Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a beautiful day filled with
love, laughter, hugs and kisses

Sunday, December 9, 2012

In Memory of Clare / CQ Magazine

I'd like to share with you an article I wrote for  Pat Winter's Winter Edition of Crazy Quilt Gatherings magazine.  If you have yet to purchase one of the many editions, you are certainly missing out on a real treasure.  Pat's magazine is always filled with fabulous tips, beautiful crazy quilting eye candy from around the world and wonderful stories. This magazine can be ordered via McCloud as well as all of the back issues - usually takes about a week for delivery.

For the Winter edition I submitted pictures and a short story about the pillow I had made for my friend Angela. (Page 39)   For those of you who don't Crazy Quilt and might have missed it, here is a copy of my story and a few pictures.

Clare Elizabeth Morris
In Memory of Clare
I love to Crazy Quilt.  Plain and simple.    I love to talk.  Plain and simple.  But when it comes to telling someone how terribly sorry I am for a loss of someone close, I have always been stumped for words.  Saying “sorry” just never seemed quite enough. 
Last year my friend Angela, who I met through the HGTV Quilting Forum and have had the pleasure of meeting at a couple quilting retreats, lost her daughter Clare to a terrible accident.  Yes, I sent her a condolence card but somehow it just wasn’t enough.  Angela lives in CO, a long ride from MA so it wasn’t like I could just jump in the car and drive out to give her give her a hug.  So, without much thought, I knew I had to make her something that would express my heartfelt sympathies to her as a mother and as a friend.
Being friends with Angela’s mother, I contact Mary and told her what I had in mind.  Mary got busy and collected a few items for me that belonged to Clare.  She sent me a pair of her favorite earrings and also a necklace and some fabric from some of Clare’s favorite clothing and a few pictures of Clare and her mother. 
I started this pillow out by printing out the pictures – one of Clare and one of her mother and her together.  Seeing that the fabrics were all sort of “girly girl” I pulled out some threads, ribbon and dyed laces and began stitching.  I have to admit during the course of putting this pillow together I shed quite a few tears.  Tears for the loss of such a young, vibrant and beautiful girl and tears for the heartache I felt for her mother and father’s loss. 
I could tell by the smile on her face and the twinkle in her eye that Clare was a lover of life.  I was right.  Angela has since sent me a letter telling me about her beautiful daughter and I would like to share some of it.
Clare Elizabeth Morris was just 20 years young when she passed away on May 27, 2011. Clare was a confident young woman who knew her own mind. She was not afraid to stand up for herself and others.   She was vibrant, enthusiastic, and wanted justice for all. Many people believed she would change the world.   After graduating from High School, Clare attended Arizona State University (ASU), majoring in justice studies while pursuing minors in women’s studies and global health and working towards a certificate in religious studies. Unfortunately, Clare was in a fatal accident during the Memorial Day weekend following her junior year at ASU.
One of the most touching things Angela said to me after receiving the pillow was:
“I have been looking at it and hugging it close for the last 15 minutes. I cannot thank you enough. It is beautiful, just like my Clare. And I thank you so much for putting a picture of me with her on it. It means soooooooo much.  I noticed the earring charms right away. They mean "best friend". She gave a pair to her best friend back in 4th grade. Little Alex was Clare's first real friend and made a difference in her life. She didn't have a close friend up until then and Alex's friendship helped her believe in herself and others”.
Crazy Quilting has become more than just picking out fabrics and trying to come up with a way to incorporate all the things I love to play with – beads, ribbon and lace but a way to express not only what I feel inside but what a small item, like the earrings in Clare’s pillow, might mean to someone.  Next time you are working on a project, pick out an item that you’ve been holding on to, something that has meaning and sew it down….. it’ll make your heart sing and just maybe, someone else's.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CQ Snowballs/Vintage Bluejeans/Free Shipping on Laces

Last time I posted it was just starting to get cold... today it is cold enough to snow!  I think we are expecting maybe 2-3" before it's over.  Some of you might have guessed by now that I am a lover of warm weather  - this cold weather is pushing me into my hibernation mode.  Hopefully while retreating into the warmth of my home, I will get back into my creative frame of mind.

I've been trying to get caught up on a few projects.  Here is a sneak peek of my CQJP 2012 October Block - almost done!  Two more blocks to go - been working on 3 at a time to get through 2012.  If you haven't signed up for CQJP 2013, please do as it will certainly challenge you.  Just click on the button for CQJP 2013 on the right side of my sidebar to register.

With the Christmas just around the corner I have been busy dyeing up tons of pretty new laces.  I recently uploaded quite a few in my shop RavioleeDreams  and will continue to do so over the next couple of weeks.  If there is a particular theme/color combination you are interested in please let me know.   As a thank you to everyone who reads my blog, I would like to offer you Free Shipping on any orders you place through December 15th.  All you have to do:  When you are checking out simply write in the "note" section that you are a Raviolee Dream Follower and I will reimburse your shipping costs.

Completed another snowball - this one is for Kristie.  She had mentioned she liked the colors blue and orange so I did my best with this little bird to accommodate her wishes. 

Snowball for Kristie

My requests for snowballs was "Under the Sea" theme.  Kristie made this beauty for me.  Love the shark & jellyfish!  Thank you Kristie!

Made by Kristie for Nicki

I have been asked so many times "How did you ever get involved with Crazy Quilting?"  "When did you start embroidering?"   I know I've been picking up the needle and thread for a long long time - as early as my Brownie and Girl Scout days but it wasn't until I started cleaning out an old closet full of clothes that I remembered working on my very first pair of bluejeans. 

How many of you remember "Landlubber Bluejeans?"  If you are from the early 70's then you know they were a must to your wardrobe!  I remember collecting old bluejeans from my friends and cutting them up into squares.  I made a huge piece of patchwork fabric and then cut out something that resembled a skirt.  Trust me when I say this skirt was short!  I'm thinking it was probably the size equivalent to a 6 and was only about 14" long - yes... there was a time I wore my skirts that short!  After putting the skirt together I pulled out some Coats and Clark embroidery threads and just started free hand stitching.  Of course I had to have flowers and my zodiac sign - Cancer/crab/69.    If you take a real hard look you can almost tell what year this was just by what I had embroidered - ahhhh those hippie years!  I'm pretty sure it was 1970 - the year I graduated from High School. 

My first pair of Landlubber bluejeans - Can you tell they were worn just about everyday!  

I won't both showing the backside as theres' just about nothing left.  Why I have held on to these I'm not sure..... maybe I thought I could get back into them one day - NOT!  (OMG! these are at least 42 years old - do they (I) qualify as vintage?)
Happy Stitching!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Time to Register for CQJP 2013

During the year many of you have asked me about the CQJP 2012 - Crazy Quilt Journal Project.  I have enjoyed creating a block of the month for the past 10 months and am now excited about joining CQJP 2013.  If you are interested in challenging yourself to create a block a month, please take a few minutes and sign up for next years challenge.

Sign ups started November 1st and will end December 12, 2012.  Kathy Shaw is heading up this wonderful Project and has made sign ups very easy - just follow the instructions :How to Register  And don't forget to add the beautiful buttons to your Blog as they are truly a work of art. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sept CQJP & A beautiful gift from Judy

Oh... happy days are here!  I am finally caught up with my CQJP 2012 blocks...well not counting my October block that I'm still working on.  I am so happy that I pushed myself through the year to continue making a block a month - really gives you a feeling of accomplishment and I'm now looking forward to CQJP 2013.  If you haven't joined in, in passed years - you need too!  Just think, at the end of the year you have 12 pieces of your very own work that you can do what you will with them.
A while back I had found an adorable picture of a mother and child and thought it would make for a beautiful pillow.  I'm actually planning on making up most of my CQJP blocks into pillows or purses to be part of my pretties offered at Christmas in my Etsy shop.
For the frame I used a vintage doilie (I will be listing quite a few of these in my shop) and embellished it with tea stained silk ribbon, beads, porcelain beads.  I bought the porcelain beads from Thearica's shop over at crazyquiltingsupplies   I'm not sure if she has had the time to upload these pretties but I'm sure if you contact her she'll be happy to sell you some.  Be sure to check out her fabulous selection of Pearl Cottons and Silk Ribbon - colors to die for!
I also tea stained the little angel, teddy bear, baby carriage, dragonfly, bow etc. to give the block a vintagey feel.  I know every time I finish a block I say the same thing "this is one of my favorites" Guess I should try and vary my color choices from time to time and step outside my box of blues.


A couple months ago I blogged about a one-on-one swap I was having with my friend  Judy.  The other day I received my pink and green block that I had sent her to work on and was blown away with how beautiful it came home to me.  Hard to belive that Judy just started Crazy Quilting!  The detail, stitching, embellishing and endless hours Judy put into embellishing this block will be cherished forever.  My plans are to make in into a pillow to match another block that I previously made using the same fabric... should be a pretty pair for sure!  Thank you Judy for swapping with me - I'm game for another one when you're ready!

Lately it seems I have been spending most of my "dyeing" time filling custom orders.  I did find some time to play with lots of new colors and laces and hope to start uploading the many beautiful laces I have dyed for RavioLee Dreams in the coming days.

With fall comes a change in colors .... ya'll know I love my pastels but working with darker shades seem to be just as pretty.  If you are looking for a particular color, color combination or themed motif/lace, drop me a note. 

Happy Fall!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Catching up on CQJP 2012

Yea!  I'm almost caught up!  While sitting around babying my shoulder I decided to try and get caught up on my CQJP - I am determined to get 12 blocks done by the end of the year so I can start fresh next year with a new idea for my blocks.

July's CQJP was done using some vintage laces and sepia tones.  A departure from my normal bright colors but I do like it - so much so I've already started using the same colors for September's block.

Best Friends - B&B

Close Up July CQJP

OK - I slipped up - I just can't get enough of the pink/cream and green color combination.  I found this cute little silky which reminded me of sisters... you know the saying "Sister Forever"   I absolutely love framing out a picture as there are so many ways to embellish them.

August CQJP
Forever Sisters

Close Up July CQJP

A couple added little touches

Spider Rose within a Lace motif

I want to take the time to say thank you to all my friends who sent me cards and little "cheer up" goodies - they are so appreciated and really brightened my days.  Seriously, I thought once I had the shoulder surgery the pain would ease up and go away. NOT!  I am beginning to think PT is going to kill me.  There have been days that I end up in bed once PT is over... I sure hope the saying "no pain, no gain" is true as this old gal is certainly getting tired of crying about it.  Even though I hate going to PT I really enjoy the therapist - they are young, full of energy and very knowledgeable - makes me feel like things will get better soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Snowballs are flying & PT / Couch to 5k

Want to see something fabulous and something so me?  It was snowball time at my house the other day!  Yea, I know, it's not quite that time yet and since I'm basically a summer person I usually don't get too excited about "snow" - this time I did!

This is a different kind of snowball.  I signed up for a Snowball exchange swap on CQI.  My very first snowball was made by Rita who is from Kansas.  Rita and I have been in a few CQ swaps together and when she said she would swap with me I was thrilled as I love her work.  We all signed up with  the color, theme and style of snowball we wanted.  Now mind you, all of this CQing is to fit in a 4.5" circle or hexagon!  I of course, went with UTS (under the sea) and anything to do with mermaids.  Is this not the most incredible snowball!

Under the Sea Mermaid Snowball
made for me by Rita

Check out the beautiful stitching for the hair and body!
Saturday I mailed and finished Rita's snowball so I'm thinking it might be sitting in her mailbox by now.  Rita had asked for roses and dragonflies in a hexagon shape.   I found this cute little girl and decided she would look cute walking through a garden of roses. 

Today I had my first PT session.  Therapist bent, pulled and measured my shoulder and arm and determined that my range of motion was far better than expected.  Yea me - I guess it pays to do the mandatory exercises after surgery!  I walked out of the clinic with my PT schedule for the next 2+ months.  Not thrilled with the idea of  3 times a week but if it means I'll be back in my kayak fishing in the spring - I'm all for it!

For those of your who mentioned they would like to start on the Couchto5k  program with me.  I have to put it off a little bit longer.  I tried to start the program by walking/jogging on Monday but 15 minutes into it my shoulder felt like I had a concrete brick tied to it.  I mentioned it to my PT Therapist and she said it was too early after surgery to be shaking up my body like that and that I need time to heal a bit more.  Hopefully I can get started in October so if anyone is serious about joining me, let me know and we can chit chat about our daily/weekly progress. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm baaaaack! & June CQJP 2012

Hi All!  Well I'm finally back... been a long couple of weeks trying to recuperate from my shoulder surgery and I am now happy to report that I am sooo very happy that it's all behind me.  Surgery went well and now I am looking at starting PT next Tuesday for about 12 weeks.  Dr. says as long as I do what I suppose to do then he sees no reason why I won't be back kayaking in the spring.  Guess Nicki has to be a good girl.  Thankl you everyone for your thoughts and prayers and beautiful cards.

Laying around in a recliner for the past couple of weeks gave me plenty of time to think about things.  One thing I have decided is that I have got to try and take better care of myself now that I've hit that big 60!  So.. starting tomorrow I am embarking on a new exercise program = a slow by st4eady one at that.  My girlfriend Elaine came over today for a visit and one look at her was pure inspiration.  She has reached her goal of loosing quite a bit of weight and she looks Maaarvelous.  She told me of a great program - so I looked it up, printed out the schedule and will get started tomorrow.  I feel my writing it down here will hold me accountable to report in each week as to how I am doing.  I need to do this to get myself moving and feeling healthy again... slow and steady.  Anyone want to join me in keeping up with a weekly log in of how we are doing?   Seriously, if you are, contact me as I would love a partner!

I did manage to get a little bit of CQ in.  I completed my June CQJP 2012 Block - as you can see it is a bit out of my normal color range.  This block was actually part of a CQ Block swap and I was sorry to see it go to it's new owner - I love the way it turned out.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Good News, Bad News

Hi!  Hope ya'll had a wonderful summer and are looking forward to a beautiful Fall!

Been about a month since I last posted - not because I was being lazy, but because summer seems to just grab hold of you and the days zip by.  Have a few things to share with you and a few pictures.

I think I'll start out with the Good News.  For one - My precious Lily Lee just had her check up at the vets yesterday and she is now Heart Worm free!!!!!!!!! What a long haul she has had trying to get rid of them.  She weighed in at 69.8 pounds, a far cry from the 38 pounds she weighed when we first adopted her last December.  To celebrate, mommy and Lily went out for a Dairy Queen yesterday afternoon.  Love my Lily Lee!

One happy Lily Lee!!!

Summer isn't summer here in New England unless you spend some time on the beach.  My son Jason and his wife Evy rented a beautiful house on Duxbury Beach only steps away from one of the prettiest beaches around.  Evita & DeAngleo had a blast learning to boogie board - Nana Nicki laid in the sun just watching.

Evita & DeAngelo

Off to Fenway park to see the Red Sox

Celebrating mom's 60th Birthday
Rob, Nicki, Jason & Evy
(even Lily snuck in)
Ya'll know how it is in the summer when you have a million things to do and not enough time to get it all done.  I did manage to get another CQJP block done.  This is my block for the month of May - done in pinks and greens as it seems they have taken over as being my favorite color combination lately.  I have June's almost done and have started on July & August.

May CQJP 2012 Block

Lookie - I'm really getting into using that dang Bullion stitch!
A couple weeks ago I received this gorgeous UTS (Under the Sea) fabric postcard in the mail.  I absolutely love UTS!  The work on this card is stunning - every stitch and every detail is fabulous!  During the posting of pictures of the CQJP monthly blocks I have been following Claudia's Blog  fabricfusion  I dropped her a note about a month ago telling her how much I loved her work and how she inspires me  with her stitching and imagination.  Lucky me - this card was a gift from her - I feel so lucky to own one of her little Master pieces.  If you have some time, grab a cup of coffee and take a trip through her Blog - simply wonderful!

Check out all the wonderful details!
Created by Claudia
One of the most recent swaps I have been in is a CQ RR depicting a water scene.  This is my portion that I create for Marie on her large CQ Block.  I used french knots for the bubbles,  added some feather stitches using silk thread and for the seaweed used some gorgeous turquoise yarn, a few pieces of dyed lace and then added a few fish.

Ok - so now for the bad news.  Last April I was walking Lily and for whatever reason I wrapped her leash around my left hand.  Lily got spooked by something and bolted right down the street leaving me flat faced in the middle of the road with a feeling as if my arm had been ripped off.  Long story short.... after about 8 weeks of PT it was determined that the PT was not working (oh duhh!!) and that I needed an MRI.  The MRI showed that I not only had torn ligaments but that the muscle had been ripped from he rotor cuff.  So........ this Friday (31st) I am going in for shoulder surgery.  I've got butterflies in my belly and am so nervous but know that if I can handled the pain I've dealt with the last 4 months, this surgery should be a breeze .... well I hope so as I will be in a sling for 6 weeks and the recovery time, I'm told with more PT, will be 3-6 months. 

In preparation for being out of commission for a bit, I have spent the last 3 weeks dyeing up tons of laces for RavioleeDreams   I figure if I can't dye lace or CQ for a while, at least I can type one handed and upload items to my shop.   I will not be taking on any new custom orders for at least another month (+/-) but will have quite a variety of colors, motifs and laces added to my shop in the near future.

If you hear anyone whimpering over the weekend.... it's just me being a big baby!


Related Posts with Thumbnails