Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Journal quilt additions

     Catching up on a few journal quilts while Joe sanded the kitchen floor, I remembered to also document our time last week and before with the children in NYC. Since journal quilts are sketches, I stitch them quickly. If I had more time, I would embellish more profusely;  but before I know it, another week has passed. Maybe after I am gone, the girls, and even David, can take them to a higher level with their additions. Also, I would like to start journal paintings once a week. Some people paint one a day.

     That cute little rabbit I saw in my neighbor's garden  last summer is bringing forth other emotions now that he has eaten many of Joe's new sprouts, especially the sunflowers for Erika. Joe asked the children if he should make a stew as Mr. McGregor did and they said "No."Maybe we need a scarecrow like my cellist neighbor's!  Click to enlarge.

      Also, there's the alphabet fabric with which the girls made quilt hangings. I added cupcakes to remember Hannah's pre-party picnic down on the Hudson. A hint of the water is in a remnant on the quilt.



      The days before Memorial Day, Jim and Colin treated the children to adventures in NYC. I read tales in family trees and caught up with relatives. Then we watched the PBS Memorial Day program. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stitching on the road: a Sashiko in color

    When Joe and I drove four hours away to see the grandchildren in ballet recitals, I put on a British mystery CD for us to listen to and I stitched away while Joe drove through the heavy rain. Ellen had showed me her pattern for a multi-colored Sashiko piece and how to braid Sashiko embroidery thread to make it easy to pull out a single color to work with. Debbie said Erika Wilson also taught about braiding the thread.

(Click to enlarge the photos)

     This piece is about 12" x 12." It is fun to have something one can finish. I bought a quarter yard of several deep colors from green to red and purple to create some Sashiko coasters or little sachet bags using  plain white or off-white Sashiko embroidery thread...a modest task only for the road. I got this idea at The City Quilter!

     I also found this fine panel to make something for the children. Maybe I could add batting and a backing and the girls could do their own hand quilting if they felt comfortable doing so.  I came to the conclusion on this trip, that I should make up some SMALL projects ahead of time for them to play with. Usually they want to create something enormous like a quilt from scratch for brother David;  and that is not realistic. Hannah says she is ready to deal with her Hello Kitty Janome sewing machine. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mystery Quilt for the Material Mavens Journal Quilt Reveal

The Keys in Hiding ~ Again!
     It’s an increasing MYSTERY where I have placed things! 

      In the midst of creating my first attempt at this mystery quilt, Que Sera Sera (below)the puzzle of children’s development, I needed a crystal ball and finally made one that doesn’t photograph as good as it looks. At the same time, I re-read Art and Fear, which gave me the nerve to paint the rabbit.  I Googled Alice’s rabbit, Images, and sketched a composite, however anatomically challenged he is.  I dove into my Lumiere textile paints and was surprised how slowly they built up compared with my other paints. I added a black permanent marker in spots. My background fabric awaited.
      To make the crystal ball, I traced a saucer onto freezer paper and ironed the freezer paper to fabric. I folded in the edges (Katie P-M suggests spray starch) and blind-stitched it. I opened the backing and added polyfill. It needed more. In my stash I found this sheer fabric that doesn’t fray. I cut it out and used a spray glue to the edges. Next, I began to quilt things to batting. I took silver embroidery floss to stitch around the globe, after inserting a felt key. I also used embroidery thread on the clock.I needed bubbles for thoughts. I first photographed the piece and added it to Comic Life software to test bubble shapes and colors. Then I cut out fabric onto which I had ironed Wonder Under and printed the thoughts with Fabrico, a permanent marker. The fabric for the backside was too small,  but I hastily glued it down and stitched over all with invisible thread to suggest the speed of the frantic rabbit. Perhaps some hands or fingers are needed to hover over the ball, but it’s late, it’s late!

        Neither is perfect, but I made so many mistakes and learned several new techniques.That is a special bonus of art journal quilting!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fast Fabric Postcard: for Nancy

     Birthdays always sneak up on me. But I now have a method for the world's fastest fabric greeting card. I made this last night "watching" Henry Louis Gate's Finding Your Roots program on PBS. Maybe the birthday card will get to Nancy by May10th!

      Cut 3 pieces of fabric 4" x 6." One is the decorative top piece, the second in the sandwich is the batting for which I used felt. If you want to "quilt" the top piece to the batting, do it now. Then there is the back piece that must say "Postcard."

       For extra protection, sew these three pieces near the edge to secure them. I didn't. Cut and iron Wonder Under to two strips of fabric 1" x 6" and two strips 1" x  4". Fold these strips in half lengthwise and remove the backing of the WU.  Place these strips of fabric tight and flat along the edges of the fabric and iron them in place. Follow the instructions on the Wonder Under and cut the strips a little long to trim to fit. To secure the bonded fabric, I went around the edge of the card both to iron and add a decorative machine stitch. To quilt further, I stitched other stars from that same decorative stitch at different spots on the postcard. Click to enlarge photos.

        I then stamped Postcard to the backside and addressed the card with Fabrico pen which I heat set. (Here, addresses are covered with fabric scraps.) I pressed the stamp on carefully. It probably needs less postage since it is flat and the size of a postcard, but since I ask for hand-cancelling, I pay full letter price.
         P.S. Last week I Googled the National Geographic DNA Genographic project to get my kit and it arrived yesterday. Now to find time to gather my DNA to mail it in to find where in the world I came from thousands of years ago. Should be fun. On the 15th, Material Mavens reveal their "mystery" quilts and I will show the one I just finished at that time.