Saturday, September 09, 2017

Quilting Up a Storm

This blog post is dedicated to my parents, who are hunkered down at home in Anna Maria Island, Florida, awaiting Hurricane #Irma.

I'm quilting because of them.  Read on and I'll tell you why.

My parents live on a tropical island surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay.  They have various reasons why they did not or could not get off the island, and are staying put.  First they thought Irma was moving towards the East coast, but now we see it's going west and headed straight at them.   "The traffic is too bad, the bridge is up, we have nowhere to go," etc.

 Though I've tried very hard, I realize that there's nothing I can say or do to make them evacuate or to make this go away.  If I could, I would be there with them but I can't do that either.  So all I can do is hope.

My mother is a jokester and says she's taking a sleeping pill tonight.  Rather than worrying all day I spent it doing something very meaningful that reminds me of my parents.  I pulled out an old, unfinished quilt project.

 I'm quilting up a "storm."

I first started this quilt project 11 years ago, and actually brought some of it to Florida once when visiting nine years ago.

I had written about it here on this blog back then, and a couple of really nice people made a few blocks for me.  I still have them.  I hope when I finally finish the quilt, I can let them know.

The pattern is based on a very old photo that I saw somewhere, I can't remember exactly where.  I just found it intriguing.  I also know that it was not easy figuring out how to put the pieces together to get a peacock block.  I wrote instructions down but it is still like a puzzle.  That might just be the reason this project became a "U.F.O. (UnFinished Object) for so long!
my peacock block pattern and instructions

The blocks really are interesting.

some finished blocks
Actually I was living abroad when I started this quilt.  At the time, most fabrics at my disposal were from India.  There wasn't any American cotton quilting fabric around, really, so I ordered online.  The company didn't ship internationally.  I had to have it sent to my parents, who then shipped it to me.  I don't know if I even like peacocks anymore, or the fabrics I got.  But I know that I'm going to love this quilt once it's done because the whole history of it is special.   And I really must finish it this time.

funky fabric

I am so glad I did this today.  What a wonderful, happy feeling to reconnect with something that has been set aside for so long.  It reminds me of my parents and since I couldn't convince them to leave the path of the hurricane and can't be there with them, this was a big help to me today.

Yes, life has been busy for me, and I haven't had the time I want for sewing, dollmaking, or art.  I know that will change eventually,  but this quilt is important and I don't want to wait until the coast is clear.  Maybe I will make a doll using some leftover fabric.  Hopefully it won't take another 11 years to complete!  But I am not moving this project until it's done.  It's staying of that ironing board.

just getting started
Maybe in my own way, this is me assuring myself that everything will be fine.  The unfinished quilt will get done, and Irma won't harm my parents.  Everything is going to be ok.   That is why I say that I am "quilting up a storm."

Happy Quilting!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Something Fishy Going On

 I'm back!

And I've gone fishing!

Thanks to a little inspiration from a wonderful artist, Marlaine Verhelst.

She has created a wonderful doll called "the Elf and his Fish."  I haven't felt creative lately but I think Marlaine is just what I needed.

The fish is just the beginning.
He is made of a toilet paper roll, a styrofoam egg, and Paperclay.
His eyes are supposed to be marbles, but I had a couple of Swarovski crystals lying around and they were the perfect size.

I decided that he has to have scales so I made them by cutting a drinking straw at an angle, and pressing it into the wet clay to make a pattern.

Eventually fishy wishy will get painted.
Keep posted and I will show you my progress!

Happy fishing!

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