Some times it is a good thing—or something to not have to think very hard about—but taking a pile of scraps and making something of them. I inherited my mother’s quilting scraps along with her threads and tools and quilting patterns. Along the way two friends in a Nancy Crow workshop also gave me their scraps—I think I cast an admiring eye on them–or picked up few—and they went home with me. They sat in a zip-lock bag for quite some time—until I decided to put them together—after all I had a niece who became a grandmother of a little girl—and this stuff had a lot of pink in it.
The quilt itself is fairly simple–strips surrounded by an ocean of my mother’s pink fabric on a bolt. Mom’s leftovers required more effort—and I formed them into a tote bag—who doesn’t need a lot of tote bags with a baby.
And then I had this zippered Cathedral Window pouch my mother used to put some tissues and other cleaning supplies in her car and quilting basket—just in case.
So here they are.
I used a heart pattern to quilt the interior of those bright pink strips—the size is a good 45 by 60—a grea size as a lap quilt, to cushion a car seat, to serve as a picnic blanket if necessary.
There are a few more scraps and left-overs from my mother’s fabrics—it is a good feeling to see them put to good use by family members who will appreciate them.
Saturday I finished quilting this quilt. It is destined to be the wedding quilt for my oldest grandson—as mentioned earlier, he is just ten almost eleven and so I have every confidence I will get it bound and labeled before then.
The quilting took over 4 hours of stitching time; each house done individually, I changed colors for the sky, the trees, and some of the corner pieces. It would have been far easier to put on a pantograph and work away but I did want it to be special.
I pieced the backing using Texas themed fabrics, long-horns, cowboys, and regular cows in pastures. I will get a more formal photo once I have the sleeve and binding on—but those are easy evening tasks.
Now that it is in the almost done stage, I can start in on the next Block of the Month from the Quilt Show–Garden Party Down Under. I decided to use a linen background and as much hand-dyed fabrics from my ‘extensive collection’.
Thursday was a doctor visit day in Houston. I prefer to park in the Herman Zoo/Park area parking lot and walk through the park to the appointment. There are fountains, pools, trees, and birds—lots of them. Waterfowl of all sorts wander about begging for food and nest on the island. In the spring there are ducklings.
There is a water spray area, a small train that runs around the park.
And then there is this giant granite ball floating on water.
It is a challenge to turn it so the entire ball is wet.
And after a bit of effort and several tries—success!
Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend. It is true they are loyal and loving.
But then sometimes, particularly if you have a Border Collie mix—and double that with an Aussie-Border Collie mix, there are always surprises.
One day, earlier in the lifespan of Toby, I came home to discover an entire stick of butter had disappeared from the counter top. Did she have diarrhea? Nope! She just licked her lips and smiled at me.
She surveys the counters in the kitchen on a daily basis to see what has been left—as you must know , we never feed her or offer any treats of any sort! And if you believe that, there is a bridge I’d give you a great deal on.
I sliced some luscious banana bread my friend had sent me–we each had two slices, Toby had four.
I looked for the spatula to turn the sausage cooking in the frypan on the burner; I found it under her bed in the breakfast room.
But then there was this;
And what tasty treat did I use this brush for?
It was not brushing melted butter on the top of rolls.
Sixteen legs and three panties was the beginning of this project.
And now they are completed and in the hands of the grandmother who asked me to finishe them. She had cut out the bodies; picked out fabric for dresses and suits and pinafores and included the pattern and a huge ball of bright red yarn for the hair.
This project required a lot of hand-work–something I do in the evenings. Stuffing them took three evenings, the faces two, buttons on the pinafores three and the hair four. It was a big project as I completed each step on all eight before moving on to the next step.
And here they are:
And because I know you want to see what I look like after this project;
And yes, I was able to get back up from the floor without assistance—I know you wanted to ask but were far too polite to do so.
For the past several years, the Quilt Show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims hosts a block of the month. Each month there is an installment of patterns. Kit fabrics are available and many take advantage of the ease of all the fabrics pre-selected.
Of course, I did not choose to get the kit; instead I worked from my large collection of novelty fabrics throwing in a few more ‘regular’ fabrics. I have music, apples, watermelons, canoes, University of Wisconsin, basketballs, fountains, balloons and so forth. It was a great deal of fun picking out fabrics for those houses.
The directions included making the central compass rose, surround it with the inner road, then the ring of houses. I constructed mine in fourths–then to halves and then as a whole.
I am now in the quilting phase. I am doing each house individually which means a lot of rolling and re-rolling as the larger houses span is larger than my working area.
And who is destined for this quilt? It is for my oldest grand-son —when he gets married—and as he is just ten years old, I am quite confident I will have it finished well in advance.
This has proven to be a more time-consuming project than I originally thought. I am down to the home stretch now–buttons on pinafores, ribbon ties, attaching hats to head, buttons on pants.
They are lined up on the arm of the loveseat where I sit each evening and watch–more like listen to either a movie or a netflix selection. I completed each step on all eight before moving on to the next step–and so they will all finish at the same time.
Sometime in my past and echoed repeatedly annually is the idea of carefully selecting activities on New Year’s Day as that influences the year’s events. Along with making resolutions or choosing a word to focus on for the year, it holds a nugget of inspiration or truth. Some of those adages were passed on by my German fore-bears who also gifted me with the idea of persistence—perhaps to my detriment at times
But that is neither here or there—and it is time to describe the day.
We have had unseasonably warm weather here on the Gulf Coast of Texas—almost 90 on many days. We are promised freezing temps on Sunday night—and that means covering up my English peas and our jasmine. The narcissus are on their own–already nearly a foot tall but no buds in sight.
We decided to take a walk in a nearby city park; as rain was promised/threatened/suggested we wanted something close enough to the car we could retreat quickly if needed.
Wuthering Heights is located near the private school two of our boys attended. I walked the path multiple mornings on the days I drove car-pool. It is a lovely piece of wooded land flanked by a strip mall, single family homes, apartment complex, and backs up to the private school’s greatly expanded campus. It was purchased and donated to the city by a woman who was fond of Wuthering Heights instead of development into an industrial complex.
Pathways abound now, with fancifully painted benches.
Several other people were out enjoying the day, some with dogs, some not. The sun peeked out from time to time.
Of course the dogs had to stop and sniff things–so many wonderful new smells. And people who dared to ride a bicycle on the street.
A few drops of rain suggested we might want to return home—-
it was time to start the black-eyed peas and sweet/sour stir-fried cabbage.
Blogging is a natural progression for someone who enjoys the written word and beautiful imagery. My photographs are hosted at sylviaweir.smugmug.com. I am slowly transitioning all my photographs to this site and will hopefully edit them to a manageable number. In the meantime, I have organized my blog photos by year and so you may wish to merely sample the blog photos
Feel free to contact me for any questions. My website here has not been fully populated but as I work on my smugmug site, I will update these pages.
My work begins with a word, a thought, an idea, or a bit of a poem. I search through my library of images mostly on Smugmug or sometimes I go out and photograph new images. A pieced quilt pattern is sometimes chosen, sometimes I use a piece of fabric I have altered in the past. The imagery is added on using hand applique and then thread is used to add details.
Each piece is meant to draw the viewer inward providing them with ample opportunities to add their own story to the piece. If the piece evokes the emotion or thought I wished conveyed, then I consider the piece successful.
Sometimes I play 'what if' with fabric and paint and imagery. These might be considered equivalent to scale work in music--something I always enjoyed.