creativity. It is "It's Great to Suck at Something," by Karen Rinaldi. I highly recommend it. The title might be off-puting, because of the word suck. The author's proviso is that we ought not suck at important things, such as our jobs. But hobbies, that is different. Her main hobby is surfing, which she started at age 40. She loves to surf, and invests a lot of time and money into her hobby. By starting in mid life, she doubts she'll be a great surfer, but she is mostly ok with that. The book goes on to share Buddist philosophies, and to talk about not being a perfectionist. Perfectionists are annoying. As one of my friends said, the only thing I'm perfect at is annoying myself. hahaha. Two of m daughters are involved in SCA events. SCA is a historical reenacting group. They are very involved, making their own historically accurate garments, camping out and having festivals, and teaching each other historical skills. Diane has been chosen as the barroness for the upcoming year, starting the end of August. Her emblem is a bear, with a group of garlic flowers over it's head.
Saturday, January 15, 2022
I started this new year with a challenge to myself. I saw a Quilt Along (QAL) on social media and thought it might give me some prompts for block ideas. It is headed by Molli Sparkles The draw was to use the top shelf fabric that is "too good to cut up." It is the paradox of most quilters, buying luscious fabric to cut up and sew back together, then thinking it is too nice to cut. Saving it for later.I am not yet committed to the QAL, at this point I'm a voyeur. The first block is Scrappy Cross Patchwork Block by Bonjour Quilts This is an easy block that uses up litte scraps. It can be matchy or completely scrapped out. I've seen this block in quilts both small and large. It is eye catching. I decided to start with a color that I seldom use: pink. I made a block using some fun Tula Pink and Kaffe Fassett florals. The cross is a purple plaid by Jason Yenter. I liked the block although it doesn't have musch value contrast.So I sewed a few more pink blockks adding some value variety. Pretty quickly I had 9 blocks, enough for a baby quilt. I decided to go ahead and make the quilt, and then put it up for sale in my etsy shop.
Thursday, March 25, 2021
I needed a fabric fix. The problem is, I live in a small town and the nearest fabric dealer is an hour drive or an internet wait. There is a great antique consignment shop in town, the Banana Company. In the back room there is a corner for fabric and notions, placed in a vintage hardware rack. For $10 I found a pretty, vintage, hand pieced quilt. Who doesn't love a bargain? It is a variation on a Singe Wedding Ring. It looks to be from the 1940's by the prints and colors. The fabrics are in very good shape, the piecing thread is still strong, and except for a few tiny rends, it was in perfect shape. I added a soft buttery yellow 3 inch border. The measurements are 68" x 82". I was ready to sandwich it for basting but I kept dragging my heels. It just kept nagging at me, "what are you going to do with this quilt?" As if that really matters. I intend to hand quilt it to go with the hand piecing. What was this quilt trying to tell me? "Feed Me, Seymour." Finally I used my morning writing to figure out the silent messages this flimsy was sending. I read a blog that is a treasure trove of primitive style and hand applique and hand quilting, It inspired me to add my own style of applique design. Previously I have done a humongous amount of circle applique, on a quilt designed by Karen Mcleen, 'Lollipop Trees.' I used acrylic templates called 'Perfect Circles,' designed by Karen Kay Buckley. I highly recommend them for ease of use and quality of results. I am not affiliated with these products in any way. I had a bunch of left over circles, made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics, ready to sew down. They were left over from the Karen Mcleen project (which I named 'Magnum XL.') So I laid them on the quilt and yessss it was just what the flimsy needed. So I began making more circles for the quilt top in earnest. I am enjoying this hand sewing so much. Even watching TV in the evening with DH Mr. Thimblepie is tolerable with this yummy project. Here it is, in progress. I am swooning.
Monday, February 8, 2021
I am back at the keyboard. I spent several years mending and finishing vintage quilts for my etsy business. It may sound strange, but I got an ego boost from the compliments I received for my work. I have always struggled with the inner critic and lack of self esteem for my work. When I repaired old quilts and was told how I had made them cry with joy, or worked miracles, I felt good about myself. Some of the quilts were fabulous. But some were really bad, and needed to be tossed. After some struggles I decided to retire from that work and spend all my time creating my own epic stuff. I had to turn one person away since then, and turns out saying NO isn't so hard after all. A year ago I did a job that seemed impossible. I made a nice quilt bigger. Here is the before:
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Here is the story of how I became a zombie. It is a true story, perhaps in the Twilight Zone. 6 months ago the pandemic reared it's ugly head. Quarantine happened so suddenly! Zoom became a thing, ready or not. I didn't feel affected by the quarantine too much since we live in the mountains with lots of room to roam. Plus, around here, hardly anyone has followed the suggested social distancing, except yours truly, so it seemed like news on TV was unreal. Looking back, I was mentally numbed by the fear. Even figuring out my odds of getting sick didn't help a lot. I got internal stress and in the process of ignoring it, I became zombified. Like the perserverant person I have always been, I pushed on through and I have continued to mend quilts and make cool creations, with less vim and vigor. Blogging felt way too tough. I played a good amount of computer games. I was commissioned to finish a Cathedral Window Project 2 months ago. I was thrilled to have such a pretty project. Some of the menders I have been sent, only a mother could love. This one was interesting, and started with such a funny introduction: "I, the one who hems pants with staples and tape, have inherited pieces of what was destined to be a Cathedral Window pillow. The large triangle of work measures roughly 29 inches per side with a hypotenuse of 40 inches. There are also a few additional strips of completed squares (shown in picture) and myriad squares of patterned fabric cut for more squares."