The Fabric From Japan Quilt…

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I went to California to visit this little one…and to bring her a gift for her birthday…

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a blanket made just for her!

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The little hand print is Matilda’s at 6 days old.

Here are a few pictures of this birthday blanket in progress…

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Fabric from Japan for the back of the quilt

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An outline of Matilda’s hand at 11 months old

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An outline of Matilda’s hand at 6 days old

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Rolling the quilt along.

Happy Birthday Matilda!

Winter Christmas Star Quilt

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This Winter Christmas Star Quilt is done. It is approximately 23″ x 23″ and is for sale by clicking the STORE button found at the top of this post. If you would like to make this wall hanging your own, contact me at marionberryquilts@gmail.com

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From pieces of fabric…

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P1050331Christimas Quilt

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To the lay out…

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To being put in the frame…

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To being hand quilted…and rolled in the frame.

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To the finished product!

Clorox Pen Vacation Quilt

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This is a quilt my family and I made on a vacation to Southern California…back in 2006…eight almost nine years ago!  It’s so sad this 12 block memory quilt has taken me so long to finish quilting!

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I bought fabric for this quilt in Orange County, California when the six of us were on vacation (my three kids, a friend of my children,Tim and me ).  Each of us had two dark blue blocks to draw something that was memorable about the trip. I had extra blocks on hand for any false starts.  It took me a while to sew the top together and then to put it into the quilt frame. I’ve set the quilt in the frame three or four different times, –not to finish it.

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Ten Hints To Making A Clorox Pen Project Like This:

1.  Protect the table space the blocks are made on. I used plastic garbage bags to cover the top of a table.

2.  Do this project near a sink to be able to wash the bleach off. Use cool water to rinse the blocks.

3.  Protect your clothes. Don’t do this project in your best dress clothes. It is wise to put clothes on that can get markings on them like sweat pants and sweat shirts.

4.  Wash your hands and your children’s hands right away after the block has been designed with the Clorox pen.

5.  Use dark colored fabric for the blocks.

6.  Have extra blocks of fabric cut out ahead of time for each person to use for false starts or goof ups.

7.  Don’t keep the Clorox bleach on too long, around a minute is enough. The blocks I rinsed in cool running water just over a minute had a nice fading blue color to them. The longer the bleach stayed on the block, the more the bleach spread and lightened the fabric.

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8.  Once all the blocks are rinsed, put them in the dryer until they are completely dry to set the design.

9.  I don’t recommend doing this project with a child under 10. Making these blocks requires lots of supervision for the parent. It could be frustrating for a child to try to squeeze and draw with a clunky pen, drawing with accuracy, not touching their clothes with the bleach pen, not getting bleach on their hands then touching their eyes, and not wanting to draw on the people around them. The youngest person in our group was 11-12 years old at the time.

10.  Have Fun!  Enjoy the process of making a memory together!

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With a little more time, I will have the quilting finally done on this quilt. Then I will put the binding on, because I’ve had the binding cut, waiting to be pressed, and put on for years now.

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I think I’m finally in a place to finish the hand quilting now. 

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A Few Cool Things To Watch

PBS Animal Odd Couples 

This collection of animal cross species friendships is sweet and non-violent. It is 53 minutes long. It might still be found at PBS.org and is running on Netflix.  If you know of other web sites this show can be viewed, can you let me know? I will share the links with others.

I found this talk by Jose Miguel Sokoloff:  How Christmas Lights To Fight A War found at this youtube link: 

or the same talk found at this site: Jose Miguel Sokoloff:  How Christmas Lights helped Guerrillas Put Down Their Guns

     I think the PBS show and the TED Talk are both insightful and enjoyable to watch.

Being Present

A node glows in the dark... - 2014-10-31_296102_people.jpg

National Geographic 2014 Photography Grand Prize and People Winner: “A Node Glows in the Dark”

Location: Hong Kong

Photo and caption by Brian Yen/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest

Brian Yen says: “In the last 10 years, mobile data, smartphones and social networks have forever changed our existence. Although this woman stood at the center of a jam-packed train, the warm glow from her phone told the strangers around her that she wasn’t really there. She managed to slip away from ‘here’ for a short moment; she’s a node flickering on the social web, roaming the Earth, free as a butterfly. Our existence is no longer stuck to the physical here; we’re free to run away, and run we will.”

 All of the winning photographs in the three categories: People, places and nature photos are rather stunning pictures. I like Brian Yen’s picture, and I think Yen’s thoughts of his picture are rather telling of our present time period.  I agree with Yen when he says, “Our existence is no longer stuck to the physical here; we’re free to run away, and run we will.”

 I think Yen’s observation that, “our existence is no longer stuck to the physical here” is a good thing and a bad thing. The ability to communicate with people near or far away is a good thing. We have more ways to stay in touch with others. And it is a bad thing because people are not present to the events and experiences happening around them at any one moment.  People are now struggling with being present to basic things like paying attention while driving, or watching where they are walking, or giving their full attention to a child, or being fully present to the people they are talking to in a meeting.

The ability to multi-task our way through activities provides new ways of relating with others and, at the same time, it requires learning a new set of social skills of interacting with those on-line and in real time.

In this technological age, there are many more nuances to the guidelines I offer my children. For example, when my son is using the car, I ask him:  “Do you have your wallet (which has his driver’s license)? Do you have your phone?” Then I say, “Don’t fiddle with your phone, look for new songs, text, or take calls while you’re driving.”

When I was young and using the car, my dad would say to me, “Look both ways (at stop signs). Watch out for the crazy drivers and be safe.”

It’s a different time.

Web site for more of the 2014 National Geographic Winning Photos– Click Here

On My Bucket List

Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence, France

From 1948-1951 a chapel was completely designed by neo impressionist artist Henri Matisse. The building design, the stained glass windows, the artwork on the walls, the furniture, the vestments worn for the service, and all of the elements of the liturgy were made by Matisse. It is a beautiful chapel and someday, I’d like to see it.

Henri Matisse and Sister Jacques-Marie

Sister Jacques-Marie was an influence on the Rosary Chapel being built.

Remarking upon the chapel’s completion, Henri Matisse stated that ‘this work required me four years of an exclusive and entiring effort and it is the fruit of my whole working life. In spite of all its imperfections I consider it as my masterpiece.’

The whole chapel is a beautiful piece of artwork.

The vestments Matisse designed for use in the chapel. I love how Matisse’s art work was translated into fabric pieces.

Also in Europe…

El Camino Santiago. or The Way of St. James is a hiking pilgrimage that begins in France and ends in Spain. 

The pilgrimage is any where from 780 km (500 miles) to 900 km long depending on the route taken.

Someday, I would like to follow trail markers like these to the Cathedral. of St. James.

I’ll let you know if it works out.

Quote made by Matisse found by clicking here: Matisse’s Masterpiece

A New York Times article about Sister Jacques-Marie can be found by clicking here: Influence for Matisse’s Rosary Chapel, Dies 

A Book For Young Ones

I was thinking of the books I enjoyed reading as a young one, and the Frog and Toad stories kept coming to my mind. I really like the treasury collection, because all of the books are compiled together into one volume.  I am endeared to the Frog and Toad Stories, because they are such good examples of the give and take of friendships. I think we all need friendships where we have room to let each other down without the relationship falling apart on us.

Hoping you have a friend like frog and toad were for each other!

Molly

Christmas Quilts

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This is a Christmas quilt I found in Pennsylvania.

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This is who I keep finding under the Christmas tree, dear Cheddar.

P1050854This is a Christmas wall hanging I made from an antique piece I found at a garage sale. I added the edging to the antique square section in the middle.  I used Christmas cutters to complete the quilting design on the edges.

Hope all of your projects are coming together!

Molly