Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Grounded Grandparents Sew and Saw

      Creating banishes sadness or stress. Last week, with personal deadlines, I sewed eight quilt blocks for a Project Hope quilt (a bug theme).

      Joe and I had to find Hannah a birthday present. We knew she wanted Mattel's Monster High bed for her dolls, but we wanted to make one. Joe used my favorite tool to saw (then paint) the bed, coffin shape with spider headboard that Hannah can embellish. I made the quilt and pillow by scanning logos on a printable fabric. Below is  my favorite tool for cutting shapes in wood, but you could also cut up shoeboxes.

      Our real present is a Schilling Little Red  toy accordion that is fun for adults to play (Tabs 4Toy accordion).  I found harmonicas (harptabs.com) are similar in the playing, so we got those for the other kids. I learned so much about playing a toy accordian and harmonica that I wondered why I had not ever done that before. There is plenty of music at those sites. According to the the Schilling insert, these instruments belong to the reed family and go back 5000 years to when the legendary Chinese "Yellow Emperor" Huang Ti wanted to reproduce bird songs such as that of the Phoenix. We'll see.

      I made a quilted birthday card for Hannah that says "Sew Fine Hannah is Nine." Her mother saves these quilted greetings. The accordion fit into my shiny MFA bag so it can be treated with care.

      How is that for a scattershot blog. Oh, and we added some books. Grandparents are crazy. Click on photos to enlarge.

       Oh! I forgot to mention the kolaches that West, Texas is known for. Visit the Homesick Texan to learn more. I made a batch this weekend and did not eat just one.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Frazzled in Boston. Giving is good.

     With all that is happening in Boston, I haven't gotten off my blog this week. I 've made quilt blocks for Project Hope, started a baby quilt, several journal quilts and Hannah's soft birthday card. I am going to take a break to post something easy.

      Over the Passover/Easter week I was cooking challenged. When I heard neighbor Jeff bragging on his son's matzo ball soup, I said I would give fifteen-year-old Lloyd the 16" x 20" painting I had made of him as a youngster if he would provide my guests with his "award-winning" soup. The next day, young Lloyd appeared with his culinary art for 8 people in a big silver kettle and we loved it. Particular Hannah said it was the best she ever had. I am not yet pleased with the journal quilt I created on the subject, but here is the "unfinished" painting that Lloyd took home.There is a baseball carved in the paint in the clouds above his head. Lloyd had a cello before he was five, or four.  He and his dad LOVE baseball. His mother, an accomplished cellist, is on his shoulder in the painting.

     I ran across another painting in iPhoto, canvas stretched on cut-out wood, light bulbs and rullers attached,  which I made and gave to the dean of my art school when she wrote a recommendation for me. Seeing this snapshot of the painting made me want to get back to fun of crafting in painting.The title is "Those Who Do What is True, Come to the Light." Click to enlarge the photos.

I haven't gotten Hannah's present to her but it will soon be on the way!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Time "FLU" while stitching!

    Since a child I have loved an excuse, like rare rain in Amarillo, to stay inside to color! This week it was the flu. A chance to stay home to stitch, watch movies and read. I stitched a lot (MM spoiler alert).

    Yes, Erika (and family) came to visit over Passover/Easter week. It was only reasonable that they check out their new house. We thought the children's flu had passed. While here, granddaughter and Joe went out to hang eggs in her carefully chosen spots. But much of the time she still needed to rest. We didn't rest so much and caught the flu. Life was slow the last two weeks, but stitch I did. 

    I had an assignment to quilt "canyon." Probably only I would express it literally, but when the Palo Duro Canyon is just outside my home town and is second in size to the Grand Canyon....and Georgia O'Keefe painted her time spent there, you want people to know about it. I could quilt nothing else. But I still have a month before "Reveal Day" at Material Mavens to think of something else and do it better. I could add a flying crow from Georgia's painting. I painted muslin with Jacquard fabric paints and quilted with #8 embroidery thread.

    Today I realized I better get started on the Katie quilt for Project Hope.http://www.prohope.org/ This year the topic is bugs and nature, so I made one block. I have been wanting to make a 36 square 12" block. It made me so happy, I want to do more.  Click photos to enlarge.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chatelaine: a sewing tool for the peripetetic

    Always running around, I like to have my scissors, needle, thimble and tape measure close at hand. A chatelaine is perfect for that. Beautiful quilted ones are on the market, but my version is a lite lanyard. I especially enjoy portable art such as sashiko, embroidery and beading on a trip; but when I showed granddaughter this scissor solution, the thought of dangerous tools around her grandmother's head in a car or elsewhere terrified her.

       I found Dritz makes tape measures in a variety of colors and I bought a grosgrain ribbon longer than the 43 inches I used of the ruler. I stitched both sides of the tape measure to the ribbon. I made a quilted pocket for one end which holds a thimble and I can insert needles and pins when needed. I added these clippers to the other end but would now prefer scissors.  One just hangs this light weight necklace around the neck when in the house or the car so tools are readily available without having to wonder where they were last left.

       If one leaves tools on the floor they can be too tempting to the dogs. Here is Chrissy's chatelaine that uses weights and a pin cushion; but it needs a redo because the dog enjoyed it so. Click photos to enlarge.