Prairie Point Project

Does this ever happen to you?

It never fails!  My major projects, such as the dino quilt, always seem to generate test and practice pieces.  And they in turn take on a life of their own.

Yes, I could grab some ugly hard to use fabrics, make a quick quilt sandwich and grab assorted precut 3-1/2 inch squares (precut by me using Joan Ford’s Scrap Therapy system) and make sure I can apply Prairie Points.  But I can’t bring myself to do that.

Out comes a novelty fabric and some pretty chintzes and I’m making a table topper for Young Sprout & Co.  They were recently blessed with a child size table and chairs and as soon as it was in their room, they found a receiving blanket to serve as a tablecloth.

river014

Since this is to be an Eid gift, for now I’m just showing the back.  Ignore the birds nest of threads.  This is still a work in progress as I have to deal with that and sew down the prairie points by hand.   Then it will be on to the dino quilt, a much larger project, LOL!

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Virtuous Living 2012

virtues 2012006

Click here to view the Wordle
I made using the Virtues Project cards I randomly selected throughout 2012.  
The size of the writing reflects which cards I pulled most frequently.  
No surprises there I would say.  Or if you just click on the image you can
embiggen it.  (Hmmm, I wonder when embiggen will make it either into the
dictionary or the list of words to be banished such as "world-class" and 
"spoiler alert"?)














Lifelong learning is a theme which kept coming up over and over again 
through the year so I added it as an "extra" virtue although it's not 
in the original hundred virtues in the project.  
For this year I've also added Sisterhood, Self-Care, and 
Consolidation (in the sense of keeping one's affairs in order 
and generally being organized)

What's special about the Virtues Project is that it's part of a global
initiative "to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life by helping
people of all cultures to discover the transformative power of these
universal gifts of character."
As such the quotations are drawn from every faith tradition.
The virtues are all positive and the cards themselves stress the
importance of balance and common sense, i.e. truthfulness does not
mean being hurtfully blunt, generosity does not mean giving away
the grocery money.  
I've been continually amazed at how often the virtue I randomly
choose for the day is exactly on point!

Of course there are various other sets of cards out there, so I'm curious, 
do you use cards and if so which ones?  What have you learned?  do
share, please!

Wordle takes a bit of patience to get started but once you do it's
great fun!  I've used it in the past to create text on fabric
through Spoonflower.

Political Installation ~ Better shot

Here is a better photo of Throne for a Loop, complete with (empty and well washed) Coke can.  Until you try, you have no idea how hard it is to handle an empty soda can without it buckling.  The days when strong men amused their fellow office inmates workers by crunching cans in one brawny fist are gone forever.

Happily when I dropped my pieces off at Tulista Park quilters from our guild were there setting up, and two of them spontaneously exclaimed that they love this one!  I was so relieved I had to hug them1  Whenever I am planning to show anything controversial I always have a speech in my head about “You don’t have to show this, no problems, I can take it away,” but so far I’ve never had to actually give that speech.

Political Project

During the coverage of the Egyptian revolution I was struck by how flexible the design of their flag is, because it consists of three coloured stripes it can be as long as you want.  Now I’m sure there are probably heraldic rules about proportions and so forth, but in Tahrir Square there were some super long ones.

Sometimes a whole bunch of little things disparate elements come together and inspiration strikes.  I’m putting the finishing touches on what to me at least feels like one of these inspired creations, although I realize others may differ.

This has involved a lot of running around, networking with different people to get design hints and how-tos, Dumpster diving for supplies, tweaking the printer to convince it to print in yellow (the eagle on the right is a reject, not a statement about gender or anything!), spray painting,  and even more ironing than a regular quilting project.  I’m not ready to say a whole lot more about this one in case I jinx myself. It’s three-dimensional and I’m just hoping it turns out close to my concept, so stay tuned …

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Celebrating Freedom with installation art

The hours from Thursday morning to Friday lunchtime were among the most exciting and nerve-wracking of my life.

Since the unrest in Egypt began, our family has not had a moment’s tranquillity.  Even without cable TV (a deliberate choice on our part) we have been following broadcasts and blogs online and trying to stay in touch with Egyptians we know around the world, including the relatives in Egypt who were completely cut off for several days as the regime tried to put a lid on the popular uprising.

On midday Thursday (Pacific time) Mubarak was supposed to give a speech.   It was 40 minutes late, meaning that our prayer time came and went before he even started (although we prayed right after so it still counts).  This is 10 p.m. Cairo time, so it was after 10:30 when he finally spoke.

The speech began with patronizing platitudes about “I am speaking to you as a father to his children.”  Then, “the blood of the young people killed and injured in the unfortunate events will not be wasted because I have ordered a complete investigation and I will hold the guilty ones accountable.”   (I’m paraphrasing here and based on what the interpreter said since my Arabic is less than basic.)  At this point I’m thinking, no, wait, this is not good, this is going the wrong way.  After a couple more minutes the crowds in Tahrir Square started growling and waving their shoes, which by now everyone knows is like giving the finger only worse.

At one point the interpreter started one sentence over three times.  I thought it was the interpreter stumbling, but it may have been Mubarak because one commentator said he seemed to be disoriented.

Important to note that in Egypt, State television showed the speech and not the reactions in the square.  And we had to phone our relatives in Alexandria to tell them to watch, because they didn’t know the speech was scheduled.

We were left absolutely fearful that he had outdone Machiavelli, that everything would end in a bloodbath with hundreds killed as they marched on presidential palaces (there are many to choose from), Army bases, and the television building, and that the regime would spin this as foreign agitators and inflamed students.  On the other hand if the people just packed up and went home (as if!) the regime would say that there were no problems.

I left a window to a breaking news blog open and kept refreshing it to watch developments.  Although we’ve probably had a lot more sleep than friends with cable, who have been getting by on two or three hours, I actually stayed up most of the night as I had to work.  Frequent breaks to check on what was happening, e.g. “The Pyramids are open.  But there are no tourists.”

Finally on Friday morning Pacific Time a relative called to say Mubarak had stepped down.  After jumping up and down and shouting and crying we headed out for candies.  No one had dared to hope for any kind of celebration, especially after the disappointment the day before, and of course red, black, and white don’t match the colours of any North American celebration, so we had to improvise.  The white candies had to be hand picked out of the Valentine’s mix (Wearing a plastic bag as a makeshift glove).  It’s installation art because they were loose in the dish, meaning it couldn’t be carried anywhere, except very carefully around the apartment.  It’s currently disassembled but sorted by colour.  I’m hoping for a party or get together of some kind that I can either reassemble it there or perhaps make sheet cakes and stick the beans on with butter frosting.  We’ll see.

Umm Sprout improvised a bag for the candies we took to prayers, using a Body Shop bag which originally said “thank you Canada.”  This is more exciting than a planned celebration where you have time to either buy or make decorations and favours, and it’s unrepeatable.  Everyone is so euphoric, and yet calmer at the same time.  I really see and hear a change in the people I know.  Abu Sprout sweetly said that he felt sorry that I’m not Egyptian, but right now I almost feel Egyptian!

The Skype’s the Limit ~ Egypt

Since I signed up for the Post A Week challenge, every day WordPress emails me prompts and recent one was, What one piece of technology can you not live without?

There’s a companion post on my homeschooling blog, which is more personal, and said how important it is to have a laminator for homeschooling.   But this is important enough –history is being made, so I’m putting a textile related post here.

Up until this week, I would have said the iron.  If I didn’t have a sewing machine I would still sew by hand, doubtless making more placemats and table runners than king-size bed quilts.  And doubtless being exceedingly grumpy, too!  But without an iron you really can’t quilt, and the old fashioned irons I’ve seen at museums just wouldn’t cut it.

However, now that the Egyptian government has shut down internet, cell phones, and land lines, I would have to say Skype.  With Abu Sprout’s parents there we are in touch on a daily basis.  Now no one can get through, news crews are unable to gather information, and it’s a big black hole.  We just have to have faith.

Several years ago when Umm Sprout was in grade school our then family survived a major ice storm which left millions of people with no electricity.  We were lucky that ours was only off for five days and that we had a natural gas fireplace and stove.  But that was at least man against nature; this is man against man and much harder to accept.

So to me the most important technology is everything that connects us and lets ordinary people share what is really happening, be it Mounties Tasering an immigrant to death, tanks mowing down peaceful protesters in Tian An Min Square, or any other abuse of human rights.

The secret life of bees

The secret life of bees.

 

I stumbled across this post and thought these were the creations on a fibre artist.  Wouldn’t these look great made in Lutrador?