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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Infant Loss and Remembrance Month

October has been designated Infant Loss and Remembrance Month and I want to take this opportunity to remember those who have lost a baby before they had a chance to get to know the little one.

We lost our grandson two Springs ago at four months of gestation. It was one of the saddest events in our family's history.

Iris at Tilden Park in Berkeley
We'll not forget your young son.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

It's Around the World Blog Hop and I was nominated by Barbara at Cat Patches. I thank her for this chance to show a bit of what happens here in LyndaLand in the sewing department. 

For beginnings, my sewing space was donated by the One Who Cooks, Ormond, from his kitchen. Our one-bedroom apartment is quite small and there was not an entire room to devote to sewing so O carved a goodly chunk out of his kitchen and built me a lovely space in which to create my magic...

Here it is with only One Basket of supplies so far....
two years ago this month-interesting !~!

1. What am I currently working on in this space? 

Ormond's flimsy needs to be sandwiched and quilted or tied and bound.

A seven-by-five blocks doll quilt with the remaining blocks from the above flimsy needs to be sewn together and then quilted as well.

I'm crocheting a scarf that may turn into a cowl when it's finished. I'm using fingering weight yarn so the going is slow. I'm simply doing a half double stitch all the way thru so it can be picked up and worked no matter where my head is at any given moment. I think I may simply like the feel of the silk sliding thru my fingers and can get lost in the tactile experience. It matters not that the edges are so far out of line it's laughable; it feels luscious.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I've been unable to find a genre in which to plug my work. For a while I was embarrassed by my cut-off points and un-square shapes of finished items until Barb, the woman who tagged me for this post said to me one say, "Your quilt; Your rules." Suddenly I was freed up to do whatever struck my creative streak. I have done no quilt with anyone else's patterns, I have no patterns for my pieces. It's all improvisational as I go along. The quilts tend to make themselves-like characters starring in an in-progress novel. I never know what the end result will be when I begin and yet they turn out really cool most of the time.

I had little idea where each of these three quilts was going when I started. This first one was for a very tall young lady who will likely put on a few more inches before she's finished growing. The lighter fabrics came from her Oma in Holland last time she visited and I wanted to use them for Charlie so adding in the purple silkscreened ladies seemed a natural combination. The young lady was thrilled and so was her Grandmother with what I did with the fabrics she had brought to me.

Charlie's "OmaLynda"

When my father was dying earlier this year, I needed something to keep him in my thoughts without the tears that wouldn't stop falling. I cut strips of my favorite fabrics and this is what we have. He always loved bright colors and wore Hawaiian shirts for years in south Florida.

Red mostly, reused, repurposed, and recycled.
Every piece in here was something else.
Felted cashmere sweaters, fleece blankets, worn sweatshirts
 all became this extremely warm and cheerful blanket

3. Why do I write/create as I do?

Because I must. The urge is deep, strong and undeniable. I cannot ignore it as I can other urges like hunger and tired. When the need to make anew comes upon me I work steadily until I either drop into bed or the piece is far enough along that I can leave it for a few hours. This applies to writing and sewing, crocheting and collage work, puzzle solving and laying out future quilts... Despite being tired I cannot sleep if a piece is in process and still has uncertainties about it. Yet as soon as those questions are resolved the remainder becomes easy and I can sleep.

Lots of pieces I've made: pillows, balls, blankets...

A sampler with two inch squares; hand-tied and a bit of embroidery.

My first HST quilt with donated fabrics and a former sweatshirt.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

Not sure really. I come up with what feels like a need to be cutting and sewing, so I start. Where it may end up no one knows at the outset, especially me. I have started a dozen quilts without knowing where they'll end up. Then once they get to a nearly finished state I want to write about them. Telling the story of how they began is always a fun part of the process for me.

Halloween treat bags for Ginger and Piper. Made in 2013.

Nautical Indigo made for Abby early in my quilting days.

I am still looking for a couple quilters to take the mantle for me and tell us a bit about their process. So far, no success at finding any takers. Perhaps most of the quilters I know are well-known and have already taken this challenge. I'll ask a few more if they'll play and edit this post if they agree.

Thank you, Barbara, for inviting me to show you a bit of what happens here in LyndaLand.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Half Square Triangles (HSTs) are Versatile

One of the basic units in quilting is called a Half Square Triangle-but you could tell that from the headline !~! There are a few different ways of making them that I  know of: two at a time, four at a time, just one as you need them....

The easiest I think is to make them four at a time by cutting two squares of different fabrics, pin them right sides together and sew them together a quarter of an inch in from the edge all the way around. Using a ruler and rotary cutter, cut into four pieces on the diagonals. Open the triangle, press the seam toward the darker fabric and trim the dog ears.

This is my first try at HSTs. I made this back in the very early days of quilt-making with fabric from clothing given to me by Myra (the yellow fleece), fabric from Karen (the border and backing) and a remnant from JoAnn's bargain bin (the white flowered fleece).

Sitting here in the dark, vaping for pain, ideas flit in and out: I want to make a piece with the Karen fabrics-the orange and yellow plaid-like linen (above border) that she sent me ages ago. I want to help Lucia finish the HST quilt we started some time back using those same fabrics; I should give Lu that other Singer I have. That could be a creative solution to a couple problems !~!

Ok, back on track here. Some of my other HST projects:

This grew up to be my mouse pad when I folded it in half
and sewed it into a smaller rectangle with no padding inside.

My favorite piece made with 2-1/2 inch squares a couple years ago.
Forty eight squares with a million choices of layout.

This ended up a doll blanket for my granddaughter, Madison in Oklahoma.The squares are over three inches.

This started with 3-inch squares and ended up perfect size for a pillow.

I have a stack of these squares left over; they're great learning tools as described below.

Mug rug for Phyllis in Canada.

The biggest project to date with this incredibly multi-faceted block is still in progress. I finished the flimsy and it sits, folded, next to my machine awaiting a place to spread itself out and be basted. The backing needs to be sewn together on the long axis and I think since that's a wide wale corduroy (nodding to Stephanie) there's no need to put batting between the layers. Likely I will tie it-too much for my bottom of the line Singer.

Layout Choices Abound

One can find innumerable pictures of layouts online using Google Image Search. The most impressive, in my opinion is this one by an unknown programmer that shows seventy-three different  symmetrical configurations. There may be millions of permutations when you add in the non-symmetrical layouts. So much fun, I have two stacks of HSTs that I love to play with and move about trying for esthetically pleasing, or not, layouts. Excellent for the podlings and kidlets learning pattern recognition with soft, colorful tools.

Perhaps you'll make some HST's and join the fun and versatility of them. Using contrasting colors increases the visual factor a lot. Monochromatic color schemes are also very pretty with many shades and tints being used in one piece. Have fun; share your pictures as you go...

Thanks for coming by, I know you're all busy and having you for a minute or two makes me happy.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quick Study-My Girl Is

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of teaching Lucia to crochet. We spent about an hour learning the basic easy stitches and she seemed to enjoy it.

Imagine my surprise when I went back Tuesday evening to find her curled up in a chair with a foot and half of four to five inch wide SCARF that she has been working on in every spare moment !~! Her mom said, "She takes it in the car for the seven-minute ride to school!" I couldn't be prouder !~!

Isn't she something, my Lukie ?~!