Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Art Time with Granddaughter

My 19yo granddaughter has been staying with me this summer.   Kind of.  She's really visiting her father, but because his house is full, she's been sleeping over here and her stuff has been here.   Sort of an unusual arrangement, but it's worked for us.    Our houses are just a few miles apart.  

During this last week, Natalie and I  bonded over art activities.   She's planning her dorm suite and made these paintings for the living area.   They are about 10 by 30.        She really had fun with them, using acrylic paints and scrubbing between layers with alcohol.    Messy but fun.    The colors are so much better in person;  IPhone cameras aren't that great.  

Meanwhile, I decorated clothespins.   Very mundane, but cute. 


I also did a painting of a heron, inspired by a photograph I saw somewhere recently.     There are a lot of layers of paint, as I had a lot of false starts, but I think he turned out pretty darn good.

Natalie made a little piece for her Mom.   

And a portrait of her best friend, Mary.

I hope she'll make time for Art in college and keep her creative/logical sides balanced. 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Quilt Rescue

My paternal grandmother, Leonie Baumann,  died a few years before I was born.  She left behind a number of quilt tops and projects, as quilters are wont to do.    And of course, back then, fabric was costly and precious, not something one could pop out and buy on a whim.

My mother, Louise Baumann, was busy at the time raising my sister.   My father worked long hours due to the war effort and she worked hard.  Her parents were older and needed her help, too.   Then I was born, which didn't make life easier, I'm sure.

At any rate, when Mother got older, she took Oma's quilt tops and projects and finished them into keepsake quilts for her five grandchildren.   One Christmas, she brought them to the celebration.  Each had a number assigned.   The grands drew a number from a box and that was the quilt they got.   Of course, there was some swapping afterwards. 

My daughter's quilt was a Lone Star, although the fabrics were not arranged in the usual fashion.   Instead of concentric rings, the fabrics repeated along the edges of the figure.

At some point, my grandson started using that quilt.   He used it and used it.   Loved it to death, in fact.   As he was packing for college, my daughter realized that many of the fabrics were just gone and the batting was showing through.   She was mortified.   But gave it to me anyhow, with apologies and remorse. 

Actually, I was pleased to know that it was well used.   I arrogantly assumed that I could repair it.  But the damage was too much.    So I did the next best thing (in my opinion).   I found fabrics in my collection and created a new star, using the same pattern.   When I finished, I realized that my star was larger, but I decided to use it anyway.   I pin-basted it to the quilt base and machine quilted it all the way out to the last seam.  Then I tucked under the edges and machine-appliqued that final edge down.   I'm hoping that I kept the quilt's spirit of using what was available and making do.

I hope that it continues to be appreciated and loved.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Banner Year for Graduations

This is the year for high-school graduations in my family. 

My grandson, Jack, is graduating from College Station High School and will be attending the University of North Dakota next year to study aviation.   He's had his pilot's license for over a year now and is planning to be an airline pilot.

Two years ago, he and I went to a quilt show in Austin.   We talked about the quilts he liked the best and chose a blue and white version of Marsha McCloskey's Shakespeare in the Park pattern.   Here is my version.

The fabrics include airplanes, music, and cats - some of his many interests.

Also this month, my sister's granddaughter Katie is graduating from Cypress High School. I've been making each of my sister's grandchildren graduation quilts for quite a few years. Katie was apparently looking forward to hers, as she bought several pieces of fabric and sent them to me about a year ago. She included flamingos, as she knows I like to put animals into each of my scrap quilts. She included lemons, as I love to add foods to the mix. I added in bees, because her grandfather keeps bees and she has suited up and helped. I found race horses, like her Daddy owns. And lots of other fun fabrics.

Katie will be attending TCU next fall.

And then, my sister's oldest great-grandson Leland  is graduating high school, too!  He has been homeschooled in Cedar Park and has done well.

He plans to study graphic design at Austin Community College and wants to design and program  computer games.

 He's a quiet young man. His quilt is subdued, like he is.

I went to his church;s Senior Celebration Night and gave it to him.   He was wearing a blue plaid shirt in these very colors.

Lastly, my great-niece's stepdaughter, who has had some setbacks in the last few years, is not only graduating with her class but has enrolled in college. 

I am very proud of her and made her a modern quilt.     I sure hope she likes purple.  She's a Lubbock girl and will be attending South Plains College.

Way to go, Alizae! 

So next year, there's only one in line.  Thomas, Leland's brother.   Thank goodness!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Abstracted Monarch

Finished this wall hanging last night.   It will go into the quilt show in Georgetown this next weekend.

It was based on a photograph by Steve Schwartzman


and used techniques learned in a workshop by Katie Pasquini Masopust.

Basically, it's just a fancy log cabin. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Orphan Quilt Finds a Home

My great-niece had a fire in her home a year or two ago.  I had thought it was a small fire, but found out a few months ago that she had lost quite a few things.   Loses included a rag rug that I had knitted for her, two quilts that I had made, and a quilt or two that my mother had made.

When I found out, I was in the process of finishing a quilt made of orphan blocks.   You know, the ones that were left over from a project, the ones that were test runs, the ones that didn't come out just right.  They had been living in a box in the corner of my sewing room.  The orphanage.

Anyhow, I had started a quilt of these in a retreat some time back.   But after deciding that it looked like a neighborhood, it needed a community garden.  And although I had some fruit and veggie blocks in the orphanage, the garden needed more.   So the partially completed top sat for a while. 

In my never-ending quest to finish up projects, I made a few more blocks and added them to the community blocks.   I decided that Lizz would appricitate a quilt with houses and stars and dogs and a bison and a community garden.   So I bordered it and finished it off.

At Easter, I gave the quilt to her sister who was here for a visit.  I also sent along a grandmother's flower garden quilt that my daughter had and wasn't that wild about.    She has so many quilts and was happy to pass this one on to Lizz. 

The rug, alas, will not be replaced.   Knitting with strips of fabric is very hard on the wrists and I'm just not up to it anymore. 

I love it when it all (well, almost all) works out.

My orphan quilt has a home.
My mother's quilt has a new home.
My daughter knows that Granny's quilt will be used and loved.
My great niece has quilts in her home again.
And I have space in my sewing room for more fabric!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Remco - Silver Star Award Winner

Some years back, my nephew served in the Navy.   As a dog handler, he was in many dangerous situations.  His dog, Remco, gave his life on one of these missions, saving the life of my nephew and several of his fellow warriors.

Both Mike and Remco received Silver Stars for their valiant service. 

This portrait will be given to my nephew the next time I see him. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Christmas 2017

This was my best Christmas in a long time.   My daughter really aimed high and hit it!   Relatives came from Arizona, north and central Texas, and Louisiana.

I put Christmas quilts on the wall, one of them serving as my tree. 

My favorite Santa, a gift from my former in-laws, was up.   He even spent a few days at a local historic museum.

My nativity from Spain was also displayed at the local museum for the holidays, and then came home to remind me of the story behind the holiday.

All three of the Christmas paintings that I've done were up on the walls.

My favorite grandson spent several nights with me.   He's almost 18 and very responsible and sweet.   But the Mom in me really comes out whenever someone spends the night here.   He went to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.   I had gone to bed at my usual time (all those visitors makes me tired!) but woke up at 1 am and noted that he wasn't home.   Thankfully, he answered my text and was safe and just a little delayed in coming back.

We had a White Elephant exchange.   We did family pictures.  We did a full sit-down meal with 15 family members, including my daughter's father and his wife.   We did presents. 

We played games.  Different combos of relatives spent time together and got to know each other better - e.g. the 22yo uncle from Ft. Worth and the 8yo nephew from Louisiana went to see Star Wars.  I spent time with my precious 3yo greatgranddaughter who had a bit of a cold and needed some quiet time.   I actually fixed breakfast for my grandkids! 

What a wonderful way for all of us to be together.

  I give special thanks to my co-greatgrandmother who hosted the Louisiana family by providing hotel space and hosting several meals.

Obviously, we can't do this every year.  It took a lot of coordination of schedules, foregoing of being together with other arms of the family, and some sacrifice.  (e.g. My grandson skipped playing in the band at the state football finals in Arlington.)   But I am really glad it happened.

Thank you, sweet daughter.