Monday, May 30, 2011

8 or 17, days that is ...

So now we are down to the nitty-gritty: 8 days left in Volcán and 17 days left in Panama. The material things (cosas materiales) are flying out the door. The "to take" piles are increasing, and the gut is saying, "Whoa, wait a minute - it is too soon!" But reality is that we are leaving, and not many days left. So many things that we want to do, so little time in which to do them.

I continue to attend the sewing/quilting class, in a "moral support" catagory. The time spent in the back while the others teach has allowed me to work on another donation quilt. This is one where satin stitch zigzagging was taught. The group has acquired a Baby Accucutter and the women went bonkers using it. This is the result - 16" squares, all put together to form a cute kiddie donation quilt.

And then there are the very Panamanian molas ... Last weekend while in Panama City I went shopping. I was looking for some "learner" molas to put in the 4 corners of a t-shirt quilt of our Peace Corps experience in Panama. Alas, only found those that were regular appliqué while I wanted the reverse appliqué ones from Kuna Yali or San Blas. I did however, find a lady who is going to take a picture of a t-shirt design and make it into a mola for me, using the fabric that I bought for her from our limited choices here. If it works, I will have another made with fabric that I buy in the US. Also I want to learn how to make them myself. They are an interesting form of art - some whimsical,
Can you see what these are?

but more often, traditional.
and all have some sort of story to them.
Unless being made for tourism, molas are always made in pairs: One for the back of the blouse and one for the front. There are always slight differences but the patterns are the same. Can you actually see the differences in the ones above? Often when, as tourists, you see one that you like, you only buy the one, and that one is usually the colours that catch your eye. Also, many times the ones that are only one, have been made specifically for tourism and as such may not be as well made. The ones that I have managed to find all have 5 fabrics within the layered structure. Lots of work for when I get home - pillows. wall hangings, possible quilt.

Currently I have a special mola commisioned for me. We shall see what it looks like when we get back to the city. It is being made from a t-shirt design and if it turns out well, I am sure that she will get more orders, as it is a Peace Corps t-shirt.

Monday, May 16, 2011

31 days and counting...

Yes, we have only 31 days left here in wonderful Panama. 31 days until we are actually winging our way back to Texas. But my gosh, what about all the UFOs sitting here?

"Walk on the Wild Side" will have to be gently packed, after being removed from the stretcher bars. I finally found the threads that I need so I can happily stitch again. I am afraid, however, that I will never ever catch up enough to even publish pictures along with the other participants. But I am almost finished with the ripping and re-stitching of the wave on the first canvas. I will NOT start the other canvases out of order, which I would normally do in order to stitch with the group. Turning over a new leaf? Maybe, we shall see how it makes me feel.

I did manage to finish up another UFO this weekend. A sort-of-mate to the first polo shirt quilt made for the guest room downstairs. The "girls" sleep here when they come to town and will gladly take the quilt and minnie pillow with them. They are not as heavy as I thought that they would be and they are quite warm here in the cool temperatures of the Highlands. Lined with flannel, they are also soft to snuggle into.

And now for another UFO ... I would like to get this one quilted before we leave but am not sure that it will be completed. My grandson loves games, so I made him a Monopoly game quilt to take outside and camping. I had fun with this one and now I have to finish it so that it is easy to play on. I will try my first attempt at Free Motion Quilting and my new sewing machine that I got for Christmas with this quilt. And then I will have to find the game pieces. I want to make a small bag for the game pieces that is attached to the back of the quilt and put the whole thing into a case so that it becomes a travelish pillow for him. Then I have another to make for a friend in Argentina who wants one for her son.

I finished another of the Christmas squares this last weekend. We travelled again and that means I could work on it. The first "S" is now done and I have the sleigh started. I had to stop work on the sleigh as I forgot to add the missing threads from the packet. Oh well ... next trip ... but oh ... I have another project that is definitely more interesting and is just a teeny tiny one that I want to do. It is the CyberPointers Meeting project that I got in the mail a couple of days ago. Again, I am way behind - everyone got their supplies weeks ago but mine had to come all the way to Panama. It is an ornament and I think if I changed to a Christmas colorway, it would be a great stocking stuffer. Yikes, here I go again, it will soon become another UFO and here I was trying to finish some of them up! At least this is a small one that can be carried with me while I travel.