Fabulous Free Fabric

My brother is such a sweetheart for sending me these fabric squares.
I have spent a few hours just sorting and thinking of how to use these fabric swatches.
Most are 100% cotton, which is great.
The colors are amazing.

There are fourteen polyurethane front with linen backing.
These would be perfect for place mats, if I could find a good pattern or figure something out myself.

Any ideas are welcomed!

Tomorrow, I will be attending Grandparent’s Day Lunch with my granddaughter.
She loves to hang key chains on her backpack, so I just made her one.
In the box of fabric from my brother, I found some  soft, textured sample blocks from Chella.
I chose the pick square.

This is her heart-shaped key chain:

It will be so much fun to eat in a school cafeteria once again!

Fabric Heaven

My morning coffee was interrupted by a knock on the door.
The mailman had a heavy box for me.
I started racking my brain to try to remember what I ordered.
Then, I saw that it was from my brother.
He is the VP of operations for a furniture design center.
I started hooping and hollering when I opened the box to find it filled with gorgeous fabric samples.

I am in Fabric Heaven!
So many colors…
So many textures!

Block 5: Snow Much Fun!

Participating in the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along is SNOW MUCH FUN!
Block #5 is an adorable snowman designed by Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting.

Every year, I taught an integrated instructional Snowman Unit; and my first graders loved it. The unit started with the viewing and reading of my favorite of all time…The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. We made snowmen out of socks, read every snowman book I could find, drew snowmen, and wrote poems and stories about snowmen.

So, this morning,  when I saw  that Block #5 was a snowman, I did a happy dance.
It took me a while to choose the fabrics. My husband and my sister both chose the fabrics that were the favorite of all my choices.
I have concerns about the white with green polka-dot fabric that I chose for the snowman’s body. One of the dots bled a bit when I ironed the seam.
I will use  Shout Color Catcher when I wash the quilt, and hopefully it will not run.

Since I wanted my snowman to have character, I added reading glasses.
He is a scholarly snowman who loves to read books.
His name is Professor Frost.
He is holding two of the many snowmen books I used to read to my students.

The two books are: Snowmen at Christmas  and Snowmen All Year by Caroline Buehner.

Part of the fun of participating in this QAL is the mystery and not knowing what comes next.
It is also so enjoyable to see the different interpretations of the block that are posted by other participants.
With each block, I can see that I am learning something new and refining skills.
This snowman block has some small pieces, and I can see that my cutting is more accurate.
Also, I noticed that I am improving in sewing a quarter inch seam.
Sherry Sish provided excellent directions.
Abbie, of  Sparkle On, gave a good tip about adding to the width of the side pieces in order to facilitate squaring the block at 12.5″ x 12.5″. I also tried to follow her lead on reading the whole directions thoroughly before starting. This is a step I usually skim over. Thanks, Abbie!

Now I am ready for Block #6.
Is it a Gift pattern on the block?
Maybe a Stocking pattern…
Oh, is it a Wreath pattern or maybe a Bell?

I designed some of my own pattern blocks that I might try out if these items are not included in the QAL.

Halloween Crafts

Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative.
Judy Gold

One of my daughter-in-laws loves Halloween.
She is also very creative in sewing, and making purses and other crafts.
I have quite a few purses that she has made me. She knew I dressed for the seasons and holidays when I was teaching. One of the purses she made for me was a Halloween purse.
When I spoke with her the other day, she said she is already thinking of ways to decorate her house for Halloween.
I thought I would send her a few items to help her decorate.
I will be sending her a Halloween package in a few days.
The package will include the following:

Table Top

Sugar Skull Pin Cushion

Two Standard Size Pillowcases

Dresden Pillow
Tutorial by Rob Appell

Fabric Pumpkin
I am thinking of looking for a decorative spider to add onto one of the web panels.
I looked at two tutorials for this fabric pumpkin:
Quill Cottage Studio  and Pink Suede Shoes

I have enough Halloween fabric to make some smaller pumpkins.
It’s time to go to Starbucks for some pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin bread!

Feeling Good


My fingers are just a bit numb, but I finally finished the binding of the Tribute to Tonie quilt.
I paced myself and did one and a half sides each day.
As I was binding this quilt, I kept asking myself why I made it so large.
The whole idea for the quilt began in January 1, 2017.
I had purchased the book, Block a Day, by Lucinda Ganderton, and my plan was to make a block a day.
As I studied the blocks, I found blocks that represented things and memories of my mother.
I knew that February would be the year anniversary of my mother’s passing , and mom was very much on my mind.
So, I just started making the blocks, without a real plan.
Nothing unusual for me, not to plan ahead.
The quilt will fit on my bed, or maybe I can hang it in the living room.
After looking at this quilt for quite some time, there is nothing I would have done differently.
The quilt just tells the story of my mother, so I am very happy with it.
My friend, Jeana Kubik, did an excellent job with the long arm.

I had to do some major rearrangement in my sewing room in order to facilitate adding the sleeve to the back of the quilt.
I still have to add the label.
It is difficult getting a good picture of this, since I cannot hang it up just yet.

The center of the quilt is mom’s pink and brown house…yes, pink and brown.
We often referred to mom as 215, the house address.

These are two of my favorite blocks.
The cup represents our Sunday morning coffee visits.
It does feel good to get this done.
Now, I will take a break for a few days, before I start binding the third quilt.

Sugar Skulls

Some time ago, I had bought some Sugar Skull fabric.
My intention was to make something for my daughter-in-law.
She collects Sugar Skull items.
The other day, I made mug rugs using a Dresden ruler that I ordered.
The pieces were only 2 inches long for the mug rug.
I wanted to try making them larger.
Instead of mug rugs, I made a table topper.

The Hot Press ruler I had ordered helped to make the points exact.

I cut out some larger sugar skulls and appliqued them on the center circle.
I didn’t know if I wanted to use 4 or 5 skulls.

I used a 21″ x 21″ square of black felt for the backing.

Finished Front with 4 Skulls in the center

Finished Backing


I was about to shut down the sewing room for the day, when I noticed I had some good remnants from the owl bunting and the journals I had made.
Instead of stuffing them in the bin, I made a journal cover in preparation for Inktober.
In October of 2009, Jake Parker, an artist, started Inktober as a challenge to improve his own skills and drawing habits.
The site provides prompts for drawing, but I don’t stick to this list.
My sister introduced me to Inktober about three years ago, and I enjoy the challenge of drawing everyday.

September has just begun, but I took the opportunity to make the art journal cover today.
I  have always found it fun to draw and doodle, but I never considered myself an artist.
I would get drawing books and hesitate to start, in fear of making a mistake.
My sister, Emma, shared her artist trick.
She said to break in the new book and jump in by just doodling and drawing lines on the first page.
It worked!
I found that this Inktober challenge to draw every day does help to develop drawing habits.
Just another form of expression.
Lots of fun.
I usually get Moleskin books for my drawings, but this time I bought a small art notebook at Wal-mart.

Front Cover/ Same as the Back Cover

I found my set of Prismacolor Black Pens, but some are dry. They have lasted a long time.
It is time to replenish my pen pouch.

Maybe you might want to give Inktober  a try!

Owl Bunting

There Was An Owl

There was an owl
who lived in an oak.
The more he heard,
the less he spoke;
the less he spoke,
the more he heard-
We all should be
like that wise old bird

Yesterday, I attended a farewell-to-summer tea at the home of my friend, Marti.
Her home is decorated with the most beautiful, simple, home-made decorations.
Marti has bunting for different seasons.
I decided to come home and try to make some bunting for fall.
This owl bunting idea was posted by Moonstitches on Pinterest.
My plan was to use my stash, practice applique, and try out the Charlotte’s Web Fusible Thread.
As I was rummaging through my bins, I ran across the doilies that mom had all over her living room.
I used one for the first owl.
Using the doilies instead of the center piece in the pattern, made it seem to now need wings.
I added felt wings and feet.
Now, I don’t know if I like it.

I used the Charlotte’s Web fusible thread for the second owl.
It was not as easy to pull out the top thread as shown in the tutorial video, so I will have to revisit that video.
However, the fusible thread was neat and easy.
I will have to practice some more before I decide which fusible I prefer to use.

Two buttons from my dad’s shirts were used for the eyes.

I have them hanging on my wall, so I can decide if I want to remove the wings and feet, or add feet to the second owl.



My sister just painted and redid her kitchen/dining area.
She had our mother’s dining room set fixed.
The color scheme for this area is yellow and blue. My sister has made a sunflower table runner.
Since I had promised her some mug rugs a while back, I thought it was about time I made them for her.
I used my Dresden ruler, and the pattern I found on Terri’s  Notebook.
There was enough yellow remnants in my stash to make four mug rugs.

I went to Wal-Mart to get the felt that I needed, and I passed by some colorful Halloween fabric that just jumped into my basket.  I have some ideas for possible products, but I yet haven’t decided.