Block #9 (I think)

As usual, I didn't accomplish nearly as much during my days off as I had planned.  It wasn't a total waste of time, though.  I did get my studio cleaned, among other things.

I also didn't work on this block while I was off and I must say my elbow and shoulder are feeling much better because of it.  But here it is now, in all it's splendor:
This is Pa & Granny on their wedding day in 1939.  The picture doesn't do justice, he had the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen.  Pa is my Bohemian link.  Granny is mostly Scottish and American Indian.  She nurtured my frugal nature.  They were married by the parish priest in his home (office?) in Houston because my grandmother was not Catholic.  I am the proud owner of her wedding dress.  It is a light blue green organza with flowers on it. 

The music is the first few bars of "Amazing Grace." Makes me cry just thinking about that song.  The doily was the last thing I added.  It was in a bag of lace that Lisa brought me last week.  I think it looks like a spider web.  I'll probably put a spider on it someday.  The lace I made the frame with is more of the stuff from Childhood Memories.
The picture is off-color, sorry, but I wanted to show off my live oak leaves and acorns.  I said a while back I wouldn't satin stitch again, but these called for it and actually went pretty quickly.  Before anyone says they don't look like oak leaves, I traced them from the leaves in the oak trees in my yard.  There are 3 acorns for my 3 kids.
Until next time!


Granna Mur and Lessons Learned

Maggie Ola on right (ca 03-05)
When I was a kid, my great-grandmother was old, mean, and (to me) color blind.  She had a wicked cane that she poked you with (or if you were a particularly annoying male of the family, outright popped you with) and she loved to antagonize my grandfather, which in turn upset my grandmother (her daughter).  She saw things that weren't there, like flowers in the trees or squirrels on the hood of the moving car.  She crocheted like crazy and even made some quilts.  It seemed that her favorite things involved polyester, orange, pink, gold, and olive.  My favorite quilt (long since missing, and greatly missed) was a Southern Belle.  I spent hours picking out my favorite calico patches from thing.  I think it inspired my love of scrappy quilts.  That was lesson one:  scrappy is beautiful.

Holding daughter Sue, 1920

When I was a young adult, it was cool that Granna Mur was still around because, with my daughter, five generations were represented.  She still had the wicked cane, weird colors, and was old.  Interacting with her and my grandmother was a lesson in patience that I'm glad to have learned.  That's number two.
Granna Mur ca ?

Now that she's gone, and I'm (cough, cough) slightly more mature, it scares me that if I had a cane, I would probably be poking people and pink and orange is one of my favorite color combos.  With a healthy dose of olive.  That's lesson three:  what goes around comes around.  On the right I think she is about my age, but I don't know the date.

She made this crazy quilt in the 50s.  As the story goes, she had a brand spanking new sewing machine that did all sorts of almost unheard of stitches.  So she did what any of us would, she made a crazy quilt. 

The quilt is a mixture of machine stitches and some very good hand stitches.  It is lined with some really heavy olive green satin.  It isn't as ornate as a 100 year old quilt, but it's hers, and now mine, and it inspires me.  I didn't even know it existed until a couple of years ago, long after my own love of crazy quilting emerged.  I guess that means I've come full circle.  Lesson four:  follow the beat of your own drummer, and remember, it's not always a completely new beat.
Maybe I'll start collecting canes...


Moving Right Along

Somewhere I miscounted. In my head, I mean. I'm usually pretty good at counting things physically, but my poor brain gets confused when I don't have the things in front of me. I thought that this was my 7th block, but now I find it's my eighth. Woo-hoo!! Check out the awesome lace I added. I got it from a lot of vintage lace on etsy from ChildhoodMemories. You'll be seeing more of that purchase, if I can manage to make myself cut into them. The pink and green venice laces are from my stash and more of the stuff that I dyed.

It's not quite finished, but that's ok.  I need to find some 1/8th inch white velvet ribbon to trim out the costume my daughter is wearing in the picture.  It was her Halloween ice skater costume years ago.  I had sewn fur around the neck, wrists, and waist and made her a little organza skirt.  For the block, I gathered a piece of organza ribbon for the skirt.  I also tatted the lace and corner pieces for the picture in black to emphasize the Halloween theme.
The Virgin Mary applique is a copy of a prayer card from my grandfather's affects.  Don't you love printer fabric?

The red carnation is the flower of Spain, in honor of my husband's roots.  I ripped it out twice before I finally made one I could live with. 
I have the patches sewn on the ninth block, but I'm not sure when I'll finish it.  I'm getting the pain of embroiderer's elbow (much like tennis elbow, but without the sweating) and I think I should take a break.  Next week is spring break and I've been threatened to get a paper pieced butterfly pattern together for a new class OR ELSE.