Quilting, stitching, crocheting


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Crocheting ..... and a life shared

In the past year there have been periods of time that I have been physically unable to sit at the machine and sew.  Rather than allow myself to get frustrated and depressed ... as is quite easy for me to do ...... I picked up an old past time of mine ... Crocheting.

At first it bothered my hands a lot but then I found these new ergonomic hooks.  There are a few different kinds, so I tried a few till I found one that worked best for me.... it is flat with a small cushioned area in just the right spot.  Now I crochet away.  There was also another problem .... because of some of the very strong medicine I was on; it was difficult for to fully concentrate to follow the directions.  My husband and I had many a good laugh over some of my strange creations.  But I happily crocheted odd shaped scarves and hats for friends and family.... who very politely thanked me for the "lovely" creation.

Then I found a charity that was looking for people to make 8 inch squares either knitted or crocheted.  A SQUARE !!!!!  I can do that !!!  Yippee!!! So I made about 100 squares for the orphanages in Rwanda and other places in Africa. No directions to follow and it was good strengthening exercise for  my fine motor skills.  It kept my wandering spaced out drugged mind occupied. AND the square was actually useful to someone in this world.  I was happy.

As time went by and the drugs lessened I was able to do more with the crocheting and made a Granny Square blanket.  A very basic design but a major accomplishment for me.  The picture below is my blanket:

I found a pretty throw made with hexagons in a granny-square-type pattern. I still had trouble following the instructions but when I could not figure it out, I just made up my own pattern.  It all worked except when I made 7 sided motifs instead of 6 ... :-).  Below is that blanket ....

The tedious part is weaving all the hanging strains back into the pattern.  You can see there are plenty to do via the next picture .....

On my last post I mentioned that we are eagerly awaiting the birth of my niece's (Jenica) second baby, a little girl named Aubrey.  It is a happy/sad time for all of us because in April my sister & Jenica's mother, Melinda died very unexpectedly and quickly.  

She was at Pilates and started feeling short of breath.  By the time the paramedics got her to the hospital she was comatose and expired the next day.  She had a massive brain hemorrhage.  A very tragic event for all of us but we are getting thru. It is hardest, of course, for my niece. She is an only child herself and her second child is her first little girl.

There were no goodbyes but my sister was a registered organ donor. About 3 weeks after her death we received a letter from the Life Sharing Group that her donation had help over 60 people with organs and tissue donation.  That meant a lot to all of us.

 Melinda  L. Moore

Melinda and her daughter, Jenica

Melinda and grandson, Brody

Thank you for stopping by and reading the blog. I would love to hear from you if you would like to leave a note.  Thank you and God Bless.     Joanne

PS I will post pictures when Aubrey arrives !!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Brody's Quilt

Hello again, have had a couple of  things occur to prevent me from blogging.  One being that I am having to relearn how to manage the pictures.  I continue to persevere.
  • This posting is about Body's quilt.  Brody is my niece's  2.5 year old son who is a bundle of activity and brings us lots of joy.  The picture below is the bedding set that his Mom got for his crib and room when he was born.  Now Brody has a little sister on her way in just 6 weeks.  So his parents set up his crib to be a big-boy-bed.  Then my niece (Jenica) got the idea of turning the baby quilt  into a quilt big enough to fit the big-boy bed.   Obviously, the big rectangle in the photo is the baby quilt.
 I came up with a design and then we spent some time shopping for the perfect fabric.  Jenica lives at least 45 minutes away from me, so we decided to for me to spend Memorial weekend at her house sewing. That way we could work straight thru and not waste time with all the driving or gas money.

At first I thought I could just build the larger size quilt around the smaller one. But I quickly realized that that was a poor plan.  Brody's Mom and I took his little quilt apart and began the process of "building" the new one. 

First came the striped fabric and getting the "perfect" mitered corners in place.  Then a wider navy perimeter was added to the quilt and then another round of stripes ...... (By the way, did you know how hard it is to match navy blue?  I really did not realize how many shades of navy blue there are in this universe  Egads! That was a pain to accomplish!) .......  The quilt was looking pretty good at this point.  Brody was enjoying watching his quilt grow and would often jump up and down on it to show his enthusiastic  approval.    Similar to the kitty-help I have at home !!

Another round of stripes and navy and we were ready for the best part of the design (IMHO) ..... adding all the stars around the edge that will drop down on the side of the bed

And more stars .......

While I was sewing my niece, Jenica , started working on her own project .... making hair-bows for her daughter, Aubrey who is due to arrive July 6 via C-section.  (Jenica calls her C-section date Aubrey's   "eviction notice".)  Jenica loves the baby bows that are so popular right now so she bought a few.  But after a thorough inspection she realized she could make her own.  So she has been hard at work creating her own hair adornments for her daughter.  She came up with some real pretty ideas and each bow was better than the one before.  Jenica's bow work space and mess ! I had the other end of the table to mess up!

Here are some of her initial creations.  Aubrey will be "styling" from the day she is born!!!!  A bow to match each onesie outfit !

Photo: How I spent my weekend :-)

Finally the new flimsy (quilt top) is on the bed and it fits just great!  

We finished the 3 day weekend by making the quilt sandwich.  I have it at my house now and it is slowly being finished.

I hope this posts with all the pictures clear.  For some reason I am still struggling with using the new blog program with IPhoto.  I know it is just me .... with each tutoring session I learn and retain a little more.  

Thanks for stopping by.   God bless you all!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Butterfly Garden

My last attempt to load the photos obviously failed, but my DD from D.C. has been visiting and while here she is trying to teach me how to upload the photos .... after she first figures it out for herself.  So here I go again ......
Back to the Butterfly Garden project that I have been slowly working on.  My cousin, Cathy, and I both fell in love with this design and decided to do it together.  I chose it ... well, first because it is gorgeous .... and at then, because I was looking for a project I could pick up and work on by hand on days that I am unable to sit at the machine for very long.
After piecing   the individual nine blocks together I had 9 small blocks to make EACH Big Block (BB) square ....  81 small blocks  = 9 BB ....  just sound of that number makes me tired.  I did not realize until I wrote this truly how much prep work went into the start of the quilt. 

This is one BB.  Another reason I chose this quilt was to practice my appliqué technique.  I used to make a lot of appliqué quilts but have not done so in many years.  I stuffed the flower centers and butterfly body for a tarpunto effect.  Here is some detail on it ....

This next clip is a close up on the embroidery.  I love how there is such variety of handwork to do on this 
quilt.  I began to get even more creative on this block and added some beads to the butterfly wings.

Big Block #3 is almost finished .... so I almost have 3 out 9 BBs completed.  

If you look closely below, in the small light blue square you will see buttons instead of the original design's embroidered flowers.  They don't show up too well in the pix ..... it would help if I cropped the pix better ..... but, oh well, that is another lesson.

 My cousin is doing her BG Quilt in 30s fabrics and it too looks very pretty but also very different.    I have  seen many other color combos with this design on the internet.  All of them are gorgeous!   It is inspiring to see how each individual interprets the same design.  The variety of  color combos everyone has is amazing.  It is part of what I love about quilting ... such individuality and all so pretty.

One day this will hang on my living room wall behind the couch.  I have a lot of  
dark  brown in that room so this will set it off nicely.  Brown and aqua is just one
of my favorite color combinations ..... as is purple and green or yellow ... oh, and
I love red and aqua also.  Do you have fav color combos that you repeatedly
lean towards in your creative process?

Would love to hear from you ...... Love and hugs with happy stitches.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hello again

My dear blog- friends ... please do not give up on me.  At my last post none of the pictures came thru.  This was the same problem I had when I stopped blogging before.  This time tho,  I am determined not to give up or quit . 

 My mother-in-law has been visiting for the past 2 months so I did not feel free to totally dedicate myself to solving my computer problems. She has returned home so now I can solve this problem .... AGAIN.  Took some pictures today with my real camera (not phone camera) and am off to the Apple Store tomorrow to solve this problem once and for all.  Have tried everything and everyone else prior to this .... so now it is time to finally pull myself up by my boot straps and go to the source.

It is not that I have any magnificent works to show you ... or that I am a GREAT writer or picture taker or even quilter.  But  you guys are great to communicate and share with.  Will let you know how it goes.

Much love, Joanne

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Butterfly Garden

One of the projects I have been slowly working on is a design called Butterfly Garden.  My cousin, Cathy, and I both fell in love with it and decided to do it together. We knew it would be a long term project which is what I was looking for..... to have something I could pick up when I wanted to relax and do handwork.

First I had to piece all nine blocks together ..... 9 small blocks to make each Big Block square.  Then  9 of THOSE BB (Big Blocks to form the quilt top.

Here comes the challenging part for me ...... loading the pictures.  The pictures I have put here are not all from the correct angle, but am not sure where and when to edit the photos ... I felt joyous just getting them on here!!  Stay with me .... I will eventually master this part.  I just seem to have a mental block and am dense about the picture thing.

This one is sideways .... made obvious by the door knob placement !! :-)  Big Block #2:

This one has the correct viewpoint .... Yeah!!   1 pix  done 100% correct!! 
This is Big block #1:

This is a view of quilt detail on BB #1

Here we have detail on BB #2:

Big Block #3 is almost finished .... so I sorta have 3 out 9 BBs completed.  
I eventually want to go back an add embellishments in the form of beads
and charms.  Have already substituted some of the flowers with buttons.

My cousin is doing her BG Quilt in 30s fabrics and I have  seen many other 
color combos with this design on the internet.  All of them are gorgeous!
I love seeing how each person interprets the same design.
And I love seeing the variety in color combos everyone has.
So very inspiring!!!!

One day this will hang on my living room wall behind the couch.  I have a lot of  
dark  brown in that room so this will set it off nicely.  Brown and aqua is just one
of my favorite color combinations ..... as is purple and green or yellow ... oh,
I love red and aqua also.  Do you have fav color combos that you repeatedly
lean towards in your creative process?

More another  day.  Thanks for visiting

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I am back !!!!

It has been about a year since I posted and I have missed visiting with everyone.  First I want to thank those of you who checked up on me during my absence to see how I was.  I really appreciated the care and concern you expressed to me.  Appreciated it a LOT !!   It is a large part of why I have decided to be courageous and start blogging again.

The trouble started with hardware/computer/printer/camera issues.  I could not get my photos to load for the life of me and then other difficulties developed.

Then my health deteriorated further.  I got very depressed about this .... I did not want to be depressed but I was.  The condition of chronic pain and fatigue can be brutal at times.  This past year was one of those  very dark seasons.

 Physically I am not out of the woods and the truth of the matter is that this may be as good as it is gonna get.  Doctors have stopped answering me when I ask "when is it going to get better?"  But it is something I can accept now. Accept what is and  the loss.

During this yukky, yukky year, I kept quilting ..... YEAH !!!!   Along with prayer and God's sustenance to help me .... there has been quilting .... creativity bringing light to some dark times.  Am so glad I renewed this part of my life before this particular storm hit me.  Being creative is such a blessing.  My DGD gave me a boost when she told me my stuff looks just like the stuff for sale in Anthropology.  That got her another quilt from her dear ole Grandma !!!! Smart girl!!

I did have to stop quilting for a few months when I fell and broke my foot.  I found I was just not coordinated enough to use the other foot on the foot pedal.  Couldn't drive either.   It did not help that the fracture did not show on the x-rays until I had been trying to walk on it for a month with excruciating leg pain ... so they took more x-rays from a different angles and what do you know?!! .... it was fractured. Great !!!! One more thing !!!

I was hand sewing but found I needed something even more mindless to do .... so I got out the ole yarn and crochet hooks.  Been having a ball with that while my foot was healing.... my cats love my yarn as much as they love my fabrics.  :-)

I will be visiting my old friends this week and will leave you all notes.  I have pictures but not ready to tackle loading them today.  Love to all.