Friday, May 31, 2013

#1 Teacher

I am sitting here drinking a toast (coffee) to my last day of freedom.  Actually, the kids don't get out til Tuesday, but Tuesday doesn't count because they are released at 10 a.m.

And Monday doesn't count, because it is the day of the Talent (Lip-Sync) Show, so I will be going over to the school to watch my third grade darling perform in a hastily-rehearsed dance with her little friend.

As I was organizing my photos last week, I came across a quilt that I was working on last year exactly this week.  In fact, I think it was gifted a year ago today.  We had a wonderful teacher who was retiring after a zillion years of teaching fourth grade.  I was lucky that two of my kids had her for fourth grade.  

We'll call her "Miss A"  She is truly special!  

I think I've mentioned that I coordinate the Art Volunteers (formerly known as "Art Moms") in our little elementary school, and I go into my kids' classrooms several times each year to do art projects.  So I've gotten to know Miss A pretty well, and when I asked if I could kick her out of the classroom for an hour to do a special art project with the kids, she graciously complied.  

I cut 9" cotton squares and ironed freezer paper to the back to stabilize them.  I gave the kids both Pentel Fabric Fun Pastel Dye Sticks for the thick lines and filling in, and many colors of Sharpies for sharper, thin lines.  They could use either, or both.

I arranged the squares in a nice composition, distributing the rainbows and sunrises/sunsets evenly.  I was pretty lucky with the 20 kid class size, allowing for a nice 4 x 5 grid.  I sashed each square with a different fabric, using bright colors (Miss A's favorite color is "every color") but going deeper with some colors in a effort to avoid preschool-clown-barf-rainbow.  After the sashing I trimmed the squares to 12", so the finished quilt was 48" x  60".

I quilted it with overall squiggle, with clear thread, sparingly, in an effort to hold it together but not detract from any of the special artwork.

It turned out even better than I had hoped.  I got really attached to it during the process.  The kids had done a fantastic job with the squares and they were so cute and special.  Some of my favorites below (one says "be unique" and one says "Miss A rises the sun".  Awwwww:

We gave it to her on one of the last days of school.  Not a dry eye in my head.   It was very special and I was so glad to be in the position of having a child in her last class so I could use my quilting powers for something really good.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Here's Something

Hi Peeps!  Thank you for your sweet comments on that last post.  Going through my photos from this spring, I was reminded yet again of the quilts I've made this past year or so that never got documented on the blog.  So here's something.

Remember this quilt?  That was September.  I gradually sewed blocks during September, October, and November:


  And sewed the blocks together:

I basted it in December:

Check out this beautiful backing.  The backing is Marimekko fabric from the Crate and Barrel outlet in Naperville.  (Close enough that I go there at least once a year but not so close that I get in too much trouble.)  The backing is not only spectacular, but it is a cotton sateen--slightly heavier weight than a quilting cotton with a nice sheen. It gives the whole quilt a nice heft, and makes it extra cuddly.

 I quilted it during frigid January:

It wasn't my most favorite quilt ever.  It wasn't for anyone in particular.  Or any special occasion.  But. It was something good to work on.  Steadily.  And the dots make me happy.  And I bought some of the fabric in Paducah with my mom and sister, so that's always a happy and excellent thing to be reminded of.

I finished it one cold January night while my favorite men were watching a Bulls game.  I took it in the sunroom to show it off.  Yay!  Mom's done with the quilt!  Nice quilt mom!  Good job!  Seconds later, it was confiscated. 

Used, cuddled, loved.

(Um, seriously, Mom, this better not be going on the internet.)


A few hours later, it was surrepticiously taken up to the Teenage Boy Cave, never to be seen again. 
Which makes me so very very happy.  I'd call that a favorite.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hello Blog!

Hello Blog! 

I hope you are having a good spring.  Here in my little world, not so great.  I've been in a rut for about six months.  I can go for days without knitting.  I have gone for weeks without sewing.

And, (worst of all, if you're my blog) I go for months without blogging.  I feel like creativity has left the building.

Friends, this is making me a little crazy.  On one hand, I'm don't want to be too hard on myself, because it has been a really rough six months.  My MIL got sick right after Thanksgiving, she died after Christmas.  My husband got depressed, and, he is the executor of her estate, and, wow, that's a lot of work.  Which means that some of that work fell to me.  Which is ok. I'm capable.  It just meant that on top of our already super busy household with the kids, jobs, you-know-the-drill, that creativity fell to a supreme low on the importance scale.

So.  Not being too hard on myself--check. 

On the other hand, (the being-too-hard-on-myself hand) (which is my dominant hand) six months feels like a long time and I'm really needing to use the right side of my brain before it dries up and floats out my ear-holes and is gone forever.

Of course I've still been working on projects, (even completing some of those projects!) although it feels so sluggishly slow.  Nothing has really knocked my socks off, but then again, it's possible that everything I do right now is tainted with the gloom that I've been feeling. 

And, I hate to even write all this because I hate to listen to people whine and I feel like I'm whining and I vowed to never ever whine, or rant, or complain on this blog.  This blog is here to talk about projects and celebrate creativity and watch my kids grow up.

I'm just hopeing to spew it out and then be able to move on.

So how about we look at some progress on the Liberty crosses quilt?

Here's a photo of progress in March:

And progress in April:

And an artistic shot "Still Life of Progress with Accidental Foot":

And a late night progress shot with bad lighting:

Up next:  Sewing lots of little squares together.  Which doesn't take creativity.  It takes determination.  And that, Friends, I got.