My Most Important Craft Work To Date

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A dear family friend, pictured above, died three years ago.  His daughter is, at age 46, unexpectedly (and happily) pregnant for the first time.  She emailed me her favorite photo of Dad and I found the music online for a song he liked to play. Mom gave me one of his shirts, of which I used one sleeve and one strip from the front, saving the rest for future projects; it is the dark gray with blue and purple stripes at the bottom of the first photo, and you’ll see multiple squares of it in the photo below.

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The staff at The Quilted Raven helped me select fabrics to add to those I already had.  (They have a HUGE selection of Alaskan fabrics, FYI.)  To transfer photos to fabric, I used Lesley Riley’s Transfer Artist Paper, which I ordered online from JoAnn’s.  It transferred the images beautifully to fabric, but the fabric does feel a bit stiff, so I may try something else next time.  (Do you see the photos I used of the Northern Lights, the Alaska flag and the words to the Alaska Flag Song?)  A Quilted Raven staff member suggested denim for the edging, and I found a beautifully dark and soft denim fabric at JoAnn’s.

Experienced quilters will find plenty to criticize in this quilt, but no one else offered to make a quilt like this for these beloved family friends.  This is our best shot at having Grandpa hold that new baby girl in his arms.

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Teddy Bear Quilts

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The Anchorage Log Cabin Quilting Guild had its Teddy Bear Tea last month, in which members brought in the miniature quilts they had made to accompany stuffed animals/beanie babies.  These are given to charities and service organizations that deal with children; representatives from a few of those were present and spoke of how they used the donations.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera to the meeting, so the only photo I have is of my own donations before I took them.

I had bought several men’s shirts for $1 each at a thrift store and incorporated them into the quilts shown in the foreground.  I enjoy that very much–using perfectly good fabric that would otherwise be thrown into a landfill.

Making mini quilts is such a good way to practice skills and gives a reason for doing so.  At the meeting I showed my corners, which are not perfectly square, to an experienced quilter.  “Allow more fabric when turning the corner on the binding” was her advice. Fortunately I don’t have to discard or rip out my imperfect attempts:  The children are not going to care about slightly-curved corners.

The beanie babies are the generous gift of a yarn customer; you can see that I still have plenty to use in the future.

January 2016

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Is it Spring yet?  Today is wonderfully sunny, although also below freezing.  I’ve added some bright colors of yarn to my shop.

In one of my quilting groups, we all received a length of floral panel (many yards of which had been donated to the group) and had to make something from it.

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That was my first free-motion quilted project and I am pleased with the result.

I subsequently took a class, “Modern Broderie Perse,” from quilt artist Maria Shell.  My resulting project was definitely NOT modern–not what she was teaching.  Her idea, which I liked very much, was to use graphic prints and to cut modern flower shapes from them, as you can see here if you scroll to the very bottom of her list of classes. However, the fusible webbing I was using turned out to be a few decades old and did not stick, so when I got home I started over.  I happened to have a few florals in my tiny fabric stash and decided to use those, going the traditional route.  The result, shown in progress, is here: DSCN0639

The black vase and red roses are from a pair of silk/linen pants I bought at the Salvation Army a while back just because I like the fabric. The other florals are from a scrap bag I purchased online from Hawthorne Fabrics. I used invisible thread because my free-motion quilting is of course still not the best.  I had a lot of tension problems, so the back looks bad; I subsequently learned that Viking machines (like mine) typically have this problem.  Aargh!

Below are a few tidbits that may interest you.

Fear of failure

“You must not think really of reaching an audience.  You must think first to express yourself.” Pierre Boulez, quoted here.

 

Museum at Prairie Fire linkMuseumAtPrairieFire

 

Almost December 2015

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I added a new colorway to my shop, Alaskan Rainbow.  Use coupon code Nov2015 now through the end of the month for 10% off all items.

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My son has just opened an etsy shop featuring DIY kits to create wall art such as the item shown above.  He only has a few items in the shop now and will have more in the future.

A podcast you may like is Krista Tippett  On Being. Another is Meighan O’Toole’s; I especially liked this post.

Happy Post-Thanksgiving Weekend!