Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Quilted android protector


I made up this quilted envelope-style case for my smart phone, to add a little extra protection in my purse. It's envelope-style so it's easy to get it out quickly and answer it. I used a piece of fabric from a give-away scrap table. Look at all the foreign postage stamps on it - dinosaurs representative of my generation.



We're off to Switzerland with friends to ski!

More later, Andrea

(P.S. That is not me in the photo below, and it's not Switzerland  either. It's a photo of a friend skiing in the Methow Valley in the northern Cascades, state of Washington, where we were one year ago at this time.)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Foundation Firm

Foundation Firm

My daughter, Molly, had a birthday today. One week ago, her husband, Nash, turned a year older. Last summer, Molly and Nash got married after a number of years being sweethearts. They live in the Bay area. I made them this wall-hanging and called it Foundation Firm. The background is a beautiful piece of hand-dyed cotton done by a local Minnesota fabric dyer. It suggests the sky at dawn or dusk, suspended over a lovely cool forest. The center scrap depicts an old-world neighborhood of great charm and character set upon a hill. It rests on a white rectangular fabric scrap that has as its motif a romantic-looking black script, indecipherable, as if written with an antique fountain pen. Underneath that, running along and above the bottom border, is a hand-dyed, soft yet vibrant pink/lilac fabric with hints of warm orange and gold peaking through, just brimming full with life and light; to my eye, a flowing subterranean river.

Foundation Firm is  a double-entendre: a firm foundation is necessary for a marriage (good old-fashioned communication - the antique script with its meaning known just to the two) and a firm foundation is necessary for a house (solid bedrock.) Bedrock is also a metaphor for good communication. And, "bed" is part of "bedrock." Underneath, the river's moving water is ever sustaining and restoring - and over time the water smoothes rough edges.

Initially, when musing on a name for this piece, I thought of the old hymn, How Firm a Foundation. The piecing is simple, stream-of-consciousness, and slightly askew, like a dream. I machine-quilted the layers with a walking foot using metallic and variegated threads. I am very happy with how it turned out.

I want to enhance the comment and reply features for this blog. I just haven't gotten to it yet. If you want to say hi, please don't be shy.

Many good wishes are sent your way through cyber atmosphere   ......

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, and may 2014 bring you many good things. As I write that, I realize there may be sadness too, as well as difficult times. And I believe all is part of a big design patterned by the Creator; like in a quilt, where each piece of fabric (even the "ugly" and "maverick" ones) adds something new to the play of color, contrast and movement.

I made this little piece before the snow started falling. I took the leaf of a grape vine and traced it on a piece of batik fabric. The batik fabric looked a pleasing green when I bought it at the quilt shop, but at night in artificial light it looks more drab brown than green and by itself it is not pretty. I drew some veins on the leaf with a ballpoint pen and machine-stitched some of the veins with metallic gold thread. The deep purple fabric behind the leaf is a monochromatic print with cranes in flight and the lines of the cranes echo the shape of the leaf. The other fabrics are Kaffe Fassett and the solids are shot cottons. I hand stitched with perle cotton to finish the square. It was serendipity that the stripe in the binding actually matched up perfectly at the beginning and the end. I was going to mail this piece to the quilt museum in San Jose for an exhibit with a food theme, but once I finished it I couldn't part with it.

Grape vines are considered invasive species around here, but in the first part of the summer I like to pick the tender leaves and stuff them with grass-fed beef to make dolmas. The dolmas and the broth from cooking them are heavenly delicious. I learned the recipe from my Armenian grandfather.

This is my mother, only child of my Armenian grandfather. She is very resilient and grows more beautiful with each year. We'll celebrate her 90th birthday on Saturday. The photo was taken at a Christmas tea in December.

My mother has had cancer for over 6 years and in the last month has had significantly more discomfort. She is getting chemotherapy every three weeks. This next photo was taken around Thanksgiving at one of her treatments.

She has stayed very engaged with the world. My sister and I were her guests at the Christmas tea.

For a good part of 2013, I had a foot problem that limited my mobility. I confess that I whined. At the same time, my mother was taking group tap-dance lessons.

This is a postcard I made. There are three eggs (multiple knots of metallic silver thread) in the bird nest below the cluster of purple grapes. Eggs are a good symbol.

Wishing you a blessed 2014!