Posts Tagged ‘stories’

Story Boards and Story Scrolls

December 19, 2018

Here is a quick(ish) project for those of you who tell stories to young – or at least young at heart – audiences and want a different visual aid. Story boards can be made in minutes with scraps and glue. Story scrolls take a little longer, but use more scraps.

My friend and co-author Ann Anastasio and I made some Sunbonnet Sue story boards for a program we wrote ages ago. I recently unearthed the collection, which includes Sunbonnet Sue in the Odyssey (above), and Sunbonnet Sue on Safari (below). We cut simple shapes, glued them on poster board, embellished with puff paint and hot-glued binding strips around the edge.

For the last Challenge Group project, I made some scrolls from scraps. The assignment was to do something on the theme of A Winter Tale. I went more literal than Shakespearan, and made a set of scrolls. A long scrap of fabric within reach set the dimensions for the scroll. I layered batting and fabric scraps on the wrong side, machine-quilted everything together, and zig-zagged the raw edges. Leftover pieces of a dowel became the spindles, with flat buttons and a pyramid bead hot-glued on each end for finials. I looped one end of the scrolls around each completed dowel, sewed it in place, then attached a ribbon on the back.

I have no idea what sort of tale I might tell to fill a long winter evening, but it will definitely include space aliens.

Luck and wisdom!

Creativity with Clutter

October 18, 2017

I made a quilt with tea towels, because I needed to get creative with my clutter.

Scotland forever, warming up my toes

The towels were gifts, so I knew from the get-go that I could never dry the dishes with them. I still wanted to use them, but for the longest time couldn’t figure out how. The absurdities of aging gave me an idea. I very often have cold shoulders and hot feet, so I made a small snuggle quilt. It is also a good size for when my shoulders are hot and my feet are cold.

The borders and binding came from my blue and green fabric drawer. I pulled out the smallest pieces, the ones that were essentially cluttering up the drawer, cut them in strips and sewed until I was satisfied.

My guard hippo and lucky egg

This is one of the non-fabric collections that lives in the sewing room. I call it a decorative display. My family calls it clutter. My friend Bettina suggested I write a story about monsters hiding in the sewing room. I glanced around at my toy collection, and an idea was born.

What secrets does the black-eyed seal hide? Will the roadrunner tell?

I think my toys are cute, but those are the things that make horror stories even more frightening, yes? So, now I’m thinking of the stories as well as the quilts that can come out of my sewing room clutter. There are still a couple of weeks before Halloween, so maybe I’ll come up with something to celebrate, either in words or in fabric.

Luck and wisdom!

Serenity Is Driving Me Nuts

August 19, 2015

I’m making a story block for a Progressive Party assignment. The block can be any size, any style, but it has to have a story behind it. I came up with a title – Serenity with Beads – and a story. The day of my husband’s back surgery, I was filled with calm. I knew everything would be fine. Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. Friends and family sometimes have visions, so I accepted that this was my message from the universe. This was the feeling I wanted to convey in my block.

This is my first attempt at making the block.

All that is left of my calm feelings

All that is left of my calm feelings

If something could go wrong, it did. I finally put the pieces in the trash where they belong. My next attempts at designing a block went equally awry. I suppose it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The last time I tried to create a piece that conveyed serenity, I nearly lost my mind.

Now it's peaceful

Now it’s peaceful

I almost called the quilt Obsession, because I was determined to make it work regardless of the pain (and the stream of naughty words coming from the sewing room). Every seam was a struggle, every unit fought me, every fabric demanded to be a focus fabric.

There are still a few weeks until the Progressive block is due. Some of my quilting buddies gave me good advice on my next attempt. Also, I have a back-up plan.

Falling leaves convey peacefulness, right?

Falling leaves convey peacefulness, right?

If push comes to shove, I’ll border this cross-stitch with soothing fabrics, sew on a few beads, and call it good. And never, ever plan a project called Serenity again.

Luck and wisdom!