Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kasha's Comfort

Finally when I had the Telephone Quilt group over my house for the unveiling luncheon I got my idea for 'Comfort.' (Thank goodness it didn't involve dental floss!) I had recently hung a photo of my daughter, Kasha, in the hallway and walked by it showing the house to everyone. The photo is the one in the middle of the quilt. In the photo she has her favorite 'bankie' wrapped around her head - which she does often. Since she had 5 of these blankies, I cut one up and used it to frame the photo which Lisa C. had printed on fabric for me. I added some decorative stitches and beads to break up all the black space in the background and added a black border to tie it together. Bankie is on the back too. I figured it would be a memento for her. What a pain it was cutting that blankie, a polyester Traget item! I had fuzzy bits everywhere! Shifty too! So now she has 4.5 blankies. I rebound the one I cut up and she doesn't really notice the size difference. When Kasha saw it, she said 'cute!' and likes to lay down on it, point out the flowers and butterflies. She did see her cut up blankie in my suitcase (binding hanging and all) when I was getting ready to go on a quilting retreat, slapped her leg with her hand, tilted her head and said 'bankie, no!'

Mama's Comfort Quilt

My comfort quilt is titled "Mama's Comfort Quilt" and completed it 2/12/09 right before we found out how really sick Payton was. (Payton Leigh Volz) She was a rescue at age 3, 12 hours from euthanasia, rescue group kept describing her as "sweet" so Ken named her after football great Walter Payton, whose nickname was "Sweetness." Payton had lots of issues to deal with in her life. She was a puppy mill mother before she was rescued. She had fractured her right elbow and it had not been fixed, so it healed badly. We had it fixed a few months after we got her. She developed an autoimmune disease when she was 7. We almost lost her. She spent 4 nights in the hospital and had a blood transfusion which saved her. In the past year and a half she had giardia also, probably picked up from some wildlife out back. She was glued to me until her last breath. We let her go and be peaceful on 3/4/09. Nancy

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Quilt, A Dog, & A Hug

Here is my comfort quilt, titled "A Quilt, A Dog, & A Hug". The idea for it came to me in a flash as soon as I knew what the word would be. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it, but I figured it out. First I quilted the background fabric. I enlarged a photo of our late dog sleeping and traced it onto fabric. I had to double the white fabric so that the background wouldn't show through. Then, I traced my hands & forearms, cut them out of tulle & fused them on with Misty Fuse. It wasn't till I posted the picture of the completed quilt on the Yahoo Group that I realized that I thought the background fabric was the border fabric of the nap quilt that Penny was allowed to lay on while napping with us. Turns out it's very similar, but not the same one.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ellie and Tex

"Comfort" was a little hard for me initially. I immediately thought of comfort when sad or grieving. Since I'm an upbeat person and pretty much never sad or depressed, it didn't really seem to apply. I then started thinking about what keeps me happy and "comfort"able--friends, family, my pets, and the outdoors.

I first envisioned my quilt with me in the center, surrounded by a circle of friends. Didn't like it. Then I started working with the concept of a row quilt--a row of girls, row of flowers, and a row of dogs. The blocks (and thus the pieces) ended up being really tiny, and since I only have two dogs, a whole row of them wasn't right. So I simplified. Just me and my dogs, with the flowers representing being outside. I designed it in EQ6, using flowers from one of the Sew Precise libraries, modifying one of their paper-pieced dog patterns to more closely resemble mine, and copied a "big sister" block from an old Jean Ray Laury book called "Incredible Quilts for Kids of All Ages." I printed everything up, pulled fabric from my stash, and took it along with me on our 2 month long Arizona trip. I wish I had made my dress red instead of purple because I wear red and usually not purple, and I think it would look better, and I'm still not sure about the polka dot binding, but that's what I had with me. But overall, I'm pleased with the result.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Words of Comfort

The reason I submitted the word Comfort was because I was struggling with how to comfort my sister whose close friend had recently committed suicide. I was shocked when the word was drawn first, especially since one of the siblings of my daughters friend had then committed suicide as well. As I contemplated the word I thought of all the words I've tried to offer, but I've felt that the words mean so little. I then played with the images that came to mind of physically comforting someone.
My girls laughed at some of these and said they looked like the people were kissing. Something that is still icky in their lives (thankfully)!
Then I played with some simple images in Photoshop and finally found one I liked. I played around with the colors a bit too, trying to decide what color comfort is.
I decided that I wanted to write words of comfort on the quilt. I decided I would write the words on the arms. I'm not sure why I chose the colors in my first attempt but I did like them when I started out.
However after I put the quilt together I hated it! I quilted it to see if the quilting would make a difference - Nope. It seemed too busy and not the least bit comforting. I hung it on my design wall and tried to figure out the problem. Then one day as I was watching Quilting Arts TV one of the artists reminded me about using the color wheel to portray a feeling in a quilt. This is when I decided that the quilt needed to be monochromatic, and that it needed to be warm. I also decided that the embrace was more important than the words, and so the words were written with a brown marker on the background where they could still be there, but they weren't jumping out.
The embrace is what I hope stands out and brings the feeling of comfort.

Here Comes the Sun

Comfort is the Sun shining after a cold storm. I used foundation piecing for the sun. I started to quilt it with my all over "wiggle" quilting. When I saw how only quilting in one direction gave the piece the look of a breeze, I decided not to cross the quilting lines.