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January 20, 2017

I finished my Liberty of London Quilt!

This is huge!!! 

In 2006 my daughter and her husband moved to London, taking our only two grandchildren, ages 1 and 3.  To console myself, I decided to keep a daily travel sketchbook during our many visits, and to make a quilt for myself using only scraps of Liberty of London Lawn print fabrics that I had.  I was finishing a wedding quilt for one of my sons' wedding, and then had a new baby quilt to finish for our grandson who was born prematurely in London.  I like to hand piece and hand quilt - and because I made 5 more grandchildren baby quilts over the next few years, my "Liberty" Quilt was perpetually abandoned. 

Six of our grandchildren were here overnight Sunday and when I told them it was started in 2006 and IT WAS FINALLY FINISHED, my 11 year old grandson reminded me that the quilt was already as old as he is!

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December 30, 2016

Another Day, Another Grand Daughter for Sewing Lessons

I bought quilted placemats for my young children in 1981 in Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco, and then designed and made more using the same concept.  Each placemat has an animal head, paws or legs and tail, and the originals were a lion, a dog, and a monkey.   My addition was a rabbit, bear, cat, raccoon, and dragon.  Our family used and washed those placemats almost daily for years.  I brought the 8 of them with us to NYC in 1993, as patterns and prototypes to make more, but my grandchildren saw the originals and loved using them for all of their meals here with us.  Since then I've helped them make specific animals for themselves and many more animals have been made.  It is great to set the table using their own specific "animal" and then seeing them find and sit in their place immediately when called to eat.  On Christmas Eve, all 8 had their own placemat and seat!

Here is my oldest grand daughter Sydney during early sewing lessons when she made two - one for herself and one for her brother.  This was the beginning of the new NYC animal placemats.

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Annabelle, my younger grand daughter lives in DC and she has another animal placemat made by Sydney, that she uses when she is here.  But she is staying with us this week and finally had more sewing lessons and made an animal of her choice. She is 8 and is getting more and more comfortable using my machine with my help.

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She wanted to make a leopard, and found me a great photo online to make the pattern.  But we never figured out how to make the spots, and she decided that her animal looked more like a lioness anyway.

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Very proud!  She also put together a 9-patch for her brother and we made it into a quiltlet for his animals.

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December 23, 2016

Sydney Makes Two Mermaids

My grand daughter Sydney sewed with me this week.  She slowly learned how to use my sewing machine over the last few years, and when she has time we do a project together.  On Monday we made two Mermaid dolls and she was thrilled.  We split the activities, but she is quite amazing with her skills on the sewing machine, and does more of the construction each time.  When we finished the first one, she said, "we have two more hours, let's make another." 

 

Marking the fabric in my 6 X 9' studio - our happy place:

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At the sewing machine: 

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Both Mermaids when done:

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A happy girl - one day before her 12th birthday. 

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Happy Holidays from our family to yours!  And May 2017 be a wonderful year! 

 

December 9, 2016

Another Christmas Season Begins

I just spent the morning decorating our Christmas Tree, and had so many memories.  I started sewing Christmas ornaments for family and friends in 1975 and made at least 20 per year from the same design.  It is now possible to fill the 8 foot tree with just the ornaments I made.  The exception is the large painted Santa Starfish ornament that is barely visible on the top of the tree in this photo.  That was given to us by wonderful friends 45 years ago when we both lived in LaJolla CA near the ocean!

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My grandson Callum loves the Goldfish I made in 2002, before any of our grandchildren were born.  So this year I made 8, as the annual ornament that I give to each of them.  I love that they will have a collection of their own by me when and if they have Christmas trees to decorate.  The white dove on the lower right was made with fabric from my wedding dress - leftovers after I made lingerie bags for my daughter and two daughters-in-law for their weddings. 

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I made the goldfish from a pattern originally purchased from Magic Threads in Lincoln Nebraska.  I had to reduce the size to be used as an ornament - the original pattern was meant to be decorative hanging fish.  Six of our grandchildren will get their goldfish Saturday night when they come across town for a holiday sleepover.  The other two will be here for Christmas this year and get to take theirs home.

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November 14, 2016

Kraft-Tex for Mixed Media

Kraft-Tex is a combination paper/fabric product and like Ultrasuede, it doesn't ravel.  I took a half-day class with Australian Quilt Artist Cecile Whatman and had an opportunity to try it with many media.  Cecile brought a book she made, using Kaft-Tex as the cover.  It is a sturdy product and she said the book cover was simple to make decorate, and machine sew.  It is currently available in natural, white, black, gray, and brown and is distributed by C & T.

She used a tree stencil and dilate acrylic spray for the overall design.  The purple/blue square is painted and embossed Kraft-Tex, and the black images and text were transferred with TAP (see previous blog post). 

 

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When Kraft-Tex is washed it becomes more like a leather, and it is softer and can be used more like fabric.  This is a piece that I washed by hand and dried twice and you can see the difference in the texture.  Cecile once washed a piece with 20 of her regular washes.

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I spent our "playtime" trying many media on sample size pieces of Kraft Tex. 

 

1.  Blue acrylic stencil images, then gold Lumiere Acrylic painted over a Gelli plate and combed before printing.

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2.  Stencils sprayed with dilute acrylic paint (2).

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3.  Gold Lumiere acrylic paint on a Gelli plate - then lifted with a rubbing plate before printing. 

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4.  Stamped, then Inktense pencils - leaf painted with water mixed with textile or matte medium diluted 1:5 to make the color permanent.

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5.  Center image made with Shiva oil paintstick.   Then the piece was foiled using the following adhesives:  Adhesive thread, Misty Fuse pulled apart slightly, and Bonash adhesive granules.

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6.  My watercolor paints - painted on and then dripped. 

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The Kraft-Tex comes in rolls that are 1.5 yds long and 18" wide. 

 

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