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Posts Tagged ‘wall hangings’

Fans and flowers

This is what I have been working on this week. The fan block started with some cut pieces a friend gave me. I added the white and I really like how the fan stands out.

Then there is the appliquéd flower top that is ready to be quilted. The block itself is 12 inches square with the top measuring about 22 inches. I guess I am in a spring mode with all of the pinks, greens, and purples I have been working with lately.

I did these by hand and must be honest and say that this is my first fan block. I have avoided fans  in the past because of the difficulty (for me) to machine stitch, but I found that it was easily done by hand. I plan to use the block in a greeting card holder wall hanging. The flower will be a square table topper that can be hung if desired.

I have not been doing well this week so I have been very slow and am very behind-so no memory quilt posting-my apologies.

Happy Gardening in all of your sewing endeavors!

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Part 1

For the most part, memory quilts serve as reminders of the past, but for those of us with memory problems or for someone in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, memory quilts can help to do much more. Alzheimer’s, a disease that is not completely understood, is devastating to family and friends but it especially hard on the individual. Imagine losing treasured memories including recognition of loved ones and the simplest of activities having only shadows of the past fading in and out until they are not even a distant memory. As part of my ongoing blog about my memory quilt project I want to draw attention to this dreaded disease and give you some links to a growing initiative. I am new to these efforts, but I feel they are worthwhile. Just because our bodies may be able to live longer doesn’t mean that our minds are disease-free. Please check out the Alzheimer’s Association at http://www.alz.org/index.asp. There is a lot of information about the disease, how to deal with the disease like how to better care for someone after they have been diagnosed, when to see a doctor, and so many other things. I urge you to check out the website even or especially if you and everyone in your family are extremely healthy and seemingly Alzheimer’s-free.

There is a project that is in the works called the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)    http://www.alzquilts.org    which is all about raising awareness while helping to fund research through art (link is also in the sidebar). Small quilts are made and donated to be sold; some are auctioned off. For a quilter, this may seem easy enough, but for each quilt made there needs to be a buyer. The whole idea is to raise money for research and to draw more attention to this dreaded disease. I encourage you to get friends and family involved by purchasing some of these special quilts. They are small, but they mean so much. Then spread the word and get others involved in making some of these memorable quilts. If you do not know someone with Alzheimer’s now, I bet you know someone who knows someone. Here is a blog with more information:  http://aaqiupdate.wordpress.com   Part 2 of this post includes an idea for a memory quilt wall hanging.

Take care and Happy Gardening!

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Last week was one crazy week. It began Sunday a week ago when a friend brought me several little batches of material she was getting rid of. Some were projects in progress or UFOs (un-finished objects) – most were just cutouts that had not been sewn. Most of the designs are not produced any more. There are some beautiful pieces in these batches. I’m not sure what I will do with them, but I think I can find (or have) material that will coordinate (cross your fingers that I have it on hand!). I’m not sure how this will fit into my plans for the coming months, but then on Friday another friend gave me some quilt tops she had not finished long ago and some rolls of decorator fabric. Wow! What nice friends! I still need to decide what I will do with everything. Here’s a glance at the material from the first friend.

If I’m going to give the finished projects to the church to sell for restoration, then it needs to be something other than a big quilt – it will take too long to hand quilt. Some thoughts for the fan cuts could be pillows, placemats :(, lap quilt, etc. I’ll tell more about the quilt tops and rolled fabric at a later time. Right now, I need to focus on my appliqué project. I’m really excited about this! I wanted to post photos, but they did not come out that well. I have the first petal sewn but need to go back and recut the white part of the petals. I just do not like the way it looks because I used an old piece of muslin-remember that I was just doing a dry run but then decided to finish the project. I really like it, but I hope others will, too. I’m not sure how I will finish it. It could be a big pillow, but I’m not crazy about that idea – yet. I’m toying with the idea of a lap quilt that can be hung if desired. The second idea will probably win out. Depending on how well this turns out and how it is received (remember the lady who thought my crazy quilts were potholders), I want to make a larger flower quilt, but I need to finish designing the block patterns.

It’s cold today, but no snow 😦 or ice 🙂 is predicted like it could have been. I think most people have had their fill after we had the ice on top of the snow last time. Most people I know are ready for spring. As for gardening and plants, there was a time I could grow anything (got that from my dad), bring it back to life, etc. Now, I’m having trouble keeping things alive since I keep it so cold in the house. My poinsettia from 2009 is looking rather ragged and the rose bush my hubby gave me for our anniversary has dropped all of its leaves. On the up side, there is new growth on the little rose bush, so maybe there is hope… 🙂

Happy gardening in all parts of your lives!

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Before I get to the memory quilt post, I want to report on my quilting projects that I finished in time for Christmas–there is a story. Photo sampling of some of my projects:

 Christmas Décor

                            

 Mini Crazy Quilts

  

They all had decorative hangers with gold embellishments, etc. I took the finished projects over to a friend who was taking them to the church to sell in the shops they have open on the weekends (for restoration project). She absolutely loved them! Little did I know she was going to buy most of them and give them to some of our friends, 1) as a gift for Christmas; 2) so they could have something I made; and 3) it would benefit the church, too (why mess with two birds when you can get three birds with one stone, right?). Anyway, most ladies were very appreciative of my efforts. They are all older than me and most knew my mother, so that counts for something extra. On the downside, one lady received one of the mini crazy quilt wall hangings. I tried to do my best and smile when she came to thank me for making the “potholders.”  😦   Ok, not the kindest remark in the world, but at least she thanked me for making an effort. I have not heard if all of the items were sold-things have been slow with the holidays and the bad weather and all. 

Another story – my mother-in-law used to make the most beautiful crocheted items. She would work hard all year crocheting so she could sell them to have enough money to buy gifts for Christmas. I just wanted some of the crocheted items-forget buying anything. I don’t think she liked it when I told her, but I wanted to have things she made so the kids would have them years from now. My mom used to make about everything we gave because we could not afford ‘store bought’ items. I even got tired of ‘handmade’ things, but I understood what it meant to make something so that others would have part of you. It is not just the thought that counts but the effort that goes into making something for someone-not 1000 of the same thing-but you know what I mean. I see more of this today than two years ago. Maybe we, or at least some of us, have grown to appreciate things a little more with the downslide in the economy…I hope so! So, whether you make something or receive something, someone made it. Let’s just appreciate those things made and crafted by people, especially those made by people we know. 

Happy Gardening – and I promise the memory quilt post is next!

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I am trying to decide on a plan of action for the next few months. There are some things I did not get finished last year – so many I did not get started – so, I have been browsing the ‘net’ trying to jumpstart my engines. It is hard to get going again right after the holidays. Seeing projects that others are doing really helps me get up and get busy. I found this great-looking quilt project called ‘Percy the Penguin’ by Denise Russart. I just love the colors she used and the texture of the fabrics! He is so bright at a time that can be so depressing for many people. Isn’t he so cute?

Then I stumbled on some flickr photos (lucia_panopintado) through someone’s blog:

Quilt  ; Quilt section 1 ; Quilt section 2 

Crazy quilted pillow 

Embroidered flower basket 

Now that my creative juices seem to be flowing again, it’s time to get a plan together!

I am not one to buy quilting books, but I bought a memory quilt book the other day that I hope I can pass down to one of my daughters. It has some terrific ideas. I have wanted to make a memory quilt for each of the girls and have been saving scraps of their clothes from their younger years. I did not want the quilts to be made just from scraps, and this book has given me some ideas that will help with that. Now is the time to get started (they are almost completely out of the house), so I think that will be the biggy project(s), with some quilted table runners made out of some spring-like material along the way. Then I plan to alternate back and forth with the pocket wall hangings (for cards and collectables) and crazy quilts. I have thought about making a crazy quilt pillow but did not know how it would turn out. I think I should do one to see, but I do not want to make it very big. I have come into some denim material that is being recycled from old jeans. I love to embroider on it, so I will have to see where that takes me, too. Someone has also given me some material that will work well in a baby nursery, so I may make some crib quilts or other nursery things.

So many things to do, so little time, but I need to have a plan of action before I go on. And, I need to stay out of the fabric stores as much as possible, but I need to get a darning needle for my sewing machine soon. I want to hand quilt for as long as possible, but I really do not know how much longer that will be. Well, it will be a busy 2011. Here is to creating some great projects while making wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Bonne chance mes amis! And, Happy Gardening all through the year!

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