Memories to Heirlooms
Memories to Heirlooms
When my brother Chip and his wife Sue came to visit this summer they brought some amazing needlepoint pieces they picked up at a flea market in South Carolina. I knew they were well done but did not know how well done until I took them to Stitches Unlimited in Lancaster Pa. The women there were fabulous, found some yarn to match so I could finish one piece, and educated me on how well stitched each piece was.
My task was to honor the person who had poured their talent into each stitch. My grandmother was very skilled at needlepoint and I decided this was a great way to honor her and the original artist at the same time.
The bell pull - this was an easy decision. Since my dining room has yellow walls, I would make a table runner. I bordered and backed it with black linen.
I embroidered the back to honor Grandma, and added a pocket to hold the Story Starter that explains the origin of the needlepoint.
The piece I cut away to size the bell pull for my dining room table was used to create a small pillow.
Two other beautiful pieces I made into a bed scarf.
The project was completed with Grandma's monogram. Unfortunately the tassels are far to tempting to my cats for it to actually be used.
As with all Remember When Heirlooms, there is a pocket attached to hold the Story Starter booklet.
Thanks Chip and Sue for thinking of me and rescuing this beautiful needlepoint from the flea market! I love that this gives a way to honor someone I love even if I didn't have pieces that she made.
I would be happy to help create an heirloom like this for you. Contact me and we can get started!
Nine and a half months after their wedding, my nephew Tylor and his wife Carrie had an unexpected blessing in their son Henry Mason. This is perfect picture of Henry because it shows how happy and content he is which is a credit to his parents, who are so relaxed with him.
My standard Christmas gift is an ornament that celebrates family events. This year's ornament celebrated Henry. Carrie had told me that they were using acorns in his nursery because they represent an unexpected blessing. This was perfect because Henry was partially named for my father (his great-grandfather) John Henry and my house is full of acorns because they remind me of him. I love when things come full circle!
Next I made a "Miracle Quilt" for him. I call this a Miracle Quilt because of the quote I use, "Where there is great love there are always miracles!" by Willa Cather. Carrie and Ty gave me the names of the Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles who would love the Henry. Their family is large so they limited it to grandparents, aunts, uncles and their two dogs, Cooper and Cole. I added hearts between each name/couple and was very pleased with how the placement of all the names turned out.
The quilt design I found at the Ricochet and Away! Blog. The layout was perfect for name placement as well as the offset diamond for the acorn and quote. The fabrics are batiks and the colors came from the color scheme of his nursery. The patch on the back included a "Remember When. . . " statement with an embroidered acorn.
Henry is truly a blessing and a miracle, as all children should be. If you would like to have a miracle quilt made for a child in your life, contact me and we can get started.
Working with Jean was a heartwarming, joyous experience. We took a tattered hand made quilt, painstakingly made with love by my mother-in-law 34 years ago when my first child was born. When I pulled it out to give to my firstborn grandson, I realized the years had taken their toll. It was falling apart at the seams. . . literally. While I could have easily tossed it away and replaced it with a store bought baby quilt, I knew this was a work of love and art by my mother in law who passed away over a decade ago. I wanted to somehow pass this on to my son’s son.
Jean was exactly the person I needed. I was familiar with her work and turned to her with my tattered quilt in hand. Off she went with it to find materials to match, ways to strengthen the weak parts and fix up the tatters. She also had plenty of imaginative ideas about how to make it a strong, durable and adorable keepsake. We spent a bit of time discussing what I wanted and what became so evident was how well Jean listened and tuned into what I was looking for.
She even came up with a sweet book to go with the quilt to explain the story of it to my grandson with images of his Nanny and Pop-pop and the rest of his family. I know he will read that book many times and the quilt will be a gift that will remind him he is loved and cherished by all of us, including those who are no longer here. The original quilt was a work of love that through Jean’s talents, creativity and thoughtfulness we were able to restore and pass on. Thank you Jean! ~ Cathy Walker
I mentioned making alcohol ink tiles in my blog post Repurpose ~ Reuse ~ Revive! and thought you might be interested in how to make them. I have made them with adults and children as young as 1st grade and they all turn out great. If for some reason the artist is not happy with their design, they simply wipe it with alcohol and start again!
What you need is:
Where the Wind Blows Tile
Step 1: Cleaning - Clean a tile with alcohol using the cotton ball. I like to leave the tile wet so the colors blend, but you can dry it. Choose your colors!
Step 2 - Inking -Dot the tile with ink.
At this point you can blot it with the felt as I did here, let it sit so it melds naturally, or blow the ink around on the tile either with or without a straw.
Step 3: Adjustments - I added more yellow and purple ink. . .
. . . then blew the ink around a bit.
Step 4: Finishing - Spray with polyurethane ( this may make the colors blend more) and place felt dots on the back.
Step 1: Inking tile - Drop ink on a clean, wet (with alcohol) tile.
Step 2: The Wait - Allow the tile to sit and watch the colors blend.
I had trouble waiting and tilted the tile to make the ink run a bit more. When the tile is dry, coat with Polyurethane and put felt feet on the back.
Other Technique Results
Jean is the owner and designer for Remember When Studio.