My youngest grand-daughter, Mikayla, is 16 months old. I doubt she will read this blog entry, so it is safe to post her Christmas present for this year.
When her older sister, Lexie, was this age, and beginning to talk, I made fabric postcards for her, each one featuring a photo of one of the VIP’s in her life – grandparents, nanny, parents, etc.
So I’d like Mikayla to have a similar gift. This is a fabric Christmas tree panel, attached to a well padded, stretched canvas. Each ornament (also fabric) has the face of someone she knows, and can be put on or pulled off, using the Velcro strips on the front of the tree, and the back of each ornament. If nothing else, she will have 16 little round pieces of fabric to carry with her, chew on, loose, etc. As she learns to say everyone’s name, she can point and identify them with a photo.
So Maddy, if you are reading this, I made your face ornament wrong, and will fix that. There is one more aunt and uncle couple who still need to be added, too. Plenty of time for that.
So we now have 8 rune designs available at 3 x 4″ patches, to be attached to jackets, dance bags, whatever. They cost $8 each, plus shipping, and come with a fusbile on the back. They are washable.
We have a variety of background colors, and many colors of beautiful rayon thread as well. Some threads are variegated, which means they change color as you go along. The designs we have are: Balance, Swing, Do Si Do, Do Si Do with Twirls, Gypsy, Hey for Four, Ladies Chain and Petronella. If you’d like to own a patch, just contact us.
Jim and I watch Quilting Arts regularly, and are constantly amazed at the creative techniques people present. One of my favorite guests is a classy Italian woman named Ana Buzzalino. Her quilting designs – and designs in general – are just thrilling to me. So I tried a process that she suggested.
I used several pieces of fabrics for the top that I felt worked well together, as well as representing some kind of pond or lake. I layered them on batting and a backing, sewing through all three layers at the same time.
Then I looked online for a silhouette of cattails. I printed it out the size I wanted, and then put a piece of freezer paper on top, and traced the outline. I cut out the freezer paper, and pressed it, shiny side down, onto the fabric. Freezer paper will stick, so I could then stitch around the outline of the cattails.
From there, I did an echo of the cattails, which means another line of stitching about a quarter inch from the first. I also added a little free motion quilting in some of the layers of the “pond”. Then I filled in the first outline of the cattails themselves with black acrylic paint.
Binding and a way to hang it, and voila! The only thing I would do differently next time is to use a matte finish paint. Otherwise, I am happy with this experiment.
Today, our barbershop quartet, Flashback, has a performance. We have been together for a little over two years now, four retirees having a lot of fun singing together. Jim Lucas, our fearless leader, was the choral director at Northeastern Illinois University for 35 years, has written several original songs now that we perform. He had them professionally arranged by Jay Giallombardo who liked them so much, he wishes to publish them on his website!
Our baritone is a fine gentleman named Jim Jenz, so dedicated to singing the he drives about 50 miles round trip to rehearsals, and whose enthusiasm is palpable. Albert Thompson sings bass, PERFECTLY, and likes to remind us that he is still the youngest in the group! I sing the tenor part.
We have a variety of colors of vests now, which we wear with white shirts and black pants. For some of our numbers, we even wear the straw hats so familiar in the barbershop world, with color coordinated hat bands.
So for this holiday season, we decided to get some red vests. Men’s sweater vests don’t fit me well, so I made something of my own. Since I am the only woman in the group, I get to dress a bit differently than the menfolk. I chose a number of red fabrics that all coordinate with the men’s vests, but make for a unique garment, better suited to my coloring. I think they will be dazzled when they see it for the first time!
Back in September, I posted an entry about working on a Christmas Cactus quilt. It is a pattern I have meant to try for a long time, but I knew it would take a lot of effort. It is paper pieced, a labor intensive, counter-intuitive technique that delivers OUTSTANDING results. Good thing! If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be worth doing.
So here is a photo of the finished product. It is 40″ square, and features many tiny pieces of brilliantly colored fabric. Six hundred and forty-seven, to be exact!