Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Artist Grandmother, Part 1

 Since becoming a grandmother, I was inspired to make baby clothes again. When my own children were babies and my husband was still in college, I had to make do with what we had. I recycled sweaters, coats and usable cottons to make all of their clothes before the concept of "upcycling" was in vogue. I started making quilts in earnest about the same time. The first Christmas we were married, I got my first sewing machine, a $99 Singer. I still have it. It's the machine I use now to stitch paper.

When I was still living at home, I learned to sew on my grandmother's converted treadle machine. Having come very close to getting kicked out of Home Ec. in Junior High for making a bikini instead of an apron, it should have already been clear to anyone who knew me that I was going to follow my own path.

When my first granddaughter was born, I was thrilled. Although I have sewn several things for my darling grandson, I admit that making fancy baby dresses for little girls is a lot more fun than a Thomas the Train pillowcase. I designed and made her this cute party dress just for fun. I now own more baby patterns than I ever had when my own children were small. Of course, I never follow the pattern instructions. I prefer to use them as a suggestion, and proceed as I do when making my artwork: do something, respond, do something else; collage and layers upon layers.

My Lena wearing my Frenchy Girl design