Monday, May 30, 2011

New York Decision: a journal quilt

   Backtracking on my journal quilts, of one a week, I am posting about our recent trip to New York City. It is such a treat to stay in first son's beautiful home to visit art galleries and museums while he is on vacation. This time it was a joy to visit the other son's new work place, the Chrysler Building near Grand Central. We were so excited for Bill to make this move but the decision making was harrowing to observe!
     We ate well and visited museums and libraries and, of course, The City Quilter where I got this fabric. The fireworks are from another piece of material, machine embroidered. I machine quilted quickly around the basic structures but some bead embellishment would add.

"The Chrysler Building
This quintessential art deco skyscraper is an icon of the extravagance and dynamism of New York in the Roaring 20s. The tower architect William Van Alen designed for auto tycoon Walter Chrysler features stylized hood ornaments, wheels and hubcaps. Its height was altered several times in a well-publicized race with the Bank of Manhattan Trust building. The needle-like spire was concealed until the last stage of construction to put it over the top to become the world's tallest building in 1930."   I found this information on a postcard at MOMA in a collection of postcard models...with tips on construction for the crafty. Build Your Own New York Postcard Models  Scale: 1:3000 Wurlington Brothers Press
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Circus has come to town: a journal quilt

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         Every year, good friend and active Shriner Neal buys tickets to the circus and gifts us for the grandchildren. It is our duty to ride the elephants and horses, buy lots of cotton candy of which all the money goes to the Shriners' burn centers, and engage with other goodies, treats and rides for a super concern. This year I made a movie but forgot the journal quilt.

        I am far enough behind on journal quilts, I thought I would use the very first block which I made to teach myself patchwork quilting. Of course it would have helped to have read the instructions: I did not leave enough margin on the edges to sew to another. Sooo SEW! I thought I would use the elephant block to stand in for the circus journal, because I could not use it otherwise (no margins). Serendiptously, I see that the movie Water for Elephants is showing down the street. The reviews haven't been tops, but I liked what Ebert said. I read and enjoyed the book.  Of course, I am still disturbed by some elephant training videos I observed recently.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Graduation in the 'hood": security blankets and more

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      Days are wildly full now, but I wanted to make something festive to take to a graduation dinner on the harbor. Good friend and neighbor,Jean and her daughter Anna, were both graduating...Jean with a Masters in Public Health and Anna with an undergraduate interest in international health.
      First I made graduation cards using Comic Life and then added quotations on commencement to the backs of the envelopes. I learned this afternoon how to used the embroidery attachment on my sewing machine so I could put their names on "security blankets." I had many missteps in my education but succeeded after using a stabilizer ironed on the back of the fabric. I wrote the names and class and then made "pillow cases" with batting. turned and stitched on gold wings and around the edges. Of course the Kaffe Fassett fabric "made" them; and I listened to the graduation speeches as I sewed.The back was a complimentary exciting fabric by the same designer. I picked up some light-up rings for the graduates to be easily identified and had little gifts to pull out of my bag.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Worlds of Worry

    Sometimes I make journal quilts about phenomenon occurring in the world. Not only are extraordinary events happening in the world, one knows big changes in people's lives. There are the daily shocking newspaper reports as well as major alterations occurring in the lives of friends and family. Although we have many blessings and reasons to be thankful and to have faith, the worry in the world and neighborhoods is palpable. I thought I would say hello to WORRY in my journal quilt: time wasting, but around the clock worry. Hoping not to trivialize, I recommend several sites of worry quotations: Worry Quotes, Sayings about Anxiety, WorriesWorry quotesDon't Worry, Be Happy Quotes  These are just a few of the sites you find when you Google "worry quotes."
    You asked about the fabrics: The black and white background I picked up at JoAnne's Fabric for use as hair on a portrait, but thought it chaotic enough as a backing for worry. I worked in the Text part of Comic Life software to write lots of "Worry" words and to distort them. I printed that graphic on an inkjet fabric "paper."The clock faces were from a Ben Franklin fabric of antique clocks which I thought were too baroque for this piece. So I cut out the clock faces, fused and stitched them on. I don't particularly like the white trim stitching, but I wanted more white and thought this seemed bursting chaos. A puff paint would be preferred, but I couldn't wait.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Super Joe to the Rescue: a journal quilt

   Usually I make an 8" x 8" journal quilt a week, in a couple of hours; but given all the recent exciting events, of Bill's traveling and accepting a position in NYC and the grandchildren's moving away, I have fallen behind. One reason was I simply could not think of a way to capture the idea of Joe's taking care of the three grandchildren in extraordinary situations.
    I thought of Juggler Joe and had them pose...but nothing came to mind that I could do in a couple of hours. Finally, I decided to portray Joe as Superman, answering many calls from the parents, rushing to their home. I found some fabric to do the job. You can click to enlarge.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Decorating the ears: a quick craft

    Joe got me a new jacket for Mother's Day and I needed some earrings to tie it in with my motley take in both the cool rainy days and hints of warm spring. The jacket is pink and I was going retro with black blouse and crops. I stopped at two bead stores to pick up some "stones" and I had some silver wire headpins at home to twist into shape to attach to earring findings. Some day I must get up the nerve to pierce my ears so there won't be so much hardware involved.
    There are many videos on how to make earrings. If this link goes dead, just Google How to make earrings. I get a bit goofy sometimes adding fish, teacups and turkeys (Thanksgiving). But it is fun to have an endless supply. Today's effort is the pair top row second from the right. The beads around the colored malachite of red and black, are black and pink but didn't photograph well. The other earrings are recent efforts. Click to see better.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hamsas: a blessing for Nina

   Many things happen at once. Son has taken a job in NYC. His wife's mother had a major bike accident. They just sold their house and will be off to choose a new one. Mother's Day is nigh.
Hannah 7

   Daughter-in-law is wildly busy winding up the house situation, packing, mothering, but off to see her mother on Mother's Day. I thought the children could paint hamsas scented with lavender and I would quilt them for this other grandmother. I first heard about hamsas on my visit to The Jewish Museum last week on vacation to see the Maira Kalman exhibit. The shop was closed but I asked for ideas to send to Nina who is still in hospital. I saw jewelry of hamsa design and I looked up the term on return home. I Googled "Images" of Hamsas and was partial to a stained glass pattern, but there are so many others.

Erika 5
   I made copies of hamsa patterns for the children to trace or to have a jumping off point for their own designs. I meant to TRACE their hands for signatures and flat forgot, darnit! I had ironed white fabric. Hannah, 7 and Erika, 5 chose different patterns and David, 2 worked on paper with watercolors. They left after supper; and I partially quilted the pieces, including the paper two-sided one of David's, spraying the interiors with lavender. The girls worked with Lumiere's halo and jewel color textile paints, having first placed their white fabric over the outlined designs. One could see through the white fabric. Hannah chose a teal blue  batik fabric to back hers, and Erika chose a multi-colored one. I used the two papered watercolors for front and back for David. All scented, are in separate envelopes, ready for a trip to their grandmother Nina (Nana).
David 2
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