In July of 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I underwent surgery and radiation.
Since then, August has become the month that I begin my Wellness Tour where I visit all my doctors.
The block for this week commerates nine years.
I am thankful and blessed.
Block #32~Friday, August 10
Nine Years- Feeling Thankful and Blessed
Background: Grey; pink backing
My childhood home was on Devine Street, which is an area now known in San Antonio as South Town.
There were about 24 kids on the street. We called ourselves the Devine St. Gang.
On any given summer day, you would find us all outside, from morning until night.
Sharon lived across the street from me.
We spent our time riding bikes, playing dress-up, and getting into mischief with the rest of the gang.
We would each carry two baby dolls, pretending that we had twins.
It just so happens that both of us gave birth to twin sons.
I always loved her free spirit and sense of adventure.
She would drive up to Austin to visit me when I was at the University of Texas.
When I came into town, we would drive around in her yellow mustang and go dancing at St. Hedwig’s Dance Hall.
I was the Maid of Honor when she married her high school sweetheart.
Sharon is in town for the weekend.
I found this picture of us that was taken back in May of 1957.
We were sitting on a table in my backyard.
I printed the photo on fabric and made a small quilt wall hanging.
I am looking forward to seeing her tomorrow.
I spoke with my sister, Emma today.
As usual, she inspired me to try something new.
Well, it is sort of new to me. I used to make something similar with my students.
Emma shared a zine that she had just made.
I had never heard of a zine. So she explained it to me.
some sort of publication, usually mass-produced by photocopying(in some cases, scanned, put on the ‘net, or copied via fax)on any range of topics, but usually filled with passion. a means of telling one’s story, sharing thoughts, and/or artwork/comics/ doodles.
I told my sister that the directions for folding the paper for a zine is similar to the fold-ables that I used to make with my students. I had plenty of paper in the writing station for them to use to make their
fold-ables. They would write, draw, and collage in their fold-ables. They loved carrying their poems and writings in these little books.
Here is a short video tutorial on making a zine:
Now, the zine my sister made was fantastic. It looked like a mini-magazine.
The one I made was more cut and paste…more of a fold-able than a zine.
I used card stock and some pieces of scrap book paper to cut and paste. I typed up some morning meditation quotes. I also used some rubber stamps of a cup of coffee and a bird.
Then, I decided to try using a scrap of canvas to make a fabric fold-able. I printed various family photos on fabric and embellished with beads, stamped fabric, buttons and yarn.
I would like to try to make more of a zine, like the one my sister made.
I need to talk to her some more about how she goes about making hers.
This fold-able is on the Fun List for when I spend days with my granddaughter.
A few months ago, I purchased the Aunti’s Two Bali Bowls Pattern . I was able to make bowls and baskets for friends and family. My brother sent me fabric and a large order to make a few bowls for him. He has been very patient in waiting for me to do this.
Before I even think of starting the bowls for my brother, I decided to practice. It has been some time since I made one, and I needed a refresher. I had some prepared fabric strips left over from a previous bowl I had made myself. I have never made the large size bowl, so I thought it would be a good idea to practice on this size.
I am glad I did. I realized I did not start angling the basket soon enough. The results is a large, shallow bowl. I also did not have enough rope or fabric to complete the large size. It was fun getting back into making these bowls, even though this one was mainly a learning exercise.
Yesterday, I started to play around with the smallest pieces of scraps. I had meant to throw them away.
Instead, I began making mini-prayer flags. It was something to do as I watched a series on Prime that has gotten my interest. The series is Dickensian.
Since I am bingeing on the series, I kept busy by making more mini-flags.
There is something rather relaxing in making things by hand. I especially like making little things.
My sister, Emma, says she prefers making Quick Art. I never thought of it as Quick Art, but now I do.
I think I enjoy Quick Art because of the immediate reinforcement in seeing a completed project.
Also, it is just fun to cut and sew.
On my visit to the Round Rock Library, I spent some time looking in their craft, quilt, and sewing section. I found a book by Jodi Kahn, Simply Sublime Bags. There are instructions for making 30 different and simple purses, totes, and bags out of pillowcases, table mats, pillow covers and more. When I returned to San Antonio, I ordered the book from my library. While waiting for it to arrive, I also looked on Pinterest to find other ideas for using table mats.
The teacher in me will always be a bag lady. I used to arrive at school each morning, hauling school stuff in numerous bags. I have plenty of bags and totes, but I wanted to have a large, soft, and flexible tote to carry crafting things when I go meet the Meemaws for Crafting Day. I bought two sets of two large table mats. They were larger than the dimensions specified in Kahn’s book. I also wanted to add some pockets to my tote. I used all four of the place mats to make this tote, with a only a small piece left over. This piece would be good to make a small drawstring bag.
This bag is large enough to carry my rulers and travel cutting/ iron mat.
Thanks to Cindy and Tierney for their responses to my question about scraps.
I had decided to keep fabric no smaller than 2.5″ x 2.5″, as Tierney suggested.
Cindy listed some names of people who have ideas about using scraps. I plan to look into these ideas.
Just as I was organizing the smallest of scraps into bags for donation, I remembered that a friend had given me a bag with pounds of jean scraps. I started playing around with the denim and the scraps that I was organizing. I even used the strip of scraps that I had sewn onto an adding machine tape.
I ended up having a happy, scrappy day.
There is no plan in sight for how or if I will use these blocks I made today.
The blocks are 5.5″ x 5.5 “, which are a bit too small for me. But, they could be incorporated somehow into a larger piece, I am sure.
It was just fun piecing.
I might embellish with embroidery and beads. Since there is no plan in sight, I will hold off on any kind of embellishment.
This is the first block I pieced, before I remembered I had a bag of jean scraps.
As you might have guessed, the bag of scraps will not be donated.
One of my Meemaw friends suggested we swamp scrap bags, so I think I might do this.
During my time away from my studio, I learned a few things that I wanted to try.
I found this Youtube video, Scrap Projects by Robin. She uses an adding machine tape roll to make a strip of scraps. Using the strip of paper makes it easier to sew on strips of any size. The strips can be used in borders, an X-quilt, and other projects. Robin also has videos on how she uses her strips. I particularly like the video she has on making an X-quilt with these strips.
I had a bag of odd-shaped strips that somehow survived the time I purged my stash bins about a month ago. I had the bag ready to throw out, since I thought that nothing could be done with these small pieces.
I decided to give Robin’s tape roll technique a try. Instead of keeping the roll intact as she suggests, I cut off a yard of the roll. My scraps were not as organized as Robin had hers. Robin had a bin of pieces ready to sew on. Because of my messy bin, I kept having to start and stop. I also did not want to spend too much time on this today. Cutting off a yard of the roll made it easier for me.
I am happy with the results. I don’t think I am going to go back and try to sew the small pieces in this junk bag. My plan is to start setting pieces aside in a more organized manner as I cut fabric for new projects. I can add a few strips each time I work on another project. It might be nice to have a strip on hand ready to use for scrappy projects.
This is what the strip looked like before I trimmed the edges.
Trimmed Strip (1yd) Close-up of Trimmed Strip
Now, here is my question.
When does one stop saving pieces of fabric?
After trimming off the edges of the strip, I was left with more smaller pieces.
Robin has some suggestions for using the remaining pieces. I have also seen other videos on how to use every bit of scrap.
There has to be a stopping point, right?
Should these all be donated or thrown away?
Or should they be kept to make another project?
I tend to get tired of using the same fabric more than a few times.
I know this is an individual choice, but I would love to hear opinions.