Monday, May 28, 2007

Sing While You're Working

I have finally found the right fabric for the quilt design I've had in my head ever since I got the piano pieces, and it was a gift from a friend.
The instant I saw it, I knew it was what I had been waiting for too. The quilt was very well-received at the guild meeting show and tell this morning (the same guild that turned their noses up at my work 5 years ago) so I was happy. I can't say it's all their fault though. They have made strides in being more accepting of non-traditional work, but my work has also improved and been refined over the last 5 years. At any rate, I re-upped my membership today for the first time in several years. I also had 3 people approach me about the price of it before I got out of the parking lot. Friends admire your work, true friends hop out of a car in the middle of the street and help you bust up a piano with a tire iron. Finished size is 20x22, unless you count the hammers that it hangs by, which makes it 22x22. Commercial cottons, rust dyed keyboard and stripe print, pages torn from a children's song book and piano keys and internal pieces. The titles of the 2 songs are "Sing While You're Working" and "Something Happy", both of which I thought were appropriate. The paper is stabilized on fusible interfacing and coated with polymer medium. The piano pieces are sealed with a spray varnish. The binding is a very narrow gold and ecru stripe.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Click to the second picture. 3 of the 5 of those girls started kindergarten together. The other 2 came in 7th grade.
UPDATE: She received 5 awards at graduation. Recognition for 85 service hours this year. (I think they're required to do 40.) She was a member of the athlete scholar softball team, which means the entire team had a 3.0 or better GPA. She was recognized as a stellar star student for her grades Junior and Senior year, and second honors for this past semester. She also won a national Danforth "I Dare You" award for "recognition for personal integrity, balanced living and motivation for leadership." She was apparently nominated for that one by the Principal.
All that and sweet too!

My baby!

Aidan (on the right) and her bestest buddy Amanda after the Baccalaurate Mass Tuesday night. They're practicing their "I'm a high school graduate" smiles.

(on the left) and Leslie, the recipient of the ballet shoes quilt.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Dancer

This will be a graduation gift for a girl I've been sewing for ever since she's been old enough for her own costumes practically. She sings! She dances! She acts! And she's very good at all of them. She's off to college this fall to study drama and we'll see her name in lights on Broadway one day. She's also just a sweet kid, and very easy to work with. I've known her mother since high school, and her brother and my son are very close friends (hence the bajillion miles on the cars going from Hattiesburg to Memphis) and my son works for her dad during the summer. Her mom bought the batik Mardi Gras mask quilt for Leslie's birthday last year, but it's hanging on the wall at their house so I don't think she's going to take it off to school with her. This one is just for her, to be USED and it won't even have a sleeve! The background behind the shoes has small black musical notes and the middle border has sheet music and purple, blue and orange roses. The outside border has white, blue and purple on the pink. The narrow frames are blue and purple. The shoes and the outside border are both polished cotton. I'll get on the quilting tomorrow and get a close up shot after I finish it. And yes, those ARE mitered corners on the last border. I was sort of proud about them coming out right the very first time I sewed them together too. Didn't have to frog a single stitch!
Finished size will be about 52x68.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Progress of a sort

The top is done and half the quilting is completed. I should finish it up today and get it bound so it can go in the washer this afternoon and be delivered tomorrow. This one went VERY fast piecing it and quilting it. Funny how some just get in the groove and zip right along, while others are a struggle at every step. I bought the cross fabric a while back just because I knew it would be useful at some point. It's perfect for this project since it's a gift for the principal at the Catholic school my kids all graduated from (the youngest graduates next Wed.) and it just seemed appropriate for him, especially considering his favorite colors are blue and brown and the school colors are blue and gold. The shot of the quilted top is only the top half that I've finished quilting already. The whole thing is actually 60"x75" finished size. For the first time in a long time I had trouble deciding on the quilting thread and pattern. I tried several different threads and was happy with none of them. Sort of by default, I tried the invisible thread and was actually very pleased with the effect. After several stops and starts on the quilting pattern I reverted to the free motion meander too as the best choice for the look I was after. The meander is a bit bigger than I normally do, but I wanted the specific look of it after it comes out of the washer for this one. I was careful to only stitch around the crosses rather than through them, so they'll have a bit of puff to them after washing. I really like this piecing pattern and I'll have to remember to write down the dimensions for the pieces and how I put it together so I can use it again. There are several novelty theme fabrics in my stash I've accumulated for specific people and this would be a good pattern to use for those.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I'm back!

Whew, tons of stuff to catch up on (not the least of which is sleep!) but I'll eventually get to it all. My doc has me on a bunch of new meds and I happened to catch some sort of epikazootie about the time I started taking them and it took us a few days to realize it wasn't the meds making me sick. Several wasted prescriptions trying different stuff and different dosages before I got over whatever it was and back on the original meds. Good timing has never been one of my strong points.

My youngest daughter, my baby, graduates this month so it's been a whirl of things to do for and with her. She had her senior luncheon a couple of weeks ago and it went off really well. Most of the other girls seemed to opt for slumber parties and pizza this year but mine went straight for the high tea thing. She even specifically requested the girls wear dresses. She had her hand in every decision, from the invitations and place cards to a trip to the wholesale florist to pick out her flowers. I think she did a beautiful job too. The other girls really seemed to enjoy it and the weather was perfect for an outside tea party. It was held in my parent's backyard with the lake as a backdrop. I can't believe these are the same little girls that were in kindergarten with her yesterday!

I also can't believe how tall she is! Or how grown up and beautiful. She starts college this fall (on scholarship, to boot) and even though she's staying close she'll be living in the dorm. [This would normally be the place to insert a comment about how strange it's going to feel with her out of the house, but since she's never home anyway we probably won't notice any difference.] She's off to Myrtle Beach a few days after graduation for a week and a half, back home for a few days and then off to Maryland for 2 weeks. When she gets back from there she'll be looking for a job.

The week after her senior luncheon was the prom. They all looked so elegant and beautiful.
These are her two best friends and the reason she's going to Maryland. The red head is from there and all 3 girls are driving up for a visit.