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Friday, June 3, 2016

Kitschy - It's all Relative

I had a hard time deciding what to make for the Kitsch challenge for Art Quilts Around the World.  I had several ideas but as I was working on my family genealogy the photos of women in amazing hats inspired me.  My photos were just black and white so I added my own color choices for the hats.

I printed the photos on fabric, cut out just the outline of the women with their hats and fused them to the background.  The largest one is my grandmother.  Her hat is made of pleather and lace and big beautiful feathers.  The bottom right is my great grandmother's sister.  Her hat looked to be fabric with a spider web of ribbons.  I used some drapery fabric and a small part of a doily,  I added some flower trim and of course a small feather.  The woman on the top right is the daughter of the woman below.  Her hat is made from felt and sari silk ribbon, a few silk roses and more feathers!

I decided to make it look somewhat like a picture frame or an album page.  I quilted double ovals around each and colored in the ovals with inktense pencils.  I just used straight line quilting in the background to hopefully make the photos stand out more.

I learned something while making this quilt.  My husband kept telling me my relatives probably contributed to the decline in certain bird populations in Florida.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  

I looked into it though and discovered he was very right.  Birds were being slaughtered to the point of extinction for their feathers.  Two women led the crusade to save the birds and the first Audubon society came into existence.  It's kind of amazing really and you can read more about it here.

I maybe should have added more color to make it more kitschy but honestly I thought the hats alone are pretty kitschy whether you add color or not.  Now I want to make a hat for myself!

Be sure and stop by the Art Quilts Around the World blog to see the other kitschy quilts.  They are very fun and creative.
Have a Creative Day

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The 70273 Project

Have you heard about the 70273 Project? 

Here is a quote from Jeanne's blog, she describes this best and I don't want to do a disservice to such an amazing project. 
"Between January 1940 and August 1941 (before the Holocaust began), 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people – men, women, teens, boys, and girls – were murdered by the Nazis. Though they never even laid eyes on the disabled person they were evaluating, the Nazi doctors read the medical files and, if from the words on the page, the person was deemed “unfit” or an “economic burden on society”, the doctor placed a red X at the bottom of the form. Three doctors were to read each medical file, and when two of them made a red X on the page, the disabled person’s fate was sealed. Most were murdered within 1-2 hours."

Many years ago, when I first graduated from college I taught children with disabilities.  The children I taught were as young as 2, all were preschool age.  Jeanne has three sizes of squares you can contribute.  I chose the smallest, 3.5" X 6.5" to represent my students. I pieced the background to show that these students had many people supporting their journey.

 It breaks my heart to imagine what those families of children with disabilities went through at that time.  I had never heard about this tragedy from WWII before learning about this project.  The number is truly staggering.  Jeanne is trying to create a series of quilts which will have 70,273 blocks when complete.  

There are many ways you can help with this project, from donating, blocks or money, to helping find display venues.  Please head over to this wonderful project and see if something there speaks to you.

My first fifteen blocks will be in the mail tomorrow. In honor of Amanda, Terri, Josh, Eric, Alex, Rasha, Chike, Ladun, Tony, Carlos, Mike, Stephen, Brian, Jay and Ryan.

Have a creative day

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I am a little behind in posting these winnings!  I really enjoyed participating in Project Quilting this year.  I have two more prizes from this experience.  One is a pattern for two different size messenger bags. I won this for "Through the eyes of a child" a re-creation of one of my sons pieces of art.

Studio Cherie generously donated a downloadable pattern for everyone who entered!  Wow!  I finally had a chance to think about making this and printed my pattern.  Haven't decided on fabric yet but I think I will make the larger size. Thank you Studio Cherie!

I also won a second set of aurifil threads.  Love aurifil thread and I know it will be put to good use.  Aren't these colors amazing!  I won this in the final challenge "A Goose in the Monkey Wrench" Thank you Aurifil!

Hand Dyed Fabrics had a name the fabric contest on Facebook.  I won!  So excitied they sent me some gorgeous fabrics.  I know the greens will be perfect for a couple of landscape art quilts I have planned.

This little beauty will be the center of a quilt.  I can't wait to quilt this!  It is gorgeous.  They have such nice fabric be sure to check out their site online. Thank you Bill!

Have a Creative Day

Friday, April 8, 2016

Zippered Small Bag Exchange

I joined the Scrappy Girls Club on Facebook.  So many ideas for using scraps, and I have plenty of those.  Heather Valentine from The Sewing Loft is the originator of this group.  I am gathering that swaps are a big part of this group and I jumped right in and joined the first one that came up.

This swap was for a small zippered bag. It is encouraged but not required to send a little more than a zippered bag.  I hadn't realized that at first and was a little confused by the photos I saw of what people were receiving for the exchange.  I thought maybe there were two different exchanges going on at once.  Once I caught on I really enjoyed watching the many ways people found to use up their scraps.

Many of the gifts were very color coordinated and actually looked like a matched set.  They were true works of art and beauty.  Have to be the first to admit mine look as though they were created by three different people who probably don't even get along.  Such is my life.  I like diversity, I enjoy fun and funky as well as a little more sophisticated and probably everything in between.  Hoping my swap partner likes to change it up too.

I really had fun with this.  I found all the patterns on Pinterest.  So, yes sometimes I actually make some of the things I pin!  Here are links to the patterns.  I must have changed my mind about 20 times trying to decide what to make.  The bonus is now I have lot's of patterns for small zippered bags on my Sewing page on Pinterest.  Expect to see a few more in the future, so many cute bags, not enough hours in a day.
gathered clutch tutorial

Cat eye zippered pouch

cat coin purse  

This tutorial only has photos and you can tell if you look closely she hand stitched the entire bag.  I really like how she did the zipper but since I was sewing mine on the machine I decided to simplify and put the zipper on the back.  If I make it again I might try to do it different but this worked well enough.  I sorted through one of my jars of buttons to find the perfect cat eyes.

I added a small notepad I found at the 'going out of business' Hancock fabrics and a needle threader.  I use my needle threader more and more the older I get.

Have a Creative Day

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Folklore: 10,000 Lakes

The theme for Art Quilts Around the World this round was Folklore.  I chose one close to home.  In Minnesota you can find Babe and Paul Bunyan in a number of places.  Their large statues make great photo opps.  I know my family has taken photos by at least one set of statues.

The story goes (depending on which set of tales you read)  Paul was traveling west because he had cut all the trees down on the East Coast.  He found Babe, cold and blue,  in the middle of a snow storm and nursed him back to health.  They both became lost in the storm of the century in Minnesota thus crossing and recrossing the state several times.  In the spring when the snow melted their foot prints filled with the melted snow and that is how we came to be known as the land of 10,000 Lakes.  Here is a link to a Disney story of Paul Bunyan, at the very end they talk about forming the lakes.

I bought the background fabric a number of years ago, I think while I was doing a Minnesota shop hop.  I cut out an outline of the state of Minnesota and fused that to the background.  I created Babe and Paul from bits of fabric and fused them off to the side.  Next I made foot and hoof prints which are also fused. I created a trail with the thread to show their travels.  Finally I made the numbers and letters.  It almost looks like an old fashioned postcard to me.  I had a hard time getting motivated to make this one for some reason but glad I did, I like how it turned out.  

The Art Quilts are approximately 11.5" x 16.5".  Be sure and visit the Art Quilts around the World blog to see what others have created for this challenge.

Have a creative day