Archive for November, 2008

A challenge

idea sketchPerhaps I should have called this post “How do I get myself into these things?”, but those of you who know me well know that I usually volunteer and I do love a challenge. This one is a Christmas stocking challenge mainly for the folks who come for the “Sit and Knit” night at Six Loose Ladies where I volunteer. I have been feeling very uninspired and was thinking that I just wouldn’t participate this time. But on Tuesday I had an insane idea. The entry deadline is tomorrow. The first picture is my little idea sketch.

Then came the difficulty of implementation. First I cut a full size pattern out of graph paper and drew out a rough design. Then I auditioned fabric for the trunk. After cutting strips to simulate rough bark, I set about sewing them down and thread painting a bit.

open stockingNext came the leaves – what kind to make? I decided that the bark looked mostly like oak but I didn’t want to cut out oak leaves. The next choice was maple. How are these significantly less intricate than oak? I have no idea. But I decided on sugar maple, a very Vermont symbol. I fused two different fabrics together, traced around my hand drawn pattern (our maple leaves are covered with snow), sewed in the veins and then set about cutting them all out, all 84 of them. Yikes, what was I thinking?!

I set those aside to choose some ground. Snow or grass? I chose grass since I had cut mostly green leaves. cardinal detailThen to add a touch of red ( and make it more Christmas-y), I thought to add a cardinal to the grass under the tree. I fused all the little pieces together, including those little stick legs, and then fused it whole to the background. After quilting around it to give it some dimension, I sewed the stocking together.

Now for the handwork. I applied binding to the top edge and then commenced to sew on the leaves. They are mostly tacked to each other and then tacked to the trunk. leaves detailSince the fusible web gives body to the leaves, they stick up nicely and maintain their shape.

So there you have it. The judging is people’s choice. I can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with.

Below are both sides. It can be hung either way.

one side......and the other



Today, on this day we set aside to pause and reflect on how blessed we are, may you find much in your life to rejoice about. This old hymn by Matthias Claudius is one of my favorites. Too bad we only seem to sing it at this time of year.

We plow the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand;
He sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain,
the breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.
All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above,
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
for all His love.

He only is the Maker of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower, He lights the evening star;
the winds and waves obey Him, by Him the birds are fed;
much more to us, His children, He gives our daily bread. Refrain

We thank thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
the seed time and the harvest, our life, our health, and food;
no gifts have we to offer, for all Thy love imparts,
and, what Thou most desirest, our humble, thankful hearts. Refrain

It’s been a while….

fabric postcard 1For all of you faithful readers who have found nothing new in this space for a while, I apologize. It’s not that nothing is happening. David, our son from Hawaii was here with us for 5 weeks – working mostly but we had wonderful being together time. Monte our dog had a little operation and has been crashing around the house in her lovely plastic hood that keeps her from licking the incision. It has snowed – yep, winter is finally here. Temps have been down in the teens and single digits at night and there’s no more just running over to the barn without a coat. Brrrr!
fabric postcard 2 I’ve been in a bit of an artistic funk too. I’ve been struggling with a pair of socks that just isn’t turning out like I had planned and I’ve been totally uninspired to create anything. So when I got an invitation to a workshop from a friend to come make fabric postcards last Saturday I decided to go. Even this was a struggle but I’m glad I went.
Frances Alford is a wonderfully creative person. She is published in several magazines and has won awards at major quilt shows. She shares her time between VT and TX and has a wide circle of friends, many of whom she invited to this event. Some were new to quilted postcards but all were enthusiastic and lots of fun.

fabric postcard 3I came away with three postcards. I used some of the sheers I had taken along to share plus some of what others brought. Frances, too, was so generous to share her goodies such as paints, embellishments, embroidery floss and threads. It was good to be in a room with others who were having fun creating and where there was no pressure. The pot luck lunch was yummy and it was great to see my friend Frances again.

New England Weather

There is a saying here that if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes and it will change. Today has been one of those days. We started out with blue sky, then rain, snow that covered the ground, blue sky and green grass, more snow that covered the ground and now the sun is out again. And all that before 1 in the afternoon.

We took some photos of snow that had melted on the tarp covering wood on the deck. With the sun shining on it it looked like it was studded with diamonds. The droplets sat up on top of the tarp like little pearls, magnifying the weave of the tarp underneath. Very cool.

water droplets 1water droplets 2water droplets 3


Art Every Day Month



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