Monthly Archives: September 2014

Inspired By the What-Is-That

What is that? It’s a dog, or a watermelon or a goat, or whatever it is that you see. This is the piece of art that’s the topic of tonight’s conversation with some of my quilting friends.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have monthly challenges and come together to share our works. I usually sew something. This time I got my camera out to play.

My first idea was a mosaic with buttons. It’s cute and was fun to scrounge up all those pink and red buttons.dogbuttons

Then I went a little more abstract with ribbon, thread, and wound cards of embroidery threads. If you step back, you can still see the shapes from the original piece, especially since I kept the colors. dogthreads

I got messy. Pepto Bismol is the right kind of pink this and ketchup works for red. Since I finger-painted this onto a white plate I filled in the background. The negative space is chocolate syrup to form around the white shape.
dogketchupWhile I was in the kitchen, I grabbed a cup for water. I saw the pink plastic one and went searching for more to complete the picture. The pink cup became the white shape. The round plate mimics the pink half-circle as it’s segmented by the red square-ish one. 
plates

 

It was fun playing around. I can’t wait to see what my friends came up with!

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Sixteen’s Not a Baby Anymore

 

My baby brother turned sixteen yesterday. I guess that means he’s not a baby anymore! I, as the snarky big sis had to post this meme for him.

sack of breathHere’s what this handsome man looks like today. Okay, fine. He was 15 when this photo was taken. But I’m not going to call up Jim’s school for a selfie! 🙂

jim15I’ve got the feels… lots of them. So it’s difficult to write about what Jim means to me, especially without embarrassing him in the process. (Teenagers!) So I’ll let these scrapbook pages that I made a few years ago do the talking. These photos were all taken before baby Jimmy was two weeks old.
BabyJim1 BabyJim2 BabyJim3 BabyJim4I love you kiddo. 

 

Treasure Hunt in the Crumbs

Crumb-pieced fabric is great for I-Spy or Treasure Hunt quilts! Finding the cute little things in my students’ made-fabric was one of the most fun parts about the test class I taught on Saturday. A BIG HUGE GIANT SMOOCHY KISS to my friends who not only allowed me to use them as lab rats, but who gave me invaluable input on how to do and not do things. Terminology matters and having clear examples does, too!

Anyway, on to the fun part of this post. Three of the artists in attendance sent photographs so I can share them with you guys. I’ll tell you about the fourth’s project first. We’ll call her “M.” Get your imaginations ready because *gasp* I didn’t have my camera in class. This talent made her crumb pieces in the leftover fabrics from working on an appliqued and embroidered mermaid. M is still working on blinging-up that center and will cut the crumb pieces into a 1″ border for it. It’s going to look so good!

Here’s a sample of Z’s creations. This quilter decided not to finish the crumb blocks into something, yet. Z said that the improvisational piecing technique of making these without a pattern helped her feel artistic. She making the pieces so much that (in the heat of the moment, maybe, but maybe not) they might make a fun bed-sized quilt. So Z is saving what she made in class to merge with more she’ll make during her home-sewing time.

Can you see the tiny triangle? It’s so cute! And no, it’s not made from a 1/4 inch piece of fabric… it’s all in how you sew the pieces together.

melissastinytriangleP made this little tree, inspired by a photograph a friend shared online. Like M, she used a limited color palate for her scraps. This time they’re all greens. P also worked on another tree, this one with little dancing ladybugs on the ground. We’ll see if they end up as wall art, a pillow, or something else!

Can you see three pigs? How about monkey eyes?
paulastree

“A” made two place-mat tops in class. I love the blue and tan that she used to keep them cohesive and clearly a set! By the time I asked for photos, A had made two more. So here’s her set of four very modern-looking different but the same place-mats.

Can you find the words “Bug Off” and “Moo”? How about a dog’s face, a circle of flowers, a bicycle and a stop sign?

advacrumbplacemat4 advacrumbplacemat2 advacrumbplacemat1

advacrumbplacemat3

What else do you see in these crumb blocks? I’d love to know which pieces catch your eye. One of Z’s scraps stood out to me because I used that same fabric in a baby quilt.

If you live in Southern California, I’d love to see you at my class in San Luis Obispo on November 7th. I may have more classes next year. Of course, I’ll keep you guys updated. 🙂

If you love the look of crumbs but aren’t a quilter, aren’t local, or just have too many projects on your list already, check out my etsy shop. There are lots of things in there that have these crumb-fabrics. I also do custom orders so if there’s something specific that you want just let me know!

Step-tember: Walking and Fundraising for Awesome People!

I’m raising awareness and fundraising for people with cerebral palsy this month. It’s step-tember as I walk 10,000 steps a day for 28 days! Coming into this straight from the couch I’m a lot sweaty and a bit sore. Okay, very sore. 🙂 but it’s worth the struggle. I’m getting healthy at the same time that I’m supporting services for people who have cerebral palsy like these two ladies, Maysoon and Rebecca.

I saw an inspiring YouTube video a few months ago. It was a Ted Talk by comedian Maysoon Zayid, who happens to have cerebral palsy. At one point Maysoon shares, “My father taught me how to walk when I was five years old by placing my heels on his feet and just walking.” Watch it! She is informative, hilarious an an advocate for people with disabilities.

Rebecca is my friend and teammate’s daughter. (We’re in teams of four during step-tember.) She’s a martial artist, as you can see in this photograph. Watch the knee, Rebecca! She does the laundry every week for her family, plays “Cards Against Humanity,” and travels when she’s not kicking um… butt.

kickass rebecca

 

Would you please take a moment to donate to this worthy cause? For me, it’d feel like you guys are holding up “Yay Megan” signs on the sidelines of a marathon. I have walked 49,800 steps so far. For those in need, it would mean much, much more. Even the smallest amounts mean big changes in the lives of children and adults with these disabilities.

$25 Pays for an adapted toy for a child with a disability.

$50 Provides support services to families of individuals with disabilities.

$100 Provides direct physical, occupational, or speech therapy services to individuals of all ages with disabilities.

$200 Provides Adaptive Feeding equipment for people living with cerebral palsy.

$500 Pays for a piece of assistive technology to help clients communicate.

Garden Harvest

gardendinerMary, Mary, quite Contrary how does your garden grow? It’s time for a gardening wrap-up! Is anything on your dinner plate home-grown? The carrots and potatoes shown were harvested this week. Mmmm yum.

We grew carrots, onions and garlic in the front flowerbed. Carrots pretty much took over the world. They bullied the garlic out of getting enough sunlight so those heads are marble-sized. Otherwise, the onions held their own and are relaxing in our crisper. We have a LOT of juicy sweet carrots. I got to bring some to my quilting friends last night at mini-group!

First Corn

The backyard had pumpkin plants that died, watermelon that thrived, potatoes in tire planters where we couldn’t tell if they were making tubers or not, and corn that was quite popular with the wildlife. You can see some of the troubles we had with the corn in this post. Some of the plants recovered and we put more seeds to ground. The corn was delicious, especially fresh from the field straight to the pot. Unfortunately, we lost over half the ears to birds. Apparently, everybody likes corn.

tatobucket

Now I can tell you about THE POTATOES!!!!!!! We harvested the potatoes on Wednesday from the tires. Remember the tire planters? I was scared that we wouldn’t find any tubers. The plants have been growing fine all summer out of the top of the tires but that wasn’t any indication that underground things were okie-dokie. I was so excited to dig potatoes out of the dirt that I didn’t get any photos of that process. A video probably would’ve been more appropriate anyway because my husband was giggling at me exclaiming “tatohhhhs” every time I found another grouping.

hosewashingThese yukon gold potatoes are the BEST for mashed potatoes. Once they were all harvested and washed, the lot weighed in at 23 lbs.

I’m thinking about next year’s garden as I sew the binding on this round robin quilt. Tomatoes are in order. I’d like to start some asparagus plants too, though they can’t be touched for three years until established. My husband and I have also been talking about sowing some cold-weather crops, since the winter is so mild here. Broccoli and peas are on that list. I think we’re hooked on gardening!

handquiltingrr