Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Quilting a Family Tradition.

Quilting has been a part of our family for many years.
My grandmother kept every scrap of fabric, no matter how small.

Nana's thimble and darning needle are
precious things I found in her sewing machine.

When she gave me her antique sewing machine I found all kinds of things that most people would have thrown away.   I think living through the Depression era taught her to cherish everything and reuse it.   Each piece told a story and had special meaning, especially to the person who
was fortunate enough to receive one of her masterpieces.
So I've made it a habit to keep old fabrics that are precious to me.

I still remember the day Grandma and I picked this embroidered denim dress from a catalog.
She wore this dress so much. It has faded from years of wear.
 Some day I'll use it to make a quilt of my own.

My mother found pieces of an unfinished quilt that Grandma left behind. Mom decided to finish what Grandma started. So a part of my Grandmother will live on through the work of my mother's hands. Mom added her own touches, like buttons over a yo yo and prairie points.

The bed cover I have on my bed is faded and worn so I asked mom if
I bought the fabric, would she make me a quilt to match our master bedroom. My daughter lives in Lancaster County where Amish Quilt Shops abound.
We planned a day to go shopping and picked out fabrics from
The Log Cabin Quilt Shop in Bird-in-Hand, Pa.

Mom told me I needed to chose a dark color a medium color and a light
color. I chose dark blue, a lighter blue print and yellow paisley print.
Mom measured and tore the fabric into strips.
Tearing is better than cutting because it keeps the fabric evenly spaced.

This quilt frame was built by my Grandfather.

This is my mother putting some stitches into the quilt.
She made a pattern and added a design to the edges.

The frame is made so that the sides roll and the quilt can be easily
moved to the area Mom wants to work on.

The back of the quilt is a yellow sheet that I purchased.
She is using blue thread so the stitches show.

So little did I know that my daughter has started a new craft. 
She made a rag rug to match the colors of the quilt.

I can't wait to see how they look together!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Saga Continues

A while ago I did a post titled "Generations of Love".  I talked about
the importance of sharing family traditions that are passed down from
generation to generation. 

"The Crochet Lesson"

 I recently posted an update with a sketch
that I did from this photo, which was taken over 20 years ago. 
The little girl pictured in this drawing is my daughter.

"The Crochet Lesson"
Approximately 5"x7"
A Preliminary Pencil Sketch

Today was a very special day for me.
That same little girl spent the day in my studio
creating with me.

She still enjoys working on arts and crafts.
Her latest discovery is a website called Pinterest.
She found a pattern there to make a fabric bracelet.

She followed the instructions and measured strips of fabric
for what must have seemed like a long time
because after a long period of concentration
she said, "this is taking more time than I thought it would".
I said, "I know what you mean Jenessa. Alot of people
wonder why I do so much preliminary work before I
start a painting".

 You have to plot your course before
you set out on your journey or you'll end up lost and confused.
I spend many hours developing an underpainting in black and white before I put color over top of it.  The reason is because
it's important for me to establish how light or dark something is
before I add the next element to the painting, which is color.

My husband had a quote that he used to encourage me
while we were raising our daughter.

"Always teaching and always learning".

How true it is. My daughter told me that she has learned
more by watching me than by anything I ever
told her.  She's a visual learner. A chip off the old block.

What my daughter doesn't know is that she has taught me
as much as I have taught her.  Today her presence energized me.
Her personality has that affect on me.  It reminds me of a
song titled
You Raise Me Up. 
That is what my daughter does for me
Her presence motivates me to do and be all that I can be.