Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gratitude and Jeannie Cooper

On Health, Friendship, And Gratitude.

For those of you who are Young and Restless fans, and who check in to my blog because of that, and not so much the textile art, you may have heard that this week, our Grand Dame of Genoa City, Jeanne Cooper was struck seriously ill, and has been in hospital touch and go for many days.  

The outpouring of support from her fans, through social media and the press, is jaw dropping, and although not always appropriate, (things got a little gossipy and competitive) it has confirmed for me the power of Internet tools to touch each other in a way that until recently was impossible.

Thousands of strangers have mobilized their prayers, good wishes, thoughts for healing and recovery, and have posted support, love, cards, pictures collages, greetings, song bytes, and outreach that is utterly amazing to me.  

In the midst of this illness and Jeannie's very slow progress out of Intensive Care, her family surrounded her, tweeting, posting through press contacts and social media sites, keeping us all informed and somehow comforted that the strength of will of one amazing woman, and the love and focus of thousands of those who love her could be experienced moment by moment in real time through the Internet.

I am grateful today for Jeannie's continuing improvements, for my own health, for the nearness of my family and for the contact I too have with all of you through technology and the strange and wonderful world of Daytime.

I am also grateful for you.  Life is short, unpredictable, challenging.  So I'm feeling compelled to tell you thanks.  I'm hoping you'll tell others the things you want them to know.

Hug your children, kiss your dog, ride your horse, splurge a little on a treat for yourself today.  Celebrate the now.  Find the good.  Live like Jeannie Cooper does, putting it out there every day with strength and dignity and all her heart.  Be grateful for every moment.

I am.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Rose Is A Rose

Tutorial:  A Velvet Rose For Mother's Day

With Mother's Day just around the corner, here's a perfect little project to make into a pin, sew on a purse or a hat, or pin to the lapel of a jacket.  They can also be added to home accessories like pillows and drapery tie backs.  These are beautiful silk/rayon velvet roses in an assortment of hand-dyed colors, but you can just buy the yardage in the color you want your rose to be and save a step.

You will need:

One scrap in your choice of color, rayon/silk blend velvet (cotton velvet, and panne poly velvet will too but are not as lush, lightweight, or easy to work with) 5” by 20” sewn into a tube lengthwise
One scrap of velvet in any complementary green for leaves, 6” by 10 makes two leaves
One square of buckram as a foundation for rose, 5” by 5” 


First make the leaves by cutting two 6” by 5” pieces of green velvet. Fold in half to make a tube, 3” by 5”.  Sew right sides together along the 5” side, one end shut at a point, and leave the other end open for turning. This will be the base of the leaf, and will be hidden in the petals of the rose, so does not need to be finished. Turn right side out, seam down the center back of the leaf.  Start just above the point, and gather the excess fabric sewing it down with topstitching in a matching or darker green thread.


Take the long velvet strip and make into a tube, right sides together (which should be just over two inches tall by twenty long) that will be the rose.  Turn right side out with both short ends open.  Tie a knot in the tube at one end.  At the sewing machine, take the buckram square and tack down the end of the tube with matching thread on either side of the knot, attaching it to the buckram base in the center of the square.

Fold the tube up and around the knot covering it slightly as the knot is the center of the flower.  This first turn should be about two inches.  Pinch the tube together and tack down with a few sewing machine stitches.  Twist over again, and move around the knot and expand around the flower, each time manipulating the velvet tube to a pleasing, expanding petal affect.  Each time pinching the tube and sewing down to the buckram, hiding stitches with the twist of the tube and the next layer of petals.


As you reach the last round, but before you sew them down, attach the leaves artistically according to how your flower has “bloomed”.  Bury the open end under the petals.  Tack down with machine stitches.
Cover the stitches with the last round of rose velvet and tuck in and finish by hand stitching.  Trim away the extra buckram.

Optional:  Sew the buckram backing directly onto a purse, hat or pillow, or make into a pin/brooche by sewing a pin back to a matching piece of felt, and sewing or hot gluing the felt to cover the buckram.