Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I've been asked by my dear friend Dr. J to help costume a Shakespeare show that she is directing. I am working with a very talented costumer who has done plenty of these types of gigs. Tonight we chatted about what will be our next step in costuming the 4 brides in "As You Like It" done by the Riverside Shakespeare Festival, in St. Charles, MO. These dresses are the concepts given to us by the director for 2 of the brides.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
It's Memorial Day weekend. We need to remember those who have served in our military forces and many who have lost their lives while serving. My father and father-in-law were in World War II, and my brother served in the Army during the Vietnam era. I have my father's flag that was draped on his coffin when he died. The patriotic theme of decorating is very close to many peoples hearts. So, finding quilt fabrics with this theme is relatively easy, and there is quite a good selection.
My grandsons who live in Iowa all have birthdays from January to May. The littlest one's birthday is 3 weeks after Christmas, so I didn't know what to give him then. The other two had birthdays in April and May. Grandma needed to give them gifts. So, of course, it would have to be quilts!
This is the story of Patternista. She is my most complicated quilt that I've made so far in my quilting journey that started as a frenzy last fall. Each day, I get an email from a little quilt business in Hamilton, MO, advertising their "Daily Deal". They give a great discount on one item in their inventory, with the hope that you'll buy something else fill out your purchase to get enough fabric to complete a project. I must admit, I almost needed an intervention to keep me from daily purchase of the daily deals! But when I saw this pattern of fabric, there was no helping me, I HAD TO HAVE IT! It is called Patternista, and the designs in the fabrics just spoke to my soul. The patterns were retro inspired, and "Spirograph" comes to mind for many of them. The colors were batik quality, purples, roses, soft and bright greens and blues, with a pop of yellow and orange. What's not to love? My creative juices started to flow big time! My little quilt business, Missouri Star Quilt Company, also does online free tutorials on how to use their precut fabrics. This precut is called a jelly roll, which has 40 strips of fabric from the entire line cut in 2-1/2" strips across the width of fabric. There are endless patterns available for using jelly roll, but the one pattern I found that I liked was making an 8 pointed star, using the jelly roll strips and a background fabric.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I was watching my grandkids all day Saturday, and we were looking for something to do to pass the time. I decided to break out the sewing machine and fabrics and start to teach my granddaughter to sew. I have been planning a day like this for over a year. She has always taken an interest in my sewing since she was about 4. (Now going on 7) We had tried several toy sewing machines, but they only led to frustration because they would stop working very quickly after we would start. So I decided to bite the bullet and purchase an inexpensive adult sewing machine (Janome, my favorite brand) and teach her to use it safely. We had never gotten a chance to work with it. I tried the machine out a couple of weeks ago for the first go round with it, taking it to a costuming gig to use to modify costumes. It worked fine for that. But before that test run, I found out that Janome makes several models of machines geared for young girls, with the "Hello Kitty" logo on them. I decided this was the thing that would be the motivator for her, and I purchased the machine. Well, when I got it, I found out it was exactly the same machine as the one I had purchased a year ago, except it was painted blue and cost $30 more! Same features and functions. So I broke out the "Hello Kitty" machine Saturday and we were off! She loved it, she learned quickly, and was competently sewing short seams without any problems. I found a cheap $2 charm pack, I decided I could give this up for some practice, and we started to put together a quilt for her teddy bear. That went together quickly and she wanted more to do. Her brother suggested a pillow for bear, so we found fabric for that, plus some left over batting for the stuffing. (He had the right idea, when he told us we could put cotton balls into it to stuff it.) Meantime, he was playing video games. We took a couple of breaks for lunch, a park session, and a terrible hail storm, after which we collected large 2" hailstones like Easter Eggs after the storm passed. Then, her brother decided that he wanted to take a crack at sewing something. Well, wasn't I prepared for that! I had a perfect companion for her sewing machine, my plain Jane model that I had purchased that was exactly the same as Hello Kitty. He caught on quickly also, although his sister kept proclaiming that she was better at it than he. They were both hard at work making seams, sewing together squares, sewing layers upon layers of fabric together. Hello Kitty is a trooper, because at one time, I think she sewed 12 layers of fabric together and the machine managed to take on the task. I am proud of them for their interest, and how quickly they picked up the skills needed to sew simple things. He wanted to make his little 6 patch quilt bigger and make it into a 9 patch. There is a special design for quilts called disappearing 9 patch, we'll try that if he wants to do it, and it will make an interesting patchwork quilt.