Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"The Quilter's Eye" runs in the family

Cassidy Horvath, a 7th grader, made her first quilt this fall. She and Grandma Terry did a great job of incorporating big pieces of Cass's feature fabric into a traditional Fence Rail pattern. Since Em did her 2nd quilt, does that mean cousin Cassidy's 2nd quilt is in the thinking stages?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Emma Scores Again!

Last summer John's great niece Emma, an 8th grader, made her first quilt - look at the Aug 8, 2008, entry. And this is her second. Why am I posting this picture since Emma and her mom Diana chose all the fabrics, and Emma did all the work at her grandmother Terry's house? This past summer neighbor Cristina, her friend Catya, sister-in-law Chris and I all made Trip Around the World quilts - see July and August, 2008. And now here's Emma's Trip Around the World. Even without borders, it's fabulous. Click on the picture to see some of the detail of Em's fabrics. I love this pattern. And Emma's fabric choices are impeccable! Nicely done.
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

MORS Bags, continued

Now that Christmas is over, I'm reexamining all my scraps as well as large pieces of fabric that I have not used in many years. These MORS bags are perfect for both. Here are bags #37 and #38, an example of each. 17" x 19" I know I'll go back to quilting but not today.
#39, 40, and 41 all involve some great leftovers from other projects and are among the nicest of the MORS bags that I've made.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Gift for a Quilter

Christmas Eve 2008 - John and the Seven Grandchildren. Top Row, l to r - Nikki, Brandon, Grandpa John, Jack, Sam. Front Row - Ben, Ryan, Natalie. Julie and Ed hosted us all. Aunt Chris, Uncle Jerry, and Molly joined us as well. The food was terrific, the kids well-behaved, and adult deportment was impeccable. One of the highlights of the evening was Uncle Mark's DVD "10 Years of Mo Christmases" which began with a picture of Grandma Sophie Moscinski - not a dry eye in the house. Entertainment was courtesy of Ryan, who played John Lennon's "So This Is Christmas". Julie, Molly, and Nikki sang along. Lovely evening. (No, I didn't give the children MORS bags for Christmas - thought I'd save that for Christmas 2009!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ready for Christmas

The MORS bag Christmas presents for the Al Whites (Pam, law-student Candace, nanny/hairdresser Leslie, Kohl's worker-bee Ali, and hs junior Nathan) are ready to go to Oak Lawn for a pick up. The bags here are for the rest of the Whites - my parents, sister Paula and her family (Dr. Den, lawyer Chris, dancer Jen, new husband Tim), and brother Doug and his family (Kim, working Evan, student/server Laura, and granddaughters Amelia and Olive). My parents are using these bags as a way to wrap their presents. Genius! In total I've made 36 Mors bags in the past two weeks. Best of all, my stash is managable.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Perfect Present

Friends Richard and Laurel Seidelman just gave me this. I love it. I love it for the simple lines of the actual piece. I love it for the colorful moquilt which Rich cut from old license plates. I love the photos from my blog that Laurel chose because they represent a progression The first - bold geometric lines with fabric. The second - more intricate but still geometric piecing. And the third represents the direction I think my quilting is heading towards. Click on the picture to see some of the detail. 12" x 22

The thoughtfulness of this carefully-crafted piece overwhelms me. Here's what Laurel said.
Obviously there was another gift which was left at home on Friday. But after our evening together we were inspired to create something that rejoiced in YOUR art. I listened carefully to comments about your passion for geometric shapes and your Beijing inspired interest in yellows and reds. I let those comments steer me to quilts that shared a common color scheme and sense of geometry. It's interesting that they also follow a progression in your style sense. We labored over the positioning of the photos and finally felt comfortable with the final order with no idea that it was ideologically correct. We are pleased that you are pleased.
"Pleased" is an understatement. That this gift celebrates MY art? Priceless.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mors Bag update

I've now made 27. And I can't stop...

Reduce, reuse, recycle...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Presents, 2008

Long time good buddy Midge suggested we go to the Fiber Arts show at the Botanic Gardens in Glencoe. At that show I met a fellow quilter and have really enjoyed getting to know Wayne. Too many coincidences - he too is left handed, has a Husqvarna, does the same kind of quilting I do, and is passionate about travel. We've been feeding each other ideas for the past month, and one of his has lit a fire under me.

Wayne sent me a Mors Bag that he made , and I tried my first one a couple of days ago. Then I decided I would make these for Christmas presents. So far I've made eight, and I want to make a total of 22. I'm finding some wonderful fabrics in my stash - click on the picture to see some of the detail. In keeping with the spirit behind "sociable guerilla bagging," I'm using up little bits of thread left on spools and finally finding a fabulous use for the tons of leftover muslin I have from quilts. hese bags are 11" by 17".

About 10 years ago John began using canvas bags for grocery shopping. He's excellent at remembering to take them with him when he shops. My goal is to keep a bag with me when I am a fabric store or Walgreen's or a book store. A visual reinforcement for not using plastic bags happened to us in southern Argentina. It's pretty much a vast scrub land. There are zillions of little scrubby bushes, which from a distance seem to sparkle. Until we got closer and realized that the "sparkles" were plastic bags caught in the bushes. John referred to this area as a huge plastic bag farm. Shortly after that trip I heard on NPR that the same sort of thing is happening in South Africa. There are also whirlpools in remote parts of the oceans where plastic bottles and bags are endlessly swirling. Our resources are finite. Reduce. Reduce. Recycle.

For Christmas this year my sister Paula suggested we make one another presents. My sister-in-law Pam has been doing this for years (can't wait for her "cracker candy"). I've enjoyed making my first 8 Mors bags and am eager to do some more. I'm trying to make some that the men in the family won't be embarrassed to carry. However, as with quilts, I want to keep each one that I'm making. I'll have to adjust that attitude in that next 10 days!
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Monday, December 8, 2008

For Jim Pretkelis

I was lucky to get to know some very special people at Kennedy High School. My last few years were the first years of music teacher Jim Pretkelis. What a terrific guy he is. His passion for music and respect and genuine fondness for students are a winning combination. Whatever I asked him to do, he did - usually something connected with media or sound. I have been mentally working on this quilt for so long that it will have to be shared by TWO children - Jim and his wife just had their second baby. That's why it's pretty big. 60" x 66"

There are only 2 blocks in this quilt. Jim told me his first daughter loved reds and yellows and is a vibrant little girl. Hope this quilt holds up to her personality. This quilt is a tangible reminder of her father's gracious dependability and how much I value him.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Christmas Fairy Comes to LaGrange

Every year while I'm working on quilts, John decorates the house (and does the cards and the Christmas shopping and everything else). While I normally don't embellish my quilts in any way, John found some little tiny ornaments which he carefully pins to the quilted Christmas tree I made several years ago. Even I admit that the effect is very nice. His real labor of love however is his Christmas Tree. And I love that he uses my bargello abstract wall hanging as a background for his tree.
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Friday, December 5, 2008

A Christmas Present

So many things connect to Dodie, my college roommate. December 17 will be the second anniversary of her death. Dodie's older daughter Mani nannied for the Dunn family when Mani was attending Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. The little Dunn girl has since graduated from college and pharmacy school. Mom Fran came across Brie's undergrad t-shirts and memories of so many Kappa Delta events. Using Wofford College school colors for sashing and borders, this t-shirt quilt is the whimsical and charming result. Fran even arranged the layout. This is Brie's Christmas present. Click on the picture to see some of the details of the shirts as well as the dog bone fabric for the Wofford mascot used for the cornerstones and the binding. 84" x 96"

When the family went to Myrtle Beach about 7 months after Dodie's death, the Dunns offered Mani their house in Litchfield. John and I stayed there along with Dodie's brother Bill and his wife. It was a sad week to be together, but the gracious and lovely house - the Jim Dandy - of the Dunns made the week a bit easier.
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