January 25, 2015

A new day for the birds

The birds announce a new day as I rush to make the deadline for the latest weeklong Project QUILTING challenge.

My entry is titled A New Day: Chirp, Chirp, Chirp. It acnowedges the birds that start the days with songs. The "prairie points" remind me of the points children draw as part of a radiating sun.

This time I made the quilt in Visalia, California, a mere 2,370 miles from my quilting tools and fabric stash. The location change is part of my new days as my mother and I continue to switch roles. 

Still the possibilities began forming quickly as I used her napping to sneak a peek at the theme of the latest weeklong challenge: Sunrise, Sunset. 

My mother once sewed a lot so surely I could borrow her tools and fabric to supplement my quart-size plastic bag of fabric scraps, 2 hanks of embroidery floss, airline-allowed scissors and needles.  

If not, I could shop while she napped. 

Well, I could have shopped before a fever and more would knock me out for days. 

Still I knew what the project could be -- a coaster for her pitcher of ice water that sits on her bedside table at the skilled nursing care facility. 

Her housing change is what brings me to California.  My mom fell Dec. 26, knocking herself out, breaking her right femur and getting a blood clot in her head. While at the hospital, she had a stroke that originally left her unable to swallow, speak clearly or move her right side. She had a rod inserted in her leg. 

Before all that it looks like sewing was  eliminated in this household. Still I did find a wornout towell to use for batting and backing. It also would help soak up the water left by the pitcher's condensation. 

And I had that quart bag of fabric scraps that I was using for a 10-minutes of needlework daily resolution. Did I mention the fabrics were mostly oranges and pinks, with a touch of purple and aqua?

I learned I missed my rulers -- a paper bag didnt give me straight lines. I learned that you should look up prairie points before making them incorrectly as a quart bag doesnt leave much room for do-overs if you cut the wrong size. 

I learned these extra challenges can  a good thing. 

Here's the link to the challenge and entries: http://www.persimondreams.blogspot.ca/2015/01/sunrisesunset-challenge-2project.html?m=1

March 26, 2014

Personal "Project Quilting Challenge" up next

This season's Project Quilting challenges has ended for most. But not for me. The "paperwork" is not done.

In this case, I need to unasemble everything I gathered for the one project I completed. 

It is pure delight to create in an organized world. I found orange beads in the box labeled orange beads, orange floss in the box labeled oranges and ...

What? You thought I would find orange fabric in an orange fabric bin. Life should be so easy. Then again we all need dreams. 

Yes I dream of the day when my fabric is labeled. Right now, I have some fabric in bins and baskets. Some is even sorted. Some is even labeled.

But the unlabeled containers are in the new craft room, the old craft room, and the basement. They are scattered like my thoughts often are. 

The sorting is on my ToDo List. 

March 23, 2014

Parade of prayer flags done

Raise the flag and shout "Amen." Yes, my brothers and sisters, my family and friends, I finished this quilt project in 7 days and met the deadline for the Project Quilting Triangle Challenge.

MS Success + People + Prayer + Pills
Click to see whole pocket hanging

Plus I solved two problems with this project and I can say I participated in the Multiple Sclerosis  Awareness Month, which is in March. Even better, the quilters helped me kick my writer's block.
My wall hanging pocket is called MS Success = People + Prayer + Pills. It's a reminder to me that if I want to be successful in living with MS I need these three things in my life. I have what is now called the relapse-remitting version of this disease that affects the central nervous system. The unpredictable disease disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. What it means is I don't know when my vision, my gait, my thinking, my ..... well, you get the drift ..... will change. Trust me, quilting and beading is a challenge when you can't feel the needle.

The color orange is another tie-in with multiple sclerosis as that is the color for the disease. I  considered calling the effort  Orange You Glad You Don't Have MS. But this quilt - gasp!!! - is for me so the title doesn't work. There are blessings with and because of MS and I tried to reflect that in the prayer flags. 

I need the flags inside-- I just survived 48 days at home --  so I created my own blue sky with family ties. My husband bought the box of "quilting materials" at a family estate sale. I'm sure my aunt never intended this material to be in a quilt but it worked for my pill pockets.

The perky orange ribbons came from an unexpected gift on a good friend's 60th birthday. The flip flops, which remind me of Footprints and the times God does the walking for us, came from an event at the University of Michigan-Flint which gave me many unexpected friends and a husband.

The finished project is 25 inches wide and 9 inches deep.There is quilting, piecing, beading and embellishing. It was made in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

The Triangle Challenge was the sixth and final Project Quilting challenge of the fifth season. The theme was announced on a Sunday and each of us has 7 days to finish and post a project that meets the requirements. 

I wrote about my efforts twice:

You can see what others did and participate in the voting if you are interested.  (Mine is #27, click on the heart of 4 projects you like )

The indoor prayer flags (will) hide seven bags of pills in plain sight. (OK, in the pocket but behind the prayer flags.) This means I can move the pills off the dresser, which is good because I don't like them as decor. Even better, I'm hoping this system will help me get the pills inside me seven days a week. First, I can keep the pills in the bag until I'm next to the water necessary to swallow the pile. Second, on the days when my body only allows sleeping my husband should know if I still need the pills.

At first, I thought I'd hide each day's pills in individual flags. But the preliminary figuring and sketches nixed that fairly quickly. That led to a variety of sizes. Here are a few photos and reasons why I did what I did.

This is my favorite flag. First, there's the frog which reminds me to Forever Rely on God. The frog also reminds me of my brothers who once collected a bucket of frogs  to hide in the bossy big sister's sewing machine, bed, and closet. They capped the adventure by getting the frogs to fit under the door of what I thought was safety in a locked room. Ha ha. Guess who bought me the first frogs to remind that I am human. 

The bride and groom is for my husband who reminds me we're not a pair, we are a threesome with MS a constant companion.

With MS, you spend a lot of time spinning your wheels. These beads are to help me remember to take time to appreciate now, to enjoy the tiny differences of moments and to wait for time to smooth away the rough edges.

A bracelet from the 2008 Girl Scout convention encourages courage. Some days I need that to face daylight. The carrots are quilted and that's embroidery floss greens on top. You are what you eat, which implies you should eat. Let's see if this flag can help me do that more - eat right and well, just eat.

The rainbow fabric reminds me of MS as the symptoms gradually come and go, sometimes bright and sometimes pale. The 2008 Girl Scout pin seemed to fit here as do the sun and star charms.

I call this my myelin  fabric. It reminds me of my nerves, with the scars that sending the messages from the brain to my body parts on wild rides. My late grandmother gave me the beads from a broken necklace.

The rick rack came from my grandmother's stash. I'm not sure where I got the broach but it reminds me that Mary Angel can do things still.

My mini-myelin fabric now looks better with more beads from my stash.

The Project Quilting Challenge season is over for now. I'm hoping to keep on sewing, quilting and writing.