Christmas Past, Present, and Future

Sometimes, it is better to start fresh and create something totally different.
This was the case today.
I loved the lantern pattern from the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along, but I did not make the best choice of fabric.

Today, I kept trying to figure out how to improve this block.
The thought of making a new one crossed my mind.
However, I just wasn’t that keen on doing the same block over.
This block will be used to make a pillow cover for my sofa pillows instead of being included in the quilt.

For this QAL, I chose a palette of fabric that reflected my experience with a traditional Christmas…red, green, gold and winter white.
My mom had different Christmas themes that she would rotate throughout the years, but traditional Christmas was her favorite. It was also my favorite theme, and I used it for my home decorations.

Looking at all eleven blocks on my design wall brought back many memories of Christmas Past.
I remembered how mom always made her own wreaths to decorate the house.
So, I decided to make  a wreath block using a Dresden pattern.
I will add gold or red buttons after the quilt is long armed.
I will also add a red ribbon.

I am so happy I decided to join this QAL.
The afternoon was spent listening to Christmas music, remembering Christmas Past, making a new block for Christmas Present, and creating something that will hopefully be part of Christmas Future.

Meemaw Craft Day

My friends threaten me with fashion citations over my choice of clothing, especially around the seasons.
They remind me that I am retired, and I do not have to entertain children with shirts that have sparkly Christmas symbols on the front.
So, today, when we met for a Meemaw craft day, I had a more subtle touch to my holiday wear.
I chose not to wear my peppermint candy striped high top Converse tennis and just settled for wearing my cardinal pendant and earrings. I left my blinking light bulb earrings and necklace for the next time we meet.

However…I did supply each one of us with reindeer antlers.


When my friend’s husband returned home and saw us working with our antlers, he stood at the door and just shook his head.
One problem with the antlers…every time we bent down to work together on something, our antlers would lock.

We met to make the 10 minute table runners.
We started at nine, had an hour lunch, and finished at one.
So much for the 10 minute runner.
Last night, I ran across patterns for flip and stitch wreaths.
I think this will be my next, hopefully quick, project.
My sister has a birthday in early December, and I think this would make a cute present.

I Wish You a Merry QAL

Blocks 10 (lantern) and 11 (star) are not my best blocks.
I don’t know if my lack of enthusiasm is because this QAL has gone on a bit longer than my nano-second attention span; or if I am too busy thinking of and making other projects.
The QAL has been fun, and I have learned some new skills.
So, I met my two goals for joining the group.
I also discovered a new community of quilters through Facebook.
Another plus is the number of  creative people with whom I have been able to connect through blogs.
These two blocks (10,11) need to be revisited and improved before I add them to a quilt.

Today, I spent time cutting and piecing the keyboard borders out of the Christmas remnants.
I also cut the 4 large corner squares, and 16 end squares for the sash.
Tomorrow is craft day with the Meemaws, so I might not get to cut the sash until Friday.
Wednesday is our walk in Wimberley, Texas…can’t wait for this one.

Hexagon-itis

Recently, I have come down with an interest in making hexagon blocks…hexagon-itis.
It all began when I read a book by Sandy Gilreath; 52 Tuesdays-A Quilt Journal.
Gilreath told the story of her year in 52 hexagon blocks. She uses many different techniques for each block; including raw edge and needleturn applique, free motion quilting, hand embroidery, etc..
I really liked the idea of making a journal with fabric, and the author encourages people to do the same.

Previously, Mary Puckett, from Zippy Quilts, had posted about One Block Wonder quilts.
I checked out the book she recommended, plus some others, and I am fascinated by the beauty of this kaleidoscope quilt made of hexagons. The books give great directions and have helpful photos, but I am a bit concerned about choosing the correct fabric and cutting it accurately.
I checked with the Mesquite Bean and also with my friend at Las Colchas.
My friend, Francine said to drop on by her shop and she would give me some guidance.
The Mesquite Bean is offering a one day class in OBW in January.
They also offer a free sewing time every Tuesday available for people to come work in the back room, and ask for guidance if needed.
I know I want to make a OBW, and I am thinking of making a 52 hexagon journal quilt.
I also viewed many tutorials online.
The problem I still have is with the quilting of the hexagon.
Do you quilt through the top fabric, the batting, and the backing; or, do you just quilt the top and batting?
I saw a video on You Tube by CraftyAttic. In this video, the top layer, a layer of sheeting were quilted.
After these two top layers were quilted, they were embellished with embroidery, beads, and other things. After the decorative stitches and things were done, a backing was added.

Today, I used one of my wonky blocks that I had in my “What Do I Do With This?” box.
I practiced with free motion on a practice block.
This is the first time the threads did not loop or pucker. I had read a tutorial on how to fix this problem.
My meandoring is not the best, but it looks okay on a 6.5 ” hexagon. I embellished it with ribbon-thread embroidery and some buttons.
I also chose to follow the directions from CraftyAttic, and just free motioned the top and sheeting; but I placed the batting between the two.


I stitched in the ditch.

But this is what concerns me.
Is this too loose, and will it separate?
I am planning to visit Las Colchas on Saturday, on Support Local Business Day.
I think I will take this hexagon and ask the experts in the shop.
What do you think?
Would you quilt all layers?
Would you quilt only the top, batting, and sheeting?

Anyway, this is all for the rest of the weekend.
I plan to enjoy the holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for my blogging friends!

Holiday Mood

After feeling under the weather for the last few days, I finally felt like going outside.
Of course, I ended up at JoAnn’s on the pretext that I can walk the outside mall area…which I did.
I found the last bit of fabric I needed to make one more pillow case and one more table runner.
All the seasonal fabric, decorations, and cool weather just got me in the holiday mood.


I couldn’t find any pretty buttons for the ends, so I am thinking of looking for a small silk poinsettia to pin on the ends.

Recently, I started viewing tutorials on quilt as you go hexagons.
In some of these videos,  the top and batting are quilted before the backing is placed on.
If it is a 6 inch hexagon, will the backing separate?
The videos I am watching have hexagons that are artistically quilted with silk ribbon embroidery, thread sketching,  beading…etc.
What is usually done when doing a quilt as you go hexagon?
Thanks for any suggestions or thoughts you may have on this.

A Slow Sunday

The past two days have been spent nursing a cold.
Drat! Just in time for Thanksgiving.
I feel a bit better today, so I spent some time researching how to thread sketch.
Maybe I should improve my free motion quilting before I endeavor this thread sketching.
Hopefully, I can prepare some pieces to start practicing thread sketching.
Any tips would be appreciated.
I also made a 10 Minute Runner. This time, it only took me 30 minutes.

  
I quilt-cheated the center panel, since it had a pattern of vertical lines.
The fabric is Wrapped In Joy by Rachel Thomas Pellman.
I purchased this fabric in Salado, Texas, at A Sewing Basket.

Today was a slow day, with me dragging and whining.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be a bit brighter.

10 Minute Table Runner

The Village Quilting Shop in Bentonville, Arkansas, had samples of 10 Minute Table Runners in their Seasonal Room. Lori, the store proprietor, was very helpful in showing my friends and I how to make these. We bought fabric and made plans to meet for a Sewing Day.
When I was at A Sewing Basket in Salado, Texas, I was given a copy of directions for the 10 Minute Table Runner by LaRue Bunnell Clark.
This seemed easy enough, but I still looked up tutorials on YouTube.
So, today, I thought I would spend 10 minutes and make place mats as I saw on some of the videos.
After working for two hours in the morning, and two hours this afternoon, I finally finished a set of 4, “10 Minute” place mats. 

Boy, do I feel like a dummy.
I still plan to make a runner, so maybe the next time, it will only take 10 minutes.


Set of 4
I think I might buy more of this fabric to make a Set of 6.
It takes 1/2 yard for the backing, and 1/3 yard for the center to make one table runner or two place mats.
Note: I often view YouTube videos by Jean Truelove.
She is very talented and creative.
Her videos are fun.
The one I watched today had a sad note.
Jean mentioned at the end of the video, that she had received a not-so-nice comment on her YouTube video.
To think that someone would take the time to be mean and negative to a person who is offering ideas and information on how to create, is something that really bothers me.
Life is too short to be negative.
And it is never acceptable to be mean to others.
I just felt I needed to say this.

Question

When I was teaching, I used to make simple quilt wall hangings with my students. Sometimes it would be an “About Me” theme where they would draw a self-portrait on muslin. I also made book wall hangings where they wrote the title and draw a book cover for their favorite book.We used fabric markers.

The markers I used were labeled as fabric markers, but I was never quite happy with the result.

What are the best markers to use for writing on fabric used in making a quilt? I am looking for something that has a fine point and doesn’t bleed.

I would appreciate any input.

Special Day

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” 

Henry David Thoreau

Thirty-two of my forty-two years of teaching was at my neighborhood school. I worked with many fine educators, and now I am able to spend time with three of my favorite people. There is another teacher with whom I had the pleasure of teaming teaching. Jeanne was the perfect teaching partner. We had the same teaching style and we had so much fun together. She retired before I did, and moved away from San Antonio. We kept in touch with letters, texts, and phone; but we only visited each other on occasion. Today was one of the occasions, and it was as if we just saw each other yesterday. We picked up from where we left off.

We spent the day in Salado, Texas, another quaint Texas town.

image

Of course, we stopped at A Sewing Basket on Main Street. The people at the shop were super nice and helpful. I have yet to have a negative experience in a quilt shop. The Fabric Fairies guided me to the seasonal fabric.

I puchased some Christmas fabric for a table runner.

image

It was a special day with a special friend.

 

Feels Like Christmas

Today, the postman delivered two packages for me.
One contained the little purse made by Tierney, of Tierney Creates.
I was lucky enough to win one of her give-aways.
It just so happens that purple is my favorite color.
Thank you, Tierney!


The other package was a gift from my friend, Nancy.
It was a Seasons Placemat Kit from Connecting Threads.
Look at these gorgeous fabrics.

Thank you, Nancy!
It certainly felt like Christmas today.
So, I made Christmas burrito pillowcases for my grandchildren.

The material was purchased last week at the Village Quilting in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Last Thursday, my friends dropped me off at the store and I got lost in the fabric.
There was a room of seasonal fabric.
My friends were looking for a Christmas project, and I found the perfect one for us to do…
the 10 minute table runner. The store had some sample table runners.

When my friends returned to the shop, Lori, the store proprietor, proceeded to be so super helpful.
She demonstrated how to make the table runner.
Lori spent so much time with us.
I also purchased some polka-dot fabric for an unknown project. I just like polka-dots.


This is the pillowcase I made for my granddaughter.

These are for my grandson. He has a small pillow.
Lots of projects on the table!