Thursday, March 4, 2010

Crayon Quilts and Pillows

Grandson Dawson got up this morning, eager to try a new craft.  So I told him all about crayon quilts. I have an assortment of puppy and kitty quilt fabrics and a coloring book with simple dog and cat pictures.  My plan had been to save this craft for next summer, when the four grandchildren will all be together.  Each child could trace pictures from a coloring book, or draw their own.  Then they would trace them onto fabric stabilized with freezer paper, using my light box.  Next, they'd color the traced pictures with fabric crayons.  We'll then follow the directions in the link above to set the colors.  Then I would assemble their blocks with some simple blocks using my printed puppy and kitty fabrics.  Of course, I'll use any design suggestions the children come up with! 

Dawson loved the idea!  But he said, "I want to work on the quilt with the other kids.  Why don't I just make a plain picture?"  I suggested a pillow, which idea he loved.  Then we discovered that an essential component of the crayoned blocks was missing:  I had used the last of my freezer paper.  And his mommy had taken off in the car to visit her friend with the new baby! 

So we improvised.  We used a version of the technique, backing the traced-on-fabric coloring book picture with fusible fleece.  We colored the picture together with fabric crayons and then I set the colors as directed in the link above.  [I had bought special Crayola Fabric Crayons.  The directions on the box specified polyester fabric.  I was disappointed in both the paltry assortment of colors and with the resulting image not being very vibrantly colored.  I think I'll try regular crayons and 100% cotton next time, to see which works best.]  We then sewed borders and a backing to the colored tracing.  Dawson helped me to stuff the resulting pillow, and he adores it!  He could hardly wait for his mom to get home to show her our latest creation.  He even took his pillow with us to eat lunch with us at the Burger Barn!  Below he is pretending to sleep on his pillow, to demonstrate how comfy it is!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Scrapbooking and Cooking with Dawson!

Almost 6-year-old grandson Dawson took to scrap-booking as well as his brother Malcolm had at
the same age! We transported all the paraphernalia from my sewing/crafting room to the dining room table. His first assignment was to choose a background for the title page, and he selected a green and blue plaid. He also chose blue and cream papers for the letters.
We had borrowed friend and neighbor Genie's Sizzix machine, a die-cutting machine with an assortment of letter styles. As soon as I showed Dawson how to operate it, he was on his way. He kept saying to me, "Grandmommy, this is so much fun!" Beautiful music to a grandmother's ears.
We took a break for Dawson to go visit Genie's two little poodles, and to let her show her latest device for letters, called the Cricut system. It is really fancy and would probably be too difficult for a child to operate. After we returned home, we put together the two-page spread of "Dawson's 1st year." His mom helped us choose pictures for these pages.

After scrapbrooking, Dawson helped me to make some chocolate chip and "chipless" cookies.  This latter variety for his mommy and granddaddy, who inexplicably don't care for chocolate chips!  A fun morning with Dawson!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Redwork Quilts

I love redwork embroidery! One of my favorite quilts was a redwork quilt I called "Paddington, Pooh, and Friends." I made it for great-niece Lois, born in 2003.  I traced coloring book images of generic bears, and some of Winnie the Pooh and Paddington. Then I embroidered them and set them into a background of twelve-patch blocks. This quilt hangs in Lois's bedroom, and every time I visit her and her family, I fall in love all over again with the quilt.  Here it is with Lois and my grandsons Dawson and Malcolm.  And then, some close-ups of the embroideries.

The only quilt kit I've ever bought was a redwork kit, designed by Alex Anderson. The copyright date on the fabric is 2002, so I suppose I bought it in '02-'04. I have been working on the redwork flowers for this quilt ever since! I've taken it many times with me on various trips, working on it sporadically. Last week, feeling rather puny with a respiratory ailment, I pulled out the embroidery again and worked on it while listening to mindless TV shows. I'm excited that I am now on my last flower of 12! Once that one is finished, hopefully I'll get to work on the quilt. I love the fabrics which Alec chose for her quilt kit, and I will unashamedly use all the kit fabrics and her pattern.  I love especially the nice scalloped edge on the outer border. Another quilt for which I will say: stay tuned!