Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Barbie Sees Flowers

The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.
~Mortimer Adler

Learning something new can be both fun and frustrating.  I started a brand new project yesterday and as a result was on my feet at the ironing board for most of the day.  I am having fun learning the ins and outs of hand applique.  It is frustrating that the shapes don't turn out perfectly from the first.  After reading and rereading instructions - comparing different methods in several different books I think I have found a method I can work with.  I even pulled out my Clover Mini Iron that I must have bought over 5 years ago and never used - until yesterday.  It certainly helped to keep my fingers from getting scorched.  I did, however, slice my thumb on the blade of the freezer paper box - now that was stupid.  If you should have any hints or secrets about hand applique, please pass them my way.  I can use all of the help I can get.




Today is Barbie's birthday!  The Barbie doll was invented in 1959 by Ruth Handler (co-founder of Mattel), whose own daughter was called Barbara. Barbie was introduced to the world at the American Toy Fair in New York City. The doll was intended to be a teenage fashion doll. There has been some controversy over Barbie's figure when it realized that if Barbie was a real person her measurements would be an impossible 36-18-38.
What I found even more interesting was that after fighting breast cancer and undergoing a mastectomy in 1970 Ruth Handler, the creator of the Barbie Doll, surveyed the market for a suitable prosthetic breast. Disappointed in the options available, she set about designing a replacement breast that was more similar to a natural one. In 1975, Handler received a patent for Nearly Me, a prosthesis made of material close in weight and density to natural breasts.



I did accomplish my goal for today and made another hexagon flower for One Flower Wednesday.

This hexie flower reminds me of the brightness of spring.  I really liked the combination of yellow, green and turquoise in the fabrics I used for this. 



Jacqueline, my March swap partner in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap, sent me this beautiful hexagon flower and handmade card.  I love the blue print fabric and the matching note card makes it even more special.  Thanks, Jacqueline!



I recently came across a useful online tool for calculating the number of hexagons for a quilt.  You just fill in the size of the hexagon you want to make and the dimensions of the quilt and, instant presto it tells you how many hexagons you need to make!  It will even tell you how many need to be in each row and column plus how many 1/2 hexagons to make.  Here is the link:



The advantage to belonging to so many swap groups is that you get a lot of squishy envelopes in the mail.  Over the weekend this one came in......

This beautiful block came all the way from NSW Australia and was made for me by Rosemary, my March swap partner in the Christmas Block Swaps Australia.  I love the deep rich color of the background with the sparkly gold snowflakes.   Thank you, Rosemary!



Here are all of the pieces that I need for my first block.  I used the freezer paper method demonstrated by Linda Winters both in her blog, Buzzing and Bumbling, and at her online store, B. Bumble and Company.  I made the circles using a template and stitching around the outer edge to draw the fabric up around the template.  They are more round than the picture shows.  Most of the leaves have fairly smooth edges but a couple have some points where they don't belong.  I'm hoping I can smooth them out a little as I stitch them in place.  The first stem is pinned and awaiting my needle and thread.  I am using fabrics from Connecting Threads' Mirage line for this project.



I will make the Layer Cake QAL block (being hosted by Moose on the Porch) that was released yesterday.



Alderwood Quilts is having their March giveaway.  You could win a copy of  Weekend Wonders by Pamela Mostek.  Sue will select a winner on April 1st.

Blushing Rose is having a CSN giveaway.  You could win a $45 gift certificate to this online store.  Marydon says the giveaway will end on March 17th.
Quilty Habit is having a giveaway.  You could win 4 adorable hand made magnet made by Jessica.  This giveaway ends Saturday, March 12.

And if you haven't entered my giveaway for one of two patterns from B. Bumble and Company, please go HERE.



Finding out it was Barbie's birthday brought back a lot of childhood memories.  I think I had a Barbie the first Christmas that they were available (that sure dates me, doesn't it?).  Mine had dark brown hair - my sister received the blond.  I played with mine constantly and was happy when the little sister, Skipper, came out too.  I never had a Ken doll :(  My sister rarely played with hers, and as a result it is tucked away somewhere in my mother's attic probably having melted in the summer heat of Bakersfield.  And mine?  Who knows.  It probably ended up in a box for Goodwill or the Salvation Army.  I hope she brought another little girl as much fun as she brought me.  I always strived for the 'perfect Barbie body' but was sadly lacking both in bust and tiny waist size.  But at least I'm able to bend my arms and legs and don't have to wear those insanely high, high heel shoes - lol!

Childhood is that wonderful time of life when all you need to do to lose weight is take a bath.
~Author Unknown

Enjoy your Wednesday - I know I will :)


Cheryl said...

Interesting fact about the maker of Barbie! I prep for hand applique I think using the same method. Just takes practice to get the shapes smooth. I like the look of applique, but it is not my favorite process. Do a lot of it though.

Mommarock said...

Oh goodness! Thank you so much for directing me to the hexagon count calculator! I'm thrilled ... can I tell you how thrilled I am :) I figured it in my head for my quilt to be 2000 hexies.. and with the calculator it came out to less.. so I'm sure to have enough.. yippee... relief. I'm SOOOOOO happy!

Melinda said...

I met Ruth Handler sometime in the 80's while living in San Diego. She was a fascinating woman.

Quiet Quilter said...

The variety of your posts always amazes me..I struggle with mine all the time..Also I thank you for the calculator..Guess I'll have to start making hexagons now, if I can remember how to spell them...

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I too had a Barbie doll that I played with all the time. We made a move out of state, and sadly Barbie, and her whole wardrobe ;-) was left behind.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I am still cracking up with the last quote! I never played with Barbies - too much of a tom-boy, but my sisters had them - the whole nine-yards of dolls, clothes, and etc.... were all just recently passed to a grandneice.

Love those colors in your hexie, too. Very pretty. And jealous of the one you received - blue, my favorite color. And the added card is a delightful touch to the swap.

The star block reminds me I have a few promised for a donation quilt. My today project. I finished the Layer Cake block early this morning.

Anonymous said...

Interesting facts about the inventor of Barbie.

You hexie is very nice and bright - just like the carneval was these past days.

Maria said...

I never had a Barbie. Oh does that show my age. LOL

Lovely hexies again. The link to how many you need for a quilt is great.
Lovely christmas block too.

Karen said...

If I could only do one type of quilting it would be hand applique. I use freezer paper to cut my templates and then I needleturn.

A very springy flower this week and isn't the hexagon calculator wonderful?

Impera_Magna said...

Burned fingers and cuts from the freezer paper box? Ouchie, ouchie, ouchie!

Love your hexies and how you fussy cut 'em... looks great! Thanks for the link to the hexie calculator! If I ever have the time, I might try 'em... like after I retire or something... *lol*

Mariliz said...

I love how bright and cheerful your Hexie is. One of these days, I'm going to make one of those, it has been added to my ever growing "project list".

Jeanne said...

Happy Birthday, Barbie! I never had one, but was given a Revlon girl instead. I like the latest flower with the fussy cut fabrics.

Staci said...

The first Christmas I have any real memory of was the one where I got a Skipper doll. My aunt sent it to me. I still remember she had a red velvet coat and hat. I thought she was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. I think I was about 5 at the time.

Joanna said...

I also have the first Barbie. It took me forever to save up the $3.oo and change (under $4.00)that she cost. She's now my model for the doll clothes I make for my sister's granddaughters. I still love her.
I'm not much help with the small pieces of applique you are doing. On bigger pieces I have used the dryer sheet method and it's worked for me. I am sure your's will look great.
Love the block you received. So pretty, as is everything else.

Birdie said...

Love the bright yellow fabric, it made for a very cute hexie. I have one of those little irons too, but haven't gotten used to using. it.

Needled Mom said...

Well....happy birthday to Barbie. I actually still have one of the 1959 Barbies. I used it to make doll clothes for my sister's Barbie. They used to have the date stamped on their neck. I wonder if they still do that.

I really need to give applique another try. I love the way it looks and would love to be able to do it. I can't wait to hear what you think of Linda's approach to doing it.

Sonia said...

Happy b-day to Barbie... seems I learn something new every day. :)

Good job! on meeting your goals.

It looks like you have been busy and blessed this week.

Have a great rest of the week!

Susan said...

I excelled at cutting off the hair of every Barbie I was given...maybe that's why I didn't have very many!

Love your blog!

Lynda said...

You've ALMOST convinced me to start making hexi flowers. Yours are all so cute!

joe tulips said...

I used this method for appliqué...I cut the shape from mylar (that plastic stencil stuff)
then I cut the fabric a 1/4 inch or so bigger.
You also need to cut tin foil for the shape a little bigger than the fabric. Lay the foil down, then the fabric on that. Give it a healthy spray of starch. Next comes the mylar shape. Wrap the foil and fabric around the mylar. You can iron this to dry the starch or leave them on a heat register to dry. It is a lot of steps, but you end up with these stiff little pieces to sew on. I did mine by hand. That is probably why I haven't appliquéd in several years using this method.

Just One More Thing said...

Wow --what an awesome post. Your yellow and green hexie sure makes a statement!! Just looking at it makes you happy with all the bright, cheerful colors. Thanks for the hexie calculator link -- I really need it:)

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