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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Surviving the Colorado Flood on: September 19, 2013 11:17:15 AM
I am in the midst of the disaster zone.  It's been a week.  We had no idea the extent of the devastation in the beginning.  As the flash flood warnings and evacuations came one after the other, I still had power so I began to sew.

I had a baby quilt to make for Ivy (a friend's newborn).  So I used scraps to peice together her name.

News came in from the next town over - homes were being washed away.  I made some new houses.

I got an email from a college friend that he had a sister stranded on top of Longs Peak.  How do you tell a dear friend that even the helicopters can't fly.  There are 1000s in trouble.  The roads are all washed out.  No mountain access.

My Mom sent a photo of her backyard.  The bridge has collapsed.  How many roads are out?  We are separated by a huge dangerous river.  She is safe.

Must keep sewing.  I made some 'crumb' blocks to add to Ivy's quilt.

Train tracks washed out.  More bridges.  More towns.  I am so tired of watching for evacuations.  More rain.  Walls of water.  More devastation.

I can't have a meltdown.  I have to be ready for when we can get out and help.  More sewing.  Bright happy colors.

The rain stops.  The family is all safe.  Friends are checking friends.  All are accounted for but major need.  We load up the rubber boots, rubber gloves, food and great spirits BECAUSE I'VE BEEN SEWING!


We work tirelessly, endlessly, holding our friends while we empty basements, clean precious photos, rip up carpets.  Strangers show up.  From Puerto Rico, Utah, Canada, Las Vegas, Roswell, North Carolina.  They have strong backs, food, happy smiles  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy  We were so grateful for the help.  

I was exhausted from hauling.  But that night, I pulled out all my peices and started putting them together.

Next day, more hauling.  More saving family photos.  I am so grateful to be able to help my friends.  

This is going to be a long process.  I must maintain my own sanity in order to keep showing up.  Last night, I put the quilt top together for Ivy and it's done.  I think it may be the most beautiful thing I have ever made.

I have enough blocks/pieces to make another full size quilt or two!  I will keep sewing as we continue to clean up our beautiful state of Colorado.  I am so grateful that I have crafting.  To me, it's like calming meditation.
2  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / And just who is Sarah Fear? on: September 12, 2013 01:51:10 PM
I don't know.  No one seems to know.  

I joined a quilt group that makes quilts to raise money for a battered woman's shelter and a food bank.  The group is making a memorial quilt for all the quilt group members who've passed away over the years.  I took the block for Sarah Fear.  No one knows who Sarah Fear is.  We've done hours of research but alas all I know is that she was a wonderful woman who made quilts to raise money for the less fortunate ones.

Anyways, I've gotten a new book by the 'UnRuly Quilter' Tonya Ricucci.  It's called Word Play Quilts.  I think Smaarrt had a bunch of pins showing Tonya's wonky kooky way of quilting letters.  So this is my wonky kooky block for dear Sarah Fear.

3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / A Mermaid's Ride aka Mr. Seahorse - Art Doll Swap (Mucho Photos) on: July 11, 2013 10:15:04 AM
So I signed up for the Art Doll Swap organized by our darling Smmarrt.  I can do this, piece of cake!  I check out the various galleries for prior swaps.  No problem.  When I get my partner's questionnaire, everything changes.  PilarFarmer wants a mermaid.  I can do it.  The mermaid face comes out looking like a psychotic skunk.  Gaaah!  I cut the thing in half.  Panic sets in.  I'm waking up in the middle of the night thinking... Gaaah!  They're gonna kick me out of craftster.  Can I send half an art doll?

Plan B.  What does a mermaid ride?  A seahorse.  I can do it.  I can do it.  Like the train that could get up the mountain.  I scour the internet for a cool pattern and find one on liaspace.  Just one of the numerous choices of free seahorse patterns out there.  I print that baby out and using leftover green fabric from the fabric printing swap, I cut my seahorse out and sew right over the pattern leaving a generous space to turn it inside out.  Easy breezy.


I can't get the nose to turn inside out.  Much less the tail.  Gaaah!  Can I just stuff it with all the edges showing?  I'm really gonna get kicked out of craftster.  What the heck.  Just stuff the dern thing.  Make it work.  Why oh why did I ever join craftster?  I stuff the seahorse nose.  No problem.  I go to stuff the tail and notice how looped around it is?  This pattern is impossible.  So I take out the trusty seam ripper and rip out one side of the tail.  Notice how tiny the stitches are and how I've double stitched for stability?  Yep, that all has to be ripped out.

I stuff the tail an inch at a time and sew.  Another inch and sew.  The tail looks a little floppy so I rummage through the supplies and find a couple of pipe cleaners to stick in for sturdiness. 

It's coming along well and I'm finally thinking that I will have a suitable doll to send to PilarFarmer.  Something that I am proud to send out.  Not bad, eh?

I go back and double check Pilar's questionnaire just cause.   Shocked  She doesn't like green.  Gaaah!  At this point, I need to tell you that my husband supports me tremendously when I get to this place.  He actually sits with me and brainstorms.  He says, "Why don't you wrap it?"  I get online yet again and start googling art doll seahorses.  I come upon this artist Joy Kirkwood who has amazing dolls.  I wanna take a class with her at some point.  But that's an aside.  I need to get this doll done by the send-out deadline.  I need to focus and start wrapping.

And many hours later...

I start to relax and enjoy the creating process.  I have a presentable doll that I hope my swap partner will be happy with.  Whew.  Big sigh of relief.  Am I the only one that goes through this?

Now it's time to play.  I add all sorts of embellishments from my stash.  Between each wrap, I embroider or add a string of fuzzy yarn or stone beads.  I wrap the nose with an old broken necklace chain.  I wrap a pipe cleaner with more fabric and embroider it down the back.  I use a old washer and wrap it with fabric for the eyeball.  I find some ribbon for the seahorse wings.  When I'm finally done, my husband insists that I add a seahorse baby and a pouch as it's the male seahorses that raise the young. And I'm glad I did, cause it's one of the best elements, don't you think?  It was really hard to put this art doll in the mail.

4  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / For Aunt Jody - Teesha Moore Patch Bag #3 on: March 30, 2013 02:13:55 PM
Aunt Jody is the one who pinned the SheepBlue bag on her FaceBook page last November.  She's the one who inspired me to do this hand-crafting to keep my fangers busy. 

Here's the front.

And the back.

It was fun to personalize as Uncle gave me plenty of ideas.  Aunt Jody has a strong faith so I made some religious patches for her.

Her favorite psalm.

Some of the other patches.

I made the owl a nest using embroidery floss and tied knots.  It took forever and when I was done, the knots started coming out.  So I glued them with superglue at the base and on the back.  So the nest is a little crispy.  If anyone has a better idea for a nest and willing to share, I'd love to hear.

I picked up a bunch of old keys in the basement of an antique shop.  Love them!!!

THe tree trunk and branches are painted onto the fabric (before stitching and stuffing) with acrylic paint.  Then I added the buttons and didn't like some of the empty spaces so I added size 6 seed beads.

Just a portion of the red, white and blue button flag patch.  She has a son and many relatives that have served in the military (including my hubby).  Aren't the buttons great?!  They're hard to find but I ask in every antique shop, fabric shop, etc that we stumble upon in our travels.  Last week my hubby spotted a huge bin in a quilt shop and negotiated a penny a button.  Needless to say, we purchased over 300 buttons and the shop owner counted each and every one of them!!!  Cracked us up!  But I certainly ain't paying the $1.00 per button that most antique shops are charging.

And last but not least, the inside filled with the Wise owls.  I do hope that Aunt Jody likes it.  It's been really fun personalizing each bag that I make.  I get so many ideas from you folks here on Craftster.  You all have been so open to sharing your talents.  I thank all of you that have posted your beautiful patches.
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Teesha Moore #2 - 'K' for Kate on: March 14, 2013 09:25:16 AM
Wahooooo!  Little Kate asked for a bag with some requests.

Close-ups of some of her requests:
'K' for Kate

'Red' is name of her tomato plant

She wanted a tree, a heart, and a button rainbow.

I notice that I tend to be too neat and have to constantly remind myself to be wonky.  It's a battle between my left and right brains.  My stitches are looking funky but my squares are all perfectly lined up.  I find that I'm making a few at the end that fit exactly rather than making it crooked.  My next one is underway so we shall see if I can get it right in the crooked wonky way that is so appealing, eh?

The sweet thing is that Kate carried this bag with her everywhere over the course of 48 hours.  It was worth every time the needle went into my finger.  I'm now using a thimble for sewing through the thick areas!!!
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Thank you to SheepBlue, Kjlutz, et. al. for my new Teesha Moore Hobby!!! on: March 06, 2013 08:57:38 AM
Hi Craftster People - I saw a bag on my Aunt's Facebook Pinterest that caught my eye.  It was one that SheepBlue had done for a swap.  It resulted in me doing much lurking on Craftster where I would pore over the images that y'all have posted.  I watched the tutorial links you provided to youtube.  I read your tutorials for the braided strap.  

I went out and purchased a few small bits of fabric and copied the "emergency button" patch and "rainbow of buttons" patch posted by SheepBlue.  Then said, "THIS IS FUN!"  I was on my way to making a pile of patches!  I keep going back looking for more ideas.  I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of the time you've put into encouraging folks like me to be more creative.  Thank you so much for sharing your ideas so willingly!  It is greatly appreciated.

From Harry Potter - Delores Umbridge, eh?

Note the rivet and caribeaner idea from the MASH bag posted by Kjlutz?  Thanks Kjlutz!

These are the patches that the 'recipient' of the bag (a little girl) drew and wanted included on the bag.

And here is the back before it was all sewn together.  Emergency patch and rainbow button turned out fantastic and gave me the confidence to proceed!  Thanks to SheepBlue's posts Smiley

I'm old so I called it a 'Castle' and she's young so she called it a 'Rook'

Homonyms on my made by patch

Anubus.  I had to look that one up!!!

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