Saturday, February 18, 2017

Time for some medicinal sewing

Time for a bit of Medicinal Sewing which is my term for not overthinking scrap sewing. 
In my studio time this week, I took down the overstuffed purple scrap bin and sorted out the ones too small to keep. 

Of course I had kept them!  And lookie what I made with them. 

First step, put back all the long strips and big squares and well, usable pieces, then sort the others into about the same size for strips. 

Don't forget to please yourself with colors !

Sew them with not too much thought.
 Enjoy the process.  
Stop when it feels done. 
 It looks cool to me! This is how it looks on the back, messy
who cares??! No one!
spritz it with water then press it flat and orderly
repeat with more weird angled scraps, keep going, don't think too much, listen to a good book on disc.
consider what to do with the strips when you're done. How about adding in a free form curve? Okay! My favorite thing to do!

 Make a few aqua/turquoise strips too. no worries!
No real plan needed for the moment.  
We're soothing our spirits here folks! 
Add in some curvy strips and maybe try a black and white strip set too. 
Oh and a few more diamonds... black and white and Mama feels a bit better
check out other aqua scrap projects at the rainbow scrap challenge 
also linking to sewcanshe Saturdays  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I Like Thursdays #23 Cows, cats, tulips and Nature

* I Like cows & I like Hearts so...
Welcome to this week's list of Likes!

* I Like blue and brown together, like the tree against the blue sky.
We almost never have sun anymore, so this was a treat. (I see the word love spelled out in clouds.

* I Liked finishing my Valentine quilt on time.In case you missed it, this is the LINK
I love doing this yearly series, each one filled with symbolism of the year spent together. (I show them all in the lecture on working in series) We have 23 now!

* I like purple tulips.

 So. Much. DH showed up with them this week! The pitcher they are in is one I made in ceramics. Long ago and far away. I've always enjoyed paint!

* I like art galleries and interactive art
please enjoy this short video of me playing in an art gallery
If it doesn't play from your devise, try this link

*I Like this Art installation by Roberta Staat
She had been given little momentos and collected bits of personal items that reminded her of friends. As she formed each little totem pole with the items relating to that friend, she thought of them and sent good thoughts. She forgave or asked for forgiveness in the making.

I'm so pleased I asked her to tell me about her process. By the way, as I interviewed her as an artist, I asked a question I always ask, what condition is your studio in??

She said what all but one artist over the years has said, "a mess"
I am sure that most working studios are in some kind of disarray, but also sure most of us know basically what is there and how to find it.

* I Like interviewing artists who work in different mediums than I do, as we have much in common and so much to learn from each other

* I like The West on dvd
We checked it out of the library and so far have learned so much about the Native Americans who were displaced by Europeans who swept into their world, taking their land, spreading diseases, and informing the Indians they must give up their beliefs and take on Christianity or die. Wow.

So glad we've come a long way since then... we now allow people to choose their form of worship, in  understanding and respect for the individual. Right? 

* I Like collaborating on writing exercises with Eliza at Forest Poodles (see link below)
We are working our way through writing exercises and sharing inspiration. I was an actress, then a social worker, a nanny, a school counselor, a lecturer and teacher, an artist and now consider myself a writer.

Time to learn more about it!! I am already learning by doing the exercises with Eliza.

* I Liked receiving a sewing machine from a friend who is downsizing.
 She felt drawn to offer it to me, and I need a machine to use since mine is on it's third mother board. I did not want to spend $5000 while we are hoping to move, and this is a godsend. It came with a cabinet her husband constructed, and this little tray of feet...
It is a Bernina 930, last of the older mechanicals that I've heard described as "workhorses"

I am thrilled to say the least.

So blessed! She had a home full of the most charming quilts mostly antique. She wants to remain anon. so I won't give her name but I am so grateful.

*I Like old sewing items... my machine friend also gave me this vintage thread box.

 It's so 50's to me. I love the star cut into the top, and it holds 24 spools plus room for bobbins and needles. I collect little sewing items from the past, enjoying the look plus the connection between us.

*I Like this blog post.
 You can play this video from here or when you visit the blog link below, he has it on his post too.

 Cat's in Istanbul. The movie looks so fab I want to see it.
What I noticed
>first noticed the terrific gestures of the cats
> then I enjoyed hearing the spoken language so different from English
> I realized listening, if I had just heard the language without seeing the interpretation and loving words about nature and cat love, I might have thought it sounded slightly scary.

Because it sounds so different. Because I didn't understand the language, I might have missed the kindness and the compassionate words. I wonder how much we miss in life by not understanding each other

For more lists this week click to visit these fine folks, keeping a circle of goodness going!

1. http://forestpoodles
2. hearts in Hawaii

Check back later as new I Like posts come in thru the day!

Let me know if you wrote an I Like post and I'll add in a link! A big Thank you to all reading and writing.
linking to:


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Quilt 2017

"Holding Hands through life"  16" X 18" 2017
Let me introduce this year's Valentine quilt. I make a V-day quilt every year we've been married. To mark the miracle of finding each other. Some are very small, some are bed sized, all have a heart on them.

It all started with a visit to the National Gallery of Art during the Christmas holidays. I studied and wrote, but haven't published, an article on cropping. I took my photo, a close-up of Picasso's The Lovers and printed it onto fabric.  Then gathered fabrics...
I find it very interesting to see fabrics in yardage then see the areas a person chose to cut out for their artwork, don't you?
Two of the above fabrics are hand dyed as it a third from which I cut the music "Romance"
I love the little old valentines to the left!
I used pinking shears to cut out just the one I wanted

Gathering the five fabrics I wanted to use, I laid them on the table deciding arrangement, proportion, composition, etc.

I wanted to tell a story of long time love, growth (leaves), gesture (holding hands), loving words and interplay of every day life.

Cut some strips, some accent pieces and start to compose. I enjoy a diagonal line so they elements lead your eye from top left down to bottom right while they engage  and balance each other.

Note the tape. I do not like glue or fusible so I taped the elements til I could hand or machine stitch them down. I used the Oliver Twist hand dyed 30 weight cotton thread for that.
I just hand stitched the little poem

I like the loft one gets by not using fusible plus the chemicals  are not nice.

Note the spiral stitch holding the painting in place. I used Printed Treasures prepared fabric for printing, and it's thick. Too hard to hand sew. I love this stitch and it's not on any other Bernina machine. It's so dynamic with the oliver twist thread, right?

Note the pinkish hand dye with hand writing on it isn't real words!!! It looks like real words in beautiful script.

Note, it's hard for me to cut into one of a kind hand dyed fabric, but my phrases this year are "Use it" from last year, and "Follow your heart" which means I just let myself cut into yardage, in an area I felt would work best. Whew! That was not easy, but very satisfying.
 After strips were sewn on, and most elements sewn down, I placed a heart, cut from a sheer where I liked it. Again I wanted to see the heart above the element so no fusible. I stitched it down with free motion spirals and YLI gold metallic thread, then finished it off with tiny gold rocaille beads. Most of the appliqued elements have raw, pinked edges which might fray and lift a bit over time. I like that. 
Music plays a large part in our lives, writing in mine, communication is vital across the elements.

 The different fabrics interact with words, script, color that blends. The quilted free motion spiral stands for eternity. I quite love the gold thread and uneven spirals quilted on the sheer... click to see details. 
 Quilting is always a big decision. I did a lot of embroidery before layering to quilt, so I only wanted to add some stability to the piece and dimension. I use my walking foot for stability around main elements, then free motion foot to draw hearts, leaves and spirals. There are several hearts quilted in but pretty subtle. Note the little hand embroidery flowers and crosses (kisses) hand stitched along the bottom of this element.
I used gold balls along the leaf veins, and shell flowers with same gold centers. Growth.
I broke some rules of design in the making of this quilt but followed my heart. For instance it might not be apparent but the hand holding photo is almost center. Use of four flower beads breaks to rule of odd numbers. There is the red/orange color in the picasso image not repeated except in the oliver twist thread spirals. That shade should not work with pink.

I wanted to float the elements too, but didn't want it to get larger, so I decided to do it with a wide binding. In order to keep the writing consistent, I had to cut the binding from different angles and put it on the four edges one at a time.
I wasn't sure I could get one done this year... but this was finished in two days.
And I think it represents our year. 
As a young woman I despaired of ever finding Mr Right. I dated a lot of Mr You Might Do's and "kissed a lot of frogs" and waited for Drew.

I have photos of a couple other V-day quilts under the label valentines
Linking to parties on my links page... thank you

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Star Hexagons---slow stitching that's actually pretty fast

I actually love doing hand work.
I am not overly concerned with speedy projects or easy projects.

I love a clever project so sometimes I'm seduced by a new ruler that cuts the time in half. It's for the cleverness not the production value.

I'm not in the business of making thousands of quilts to sell.
I'm in the business of making.
 See the woman playing mandolin? This is a vintage Hoffman scrap, good to the last thread!

Making for the process of making is a good thing sometimes.
 Living with colors.
 For the surprises as pattern and color come together into something larger than either are alone.
 I used Jayne's link's pattern but enlarged it to 125% and taped the printed card stock together.
  Jayne at http://twiggyandopal  showed this project and I was in. A hexie and a star, as well as made with scraps! Yea!

Sewed the points to the hexie first.

Then inserted the backgrounds last.

a second purple star block in progress

This second purple star is undergoing the audition process, here with a pastel moda lavender. Pattern source
Here with another black and white print.

  I find it very gratifying to pull out the basting and the papers that are surrounded by stitches, so now my finished blocks have  paper only on the outsides.

I enjoy how they can be moved around and have no earthly idea how I'll set them.
I do not want to lose the overall hexie shape but like how Jayne's create a circle of points.

I don't know where it's going, so I keep making more.

I am okay with that.

Let's see what happens.

I am taking part in so scrappy's Rainbow Scrap Challenge again. The color last month was purple and the color to use this month is Aqua. We choose our projects.
 Join us if you like... we're using our scraps!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I Like #22 Fire and Ice

Welcome to this week's " I Like" post!
I like YOU!
How about that haircut?? Love... I want pink hair too, you go girl!

Let's start with this blogger who shows me a daily picture of Paris.
 (get that segue? French poodle to Pa-reee)

* I Like receiving a  daily picture of Paris by this blog parisandbeyond
especially when it's an Elephant! I've liked elephants since I saw an exhibits on their social lives at NatGeo

* I Like a festival. I don't mind a lot of people, I love to be a part of things. Most of my likes this week happened at the Fire and Ice Festival last weekend. Ice sculptures, fire dancers, s'mores, gallery openings, and lots lots lots of people.
Check out a few ice sculptures...
can you see the Eiffel Tower etched into the ice? (continuing the French references, lol)
Frederick city likes their dogs... there were probably 50 ice sculptures and at least 5 were dog related!
This was outside a deli.
This was outside the local rescue group
Lady and the Tramp outside an italian restaurant
This was outside the tea shop!
My favorite was these colored free form globes of ice outside an Art Gallery
this one with a Valentine cutout was popular with lots of people in line to have their picture taken

*I Like this guy's shirt...I love fun clothes

He was very dapper... he chooses fabrics, designs the clothing, and sends it off to be made. He had a wild tie,. and a very very colorful hat woven of colorful straw.

The woman next to him is an artist at this reception, I convinced her to stand in because her red coat would set off his clothes.

By the way the artists really like that this gentleman buys a lot of their artwork. Support an artist!

I wanted to take part in Volt Restaurant's ice bar but alas we've given up alcohol... so sad... I thought my allergies were becoming life threatening and one's liver fights that fight, so I want to give my liver the best chances. My Husband gave it up in sympathy (and to sleep better)
Anyway, lots of people were here...
It looked so inviting! Bryan Voltaggio was on Top Chef (second runner up) and Top Chef Masters and owns this restaurant in Frederick. No we don't eat there... pretty steep for us but let me know if you have!
Feels kind of like one degree of separation, heh heh. (No I've never seen him)

* I Like:   reading one of the Tea House mysteries, but I've told you about those before.
I'm listening to a book on disc in the studio, that makes me laugh out loud. It's
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler.

*I Like theaters, especially ones built in the 1920's. They are beautiful and ornate. This one was gorgeous with the teller's booth in gold leaf. I grew up seeing shows at Tampa Theater, built in the twenties, ceiling looks like the night sky, extremely ornate with a stage. This theater was saved from demolition.

* I Like history. I love old buildings and the details you'll never never see in today's boring buildings that all look alike. I Love people who raise enough money to preserve old buildings. Thank you.

As always, if you did an I Like post let me know to include it here. Please enjoy visiting these fine folk who are keeping it positive!
1. http://imworkingonaproject
4. http://maryinpeoriahandmade

linking to parties on my links page as well as these fine parties

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Aqua Leaves... or Petals???

The color of the month at So Scrappy changed to Aqua.  Something that evokes the sea... fresh, between green and blue, and a bit lighter than turquoise or teal... isn't it grand!?!

I LOVE this color. I love this color with Red, and Coral, and it's warmer compliments. My camera doesn't give you the full depth of colors here but they are lovely, textural, and varied. For instance the bottom right one is grunge so it has other colors mixed in.
All from the scrap box. I began to run out of room in green and blue scrap boxes so I made a new one of turquoise. It might be my favorite box now... these are the large leaves from "paper pieces" but I have already begun to cut my own by tracing around their leaf. I used a heavier weight paper, and took my time to baste through paper and fabric, slowly enjoying each stitch.

I sewed while my husband drove us to an ice sculpture festival in Frederick yesterday. We were listening to one of my favorite Serious XM radio stations, "the Bridge" which is music from my high school and college years.

I grew up in Florida, going to the beach a lot. I wore a bikini, I was tanned with blond streaks in my brown hair, legs strong from dance classes. I had no idea I was fit... I felt fat always. I compared myself to others. Can you relate? I wrote down my memories of many trips to the beaches:

Beach time
The beach, that smell... a mix of saltwater, coppertone and fresh air. 

The sand soft and white as it filters through  fingers, sifting like sugar, over and over... allowing her mind to take a rest. 
Idle thoughts drift and sift like the sand. 

Sounds of gulls, swoosh of tide, crinkle of cochina shells as they tumble over each other with the foam of the wet shoreline, a softer swish of palm fronds brushing against each other. 

Deeper go feet into the sand, sift another handfull, thoughts play like monkeys.

Swish, sighs the tide. 

Catching a bit of a tune from a passing radio. 
A gull calls. 

Sift more soft sand.

Consider a long walk through wet sand along the edge of the world. Yes.  Feel cool water and cochinas tickle toes... foam  at the water's edge is so white... and soft...

Walk for miles to only turn around and walk back. 
(wonder what hotel is the low beach chair in front of...)

The walk is slow and sensual, graceful movement of long tanned dancer's legs in no hurry, no rush to be anywhere but here, now. Wet sand massaging away tension. 

Gulls call out. Breezes blow wisps of hair. The sun feels so warm on heated skin. It contrasts with cool water lapping at feet. 

The low chair calls out.
Sift. The sand flows through her fingers, over and over. 

As she looks at the horizon... the world is so. Very. Big. 
And so very small. 
In her hands

Link in case it doesn't play

linking to cool parties listed on my links page including these
Esther's blog Wednesdays 
Let's be social Wednesdays  

Midweek makers wednesdays

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"I Like" Thursdays #21

Welcome to this week's I Like list!
First off, I was surprised to see this children's T-shirt at Khols!

Follow your heart is my phrase this year. I also brought along "use it!" again.

*I Like the idea of making something with 5 FQ and some background yardage. These fine bloggers have concocted patterns for FREE. Two of which they have already shared. I plan to do them. Small projects, easy to gather five FQ that make you happy and start.

* I Like getting  a surprise gift in the mail from Yarngoddess (https://yarngoddess) :
 This book and cd look to be the perfect thing to stimulate artistic growth right now. Total surprise!

*I Like this flamingo-pink poodle card from Monika. (tailsaroundtheranch).... 
she's so talented... she sent just because she knew a pink poodle would lift my spirits...
oh for a real one!

*I Like this Blue Moose dip ... so much!!! My husband found it at the local grocery and it's terrific on crackers as well as a turkey sandwich. Dian in CO told us about it in another I like post... yum!

* I Like the four new Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflicks.

 I am a fan of good writing and clever humor, and watched all episodes the first time around, over and over. Kind humor. No violence no meanness. Just funny and touching. I like funny. I like touching. I like smart people and these are smart people.

In case you weren't aware, there are four special episodes on netflicks right now
I related to the poignancy of this song in one of the recently released special Gilmore Girls shows.We've all had crisis in life, some of us had mid-life moments already so most people can relate a bit to this. And it's sung by Sutton Foster, one of the great clear Broadway singers.
If the link doesn't work, this is direct to youtube...   unbreakable

* I like this new flamingo hand towel also from Khols
 such a yummy pink and those flamingos remind me of a quilt I made once. Yep, I've made more than 10 flamingo based quilts.

Speaking of pink... and who isn't??
*I like pink hair
Look at that pink curl of hair I'm sporting. I am considering doing the whole kit and caboodle that color. I got this little real hair clip in at one of those beauty stores. (Don't know why the image is so grainy)
I mean, it would be cheerful looking at that color every day. Last week's I Like on Shannon's blog showed her pink hair!
 * I liked, very much the Netflicks show titled, "Fannie's last supper" where a group of Boston chefs research and prepare a 12 course Victorian dinner as Fannie Farmer would have done. They had to find a wood stove, learn how to bring it to precise temperatures, find ingredients available at the time, experiment with techniques so common at the time that details were not in the cookbook.

Fannie Farmer was a strong woman, overcoming polio, studying cooking then becoming principal of the cooking school. She wrote a cookbook and publishers didn't believe in her, so they said they would publish if she raised $3000 to print it. She did and it sold more copies than the most popular books of the time.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the show, and would like to see more. I do love history, er, HERstory. 

*  I Like the way different species find comfort in each other's company

That's it for this week. 
If you enjoyed my list there are 20 more over there under the label, "I Like"
Take your time and read back to see what you may have missed. Thank you for coming, and enjoy the posts done by these fine bloggers:
If you decide to write an I Like post, just let me know in comments or by email, I'll add your name in!

1. http://maryinpeoriahandmade