Monday, August 03, 2015

A Quilt of My Parents - Ruthie and Ned McKenna

My quilt guild, Thimble Pleasures in Mendon, MA, holds a challenge every year with the reveal in July. This year the theme was Heritage, which was perfect for I had been wanting to make this quilt for about 5 years. 

Ruthie and Ned

I printed the heads on fabric first, I just knew I couldn't replicate them well enough.

My parents had a bad marriage and it ended in 1970. They both suffer(ed) from mental illness and it was tough growing up in it. My father was an alcoholic, he  left when I was 5 and my mother moved out with a boyfriend when I was 16. I'm not quite sure how I feel about them. There's of course love for my parents and I know there were happy moments. This quilt allowed me to think about them, their struggles. 
I made peace with them in making it. It's about time - I'll be 50 in December!

I pieced most of the background and then did appliqué using @Mistyfuse
I love what my parents are wearing, they had style. The back of the photo says it was taken on Easter in 1959.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Organizing and Celebrating

Our second daughter Jill graduated from Northeastern University a few weeks ago - the ceremony is held at the Boston Garden. 

Here we are toasting her with champagne at Cafeteria on Newbury Street in Boston. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in English and Cinema Studies. She just moved to Beacon Street in Brookline, MA with her boyfriend, Jack. They are really Jack and Jill! He got his first pick job and she is currently looking for a job in Media Arts. Best of luck to them both!

I've been busy organizing and photographing my quilts for submission and gallery shows. Here are a few in a series with trees.

 Swinging from the Birches 2014
 Winter Blues 2013
Summer Sky 2014

A Wall at Nightfall 2015
If you're in the area I'd love some photos of the exhibit!  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Murphy Bag Knitting Needle Case

I've learned so much in the year I have been taking knitting classes at the Franklin Mill Store. This is my most recent project, it's a swing coat with the softest Marino wool yarn and old mismatched buttons from my button box. 

I've also been busy making knitting needle cases. My knitting classmates have been spreading the word. I always appreciate a referral.

I've been enjoying revisiting fun fabrics from my stash and combining them in fun ways. 

I machine quilt each one and add some Swarovski crystals for good measure. 

Each case has a zippered pocket to hold all the small notions.

 They're 20"x16" designed to hold your straight and circular needles, crochet hooks, and notions. 

I plan to write a pattern so you can make your own, I will work on this in May. 

 You can see more examples in my 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Funny Valentine

Every January my guild holds a Secret Valentine swap. We pick a name and send them a Valentine. We reveal ourselves at the February meeting.

This is what I made for my Valentine

When we submit our names we also submit some likes and dislikes. My valentine like black-and-white's so I went right to my studio and put black-and-white fabrics to make her a big large black and white bag tote. Shortly after beginning her bag I took a workshop with Sue Pelland from I'm lucky to say that Sue is a friend and a member of my local quilt guild Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild, Mendon, MA. The workshop was on her new tool HEARTS AND MORE (TM) - once again Sue has invented a brilliant tool that allows you to make so many shapes including circles - one of my favorites! 
We made this quilt top in the workshop. While I was finishing it at home I thought it would be perfect for my Valentine so I finished it, wrapped it up and mailed it anonymously to her. A day or so later as I was cleaning up I saw the paper with her likes and dislikes and as I was throwing in the trash I noticed under dislikes she said no flowers! I was horrified I had just sent her a flower 

-filled wallhanging in reds and pinks! I quickly finished up the black-and-white bag and gave it to her the night of our meeting. She loved the wall hanging so the bag was unnecessary but it made for a funny story during the reveal.
It's a large tote - a laptop would fit easily

there are 10 pockets

I received the most gorgeous pincushion and table topper from my SV. She also included some wonderful notions and chocolates. Thank you again, Secret Valentine :-)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The end of 2014

I've been doing more knitting, I made this infinity scarf for Paige for Christmas, she loved it and wore it to a family Christmas party :)

I'm making a sweater for myself, I love the yarn and am learning a lot on my own. I haven't been to my class in over a month. Here is a link to the pattern Knitting Pure & Simple Neck Down Swing Coat

I had the perfect amount of orders for Christmas. This is a quilt commissioned by a friend for her parents. This is their home, designed by her sister. They are downsizing - this will be a nice reminder of their family home. here is a link to order one for yourself Your Home in Fiber

Our oldest daughter, Morgan, moved home after graduating from Northeastern University, she is a RN at Massachusetts General Hospital. We love having her home! This is a photo of her on her celebrating her 23rd birthday at Alacante in Mendon, MA. 

and here are Kevin and I at the same birthday dinner celebrating his 50th! I am extremely lucky to be married to this guy!

and here are Griffin, Jillian and Paige on Christmas (Morgan had to work). 

I couldn't write this post with acknowledging the death of my creative nephew Max Miller 4/24/91-11/18/2014. He was killed in a tragic accident in NH due to black ice. He was a cool, smart, opinionated, funny young man. The photo below is Max creating one of his amazing sculptures. 

I've got several quilts planned for 2015 - setting a goal to spend more time in the studio! 

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

My first sweater

I finished my first sweater! I've been taking a knitting class on Friday mornings at the Franklin Mill in Franklin, MA. 

I found this variegated wool easy to work with and it's washed beautifully.

It's first outing was to Boston to the parents and family weekend with my daughter Jill and her boyfriend Jack at Northeastern University. We had a great day taking a tour of Fenway Park, dinner at the Beehive and a comedy show after.

I also finished the second mitten! Just to refresh your memories I made a mitten and then I made a second mitten and it was much bigger. So I made a third mitten and I finally have a pair:)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Embellished Round Robin

I'm participating an embellished Round Robin with 4 other quilters from my quilt guild. I used a photograph taken on Cape Cod.

I painted the sky and water fabrics in a Mickey Lawler workshop.

I did machine appliqué using Mistyfuse and machine quilting with a very thin batting.

I quickly sketched it using oil pastels.

This is the original photo I had to blue-up the sky and water a bit.

Below are the embellishments I'm sending along and fabrics are used in the quilt.

It'll be about a year before I see it again. I'll post a picture when I get it back.

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