Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shake and Fall: a journal quilt

    Journal quilts are for memories...often significant events or special occasions. Click photo to enlarge.

    Last week, the Beadsprouts (my beading group of six...a number that fits around our craft tables) headed to New Hampshire to see the beautiful leaves and share a dinner and Presidential Debate together. Part way into our late meal, a bird tried to get into our windows. The bird frantically turned sideways and upside down to penetrate the glass to get to the light. We drew the curtains all around and finally tossed out an unappreciated dinner roll. That was the first piece of excitement.

     Later, our chairs vibrated under us for about 5 to 10 seconds. I forget how we knew the pulsation was an earthquake from Hollis ME, but the bird must have been a harbinger. After getting the big TV to work just in time, we finished the evening watching the debate and continued the next day to enjoy our surroundings, leaf time in Waterville Valley. That was my first earthquake!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reversible Headbands: multiple choices

     Did you ever wear a headband, or do you have a friend who loves them? I wanted to give granddaughter Erika, seldom seen without a headband, a surprise of more headbands and a chance to design them. Finding grosgrain ribbons about an inch wide was easy. Finding plain headbands (with no teeth) was not so easy. I tried drugstores and department stores.
enlarge to view

            The last time I was in NYC, I stopped at M&J Trimming on 6th Avenue. They and my local Ben Franklin carry a variety of ribbons. Down the street on 6th Avenue, at Fun to Bead or another bead store,  I located the perfect size headbands. These are black which could show through lighter ribbons. At M&J I found white bands, but they graduate in size to larger in the middle, bigger than the ribbons I bought. You only need one headband since the reversible covers slip easily on and off. I used the black.

on the subway in Manhattan...headband with ears on Erika

      I cut the ribbons to about 15.5 inches long and sewed each 1/4" down at ends to the wrong side. I did this to two ribbons. Then, wrong sides together, I sewed the edges with invisible thread just on the long sides leaving the ends open. Sew easy for grandmother fun. I made three quickly and will let Erika design the rest, choosing which two ribbons to sew together.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October Mysteries: crib quit origin

     Do you have some mysteries in your life that need solving? I have a baby quilt that I imagine my grandmother sent to me for my first child and I was too immature to appreciate to protect it. I used this crib blanket daily, washing when needed. I hope I expressed enough gratitude for all the hand stitching, the applique and design, and the multitudinous perfect hand-stitches in the quilting. Until today, I always wondered if she designed it or if it came from a pattern. A quilt from the 30s, was it made for me and saved, or created to send for Jim to have?

      Today I got up early to attend the Cambridge Art Association book group where we discussed Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger. Then I headed out to Lexington for the Rising Star Quilt Show where I ran across and bought an old 80's book Crib Quilts and Other Small Wonders by Woodard and Greenstein. Lo and Behold! The book shows a quilt like mine, one from a private PA collection. I was so excited for a pinch of a lead. Now I am eager to find where the pattern originated. I hope someone can help me so I can do something to relive the experience with my dear Big Mom. 

       I had cleared off the design wall, some more of my little Maine 50th anniversary quickie paintings and journal quilt, in order to hang the stressed but beloved crib quilt. I think the marionette theater must have had quite an influence on me. Click the photos to enlarge!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Painting in the studio: Landscape memories

     On my 50th birthday, this former English and history teacher went to art school for her 7th life. I painted dawn to dusk daily. Many of my paintings are at my website LindaHicksweb.com. Lately, however, I have been quilting and working in a variety of crafts encouraged by involvement with grandchildren.

     Down in my basement studio, I pulled out some little 4" x 4" canvases and my Winsor Newton Griffin fast-drying alkyd paints. In about 1 1/2 hours I painted three little vignettes from our recent trip to Maine.

      It may look like it, but I just sloshed around the oils with a little turpentine and bits of medium. I then painted skies, trees and grounds while thinking of Maine and some sketches of sites I had seen while on the road. I want to do several more memories until I run out of compositions or moods and then I can quilt them for handwork on road trips.

    Joe wanted me to do a small portrait of grandson. I felt I had just begun; but he told me to stop...it was finished. Hope David doesn't mind looking jaundiced! I am loving being back in the studio while I read The Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucien Freud