Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wedding Dress

Had a couple of photos my guy took of the wedding dress and thought I should post them...

Blocks Begin to Come Together

Had a class this morning that I had scheduled with a mistress of sergers to learn how to work in netting and sheers more effectively. Most needed after working on the wedding dress and learned about washable stabilizer that's really amazing. Seems even old dogs can learn new tricks and I'm excited to make sleeves for fairy world in the upcoming weeks. Will post pictures when I start working on them, but for now, I started building blocks after spending a few hours fussy cutting all the fabrics for the Women of the Southwest quilt. It's a great start and I love the colors and how they are coming together. Such a thrill to start a new quilt.

Women of the Southwest Quilt Top Begins

Started fussy cutting images from the fabrics for the next quilt top and it's going to be a beautiful quilt. I will be posting images as I go. My mother would have loved this quilt top...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Week, New Challenges

As Sunday comes to a close, I am reminded of the upcoming week as I look at the bed in my studio and it's covered in fabrics. I have a new quilt top to begin using the beautiful fabrics of the southwest theme and it makes me think of my amazing parents. They loved the desert. To them, it was home. When everyone saw dirt and dust and those awful cactus; where everything living there bites you in one way or the other, they saw beauty. The birds that could build a nest in the needles of a cactus, or the roadrunner that ate from my fathers hand. They loved the red cardinals that would seek water and food in their little oasis in the desert and laugh when the partridges would try and cross the road in front of their small trailer. My dad planted a small patch of grass just so he could water and watch the jack rabbits come out and play.
They themselves had very little, a small fifth wheel trailer and an old truck to pull it. Over the years they had collected more things than they would ever need but it made them so happy. My mother had a collection of cookie jars in the yard and bird feeders everywhere. They made her smile and she could find them at garage sales.. She called them her yard family. My father collected from the desert he loved to walk in. A piece of sorrel cactus wood from a fallen giant,that he would bring home and lovingly carve into a walking cane. Then he would sell it at the local open air market full of tourist just passing through and wondering why people lived there and it made him smile. He had a collection of arrowheads and broken bones of animals he'd found as well always talking about what he could make with them but never did.
They loved to watch the thunder and lightening storms that would roll across the sky with a flurry and drench the desert floor, often cause flash flooding. But, just days after, the entire desert would come to life with blooms on all the cactus and they were beautiful. At night they would sit out under the stars with no lights on and listen to the howls of the coyote or the screech of the owls and they came to understand the spirit of the desert they loved.
When they passed, I vowed I would scatter their ashes out into the desert they both loved with all their hearts. I mixed their ashes together for the journey to the desert as they had lived as one for so many years loving and caring for each other it seemed only right. I still remember the night we walked out into the desert near their special spot. The wind was blowing warm air all around and the stars were bright in the night sky. I laid a pair of their shoes and two old hats they had often worn together with a bottle of their favorite wine, Strawberry Hill. I put a handful of butterscotch candies in my Dad's shoes for he was never without them and released their ashes to the night. The winds swirled all around us lifting their ashes higher and higher up the small hill as the moon light reflected down upon us we watched the ashes floated ever upward and on into the desert and they became one with it. I love and miss you both always but I know that where ever your spirits are now, you are finding the magic that dwells there.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Morning After

Sounds like a party over here .... well in a way it is. I had a lovely winner for the little Sewphie and I am finished with the wedding dress and last night I cleaned up my studio again. That does seems to be a theme of mine doesn't it, but it felt wonderful to get everything back into order and lay out the fabric for the next project. I have been working on a Queen size quilt custom ordered and it's been such fun. She has been collecting fabric for it for a while. The amazing thing about this quilt is she wants it double sided. One side will be Madonna images and the other side goddess type women of the Southwest. It is amazing to come home to a box of fabric waiting for you. That's as good as it gets in my book. So I started the quilt and then had a family wedding that popped up in the middle of it and since it was my guys sisters wedding, I had to make her a quilt. So I rushed off to the fabric store and found colors I thought she and her new husband would appreciate and went to town. It was a simple nine patch pattern but I was working non stop until we left. Yes, you too can do quilt in a day if you don't mind a bit of madness in your life. We drove to Modesto one day, Wedding next, and drove home that night. My guy had work and had to be back. It wasn't until I was home that I realize that I hadn't even taken a picture of the quilt. What was I thinking!!!! I am hoping that she will take one and send it to me but alas a hole in my photo journal of quilts for now.
So, this morning really does feel like the morning after a long streak of madness and I can't wait to sit in my clean studio and watch the wonder of creation take over again. See the colors start to play again and feel the quiet hum of total contentment fill me as the hum of my machine fills the air. Ah, the morning after.

I have attached a few photos I took of the first side.

Winner of Giveaway

I am still learning all the tricks of the trade when it comes to blogging and I can't seem to figure out how to put a widget onto my page yet to but the random number picker so everyone can see so I will tell you that it chose number 46 which is Just Jingle so tomorrow off goes little Sewphie to a new world full of wonder and delight. Again, thanks to all who entered it was such great fun.
Mama Jean

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wedding Dress Blues

I love sewing, always have and hope always will but sometimes I have a problem telling people no when they ask me to help them with a project or other sewing related issues.  Let's back up a bit. I am in the middle of making a non traditional wedding dress for someone I know and it's been a very complicated project.  It started out a mess and I am trying to find the pieces that will make it work.  I don't have a pattern just a little drawing of what she hopes it will look like sort of.
I love making quilts. Quilts are those beautiful creations that play in my head until I find the colors and fabrics I want to use, or they are lying in a pile of fabrics on my table screaming at me to hurry up.  I have an old wardrobe full of this and that all waiting to be created and like all good seamstresses, I can always find a fat quarter here or there to add to the hope it's me next pile.
Sewing clothing for myself love it got to have more of it.  I only wear what I make and I only make what I love.  Sewing clothing for others hum, well, if it's something I have created and designed love it.  Enjoy seeing others love it too.  I have friends that I sew for all the time.. she loves skirts and bloomers and I make him all of his shirts and they are fun and just a part of what I make.
So, why is this one dress so much more complicated... bottom line I think, maybe this is a bit out of realm.  I don't make wedding dresses with all the satin and frills and shears and it's a bit intimidating.  I like cotton, I know what cotton likes to do.  I haven't make anything like this is a very long time a very long time and it was theater so you have a lot of wiggle room to not have to have it perfect but a wedding dress?  So many emotions are tied up in it.  So many expectations and dreams and it's suppose to be perfect and well, perfect just isn't in my box of skills. 
So, today as I start my day and know that I will be walking into my pretty pink studio all I will see is blue sparkling  sheer organza and satin and an invisible zipper waiting to disappear, and here comes the bride today, please make it perfect.   But, out of the corner of my eye I will linger on a quilt top that is almost finished and a box of fabric waiting, waiting for the magic to begin....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Giveaway Smiles

I am so happy I stumbled upon the Sewmamasew giveaway.  It's been such a joy reading all the comments from people all over the world.  They have made me laugh out loud or say oh how sweet for the past two days.  I can't wait till tomorrow and post who's won.  This has been a joy and a fun experience discovering new blogs finding amazing artist and feeling I am a part of something far beyond the walls of my little studio. Thanks to all how left comments and posted.  Welcome to all who have signed in to follow, I am touched. So, until tomorrow
Smiles and warm feelings from
Mama Jean

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sew Mama Sew Give A Way

I am so happy you have come to check out Mama Jean's Threaded Words and to enter into my little give a way.  This will be my first time so I hope you enjoy.  All you need to do is leave a post and I will choose a winner at random from all who leave their post.  I will contact you for shipping information so no worries and I am happy to ship international... I love when one of my little sewphies takes flight.  Best wishes to all.  Check out my etsy shop and see other Sewphies you might enjoy as well.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanabbott

Art verses Function

Recently, one of my quilts was picked to be a part of a pop up store in the Museum of Contemporary Craft and I had the privilege of seeing it there with all the other artist and creators that were also chosen and I have to admit, it looked amazing.  They had hung it up on the wall as more of an art piece instead of the baby quilt it was created to be.  It was lovely to look upon and it made me appreciate this rare opportunity to see my work in such a way.  So often we create and I love the process but I am always thinking about it being a quilt, not art and suddenly I saw my work as not only functional but artful as well and it was pleasing to my soul. 
I love to think that my work could be considered art because for years I was basically told that though I was creative it was really just crafty, not real art. So, crafty was a good thing to be but I never really saw my craft as art.  I have enjoyed the transition in my thinking over the past year.  I love creating quilts and clothing for others.  I love to see the colors in my head come out and explode in a quilt.  I enjoy the process almost more than the end result, almost.  In the end to see my quilts laying out on a bed or table to see the final project and feel that sense of pride and joy that comes over me can't be minimized by my past.  I create for the love of it and the beauty and it's art, but it's art people can use and enjoy and wrap themselves in.  It's art that lives with us and becomes part of our everyday life.  It's art for the body and soul. 
So, for this month I will pass the window of the gallery and enjoy seeing my little baby quilt hanging up for all to see and enjoy, knowing that in the end it will find it's way into the life of someone and they will wrap themselves in my art.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Gosh, it's been a bit of time since I last wrote but hey Spring is all around us and the sun and flowers keep calling my name.  I love this time of year.  I love to see everything in the garden start to come alive again and see the early flowers and feel the warmth of the sun at least when it shows up around here.  It's also my favorite time to weed because lets face it, they are so easy to pull up and take care of.  Summer weeding is a bit harder and you all know it.    I keep trying to have a veggie garden but lets face it, I'm not all that crazy about weeding and taking care of the plants all the time.. just being honest. I enjoy watching them grow if they sort of take care of themselves like raspberries, and the fruit trees.  The plum was covered in blossoms this year and the apple seems to be following suit.  The poor apricot has had a few hard years but maybe this will be the year I can finally get her back to health, she's had a bit of a fungus problem but the new leaves seem to be clear of it.  I love the strawberries that seem to be filling in all around under the fruit trees blueberry bushes doubled in size this year and finally the strawberries are filling in around the fruit trees.  Yep, fruit and I seem to get along well.  Veggies, welllllll let's just say it's complicated.  We have very little sun spots, remember all the fruit trees, we have also got a load of other big trees that seem to shade the rest of the yard so the few square feet of sun spots have to work hard.  I have planted two tomatoes, two cucumbers, lettuce and a cilantro with the hopes that it will go crazy and I can make fresh salsa with tomatoes from the farmers market at least. I am very realistic when it comes to gardening.
Funny how we seem to find our thing and maybe other things just don't seem to get the attention they should.  I would rather be in my sewing studio sewing on anything other than weeding and cutting grass and the likes.  Don't get me wrong, love to be in the yard just wish it would take care of it's self more.  I start digging and instead of dreaming of the cucumbers I will have this summer I think about what would it look like to build a veggie quilt and would anyone really want one?  Seems like there's lots of food fabric out there and I'm never sure why really so there must be a market.  Then I think about how cool would it be to go to Mexico and find a big fabric store, would they carry lots of Day of the Dead fabrics as the sun beats down on my back and I try and pull the weeds.  Or, how fun would that be to plan a vacation around finding fabric stores in other countries.  Some say it's a bit warped and twisted, I just say it's a fabricholic's dream come true.  So, you garden your way, and I'll garden my way and hey, the farmers market opens soon and they seem to really know how to do it!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sew Dates

This week I had the joy of having two sew dates with friends and if you haven't every had one, then it's about time.  The first thing you will need is a friend who sews too, or has a common passion.  Knitting your thing,  then knit.   Love to photograph flowers, no better time... or just enjoy great coffee and a good laugh..perfect date.    Then you will need to pick a date on the calendar and stick to it.  It's so easy to cancel things that are just for ourselves.  It's amazing sometimes how everything and everyone in the world can start to take over everything we do. By taking care of self however, it allows you to do a better job of taking care of everyone and everything else.  Food is always a nice addition to a date.  You can start the date by having breakfast out or create a lunch together it really doesn't matter but sharing time over food feels all warm and fussy and who doesn't like that?  Have fun.. for heaven sakes, it doesn't really matter if you get anything done by the end of the time, it's the time that matters.  Time is that thing we never have enough of and are always behind but when spent with someone we care about, those are the times we remember.  Friends help us laugh and feel good.  They support us through good and bad times and help us feel connected.  After all, we are only human.  We need others.  We are very social creatures.  No one is meant to be alone so reach out and touch someone this week.  Take a chance and make a date.  I promise it will make you smile and feel all warm and fuzzy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Week, New Challenges

Another week begins, as the sun comes up on a Monday morning.  Had a fantastic weekend with my son who came to town on a whirlwind visit.  I see him coming and going out the door as he has places to go and people to see and in between he stops for a few and we catch up on all the latest.  Life has a way of flying by us if we're not careful.  We need to take those precious moments when we have them and be totally present because those moments will slip by so fast and you'll wonder where they went.  
Last week I was so excited to win the contest in Goofingoff's blog contest.  I was so grateful to all my friends and friends of friends that took the time to vote for me, it made me feel so special.  To know that they cared enough about me and what I am trying to do to help me out. I was so honored to be chosen in her weekly picks and today I answered the questions that she asked and it was so wonderful to be able to reflect on this journey and realize that it really started back in the day when my Mom took the time to create moments for me.  To help me learn how to sew.  I wanted to so bad.  She knew she could sew but wasn't sure she could teach us how to so she joined up as a 4 H leader and followed all the manuals and programs and gave us an incredible opportunity to not only learn how to sew but knit and cook and be a part of a group.  We made lots of bad food, tore out more seams than you can imagine and created memories that still make me smile today. Yep, she was one incredible woman and I miss her everyday. 
So thanks Goofingoff for bring lots of smiles to my face today as I answered your questions  and for having an opportunity to honor my Mother and the love and devotion she gave to me... because each creation I make from dress to quilt, has a little of her magic in it as well...