Holding On and Letting Go

Yesterday, I read Tierney’s (from Tierney Creates) post about “holding on and letting go”.
It made me think of the box in my closet that had the last of my seasonal shirts I used when I taught.
When I was teaching, I had enough seasonal T-shirts that I did not have to repeat.
My friends and family always kidded me about wearing these shirts.
I would wear anything to keep the kids paying attention and having fun.
It has been three years since I retired.
Last year, I was wearing this scarecrow shirt while grocery shopping.
All of a sudden, I felt self-conscious.
So, I packed up most of the shirts and donated  of them.
I kept a few, because, I just could not let go of the fun memories.

Well, today, I thought it was time to let go.
As I was throwing the shirts into a bag, I had a crazy thought.
I had never been interested in making anything using T-shirts as the fabric.
Three years ago, when I first started quilting, I had purchased some 820 Quilting Grids fusible interfacing. I never used it, and today, somehow, I managed to find it.
The interfacing was perfect for supporting the T-shirt fabric and making a pillow.
The sleeve of the shirt had some embellishments, so I made squares to use for the corners.
I did not take a picture of the shirt before I cut it.

So now, instead of having an ugly, Teacher T-shirt, I have an ugly pillow with lots of memories.
I sort of let go, because I am no longer wearing the shirt…
But, I guess I am still holding on…

Go With the Flow

Definition of instinct 
1a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity

When choosing fabric for a project, I sometimes think and rethink the matter.
Then, I usually end up not being satisfied with the final choice, and find myself returning to my first impulse choice.
Every time I passed my design wall, my eye ran directly to Block 8, the two gifts.
Not only did the green border bother me, but also, the fact that edge of one of the gifts was at the wrong angle, just didn’t sit well with me.
I could live with the ribbon segments being a bit off, but not the gift edge.
The dark solid green is pretty, and it will be used on another block, I am sure.
But it just did not suit Block 8.
Should I start over or try to redo the red and green gifts?
I decided to try to salvage the red and green gifts and I ripped the green background pieces.
I pulled out my Christmas fabric, and went back to my first choice for the background fabric.
The beige and gold fabric, with red and green holly, was the fabric that I had originally planned to use.
After I ripped the gifts and added the new fabric edges, I had to make minor adjustments to the size of the gifts.
In order to get a 12.5″ block, I added a bit of a border on the sides, and a fourth more to each of the  top and bottom border.
Next time I choose fabric, I will go with my instinct and go with the flow.




At the Southwest School of Art, yesterday, we saw some acrylic paintings that looked like quilts.
They were like nine patch quilts, except it looked like some of the square patches were in the background.
It was as if there was an overlay of square patches that were solid colors over a background of patches that made a picture.
Maybe overlay gives the wrong impression, because you could see the different squares.
It’s just that the solid colored squares looked like they were in front of the picture squares in the background.

I don’t know if I explained this clearly enough, but I was wondering if anyone knew if this technique is possible in quilting.


This QAL has been so much fun.
I chose a red, green, and gold for my palette…reminds me of my childhood traditional Christmas.
Block 7, the Poinsettia, was easy to complete.
I say easy, even though I had a few rips and re-do’s.

I almost chose not to do Block 8, designed by AliceSamuelQuiltCompany.
The two gift block design is beautiful, and the directions were specific and informational.
I just thought it would be too difficult.
But then, I remembered I joined this QAL to challenge myself and learn new things.
So, I put on my big girl pants and gave it a go.
The two gifts remind me of what my mother would say she wanted for Christmas…just Peace, Harmony, and maybe a lipstick.
These are her gifts, minus the lipstick.
After a few rip and re-do’s, the ribbon piece is still a bit off on both of the gifts, but it will have to do.
There are just so many rips and re-do’s allowed in one day.

I also redid Block 6, the angel.
I chose to make an angel different from the one in the pattern.
Originally, I had framed the angel in white, and it just washed out.
So, I chose a green fabric for the frame.

I placed all eight blocks on my design wall.

Wednesday Walk

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
Henry David Thoreau

My friends and I started our walking group today.
We were scheduled to begin last week, but we were rained out.
Today was just a gorgeous day for a walk through part of the downtown area.
My childhood home was a bit south of downtown San Antonio.
My elementary and high school years were in downtown schools.
Today’s walk brought back so many memories of my childhood in downtown San Antonio.
Our group started off at the Pearl Brewery.
The parents of one of my childhood friend worked at the Pearl when it was a brewery.
Now, the buildings and area house retail stores, eateries, and the Culinary Institute of America.
We traveled down the river walk to the Southwest School of Art.
This was once a convent and academy for girls, founded in 1851.

This is one of the courtyards.

This is the Fountain of Peace. It gave me some ideas for a project.

I have taken art courses at this center, and today, we went to visit a friend who is taking a weaving class at the center.
She introduced us to other weavers and we were able to see their beautiful work.
Our friend has just begun a project. I love the way she works…no plan.
She chooses the yarn and creates as she goes.

Her thread design board is sitting on the window.

We confirmed her choice of thread to add to the weave she has in progress.

This  school of fish suspended beneath the interstate overpass, is the work of artist, Donald Lipski.

This is one of the water fountains near the brewery, but I did not catch the name or the artist.

Throughout the morning walk, I kept pointing out things that I thought would be a great quilt.
My friends were kind enough to put up with me.

This early morning walk was truly a blessing for the whole day.
I visited the Mesquite Bean Fabric Shop on my way home.
Yes, I bought some fabric.
I had to use my 20% discount.
I needed a bit more fabric for my I Wish You a Merry  QAL.
Block 8 has two gift boxes.
At first, I thought this block was too difficult, and I was going to make a different type of gift block.
But then, I decided to take the challenge.
One of the reasons I chose to do the QAL was to learn new things.
This is as far as I have gotten.
It entailed about three rip and redos, and the seams for the ribbon piece are still a bit off.
I am letting it sit for awhile, before I get back to it.
Ribbons on gift boxes aren’t perfect…right?

Poinsettia Block

I was so happy to get the two pattern blocks for the QAL.
Today, I was only able to do Block #7 by SandyStarDesign.
Everything seemed to fall in place, and I was so proud of finishing it.
When I went to take a photo, something just felt wrong.
I kept looking at the pattern…then my block…and finally figured out that I had placed the center squares in the wrong direction. This of course, threw the whole poinsettia off.
After taking a brisk walk, I came back and ripped the whole thing apart.
It was worth the effort.

MeeMaw Monday Craft Day


Pumpkin pumpkin 
big and round, 
I’m glad you grow 
upon the ground. 
I’m glad you don’t 
grow in a tree 
for then you might 
fall down on me.


My first graders loved this poem!
It would make me laugh just to see and hear them laugh.
My friends and I had MeeMaw Monday Craft Day.
Our goal was to make Halloween and Thanksgiving fabric pumpkins.
I did more talking than crafting, so I had to finish mine at home.
We made them just in time…we are getting our first autumn cool front tomorrow!
The low will be 64 degrees and the high will only be 82 degrees!
This is our pumpkin patch, so far.
My friends will continue, but I think I have made enough.

Of course, there was pumpkin pie  and whipped cream to end the MeeMaw Monday Craft Day.

October Blessings

This first week of October has been absolutely wonderful.
Lots of family time.
We ended the week celebrating a four year old’s birthday.
We are very blessed.

This afternoon, I spent some time trying to figure out what to do with the fabric my brother sent me.
I found some that were 100% cotton, and I started slicing and piecing.
No plan.
I started out with a few of the memos.

8.5 inch squares

Strips of different widths

I cut this piece and inserted pieces

I felt the need to use a ruler and square what I had done free-hand.

Then I just started free form cutting and inserting pieces.

I decided to add the two perfect squares to the larger piece instead of cutting more small squares.
Now, I do not know what I am going to do with this.
Most of the  cotton fabric memos my brother sent are solid colors.
I really don’t know what I am doing, but I am having fun doing whatever it is I am doing. 
I will hang this on a design wall, and just think about it for a bit.
This coming week will be another busy week.
Hope everyone has a week filled with blessings.



As I get older, I’m trying to accept improvisation into my day-to-day living.
Colin Mochrie

Wow! What a day!
My sewing room is a total mess, but it has been so much fun.
Thanks to Cindy Anderson, I have been reading two of the books she suggested.

create your own free-form quilts by Rayna Gillman
15  Minutes of Play: Improvisational Quilts by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

I also viewed tutorials by Ryana Gillman  

Cutting fabric without rules!
After studying the books for a few days, and watching videos, I really didn’t know where to start.
Ryana Gillman talks about revisiting and reinventing a block.
I pulled out some of my practice, “what-was-I-thinking?” blocks.
Gillman also suggests that you just cut and slice, without dwelling or thinking about it too long.
So, I grabbed the rotary and cut…added, cut again, added…
After the first few cuts, I started feeling comfortable and having fun.

I do not know what I will do with these reinvented blocks.
My improvisation is a bit off…but, again, there are no rules…
I’m not there yet, but it is a first step in trying something new.

“What Was I Thinking ?” Block #1

What am I doing?

Reinvented Block #1

“What Was I Thinking ?” Block #2

Improved…Different…But not the best…

Improvising in my old age has made my day to day a bit more exciting.
Thank you, Cindy Anderson!