Friday, June 22, 2012

Cup Cozy and Pin Ring

For many years now I haven't bought any patterns.  I just follow my own path. 
At the MQ Quilt Show and Conference last week this pattern caught my eye...who doesn't have extra coffee mugs laying around?
And I don't even drink coffee!
The pattern is called Sewing Cup Cozy by Country Fabrics and Quilting in Brainerd MN.
It doesn't take much fabric, it's quick to make and uses some pretty buttons. Next time I'm going to stack a few buttons and 'make a new button'. 
It does require a skinny hair binder, which I don't have.  I even tried using some of that shiny elastic cording but it shreds apart easily.
But this week Rainbow Grocery Store has their hair accessories B1G1 and they have hair binders that are about 1" across and in over 20 colors.  Poifect!
Inside the cup cozy with the pins sticking out of it is a finger pin cushion that Barb Collins made at Wapo and gave to a few of us.  She said it's in a fun book called "100 Pretty Little Things".  It fits right on your finger and it's soft.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Foshay Tower

For Postmark'dArt trade themed "Cityscape" I want to do something with the Foshay Tower, built in 1929 and back then was the tallest building in the Mid-west.
In the early 60's when my Mom moved "to the Cities" (as said by the people who live in Minnesota but don't live in the cities) she said it was still the tallest building, and it was until the IDS tower was built in 1972. Today it's crowded in by taller buildings.

I thought I could find a picture of a postcard of the Foshay from the 1930's and print it on the fabric and then an identical picture from now on a sheer and over lay it.  I've run into stumbling blocks every since that thought!
First I found all sorts of pictures online. Printed them out. Sorted them by copyrighted and no-identification copyright. I'm not too worried about the copyright of a 70 year old postcard but of the copyright of the person who put it on the web (if you ask they often give permission).
Most angles were from high up. And although I know I'm not too shy to go into buildings asking if I can obtain a shot, I knew an angle from the ground would be easiest for me to figure out. The 'ugliest' postcard picture of the lot was from the ground and from 1971. I found 2 buildings in it that are still existing. I bet that only about 10% of the buildings from the 30's still exist today. Mpls and St Paul are called the Twin Cities, but St Paul has retained her historic buildings and Mpls has torn hers down.

So a couple weeks ago, while still having the dream of obtaining my self-proclaimed May 31 deadline, I went downtown to at least obtain the 'ugly' postcard picture.  I brought the paper copy of the picture I had printed and went to see what I could do.
After seeing I was at the exact right spot but I wasn't going to get the same shot because of my camera lens (see how the building above is leaning?), I tore away the sky so I could hold the image up and see how off it was...I'm sure people thought I was nuts standing on the corner concentrating intensely on tearing a piece of paper.
So I was excited after this, not having a complete plan, but at least having some 'parts' to put together.
I bought the postcard image online.
I printed the postcard image on fabric and then fused that to the peltex. I drew all the lines of the buildings on and then stitched over the outlines of the buildings. Because I drew it on, each one is a little different.

In the original postcard there are several other things that are the same.  While standing there taking photos a bus drove by in the same place as the bus in the picture.  The dark brown lamp posts are the same even though the light fixtures changed.  At first I was disappointed that the one way sign was gone, because it still is a one way street.  But then I saw the sign sitting on the ground against the traffic signal lamp pole.  It is beat up but I don't think it's 40 years old.
It was a fun process and I want to do the same for some other structures in downtown Minneapolis, but on a larger scale.
Maybe some day!

From the observation deck in 2006:  Isaac

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Peace" is a wise word.

Finally I get to post something!  "My 'peace' piece."
 I've been working on different projects every evening and all weekends, but everything takes so long to complete.  So: Hurray!
It's not like this has been some last minute challenge; I've known about the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters "Words of Wisdom" Challenge since last summer.  One of the hardest parts for me is coming up with my plan.  What inspires me?  I think the word Peace is a wise word.  Not too many of us can figure it out, and spend our whole lives not figuring it out.  It didn't take me long to know how I wanted to do it and since the entry form was due back in April, it was at that time that I had to decide the size. 
I knew I wanted blocks of grey for the background.  I printed the 5 letters in outline on paper for a pattern...I can't remember what font size this was but they are about 6 inches tall. 
Often at MCQ meetings Mimi Holmes brings handwork to do.  She sits there cheerfully putting stitches on her surface using embroidery floss.  She uses all sorts of colors and gets a fabulous effect.
So that is how I was inspired to get my word on my piece.  You can see in the picture above that the fabric in the middle of the photo is grey with black and white stitches, yet the grey looks like a darker shade behind the black stitches than it does behind the white stitches.  Optical illusion!
Peace can mean different things to different people but to me the quote "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" stirs deep in me.
Bullying has to stop.  If we can't teach kids to stop bullying how can we expect them to know how to deal with it when they are adults?  Little bullies turn into big bullies.  And intimidated kids turn into intimidated adults. 
An easy solution is to teach kids to all come to defend another child when they are being bullied.  Safety in numbers and the power of the people!  Evil cannot triumph when good men do something!
And then there is some poor, mentally unstable kid who is so unsatisfied with his life that he already gets satisfaction from hurting others.  I don't believe that is easily solved but it can be solved.
To me "Peace" is black and white.  You're either for it or you're against it.  There is no thin grey line.
The entire grey background of my piece is only an optical illusion.  We've accepted that there are all these "grey areas".  If anything is grey to me, it is the millions of solutions that are possible.  For peace the only thing that matters is black and white, and that forever changes the illusion of the grey areas. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

More bindings...

Minky is hard to see where your stitches go!