Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beach Bags

Beach Bags
I was trying to think what I had that I could use to hold my shoes and bill fold when walking on the beach.  Everything I had was either too big or too small.  Therefore, I made these small bags out of heavy cotton upholstery fabric.  They are large enough to hold a pair of shoes + a snapping pocket on the inside large enough to hold a bill fold and a pair of glasses securely.  One is for me; another for my Florida hostess.  I think she will really like one, especially because of the shell fabric.
I made the straps to tie so that they could be adjusted to the users preference.

Pocket detail
I cut the fabric in a wedge shape so that it would hold more without distorting the outside.  As you can see, I also gathered both the top and bottom to enhance this idea.  All seams are either sewn down as the pocket is OR are French seams.  It should wear very well.
Inside View
In the past I have used Velcro for the closure because there is always a sound when opened.  I know I will be alerted when the Velcro is opened by the sound.  Because it might get sand in it when picking up things on the beach, I think the snaps will work better.  They will also admit a sound when opened.  Just a bit of an alert for a pick pocket.  Yes I have had pick pockets try to open a pocket in my purse.

This is 'seventy, number 5'. For more information please see http://designerann.blogspot.com/2013/01/one-black-square.html

Necessary Sewing

One Finished Glove
Because I have severe arthritis in my thumb joints, I wear support gloves to keep my thumb held in the correct position.  This eases the pain.  It also does not allow me to do something I shouldn't like hand sewing.

Contact Dermatitis
Unfortunately the edging on the purchased gloves irritated my wrist.  I am now treating my wrist with a steroid to heal it.  However, in order to avoid future problems, I have covered the edges with scraps of fleece.  I am hoping this will not irritate my skin.
Pair of Gloves
I had to sew around one thumb because the stay had poked a hole in the fabric on one glove.  I first did this in brown.  Now, I matched my cuff.
This is seventy, number 4.

See the following link for more information.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Altered Pattern Fleece Jacket

Back Side View

Front View

Original Pattern

I bought this pattern because I liked the back view and the front scarf look.  I wanted long sleeves, so I added them.  I also made the front straight with no gathers. Instead of the gathered portion in the back attached directly to the top, I added a small band, lined with cotton to give it more stability + style.

I haven't sewn from a pattern in many many many years.  I am totally glad this is done.  I got bored with it very soon.  I also do not enjoy sewing fleece. 

Glad this is done and ready to travel to Florida in case of a chilly night. 

This is seventy, number 3.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Twin Size Boy Quilt features musical

This shows the quilting around the instruments.  It is very loose.  It is not around every instrument.  However, I do think the quilting helps define the fabric.

Back Detail
This shows a bit more of the quilting.
Twin Bed Quilt for a Boy
I think the busy busy look defines this quilt.  Close up I think it will appeal to a boy.  It is musical instrument fabric with corduroy squares.  I made strips of many fabrics to put between the corduroy.  I think it would have been better to just use a plain fabric and save these for something dull.  However, done is done.  Now it just needs a good home.
This is 'seventy, number 2'.  For more information please see http://designerann.blogspot.com/2013/01/one-black-square.html

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Black Square

One Black Square
framed 12"x12"
Since I ended 2012 with what has become one of my favorite quilts, 'One Yellow Square', I love starting the new year with, 'One Black Square'.  The inner black square is velvet, the surround is cotton satin.  Both are lush and exciting in their own way.  Totally opposite textures, they invigorate each other.  This quilt is composed of allsorts of fabrics: thin silk, uphostery silk, metalic varieties, polyester blends in both flat and dramatic textures.  In person the fabrics really command attention.
I started quilting because of my love of fabric.  I find it more difficult than painting; also more exciting.  Now I am on a quest to experience more of the 'lush', texture, and variety of fabrics.  The ideas are totally flooding my brain.  Sifting and ballancing and finding my true path will be the thrust of this year.
One Black Square detail
I think this is the only way to show some of the dimensions of this piece.  I used some selvages, folded sheer fabric and a needle felted piece of satin which now looks like wool.  The piece is mounted in a black metal frame. 
I have actually completed another quilt.  It is a twin size quilt for a boy which is slated for New Jersey storm relief.  It will be published shortly.
As I have been thinking more and more about this special year, I have decided to make 70 fiber constructions.  This number 70 is because I will become 70 the end of September.  This is the first birthday that has hit me between the eyes.  I wish I had thought about starting this after my last birthday. However, I do believe that when one decides on something, it is always at the correct time.
In order to finish 70 fiber constructions, I will include anything sewn, quilted, or finished UFO's.  I have several unfinished quilts and quilt tops.  I am hoping this self challenge will get me energized to finish them.  One thing I always get excited about is the idea and the start of the quilt.  However, I have several items that really are not 'ready for hanging or use'.  I have to push myself hard to do the finish work.  Because I am having thumb surgery for arthritis, this should make hand sewing possible.  I have just joined a group called FAT [Fiber Art Traders] for short.  I hope to make a bunch of post cards with this group.
Of course the proof will be in the doing.  This is 'seventy, number 1' = the start of my self challenge.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative will most likely reach the $1,000,000 mark in money raised for Alzheimer’s research some time in 2013!
The work of your hands and the compassion in your hearts has brought us to this milestone. I will be forever grateful to each and every one of you for your support and dedication.
Ami and her mother, Beebe, in 2006 shortly after the AAQI began.
What began as one person’s response to sorrow and frustration has grown into a national charity embraced by a large portion of the quilting community. More than 13,000 quilts have been donated, turning sweat equity into over $883,000 for research so far. For many donors these quilts were healing works of art which helped them grieve as they stitched for the greater good. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the AAQI’s two traveling quilt exhibits about Alzheimer’s. Through this artistry came the realization for many that they were not alone on this journey of heartbreak; others understood, perhaps for the first time, what a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s really means. Together quilters have funded 11 research studies at six universities and a medical school. Three more studies will be funded this month and hopefully more throughout 2013. Because of the AAQI, scientists know a little bit more about Alzheimer’s than they did before. Hopefully this understanding will bring us all closer to a cure.
When I created the AAQI back in 2006, I never expected it to become so successful! I also never imaged how much work it would take to keep it going. As the AAQI blossomed, board members and core volunteers have had to increase our hours and pace to keep up. While I find enormous satisfaction in nurturing the AAQI, I much prefer sewing to administrating. I miss just being a full-time quilter.
For this reason, 2013 will be the last year of fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. I hope you will help the AAQI reach our goal of One Million Dollars for research and then at the end of 2013 celebrate with everyone who made this tremendous achievement possible. Please review the important dates below:
February 15, 2013: All bookings for the traveling exhibit “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope” must be finalized.
March 1, 2013: First online auction of quilts from “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope” traveling exhibit. Twenty-six Name Quilts will be auctioned during the first 10 days of March, April, May, June, July, August, and September. Payment will be required at the conclusion of each auction with shipping in October 2013 after the exhibit retires. The 54 Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts from the traveling exhibit will be auctioned during the first 10 days of October and December.
July 2013: Last month to participate in the Quilt-A-Month Club.
August 1, 2013: Last day to register Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts. Quilts delivered to scanners after August 20 will be refused.
October 29 – November 3, 2013: International Quilt Festival. We hope to be invited back one last time to sell quilts in Houston, TX.
November 1-10, 2013: Celebrity Invitational Quilt Online Auction
December 30, 2013: Last day Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts can be purchased online.
December 31, 2013: Quilts For Sale and Donation pages will be removed from the AAQI website and all solicitations will cease.
2014-2015: The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative will monitor research grants awarded in 2013. The AQQI web page will be left intact for at least six months. Any funds not needed to sustain the AAQI’s final expenses will be donated to research. Remaining assets will be disposed of according to IRS regulations after which time the corporation will be dissolved.
There is still much work to this year as we sprint to the finish line. I hope everyone who reads this will join in, either as a seasoned veteran or a first time quilt donor or quilt buyer. We will continue to make a difference until the very last quilt is sold. Let’s make 2013 the best year ever!
Thank you for your support,
Ami Simms
Founder & Executive Director
Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative