Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

   It is such a pleasure to enjoy the cooking of young people! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. (click to enlarge photos)

Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.  Seneca

All that we behold is full of blessings.   William Wordsworth

We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning.  Albert Barnes

Happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.  Frederick Keonig

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.  Albert Pike

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hearty Beating: a journal quilt

Click to see naughty errant heart waves.
      I belong to an international 12 x 12 quilt group, The Material Mavens. Every two months we have a new theme chosen by one of the members. It was my turn and I chose "surprise," having no idea what to do. Not one idea came to me. I do love surprises. One should have them at every gathering, dinner party or meetings up...even in blogs and journal quilts. Today was REVEAL day when all show their quilts on the theme.

     Life intervened to save the day, somewhat. I had some wild times with my heart and some good news as well, each happening, positive and negative, a complete surprise to me. I won't bore you with details, but the loud colors, the brash conflicts and softness in the quilt show the two extremes. Previously, in times of Afib thinking, I had quilted and beaded tiny rectangular heart quilts; and this assignment gave me an opportunity to display them. Across the center of the 12 x 12, I sewed some fusible thread in an EKG chart similar to an irregular reading and placed foil over the stitching to iron the iridescent waves.

     The 12 x 12 quilt content is purposefully irregular and needs some balance and resolution but the topic has none. so that is appropriate for my "Surprise" journal quilt. The backing comes over the sides of the front to make the binding or edge.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Birthday Reflections in Fiber: a Journal Quilt

     Birthdays keep happening. I wanted to make a journal quilt as an extra for a friend's celebration (perhaps for people to sign the back or to hold greetings in an envelope attached to the back). I Googled "quilt birthday cakes" Images and blogs, and found many quilts and quilted cakes. One complicated piece at Threads of Conversation tempted me. I tried to paper piece it without a pattern. I made the top backwards and sewed the pedestal on upside down twice and gave up. My proportions were so bad I had to add a frame.
      I decided to free-motion machine quilt with a multi-colored Superior thread and 90/14 needle and to bring the backing of cherries around to the front to form the edge or binding.It would help to slow down to plan!
Click to enlarge
       I stitched  some quotations* I had found for fabric fortune cookies should I decide to take those as a non-caloric addition to the party. So why were these quilting failures so much fun? Practice does not make perfect!.  Why would one want to quilt when people's eyes glaze over when you talk about it or your work is not perfect? Clueless here.
      Often I make quilts for people and then want to keep them. Aren't they fortunate! I may add "For LinLin1 on one side of the lower pedestal and "love LinLin2" on the other side. The whacky construction mirrors the whackiness of additional years. By the way, I have a real present for her.

*The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune.(English proverb)
   Age, like distance lends a double charm. (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
    Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art. (Garson Kanin)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weaving Thanksgiving: a journal quilt

     For November, our 12" x 12" journal quilt group entertained the theme "Thanksgiving." To the last meeting we each brought small pieces of fabric to be distributed to everyone. These fabric pieces were to be incorporated into our block.
     Nothing came to me except the notion of baskets of blessings for which I am grateful. Celeste at our last meeting showed how she had taken strips of fabric and woven them into a quilt and I thought that was the only thing to do.

      I cut the strips using my new shape cutter that I picked up at the Quilters' Gathering in Nashua NH where I took Hannah who was evacuated from her home in NJ because of the latest storm. She LOVED the quilt show. Note the weaving behind Hannah!

      I wove the strips as one would make a lattice on a pie. I did this directly on the batting, took it to the machine to sew with no pins or spray glue and, surprisingly, it held together.Maybe not on the edges, so I cut them off neatly and took the border fabric and placed it on the back, big enough in size to wrap to the front to overlap strips of batting to be zigzagged to the the woven area. While weaving I thought of all the different personalities, some rough edges of grateful Thanksgiving gatherings with multiple personalities and the mixing of families. It is a cheerful journal quilt that I thought would never happen
      Click to enlarge the photos.
click on that turkey
I just added, a week later, the silhouette, in beads, of a turkey roasted.