Sunday, May 06, 2018

This week

  Thursday, I watched a man die. It was pouring down rain and I held my umbrella over the man as someone did CPR until first aid arrived. It was too late, despite all their efforts. ( Everyone worked with great effort to change the outcome.)  I don't know his name or where he was from or if he was in bad health, or if this was a complete shock to his family. I'm having trouble getting his face out of my mind.
  Friday, I held a beautiful baby boy. I don't know where the family was from and their ethnicity could be anything: Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Pakistani, South American, American Indian, or any combination of the aforementioned. He seemed happy to have me hold him and he loved all the pins on my name tag. Same as any other baby in the world. there's a comfort to that.
  A former student stopped by and she has two absolutely gorgeous babies and carrying her third. I have no doubt this one will be beautiful as well. I hope I'll hold that one too.
 I also found out my daughter became a meme. I'm not sure what that means, except that thousands of people have seen her in a photo, but then, thousands had already seen the photo and comments both good and bad upon it. It's been 8 or 9 years since the photo was taken and it remains active on the internet. Nothing goes away online.
  A coworker has pet chickens and doesn't much care about the eggs. I told her I'd take eggs. She brought in 4 dozen. I brought home two dozen.  As she loves a variety of types of chickens, the eggs were a lovely variety of shades of brown that look lovely in my egg basket on the counter.
 Saturday, the park had record attendance. Regardless of the fact that Marketing has something to answer for, I believe it all went really smoothly. I'm pleased that I had good sales and didn't have to hit the backup stock I've painted for busy days. I got to spend some time with my co-painter as we overlapped a couple hours. She paints roses with minimal effort. I'm so jealous. Since I went home earlier than most of my coworkers, I felt bad, so I made a cake. I used some of those gorgeous eggs.
The dogs went out. One refused to come in. I went to bed and woke up at 3 am. She wanted to come in then.
  Sunday the cake was a hit. The beautiful baby boy was back and I got to hold him again. He loved my pins again. ACES, the roller-coaster enthusiasts club was back and they love the new coaster. It was a much quieter day at work as most Sundays are. I got to visit with the guests more,  be more helpful around the store in general and let my drawing arm/ hand recuperate after all it's hard work Saturday. 
  I get to visit with some quilters tomorrow and finish putting my garden in and catch up with chore around here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

9.6–SCRAPtastic–Challenge 6 of Project QUILTING Season 9

Final Challenge- Tornado Alley- 10"x 10"

Following the rules of this last challenge, I had to use at least 12 different fabrics. 
This is a scaled down version of a very spontaneous way of creating an image I was interested in trying. 
Basically, you stack 4 pieces of fabric together, stitch in a swirled manner and then cut out sections of those stacked pieces, between the stitching, to reveal the fabrics below. If I were to use larger pieces of fabric , I could cut each swirled piece in quarters and sew them back together in an even more random final product. I really liked this and will do it again sometime I think. 
My title was inspired by a young woman I met this week who was very excited to be in Branson on their Spring Break. As I was drawing her parasol, her family told me a lot about their vacation and themselves. They were from the Oklahoma City area and she was born when a major Tornado hit their town. 
One of my favorite things about my job is meeting our visitors and being being privileged enough to listen to their stories and try to make their vacation memorable.  Here's to you, Mariah!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Time Traveler- Challenge quilt-9.5 a stitch in time

A Stitch in Time- challenge quilt
Time Traveler 9"x 11" 

I can't believe how time has flown! I was lucky enough to find this challenge this year and it coincided with the time I have off from work. Now that time is over and I'm back to work. The challenge will be to continue my entries on limited time. I started this one today and finished it. Scaling back to a smaller size helped. (my personal challenge is to use up sample batting I have.) The park opens Wednesday with great fanfare and excitement for another season of adventure. 

First of all, some of you might wonder where I work. I work at Silver Dollar City, an amusement park near Branson, Missouri. ( If you want to check it out here's the link:  You might not realize it, but the theme of the park is set in the 1880's. My uniform at work is actually a long dress, pantaloons and, if it's cold, a cape. My actual job title is salesperson in the Merchandise department, but what I really do is paint parasols. I love my job! I draw pictures on fancy umbrellas and add the child's name to it. Personalized fancy umbrellas! 

This year we have a new roller-coaster opening called Time Traveler . The backstory for the coaster involves an inventor father who has created a way to travel in time. He also teaches his daughter to "Dream Big and Do Good".  The decorative themes for the coaster (and shops) have a steampunk feel.  It's being billed as the world's fastest, steepest, tallest SPINNING roller coaster.  Not only do you have big drops and loops and twists, but the whole car also spins as it does all the other stuff ! 

This week I tried the churn dash pattern using a gray and a clock/ gear fabric that I rust dyed. I liked how this pattern reflected the spiral out from the center in a more jagged way. I quilted the whole piece in a spiral to reinforce that idea. The gears were cut out from a batik fabric and the words were cut out from a white fabric. I toned it down using textile medium and mixed in some rust from a steel wool pad in my kitchen. All of the rust gives it an aged look that fits into the general feel of our 1880's park theme. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Challenge 4- Mellow Yellow

Bee You
This weeks' challenge was called "Mellow Yellow". The color yellow is often a difficult color for quilters because it often takes over. So many just avoid it but this week, we embrace it in all it's glory!
This piece is 8.5 x 11 inches. I am late to the party of hexagons but Bees are a seminal childhood memory for me. My dad had bee hives when I was a kid. We lived across the street from orange/ grapefruit groves and I'm sure Dad's bees benefited the grove owners and he was occasionally called to come get some  bees that had gone rogue. He would rob the bees once a year and it was amazing to snack on the combs after school. 
  Honey is sometimes viewed as a healthy alternatives to some allergies (local source) because of the pollen it might contain. I showed that using some of the floral print in some of the cells. I suffer from  seasonal allergies from something (maybe sycamore and sassafras) I encounter in the Ozarks that I didn't in Florida.
 Finally, I like the small bit of humor that the sayings "Bee amazing, Bee you, Bee Strong" adds to this small piece. They are all good things to remember. 
I cut the brown fabric as a lattice with the yellow fabric behind it. I slipped in individual flowered hexies in between. I made a larger hexie with the Bee print and fit it into the composition. I used a lot of my specialty stitches on this piece and used my machine's lettering to add the words. I rarely use these stitches so it was fun to do that. 
If you are interested in joining the fun, go to this site and play along!

Thursday, February 08, 2018

9.3 Challenge Quilt- week 3- Bold and Brave

21.5 x 19

Concept- I thought about being Brave and Bold. With the dreamers being in the news, it made me wonder about how brave a person would need to be to become an immigrant. To leave everything you know and go someplace vastly different. I would find that to be a very brave thing to do, something I was not brave enough when I was asked to do so once so long ago. 

  That lead me to think about my own family members who came to this country. I did focus on my earliest ancestor, John, who came in 1640.
 I was also informed that from 1782 until 1956, our National motto was "E Pluribus Unum" (from many, one) and not, "In God we Trust" which was created during the height of the "Red Scare" or the fight against Communism. I liked the earlier motto better. 
I am deeply moved by the song, "Living in the Promised land", which was written by David Lynn Jones and made famous by Willie Nelson. 

Give us your tired and weak and we will make them strong 
Bring us your foreign songs and we will sing along 
Leave us your broken dreams we'll give them to mend 
There's still a lot of love living in the promiseland

Living in the promiseland 
Our dreams are made of steel 
The prayer of every man is to know how freedom feels 
There is a winding road across the shifting sand 
And room for everyone living in the promiseland

Construction-  The colonial times really informed the visuals of this quilt. I wanted the words to be stenciled to look like the old broadsides of colonial times. It took me a entire day to make the stencils and it took me 3 times to make something I liked visually. I went back and forth between a stencil for the figure or making it from fabric. In the end, I chose the fabric. I also chose to cut the E pluribus Unum from fabric and had SUCH a hard time keeping it where it should be. The fusible didn't want to work for whatever reason and it was a battle the entire time finishing it. 
I read about colonial quilting and found that they tended to do a center medallion and then made rows around it. I chose to make a couple medallions and alternate it with the words. 
Between the style and colors I felt like I was really channeling the Bicentennial celebration from the 70's. 

Reaction- It's not at all a look I've ever done before. I like some things and not others (as always) as it's a learning process and I'm encouraged to try new things. I was surprised by the choice of fabrics making such a difference to the feel of the piece.  This was by far the biggest struggle I've had making a piece for this challenge. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Challenge two- triangulation

This week's challenge theme was "triangulation".
I call this one "New York Fish"
11"x 11"

I've been thinking about the upcoming addition to the family and, while there's no theme for the room, there is a color scheme. Blues and Grays. If there's no theme, I can make up one! I thought about where they are from and where they live. One is from Ohio and will probably incorporate an Ohio star (or two) in the final quilt, but The other is from New York and I thought about using the New York Beauty to represent her. I've never made one of those and so I thought I'd do a quick version to see how it plays out. This couple also has a home in Florida, so that turned my thoughts towards the Ocean. 
 So, I used fusible to put this together but I probably won't do it for the baby quilt. I did the most simple version of the NYB but might consider a bit more complex for the baby quilt. I used some fabric that I had in two colorways, dark blue and light blue. I'd probably find something less feminine for the baby. I also did the stitching in gray, but I don't like that. I should have used a dark blue. 
The fish just begged to be bright and cartoon-like. From there, I just did all sorts of goofy things. I used Iron on scraps for the triangles (glitter iron-on) and for the eyes. Not something I'd do for a baby quilt. Then, added the acrylic rhinestones to just push it further. (also something I'd not do for a baby quilt). 
Somewhere along this process, I thought the circles could make a nice porthole and then I could put a feature sea creature in each circle. Something that might be a bit too goofy for the parents, but still a fun idea for a baby quilt at some point. 

New things I tried making this quilt: 
The New York Beauty pattern
facing a quilt instead of binding
using Iron on as a design element

I've appreciated the education I got throughout the challenge this week. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Challenge Quilt

Week One- Hometown Proud.
   The term "home town" can mean many different places, especially when you've lived a while. Do I go with where I was a child? Or a teen? Where I made my first home alone? Or as a married couple? Or where I've raised my family? In the end, I decided to go with my current hometown. I live in Kimberling City, Missouri, and I've been here for over 20 years.
  The town isn't just small, it has little history. It had a ferry to cross the White River and then later, a bridge (which is actually under the current one). It seems it always had to do with water and leisure. When they built the Dam, it flooded the lowlands and created Tablerock Lake. Lake Life was created. The most important structure in town is The Kimberling City bridge which connects the southern part of the county to the northern. It is a vital part of transportation for many living on the southern side.
  So here is my tribute to the bridge with an abstract sunset reflected in the water.
   This piece is 10"x 10". Rather small, but I just learned of the challenge on Tuesday night and wanted to be sure I completed it.  This is a raw edge applique, just the two layers of fabric, then quilted.