Sunday, August 21, 2011

Altered Book Bit

One page I have been working on for Melissa's altered book. It represents home. Our home. The three of us...her, me and Michael. She included a bunch of scrap booking items to use, which included the vellum quotes. I liked this one from Ralph Waldo Emerson..."The ornament of a house are the friends who frequent it"...but changed the "friends" to "family". Her theme is the small things in life. From where you come is more than small, but shapes the way you see all the small things. This page will be treated as a tag, and will be tucked in to pockets made from torn book pages. Pic when it is finished.
I am happy to see Melissa take an active interest in this medium. The possibilities are endless.Her and I will be joining Jody and her mom in a round robin exchange this fall.

This old game card, awash with super fine copper glitter, will become another tag in a pocket. The mystery game is from 70's, picked up at Salvation Army. The images are really cool. I know she will love the old crown as it closely resembles a tattoo on her wrist to commemorate her friend Mo O'Grady. Mo was her close friend that died in the motorcycle accident a couple months ago.
I finally finished the two ornaments Thearica is collecting for two people on our HGTV board that have lost homes to natural disasters. I have a Sue Spargo book that shows how to make them. The yellow is from a vintage velvet bedspread. Fun project.

Today was a very lazy, rainy day. Nice to hunker down and stitch! No outdoor work required. A couple hours on the altered book and a few hours stitching on the CQ Challenge block. I can fill every minute of every day with all the things I love to do!

Quilt guild meeting yesterday. Always a good day. Busy, a usual. Anne Fischer was our guest. She is a a quilter, dyer, thread painter and felter. Of all the quilts she showed us, this is my favorite.
I love the colors and the design. Anne does very intricate thread painting too. I posted one of her pieces back in the was a number 4 on the side of a weathered barn. She showed us this one today.
This entire piece is thread.  Beautiful.

Show and Tell is always a highlight for me. I love to see what people are doing. I love it all. Big, small, finished and unfinished! I just like to see creations. I also love when I see a quilt by someone that I don't know very well and it makes me say, wow. I recognize something in them at that moment. Yesterday, Susan Rathbun showed this pieces..
It isn't her design she said, but it certainly is her interpretation of it. I love this quilt. A lot. She did all the hand stitching. She made this for her daughter who has been having a hard time after a breakup. What a loving, caring thing to do. I have always said, it isn't what you say, it's what you do that matters. I think she is wonderful.

As I mentioned today was a rainy day. I did stitch while watching a couple chick flicks. Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey and 27 Dresses with Katherine Hiegl. Never saw either and they were perfect fare for the time. Fluffy and feel good!

I have learned:

  1. Michael lifted 225lbs 23 times today. 
  2. Flummoxed. Good word. 
  3. Bedraggled. Apparently not a word in Pennsylvania. 
  4. FX has a new show this fall....American Horror Story. I won't watch it since I don't like scary shows, but the preview is so cool. 
  5. Melissa is an official part time employee of Michaels Craft Store! Great 2nd job. 
  6. Refinanced car loan to get 3.55%. Worth it. 
  7. My feather block has been received. Jude posted it tonight.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Magic Feather Project

Feathers for the Magic Feather Project. Jude Hill is embarking on a quest to collect  1000 feather blocks. It is fun to stitch. Check it out and make a block. 5" block. I may even make another one...
As Jude likes to reuse fabrics, she asks that you do the same. The blue linen type fabric is an old tablecloth. The white behind it is from an old curtain. Even the darker blue circle is from an old chiffon headscarf. If you scroll down on her page, you will see she has a short tutorial showing how he goes about making a feather to stitch. You know you want to make one! ( I must figure out how to get her great badge for this endeavor onto my sidebar.)

Yesterday was spent on a long overdue cleaning of my Trailblazer. Two hours vacuuming, window cleaning and clearing out. But it is done and I can cross it off my has been on the list since May! After sweeping the grassy residue off the driveway, I met Melissa and Cam for dinner at Sporto's.
Today has been a rainy, thundery day. A good day to make chili (really? but it was in the crockpot and really delicious). The rest of the lazy day was spent stitching and reading. Perfect way to use the day.

Melissa and I took a class at out library Wednesday. We made cool books using manila folders. Jen showed us how to cut a cover, complete with pockets inside, and some pages. We were supplied with these great papers from 7Gypsies. Love them. Very collage-y. I haven't added the bits and pics to it yet, but here is what I made. Fun!

We used ink pads to distress the papers.
Inside right is the pocket. I cut the "GO" from the BINGO paper.

The pages, or signatures, are tied to the cover through two holes punched into each layer. I love this book just the way it is! Can't wait to see what Jen comes up with for her next class.

My Summer CQ Challenge block is due to be finished by September 1st. I am still steadily adding thread and beads to it. I will not call it done until just before I take the pictures to post for judging. I am pleased with it so far.

Well, pending the physical results this week in Syracuse, Michael has enlisted in the Army. Not Reserves. Active duty. While I support his decision, I am full of well deserved worry and concern. While he is feeling excited about the things that will challenge him, I am wondering how he will face them all without me. While he is sure it is his Patriotic duty, I am wondering how each day will feel to me as he becomes a soldier in a world out of control.
I am also immeasurably proud of him. I have raised my kids to be strong and decisive. I will have my say, but ultimately I want them to make their own decisions. He has.

One last football season at SJFC, then Fort Sill, Oklahoma for boot camp.

I have learned:

  1. Melanie Moore won So You Think You can Dance. I wrote her name in my phone at her audition, that she would be this years winner!
  2. Nike has a" reuse a shoe" program that takes old athletic shoes and makes running tracks, basketball courts and tennis courts from the ground up parts of the sneaker. The closest one to my town is almost 40 miles away. They need to use those drop-off boxes to make it easier from people to actually do this. 
  3. Remember the mimeograph machine? I can picture the slightly blurred ink, feel the damp page and recall the unmistakable aroma of the mimeograph copy from my youth!
  4. Skin tags. Why?
     5. AAQI. My quilt # 7683. May be next round. Slipping Away.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Woven & Quilted & Inspired by Spirit Cloth

I spent a few hours hand quilting this small woven piece inspired by Jude Hill, better known as Spirit Cloth. I signed up for one of her online classes because I just love and admire, actually, how she reuses cloth and takes the time to heavily hand quilt and stitch her pieces. I love that she doesn't have to finish she pulls out an old project and adds her current signature.
This class focus's on weaving fabrics. It appeals! After watching her first few videos/audio blog-type class posts, I grabbed the thin strips left over from another day and wove them into a small composition. Today I added all the pink quilting and loved every minute of the process...loved how after stitching each row, the piece looked better and more interesting. Alive. Thinking this would look good mounted in an old wooden frame.
I have 3 other woven pieces made waiting for their next step. 2 are strips of an old sheer organza curtain, woven without a base and the other is white muslin on muslin base, waiting for me to add silk scraps in a mosaic grid pattern. Love this.

This morning, early, I sat at the machine and pieced small and tiny pinwheel blocks using the black and cream dot fabric from my jacket and the scraps from the binding on a quilt. Looks great. May be the beginning to my Carnival challenge entry for my guild's annual contest. Of course I have til January, so no rush!

Also cut and sewed a pair of nice black linen Capri's. Easy.

It is pouring rain right now. Pouring. Rain. Thunder. Lightening. Fiona is hiding.

I signed up to take a 2 day class in October to learn and make mud cloth. How cool to make a design on cloth with mud! I do hope she gets the required students to make this class a go. Will wait patiently...

I have learned:

  1. 92% humidity right now. So 8% of breathable air is not wet. 
  2. Love Bites...funny. Like the way the characters all connect...or how the writers/director make them all connect. Primetime on Demand. 
  3. I won't even say what size Capri pants I had to cut out of the pattern today. Are patterns on a different sizing scale altogether? 
  4. Melissa got the job! St Joseph's Elementary School in town! No more 32 mile commute a day! 1 mile from her house! She will be teaching 6-8 English/Literature. Her interview was at 9:30 AM Wednesday and had the call to confirm hiring by 1:00 PM. Proud of her!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jacket in Progress, etc.

I have spent some time this week composing and sewing my jacket together. I posted in May, I believe it was, that I was taking a class from Martha through my quilt guild. We were making "fabrics", such as Seminole piecing and wonky cut-it-up and resew with strips between it bits....I had fun playing with all those combinations of fabrics and patterns. I chose this Marcy Tilton pattern, which is meant for felted wool fabric, but I liked the style. I will make it work! It's not finished yet, but felt compelled to share it at this stage.

My last day of vacation is today. I extended my week by a day to avoid that sinking return-to-work feeling on Sunday! It worked. Each day was spent with a little hand stitching, sewing at machine, time with Melissa and Michael. My 13 year old nephew, Ian, spent the weekend enjoying the quieter surroundings of my 6 acres. I loved that I had nothing planned so every day was filled with whatever I wanted to do at the moment. Rejuvenating.

Pics of some of the stitching on my CQ petal pieces...that will one day actually be finished! Right now I am happy adding more and more work to them!

I found this image of wings online, played with the color and printed on fabric. Appliqued to velvet and hand stitched for more detail. Love the fun button face girl.
I made a yo-yo from an old headscarf and tacked down. Beads.
A nest...obviously!
Some silk ribbon and bugle bead bits.
Much stitching has been done on the Nicki Summer Challenge block. I can't show it yet though. After September 1st.

Do we send out "Don't Save the Date" cards?! After some reality checks and soul searching, Melissa has decided that cancelling her October 15th wedding is the best plan for her future. We all agree. Sometimes relationships become bad habits. Living with Cory for the last year and a half has been a revelation of bad habits. I give her credit for knowing and for taking action. All cancellations have been completed and notifications made. She is relieved. She is a strong young woman. I am proud of her.

I have learned:

  1. Project Runway started! The first week kind of sucked though. I didn't like how they eliminated 4 designers before the first challenge.....and that first challenge was a bust. It can only get better now.
  2. Haley Reinhart, my favorite American Idol last season, has signed a record contract. 
  3. I found this funny English sitcom on BBC onDemand. The inbetweeners. It would be so much funnier without the bleeps though!
  4. I am working out, for the first time in my 50 years. I do have bruises on my legs from one of the leg lift machines. Let's see how it goes. Just can't face another round of WW. 
  5. The River House, by Sarahlee Lawrence. Very good read. Good writing, good subject matter and unexpected turn of events. Recommend.
  6. AAQI   Ami Simms Alzheimers Quilt initiative. I found my little quilt, "Slipping Away" on the waiting to be listed page. #7683. Not sure when it will be on the sale page. Will keep watching!