Sunday, June 25, 2017

On brave old Army team, on to the fray. Fight onto victory, for that's the fearless Army way

This is a project from nearly 2 decades ago.  We were stationed at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.  The colonel was retiring so the officers' wives got together and made his spouse a memory quilt of different cross-stitch West Point scenes.This quilt was entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted.



The majority of the designs were from a cross-stitch sampler sold by the Association of Graduates.  Trophy Point, the 3 chapels, a full-dress cadet, the Army mule, the parade hat (otherwise known as a tar bucket), Washington Hall and the cannon were all designed by the sampler artist. We also supplemented the quilt squares with the USMA crest and designs specific to the family.  The crest was from a book entitled Needlepoint Insignia of the Armed Forces, t and the DMI and Rho Chi graphs I believe were found on the internet.



The department that this colonel ran for 6 years was the Department of Military Instruction.  DMI faculty taught tactics, leadership, ran the summer training and much more. Their offices and classrooms were in Washington Hall.. If you haven't guessed, the West Point colors are black grey, and gold.  These colors represent the 3 components of gunpowder: charcoal, saltpeter, and sulfur. We used an attic windows block to keep each design separate and distinct.  The sashing for the attic windows came from the black shirts cadets wear to class and the grey pants.  The braided border incorporated the same fabrics plus the white full-dress pants worn for parades and balls.  I think the DMI lettering, the NY quilt block, and the Rho Chi designs came from internet searches.  The remaining images were designed by yours truly.



The colonel's family was a lovely group.  The oldest child babysat for my kids. She was quite an athlete (still is) so she was depicted in a soccer uniform. Her brothers were also athletes so they are shown wearing football and basketball uniforms.  The oldest boy ended up at USAFA and is now a fighter pilot flying F-16s. Ironically, the baby of the family is the tallest of all and played on the University of Virginia National Championship Mens Lacrosse team. Dad is in his dress blues and Mom is in a Valkyrie dress complete with a Viking helmet as DMI was well known for the annual Viking fest tailgate.  Black Lab Bud lived to a ripe old age but he is now gone.



Like many of the officers' wives on base, both Mrs. DMI and I were West Point tour guides.  We provided historical information and interesting trivia to many USMA visitors. I was going to dress her in the tour guide uniform but thought the Viking outfit was more fitting.


They lived in a beautiful set of Old English South quarters that overlooked the Hudson River.  This was a complicated image to design and complete but I managed.  Here is a much more realistic image from the USMA Housing Office.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, chameleon, You come and go, you come and go.

This ABU Thyme totebag was made for an Air Force officer's baby gear.   The bag was designed to have bright accent colors to please Mom, yet not too feminine so Dad could lug it around and not be embarrassed.


These bags hold up really well as DOD battle uniform fabric is tough and this one is no exception.  The rank was removed from the collar and appliqued at the base of the handle straps. The various tags, awards, and buttons, remained as originally placed.  The pockets are still fully functional.


On the inside of the front of the bag, a huge fully lined quadruple pocket was added.  The military uniform pockets come from the bottom of the front of the ABU. On the narrow side, a small pocket was added to fit a cell phone.


The interior was lined with 4 different fabrics.  The front and back interiors were made from denim and and a bright home-decorator weight print.. 

The side panels were made from quilting fabrics.  The patch panel had a vertical strip of the same floral to add some color.  The Dad's unit patch was appliqued on the top. Mom works at a university so we added the school mascot (repurposed from a drink koozie) to the bottom.



The other side panel was all about the Mom.  She is a PhD candidate in the field of Biology so we designed the panel to look somewhat like a DNA strand.


 This couple will be awesome parents and their future baby will be in great hands!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hear the beat of dancing feet, It's the song I love, the melody of Forty-Second Street.

Many of the recipients of my quilts have seen my work elsewhere and then want something created to reflect his or her life.  This quilt was no exception..The person who received this quilt was a classmate of a fellow LB Bruin.


We decided to veer away from the typical sashing grid design by making the quilt look like a Broadway Playbill. while sticking to a twin/tarragon size.  Both fonts were sized up to scale. The letters for the larger word were appliqued onto the yellow background.  The smaller word was drawn with permanent fabric markers.



Most playbills usually have white borders but since this quilt was headed off to college, we went with grey as it would be easier to keep clean.



This shirt was designed as a plain white shirt with the black lettering.  The kids involved in this show had wanted to tie-dye the shirts but never got around to it.   I drew a rainbow on both the big design and mini design using permanent fabric markers.


FBI and the cops keep all filing Who protests the war and who they're dialing

This quilt was made for one of the most unique multi-faceted individuals I have ever met and this quilt depicts just a few sides of her most interesting life.


The recipient pledged the Central Michigan Zeta Rho chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated as an undergraduate student.  AKA was the first sorority founded by and for African-American women.  Currently there are 4 NPHC sororities in existence.
 

The middle section was made from a large silk scarf.  This had to be sewn with kid gloves as it was a very fragile fabric.



Although I am a Kappa Kappa Gamma and NOT an AKA,  I love their choice of pearls as their official jewel and the color scheme of pink and green.


The recipient was also an FBI agent for many decades.  When I was asked to make the quilt, I made sure she included one of those awesome windbreakers with the gigantic letters on the back.


Because she is an associate pastor at the historic Shiloh Baptist Church which was actually founded during the Civil War in Confederate Virginia, I made sure to incorporate some fabric with religious motifs.


She was a Webster University academic advisor for several years and still is one of Webster's adjunct faculty members.


This is the fabric we used for the back of the quilt.  These whales are just as cute as can be and the color combination is perfect for an Alpha Kappa Alpha or a Delta Zeta project.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

We're giving you soul power I like it sweet and sour When it comes to lights and set designs I'm at the control tower

This t shirt quilt is one of the few that doesn't involve athletics.  Most of the recipients are either lovers of sport teams or athletes themselves.

This recipient is a Theatre Design & Production and Stage Management major at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts I don't know if they have a specific name for the drama-related majors but if he was at my alma mater Carnegie Mellon, he would be known as a dramat (emphasis on second syllable).  He was the set designer and overall technician for many shows at his high school and received quite a few Cappie Awards for his work.

The shows with which he was involved ranged from Orwellian serious drama and Japanese plays
to Broadway musicals and children's favorites.


This young man is a formidable talent and it wouldn't surprise me to see him awarded a Tony in the next decade or so.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I'm flowing prose to cons and cons to pros I'm like Toucan Sam when I follow my nose


This quilt was made for the first child of parents with very eclectic tastes.  The parents are big fans of Dr. Who and Star Wars as well as being birdlovers of the toucan species.


Making a tardis quilt took some work on graph paper but as it was all rectangles or squares, it was not terribly complicated.  Instead of pure white fabric that would have better emulated the warning sign, I found the I Love Mommy/Daddy fabric in blue shades.  It also comes in pink for girls.


The two upper windows of the police box revealed parrot fabric which is as close as I could originally find to actual toucan motifs.Then I discovered that Kelloggs Cereals had licensed their characters and I was able to find a Toucan Sam polarfleece which made a great backing.

 

I was also able to find a small tardis repeating design fabric for the lower panels.  It was a very stretchy Lycra so it had to be backed as I would do with a t shirt.  This quilt had a variety of different materials. The parrot windows, the planet background fabric, the Police Box sign (which I actually used Star Wars designs) are all cotton.  The warning sign and the cobalt blue are flannels.  And as mentioned before, polarfleece and Lycra were also incorporated.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

I wanna be a Pi Beta Phi. Boom, Boom, and honey that ain’t no lie.Boom, Boom, I wanna be a Pi Beta Phi. Don’t you, don’t you, don’t you, Won’t you?

This quilt is made for a very loyal alumna of Bradley University. She pledged the Illinois Theta chapter of Pi Beta Phi as an undergraduate and is currently very involved in her local Pi Phi Alumnae Association. She also is a dog trainer extraordinaire and volunteers with her pets at local hospitals.


These shirts are quite vintage but they were in remarkably good shape.  Most of the sorority shirts I come across nowadays are t shirts that commemorate a formal or mixer.  I haven't seen a football jersey letter shirt in years except of course on this circa 1980s shirt quilt. :) Of course fraternity little sisters are not allowed anymore either.


The athletic teams at this university are known as the Bradley Braves.  The recipient was able to find a tiny applique patch of the original mascot.  The Native American mascot was ultimately considered offensive and is no longer in use.  They currently use the same team name but the mascot is a gargoyle.