Saturday, January 20, 2018

The cloth with no name

This is where I am today with the (still unnamed) cloth I began last month as a 40th anniversary commemorative ...


It's been a journey from my original plan, which was to make a new-fangled sampler ...


I even got so far as to stitch the lettering on the bottom half, seen here photographed with one of my new clip-on iPhone camera lenses ...


But even though I was happy with the clouds, created by loosely backstitching marks on the hand-dyed cloth ...


the lettering just didn't feel right, so I tore it out. 

Then, while looking for something else entirely, I came across a long-lost envelope of Jude Hill's indigo-dyed "planets," which sent me running off in an entirely new direction ...


I'm still not 100% sure about the frame, but considering how the size seems near-perfect, I'm thinking it's meant to be.

Addendum: As I waited for this post to load, it occurred to me that the cloth has become an un-sampler ... US 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Baby it's cold outside

It's a good day for wearing warm socks whilst mending ...


I do love patching jeans, especially those with holes worn into the knees by our grandkids, imagining the stitches inside absorbing future falls, like a hand slipped out just in the nick of time ...


Fortunately, padding shouldn't be needed today as everyone's safe inside ...


while everything outside is being slowly encased in ice ...


Don said he saw a local news report last night on how to use an ice scraper (if you had one) and cautioning against pouring hot water on car windshields. Good advice under the circumstances ...


Addendum:

No hole yet, so (sew) a bit of preventive maintenance ...


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Booking it

I laid out all the mail received from kindred spirits last year ... spread it out on a coffee table, considering whether to try collaging it all.

And no, I didn't take a picture. Because I began to pick up piece after piece, realizing that the words within each one were as valuable as the images. 

Of course.

So what to do? Sorting them into stacks of portrait-oriented cards, landscape-oriented cards and two-sided postcards, an idea began to form and ended up as three book-like constructions ...


Here then, is the back story. 

First I turned on my little-used sewing machine (a sturdy old Kenmore from the 1970s which continues to chug along in spite of getting but one proper servicing in all the years since). Tearing strips of hand-dyed cloth purchased last November from Jean Dahlgren (more on that in another post), I tried to stitch portrait-oriented card edges together ...


with this less-than-satisfying result ...


I tried again and again, but as the machine jitters set in, I realized a more soothing, hand stitched solution was called for. And yet, there was no way I was going to subject my fingers to forcing a needle through cloth and card stock. 

Lunch and time to ruminate led to this solution: machine stitch folded strips of cloth to the edges of each card, with the fold just barely beyond the card stock ...


Then hand stitch the folds together ...


Paper-full piecing, if you will (with a wink and a nod to Jude's paper-less piecing). And as I jittered my way through the machine stitching, I realized the source of my unease: I hold my breath whenever I put the pedal to the metal. Well.

Thank goodness for the soothing pace of hand stitches. Soon I had a book of portrait-oriented cards, both fronts and backs visible, fronted by this apt phrase ...


I tackled the two-sided cards next ...



and was gratified by how well they stood together ...


And as the last rays of sunshine beamed through the window by my chair, I stitched the bases of five landscape cards together ...


offsetting them to good effect ...


I am utterly delighted by the results and looking forward to coming up with a solution to the tiny bits of notepaper and fanciful envelopes that remain.

Stay tuned ...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

No apologies, just "write"

So you might have noticed I've been gone for a while ... having fun with our grandkids mostly. They range in age from 13 to 5 to 3 years old, down to Little P who has somehow managed reach 9 months already. We put way more than 2000 miles on the car in the past 3 weeks. And yes, it was all worth absolutely every minute of the beautiful racket (with credit to Mary Chapin Carpenter for the phrase, which captures the wild joy of kids at play).

Now it's finally time to be just me again, which includes looking back on last year and looking forward to the year ahead. The first post of 2017 included a list of past resolutions and an overly optimistic new resolution (at the end of this post):
2013 - Create
2014 - Blog
2015 - Stitch
2016 - Remember 
2017 - Enjoy 
In hindsight, I would rename my resolution for 2017 "Imagine Peace" for the project that ultimately reached over 70 individuals in six countries and twenty states ...


There was also the completion of two projects from the previous year: Land of Flood and Drought ...


and Remember 2016 ...


Followed by new grandchild projects like this pillow ...


and these nursery wall hangings ...


for the arrival of Sweet P in April ...



I surprised myself by actually finishing a new bag made from linen shirt plackets ...


while only making a start on The Land as the Crow Flies ...


and the Pojagi-inspired Peace Pin Project Shawl ...



Fortunately, I can also report the actual completion of the pennon for Mo's Dream, seen here in a picture from her blog It's Crow Time ...



And in spite of the two projects-pending above, I started yet another in December to commemorate our 40th wedding anniversary (which has since passed, but the project is yet to be completed) ...



Which brings me to here and now: the year 2018 and my resolve to "Write" ... which will include sending "real" mail to kindred spirits in recognition of how much I appreciated the "real" mail that arrived in my mailbox last year ... a continuation of the Peace Pin Project Shawl, which will most likely be renamed the Commonplace Shawl as I intend to stitch words and phrases that I wish to recall in the coming year ... a book for our grandkids tentatively titled Moon Myth ... and last, but far from least, continued posting here on the blog.

So belated best wishes to all for the new year ahead ... may it prove memorable in all the best ways possible. However it turns out in the end, though, I am grateful for your presence along the way.