Saturday, June 26, 2010

Empty Nest

I knew it was coming, but I didn't imagine that I would have an empty nest in one fell swoop. Both my kids moved out together into an apartment. They have fairly grown up lives with two jobs each and school, and living at home with mom gets old after 20 or 22 years.

They found a cute apartment together, and except for my daily calls and inquiries into what they're eating, they're doing great. It's hard for me sometimes not to imagine them as these two little ones perched on the love seat. This is one of my favorite photos of them, as it shows how close and how protective of each other they've always been. When Alex barely had begun to talk he wanted to hit a kid on the playground who had thrown sand at his sister. And Allie has always been the cool big sister, even when, a kindergartner, she used toilet paper to make "casts" and "bandages" for Alex, her cooperative patient.

When Allie and I were making the sweep of the local thrift stores looking for a sofa, we found a love seat identical to the one in this picture, and in great shape despite the years. We snapped it up, and when Alex saw it later, he was amazed that we had found this replica of their childhood love seat.

I still had some of the old pillows to that set of furniture, so I recovered them with swatches of upholstery fabric that I had stashed. They create continuity between the old life and the new.

I covered some other old pillows with a piece of chenille that I had put away, lord knows why, but it does make nice pillow covers.

For good measure, I made some pot holders. What else is a mother to do?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Busy Bee

I've been a Busy Bee. Even though I was really tired after the end of the school year, I've since taken two trips and had my old friend Bernadette and her husband Adrian as house guests over Memorial Day weekend.

Bernie and I have been friends since college, when we lived in the same residence hall. After graduation, we shared a house for about a year when she was in law school. She is a very loyal friend, someone who makes the effort to keep in touch across distances and time. It was fun to show her the sights around town. We had a break in the wet weather just for her visit.

It's been interesting for me to realize how the core of people stays the same across the course of their lives. That old familiar essence--and the connection we have with old friends-- is always there unchanged.

In my sewing room I've been looking at this quilt in the making for months. I embroidered these blocks a couple of years ago. The patterns are vintage outline embroidery patterns from the Flickr site Hoop Love Vintage Transfers. You have to join to access the patterns, but once you do, you can enjoy an amazing array of old patterns. It will leave you wanting to embroider dishcloths.

For some reason these busy bees struck my fancy.

The collection of patterns could be titled Advice for Life, or Mother's Wisdom.

I embroidered them in black cotton floss on white cotton, not really knowing what I'd do with the blocks.

When I saw this stretched churn dash block, I knew I'd found the setting.

Since I alternated the colors in each block, it makes a nice secondary pattern in the corners.

I'm making this quilt in a very controlled (for me) selection of fabrics. I've got the border designed, but I'm still making the pieces. Then this one will be done. It makes me smile every time I see it. It's a lap or large baby quilt size. I haven't quite decided what I'll do with it.

Enjoy your weekend. My plan is to have a blissful, quiet and slow couple of days.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...