Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A finish! *Updated*

Remember the wall hanging I have been working on for a co-worker

I finished it on the weekend!

I hand quilted some sea gulls in the sky portion and in the background just above the water line I hand stitched a couple of dolphins jumping out of the water. I delivered the finished wall hanging to my co-worker this past Thursday and she was thrilled with it. She kindly let me share her photos of it hanging on her wall.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Precious Treasure

For a quilter/sewer there is always treasure in the form of thread, pins, buttons etc. in the drawers of a  sewing machine cabinet.  As I sorted through the drawers of my new/old treadle machine they proved to have much of these items in them except one of the drawers held more. A different kind of treasure that I wasn't expecting. This is what I found tangled amongst the thread.

In the bottom left of this photo you can see a locket with no chain. It has some decorative scroll work and my Mom's name engraved on the front.  I believe this is the same locket that my mom is wearing in this photo.  She would have been in her mid teens in this photo.  Mom was 85 years old at the time of her passing. 

I cleaned it up using toothpaste, added a chain from one of my old necklaces and found the perfect frame from a thrift store and now the locket sits on the fireplace mantel.  It has no monetary value but it is priceless to me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My New-Old Machine

It has been awhile since I have posted anything to my blog.  With the busyness of summer, time got away from me.  In some of my previous posts I have mentioned my mother and her battle with dementia.  The Lord called her home in August and now she is at peace.  I miss her everyday. 

On this past Saturday I met with my sisters to start the task of sorting through our Mom's belonging's.  She was the type of person who very rarely got rid of anything.  (I think it is a habit she has passed onto me.) One of the things that I brought home with me was her treadle sewing machine. Over the past years the machine has been stored in an unheated covered porch.  My sisters are not big sewers so  the machine hasn't been used in many years. 

As you can see from the photo the top of the cabinet isn't in very good shape. The veneer is cracking and chipping and it is in need of refinishing.  

The machine itself needs refurbishing and the cables need replacing. 

 The center medallion.

I have looked up the serial number from the machine and discovered that it was manufactured in April of 1914.  I would like to restore this machine to working condition in the future.  I have never used a treadle sewing machine but I am looking forward to learning especially since this was something that had belonged to my mom.  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Flimsy Finish

     Have I ever mentioned that I work in a library?  Well a couple of months ago one of the librarians put together a display of quilts and books that had quilts featured in them.  She asked me if I could bring in some of my smaller quilted items and some of the items used in quilting to use for her display.  I took in some of the smaller projects I have and I included a wall hanging of a paper pieced farm house that I made several years ago. 
     One of the other librarians saw that wall hanging and asked if I could make a wall hanging for her if she gave me the dimensions  and a sketch of the picture she wanted.  I told her I would try.  I have never sewn curves before and have done very little applique but with the help of several YouTube videos and websites I think it has turned out well.  I am not happy with the sun so I may try making it smaller and in a lighter shade of yellow.  I had thought of using white but that may make it look like a moon.
     What do you think?


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Current Work in Progress

It has been quite a while since my last post so I thought I would share a picture of my current work in progress.

I will share more details in a later post.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Special Finish

Sometimes when I am asked to make something for someone I like to make it special by putting something personal in the project.  That is what I did for my mother-in-law, Connie, when she asked me to make a decorative pillow for her. 
Connie is a war bride and was in London, England during the war.  She is 93 years old and still is active in her community and still travels, mostly on her own, to see her children that live out of the area. Her oldest daughter found this pillow top in an antique shop in the city where she lives.  The shop owner told her that during the Second World War that wounded soldiers would paint these as therapy while they recuperated from their injuries.  She purchased it for her mother. 
My mother-in-law has been cleaning out some of her closets and things and she found this dress that her mother, Lucy,  had worn in 1968 for their 60th wedding anniversary celebration.
Lucy and Charles King--60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Connie didn't think anyone would want the dress since it was so old so I asked if I could bring it home and did she mind if I cut into it.  She said I could take it.  I thought it would make the perfect backing for the pillow especially since the poem on the front was about mothers. I purposely didn't tell her what I wanted to do with the dress.  I used some iron on interfacing to make the fabric stronger and easier to work with. 

I was able to surprise her with the finished pillow last Saturday when we when to visit with her.  She was pleased to have a piece of her family history on display in her living room. 


Friday, March 7, 2014

A Gift for My Mom

My Mom has had some on going health problems for the past ten years or so.  She is in the later stages of dementia.  She hasn't known me for quite awhile now but I still know her and that is what is important.  I was looking around the internet the other day and found the idea of a Touch Quilt  for dementia patients from the Waterloo County Quilt Guild.  I decided to make one for my mom.

The quilt top has quite a few different types of fabrics in it.  I have included silk, faux suede, terry cloth, cotton, denim, flannelette, seersucker, quilter's cotton, velveteen, fun fur and corduroy.  The blue floral corduroy in the top corner were scraps my mom gave to me a long time ago from a project she made.  The denim and plaid flannelette block, bottom center, are pieces left over from the memory quilt I made from my late brothers clothes. The satin blanket ribbon binding I found in a box of things mom gave me that I rediscovered when I cleaned up the laundry room.  Most of the fabrics in this quilt have been gifted to me by one person or another over the years. 
The backing is a piece of fun fur that I picked up from a remnants bin a few years ago.  It is quite soft and cozy.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Learning to communicate

So as I have written before my youngest son, Sean, is totally non-verbal.  He communicates using gestures, sign language and picture cards.  Sean's receptive language skills are very good.  He understands most of what is said to him but he can get frustrated when he can't express what he wants or needs.  This frustration can often lead to behaviours that can be harmful to himself and/or others.  Over the years he has only used a few signs consistently and picture cards when he is working with his support worker.  Over the last few weeks my husband and I along with Sean's support worker have been taking sign language lessons.  It is our hope that if we use/model the signs with him he will repeat them back to us.  Sean has always learned new skills through observing others. 

Because of this new initiative I have had to come up with some new ways of presenting Sean's communication system.  Since Sean goes to a day program two days a week with his support worker this system also had to be portable. 

I was able to buy a 7x5 inch plastic frame from the dollar store.  I put two stripes of Velcro across the frame.  Then I found the sign illustrations that matched the picture on the picture card, placing them side by side and then printed it out on a business size card.  Once I cut out the card I covered the card with contact paper and attached a small piece of Velcro on the back of the card. 

After I made the picture/sign cards I needed something to store and transport the cards in.  I found this tutorial for this credit card wallet and thought it would be ideal.  The only thing I changed was I made the outside squares 10" and the inside squares 9".  It will hold 38 picture cards which will be more than enough for my purposes.

For ease of transport and use I attached a piece of Velcro to the back of the frame and the back of the wallet so they are together and easily accessible. 

Christmas Crafting--alittle early

Shortly before last Christmas I saw this video on how to make a Swedish Heart Craft. 
I had a great idea to make 24 hearts and hang them on a small Christmas tree for an advent calendar.  With the business of the holidays I didn't get out to get the felt to make them.  While sorting through the stuff and junk in the basement laundry room I found some felt squares that I bought for another craft about 15 years ago when I was doing child care for a bible study group.  There was enough left over felt that I was able to make the 24 Swedish Hearts for this coming Christmas.  I even found some silver craft thread that I can use for the hangers. 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Birthday to my boy!

Today my youngest son turns 23 already.  I know we all say it but where has the time gone! 

I have mentioned in previous posts that he is autistic with a severe global developmental delay.  He is also non-verbal and mentally operates at about 3-5 years old.  Yes, I know life hasn't been easy for our family since we had Sean. Now before anyone says anything about how difficult is must be to raise him or oh, that poor thing, or calls him the "r" word, (retarded), a word I despise, I have to say how much I have learned from him. 

His name is Sean and he is totally non-verbal.  Before Sean was born he had a stroke and he had breathing problems when he was first born.  Having Sean in my life has made me more grateful for what we have, to appreciate the small things around me and not to take for granted the things we just assume we will have. He has taught me to look for the positive in every situation.   He has taught me to break down everyday tasks into steps so I can teach him the routines and he has taught me that there is nothing that a smile and a hug from him can't fix.  The unconditional love he shares with us makes caring for him easier and I would not want to think of what my life would be like without him.  He makes me a better person.

For years now Sean has had a favourite stuffed Tiger. He has needed a lot of repairs over the years but for now it is still being well loved.

"Tiger" goes everywhere with Sean.

That is why I decided to make him a tiger cake for his birthday!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tea Anyone?

Our clothes dryer broke down in August so I have been making do by washing a load of clothes in the evening and hanging it on a clothing rack to dry. Then earlier in January the washer stopped working as well.  I could make do without the dryer but I refused to try to make do without a washer.  My husband and I went out and bought a new washer and dryer set and arranged to have it delivered.  Should be no problem except one little detail.  In order to take out the old set and bring in the new you have to be able to get to them and have space to get them out. 
I will admit that I have a difficult time throwing things away so the laundry room became a dumping ground for all the stuff that I am sure I may need again even if it could be twenty years from now. I had a walkway from the laundry room  door to the machines, not big enough to get the machines in or out.  Also all the lights except one were burnt out and I couldn't reach them to replace them because of all the stuff in the way. 

I have spent the last couple of weeks sorting through the stuff, throwing out a lot of the old papers and broken toys, donating the things that are still useable etc.  I still have all the toys my children have ever been given. (My oldest boy is now 26.)  While sorting through all the stuff I found The Tea For Two machine that my sister gave me a long time ago. So I cleaned it up and plugged it in and it still WORKS. 

I found this video on Youtube that shows how it works.