Finally! It has taken four days to complete four coiled fabric plates.
Wrapping 15 yards of clothesline is tedious and time consuming.
I was wondering if it was worth the effort, since I did not see how fabric coiled plates could be functional. But, I visited a friend who has rattan plate chargers and she says that she loves these fabric coiled plates that I made.
My sister also loves them and would like some made in gray and blue. 

I plan to make a bowl to go with these plates, but it will have to wait.
Another reason it took me so long to make these is that I have been out of the studio a bit more this week. It has been fun enjoying the spring weather, and I had non-sewing business that also took up time.
Today would have been my dad’s 98th birthday.
My siblings and I spent some time today sharing funny stories.

My dad, in one of his many plaid shirts.
This is just one of the shirts I used in making a memory quilt out of all of my dad’s plaid shirts.

My dad never missed Wednesday night bowling. As a child, I would make sure that I went with him. Thursday mornings at school were SO difficult after a late night of running around, and drinking and eating as much sugar as possible.
I have been designing my hexagon block for this week in honor of my dad.
I am also preparing to purge fabric and things in an attempt to update my studio.
This will be a large task, so I am taking it a step at a time.


It has been a beautiful first day of spring.
After enjoying the morning outdoors, I met my former teaching partner at school for lunch.
It felt so good seeing her and the children again.
The last students I taught are now fifth graders.
I got to visit with them, and I promised to return for their graduation.
I spent the rest of the afternoon making rope products.

I had just enough black and white strips and rope remaining to make this ring dish.
It takes a bit over 2 yards of rope for this size bowl.
Then I started a project that is more time consuming than I thought.
It’s a Wrap by Susan Breier has directions for making a coiled plate.
There are two versions.
The first is a fabric covered coiled plate.
The second is a whole-fabric coiled plate. This plate is just the coiled rope, covered by a top fabric that is quilted.
I chose to do a fabric covered coiled plate, because I am using up my stash.
It takes 15 yards of rope, and 3/4 yards of fabric or stash.
I like the end result, but it takes up time. The thought of making a set of 4 is making me wish I had not started this.

I self-imposed some timelines and rope projects.
I want to get through these projects so I can continue working on the quilt for my grandson.
I also want to get back to some more thread sketching.
When I finish the quilt for my grandson, I will start on an improv quilt.

Now I wish I had two sewing machines.
If I had two, I could have one set up for the rope products, and one for the quilts.
It is too much hassle changing needles, type of thread, and the presser foot when switching projects.
If I had two machines, I could split my time and work on both types of products.
I have a running list of the pros and cons for getting another sewing machine.
Right now, the pro list is winning.

Easter Cookies

The last time I baked cookies must have been around  the year my youngest son left for college…in 2000.
I am in no way a cook or a baker.
So, when my Meemaw friend arranged to have her daughter-in-law’s friend have a cookie decorating lesson, I almost said no.
However, I cannot pass up a chance to have fun with the Meemaws, so I went.
To save time, the cookies were already made. She gave us her recipe for the shortbread cookies.
We learned how to make the icing.
I spent from 5:00 pm -8:45 decorating the cookies with homemade icing.
The results are not grand, but the cookies are delicious.
It was also a lot of fun trying something new.
The last three in the bottom row are supposed to be tulips.
I think I will stick to quilting and making rope baskets.

Happy National Quilting Day

To celebrate this day, I pulled out the quilt I started some months ago.
This quilt tells the story of my grandson’s first 5 years.
He proudly tells you that he is 4 1/2 and that he will be 5 soon.
I had put the quilt aside because I needed to think some more on what to do.
This is a design on-the-go type project, so there are issues that come up that wouldn’t necessarily come up with a well-planned quilt.
I showed what I had to my grandson and started sharing some of the stories. He asked me to add dinosaurs and space, so that is what I will work on next.
I also need to zig-zag stitch the appliques I made. This requires more thread.
More fabric is also needed, so I think I will celebrate part of this Quilt Day shopping at a quilt store.
There is a quilt store near one of my Meemaw friend’s house, so I’ll stop there first.
The Meemaws are making and decorating cookies today.
I have been studying the quilt so far.
I might change the top strip. I need to coordinate the fabric that will be used for sashing.
I thought I liked the denim, but now, I am thinking it looks rather drab.
This is why I put it away…I am sort of stuck.
There is one more long strip with his last name that will go under the last last three blocks pictured.
Then, I have about four more blocks to make to place under the last name.

What better way to celebrate National Quilt Day than to be working on a quilt?

Block #11~ Let’s Go Fly a Kite

The events of this Spring Break have provided so many ideas for this week’s quilt journal entry.
It was difficult to choose just one, but I finally decided to make a kite block.

One reason for my choice is that I love flying kites.
Every year, I would write a two week kite unit of study for my students.
The unit included the study of the history and science of kites.
For math, we would measure the different aspects of the kite. We would also write poems and stories about kites. Of course, there were kite art projects. We also learned the song, “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.”
On the Friday before Spring Break, the parents and kids and I would fly kites for the last two hours of the school day. It was a blast. The children were always so amazed that I could fly the highest kite.
The main reason I chose to make this kite block was because of a special moment with my granddaughter this past week. Our Spring Break adventure began with a trip to Wal-Mart to buy a kite.
She chose a beautiful kite with a mama turtle and her baby turtles on the tail.

It wasn’t the best day for flying kites, but there was just enough wind for me to get the kite up.
My granddaughter started jumping for joy, singing : “Look at my Granny! My Granny is flying a kite!”
This was another heart melting moment for me.
I gave her the kite and she ran around with the kite flying behind her.
It was such a joy to see her having fun.
So, here is Block #11.
I cannot decide if I should try to add a string to the kite or not.
I used some batik remnants that were perfect for the turtle.
Without a string                                                              With a string

Block #11~ Friday, March 16
Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Background: 100% Cotton/Linen memo
Technique: Applique
Batting: 100% cotton
Embellishment: Ribbon for a tail; possibly a string for the kite string

A Forever Memory

The Spring Break spent with my granddaughter was absolutely fantastic.
We entertained ourselves observing nature and participating in the simple things in life.

The house itself was a big treat.
The San Gabriel House was built in 1908.
We stayed in the Bishop Room, which had a huge four-post bed.
After a long day of non-stop activity, we returned to the comfort of this historic home.
We played a math dice game, drew in our art notebooks, and wrote in journals.
No TV!
When we turned in for the night, we would start telling stories. We would take turns adding detail and suspense to the story-line that my granddaughter would start. The storytelling would go on for some time…until the time I would turn the story over to her and there was no response…she was sleeping.

Each morning, my granddaughter looked forward to the fancy breakfast that was served in a beautiful dining room.

Since she likes to cook, she would try to figure out the ingredients and the recipe for the breakfast that was served.
We walked the historic downtown Georgetown area. One of her favorite places was All Things Kids, where we indulged in homemade bubblegum ice cream.
Her favorite place for lunch was Laurie’s Cafe, a quaint eatery with a touch of home. (Not my home…I never cooked anything as delicious as the items on the menu!) We would order two raspberry muffins to have for our before bedtime snack.

I had ordered the book, Caves and Caverns, by Gail Gibbons, so that my granddaughter could be prepared for our trip to Inner Space Caverns. She read it the night before we went to the caverns.
Our cavern tour was made extra special, because my friend Nancy and her grandson joined us.

We visited the Georgetown Public Library more than once. The library is very welcoming and one of the best I have seen. My granddaughter loved the sculptures that decorated the outside of the library. She would pull out a couple of books to read each time we went.

This Mermaid was my granddaughter’s favorite sculpture.
Chautauqua Park was a great place for the children to run, play Frisbee, and fly kites.
On the last day of our adventure, I had planned a surprise art class for Morgan.
 Paint With Me is an art studio run by Kimberly Keller. I had contacted Kimberly after I read about her online. I told her that my granddaughter loved okapi’s, so she arranged for the theme for that day to be painting okapi’s with florescent paint in black lighting…what fun!
Kimberly is a fantastic teacher who just has “fun” written all over her.

Kimberly had her face painted and encouraged the kids to paint their faces and hands!

As we were packing the car to return home, I asked my granddaughter if she wanted me to take a picture of her in front of the San Gabriel House.
Her response melted my heart:
I don’t need to take a picture. I will remember this place forever.

What a Day!

My granddaughter was waiting with her packed suitcase when I picked her up this morning.

After an hour drive, we drove into the driveway of the San Gabriel House. She gasped at the sight of this beautiful house and said, “I love this place already.”

We spent the afternoon walking the historic downtown area. Georgetown has the best public library, with beautiful outside sculpture. Of course, the mermaid sculpture was the favorite. My granddaughter couldn’t wait to get back to the house where we read and played games on the upstairs veranda. We are pretending it is our house.

She is all excited about having breakfast in the grand dining room.

I love  how it’s the little things that are so exciting.


Working on new projects gives you the opportunity to learn and absorb new things
 Michelle Ryan

I am always setting my glasses down and forgetting where I put them.
Today’s project was made to help remedy this problem.
The project also gave me the opportunity to learn something new.
In the book, It’s a Wrap, by Susan Breier, there are directions for making an oval basket.
In my rope project supply box, I found some already prepared fabric that was left over from one of the baskets I made. There was only 4 yards, and I did not want it to go to waste.
I guessed and made adjustments to the directions and was able to make a small oval basket.
It would be have been better if I had had more fabric to build up more of the walls.
The directions state that the walls of an oval basket tend to be flimsy. Suggestions are given to support the wall with cording on top of the wall as embellishment. I used buttons instead, and they seem to give the support necessary.
As you can see below, the ends are dipping.
I added a handle made out of a remnant of webbing.
The button that is holding the webbing, also adds support to the end.
The basket is narrow and so it will sit nicely on my side tables without taking up too much space.
Now, I have a special place for my glasses.
I just need to remember where I put the basket!

Block #10~Friday, March 9

Previously, I posted a video of a snail who was “moving mountains” at his own pace.
This little snail inspired me to thread sketch a snail.

Since my grandson loves snails, I was originally going to turn this sketch into a block for a quilt that is in progress. I had placed the snail in one of my containers for later use.
This week, I made my grandson a spring basket that I embellished with snail buttons.

As I sewed on the snail buttons, I was thinking of a special time I had with my grandson.
That day, we spent a lot of time outside, looking for snails.
He loved telling me all about snails as we were enjoying the site of snails in his yard.
So, I decided to commemorate this special moment in my quilt journal.
This Friday’s block is called Moving Mountains.

Block #10, Friday March 9
Moving Mountains
Background: Snow Kona fabric
Technique: Thread sketching, free motion
Batting: 100% cotton
Embellishment: I will add buttons for the eyes after the quilting is done.

Spring Basket 2

It seems that I did not order enough of the colored rope to make two baskets of equal sizes.
The one I made for my grandson today is a bit smaller than the one I made for my granddaughter.
I am beginning to get a better feel for how to gradually change the shape of the basket.
All of these little baskets are helping me prepare for making the baskets for my brother.
I went out for a walk at the Forum, and outside shopping mall.
There is a Hobby Lobby at the end of the shopping strip. I usually park at the other end and walk the one mile strip up to Hobby Lobby. Of course, I had to take a look around. I found the cutest snail and insect buttons. The snails are perfect for my grandson. He loves snails.