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Valentines

Here it is, February 13 and all but my South African valentine postcards have been delivered.  The ones crossing the Atlantic will take a few more days, but I’m going to show them all here anyway.

Each year I pick a theme.  Each one is often unique, but this year I’ve made pairs.  My design was inspired by photos of improvisationally pieced birds (which looked more like shore birds with long sturdy legs and long beaks); I thought they’d work just fine for valentines.  After making a few “adjustments” (involving a seam ripper), I fashioned a prototype.

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I chose to give them shorter, skinny, angled legs and added a heart on a string.

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They were sewn to stiff batting for sending through the mail, backed with light colored fabric so I could write my sentiments and addresses and finally, couched around the edge with cording.  A tiny black button gave them personality!  I gave them special bird names of course: Roseate Puddle Jumper, Gilded  Lovebird , Indigo Dash, Red-spotted Tweet, Green-spotted Honeyeater, Shweshwe Messenger Bird, and Rosy Flower-hopper.

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All of these little birds have flown away, carrying my love to children and grandchildren and friends who needed a lift.  I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

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Unfinished Business

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.  Blogging is hard for me.  It’s not that I don’t have opinions or things to share, it’s just that it takes a good bit of effort to write something I think is worth reading.  I don’t usually have a lot to say; I’m not overly chatty, putting myself out there, so sometimes it’s hard to be an extrovert.

That being said, there are several blogs I follow and I’m always excited to see a new post.  Perhaps it’s time for me to give this little site another go.

I’ve been inspired lately by some friends who have been dealing with unfinished projects.  I certainly have my share of them.  There’s often a good reason they’re languishing, but sometimes there isn’t.  On my part, it’s often indecision, or I’ve run into a problem and it just gets set aside.  Sometimes it’s little bits that I just can’t bear to throw away that pile up and get shuffled around so I have room to work.

Recently I’ve decided to tackle a few of these leftovers.  I had made a little bird prototype that wasn’t quite up to snuff but too cute to throw away.  I thought it would make a lovely mug mat, so I trimmed it up, added some batting and backing, couched a border around it and voila!

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I began looking around at other fragments: a paper pieced water lily, quilted trimmings from long completed projects, scraps of special South African shweshwe fabric, small color studies from some long ago workshop.  They’ve all become mug mats; and I have quite a stack!  I don’t know what I’m going to do with them all, but I’ve thrown out the icky one I’ve been using for years and I’m using a pretty one instead.

Gallery Invitation

The yarn store where I volunteer, Six Loose Ladies puts up a display periodically in one of the Vermont Welcome Centers.  Most of the displays are yarn and yarn related products, but because we celebrate fiber of all kinds, the store also carries some paper and fabric items.  I have several of my framed fabric postcards for sale in the shop.  In this particular display, someone suggested we take one of my fabric postcards to put in the case.  Apparently a local gallery also had a display case next to ours and as our person was retrieving our items, the gallery rep fell in love with my postcard and invited me to submit my work to them.

The short story is that I jumped through the appropriate hoops and my work was accepted for sale in the gallery.  How nice to have recognition outside of the normal art quilt circles.  Here are a few of the new ones on display either at the The Gallery at the Vault or Six Loose Ladies.

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Josiah’s Quilt

How is it that time passes by so quickly?  Josiah was born way back in 2013 and I’m just getting around to making him a quilt!  I saw a bright, fresh design with stars that someone posted on Facebook.  I thought I could make the stars into sunflowers and use the same African fabrics I used for Nathaniel’s quilt a few years ago.

Because I had used up some of the fabrics and others hadn’t held up well with washing, I needed to add to those I had previously used.  The back was pieced with larger strips of the same fabrics that are on the front and I made an additional sunflower for the label which is pieced on the back.  For some reason I never took photos after it was pieced and quilted but you can get the idea of what it looks like from the pieces pinned to the design wall.  The plan is for it to be a 2nd birthday present when we go to visit Josiah’s family in November.  I hope he likes it.

Josiah's quilt frontJosiah's quilt back

Josiah's quilt label

Valentines

Each year I make valentines for my children and grandchildren. Somehow I sent most of them away before I remembered to photograph them.  I hate when that happens!  This year’s were a little different than previous ones.  They are made by trapping bits of fabric and paper between layers of tulle with sewing, then couching fancy threads around the outside.  Here are the few I have left.Valentines 2015

Giant Marbles

These were really fun to make and they lasted a long time before melting slowly away.  You can make them yourself.  You need water balloons, water, food coloring, freezer or some good stiff winter.  Fill the balloons with water.  Add food coloring.  Tie and let freeze solid.  Break the balloon and peel it off.
giant ice marbles

More Animals for the Ark

Longtime readers may remember the ark I was making for our grandkids.  This has been a long project but I have been steadily working away at the rest of the animals and Mr Noah.  Here are the rest of the inhabitants.  Mr Noah somehow seems to have set aside his work apron and rain gear.  He did, however escort these animals to join their friends on the ark.  (My daughter Ellen made the elephants.)

bunnieslionselephants

dove and ravenalligatorstigers

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zebrasMr Noah


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