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September 28, 2009

Paper and Threads Representations of a New York City Subway Mosaic

I was invited to applique a square for the Empire Quilt Guild 2011 Raffle Quilt.  All of the eighteen 11 inch squares are based on New York City subway mosaics and I was thrilled to be assigned the Chambers Street IRT mosaic of Kings College.  We are a Columbia University family and Kings College was the original college which became Columbia University after the Revolution.

I was gvien an applique pattern that was drafted from a photo in a NYC subway book, but decided that I wanted to make my own.  I photographed many of the mosaics which run along both the uptown and downtown platform walls trying to find one that wasn't too damaged by age.

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I drew and painted the mosaic in my daily sketchbook, to try to familiarize myself with the complex design before making a new pattern and selecting fabrics.

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I just completed the applique square - which required more time than any single 11 inch square I ever made - mostly because I decided that I wanted to applique every stone of the building on individually! 

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August 29, 2009

More Baby Zachary Sketches

I took a few photos when we visited Zachary in the hospital and used them as references for these paintings.   It will be fun to see when my figure sketching skills have improved to the point where I can sketch him better.  So far I sketch my grandchildren from the back because I can't capture their facial features.

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Zachary's Baby Quilt:  My daughter-in-law brought me nursery crib linens when she finally found some that she liked.  We decided that I would use a star pattern, like I did for Zach's big brother Robbie's baby quilt.  Robbie's quilt was yellow and blue with an all over star pattern. 

I selected fabrics from my collection, including 3 fabrics that were in his parent's wedding quilt and Robbie's baby quilt.  I love the continuity and did the same for my daughter's wedding quilt and baby quilts for her 3 children.  This was my journal page for the day when I planned the quilt and started the process.

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Racing to the Finish:  I needed to speed up the quilting when Zachary arrived one week early, and spent two full days finishing the quilting of the border triangles and attaching the binding.  It is hard to speed up the hand quilting process, it just requires marathon quilting sessions for me while watching old movies on TV!

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The Finished Quilt:  I delivered this quilt to my son and his new son Zachary yesterday and it looks wonderful in the baby nursery!  I always feel as if I am wrapping up each and every grandchild in my love - in ways that just add to our bonds.

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Annabelle and her parents just arrived from Washington, DC to meet her new cousin.  She is too young to realize that she is not the family baby any longer! 

March 15, 2009

Rice Mice for Callum and Annabelle

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My son called today to tell me that Annabelle (now almost 1) discivered her Rouse Mouse (singular of Rice Mice) this week and now needs it taken from the shelf and given to her everytime she is lifted out of her crib.  He went searching for more information on the origin of these mice and asked why I didn't have any photos of the two newest ones on my blog.  Just coincidentally, we're having dinner tonight with the person who gave me the Rice Mice book when my children were young.

Both of these mice have long suede tails and embroidered eyes for safety.   Annabelle's pink mouse was made from fabric used for the quilt I made for her for Christmas.  Callum's mouse is made from fabric leftover from an earlier quilting project and the turquoise and apple green color matches his room.

My earlier post about Christmas Rice Mice and a picture of the book appears here.

December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008 - Part 2

This was the year that all 3 of our children and their families were with us for Christmas.  Next year we'll have to share some of them again with their other grandparents.  We gave each of our 5 grandchildren a toy they wanted, a book that they didn't have (hard to find!), and something that I made for them.  For the second day in a row, I want to add "some threads" to my blog.   

Although I make each grandchild a hand-quilted quilt when they are born, I also make them a machine quilted one during the first year.  These are indestructable and can be washed and dried endlessly.  This is 9 month old Annabelle's new quilt, which matches her very pink room.

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I make each of our grandchildren a photo pillow for their room when they are toddlers.  Callum just turned 2 and here is his pillow with a photo that I took of him this summer.

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Robbie (age 3) is our "train guy" and he loved the train pillow that I made for his big cousin Henry.  He just moved from his crib to a bed, so I made him an identical pillow to match his new comforter and sham.

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Sydney (age 4) loves princesses, fairies, ballet tutus, pink and purple.  Henry is a bit of a sports fanatic at age 5.  I made each of them new pillowcases for their beds - which can be interchanged with other special ones, some of which I made previously (i.e. Spiderman!).  Here are their folded pillowcases.

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I love making gifts for our grandchildren.  But as the numbers increase, and I need to recreate many of the same things for each of them as they reach a certain age, my list of projects keeps growing!  My daughter-in-law just brought me a photo of a tooth fairy pillow as a suggestion for the next age!  Our oldest grandchild is now 5 so it won't be much longer before the tooth fairy enters our life!

December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

I love sewing for Christmas and for many years made several dozen Christmas ornaments for friends and family each year.  Even after giving a full set to each of my children when they got married, our tree is still full.    Since I regularly ignore the "threads" part of my blog since I started drawing and painting, I thought that I would end the year with several blog entries of my other passion.

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This year I made a collection of angels for my granddaughters and friends at work.  The angel dresses are created from old patchwork quilt scraps. 

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I made my grandsons and other friends a reindeer.  Each of these reindeers is about 8" tall and quite goofy looking which makes them very endearing.

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I finally completed another one of my Holiday goals.  I made quilted silk wedding canopies (chuppahs) for each of my children's weddings.  This year I took some of the leftover silk that I dyed and made Christmas doves for them and another dove from scraps of my wedding dress for me.

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Finally, I made big stockings for my children as youngsters and then one for each of their spouses and children through the last few years.  And a decade ago we decided to go "green" and use big (24 X 30 inch) Santa gift bags instead of wrapping presents and now everyone has a gift bag that we fill.

This was our 5th and youngest grandchild Annabelle's first Christmas so I made her a stocking and gift bag.  The "santa A" was taken from a Santa alphabet that I saved from the cover of a Marshall Field's Christmas catalogue years ago. 

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I also made other gifts or stocking stuffers for each of our grandchildren.  We were so thrilled when Henry was born 5 years ago, that I started to make gifts for him.  Now each of the other grandchildren "needs" the same present as they reach a given age which keeps me really busy in my studio.  More "threads" photos tomorrow.

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