The Cardinal…a Messenger of Love

20160820_153853000_iosThe beautiful cardinal is a spiritual symbol of a loved one who has died.
It is said, that the cardinal shows up at times you need them the most.
The cardinal in this photo, landed on the fence of my son’s home.
We were both thinking of his grandmother, my mom.
The cardinal sat on this fence for quite some time.
It was a very special moment.

My mother loved all birds.
She had a collection of porcelain and ceramic birds.
Every Christmas, her cardinal collection was on special display.

About a year before Mom passed, she had embroidered a cardinal. She was so excited that I had it frame as a gift from her to my granddaughter.
Mom also made two wreaths with birds that are still hanging in my granddaughter’s room.
My son just sent me a photo of the shelf he made for mom’s bird collection that was passed on to my granddaughter. The shelf is over the frame of the embroidered cardinal.
Today, I made three cardinal quilt blocks.
I plan to give one to a friend of mine, whose husband just passed.
Design Plan
Prepare fabric

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I still need to square and quilt the blocks.
Then I need to add a tiny button for the eye and a heart shape button for the wing.
I cannot decide if I want to embroider legs or not.
Then, I will frame the block.


I framed this today.



Maria Antonietta Martinez Virjan

It has been 7 months since our mother passed, at the age of 92.
My siblings and I have spent time sharing stories and mom’s famous sayings.
Mom had plenty of sayings and dichos, that were often very funny.

One thing she said quite often was ,“Take it easy, Cowboy.”

My brother had a birthday on September 15th. He has been in Europe, celebrating his birthday.
He should be returning today.

I made him this gift.
The idea came to me at 3:00 AM.

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Sketched my plan.                                               Cut all pieces.

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Rainy Sunday

The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.
Rabindranath Tagore

What better way to spend a rainy Sunday than to make another fall bag!
When I visited the B & B Quilt Shop in Buda, I purchased a quilt book.
The book is Fat Quarter Bags with designs by Stephanie Prescott.
There are so many great designs in this book.

I had purchased a 4 pack of fall fat quarters when I was shopping with my sister, Adri.
The book patterns call for 6 fat quarters.
I used the remaining fabric from the fall purse I had made yesterday.
It took me an hour to plan, decide on the fabric, and cut.
The pattern directions are illustrated and easy to follow.
It really helped to have the illustrations on how to cut the fabric on each fat quarter.
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Enjoyed my rainy Sunday!

Autumn Bag

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
William Cullen Bryant

It all began with this Forest Fancy mini-charm pack by Moda.

I couldn’t decide if this was going to be a table runner, place mats, or a bag.

The more I worked with the fabric, the more I loved it.
The Mesquite Bean Fabric shop also had the fabric by the yard, so I purchased some for the border and the lining. The burnt orange fabric was in one of my fabric bins.
It just had to be an autumn bag.
Two-sided handles
Double pockets on each side

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I used 100% cotton batting and backed it with muslin.
It reinforced the outer bag and it could stand on it’s own.
I also backed the lining with a thin, stiff, fusible backing.
I like the way it shaped the lining.

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A few years ago, I had purchased an acorn and squirrel dangles that came in a set.
I finally got to use them.

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Free Motion Quilting

My back, arms, and hands hurt, but the free motion quilting class at the Mesquite Bean Fabric shop was well worth it.
Betty Siegel was the instructor. She is a retired teacher, which really helps, because she knew exactly how to model, explain, encourage, and praise.
It was very frustrating for me, since I do not have the patience it takes to be successful.
I will need to keep practicing.
Betty did help me figure out the thread tension problem I was having with my machine.
Another plus for today was that another student in the class just happened to be a former high school classmate of mine! Gloria was always the happy and joking person in school, and she is still the same.
It was so much fun catching up.
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We worked on 18 inch blocks.
This blue square showed a small improvement.
The white square was supposed to be a loop-de-loop plus heart!
I won’t show you the rest of my blocks because they are awful.
More awful than the ones I posted.

But, I had fun.
That’s all that matters.

How a Sewing Machine Works

I thought this was a cool video.
I found this video on the Mesquite Bean Fabric Facebook page.

My friend, Marti and I had been wanting to visit Mesquite Bean Fabric shop for some time.
She lives across the street from the shop.
My first experience with the people of this shop was in July, at the New Braunfels quilt show.
They presented a booth of many quality fabrics and anything you need for quilting and sewing.
Recently, Marti and I walked over to the shop and just loved what we saw.
Everyone there was so helpful.


This pretty much sums up how I feel today.
After trying again, and again, and again, I needed to take a deep breath.
And try again.

A few weeks ago, I made the table runner top from a pattern in the Quilter’s World; Quilting for Autumn; November 2015.
The Black Cats & Spiders pattern by Chris Malone was very cute and easy to follow.
I originally got stuck when it came to blanket stitching the cat appliques.
After consulting with a friend, I was able to adjust the tension and the settings and successfully stitch the applique cats.
The pattern calls for using rickrack on the border.
I’ve never used rickrack for a border on something this large, so I was a bit hesitant.
After painstakingly  basting the rickrack, I attempted to sew the borders as directed.
The rickrack puckered, moved, and was unevenly sticking out of the borders.
I ripped out the seams…
removed the rickrack…
and tried again.

This time, I ditched the rickrack and just sewed all around the runner edges.
I also decided against using buttons to make a cat face, as demonstrated in the pattern.
After the cat mug rug disaster from a few weeks ago, I thought the cat looked better without a face.
I also chose not to add the button for the spiders.
Cat Mug Rug Disaster!

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What a Day!

“A Quilt Will Warm Your Body and Comfort Your Soul”
– Quilt Sayings

Just returned from a Soul Comforting day at the 2016 Capital of Texas Quiltfest.
My sister, Adri, and I spent the morning being inspired.
So many beautiful works of art.
So many stories.

There was a Star Wars quilt being displayed.
I sent a photo of it to my son, since I had made him a Darth Vadar quilt designed by WSKanePatterns.
My son told me that although the displayed quilt was nice, he was sure it wasn’t made with all the love I used in making his quilt.
Awww! Warmed my heart.
Usually, when I am with Adri, I let her encourage me to spend over my fabric/quilting budget.
I did pretty good today.
This is my loot for today:
The Yo-Yo Holiday dish towels  by Marcia Layton Designs are too cute!
Can’t wait to get started.

To add to my list of Fall fun projects, I purchased a pattern to make large
autumn leaves place mats by Annie’s Keepsakes.

My dear Tia Chicha, used to make us aprons.
I stopped using them because I wanted to preserve them.
Lately, I’ve been looking for apron patterns.
I found a 1940’s Design by Cynda Ewing.
This fabric is from Stitch Lab.
I plan to treat myself to a bag.
I bought an Amy Butler pattern.
It is a Birdie Sling bag.
I found the tutorial for making this bag.

It is time for me to make another quilt.

First Attempt

Energy and persistence conquer all things.
Benjamin Franklin

Well, I have the energy
and I have persistence…
but I still haven’t conquered stippling.

A few weeks ago, I made two Halloween table runner tops.
I have been avoiding backing the table runners because
a) I have never done it before
b) my attempts at stippling are far from perfect

After making a few pumpkin patch mug rugs, I decided to try to back and quilt the table runner.
The backing came out okay.
I pieced two Halloween fabrics for the backing.
The colors brightened up the black borders of the top.
I stitched in the ditch.
Since some of my squares were a bit off, some of the lines in the back are off.

If you don’t look closely, the runner looks okay.
I’ll consider this a good practice.


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Pumpkin Mug Rugs

What did one pumpkin say to another pumpkin?
“I’ll love you until the end of vine.”

I love all things pumpkin!
Even corny jokes!

My nephew is a great baker, and he keeps posting these great pumpkin recipes.
I will have to bribe him to bake me something delicious!

In the meantime, I used up most of the remaining orange scraps by making pumpkin mug rugs.
I decided to make them wonky, just for fun.
Piece scraps

Wonky cut

Back both front and back pieces with fusible batting.
Sew Right sides together.
Cut edges of all four corners.
Leave a few inches at the bottom to pull right side through.
Top stitch all four sides.