Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

"She who forms the souls of the young is greater than any painter or sculptor."
Saint John Chrysostom

Today is Mother's Day and for the last 14 years it has been a bitter sweet celebration for me.  I lost my mother to her battle with cancer on March 9th fourteen years ago and this day has been a difficult one for me every year since.

My mother and I shared the love of creating beautiful things.  I remember as a child sitting and watching her sew beautiful gowns for proms and weddings.  This was the only type of sewing she would agree to make for family and friends because she always felt that if she was going to make something it would be something out of the ordinary and not something for everyday use.  I myself began sewing at a very young age using scraps of fabric to make clothing for my dolls and by the time I was in high school I was making my own clothes. 

I don't ever remember her making any quilts while I was growing up, it wasn't until I was a grown up with daughters of my own that quilting came into my life.  When I began to quilt she also began to make quilts and although she never saw some of my best and biggest creations she did get to see my first ones.  Those last few years of her life we shared some quilting experiences together and she actually created Sunbonnet Sue quilts for each of my girls that we lovingly take care of today. I helped her put finishing touches on a  machine appliqued butterfly quilt that she made to carry with her to her chemo appointments and I made her a sweatshirt jacket with quilted fans on it for her to wear to keep her warm.  She made quilts for everyday use and didn't worry about matching seams perfectly or other things that as a quilter I would never dream of leaving undone today.  Those were her quilts and no matter what shortcuts she took or what quilting details she left undone these were her creations and she was proud of them.   I still keep her quilts in my closet along with her jacket that I made, I take them down sometimes just to hold them and think of her.  These items are the only physical connections I have left with her and I hold those items dear to my heart. 

I miss her so very much and there have been times when I felt as if I couldn't get through the day without her to talk to, but at those times I know that she is still here with me.  She is with me in every stitch I take when I create a new quilt, whether that quilt is for me or for someone else I know she is proud of who I have become and of what I do.  For most of her last year we lived on two different continents but managed to mend many bridges and came to understand one another better than we ever had before.  I got to share some final thoughts with her a couple of weeks before she fell into a semi-conscious state, and quietly her soul passed into the night and her body found peace on the morning of March 9, 1996.

I thank God for giving me those last few years with her, he gave us time to heal from old wounds and to find a renewed bond through a common love of sewing and creating beautiful things. 

I love you Mom.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Results Are In

"Imagination is more important than Knowledge, for knowledge is limited while the imagination embraces the entire world."
Albert Einstein

The Apple Blossom "Project Quilting" challenge is over and the votes are in, you  and the judges have made their selection, find out the results of the challenge and the public winner at "Kim's Crafty Apple" .  Each judge has handed out their critiques to each quilter and here is what they had to say about my "Apple Blossom Baby".   The judging was on a 1-10 point basis.

Judge 1: This doll is adorable! I can certainly see the resemblance between Kim’s daughters and this dolly!  Very original and what a sweet face! The single crowning blossom is a nice touch, and the fabric choices are perfect for a little girl. 7

Judge 2: She’s adorable. I especially love the apple blossom in her hair. 7.5

Judge 3: I love your unique idea of making a dollie as compared to a quilt. It’s a very nice use of a variety of colors and fabric textures. 9.5

Thank you to the judges for the comments and appreciation of my vision.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Project Quilting Challenge

Last week I participated in a fun challenge sponsored by Kim Lapaecks called "Project Quilting".  This is a continuing project and details can be found in her blog .  The last challenge was the "Apple Blossoms Challenge" and we were to find inspiration in a group of photographs of the Lapaecks' apple orchard.  Some of the photographs included pictures of  Kim's daughters playing among the trees and these photographs are where I found my inspiration.

I was inspired by pictures of her daughters to create a cute little doll called, 

I created a simple doll form foundation, layered it with batting and then proceeded to make a "quilt as you go" layer of a variety of pink 2 1/2 inch strips.  To make this doll child friendly I drew the face on with permanent fabric markers and the hair and apple blossom are machine stitched securly onto the body.  The doll is stuffed with polyester fiberfil and the back of the doll is a soft polyester fleece so that it makes a cuddly pillow to lay your head on. I look forward to entering more of Kim's challenges and see what other new and exciting challenges will come.

The challenge is to complete your project in a week and post pictures on Kim's flikr account.  At the end of the week all projects go up for a public vote on Kim's blog where prizes are awarded to the winning project and a public winner is also chosen so there are two chances to win. 

Project Quilting is open to anyone that wants to participate, so if you quilt check it out and get inspired.  The next challenge will be posted at noon on Sunday, May 9, 2010. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

"Only in the present do things happen."
Jorge Luis Borges

I can't believe it has been over a month that I last posted an entry.  Needless to say I have been buried in custom work and finally have a short break between orders.
I was asked to make a t-shirt quilt for a college graduate and although I had never made one before I took on the challenge.  It was an experience that I am happy to say resulted in what I and my client think was a beauty.   I will be finding out next week if the college graduate loves it too.

When that order was finished I had a photo memory quilt to make as a birthday gift for my clients grandmother as she celebrates her 70th birthday.  I lovingly call this one "the beast" because it just about swallowed me up at my sewing table.  This quilt consists of 100 family photographs that are printed on photo fabric and have two border strips before they were pieced together with dark brown sashing.
I finally have a short break and am able to start creating a few items for my Etsy shop so I decided to start with my "Apple Blossom Baby" that was inspired by a "Project Quilting" challenge.  This challenge is the creation of Kim Lapaceks, a member of the Quiltsy Team on Etsy, and is based on the Project Runway theme.  You can read about her challenge at and feel free to enter future challenges as it is open to all quilters.  You can also enter to win the public giveaway, so check it out, you too may be a winner.

After creating "Apple Blossom Baby"  I decided to give her a few sisters and so far have created...


Daisy May and in the process of finishing up Lavendar with a few others on the drawing board.