Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hoops for Japan

My kids are really concerned about what is happening in Japan, so they decided to do something about it. Z has decided to have a shoot-a-thon where he tries to get as many baskets in his 7.5ft basketball hoop as he can in one hour. Will you sponsor him?
(keep posted to hear about a painting Mimi wants to auction off on eBay for the same purposes)

-if you want to sponsor, you can either send me an email or post here how much you're willing to pay per shot - we expect him to make 60 or more shots, so consider yourself warned!
 (you can also state a maximum)

We're going to have the Backyard Hoops for Japan shoot-a-thon on April 16th (unless it rains)....I'll keep you posted!

Monday, March 28, 2011

cutest family... okay, they're my family, but they are cute..

My sister and brother in law have the cutest kids. I mean, REALLY.

Victory also has a fabulously talented photographer friend that has come into town a few times this year and snagged flipping awesome pics of the Ludwigs... and I just have to share, because even if you don't know them, you can't help but to love them here. These pics are great.  (FABULOUS JOB, EM!)

WIP - charity quilt #2

I chose a black and white image of this quilt to show while it's being finished, because honestly, it's the colors that make it pretty.
I did the "Lap quilt in a Jiffy" method by Kari Ramsey again... It's seriously fast and easy and though this is a bigger quilt than her pattern, the technique rocks for whipping out something quickly. I also did a self-binding on it to save time... Tonight that gets stitched and this one is D-O-N-E. I made it big enough to use as a picnic blanket, or as a couch cuddler. I'm clueless as to what to write down as it's value... I've never sold a quilt, so I don't know. (this one has taken me about 12 hours all said and done... Thoughts?)
And if no one bids on it... I'm bidding on it and bringing it home... (I like it. Will show you tomorrow, when it's complete and sunlit)

my sewing goes to new widths and lengths

Remember these funky quilt squares that I made slowly over the past year with weird (and some really ugly) scraps? I loved the way they turned out and was so wanting to use them in something really fabulous... but nothing in my stash elevated them to the level I felt they were worthy of. So I did something I rarely do... I went to Sew Modern (my friend, Lauren's new quilt shop in West LA) - squares in hand with the purpose of buying just for them... and had the amazing gals there give me great suggestions and chat with me as i wrapped my head around what to do to with them.
We ended up with patterns and colors that I LOVE - I mean, I was telling Jay the other night that this is definitely the most sophisticated and complicated color scheme that I have ever worked with... And there are fabrics that no online shop could have pointed me to to make this all work. On top of that, the fact that I'd only had enough fabric scraps to make 6 of these little squares really challenged me so that I needed to come up with a cool solution for the rest of the space.
I've gotten tired of making lap size quilts... they seem small sometimes - though they are REALLY useful around here for 1000 purposes... too many of the same size, well -that's boring...

so... I had a blast the other night, sewing this puppy up. Seriously, I paid NO attention to the size. I just kept working with it until I felt like it was done. And the result is something I am really proud of!
I think the ending size is somewhere between a twin and a queen... but not really a full size and I think I love it the way it is.
It is most certainly something bigger than anything I've pieced yet...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quilt to donate

Quilt to donate

I made this quilt this week to donate for an auction I'm involved with. I used fabric that I did not buy... Not one of these are my taste and style, and once again, it's a little game I seem to play with myself... "can I make something I like even a little from materials I hate?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Modern Relief Japan

I'll be honest, I simply haven't known what to say about what is happening in Japan.
but it's been on my heart a lot.... and seeing how I am a newsradio addict, it's been all news all the time as I want to hear more about our neighbors across the Pacific.

I saw today that Modern Relief is having a quilt auction.
I'm super happy about this and I hope that you'll enter to win... I will be!

check it out here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We've been flamingo'ed!!!

Look what we woke up to!!!
It's the best Young Life fundraiser ever... They left a flyer that says for a $25 removal fee, they'll come get them - and for $10 more we can send the flock to a friend. Haha! (gotta love blackmail as a way to get kids to camp)
I told my friend, the director, that we want to keep them!... The neighbors love it...
I had a horrible day yesterday, this was a fabulous change of scenery. ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The things we sew for love

Sometimes we have to throw out our design ideas (taste?) for the sake of our kids. (Sometimes, not often)...
I did just that last night as I cranked out this heavy duty book caddy for Z's bunk bed. I asked him what fabrics he wanted for the project, "all of them!" ... Ok... There you have it... The perfect place to store your books about heroes and dinosaurs... Complete with pockets for a flashlight and water bottle. Just don't judge my style based on this project. In the eyes of a 5yo boy, this has perfect style.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Lenten Collage

I don't usually get super spiritual on my blog, but there is a pretty spiritual side to me that I use my art - especially collage - to express.
I was recently asked through my church to express my impressions of the Garden of Gethsemene and the Betrayal of Jesus as a part of an artist series celebrating the Lenten season this year.
Today my artwork was featured and shared and I wanted to share it with you here - as it is clearly still a part of what makes me tick creatively.

this collage was presented with the caption below as reference:
"Please - Let this cup pass from me"

God. As Jesus. In the Garden. Afraid.
Feeling the weight of a shattering world, the pain of betrayal. the agony ahead...
He surrendered to it willingly. For love.

Friday, March 11, 2011


IMG_1611 by n.ramirez
IMG_1611 a photo by n.ramirez on Flickr.

Here I am last night at the LAMQG meeting... Presenting my tiny quilt... Seriously you need to look through the group of photos that go with thus one and look at the flipping amazing ladies that I attend LAMQG meetings with. I was happy with what I made, but BLOWN away by what other people came up with.
Go guild!

Monday, March 7, 2011

a little bit of sewing

so you know me.... when the going gets tough, the tough get sewing.
and i needed some therapy this week so for the past 3 days, I caught up on my bees, worked on my samplers from the bees, and tried to fit in my collage for church that I need to do for the lenten season.... (more on that later... after 3+ hours invested in it, I ruined it and have to re-do it... so as my dad says, "moron that later")
Here's what my fingers and gears have been up to:
 This first one is a wonky square in square design that I did for Seams Perfect Bee - which is my all scraps bee... I love the color scheme that LeeAnn picked out.  Really not my typical shades and I loved working in it - very refreshing... like a summer swim...
Then I had to catch up on Yolanda's pineapple blocks for Bee Happy - Which were really hard work, but I think she's going to end up with an awesome quilt. Click here to see what is happening as she's putting the blocks together!
After that, it was the 12th and final month for Bee Happy's 1st year - and Janice requested scrappy styled wonky houses. These were SO much fun to make and I even busted out some of my long savored fabrics to add in there, because they were just what the blocks needed. She'd sent us a few pieces as inspiration and requested (in my block) that the mermaids and the goldfish ended up in the blocks somewhere. As I sewed, I had a lot of fun imagining a little world where the mermaids and goldfish were neighbors. We may need to be revisiting this idea for a certain little fairy freak we've got here in the house - I know her imagination would run wild with a wonky house fairy quilt... (if I just typed that, do I have to make it now?)

After all that happy sewing... I had a table filled with the most LOVELY scrap pile I'd seen in a while. So... well, I needed to sew up a few quilted bags, right? and I've never tried a mugrug (quilty coaster), so here's the first of three of those...

I literally was piecing tiny tiny pieces together and then making a piece, cutting that up and re-sewing it back together to get some fun results. ... you can see the tiny little scrap houses that ended up in my Coke rug...

I forgot to take photos (how could I?) of last weeks two quilts that went out for some dear little daughters to friends of mine - one as yet unborn (mommy is in the hospital on urgent bedrest at 27 weeks) and the other for a favorite neighborhood 2year old as she had her birthday. (I've also made G a little play quilt... it's nothing special, but since it's for him, he deserves his own post)

Oh yeah! and (last ones) ... here are some of the side projects for the bees... Each month in my bees, as I make a square to send off to someone else - I also make a "practice" square for myself - so that I can end the year with a sampler that represents my journey and learnings in the bee. Please don't ask me what I am going to do with all these quilts. I have no idea. So my Seams Perfect Bee Sampler is in red and white... which is fun... and my Bee Happy sampler -well, let's just say that I started with this "cool" idea that I was going to use the ugliest most hated fabrics in my collection... and see what I could come up with. Well... it's pretty ugly. I'm not going to show that one until I post about it later. Still, it was a fun experience, and a major creative challenge.
So here are my Seams Perfect red and white squares, along with a blue and white one that I made for a bee buddy who is assembling a quilt for charity for an auction.

yes. The answer is, I HAVE NEEDED TO DO THIS. As I always say, "My sewing machine is the ONLY thing in my life that I have control over." and so far, I think it's still cheaper than therapy... though that may be up for debate.

LAMQG solids challenge

Remember the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild challenge I mentioned? The generous folks at Robert Kaufman donated a ton of charm packs to the Modern Quilt Guilds and we were asked to make mini (crib sized) quilts using only the charm pack and one additional solid... I knew immediately what I was going to do!
I have always loved trees more than any other motif and this seemed like the perfect time to start trying to marry my collages with my sewing. It's something J has been encouraging me to do for a while.. But I didn't want to buy fabric for it, so I traded with some friends for sky blue solid and started my little project.
I'm so happy with how it came out! This is the first quilt where from start to finish, I was confident in what it was and would become. The first time where I finished and thought, "I nailed it!" hooray!
I get to show it to the guild this Thursday... I can't wait to see what everyone else has made... The LAMQG is filled with so many talented artists... I'm always blown away (I try to just be inspired and not to be intimidated!) by what they come up with...

Quilting in faith

I started this quilt a few months ago, wanting to make a playmat for G. (it's the starburst pattern from this blog - link later!)
But after piecing the squares, I realized it needed yellow as the sashing to make it look good and suddenly it was too girly. Then I made the top and found the lumpiest, most mistake filled top I've ever made. (bummer)
I posted it as a "quilt=fail" on flickr and got some encouragement from my friends there to try it anyways... So I added a thicker than normal batting, some bumpy knit as a backing, and I used spray baste (yay!) and as suggested, I quilted it to death.
The end result is a happy super cozy quilt. But not for G. It doesn't really seem like him at all.
As I was making it, I couldn't help but think about how convinced J and I are in our hearts that we've got a little girl coming to our family soon through foster care. It's something we are more and more sure of (in faith, no signs yet!) and this became a little bit of sewing by faith as I thought about where she might be now, what she is going through, what she needs prayer for...
And now this is sitting in our living room quilt basket, folded and waiting for a special little girl. It is a sunny reminder of our not yet complete family... A reminder to pray and keep hoping.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My birthday gift

I'm sure by now you realize that I love signs and I love artwork and I love things that show interracial families, friendship and love. That's why I started crying in December when I saw this Levi's jeans ad on Vine Blvd. in Hollywood. I begged J to go take a pic of it and then for my birthday I asked for it framed for the house.. That's exactly what I got... (oh, and the green light ad funding for another tattoo)



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