Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Birthday Visit: new discoveries

    Joe and I drove to see the grandchildren and celebrate their mother's birthday this past weekend in NYC. I put the quilted portable sewing books (see my June 10 posting) in the children's hands and they got busy stitching.

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

     The card we picked out for Beth was from Papyrus, down the street from The City Quilter on 25th Street. I returned to buy four more cards to show my friends what fun it would be to make cards on which we sew fabric and bead. Check out these examples!

      The next day I hit some museums: Vuillard at the Jewish Museum on 92nd and the Met. Looking through books I realized that Paul Klee, the painter, made paintings that would be perfect for quilts. And Gustav Klimt has patterns in his paintings, in the landscapes and portraits, that fit in with our discussion of Zentangle at the last week's blog posting. I Googled the name of the artist and quilts and clicked on Images to find I was not the first person to find paintings a rich source for quilters.

      On the way home, I read the HILARIOUS book Help! I Married a Quilter by Mark Hyland. I wanted to share my finds with you.

Monday, June 18, 2012

No Zen this week, but Zentangle and Zendoodle

     Where did the week go? The Beadsprouts went to the MFA to see Nancy's painting hanging; and following that, I demonstrated for JQC what I had learned about Zentangle and Zendoodle from books, talks, YouTube and Quilting Arts magazine. But it was Donna Jean, the leader of Journal Quilt Connection who got me interested initially. This is one of her unfinished Zendoodle pieces begun on paper and transferred to cloth. Click to enlarge to see the beads and embroidery:

      DJ is a friend who is a beader and a quilter and we get together for lunch and the hunt. The last exploration took us to Ryco Trim in Lincoln, RI where she got some trim for her journal quilt made from a Zentangle. Go to Suzanne McNeill's hyperlink above at YouTube to view the process or Google Zendoodle and Zentangle to see other videos so you can start Zendoodling in a sketchbook for work you want to turn into a quilt. DJ says that a light weight polyester batting is less tiring on the hands.

     On driving out of the Ryco parking lot I saw and  photographed this charmer:

    I plan to show the grandchildren how to ZenTangle/Zendoodle on paper, but adults can take it to really sophisticated levels. Get a book to get started!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Portable Sewing Kits for hand sewing on the road

    A couple of years ago, I wanted to learn to quilt fast. I searched for and joined a Dear Jane group founded by Brenda Papadakis to get acquainted with lots of quilt blocks, however small! One evening, we made a portable sewing kit to carry the pieces of each block under a piece of muslin and atop batting, all our tools in one place, so we could work on them on the road or at meetings.

     Recently, I found a terrific trompe l'oeil fabric that I wanted to use to make something for the grandchildren.I  decided to make each child this carrier and to fill it with small needle work projects. They will always have the stitches available for resource in the fabric.

     It took me under two hours to make: Cut 9" x 18" quilted fabric (red, here) and lining fabric (the stitches). Cut  5 1/2"x 18" quilting and lining for the pocket that goes across. Use bias tape to finish the top of the long pocket. Then add bias tape all around. (I stitched close to the edge all around before adding the bias tape.)

      Next, cut batting which will be "pages" to hold the stitchery. The batting is 8" x 16". I cut two sheets of batting and sewed it down the middle to fold like a book's pages (4 pages or 8 sides). Of course, first mark the center of both batting and cover.  You can add little unfinished sheets of muslin (about 6" square  that you sew along the bottom of the pages to cover art so pieces of fabric don't fall out...and do this before sewing the pages to the cover). I added a little 2" x 3" pincushion and sewed in a page of a Ziplock bag for extras. Make seams from the top of the pocket down to hold rulers, scissors, glue, etc. Click to enlarge the photos.

      There are fabulous books for children and adults like Doodle Stitchery. And this weekend I just discovered the award winning edgy embroidery book, Hoopla. Serendipitously, in straightening up, I just ran across Brenda's ruler that said "Finished is better than Perfect!"  I was wondering why I went so far astray!  


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dance recital gems: a journal quilt

     Springing forth in May are recitals and commencements. We drive 4 hours to watch the grandchildren perform.  Two recitals in the same day elicit funny reactions. I made a small journal quilt to remember two comments, because journal quilts help one remember not only significant events but amusing moments you don't want to forget:

     Erika performed in the first recital. The family was seated around a big table for lunch in a local restaurant. As we ate, different ones heaped praise on this second child in the family. Finally, it was too much for the first born who exasperated, blurted out, "I don't get it! What is all this carrying on about Erika!" We pointed out that after her three dances in the afternoon, she surely would receive similar accolades. I free-motion quilted this and another gem on the small quilt.

       Later, on the way to Hannah's recital, after some frustrations of lost crayons, Hannah was disagreeing with her mother and told to "put on a happy face" to get ready for the performance. Hannah, noted for her pretty smile, responded, "I am really not a smiley sort of person." That struck me as so endearingly straight forward and self-assured. I didn't want to forget that moment or that small journal quilts (8" x 8") are more fun to make than 12" x 12"s).   (Click photos to enlarge)