Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Backyard in December

I looked out my back window today and what did I see?
All the leaves have fallen off the tree (trees)
Just a little poetry for my readers, no I am not a poet and I know it. But I was just amazed at the way the backyard looked with no greenery. To me it is still beautiful, the trees have such unique shapes, that wooded area in our backyard looks so mysterious but not so mysterious that I feel like I should be out in it. And I don't feel that I need to go explore what is in those woods. The other day there was 3 deer out there. I tried to take a photo of that but by the time I got my camera they had gone. I love looking at nature.

Also today Bobby (my husband) and I went to church with his dad. He asked me "don't you have enough pictures of us? I don't think we ever get enough pictures of our loved ones. Dad is looking real good for 83 years young.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Pillows

These are some of the pillows that I will be listing in my Etsy shop real soon. I don't know if you remember me talking about mud cloth. But I was talking about how beautiful mud cloth is when you use it in patchwork. Well I put some in a couple of these pillows and it really made the animals jump out. These pillow are not made to try to match your decor but to accent. It is always nice to have one thing that doesn't match. At least that is what I think. So I love creating these pillows, I call them Gollie Gollie pillows because they are the ones that you hug while watching tv. Or set a plate of food or bowl of popcorn while watching a movie. When you get sick it will be your best friend. Which reminds me, my husband has this quilt that his mom made for him, I can tell when he is not feeling well because he will get that quilt and curl up in it. I call it his Gollie Gollie. That is the way you will feel about these pillows.
So keep watching my Etsy shop and you will be able to purchase one of these pillows. But you had better act fast because the pillows usually go quick. Everyone likes having a Gollie Gollie.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

God is The Artist

The other day the sun was out and the air was a little crisp,the sky was so blue and the leaves on this tree was just starting to turn. I looked up at the top of the tree and this is what I saw, To God be the glory, for the things He has done. I have learned to appreciate beautiful scenes like this one.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Round Robin

A round robin is a great way for a group of quilters to challenge each other creatively. In its simplest form a round robin is an ongoing exchange of quilt projects where each person takes a turn adding to the project. You will not be able to see your block again until the all the blocks are finished. Oh what a surprise that is going to be. Beyond that, it can become quite elaborate depending on the rules agreed upon by the group. That being said, our quilt guild just finished a round robin and I was so impressed with the beautiful quilt tops that came out of it. There are some very creative folks in our guild. I am very excited about being in the next round robin that is coming up soon. We are starting with a 12 to 16 inch block. At our next meeting we will each share our block, then they go into a bag and we will not see them again until the round robin is done.
Here are some of the photos from the last round robin

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Stitch at a Time

It is always an honor when someone writes an essay about you. This is an essay written by a very dear sister/friend that I met on this journey called Life. Sometimes you think that you have learned so much from a person, then you find out that they also learned something from you. I hope that you enjoy this as much as I have.

A Stitch At a Time
By Gaylynne Shade-Rudison
The first time I met Doreen Bryant, who we all called Stormee was at church in Fort Dodge, Iowa. My first impression of her was that she looked quite exquisite. She stood out from the crowd. Her salt and pepper hair in dreadlocks, twisted up and wrapped in a scarf. One of her many dreadlocks hung down the front, framing her cheekbone. She wore a long, layered, draping, pastel pink, yellow, blue, green, and white dress with wide flowing sleeves almost appearing angelic. She was one of the first members to come over to me, introducing herself and welcoming me to the church. I complimented her on her beautiful dress and she then told me she made it herself. I remember even then thinking of how creative she must be. She was certainly talented. During the course of our conversation, I found out that she was my neighbor as well. She was very warming and she even invited me to come visit her sometime. I had just made my first friend in Fort Dodge.
I remember the first time I went to her house, coming into what should have been the living room, I noticed a long rack of clothes hanging. There was a form that looked like a headless mannequin, colorful, neatly crafted cloth boxes, and purses with patchwork designs. There was a lounger that sat in front of the bay window with two oversized pillows that leaned against it and the curtains that were hanging from the window matched the pillows. As I went into what would have been the dining room, I saw a sewing machine, a surging machine, a cutting board, ironing board and iron, and piles and piles of fabric. It was clear she had a passion for sewing. I later found out she also loved to teach the art!
As a child, I made a pillow or two but really took no interest in sewing. The patterns seemed like a foreign language to me, a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I had no patience when it came to pinning, tracing, and cutting out patterns. Then there is the unexpected poke you get from the needle in which you are controlling and still forget your finger is in the way. Ouch.
Every time I saw Stormee, she would say something like, “I’m working on a new project, you have to stop by and see it.” “Maybe we can get together and do something.” “I find such peace in sewing.” “You ought to try it sometimes.” My response would be, “Yeah, we’ll have to do that some day.” While thinking to myself, “blah, blah, blah, How in the world could sewing be relaxing when all I have ever experienced was agony and defeat?!” I felt like maybe I didn’t want to ask her how things were going anymore because it was always sewing, sewing, and more sewing.
At Walmart, church, or on the front porch, it didn’t make any difference where I saw Stormee, she talked about sewing until I finally gave in and agreed to come over to her house and at least try to follow her directions.
The next time I came to visit, her husband opened the door and welcomed me in. As I came in I saw her sitting on the other side of the room, in her hand-crafted, black with Kenta’ print sundress with the matching head wrap on. Her dreadlocks hung out from the top of the wrap. Her eyes were focused on the pieces of violet and red cotton fabric squares she held in her hands against the base of her sewing machine.
I could hear the steady beat of the needle going up and down. The ceiling fan spinning above her and the chain that hung from the fan clattered against the glass bulb. A halogen lamp sat in the corner near her workstation illuminating the room. Behind her was a white rectangular table and on the table was a pair of scissors, a pin cushion shaped like a tomato with pins sticking out, spools of multicolored thread, and rainbow colored fabric squares. The squares were stacked orderly as if in line to be stitched together with the pieces she held in her hands. I later found out they were set up just for that purpose. She was making a quilt for her granddaughter. Although, it’s not something I can do, I thought it was a great gift to give someone. I wouldn’t mind having one myself.
As I had promised Stormee, the time came when I began to sew with her. A group of teen girls from the church were designing their own squares and then stitching them together to make a quilt that would be displayed at the art center.
Prior to this day, Stormee cut out these 9x9 muslin fabric squares. She also had a bag of scrap fabric of many colors and patterns from other projects she had done. These pieces were used to sew together on the squares to appear as if they were puzzle pieces connected all together. After showing me quickly how she wanted it done, Stormee gave me a handful of the squares, small pieces of colorful fabric, and told me to take it home and work on it over the next week.
I agreed, took it home, and over the next week I experienced the peace she talked about in sewing. I was able to allow my mind to focus totally on the project at hand and not everything else that was either on my mind or going on around me. Following her directions, I watched the plane muslin squares turn into art. This was wonderful. I felt like a creator. I did just a small piece of the quilt but when it was put together, it was beautiful. My eyes were opened to the art of sewing. This small project helped me to see the calming side of sewing.
I was anxious to get started on the next project. I would go to Stormee’s house and just watch her in creating her masterpieces. There were times when she would ask me to do little things on her projects such as, Iron a piece here and there while explaining to me the importance of the fabric needing to be straight and how the pieces fit together easier. Just what I dreaded the most, she would ask me to cut out patterns, pin the patterns to fabric, and cut the fabric after pinning the pattern on and amazingly, it wasn’t so bad. She had shortcuts and it didn’t seem so frustrating.
I thought to myself, “time to venture out a little.” I began to try simple patterns, like children’s shorts with no pockets and simple tanks for children. They came out pretty good and my children loved them all! I remember going to church and hearing some of the ladies and children complimenting my girls on how beautiful their dresses were and they would smile and say, “Thank you, my mommy made them for us.”
Seeing this and hearing the children’s kind words encouraged me to step out of my shell and try more things. I made dresses for my daughters to wear to a wedding and even for a couple of girls at the church.
Everyone would rant and rave about my work. This made me want to do more! It became fun to me and I loved getting the compliments with each new project.
Stormee was really proud of me! She would wear the dress I made her and tell everyone who inquired about her attire, “I didn’t make this dress, it was my Protégé who made it for me. Isn’t it beautiful?”
I now love sewing!
It’s something to see this flat piece of fabric come to life. With a little cutting, pinning, sewing, and love, it becomes a piece of art to be enjoyed by you and others.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Q.U.I.L.T Guild

What a great month we had for September. First, our Sept meeting was a blast because some of the quilters worked on these beautiful little cellphone purses that we planned to sell at the "Arts on the Square" festival that was held in the town square of Paris,TN.

Every meeting we have "Show and Tell" and the is the part where we show some of the projects that we have been working on. This part of the meeting is great because it is the way we inspire each other to finish projects,to start a new project or just to tell each other that we are doing a great job. I love it when my quilting sisters offer suggestions or tell me what a great job I did on an item. I love "show and tell". Here are a few of the items that was brought for show and tell.

As you can see we have been busy, making quilts. I feel terrible because I did not take notes of who each quilt belongs too. I will do better next time. But as you can see, we have some very talented sisters in our guild. That is why I put my name on the nomination list for next years president. I feel I will learn quite a bit and will also be very busy, but still encouraged to do my art.
I really enjoyed this past Saturday, our guild set up a display at the art festival that I spoke of earlier. It was a beautiful day, and even though it looked like it was going to rain, it never did. We stayed ready at all times to collect our quilts and get them undercover before they got soaked. But thanks be to God, the rain did not come until 30 minutes before the festival was over.
We had a drawing for our charity quilt that was made this year. I was thrilled when I won the quilt. I will cherish it. I did not get a chance to work on this one, but I look forward to next year when I will get a chance to work on the next one. I was told that I will have to work double time one the next one. LOL
So sit back and enjoy our display.

And this is the quilt that I won.

Thank you Doris Van Dyke for modeling one of my jackets.

And of course I set up some of my own art

The end of the year at our guild is a high time. So stay tuned to my blog to see the exciting happenings at the Paris, TN Q.U.I.L.T Guild.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Yo Yo Ladies of Paducah, Kentucky

At our last Quilt Guild meeting we had as our guests, the Yo Yo Ladies of Paducah, Ky. This is a group of quilting ladies that make yo yo's and quilted items that they sell for different charities. What a great time we had, they shared some of their quilts with us and with each quilt there was a wonderful and interesting story. They have also been featured every year in a Japanese quilt magazine. One of the members showed her beautiful spider quilt, I fell in love with it and decided to give it a try. Here is the one that I made.

Well I thought I had taken a picture of the on she made but I couldn't find it. I did take some pictures of some of the quilts that they brought. Although I can't remember any of the stories that was told about the quilts. They brought so many beautiful quilts and we felt very blessed to have been able to see them. I was inspired to get to my studio and get to quilting.

This last quilt is a yo yo quilt. They said that it has 1700 exceptional yo yos, they said that they was not perfect yo yos because only God is perfect.

If you click on the photo, you will get a better idea of what a yo yo is.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beaded tapestry denim jacket

Beaded tapestry denim jacket
Originally uploaded by Stormeejean

When I received a box from my aunt containing some of the sewing items of my grandmother's, I was thrilled. It contained lots of items that Grandmother had collected through the years. I will blog some of these later.
One of the items in particular was what looked like a work in progress. It was a shirt all cut out and ready to sew. The back of the shirt had this beautiful tapestry (I did not know what else to call it) on the back. Grandmother had beaded parts of the jacket, I thought it was so beautiful, at first I tried to finish the shirt, but the tapestry was a little heavy and it made the shirt hang funny. So I cut the tapestry from the materiel and created this jean jacket which holds the tapestry well. I decided not to trim the shirt fabric because it was so pretty. I added some more trim and not this jacket is ready to wear.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More from the Q.U.I.L.T Guild

We had our monthly Q.U.I.L.T (Quilters United In Lasting Tradition)It was a good meeting. We worked on the quilt that we are making for one of the members. I helped to cut some of the strips. I did learn how to get my pieces cut very straight. That is the one thing that I love about this group and that is everyone is very generous with information. I brought a cuddle quilt for show and tell and for donation to the children's hospital the only thing is I got a couple of places underneath that buckled and one of the members gave me a hint on how to keep that from happening. Then I learned how to join my binding on the bias that is a wonderful hint that I have been using in a lot of my garment sewing. This is the quilt that I made for the children's hospital.

Also in the guild we all wear name tags and we made our own tags. At this meeting I decided to take some photos of some of the name tags because they are so interesting the different ideas that each person had for the name tag.

Also last weekend I had the opportunity to watch my friend Mary make this beautiful wedding cake for her son that got married. Mary makes delicious cakes and this cake was sooo good. I have so many talented friends.