Thursday, May 26, 2011

a block for a friend

I have a friend who has had to endure some bad news in recent weeks, and in an effort to cheer her and let her know how much I care, I made this block for her. Every stitch holds a prayer that things will be better for her and her family in the very near future. That fabric in the center patch always makes me think of sky, or heaven.

I am a-palled!

I have a friend named Alice in California who is making her own casket pall. What, you may ask, is a casket pall? It's the cloth that gets draped over one's casket for one's funeral. She's piecing the blocks in diamond shapes in shades of black, grey, and cream, and then embellishing them in any colors. I asked her if I could embellish a block for her, and she agreed to let me.

Now I should explain about Alice. Some consider Alice "Looney"...including her family, evidently, as they have called her Betty the Loon. On the Newbies list, she is known affectionately as "Looney Sis" by Crazy Judyth. Alice has a crafting "shed" in her backyard that is known as "The Looney Bin". Yes, Alice is delightfully Looney in the finest sense of the word.

Here is the naked block as she sent it to me.

I knew what I wanted to add to her block, but had to think about it for several weeks to figure out how to do it. As the Wicked Witch of the West says, "These things must be done delicately."
I finally settled on painting the image on cotton fabric. It's the end of the old Looney Tunes cartoons, minus Porky Pig stuttering (I didn't think he'd be formal enough, despite his bow tie).

And here's how it looks appliqued to the block. I'm hoping Alice won't think it's TOO irreverent, and that her family will not hate it. I want to go on record here by saying that I don't personally believe that death is the end for any of us. It may be "that's all folks" for the physical body, but it is my belief that the spirit that is really "us" will go on to bigger and better things; that a better saying might be "this is just the beginning folks!", but that wouldn't fit into the little circle.

I've got more stitching and embellishing to do, and Alice has said there's no rush. I'm glad to hear that. I hope it's many years before she is ready to use her pall.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Moderated comments and a bird block

First off, I just discovered 9 comments from some time ago waiting to be "moderated" (approved for posting) by me. I didn't think my account was set for moderated comments, so I'm a bit surprised. If you posted a comment in the past and didn't get a response, this probably explains why. I'll try to catch up with them, but if you posted a question to me and would still like an answer, please ask again. Occasionally Yahoo and I don't see eye to eye, and this seems to be one of those times.

Here is the last bird block for this round robin. It belongs to Nicki Lee. The lucite flower and leaves are some I bought recently online from Delphine's Flower Bead Shop. They have some fun little beads, they give a 15% discount to new customers, and the shipping was free.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mike the Headless Chicken, part two

I finished the stitching around the chicken figure with some buttonhole stitch around the neck and wings, and tried out a new-to-me cable chain stitch around the body. Having thought that I had made this block quite a bit larger than it would need to be so that I could trim it down when finished, I was a bit surprised to find that it was actually about 1/2" too small. After a few unpleasant words, I opted to add a border, which it turns out I like. So let's pretend I did it on purpose, shall we?

I wanted my Mike to be walking in a field of spring flowers. The blue ribbon is some that I dyed for myself.

One thing that I find very helpful sometimes in designing a block is to take a photo of it and post it on the computer. Something about taking a block that I've been looking at for so long and putting it in a different form will often help me see something that needs my attention. For instance, that weird blue bud on the left. It had to go. I think I originally intended for it to have its own stem coming up from the main full flower, but that's not what happened.

So here's the finished product, ready to go to Fruita!