Thursday, April 5, 2012

3 Mysteries - Update


 Here is the moon and the red spot again.  I cropped the photo to make it a bit bigger.  When I went out to see the moon that night I did not see the red spot until I began to take a photo.  As soon as I partially compressed the button, the spot showed up.  I was able to capture it in the first few pictures only.  After that I could see it when I compressed the button...then was gone.  I thought it was probably a planet or star or ?  The really odd thing (besides the disappearing and reappearing part) was this red spot also moved around.  In the photos it showed up on each side and on  the bottom of the moon, all within moments.  I didn't move and I didn't zoom in (until later in the computer).  
The spot did a little dance around the moon!
Mmmm...wonder what that was all about?!

This is the surprise in the mail.  A big surprise!   A very dear friend braided this rug for me.  
I love it!   If you look very closely, the fabric in the middle, the white what holds my favorite part of the story.  Years ago we went to a quilt show with another friend.  There we saw fabric panels printed with sayings and quotes about friendship.  The idea was hatched to get this panel (or maybe it was 3 of them) and cut it apart, sharing the different sayings & quotes amongst ourselves.  If I remember correctly we each ended up with different quotes.  The plan was to do a round robin type friendship quilt, each of us ending up with some blocks that we did and some that our friends did.  It was a charming idea.
It never happened.  
This should be no surprise to all of my quilting readers!  
The best laid plans...
Anyway, years later my friend and I decided that it pretty much wasn't going to happen...the whole quilt idea.  So I tossed out the idea of her braiding the panels, belonging to her & me, into a rug instead.
You see, my friend makes beautiful braided rugs and I knew how I'd love a piece of her art.  It would remind me of not only our friendship, but our shared time in a preschool classroom where she helped four and five year olds make a braided plant mat (about 15 inches across).
Of course, I no longer remember what the sayings and quotes were, but it's not important.  
What is important is our friendship has lasted so long and only grows deeper over the years.  
I love the words woven in and out, showing and hiding, visible and invisible.  To me it speaks to the complexity and depth our relationship has become.  I like that.  I love my friend!

And now the full moon in the trees...
They are a part of some of my latest cloth work.  It's a little something I call a "Memory Keeper".  This latest one was made for my niece and her fiance (for their wedding).
But, let's go back even further to the conception of this idea.  In 2010, when my ex passed away, I spontaneously got the idea to make each of my kids and my brother/sister-in-law an envelope to keep special pictures or other mementos.  It was very last minute, as I had less than two weeks to make the three of them.  Here are some of the finer points:
  • They were made of 3 layers, using 'warm & natural' as the batting.  The first one I tried slipping a piece of cardboard in between the layers to stiffen it up, but I didn't much like that.  For the other two, I stuck with just the batting.
  • I've learned to use light colored fabric for the inside, it makes it easier to see inside!
  • The outside was pieced by machine, using fabrics that represented either my ex or the things he shared with the  recipient of the Memory Keeper.  It was a meaningful time choosing fabrics and reflecting on my loved ones.
  • One side had an old Levi jeans pocket, the other had a clear vinyl pocket where I slipped a photo.
  • I added washer and string closures.
  • The last step is always to sign my initials and the year made!

It was so healing to work on these...and to give them.
This last time around, I had more time to plan and to work on them.
I decided no on the cardboard inserts, but I kept the warm & natural batting to give some body and strength.  I didn't add the jean pocket for this couple, but I did add a clear vinyl pocket for the wedding invitation.  I like that things can be changed in the pocket.
I still pieced it by machine (just to make sure it got done in time!), but I also added a lot of hand stitching.  Besides wanting to add some of my hand work to the gift, I hoped it would help make it sturdier.  This was a good route to take.

A couple of the special features for the happy couple are:
  • I used woodsy themed fabrics to celebrate their Yosemite engagement and Lake Tahoe wedding.  But, I also used the black & white celebratory dancing fabric, because after all this was for their wedding!!!
  • I have quite a few 'woodsy' fabrics, so I was able to use a nice variety!
  • My guy made the wood buttons for the closures.

This is the other side with their wedding invitation in the clear pocket.  I covered their personal information, but I wanted you to be able to see the tree in the corner & the style in which it was done.
I'm very pleased with these 'Memory Keepers'.  

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2012


Ms. said...

This is a really personal post...and so full of love. I gotta admit I don't see the red spot just a ring around the moon (ours is full tonight an I intend to work at getting a nice image...Meanwhile, tose memory fortunate the folks you love are to have them...and your new braided friend rug...a treasure.

Nancy said...

Michelle- If you click on the photo, the red dot is bottom left at 8:00. Thanks for the kind words here.

Kim said...

Thanks, Nancy! What a great post, with some history about our gift (which we love and can't wait to fill with wedding memories) :) I love that you made them for C & T too.

Nancy said...

Kim- Yes, some History...the stories!

Ulrike said...

I tried using cardboard on my bags as well but was not really enthusiastic about it. I prefer layers of fabric, maybe some old flanell pieces. With the proper stitching it will be as sturdy and slightly stiff as necessary *s* The vinyl pocket is a nice touch, I like that very much. And I think they are very personal and beautiful

Deb G said...

What a lovely gift! Well, all of them actually. :) The rug reminds me of a table runner I made for a friend. She was going to Nigeria for a year and wanted something I'd made to take with her...Thanks for reminding me of my friend...

Mo'a said...

I love, love your pockets and the story around them...they are such beautiful gifts.

deanna7trees said...

loving the rug with the words woven in. and your 'memory keepers' are fabulous. such a great idea and a magnificent gift that I know will be appreciated.

Nancy said...

Nemo~ I found the 'warm and natural' batting worked well for body. Thank you for commenting.

Deb~ I'm glad you were reminded of your friend. I feel good when I am reminded of friends through their art.

Mo'a~ Aren't pockets grand?!!

Deanna~ Thank you and yes, they are appreciated :)

Penny Berens said...

I spy the red spot!
That rug is glorious...just love it...what a special friend.
And your memory keepers are treasured I am sure.

saskia said...

hi Nancy, what a great rug! and those Memory Keepers, I like them too!! personal, handmade gifts are the best

Nancy said...

Penny~ Yes! The odd red spot!

Saskia~ I agree about personal gifts being best. I look at my rug every day!

handstories said...

what wonderful memory keepers here. all of those stories braided into that beautiful rug- what a grand gift. & your keepers- such treasures! love the jeans' pockets, such loving gifts you've created.

Nancy said...

Cindy~ Thanks! I love a jean pocket too!

woman with wings said...

Nancy, loved this post, there is so much of you and what you do in this. The memory keepers -- it must have been very meaningful for your kids and the others, as well -- I can see, that for whatever occasion, this is loving work. Thank you for sharing this!

Nancy said...

Peggy~ Thank you. They were very meaningful for me to work on too.

jenclair said...

What a great gift, Nancy! Full of thought and memories!

Nancy said...

Jenclair~ Thanks!