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Friday, March 31, 2017

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

I've missed some of the months in the Inspired by Reading group, so I scrambled to read Where'd You Go, Bernadette? in time for this week's discussion/reveal. I'm glad I did!  Semple's novel was a thoroughly enjoyable depiction of funny, troubled, exasperating people, and a touching meditation on creativity, mental illness, and responsibility.

Rather than make jewelry, I went in a different direction.  Bernadette is an architect whose masterpiece was a house made entirely of recycled, salvaged, or local materials.  That inspired me to make my own house from my stash:
I placed fabric scraps on a piece of heavy interfacing and sewed all around and across the roof to make a house shape.  A leather tag from an old pair of my husband's jeans and a keyhole doohickey became the door. I attached another hardware doohickey to the roof with beads. The upper windows are scraps of metal mesh from an earring organizer I made, and the bottom windows are the plastic tags from doses of Xopenex I had to give Beadboy1 during one of his many hospital stays -- you see, like Bernadette's daughter, my son was also born with a serious heart defect and needed surgery as an infant.  And like her, he has asthma triggered by viruses (I know all too well how school nurses overreact to coughs out of an abundance of caution).  The hand embroidery was done with floss left over from various stitching kits.  Once I was done with the house I backed it with felt and machine-stitched once more around the perimeter. 

Taking broken, used, defective, discarded things and making a home and a life -- I think Bernadette would approve.

Monday, March 27, 2017

1 Year of Stitches: Week 12

The long-term cross stitch project I'm working on has some pretty little forget-me-nots, so I used the same thread to make an impressionistic version:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

1 Year of Stitches: Week 11

I spent St. Patrick's Day sewing with friends, so I stitched this that night:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

I'm so Behind!

The Inspired by Reading book club's selection for February was The Ladies of Grace Adieu, but only today did I finish a piece inspired by it (especially sad given I've already read the book twice).  The stories are mostly dark and elegant, so I made something to match:
The beads are vintage faceted glass in deep purple, and I added sections of black chain between each one (I still need a black clasp). I think it will go nicely with a black and purple cross I strung onto purple ribbon a while back:

Still no word on a sequel.  Sigh.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Biggest UFO

... Is the quilt for Beadboy1, started more than a decade ago (good thing I had the sense to make a twin-sized quilt, rather than a crib quilt!).  The problem is that I was overly ambitious, and planned a sampler quilt of star blocks in different styles, techniques, and sizes, which has greatly slowed down my progress.

I'm determined to finish it this year, so the last few months I pieced together the center using a (hand-pieced!) (don't look to closely at the center) lone star as the focus, surrounded by a bunch of 4.5- and 6-inch stars (see what I mean about ambitious?):
That's only about a third of the quilt (minus the borders), and the only other squares I have done are:
So there's still a lot of work to do.  But: progress!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

1 Year of Stitches: Week 9

Another week that kicked my butt.  Not much stitching this time.