Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fast work: Postcard journal quilt, Dora summer dress

Sometimes you like to surprise people. You want to make something to thank. This week, as you know, I made 8 quick fabric postcards and mailed; and they arrived the next day in the Boston area. I don't know yet if they arrived in foreign posts. I had found this postcard fabric on my last visit to The City Quilter in NYC, often arriving in the city at Penn Station (I wish Jackie could have saved it as she saved Grand Central), relatively convenient to son's home. I wanted to post this journal quilt before beading today.

Also, I want to show you the quick summer dress I made after my grandchild's date with me. I wanted to take her to my haunts, a quilt store and bead shop and then create something. We found the Dora fabric (as well as Minnie Mouse and Fancy Nancy) all smocked, sold by the inch, and needing only ONE stitch from hem to top to make it ready to wear. Double fortunately, we found a one yard remnant, also 50% off. When we got home I stitched it up (still too big) and then went in another inch and it held up own its on. Erika wanted straps, so I pulled out some yellow bias tape, quickly stitched the sides, took a fitting and finished the piece which she wore to the neighborhood park concert last night where she climbed and ran around while I was instructed on U2's music. (click on both photos to view larger)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Easy Fabric Postcards

The easiest fabric postcard to make, IMO, is what I created today. I made eight of them and took them to the PO to be hand-stamped after I had afixed a self-adhesive stamp and rubbed it in with the back of my nails. I know, from experience, some will arrive locally, tomorrow. (click on both photos to view)

I sent the sparkling fairies to thank my grandchildren for my birthday gifts, the pencil prints (Kaffe Fassett design) with the cakes to thank for other gifts or to wish a happy birthday to people here and far away, and the baseballs to Evan who put up our paper when we were gone.

First, with a rotary cutter, cut a front, a back and a piece of flannel, all 4 1/2" x 6 1/2."  I used an antique stamp to print Post Card, but writing it is equally nice or better. I ironed on the cakes with something like Wonder Under. Next,  stack, the pieces and pin:  the flannel on the bottom, then the back and front, their good sides together.  Stitch all around 1/4 " from the edge (leaving a two-inch opening mid-end so that you can turn the pieces after clipping the corners). Press after turning. Now stitch 1/8" from the edge all around which will close the opening. I used white thread, and Sharpies to color where I did not want white lines. I used a gel marker to write without the bleeding of ink. I wish I could move more slowly to give the ink time to dry!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Party Time: a journal quilt

    Birthdays continue to come around, not just mine, but my friends. This was a week of birthday parties and reunions. Not only were there neat get-togethers, phone calls and cards from all over, e-mails, surprises at the door galore....but I ran into friends I have not seen in the health center!  This is my funny thought for the day: Not only can we see our friends and family on the street walking the dog, at the swimming pool, at meetings and parties...but as we mature, we can run into our past at the doctors' offices :*) The eyes in the background stand for all the people it is special to see again, in person or by modern media.
     I should be more specific on the special experiences I had this week and last, but I want to get this sketch, a journal quilt, up. (click photo to enlarge) Thank you one and all for the happy thoughts and times.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wreck Miss: a journal quilt

Last Friday we drove to New York City; and highways were packed with cars, probably returnees from a long July 4th holiday. A car in front of us in the fast lane went out of control, moved across the other crowded lanes as all dodged it, into a guard rail, spun around and went a forceful head-first into the ditch. Debris was thrown onto my windshield. We phoned 911 and articulated the exact location. In the city I became more conscious of the zooming cars and less fearful of flying.

In the New York we swooned dining at La Bonne Soupe near MOMA; saw the Otto Dix show and ate Austrian goodies at the Neue Gallery close to the Metropolitan Museum; and viewed the Charles Burchfield watercolors at the Whitney. Of course, I did not miss The City Quilter on 24th. A drive back through New York State and western Massachusetts was much prettier and calmer.

Jean's birthday

My neighbor's birthday is a few days before mine, ten years apart. Jean is a challenge to treat. Husband Neal has a big surprise party planned for tonight, but I could not think of a gift. I know Jeanie is 60 and Judith Viorst always has a decade book. For this time, Suddenly Sixty and other Shocks of Later Life is the one I bought. Jean loves aprons and is finishing another degree this year. (click on the photo above)

So finally the muse visited me at the last minute: After buying the book, I dropped in JoAnne's fabrics and saw a vintage material that spoke to me (vintage). Lo and behold there were file folders and sticky notes for the scholar that matched the apron I would make from Simplicity pattern 3752! I had hoped to stitch the multi-ruffled one, but I had a time constraint and was wise for once. I also earlier designed some cards for the birthday girl, but they don't really match. One card combines sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle's Nanas w Jean's visage, celebrating Jean's spirit. The other is from Comic Life. The National Museum of Women in the Arts had mailed that postcard I collaged.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Party Postcards and Comic Life

On July 20 I will be a year older, and at this point I seem to be celebrating all month. Today, my good friend, an artist, took me to Fugaku for our annual birthday lunch, cake and presents.

With my recent foray into no-sew postcards (see June 29 posting) , I had Kathy's thank-you note in the mail a few hours later. The Post Office seems to get excited to see my fabric cards when I go to have them hand-canceled. I bought a self-adhesive stamp and rubbed it in, however slightly crooked. I said, "You would think I could put it on straight," and the post-mistress said, "That is why I gave it to you to do!" :*) Anyway, she put a pretty red cancellation stamp on the fabric postcard, and it is on its way to my artist hostess. P.S. I think it is a good sign I didn't have to review how I made the cards before.

To show all the images at once, I downloaded Comic Life, a software program that is fun to use. This version is for Snow Leopard on my Mac, and I have much to learn. (click on the collage to enlarge)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Swimming in the heat

Hooray for long weekends and indoor crafts before a heat wave. (click to enlarge)

I made two necklaces and two goldfish. I downloaded the goldfish pattern from Abby's site While She Naps. You can print a pdf of instructions to make this ornament or part of a mobile.

I still can't get over how easy it is to make a necklace. You need the crimper tool, 2 crimp beads, two seed beads, Fireline wire or other stringing material, a needle to pass through the decorative beads and a mix of beads. I use a beader's tray to make it easy to lay out to study and measure the length of the necklace: 17 inches, with another inch for the clasp run it up to a nice length of 18 inches. At both ends of the necklace, pass a threaded needle through the crimp bead, a seed bead, the loop on the clasp, back down through the seed bead, back through the crimp bead to finish down a couple of inches into the decorative beads. Tighten all firmly and crimp (tighten) first with the funny hole and then again with the round hole on the crimper tool. Do this at both ends and voila. Don't cut the wire until you are sure it will hold (meaning the crimper bead is tight enough). You will find other ways to secure things. I do a hidden knot about two inches down and use clear fingernail polish to glue.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Leadership Laxity

Journal quilts are posted weekly about some important event, something of significance in one's life or a happening one wants to remember. I have neglected to post about the Gulf disaster or the fall of a four-star general, an earthquake, or even a discussion w Hannah about vegetarianism. But I can't omit the Gulf disaster any longer although I find it difficult to post on. The four-star fall is there as well.

We were so fortunate in the founders of this country, and hopefully we can continue to have leaders, in business and in government, who are alert and diligent to do the best for the earth, our country and its people, and all the world.