The Best Laid Plans...

Sigh.  Yesterday morning (a Monday, no less!) I got ready earlier than usual and went outside at the first light to take pictures of some additions to The Quilt and a few of all the blocks together.  Then I downloaded them onto my flash drive along with some other stuff from the weekend.  At some point I deleted them.  All of them.  The entire folder labeled "crazy quilt."  Every single blessed picture from the beginning is lost.  It makes me sick.  Of course, it's not as bad as losing the actual quilt!!!!  But still, it is maddening. So here we are on Tuesday, trying again. This time I at least got them on the blog! Cross your fingers that nothing else happens.  This time I took the pictures in the evening, but it was so windy most of them came out very blurry.  These are the best:

Mind boggling, isn't it?  There are twenty total blocks, ten of which have pictures.  They arranged so that the picture blocks do not touch.  In some cases I moved around items that had been appliqued, like two of the saints and their frames, and some of the small lace pieces.  I added the rooster and frog lace and still need to find places for a few of the other lace pieces. 

This is my shell and holy water to represent baptism.  The shell is appliqued from white velvet and the water is made of french knots from variegated thread. 
The satin stitched crown is in honor of my friend, Lanita.  Lanita passed away in April of 2011 from breast cancer and continues to inspire me today.  She was always smiling and serene even when she was in the worst pain.  Lanita was creative, down to earth, and an awesome mother.  When she decided to shave her hair instead of watching it all fall out, she had a shaving party.  All of her friends were instructed to bring "something to wear on her head."  She meant a hat or scarf, of course, but I took a tiara.  My favorite picture is of Lanita with a wig and the tiara. I thought of adding a breast cancer ribbon in her honor on my quilt, but the tiara means more to me.

I got my punch needle last week!  It was confusing at first and I am still not comfortable with it, but I managed to decorate my son's picture and make a peacock feather.  I will need more practice.  The feather is my own design.  Actually, I still have a real feather in my purse that I was looking at for inspiration.  I love peacocks. 
Speaking of my adorable son (and this picture was when he was almost two and he is now thirteen), I added a bit more to him.  The spokes of the wheel have been picked out in brown stem stitch and the red stripe with the same stitch.  Then I added a brown silk ribbon belt, tiny blue belt loop, and buckle using real gold thread in a satin stitch.
I am now working on four corner blocks and then will put on the 6" border.  Maybe it will be finished by Christmas.     



Kay's Kreation

Today I am tooting two horns!!  My friend and coworker, Kay, has been watching me work on my crazy quilt, and seeing my other projects, for over a year now.  She expressed interest in learning to embroider over the summer and we talked about how she could get started.  Now, we both tried our hand at crochet that another coworker tried to teach us last year.  That didn't go so well for either of us. 
So I bought Kay an Aunt Martha's transfer to practice with and then she got another and off she's gone!  This pillowcase is her first project:

She is going to make another matching one, possibly with the red and yellow reversed for some extra interest.  Her next project is an appliqued and embroidered shirt for her daughter.  She's picked out an adorable cat motif for that.
I am so proud of Kay for finishing the pillowcase in such a short time, and bursting with pride (ok, I teared up) that I have taught someone a skill that is quickly going by the wayside.  She really loves it and, since she's semi-retired, has time on her hands.  Kay's first love is gardening, but with our scorching summer that lasts until mid-October, you can only spend so many hours outside.  
Speaking of my crazy quilt, I am still finding new areas that really need just a touch more embellishing and I still need to make the corner blocks, but I hope to have something up here soon.


Another Idea for Recycled Memories

I no longer do general seamstress or tailor work for my customers, preferring to work on quilts.  But when an old customer called with an unique request, I was happy to oblige.   It seems that Heidi's niece, Rebeccah, passed away after having suffered through many health problems.  Rebeccah's mother was her constant caregiver throughout her 20 year life. 

Rebeccah had a quilt that she used all the time that was well loved and worn out.  Heidi salvaged the plates that she could from the quilt and asked that I make a tote bag and pillowcase from them that her sister could use in her travels. 
I used the blocks with the brightest colors to applique.  Heidi chose an inky blue print for the main fabric and plain muslin for the lining.
I modified the bag pattern that Heidi had purchased so that it would be large enough for the plate.  The plate is machine appliqued to both sides.  I chose not to line it with a stiffener so that it can be easily crushed and thrown into a suitcase or another bag as needed. 
The pillowcase is folded back on itself.  What you are seeing below the applique is actually the opposite end of the case when a pillow is inserted.

For the pillowcase I cut one of the plates in half and appliqued it to the cuff.  I make my pillowcases with french seams using the directions on about.com.  For this particular pillowcase I did not add the trim as suggested because it would have interfered with the applique. 
I think this is an awesome way to reuse a memory or a "cutter" quilt and I appreciate being given the chance to work on the project. Many times we are afraid to cut into something but the projects I have been blessed with lately show that more use can be made out of the things we are holding onto, stuck in a closet somewhere out of sight, if we use our imagination. 
How have you recycled a memory or cherished object for more modern use?