Wonderful Wednesday

So much for my resolution for a low fabric buy month. I just spent a very Wonderful Wednesday morning with my friends, Francine and Toni. They are the owners of Las Colchas. Francine and I have been friends since 1967… I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. Las Colchas offers a varied selection of fabric that will catch the eye of anyone who likes to play with fabric. They also have wool, felt, threads, etc… just about anything you need to create. The bonus at this store, is the help, guidance, and support that Francine, Toni, and all of the gracious people who work in the shop.
I have been wanting to branch out and try something different, original, colorful, and artistic. At my library, I ran across books by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston. Collaborative Quilting Talking It Over, and Collaborate Again, are books that I just had to order for myself. I have been pouring through these books for some time, and I have been purchasing colorful and different fabric …just because…no real plan. Over the holidays, I started designing my own quilt based on suggestions and ideas from the books. Yesterday, I started pulling out some of my fabric. I realized that even though the fabric was beautiful, it was all still real “safe”. Not “matchy-matchy”, but just not free enough for what I had in my head. I decided to consult with Francine… and I am so glad I did. We spent the morning talking about my ideas. Both Francine and Toni encouraged me to have fun and just pick out different fabric. I picked some out, still a little conservative, and then Francine helped me out. She threw in fat quarters and talked to me about looking at the fabric as pieces, not as a whole. Each piece in one of the fat quarters added a different splash of color or design that would make blocks stand out. This was so much fun!
 This may not look like much, all stacked together. But I think this fabric, along with the fabric I already bought, will make some great blocks.
So, thank you, Francine and Toni! I am cleaning up my work space and plan to start tomorrow. Wonderful Wednesday was a bit too much for me and I need to put my feet up for a bit!


Headband DIY

When I was with my granddaughter last week, she was still wearing her reindeer headband. We went in search of new headbands, but we only found one with sequined cat ears. Of course, this cat-ear headband was a must, but my granddaughter also asked if I could make her another headband. I had previously made her a fabric origami headband.

This afternoon, I looked for some tutorials. I found only one that I thought my granddaughter would like.
It is a tutorial on How to Make a Diamond Ribbon Headband by Sheryl. She gives very good directions and visuals at a good pace.
Since my granddaughter likes sequins, I purchased a red strip. I hot glued the sequins strip onto the top of the band.Then I slip-stitched some black felt onto the underside of the band. The band is flexible and has a rubber bottom, so she will be able to shape it to her head.
I added some shiny hearts on top of the sequins.
I do not know how durable these will be, but I hope she can have some fun wearing them.
Now, I want to get down to making another quilt.
I have been working on a design, and tomorrow, I plan to start pulling fabric.

Wabi-Sabi Day

My Meemaw friends and I met for our Wabi-Sabi Craft Day. We are planning another quilt project to donate, but today, we each had a different project for today.
I decided to work on my stitch book entry for January. I just returned from a beautiful week taking care of my granddaughter. On one of our special days, we went to see Mary Poppins Returns. We are both fans of the original Mary Poppins; and we both loved the new movie.
The song at the end of the movie is Nowhere to Go But UpMy granddaughter drew this picture to reflect what she thought about the movie.

So, inspired by the movie and my granddaughter, I chose to make my January block based on the song also.
I used Gelli-art plates to print the sky and clouds. I appliqued a balloon by the needle turn method. Then I stitched the words and the clouds.

Stitch in Time

For the last two days, I’ve been working on the flypage for my stitch journal. In an another post, Fabric Painting, I talked about the results of my attempt to use the nesting print technique, using Gelli-plates. The elephant is off center, but I decided to stitch it any way. I stitched a Mandala type pattern. I also stitched a simple pattern on the outer circle in order to help the purple stand out a bit. I added a trim and some beads to the center circles. The next step is to set it aside and look at it with a new perspective later on.


Fabric Printing

This week, I am out of my sewing studio. Instead of bringing my sewing machine with me, I brought art supplies for both paper and fabric. I also brought some things to use on the introduction and January pages of my stitch book. Last week, my sister, Emma, sent me a link to a tutorial on using Gelli-plates to make a nesting type print. Just about every tutorial I have seen about how to use Gelli-plates, remind the viewer to have fun. And that is exactly what happened today, as I used the Gelli-plates to print on fabric. I printed on canvas, and I followed the the tutorial to make a nested print. Household items were used to add texture to the print. I drew and cut out an elephant to print in the center of the nested circles. I had more paint on me and on the table, but that was part of the fun. I might be using this first attempt with this printing for my stitch book…I don’t how just yet.


Own It

In the past, I have dabbled with writing, especially writing poetry. As a teacher, I wrote every day, in order to model the process for my students. I love reading poetry. I like to follow the blogs of
Esther Cohen and Claudia McGillTheir poetry has inspired me to write poems again.
Also, my sister Emma introduced me to a group of poets who write custom poems for people. These poets published a book of their poems , typewriter rodeo. In this book there is a poem, Spare Hair, written about my sister, by Kari Anne.This past weekend, Emma attended a workshop presented by these typewriter poets. Last night, in a phone conversation, she shared some of the valuable information she learned at this workshop.
All of this has motivated me to write a poem every day. I only share these poems with my sister, and I usually write a disclaimer on the quality of the poem. In our phone conversation, Emma reminded me to own my writing…no more disclaimers. My younger sister is giving me advice.😉
A year ago, I purchased the pen fabric from Spoonflower , with the intention of making something for Emma. On Saturday, I finally put the fabric to good use. I made a notebook pouch and a pen pouch for Emma. They are in the mail today.

For the larger notebook pouch, I again followed the tutorial by Alanda Craft.
For the smaller pouch, I followed the tutorial of Jenny Doan.

Stitch Book for 2019

Last year, I spent a few weeks making stitch meditations. I found this activity to be relaxing and fun. I made two fabric journals with the stitch meditations.  See Fabric Meditation Post.
A few days ago, I read a post, On Starting Fresh, by Mariss. I loved the idea of a Stitch Book for the year, so I contacted Mariss and asked if she would mind if I borrowed her idea. She graciously said I could.
The purpose for my year long project is to have an ongoing reflective activity. I also want to practice new embroidery stitches. I find hand stitching and piecing to be very relaxing. So, thank you, Mariss, for sharing your work.
I got started on one of the first blocks today.


In keeping with my 2019 Vision Statement…Create, Focus, Enough, I have been pretty busy. Maybe not so focused😉…but busy creating and happy with the end products.
Before New Year’s Eve, I made four floor pillows. I followed this tutorial for making a pillow with a zipper. Zippers are still a bit tricky for me. I have improved, but I still have trouble with the ends puckering. I have used the tab method, and the non-tab method. If anyone has any suggestions as to how to avoid the puckering at the end of the zippers, I would appreciate hearing from you.

I am back in my sewing room, and I was able to make two Super Hero pillow shams for my son’s home office. Here is the tutorial I followed for making Flanged Pillow Shams.

My Vision and Inspiration board is up. I will be adding to the board throughout the year. I borrowed my son’s idea of having a felt board. It is now part of my Vision and Inspiration wall.

The planner I had bought turned out to be too small, so I bought a medium-sized planner today. It is too large for the notebook pouch I had made, so I made a new one today. Both notebook pouches will be used to carry my planner, sketchbook, journals, and pen case. This pouch is a larger version of button pouches I have made. Instead of zig-zagging the edges like I did with the smaller pouches, I sewed up the sides and left an opening for turning it out. The planner measured 9″x 11″. I cut the outer fabric, lining, and fusible batting at 14″ x 23″. It might have been better to cut it at 26″, to have more of a flap over. But I was using a remnant that was less than 26″. The flap still closes, I just would have liked it to be longer. But…ENOUGH. 😊

So far, I have just been making crafts. My goal is to start working on a quilt in about another week. I will be without my sewing machine, so I will spend the time designing the quilt. I also plan to play around with Gelli plates again. My granddaughter asked if I would bring them with me next week. Also, my sister sent me another video demonstrating how to print a nesting design with Gelli plates. It looks challenging, but I want to give it a try.
I hope that your New Year has started out well. I am looking forward to reading your blogs.

Fabric Quilt Journal

I enjoy going to the library or book stores to look at quilt books and magazines. At the end of 2017, I was lucky to run across a book by Sandy Gilreath, 52 Tuesdays~A Quilt Journal.
I love to journal, and this idea of recording events, thoughts and special moments in a fabric journal really interested me. In the Final Thoughts section at the end of the book, Sandy Gilreath encourages the reader and quilters to try her idea of a fabric journal.
I am very happy I decided to do this project, starting on the first Friday of 2018. My concern was that I might not stick with the project. But each week, I found it exciting to record special moments, people, and events in the form of a hexagon quilt block.
My plan was to make this project a learning process. I tried new things and practiced skills such as thread sketching, fabric painting, and FMQ. Because I was learning, the quilt is not perfect, but I am happy with the results.
Today was a rainy day…perfect for hand-stitching the blocks together. As I looked at the finished quilt, I thought of the story behind each block. 2018 was a blessed and very good year. I am thankful.



New Year’s Eve

I’m ending the year watching movies and stitching. I’m working on my version of a Vision board. I pulled out some blocks I had pieced a few months ago; and now I’m adding some embroidery and beads. My younger sister, Emma, and I had a great discussion about goals. She came up with three: Create, Focus, Enough. My original goals were similar: Create, Persist, Enjoy. But then I asked my sister if  she would mind if I adopted her goals, since I definitely need to focus and know when it is enough…time to stop second guessing or being over critical of my work. Of course she said I could.

I found some letter stamps in a bin, and stamped my goals on fabric. The block is still in progress.