Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Facing the Year with Freddy

"If you want something to fall in your lap, you have to move your lap to the right place."
~Sandra Bruce


As the time passes more and more junk email arrives in my box. Most are true junk but some are various shops I've inadvertently signed up for. How and where do they obtain my email? Sometimes, it's a lucky break and this was one of those times because Freddy Moran was teaching her Faces class and there were a few last minute cancellations... and I was in the right town... and I had the day free... and the supply list was very short. Two fat quarters, glue stick, scissors, and scraps.

Even better, a non-quilting friend wanted to come. Off we went to play with paper dolls for the day. Not that there is any paper involved but it's as easy as that childhood pastime.

Here's my first face. The hair is leftover triangles from Propellers and Planes - the quilt that will never die. Several smaller quilts have spun off from its leftovers and more of these triangles yet remain.

The pieces are glued to a background fabric to create a friendly female face.
Jane: collaged face in fabric

Working quickly, the top was finished before lunch. Her eyes were flowers from a wild black and white fabric. Lobster earrings don't show up as much as I wished but they dangle beautifully. Moving her eyebrows made the biggest change in her expressions - frowning, quizzical, surprised. This position reflects the bemused wonder in her eyes.

The orignal glued nose was too large so it was replaced with a smaller and narrower strip to indicate the nose.
Jane with a nose job

Before quilting the next day she got a quick rhinoplasty. Now the printed butterfly marks the tip of her nose. I also added a strip of background fabric on the left so some of her spiky hair shows. But once it was quilted, that section didn't work anymore. Off it came.

Collage quilt of a smiling face with large eyes, spiky hair, and lobster earrings. The binding is faced.
Jane quilt

Facing seemed the best way to finish this quilt but it took two days to sew correctly. Binding would have taken me a couple of hours. It's not that hard but I don't face quilts often. The consolation is {perhaps} it looks better.

Freddy recommended not trying to make a specific person. However, my kids insist this looks like their favorite aunt.

Quilt Specifics
Size: 23.5" x 19"
Designs: Collage
Batting: Hobbs 80/20
Thread: Various 50- and 60-wt cotton threads, 

and YLI clear nylon monofilament
Quilting: FMQ
Approximate Yardage: 1.25 yd

At the beginning of class Freddy shared her story. After a medical issue and entering hospice she felt she'd lost her creativity and would never make another quilt but, remembering a recent class on Mostly Matisse by Rosalie Dace, she challenged herself to make one face a day. By the time 54 were completed she regained her creativity, improved enough to leave hospice, and started showing the quilts. Here she is sharing one of her collage quilts with several Faces in the background.

Freddy holds one of her floral collage quilts at New Pieces Quilt Shop, Berkeley CA
Freddy Moran at New Pieces Quilt Shop,
Berkeley CA

Me Made Update

With two dresses under my belt, I felt ready to tackle a new challenge. My friend was not available to help fit the pattern so I sewed a muslin of the top only using a "bargain" fabric that had tiny holes in it. I was so annoyed to discover them but it's perfect for this use. 

It took a couple of days to work out the adjustments because I chose the hard way. Only afterwards did the easier methods occur to me. Sigh. At least now the alternations are completed if/when I make it again.


The blue cotton broadcloth printed with large stylized flowers i named A Garden for Olivia by Lida Enche for In the Beginning Fabrics.
Dolman sleeved dress

The attached belt wraps around and ties with a knot in back. No bow. I reduced the skirt width twenty inches, lengthened it half an inch, and added deep pockets. Why did designers think mid-century women didn't need pockets? When they are deep enough that items don't spill out, they remind me of Winnie the Pooh's useful pot. A place to put things in.

Clothing Specifics
Style: Dolman sleeved dress
Pattern: Retro Butterick
Fabric: Cotton broadcloth print with large blue flowers
Yardage: 3.5 yds plus 1 yd for the muslin sample
Thread: Gutermann 50 wt blue cotton

Enjoy the day, Ann

26 comments:

  1. Your face is just wonderful..love those lobster earrings...hugs, Julierose

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    1. They are fun. I wish I had a pair myself.

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  2. start to finish, loved this post. I would have enjoyed this class and the encouragement to find fabrics to make facial elements. I like that you were to not try to interpret a specific person, so you were free to find a blower for an eye... etc. It's a way of teaching people to see images in a print which is very creative. Your face is very interesting with the hair!!! You've made me want to do one. And Freddy's story is wonderful, the healing power of creativity which is a way of hope in future actually. Your dress is pretty too. Oh and doing it the hard way, yep... I found out a way to center my lattice blocks for trimming near the end of the process. The pattern never told us, some of mine are off balance from the early blocks, but near the end of 300 blocks I discovered a way of centering them. Oy vey!
    LeeAnna

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    1. You grasped one of Freddy's main points, Lee Anna. Freddy said we'd never look at prints the same way again. So you should make some, too. With your talents it will come out very interesting.
      I usually find easier ways afterwards. It's why repeating a design helps me. Your lattice blocks are very beautiful. I hope you get them quilted soon.

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  3. Oh how marvelous that the stars aligned so you could participate in her class. She's been on my bucket list of quilt teachers for years (Gwen was there, too, and I came so close but her knee surgery forced her to cancel and now she's gone). Your face is absolutely fabulous in every single way. I didn't know about Freddy being in hospice - how perfect that making face quilts helped her so much.

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    1. I always wanted to take a class with Gwen and never made it either. A good lesson to us both to seize the day. Freddy's story inspires us all. I'm glad she shared it.

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  4. How lucky you were to be able to take the class with Freddy. Then for her to leave hospice! That, I imagine, doesn't happen very often! Your face turned out wonderful. Sliming her nose was a good move. Your dress turned out very pretty. Isn't that the way that you figure out an easier way after struggling?

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    1. I don't know the percentage of people who leave hospice either but imagine it's fairly rare. I wasn't going to make any changes at first but... you know how it goes. Her slimmer nose looks much better to me and works so well with the print fabric. I'm so pleased with this dress. Sometimes it just gets worse when you start making adjustments.

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  5. love the face! The spiky hair adds so much fun to it! And Your dress is beautiful: I majored in clothing and textiles at college and don't think I'd ever try to make clothes without a pattern to start from, or at least a dress form to drape it on, so I think you are brave!! And you took a class at New PIeces in Berkely? Where do you live that you were close enough for that? (I'm in Healdsburg, about 70 miles north of Berkely)

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    1. That major must have been exciting. I like learning about textiles and would love to have studied it. I used a pattern but just had to alter it. I don't have a dress form - another thing I wish I had. But I don't know how to drape either. Lucky you.

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  6. The triangles make perfect attitude hair and the lobster earrings fit right in.
    Your 'lap' was in the right place, what a treat to be in one of Freddy's classes and to hear her
    encouraging story, wow.
    The dress is fabulous too, thanks for sharing your process, very encouraging.

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    1. Having those triangles in my scrap bag was a stroke of good fortune. I'd never have cut them all out during the class. And that lobster fabric has been hanging around for a few years. It's good to find a place to show it off. Freddy is a gift to all us quilters, isn't she?

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  7. How incredible that you got to take a class with Freddy! Fun to take it with a friend too. Fabulous use of your leftover triangles. Love the thrill from taking elements from one quilt and getting a fresh new look in a totally different project! That face--happy, confident and like she knows something we don't. Love it.:)

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    1. It was a stroke of luck to be able to take her class with a friend. And I was delighted to realize those triangles were "ready made" for this class. It's especially nice when the result is so different from the original use, isn't it? Thanks for the compliments on Jane!

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  8. That sounds like a lot of fun - I like the idea of looking in fabric for shapes that can be eyes, etc; it makes you look at familiar patterns afresh. You were lucky that everything came together for you. Your dressmaking is going well too - that's a lovely, striking print you have used.

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    1. Exactly. This class encouraged us all to look at all our prints anew. I enjoy last minute opportunities like this. No time to worry; just show up and learn. I am glad I've started making some clothing again. It's easier to make what I want than to find it in a store. The dress print was originally for a quilt, of course. It works much better here and I'm clearing out my stash boxes.

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  9. So jealous you got to spend time with Freddy! Your face is perfect! I love face quilts. And I adore your dress!!!!! So very pretty!!!!!

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    1. Thanks for all the compliments, Cindy. I hope you can take a Freddy class soon yourself.

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  10. I love your face quilt...every bit of it!! Thanks for sharing about Freddy. I took a class with her many years ago. Delightful woman.

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    1. Thanks for writing, Pam. You must have enjoyed Freddy's class, too. She has a way of helping us look at things differently and she is a joy to all of us.

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  11. Most people don't make it out of hospice so what a wonderful story of survival.

    Sounds like a fun class and, lets face it,... your kids' fav aunt must be a beauty. And, of course a face quilt needs a facing!!

    I like your dresses. Can't remember last time I put one on. I have been thinking about making a few simple ones for working out in the garden in the summer. I have boxes of old patterns that I should go sort through but I know they are probably the wrong size now- even the few that had multiple sizes. I'm too lazy and unmotivated to make any adjustments.

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    1. Freddy was very lucky and we are, too, to have her with us again. Thanks for the compliment about my sister. We all loved her dearly and miss her daily. Love your play on words!
      I agree with you. There were loads of old patterns in my box, most of which would never fit me today. I'm glad they print multi-sizes now. Working through the adjustments can be a pain but I realized that all my extra fabric is useful here. I just sew up the "muslins" with whatever is at hand and only cut the real fabric when I've worked out the issues. Saving money and using what's at hand. Win win.

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  12. It is always such a treat to come to your blog! Your face is marvelous! It made me smile. I am glad you were able to go to the class. The dress is pretty. I don't make clothes but I can understand your frustrations on sizing the pattern. 20 inches off the width seems like a lot because the skirt looks pretty full there.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment. It was a lot to take off but the skirt was gathered to the max. It was stylish back then (late 50s early 60s) but way over the top for today. I'm not going to wear a crinoline after all.

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  13. Your Freddy Face is just fabulous! I love the spikey hair!!

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    1. Thanks, Mel. It was fortunate they were in the scrap bag I brought and that I'd cut so many extras.

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