Monday, January 30, 2012

The Message Quilt: Block 10, Castle Wall

This block is a fanciful one to include in Strapping Young Lad's quilt.  I thought I was going to have a minor heart attack when I realized how the entire block requires set-in seams, but once I trudged into it, it wasn't so bad....

I love the fabrics for this block.

So, this block is for Strapping Young Lad....
to remind him to dream..
of castles...
dream in color....

The castle represents Your People and All you hold dear.
Defend the castle, Strapping Young Lad, at all costs.

There it is, for another quilt block.
Ten down, 20 more to go!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Message Quilt: Block 9, The Friendship Star

The Friendship Star is included in this quilt, because, frankly, Strapping Young Lad, you really need to have good friends.

Good friends to share your life and yourself with.

You'll want them there to celebrate  happiness.

And you'll want them there when you know what Loss is.

So, Strapping Young Lad, go out and make good friends.

Nine blocks down, and 29 to go!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Message Quilt: Block 8, Summer Winds

After the Whirlwind block, I thought the quilt could use a break (as far as meanings go), so here we have Summer Winds.

When God or Nature throws you a bone, in the form of a refreshing wind, by all means let your hair down and enjoy.

I used to guide horseback trips.  Oftentimes in the mountains, a different breeze would descend upon us with a sweet, sweet smell.  My boss said it was "ozone." (??)

Regardless,  I'll not forget those breezes.

May my child experience the same.

Eight blocks down, 22 more to go.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Upcycling Jeans

In between working on Strapping Young Lad's quilt blocks, I decided to take a break from triangles and bitty pieces of fabric to make a little something with almost-immediate gratification.  (That's one of the things I love about sewing, apart from quilting.. a bit of effort, a bit of time, and voila! A finished item...)

I had a pair of vintage Levi's in my "upcycle" bag of clothing.  They were actually Pappy's.

A bit of downsizing, leg cuffs, new pockets and one peeking frog later, we have something for Strapping Young Lad to wear. 

They're a bit large on him presently, but that's room to grow!

The peeking frog was a crowd pleaser, by the way.

And with the old jean's pockets, I made a pencil holder for Strapping Young Lad, the front pocket is roomy enough for one of his little notebooks.

  I've noticed that this little holder is what Baby Girl covets the most, so I'll have to make her one too at some point.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Message Quilt: Block 7, Whirlwind

Ah, the Whirlwind.  This block was a relief to assemble after The Tree of Life block and it's many-many  (seemingly) micro triangles.

Well, I chose the Whirlwind because sometimes Life is a Whirlwind. 
 So Strapping Young Lad needs to know.....

Try to see the Beauty wherever you can. 
Try to see the Magic (it's in there, in the Whirlwind). 
 But you must hold on, Strapping Young Lad,
because it's a Long, Hard Ride.

And there it is.
Seven blocks down, 23 more to go.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Powder Puff Kids

I was floating about in the morning, preparing to pack up our 2 little People, to go grocery shopping.

I could hear their laughter coming from Strapping Young Lad's room.
From my rosy-hued-perspective, I thought something to the extent, "How delighful...the laughter of children..." (Yes, I'm a dork.  Yes, I float around in a creative, love-filled haze... Naive Mommy.)

This is what I saw when I checked in on them.

Can you see that even the air is pregnant with powder? (Note who is "running" the powder weapon.)

I still don't know what to say.  In between my exclamations of surprise, at some point I managed a grand total of  one stern look directed at Strapping Young Lad, until I just gave in to the experience and started taking pictures.

"The laughter of children..."  No, more like the cackling of naughty urchins as they gleefully spread powder like it's fairy dust.

PS.  Those aren't "pig-tails"...they're horns.

The Message Quilt: Block 6, Tree of Life

This quilt block is rocking my world a bit,  because I think it's so cool.

 I am, however, quite glad that I'm not making a whole bunch of these at the 9" block scale for a quilt.

This is called the "Tree of Life" and I chose it for Strapping Young Lad's quilt as a reminder of our faith and eternity..and that, thank goodness, this life isn't all there is. 

 So maybe it's a token of Hope for my child, as well... "Hang in there Kiddo, you belong to Jesus, so the Best is Yet to Come."

Six blocks down, 24 more to go.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Message Quilt: Block 5,Wild Goose Chase

This block, Wild Goose Chase, was chosen for Strapping Young Lad's quilt as a reminder that sometimes we all go on one... a Wild Goose Chase.

The important thing to remember is.... what really matters is... if you get where you were going.  Eventually.

And sometimes everyone needs a little purposeless wild-goose-chasing.

Five blocks down, 25 more to go.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Message Quilt: Block 4, Dutchman's Puzzle

This block, the Dutchman's Puzzle, was chosen be included in this quilt as a nod to our Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, to remind Strapping Young Lad..."Don't forget where you come from!"

Because as Pappy Fred always said, "You're a Dutchman." 

And the avocado-ish/minty green fabric was chosen to keep in our family memory, how Mema and Pappy Fred painted...just-about-everything... that distinct color of green. 

And my grandparents gave free reign to this particular hue  by painting:

Their living room.
The sunroom.
At one point, they had carpet that color.

When they felt the need to "freshen" up the house a bit, they just slapped a slightly different shade of green on one (yes, only one) of the walls.

Let's talk about this shade of green for a moment. 

Is it "institutional green"?
 Is it "state hospital green"? 
"Cafeteria green"?
"70's kitchen green"?

No matter, I don't wish to paint anything this color, but it pleases me to immortalize it forever in Strapping Young Lad's quilt.

Four blocks down, and 26 more to go.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Message Quilt: Block 3, Delectable Mountain & Path Through the Woods

I stuffed two different blocks into one, for this block, with some modifications.  I can't remember why I felt the need to do that, but I did.

The blue portion is "Delectable Mountains" and the neutral triangles are a modified "Path Through the Woods."

We love mountains. 

Sometimes they're insurmountable. 

Sometimes they're majestic and they take our breath away. 

Mountains deserved a presence in this quilt, so this one is for Strapping Young Lad.

And Path through the Woods.
  I chose fabric for this portion that is an old-fashioned script on a creamy background.  Because the Message Quilt is a love letter of sorts to Strapping Young Lad.  And my Mother's wish is that my Love and words will guide his path as he makes his way "through the woods."

(How is it possible to love Someone So Much...)

Three quilt blocks down... 27 more to go!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Message Quilt: Block 2

There are 30 different blocks to make for this quilt.  This is the second, called Birds In The Air.

It reminds me of Strapping Young Lad's "Herd of Birds" that he can see out his big bedroom windows.  (I have, in fact, shared with him that birds come in "flocks", not "herds.") 

At any rate, this fall and early winter, these common birds (probably starlings...pests no-one likes...but, sometimes you just have to see the magic in something) have fluttered and flocked around our house.  There were so many of them, we could hear their wings from inside.

Hundreds of them would descend in the yard, at a time.  And Strapping Young Lad enjoyed this immensely.

So this block is for his "herd of birds" and a token to the memory of the delight of my child about something so simple as birds in the air.

Two blocks down, and 28 more to go.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Message Quilt: Block 1

As I mentioned earlier, after the "quick quilt" I made for Strapping Young Lad's bed, comes the carefully-designed "Message Quilt."

It's a sampler quilt, so each block is different.  It has been fun so far making a variety of blocks. 

I'll post each block one-at-a-time.  The beauty of a sampler quilt is not having to cut 500 pieces of the same scraps, but instead I mull over each block and take my time until I've settled what the-perfect-fabric-choice is.

The first block for Mr Strapping Young Lad's quilt (he has had a voice in the design process ;) ) is the good old "Bear Paw."

I haven't been a solid-fabric (as opposed to a print) kind-of-a-girl until now, but I have a bunch of nice scraps from the Quick Quilt.  And the Bear Paw block seemed to want to be straightforward and uncluttered.

The Bear Paw block is in this quilt because Strapping Young Lad is my bear cub, and I'm his Mama Bear.  And the kid just likes bears.

Sometimes it's difficult to photograph things.  Certain Parties (dogs and children) like to be as close-to-whatever-I'm-working-on as they can be.  (I secretly cherish this inconvenience)