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Sunday, August 21, 2005

*MY* Birthday quilt

I finally found the picture of *my* birthday quilt from 2005. Remember, that my group draws for the month their birthday will be celebrated, and this year, mine was in Feb. We finished up the top on quilting day, and I got it back from the quilter when I was in Rochester MN with my husband (he was receiving a kidney transplant) this past June. The picture is when it was on the bed in Rochester - without the binding sewn down! We wanted a piece of home so badly, we slept under it as it was. I still haven't finished the binding on it, but I haven't succumbed to putting it on the bed on home yet, either.

The pattern is a Terry Atkinson pattern - I think it's called Texas Hold'em. It seems that I've done more of her patterns than anything else. They always work up so nicely, and they look much more complex than they really are. All the star points on these stars are done with the squared corner technique on a rectangle or a square - as a sashing - no more lost points!

I have a tendency to mess around with words or phrases - for some reason I can't keep them straight in my head. This makes reading billboards on trips a hoot, too. In this example, I couldn't ever remember that the pattern name was Texas Hold'em, but I kept calling it Texas Chainsaw. Since we were going through some bad times with my husband's illnesses, it finally got named Minnesota Chainsaw. Can you see the morphology? My brain is warped, I guess:)

Monday, August 15, 2005

What's in the past

I've been working on my genealogy again since the weather has cooled and the days have been somewhat gloomy. I've been working on this line of the family for years, and I just couldn't make the connection that I suspicioned was there. Lo and behold, yesterday I found it. One of my ancestorial lines actually goes back to 1525!

Now, that got me thinking how I found the link. Several years ago I was doing quite a bit of business, both buying and selling, on Ebay. I searched on a weekly basis for anything associated with my maiden name (VanBuskirk). I found a family bible for sale, but the bid went way over anything I could afford. So I took a chance and contacted the winner of the bid. It turns out that there are some connections, but not that close. BUT! The best piece of information she shared was that she was in possession of a quilt that had been "signed" by numerous female members of both our families. This was before the ease of digital pictures, so I can only imagine it in my mind. I've since lost touch with this "cousin", but I am still searching for her.

Now, on to the present. I have a quilt display wall where I like to change out quilts often. This quilt is not THE quilt, but rather a quilt I found at an auction in the country. I just love it. I like looking at the inexact way it was pieced, and I wonder about the quilter from the past. I think it's extremely interesting how the colors all fade on one edge of it, and now it looks like an abstract piece of art. Were these pieces of clothing the family used? Where did this pattern originate?

This makes me always think on my own quilting. Will my quilt survive me with no history because I didn't put a label on it? Will someone cherish it or toss it out to cover a window air conditioner or use it as a moving pad? Will *my* fabrics bleed or fade over the years to make it be an abstract piece of art? And while it's not perfect, will someone still love it?

Food for thought.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Birthday quilt day

I stitch with an extraordinary group of women called the Amazing Quilt Babes. We've been together about 10 years now, and for the last four years, we've done something special for each other. Since more than one of our birthdays is in April, we have to draw a month in which to receive our "birthday gift from the others - a stitch day. This is where the birthday girl chooses the pattern, cuts all the fabric pieces and gives instructions (if needed) to piece a quilt top. We generally meet about 9AM on a Saturday morning (once every other month) and stitch until 3PM or 4PM, with a break for lunch. By the end of the day, we almost always have the top ready to piece together.

This is last Saturday's birthday stitch day for Carolyn (standing left in the picture). This quilt is made of all half square triangles. It is by Calico Carriage - the name of it is No Diamonds in the Sky. Carolyn thinks this is as close to a Lone Star her husband will ever have. It sure sewed up nice!

For more Calico Carriage patterns check the link.

"More is More" Philosophy

Here is another example of "more is more", Quiltgranny's philosophy of life. This is "Phenomenal Woman", based on the poetry of Maya Angelou. Her hair is stitched with loose threads, beads, and snippets of fabric and roving on Sulky Solvy. Her dress was beaded before applique, and it lies three dimensionally with it's folds finished with tulle netting. She dances across the piece, shattering plates (Dresden) and swinging her tambourine to her own music and rules. The background is heavily seed stitched and the bottom edge is beaded with swinging beads.

I had so much fun with this piece, I didn't want it to end.

To read the poem, Maya Angelou, click through the link.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Quiltgranny's Dilemma

I've been thinking about what picture to use as my profile photo. I started to use Quiltgranny's Hands, but somehow I thought that might be "cheating" since someone else did the work. (I still love them though!)

So after some consideration, I've chosen my 2003 Self Reflections portrait. I belong to Kansas Art Quilters and this was the first piece that we were asked to do. It was quite a learning experience for me, and a lot of fun too. I used some of Lucky Shie's techniques like the chicken stitching, shisha mirrors, and "holes", and some of Jane Burch Cochran's techniques like over embellishing the heck out of it. The background is some shibori dyed fabric that I made when I took a class with Jan Myers Newbury, but the fancy stuff is covered mostly by the stitching. My hair is made of silk shirts cut into strips, and stray threads and beads and fabric bits sewn onto Sulky Solvy. I always say more is more. LOL!

You can see more of Kansas Art Quilters work by checking out the link.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Quiltgranny Shard

Blue and yellow chair - sharded with blue china dishes and yellow cups.

So, I did this shard chair in one afternoon and grouted it the next. I decided to paint the chair after I did the shard work, which I truly don't recommend. It still worked and I love it on my front porch! A nice break from sewing, and cleaning the house.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Not quilting today?

I take care of my 84 year old mother's needs, and occasionally that means I drive her to her doctor's appointments. Today was one of those days. I love her dearly, but she is extremely trying. That's why I did something totally different today with a friend/neighbor. We did some shard art, teaching a couple of other gals how to do it. I started later than they did, but I managed to get a "garden" chair sharded with blue, yellow and white shards. Tomorrow is grout day - maybe I can get it finished up and decide whether it will be painted on the legs or not. Sort of like a quilt or more like a puzzle. Pictures when I finish!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Out of the box at last!

This is Jane Burch Cochran and me ('m on the right). She inspired me to really reach out and just do the things that I feel like doing. Want to paint AND quilt on artist's canvas? Go ahead. Want to use alphabet stamps on ribbons? Just do it! Like sparkly things, and whimsical moods? Find something silly to stitch on, paint on, stamp on, hang get the idea!

I'm finding more pictures to share of my stuff. Not all of it is artsy. A lot of it is traditional because I feel the need to just stitch - and I love to gift quilts. Some of it is whimsical, and some of it has hidden meanings. So more later!

More about Jane is found by clicking the link with this post.