Family Time in Tulum…Fuel for the Soul

To this I would add…Travel with family is fuel for the soul.
This vacation began with special family time, celebrating my granddaughter’s birthday.
It was great being able to be with my son and grandson, and my husband, before I left for Tulum.

Our Tulum adventure began on Monday, July 24th.
The beach, jungle, and beautiful people were awe-inspiring.

I didn’t even try to go find a fabric shop.
Instead, I made sketches of the designs in nature, and soaked in the color and art of the culture that surrounded me.
Soon, I will be working on a quilt design.

One of the highlights of my trip, besides being with my son, granddaughter, and daughter-in-law, was bird watching.
It was difficult for me to contain my excitement when I saw the Yucatan Jay that is native to the peninsula. Absolutely beautiful!
Here is a list of other birds I saw:

  • Majestic Frigate
  • Melodious Blackbird
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Tropical Mockingbird (Sang outside our window)
  • Bronzed Cowbird
  • Great Egret
  • Brown Pelican
  • Anhinga ( I think…not sure)

There were some scary moments on this trip.
First, driving in the area is nerve wrecking.
My son and daughter-in-law are braver than I am.
I would never attempt to drive here.

Next, was jumping into a lagoon, followed by transferring from a small speed boat to a large catamaran in mid-ocean. I won’t give details, but these were not my most graceful moments.

Then, there was the night we left a restaurant to walk back to our car.
The jungle road is dark.
Luckily, I used my phone flashlight and and we were able to stop in time, as we saw a coral snake slithering in front of us.
What’s a vacation without a bit of adventure?

This trip was truly fuel for the soul.
I plan to take a few more days relaxing before I get back to my sewing room.

The service, atmosphere, and people at this resort was great.
I highly recommend Cabana Tulum.
We had a package deal that included free breakfast at Ziggy’s.
The people at Ziggy’s are so welcoming.
A great restaurant is Mezzanine. (Just watch out for snakes as you walk down the road.)
I also highly recommend booking excursions with Captain Quickie.
Quickie is super nice and does everything possible to provide a perfect excursion.

Pattern Jam

Since I am still in a holding pattern, looking for something to do, I started creating quilt designs on Pattern Jam.
This is a pretty cool site that gives a quick visual of what can be done with different block designs and fabric.
I also enjoy looking at the library of designs shared by others.
These are my designs for today:

Autumn Day
Actually, I did this one a few days ago.

Fiesta Sky

Native Consciousness

Purple Pause

Summer Day


Poster Source

Last week, I packed and mailed some of this Fabracadabra to my friend, Nancy.
The fabric had magically appeared in my stash and some of it had been there for years.
Some I had purchased and partially used.
Some I had inherited from my sister’s stash.
There was fabric yardage that was still untouched.
There was even fabric that came from Winn’s, a store that has been closed for decades!

I wanted the fabric to be put to good use, so I immediately thought of Nancy.
She received the fabric yesterday, and she ALREADY has performed some of her creative magic.
While watching TV last night, she made these adorable burp cloths using fabric remnants from some of the pillows and quilts I had made.

Thank you, Nancy.
I knew you would not let good fabric go to waste.

Don’t forget to check out her Etsy store at ReynoldsCreativeWork.

Project Hiatus

Everything is packed.
I decided to chill for these  few remaining days before my trip.
Since my work table has turned into my packing-for -vacation table, I really can’t work on any projects.
The next best thing is to design NEW projects!

Abbie, from Sparkle On! with Abbie posted an invitation to join a Christmas QAL.
I have never done a mystery quilt,and I am still considering doing this.
One of the perks, besides the fun in working with this group of creative people, would be the chance to learn/practice some different techniques.
Abbie did get me thinking ahead on seasonal projects.
I am usually a last-minute type of person.

During this self-imposed hiatus from working on projects, I decided to design an autumn quilt.
Autumn is my favorite season, even though in my  area of Texas, autumn is a bit different.
I remember dragging books about fall, and setting up scarecrows,  baskets of leaves, pumpkins, and other autumn goodies to my classroom for the children to experience autumn.
The room was turned into an Autumn Festival, even though the outside temperature was still 90 degrees and above.
On one particularly hot, September afternoon, I was standing outside with my students who were waiting to be picked up after school. One of my students started shrieking with delight when she saw a dried, dead, brown leaf fall to her feet. She shouted, “You were right, Mrs. Cunningham, it IS autumn.”
I loved her enthusiasm!

As I was saying, before I bird-walked off topic, I do love autumn.
I’ve been wanting to make an autumn quilt for some time.
Some shops already have gorgeous fabric that just shout, “Autumn!”.
These are some of my quick design sketches.

This is already larger than I want, so I would adjust this to something more like a lap throw.
The second border would be made of multi-color nine patch blocks.

The leaves would be made of different autumn colored fabric on beige, with a gold-ish border.
I would cut the block in a wonky fashion and set the blocks in different directions as part of a tumbling leaves design.
The four corners would probably be paper pieced blocks of an owl, a squirrel, an acorn, and maybe a field mouse or pumpkin.
I found these free paper pieced patterns on Craftsy.

Owl   Pattern on Craftsy
This is more of a Halloween background so I would change that up a bit.

Squirrel Pattern on Craftsy

I found these squirrel blocks on Sew Fresh Quilts .
These are definitely beyond my skills, but I just thought they were great blocks.

These are just preliminary thoughts on a quilt I might or might not make.
I just enjoy fooling around with designs.

Oh, by the way, my Brack Pack friends and I are taking a road trip to Crystal Bridges in November.
We should see some beautiful autumn foilage.

As usual, I got side-tracked and started looking through Lucinda Ganderton’s book, Block a Day.
It is the Bird Block, block #77.
It was fun playing around with this block.
I have two sketches using this block in two different directions.

There are still a couple of more days of waiting and preparing for my trip, so I have time to play with some more designs.


Oh, and aren’t these cute?
I found these luggage tags and thought they would be just right for our trip.
The purple and blue stripes are for my granddaughter.
The polka-dots are mine.

If this post seems to be “all over the place”, it is because I am “all over the place”…more so than usual!

Travel Preparation

My work table has become my packing table.

I guess I do not need two hats.

What started out as minimal, has now grown to almost impossible.
The plan is to just have a carry-on and a backpack.
I will have to reassess!

I am prepared to do some serious bird watching while we are on our excursions.
These pamphlets arrived just in time.
My granddaughter and I have some exciting studying to do this weekend before we go.

Out of curiosity, I did an online search for fabrics in Tulum.
I found a very interesting place;however, I do not know if it is something I can impose on the other three travel mates.

Textiles Mayas Chiapas
Some of the goodies in the shop.

I better get back to my packing.
Maybe I should take an empty suitcase to fill up with goodies. 

New Project

When I was organizing my stash bins, I did keep a bag of small pieces.
I thought they would come in handy for future projects.
My friend, Marti, had told me about inchies, and I knew we would be making some soon.
There are so many examples of inchies on Pinterest.
As I was browsing on Pinterest today, I remembered I had pinned some inch quilt magnets tutorials.
I pulled out some small fabric pieces that remained from the quilt that I made out of my dad’s plaid shirts.
I made a plaid heart inch magnet.
Then, I used a button to decorate another inch magnet that I quilted.

This could be an endless project!

Organization Day

I’m giving myself a great big hug.
I’m standing straight and tall.
I’m looking straight in front of me.
I’m ready for the hall

A kinder teacher at our school would have the children chant along with her as they finished their morning and were ready to move on to lunch.
Well, I finished my morning of organizing and cleaning up.
Now “I’m giving myself a great big hug and standing straight and tall!”

I only organized the sewing portion of the room.
The shelves with my teacher stuff is next.
The children’s literature that I have remaining are my favorite of all time books.
I plan to weed through these once again.
These books need to be in the hands of children, so I must let them go.
I will sort them out in three stacks: granddaughter, grandson, and new teacher.
My friend who is still teaching says she knows of a beginning teacher who needs books for her class library.
I will probably start clearing this area in August.

But for now, I am pretty happy with my sewing side of the store-room.
I also cleaned up my sewing room/office.
There were four large garbage bags of nit-picky pieces.
Someone with patience and creativity could probably make something with these bits, but it was time to for me to dispose of them.
I will be trying to find a new home for a large bag of good size remnants and scraps.
As I am typing this, I get a message on my phone that Jo Ann’s is having a 25% off total in-store purchase.
Ignore the message!

This is what my sewing room looked like when I dumped the first bins out!

Now, I have two large empty bins…yay!

My smaller bins are re-sorted. I weeded out fabric that I have used numerous times and I also got rid of smaller pieces.

These drawers in my sewing room no longer have fabric in them.
There is one empty large box/drawer that can hold projects that are in progress.
The other drawers have sewing notions, templates, and other things I need at hand.

Now, I’m looking straight in front of me.
I’m ready for …Jo Ann’s!


Brackenridge Park Quilt

Since the members of the Brack Pack are off in different directions, I picked up the Brackenridge Park quilt top in order to continue from our last stopping point.
I had used interfacing to make the photos ready for applique.
Then we placed the photos on wool felt and pinned them in the appropriate spots.
When I first tried to sew one the photos and felt frames onto the quilt, I had difficulty keeping the photos straight.
The group thought it would be a good idea to use double-sided fusible interfacing, so that is where I started today.
We were so wrong about the interfacing.
It made the felt a bit goopy and it didn’t stick.
I ended up slip stitching the photos.
We might still slip stitch the felt border, but we will all have to make this decision.
Our friend, Jeana Kubik, of Busy Bees Quilting, has offered to long arm the quilt for us.
We plan to consult with her to see what else we should do, if anything.
We can always count on Jeana for great ideas.

Click on Alamo Nature Challenge for information on these photos.

Dionicio Rodriquez Bridge

Pump House

Two Broken Resolutions

On Monday, I made two resolutions.
1. No more projects or purchasing of fabric until I clean up my stash.
2. No more sweets until after my trip to Mexico.

On Tuesday, I failed to meet both resolutions on one day.

Yesterday, we went to Austin to celebrate my youngest’s son birthday. After a great lunch and visit, we started our return to San Antonio.
Even though my other son was not home in Buda, my car just automatically” took the exit into Buda, and I just found “ myself at the B&B Quilting Shop.

My intent was just to “look”.
Of course, I found some fabric that would be great for a future project.
I was going to walk away, but my husband said, “We’re already here. Get it. They might not have it when you get to the project.”
What a wise man!

So, even though I said I would not start a new project or buy more fabric until I organize my stash, I came out of this store with a little white bag with three different fabrics. Again, I bought fabric with no real plan in mind, just an idea. But it is such pretty fabric.

I will stick to part of my resolution by not STARTING on this project until the stash is organized.

Now, for my second resolution.
Another fail.
You can’t go through Buda, Texas without stopping at the Buda Soda Fountain.
Yummy Ice Cream. Delicious Pie. Tasty coffee.