What started out as a nice day has turned into a crazy mess.
It all began nicely, with another surprise package from Amazon.
Those Shopping Fairies at Amazon knew I had always wanted to try to make something with a Dresden pattern.
The Dresden ruler was waiting for me on my porch this morning.
I decided to use this ruler to make the mug rugs that I promised my sister.
There is this great tutorial on making a Dresden mug rug. I found it on Pinterest from Terri’s Notebook.
She gave great instructions and illustrations.

I chained stitched the 2 inch petals.

My stash of felt is gone due to Craft Days with my granddaughter, so I had planned to buy some after I went to the doctor.

This is when the day started to turn.
It has been a month since I hurt my arm in Mexico.
I thought it was getting better.
But, when I tricked it out just by flossing my teeth, I knew I had to see a doctor.
My appointment was at 1:30.
As I got there, I was informed that the doctor was having a two-hour delay due to surgery situations.
Two hours later, I am told that I have shoulder impingement. The tendons around my rotator cuff become impinged as they pass through the joint.
If one more doctor tells me that when “people get of a certain age they need to”… I think I might scream.
I was given a steroid shot to help with the inflammation; and I will need some physical therapy.

The bad part of the day was after the doctor’s appointment.
Our plan was to get groceries on the way home.
The streets are CRAZY!
People are lined up to get gas, everywhere.
This is causing a congestion for people not buying gas.
Gas stations are closing, since they are out of gas.
It took us thirty minutes to get from the doctor’s to the grocery store.
I do not mean to sound like I am complaining.
This is just an inconvenience  for us, and does not even start to compare with what the people who survived the disaster of Harvey are going through. But I do believe the trouble is just beginning; and the state, the whole nation, are going to feel the effect of Harvey for some time.

Now that I am home, I need to rest this arm.
I will not be able to start binding the quilts for the quilt show until Monday.
What was I thinking when I made a quilt that is 92″ x 102”?
I guess I got carried away.
The Dresden mug rugs will have to wait also.
I don’t want to use up any gas if I don’t have to, so shopping for felt is not on the top of my list.
I am looking forward to rebooting and having a fresh start tomorrow.

Blocks 3 and 4 : #iwishyouamerryqal

First, on a sad note, my friend’s home in Rockport was totaled.
Her son went down to evaluate and he said it was worse than they imagined.
We will be meeting with her on Saturday to give her some support.

On a happier note, I finished Block 4, “Christmas Memories” designed by Jennifer Fulton, of Inquiring Quilter.
These ornaments she designed do bring back memories of my childhood Christmas trees.
What I enjoy about this quilt along, is that I am learning new helpful tidbits and new skills.
Jennifer mentions in her directions, that stabilizing the applique with pull away Pellon, helps prevent the applique from puckering. I wish I had known that when I made the Snowflake block. I used Pellon Stitch-N-Tear Lite.
It made all the difference. Funny thing is, I had some of this Pellon in my embroidery storage bin.
I knew it was good for embroidery but did not think of using it to applique.

It took me longer than it should have to choose my fabrics for this block. The ornament shapes are just like the ones my mom had, and I wanted to get as close as possible to the colors of the old ornaments we had when I was young.
In a previous post, I had mentioned that my mom loved to decorate every inch of her house for Christmas.
My dad always said that he knew if he stood still for a minute, he would soon have garland and ribbons on him.
Mom had a collection of items to decorate for a Victorian Christmas.
She had a Blue and Silver Christmas, and her original set of old ornaments.
This was her Red, Green, and Gold Christmas.
It just so happened that I chose red, green, and gold for my color palette.

This block also gave me the opportunity to practice on my applique skills.
I hope I do not regret using the gold metallic thread for the appliques.
The thread jammed in my bobbin a few times, turning my hair a bit grayer.

My Clover Seam Roller came in handy for pressing down the applique.

At first, I wasn’t so sure about the tree and cone fabric.
But it fits in with the other three blocks.

I might have to redo the puckering Snowflake.

 Here’s a shout out to Abbie, from Sparkle On.
Thanks again, for letting me know about this QAL.


Block #3 : Santa Belt

I had so looked forward to the release of blocks 3 and 4 of I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along.
Then, I had to spend most of my day tending to the business of getting a new phone.
Since I was out, I bought a fat quarter of some green tree fabric.
I had to make something positive out of this day.

I finished block 3, Santa Belt.
My Santa is a Cosmic Santa.
I don’t know if you can see that Santa’s suit has gold stars.

Block 3 #iwishyouamerryqal

This is the first, and possibly the last time I work with metallic fabric.
I ended up using a light supportive fusible on the back of the metallic.
To make sure it would stand the test of washing, I  placed a piece of the metallic in a cup of water.
It did just fine.

Now, I am trying to decide on fabric for Block # 4.
The ornaments really remind me of the type we used when I was a child.
I need time to think about this one.

Storm Update, Lunch, and Journal Covers

San Antonio was spared from any real damage from Hurricane Harvey.
My friend from Rockport is still waiting to hear about her home.
One hopeful sign is that the Big Tree on Goose Island survived the storm.
This beautiful tree, which is over 1000 years old, is just steps away from my friend’s home.
Hopefully, her home is also still standing.
As for the Houston family, they are hanging on.
Last I heard, they were still waiting to evacuate.
One of my relatives works at the hospital, and he says they are in dire conditions.
My Corpus relatives will be heading home soon, to assess the damage.
I am so proud of our Texas  HEB. This company is always ready to serve the communities.
They have sent trucks with hot meals and medications to the disaster areas.
HEB is always on the front line when it comes to helping.

Today was still windy, but the sun did shine.
I went to my former school to be part of the first day excitement.
I even got to park in my old parking space.

It was good seeing friends; and the children were delightful.
Afterwards, I went to meet the retired teacher group for lunch.
The Silver Foxes meet every year on the first day of school.
It was fun catching up.
One of my friends told me she has a family member who was just diagnosed with an illness.
She wanted to find a journal for  this person.
I offered to make her a journal cover and she loved the idea.
I was able to make it when I returned home.

The front heart pocket opens.
She can print cards with encouraging messages and place them in the heart pocket.

Interior of the Journal Cover

Two more heart magnets.

To Hoard or Not to Hoard


verb (used with object)
2. to accumulate for preservation, future use, etc., in a hidden or carefully guarded place:

After I finished making the quilted notebook covers, I began cleaning off my sewing space.
There were a few quilted strips left over from cutting the main piece of the notebook to the right size.
Instead of throwing these strips away, I found myself “accumulating these pieces for future use and storing them in a carefully guarded space” stash boxes.I looked up the definition of hoarding and immediately pulled the strips out of the stash box.

I would make something with the strips now, and not store them for future use.
They really could have been pitched, but I made a refrigerator magnet out of two of the strips.
My refrigerator will soon be covered with these useless magnets.I am not a fabric hoarder.
I am not a fabric hoarder.  


Quilt Show

Reality just hit.
I received my information letter and participant ribbon for the Salute to Texas Quilt Show.
This is all new to me, and I felt like a kid when I saw the participant ribbon.

Then, I realized that I have only put the binding on one quilt.
I entered three quilts, and the two remaining quilts are large.
I also have to make the hanging sleeves.
Need to get started.


Live a Great Story

Relieved to report that my family  members in Houston are safe.
My favorite coastal town of Port A has taken a big hit.
It was sad to see our local favorite places no longer exist.
Still praying for my friends who have homes in Port A.
Our thoughts are with all the people who still have dangerous times ahead.
It is amazing to see the local heroes who are using their own kayaks and rafts to rescue people.

The rain continues to come in waves here, in San Antonio.
It is also very windy.
So far, we are getting off very lucky.


Tomorrow is the first day of school for the Northeast ISD.
I still miss the excitement of starting a new year with a group of beautiful children.
I have spent the day working on a small project for a friend who is still teaching.
Eve and I had a blast teaching first grade together.

Eve is now teaching third grade.
This summer, Eve went kayaking in Austin.
She saw this logo posted down by the lake: Live a Great Story.
After looking this up online, Eve decided she wanted to use this message as her classroom theme.
Eve bought a Live a Great Story banner and posted it on her wall.
I enjoy sharing ideas with Eve. It makes me feel like I am still part of the process.
I plan to go work with her class and help them make personal banners that tell their story.

I know Eve has her children decorate the covers of their  composition journals.
So I made her a couple of quilted covers for the journals that she will use for herself in class.
Last summer, I made some quilted journal covers for my granddaughter and myself.
I researched free DIY covers online so I could get an idea about the measurements.

A few weeks ago, I couldn’t pass up buying this fat quarter bundle at Wal-Mart.
They were perfect for the journal covers.
The composition notebooks measure 7.5″ x 9.75″.

The strips are 18″ long with different widths that total a width of 15.5 “.
Cut batting and muslin at 14′ x 19”.
Cut a back cover measuring 10.5″ x 15.5″
Cut two strips at 4.5 x 10.5″ for the side flaps.

Sew the strips to form a main piece.
Layer the muslin, batting, and main piece and quilt.

Cut the quilted piece to measure 10.5″ x 15.5″.
I made an applique with the logo I printed on fabric.
Then add one flap on each side.
Place the back piece on top of the main piece, right sides touching.
Sew around the edges, leaving a space at the bottom for turning.
Round edges.
The little seam roller that I bought from Amazon came in real handy.
I was able to roll press the seams accurately before I iron-pressed them.




My second cover came out better than my first.

Here’s to the local heroes who are helping their neighbors.
They are living a great story.

Storm Update

This rainy, Saturday morning, has been spent thinking of my friends and family on the coastline.
Rockport, Texas took a massive hit. I was in contact with my friend who has a home on Goose Island.
Goose Island  is a state park, but my friend has the last remaining house on the island.
A couple of years ago, we went to her house to see the cranes who migrate to this island. A beautiful site.
It will be some time before my friend will be able to see the results of this hurricane.
Other friends and family have evacuated and are on hold.
In the meantime, we are just getting steady rain here in San Antonio.
Thanks to all who have sent thoughts and prayers.

In the meantime, I am sort of housebound.
I took this opportunity to finishing piecing the blocks for the dinosaur floor pillow top.

Next step is to figure out how to quilt it.
I am also still viewing tutorials on how to make large pillow covers.
French pillows look interesting, but difficult.

One of the problems I have to solve is the size.
I  sewed 1/2 inch seams, so the top is 35 ” x 35″.
The largest pillow insert I have found is 30″ x 30″, which is too small for the top.
I can have a 1/2 seam to attach the top and bottom, but it will still be too large for the pillow.
This is what happens when an idea is not totally planned out ahead of time…
which happens to be my modus operandi.

Well, it looks like I will have a few days to figure this out.

Dinosaur Floor Pillow

My son has a very comfortable room in his home, which has been dubbed the “rumpus” room.
I thought my grandson needed a floor pillow for this great room.
So, I started looking for ideas on making a quilted dinosaur floor pillow.
Everything I saw was cute, but too baby-ish for this three-year-old dinosaur enthusiast.
I made some templates out of  some free dinosaur color sheets I found online.

In my stash, I had some beautiful remnants of batik that were perfect for making dinosaur appliques.
I used Steam -a-Seam Lite 2 to make the appliques.
The Stegosaurus fossil pattern was a bit difficult to applique, but I got it done.

Tomorrow, I will piece the blocks together. I think I will just do stitch-in-a-ditch quilting.
I might pull out a practice piece to try some meandering. If this doesn’t work, I might just quilt around the dinosaurs.
For the backing, I have some reptile-looking fabric of green and blue.

I am still trying to figure out how I plan to make the pillow itself.
I found a 30″ x 30″ pillow insert on Amazon.
Zippers are definitely out.
My friend suggested using Velcro strips to close the envelope pillow backing.
I’ll figure something out after I see what the quilting looks like.
Here are the squares.

Amazon Surprise

Today, I received a “surprise” package from Amazon.
I had totally forgotten I ordered these three items, so it really was pleasant surprise.

My Gypsy Sit Upon pillow was one of my presents to myself.
When I was teaching, I had Wiggle Pillows available to students to use if they needed them.
I would take the pillows to the faculty meetings in order to get through these meetings without losing my mind.
The Wiggle Pillows worked so well with the children, and when I saw the Gypsy Sit Upon on Amazon, I knew I had to have it. The pillow does help me keep my core straight, so this will improve my posture while sewing.
Also, the pillow helps me with my wiggles.
I have used it all day today…love it!

The other item was a Clover Press Perfect Iron Finger.
It is heat-resistant and it can be used to flatten seams and push corners.
I haven’t used this yet, but I think I am going to like it.
I also received a Clover Roll and Press.
This tool has already been used quite a bit today.
It works well.

Thank you, Amazon!
I wonder if I will be surprised tomorrow.