Thursday, April 12, 2012

More Moose!

I am happy to introduce Candee the Moose!   She likes striped tights and bows on her antlers.  And her favorite color is lavender.  And she makes me not only smile, but laugh!  :)  Enjoy

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Moose of an Idea

A couple of months ago, I was working at the quilt shop doing my thing...helping customers and doing what ever needs to be done in the store.  The radio is usually on for background noise and music to fill the air while we work and customers shop.  Occasionally we sing along.  :)

Anyways, on this day, I heard this  advertisement about our local Goodwill Industries having a 'Reinvention Convention'.   Local artists were asked to register, shop at the Goodwill store for items and then 'reinvent' them into art. All money raised from this event benefits Goodwill's Workers on Wheels Program.  How cool...I do this all the time anyway with my denim projects so why not register, give it a whirl and do something to help the community.  Win win situation.

My mind started wandering from denim to cotton plaid shirts to an Up North theme and then stumbled upon a moose!!  A plaid moose.  How cool would that be! Couldn't wait to get started.

A few days later I registered at Goodwill and then started my shopping for this project.  I found a pair of blue jeans, a pair of brown jeans (so very soft!), 5 plaid shirts and a bed pillow.  Here's my before picture...

Next I researched real moose pictures and got the shape of their antlers and hooves.  They also have knobby knees and big soft noses.  With all this in mind I started drawing out my moose and appliqued him on the blue denim popping out of a back pocket.  To keep him company, I designed some other Up North type designs to add on both sides of the moose...pine cone, cattails, bluebirds, trillium, and bumblebees.  What fun!!!  With all the applique done, I started quilting and making the moose into a big pillow.  Big pillows are to wonderful because they are fun to hug, nice for naps and sit up well for decorating! 

When I finished the pillow, I still had a lot of denim and plaid cotton left over so I made a crib sized quilt to match....using a couple of the shirt pockets for fun.  Voila!  Here is a picture of  the finished pillow and quilt.

My husband took one look at the moose pillow and named him Wally.  Here is a closer picture of Wally the moose! 

Now Wally awaits his debut at the Goodwill's Reinvention Convention on May 3rd.  To check him out and all the other entries go here... GoodwillReinventionConvention   You are welcome to vote for Wally or your favorite entry with dollars on the website, at Goodwill or at the Reinvention Convention.  The winning artist receives a prize...but we all win because the money goes to a good cause.  Can't wait to see what everyone else creates!!! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Logo and First Sale

Firstly, with the help of my talented graphic designer and friend Marlies, I have a new business logo!  It's simple, cute and it makes me smile.  Besides, me and the frog go way back.  Ta da!!!

Secondly, this past week, my business had its first official sale!!!  A custom pillow for my friend Sue.  She requested something with sunflowers and peace signs.  I came up with a large sunflower that has a peace sign in the center mingling with the seeds.  Along the sides are cool tones in batiks in a braided pattern.  The back has a sunflower waiting to bloom and a pocket with a yellow lady bug (sunflower bug perhaps?)... a handy place to tuck away the tv remote!  Here's pictures.


All in all a good week!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Words with Quilts

Here's some of my more recent quilted items that speak many words for me...

These are some pillows I made for my friend Janine's children.  They lost their family dog Daley and it was very hard on the kids.  I asked if there was anything I could do to help and Janine asked if I could make anything with the fabric from his dog bed.  I came up with these two pillows...featuring the red and black checked dog bed fabric and the dog's picture on the pockets.  The kids were very comforted by them.

Last fall my dear sister-in-law Anna was diagnosed with early stages of breast cancer.  Her prognosis was very good, however she faced surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.  All very draining physically as well as mentally.

She's in Texas and I'm in Michigan so I couldn't physically lend my support.  Scheming in my head, I asked what is her favorite flower...she says carnation.  Now if she had said tulip or daisy or rose I was all set...but carnation???  How do I quilt that!  So I wracked my brain while trying lots of different things with paper and pencil...and came up a triple layered flower in pink (for breast cancer!) Voila...carnation! 

Anna loves her pillow.  She brought it to her chemo treatments, kept her i-pod in the pocket and listened to music while she hugged the pillow.  Almost like I was there holding her hand.  Love you babe!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Denim contemplations

I've been doing some denim contemplation today.  As a fabric, it's thickness can make it tough to sew, it contains lot of lint that accumulates everywhere, and  its cut edges tend to unravel easily.  However, using nice sharp scissors, sturdy needles, regular sewing machine cleaning, and lots of stitches you can handle it really well.  Once the problems are handled, the end product is so worth it.  The denim is soft, sturdy, durable and oh so very comfortable.  It's good for my soul.

It sometimes reminds me of people.   They may be tough on the outside, carry baggage, and need special handling, but once you get past that and see their's all worth it.

And making a quilt for someone who's sad or hurting is something I'm drawn to do.  I never seem to know the right thing to say to help the hurt...sometimes there are no words at all.  So I says it all.

Here's some of my early quilts that were made to help someone deal with something in their life...

This quilt was made for a little girl named Sabrina.   She's the very young daughter of a friend of a friend and was going through some scary medical testing at the time.  I never heard what the outcome of all that was, but the quilt helped comfort her and her mom at the time.

These quilts were made, with the help of my friend Shelly, as Christmas gifts for 3 young children for the Project Mary.  Our Child Study Club adopted a family from the Pregnancy Care Center to help make their Christmas special.  Airplanes, flowers and bugs adorned the centers of these quilts made with love and comfort.

This was my first denim pillow made in 2002.  It was made for a young boy.   His dad, a police officer, was in the Army Reserves and was called to serve overseas.  All this made the little boy very uneasy and was having trouble dealing with the fact his dad would be gone.  To comfort the boy and make him feel a little safer, I made this pillow to 'deputize' him.  Complete with badge and handcuffs....he was prepared to be the man of the house.  His mom said he was thrilled and really helped him deal with his situation.

This quilt was made in 2003 for a friend's nephew.  He was going through chemotherapy and only had the energy enough to play his gameboy at the time.  The quilt has one large pocket to keep his gameboy...I appliqued a gameboy peeking out using my son's as a pattern.  There's also a couple of fabric pockets on the side for extra games.  I heard he really liked his quilt.  I also heard recently that he made in through all his chemo and is now a cancer-free 22 year old.  What a blessing for his family.

These are just a few of my quilted 'words'.  Hope you enjoy them and are inspired.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Zoo Animals Emerging from Pockets!

At the same time I was dreaming of sunflowers, I came across some fantastic zoo fabric.  Such bright, happy colors and lots of animals!  What more would a kid want in a quilt???  A charity quilt was being born...but what would I put in the middle???  Hmmmm...

Well, I had this giraffe skin fabric and a cute little pocket from a small pair of worn out jeans to work with.  This was the first denim design where I had decided to have body parts coming out of the top and the bottom and the side of the pocket.  A long skinny neck out of the top, little tail poking out of the side and long legs emerging out of the bottom!!!  Voila...a Back Pocket Design. 

This giraffe quilt was donated back in 2001 to charity along with the sunflower quilt (mentioned in the previous post) to help kids being placed in foster care.  I hope it comforted a child during a tough time in their life.

I must make another one like this much fun!

So what is your favorite zoo animal???

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tiptoe Through the...Sunflowers!

After my frog (see previous post), my gardening soul starting imagining how fun it would be to have pockets as flower pots...all sorts of things could grow out of them!!!  Inspired by some fabric and some old green jeans, sunflowers began to bloom in my pockets. To me, there's nothing more cheerful than a sunflower.  Their faces follow the comforting to think of warm, sunny, summer days!!!

The quilt to the left, I made in 2001 as a charity donation.  The petals are simple triangles and the center circle was traced with my favorite coffee mug again.  As it was donated, I was filled with the certain thought that this sunflower found a good home and brightened a child's day. 

In the years since, I've continued to make sunflowers...and here's one of my latest ones, made into a large 14" x 20" pillow....large enough to hug and bring comfort.  The colors are bright and cheerful and hopefully makes someone smile!  :)