Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hannah's birthday card: quilted and digital

      Hannah has a birthday coming up and I like to prepare ahead. First I printed a birthday card on the computer using Comic Life software; and then I printed the same photo onto a printable fabric. She should have quite a stack of both Comic Life cards and quilted pieces by now!

 click photos to enlarge.
   Making the quilted card is somewhat like creating a journal quilt. One thinks of the main idea to communicate. This year Hannah is a nut about reading and always has a book in her hand. That had to be the theme.

      I ordinarily choose a fabric for the background and build on that, but this time I held the print  next to my stash to see what colors looked good with it. I sewed them, and cut batting and backside. For the backside I chose sheets of music since Hannah was back to piano lessons. I ironed some strips left over from another project, glued them on the edges and used a satin stitch to secure. 

      The quilt was finished but I just kept adding on anything that was in rick rack, free motion writing, ribbon. You are supposed to quilt BEFORE adding on the binding but that didn't stop me. I may still return with that gold puff paint and sprinkled gold beads. I will try to restrain myself. I also learned how beautiful batiks are with contrasts.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring (or anytime) Surprise Ball: an Easter treat

     Hit by warm weather and springing for an early Easter with the grandchildren, I was aided by beader friend Chrissy who told me about Surprise Balls in Martha's April Living magazine. I went on-line to find Kate Spade's video, the history and YouTube demo, and a blog on the topic! Click on these links to see what fun Chrissy said she had as a youngster.
click to enlarge

   Yesterday after a delicious lunch via the Barefoot Contessa recipes and a fab Sashiko tutorial by Ellen, Joe and I headed to a toy store, CVS and a party store for eggs and to collect tiny items for the three surprise balls which I will eventually turn into giant Easter eggs for the grandchildren. I am rushing this out before I am finished since I know you may want to get started.The links above tell the story of wrapping the presents in crepe paper, changing colors and decorating at the end. The children unwrap and unwrap and unwrap!

      You can click to enlarge the photo to see what I included. The most important first. David's very unfinished purple egg in the background started with a Bambi figure. The girls will get what I don't approve of, fingernail polish that glows in the dark. We got bubbles, watercolors, clay, Pugs like our granddog, Angry Bird puzzle eraser, a dollar, and naughty very soft foam egg shooters.  We saw the adopt-a-bunny chocolate rabbits cleverly packaged but not sure about eating one's pet. There were a couple of books, that like the eggs and bunnies won't be wrapped.That is a start, anyway. One must plan ahead. There are plenty of treasures in one's house and pocket wo having to buy.

      After being told by Blogger I had used up all my photo space, I wanted to test my reducing photo sizes to get in under the free wire and it worked. Hallelujah. One must have photos and SURPRISES!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Fabric Postcards Revisited

    Recently my childhood friends "rounded up" ourselves to meet in Amarillo, TX. A grand time ensued. Sadly, we recently lost a special one of ours; and I asked that the Order of Service for the memorial service be sent to me. I wanted to respond with a thank you note to friends who followed up.

     I wanted to make a fabric postcard differently from how I have in the past. (Type in "fabric postcard" in the search area by the Blogger "B" to see other methods.) I ironed Wonder Under that I get at JoAnn's Fabric to the tears and to the batik for the binding. I cut out strips of binding in 1" widths and folded them to 1/2", finger pressing with the paper on. I cut out the sky fabric, the blue "roundup" rope fabric, and the sky backing to size 4" x 6" which is U.S. postcard size. I did not even pin them together but ironed on the binding, top and bottom, then sides. I press about ten seconds to each side. Then I stitched around.

    Next I stamped "Postcard" on the cloud side and ironed on the tears fabric to one side, hearts on the other. I should have sewed these on first. I double secured them with gold puff paint on their edges that will take 24 hours to dry well. I used a hair dryer to make them workable or manageable. Now all I have to add is the addresses using a gel marker, finger press on a postage stamp, and deliver for hand-canceling at the USPost Office.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Elements: a Material Mavens 12 x 12 quilt

     The Material Mavens publish a 12 x 12 inch quilt the 15th day of every other month on their Reveal Day, each member's dealing with the same theme. This time the theme is Elements. I wrote:

     In ancient thought, Fire, Earth, Water and Air and sometimes Spirit (something beyond the physical world) are the classical elements, the root units from which the world is formed. Hopefully the elements work in harmony!
    Today these early descriptions are used in writing and graphics, paintings, tarot and astrology. In my stash, I found fabric to represent each physical elements and separated them by curvy quilting. The gold represents the spiritual.
     I cut gold fabric to which I had ironed Wonder Under. I punched a hole in the center of the square piece of fabric and cut a spiral from the center all the way around and back again. I fused the spiral  on the front and what was left on the reverse of the 12 x 12. I squeezed puff paint to edge the activating spiral, sprinkled gold beads atop and on the bottom, and used a hair dryer to secure.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Monument Men: a Journal Quilt

     Quilters and other artists often buy materials that speak to them because some day they will be of use. Early this year, I was attracted to a book fabric and one of Impressionist paintings. Having no idea how I would ever use them, I bought a half yard of each.

     I cut a door in the front of the journal quilt to reveal the paintings below. Click to enlarge to see the keyhole made of puff paint on middle right side on the front book panel You can open the "door" for a view of the Van Gogh.  Open the entire front cover to reveal more paintings.

       Last month I hosted my book club which had chosen to read Monument Men. It is about how Hitler's men went about pillaging the finest art in Europe and declaring other art "degenerate." The Monument Men had a mandate from FDR and the support of Eisenhower in a race against time to save some of the world's greatest art treasures from destruction at the hands of Nazi fanatics. Much of the art was hidden and some found in salt mines. I had not wanted to read the book, since I had already finished The Rape of Europa and seen the documentary of the same name. However, I was thrilled by all that I learned. Also, George Clooney, reportedly will make a movie of the book.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Memories and Remembrance: two journal quilts

   Yesterday, our fortnightly Journal Quilt Connection was to meet and I was behind! I decided to make 5 quilts too fast. I made a list of the events in my life I wanted to remember or mark. I thought of the roundup/reunion of our 13 best girlfriends (like sisters) from childhood in Amarillo, Texas back in October and the recent wrenching losses of two special people.
    The Roundup is made of the fabric I used to create souvenirs snap purses for my dear old pals; and to attach their names to the piece, I created brands using gold puff paint. I took their initials (either maiden or married names) to mark them on this journal quilt.
     The other quilt I made quickly on a fabric that I felt only hinted at the anquish involved in loss and I made two hearts of blue tear images floating above and off. A satin stitch surrounds the hearts; and I used iridescent puff paint to float over the hearts' borders. The backing and quilt edge are silver.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Round and round: Triangle time

     It is Round Robin turn in time again. I just finished adding the triangles and a border piece to the prettiest Round Robin to come around so far. My colors are often so bright but I didn't mind buying muted batiks for this pretty piece. This quilt will now go to someone to add what she thinks it needs. Remember: the first person made a medallion; the second person added corners to that; the third put on squares and rectangles, and I surrounded all with triangles.

     Sorry about the angle but I risked my life to photograph this on the bed for you since I don't have a big design wall. I see a thin brown border in the middle is folded down but that will be fixed.  Now to get back to my four Journal Quilts that I will be posting soon. Click the photo to enlarge.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Joe Retired! : a journal quilt

    At the end of the year, Joe retired. He says he is under new management! I love it; but he has not said  the same thing re this new stage of life :*).

    This journal quilt reflects all the red tape and paper work that go into retirement and suggests the chairs Joe reupholstered in the new year (not to speak of the rooms he repainted and shelves he built to hold his books)!

     The fabric of birds is from my quilting stash as are the chair silhouettes. The red tape is a zigzag stitch and the flying papers are Tyvek cut from an envelope to appear flying.