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.

March 22, 2014

Something new beats something old (cancer)

The good news came back in November. Better news came in February. And now you can know too.

The Is It Cancer? scare turned out to be just a scare. The cancer has not spread to my daughter's bones. Instead, she has bone islands.

I won't bore you with the struggles of just getting the right tests the first time. Instead, let's all be grateful that the three-months-later, let's just be sure test came back with the same result: My baby has bone islands, not bone cancer.

Bone islands are often found in imaging. Hers did not change shape or grow so that's good. She'll bring all the records to her next visit at University of Michigan.

Her ship has come in.

March 20, 2014

Failing but making progress is success

Progress ! Yes, I think I am going to make it to the final stage -- completion -- in the final phase (for now) of the Project Quilt effortt. 

Stumbled a bit today as I tried to turn a 6-inch square into a hexagon. I tried and I tried. I was upset that I didn't try the technique right after I saw it demonstrated.  It looked so easy on TV.

Then I bumbled around the internet, looking at quilting sites, at origami sites, at this and at that. And just like that I remembered the name of the show -- Quilting Arts. (Specifically Quilting Arts TV Episode 1308)  That led to the quilter's name (Julia Wood), her book, her blog (The HEXIE Blog) and this -- you start with a circle. 

Quick like, I made one. I love the triangles that suddenly appear. Perfect points even. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.

Just not for this project. 

March 17, 2014

Let's piece the good times now

Committed. Determined. I will finish an item for this week's Project Quilting challenge.

I stumbled across Project Quilting in January and have been very inspired ... in the sewing room and in the blogging world. I am grabbing up quilting and sewing blogs as fast as I'd like to be finishing projects, especially some quilts.

Project QUILTINGOn Facebook, I'm slowly coming out of my shell in a Challenge Quilt group. It's a great place to learn about contests and quilt challenges of all types. It's also a place where you can seek help when you're stuck.

And, boy am I stuck. My dear friend MS seems determined to make me hibernate this year. Trust me, I have mastered sleeping.  and some other things that don't deserve mentioning.

So I  have been making my way through a personal New Year's resolution of sticking a needle into something other then my skin. Inspiration came from Linda McLaughlin, who blogs at Notes from Studio B. she shares her daily sewing, like 365 patches in Indigo and Rust. I'll write about my effort. Promise.

Add a deadline

But now, it is Project Quilting's turn. Deadlines seem to work for me, so let's see.

This is the final challenge of the latest set. .The hardest part is you have one week, a mere 7 days, to go from idea to finish. The theme is posted on a Sunday and then it is go, go, go.

The easiest part for me is the project needs a name.

Making things a bit easier is that the project does not have to be a full-size quilt. The project only  needs to have at least one of these three elements:

  • Include patchwork. 
  •  Include appliqué. 
  •  Have 3 layers stitched together by hand or machine. 

The first rule is the theme. This week we are required to include triangles.

 I've thought about entering three of the projects. But .... well, there was always a but. Each time, I got a littler closer to the end.

Stash busting now

So this time, I have mapped out the big wow. Rearranged it at least 15 times in my mind. Chosen the colors. Found the fabrics in my stash. 

The Big Wow now has worked its way right out the door. 

It was bumped by a sunshine that will brighten each and every day. It will simplify a daily challenge. 

Something smaller. Something doable in a week. Something that can be done even if  MS refuses to hit the road.