Tag: heart

Quilting Challenge: May

May is almost done, how is this possible?! For my 2012 Quilting Challenge, May’s contribution is a bit of a cheat, I’ve been quilting this shape for ages, but I need it in my arsenal of designs! It’s the heart of course, my go-to infant quilting shape. Herm. My May-heart is not photographing well, it’s camouflaged in the foliage. But it’s there, I assure you!

Since my dad’s heart has been struggling more than usual this month, and because a little boy named Ford would have been 3 years old this month but for his broken heart, the heart seemed like exactly the right choice for this month. I remember and love and carry them in my own heart. And I count my blessings …

Here’s January through May, the garland of quilting options is growing!

My Auntie Kath taught me how to cut out a pattern from paper and then sew around it, until then it seemed magic that she could sew perfect hearts into her work. Kath’s sewing remains magic to me (even if she’s revealed some secrets to me!) she’s meticulous and joyful about her work, utterly inspiring. I think of her often when I’m at my machine. My hearts are still not perfect, I probably work a little too fast and recklessly for that, but then, who’s heart is perfect?

Hometown, Heart and the Headstrong Baby

12 days ago my dad’s heart very nearly failed him. He lives across the country from me in my hometown of Edmonton and with this hard news came the clarity that I dearly wanted him to meet 8-month-old Gene. So Gene and I flew over the lakes and the prairies and I got to introduce my dad to his second grandchild. Happily, the docs were able to fit dad with a pacemaker/defibrillator and he’s back at home for now, heart ticking along.

In spite of it being an emergency trip filled with apprehension, it was so good to share my wee boy with my Edmonton family and friends. My own heart is overflowing with big sky and the big love of my amazing people there. Gene made some ridiculous strides in Edmonton, standing against things and cruising a bit, crawling for the first time and walking his little legs to get where he wants to go when you hold his hands. He is a ball of determination!

Edmonton was exploding with apple blossoms. I was lucky to catch those magic couple of days when the trees are full of their short-lived pink and white flowers:

I miss the wide Alberta sky. If you aren’t familiar with prairie skies, it’s hard to describe the amazing, shifting endless space. I don’t really miss it til I’m there and then I feel like I’m brimming with the aching familiarity of it.

I learned about chewbeads, silicone bead necklaces that are made to be chewed by babies yet look look like lovely, chunky jewellery, brilliant! My cousin was wearing hers so stylishly while her little guy held onto them with a vice grip, chewing and playing as we walked and caught up.

I went with the aforementioned cousin to the Duchess Bake Shop, a super fancy, high tea looking place, yet totally approachable and momma-with-baby friendly. We  ate and savoured and enjoyed our little boys, who are only 15 days apart in age. This made for an extra special, hilarious visit as we are both firmly in the midst of sleep deprivation, infant eczema, baby food and the glorious madness that is mothering an infant. The Duchess has a great ceiling, it mesmerized both me and Gene!

My cousin’s name is Tamsin, but we mostly call her Tam. And it happened to be her birthday! I opened my mom’s late 70s edition of The Joy of Cooking, found a delectable banana cake recipe and baked it up. Then I had a wave of brilliance and cut out the letters of her name in paper, sifted sugar over them and presto:

Lastly, my cousin adventures ended in a quilting shop. Oh dangerous deliciousness! She is a crafty fabric-a-holic also and we found some prints that simple could not be left behind. Here are my spoils:

And here I am, back in super-hot Toronto, somewhat jet-lagged. Back to my mothering of 2 and my sewing and my regular blogging. Happy week everyone!

Rearview Fridays: Knitted Organs

Today I think it’s time to share another knitting project for Rearview Fridays, 3 dimensional internal organs! I made them as costume pieces for a dance I choreographed last year called Organ Stories. The story of the dance itself will be  one for another Rearview Friday, I have to upload some video and want to give the dance it’s due here. And these organs deserve their stand-alone own entry.

This first shot is of The Uterus, with me and dancer Krista Posyniak getting organised for a rehearsal in June 2011. I was super-duper pregnant with Gene!

Inspiration: The Heart

In 2009 I knitted an anatomical heart for my husband for Valentine’s day, which he thought was weird, but I also like to think he secretly loves that I do such things! I sought out a pattern online since I didn’t really know where to start and was amazed at all the anatomical patterns people had come up with. Here’s the heart pattern I used, it’s by Kristin Ledgett of The Knit Cafe in Toronto.

I also knitted a heart that year for a wee boy named Ford, my friend’s son who was in hospital with complications from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Sometimes when I’m at a loss when those I cherish are in a hard spot, making something is the only way I can think of to show my deep love. I pour my thoughts and goodness and hope into my hours of work, and I hope, I believe, that the object carries the weight of that love. Ford is no longer alive, but I’m glad my knitted heart sat beside him and his mom, who is so dear to me, for a while. So this piece is especially tender for me.

The Lungs

I chose 4 organs that I’d make short solos about. The dancer spoke about facts and emotional associations of each organ and then danced a little organ-specific solo — like a lecture-demo on physiology through dance!

Here are the lungs, they tie around the neck and have super-strong earth magnets on the back that stick to a blouse with magnets sewn into it. I developed my own pattern from a few different ones I looked at online, but I didn’t write it down since I modified as I went, argh! Ah well, there’s next time.

The Uterus

This one made me giggle as I made it. And it was great when people would ask me what I was making, particularly because I was obviously pregnant while I was knitting! It was a highly appropriate organ to be knitting in my condition. I worked directly from a lovely, easy to follow pattern on Knitty by MK Carroll. I’ve also made this as a gift for my midwives, the lovely ladies that saw my boys into the world. Best midwife or obstetrician gift ever!

The Brain

The Brain I concocted myself. I used a great little Blue Whoville Hat Pattern as a base, though I modified a lot of things, made it bigger, alternated knit and purl for the earflaps so that they’d be more smooth than the original and did away with the ribbed band in the original.

Then I made miles and miles and miles of i-cord that I sewed onto the hat like a brain. It was fun to tell people that I was knitting my brain, have them look at the looooooooog cord, scratch their heads and walk away wondering about my sanity … but my plan worked! Here it is:

And lastly, I leave you with a shot from the performance of Organ Stories in July 2011. Here’s the slightly frazzled Professor Posyniak with her spectacles on and her Judy covered in organs. You can see the magnets sewn onto her blouse that the organs stick to for each solo. She was just finished lecturing about the brain and was about to dance it, which as mentioned before I’ll share in video form on another day:

This photo by Andréa de Keijzer, the dancer is Krista Posyniak.

Happy Friday everyone, hope that you’ll never look at your organs the same now that you’ve made it through this post …