Category Archives: Paper Piecing

Day 18: Safe, Warm & Loved

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. The magical worlds I experienced in my thoughts as a child were intricate and delightful.

Unfortunately, nightmares were just as detailed. There were many nights that I woke up screaming for my parents, who’d run in and comfort me. As I got older I wanted to try comforting myself. So I hatched a plan and repeated these words aloud, “I am safe, warm & loved.” I am safe. I’m not in danger right here right now. I am warm. I can feel the covers, pillow, and my body heat. I am loved. Thinking about the people who love me helps fear dissipate.

I made this quilt with Sam Hunter’s paper-pieced alphabet for the gallery in her book, Quilt Talk. It took me a little while to decide what I wanted to spell out. Then I remembered the childhood affirmation. What would you say if you could say anything?

safewarm&lovedquilt

 

Lights Up at Sunset

We’re not late until after Christmas, right? We painted the front of our house before decorating with lights. So, yeah, that project took longer than expected because of some much-needed California rain. The house looks better as you can see from the in-progress photo below. The door and bottom right are now that nice eggshell color.

partially painted front

Hubby and I got the Christmas lights hung outside today. I just wanted to do around the eves but he talked me into a lot more: the columns, the fence, around the windows and even up on the roof! The sun was setting as we finished so I got some gorgeous photographs! 
house lights21st sunset21st sunset street view

 

My Facebook followers have seen updates this year’s Christmas decoration. I explained what and why I was doing at each step like marking colors, pinning on paper, 3-D quilting, and angling the binding.  I’m entering the decoration into this month’s Project Quilting challenge. The theme is, “Baby it’s Cold Outside.” Here’s my little snowflake wall-hanging.

snow front

Bad Ass Quilt – It’s Not a Fish

I’m the guest blogger today over at Bad Ass Quilter’s Society. Don’t be alarmed by the title over there. The naked quilting series is about quilts, not bodies. I wrote about my quilt, “It’s Not A Fish,” which was made after a miscarriage. Check that article out and then head back here for some bonus information.

not a fish whole

 

 

Children are often asked what they want to be when they grow up. My two answers, invariably, were an artist and a mommy. So, of course, this baby was wanted.

mom not fish

The two silhouettes in the last column were traced from family photographs. Mom is looking forward with hope and my cousin Jasmine is screaming.

jas not fish

The guild challenge was to make a row (or column) quilt. It had to use three floral fabrics and have at least five rows. Do you see the flowers? The fabric used for the fish is also floral.

fish flowers

This quilt told me that it needed to be mostly grey. (Does your art speak to you? This piece was very specific!) Since I only had one grey fabric in my stash, I reached out to friends who were generous with their scraps. Thanks guys.

I designed the paper-piece pattern for the hearts. They gradually go from mostly warm (browns) to mostly cold (greys) without completely becoming one temperature or the other.

pp hearts

 

On the day I lost my baby, I wanted absolute quiet. No activity or noise at all. Certainly no conversation. Later, talking would become important.

When I told my aunt what happened she suggested that I change my labels: a miscarriage, rather than my miscarriage. Words are important. It’s not my fault.

I started seeing a therapist a few weeks after miscarrying. It was one of the best things I could do, deciding actively focus on healing. Our sessions included dealing with the loss of my mom when I was 14.

What’s your experience with art? Creating is one of my healthiest ways to express loss. It’s also a delight to make things about connection and new beginnings.

 

 

 

25% off most items in my Etsy shop through the end of August. Enjoy!

 

Sneaky Peeks

Here are a few of the treasures I’ve been working on. The first is a wedding quilt for a dear friend. Spoiler alert! It’s green.

Green Bag

I wasn’t able to go out and get this tracing for a portrait quilt of a dog enlarged today. So I pulled some fabrics for it instead! Here’s my method of keeping everything straight once I’ve made the decisions. FYI: I’ve put 90 minutes into this quilt already and haven’t yet started putting it together. That’s why I charge $25 per subject as a design fee!

prep for dog quilt I finished this quilt. Woo! It feel so good to have a project done done done. This is a signature quilt and is for sale in my etsy shop. You can sign this quilt in the beige fabric spots… which, as you can see, make up most of the quilt. It’s great for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and other celebrations. Super-durable, it’ll hold up to washings. Just make sure to follow the directions on whatever fabric marker you buy. Some of them need to be set with a hot iron.

signature quilt 1I’ve also been working on this week’s Project Quilting Challenge, which is up-cycling.

I pulled some fabric for my new guild’s round robin. I’ll be adding a border and some embroidery. Unfortunately, this is all supposed to be secret until the big reveal in a few months so I cannot share photos of it until then.

What are you working on?

What a Namesake!

squishyface

My niece was born just a few days ago on April 2nd. Her parents chose the name Mary Constance, a name rich with meaning… which still gets me all flustered when I speak it aloud. Her first name comes from both of her grandmothers: Mary and Maria. Pictured first is her Dad’s mom, Maria. She’s Mexican, living in Boston temporarily… which means she’s around to help out. She gives very nice, soft, gentle hugs.

esteyandmariashower

Here’s her Mom’s mom, my mother, Mary. She passed away years ago. I like to think that baby Mary got some love from her before she arrived. I know that my mom would just be overjoyed to have a grandchild.
momMary’s middle name is also a family name. Her great-grandmother’s late sister was named Constance. I know her only in stories as Connie, my Aunt Lisa’s mother and grandma’s sister. What a wonderful tribute to her memory.

I started a quilt for baby Mary when I came to her baby shower in January. Since Mom and Dad were keeping her name a secret, I had family members write down their guesses for her name. Some of the guesses are pretty funny, like “Top Secret” and “Hey You!” Now that her name has been announced it’s time to work that quilt. It will have Sam Hunter’s paper-pieced letters in the center with her actual name and the hand-written guesses surrounding it.

You can get Sam’s alphabet here: http://www.huntersdesignstudio.com