Joy for 2018

This is a re-post of my mantra for the New Year.

I decided to jump start one of my 2018 short term goals, which is to learn how to thread sketch.
A New Year calls for a mascot, so I attempted to thread sketch a bird.

This was my first attempt at thread sketching.
As you can see, more practice is a must.
I had seen tutorials demonstrating how to thread sketch on applique.
I thought this might be easier and a good starting point.

Meet Joy, my 2018 mascot.
Joy is far from finished.
I need more thread to add detail to the body.
My plan is add embellishments after I sketch some more.

Joy is far from perfect, but she will be a reminder of where I was when I started on my quest to learn how to thread sketch.
Hopefully, I will show growth in this artistic adventure.

Santa will be sending me some more thread.
He has been overly generous, but now seems a bit concerned.
I think he might shut down my Amazon account.

Now, for sure, my sewing room is closed.
Christmas luncheons and activities begin tomorrow.

Merry Christmas to all of my blogging friends.
Have a peaceful, joyful, and blessed holiday.

Getting Ready

A new year is around the corner, so I thought I might start organizing and preparing.
I have my new pens, calendar and journals ready.

I always keep a graph paper composition notebook, so I made a cover for the new notebook for 2018.
I couldn’t find the pattern I used before, so I looked online and found a pattern by Wreqage.

Of course, my table and bins are outrageously out of control.
I did get some buttons, sewing notions, and things organized in drawers.
That’s a good start.
I’ll work on the rest later.

Pinwheel Ornaments

After finishing the fabric journal, I officially closed down the sewing room.
Then, today, I got a delivery that had me running to my sewing room.

A few days ago, I read Mary’s post about using pinking shears to make pinwheels.
Mary posted Jayne’s blog, Twiggy and Opal, where Jayne has a tutorial on the pinwheels.
My old pinking sheers never really worked.
They were heavy and dull.
I asked Mary for some information about pinking shears.
Mary told me about Havel scissors.

Santa must have known I needed pinking shears!
He had Amazon deliver my new pinking shears this morning, and I just had to try them out.

Thank you, Mary. These pinwheels make cute ornaments and gift wrap decorations.
I just sent the tutorial to my daughter-in-law.
She thought it would be a good activity for her nieces.

I made the three inch square pinwheels. I have some more ready to cut and sew.
It will be fun afternoon.

The other day, I went to Michael’s to see if I could find a cute package/bag for my granddaughter’s Christmas Eve present.  I found a cute Christmas suitcase box that was perfect for giving a gift of clothes and toys.  All Christmas storage boxes were 60% off.
The price was right, so I also bought one for myself!
I have stored my Christmas fabric in this suitcase.

Fabric Journal

The fabric journal is finished and in the mail.
Whew! I made the mailing deadline.

This is the front cover. The back of this page is the same as the green strip.

This is the front of the last page. I drew myself at my sewing machine.
The back is the same as the multi-color frame.

The buttons help stabilize the book binding.
I made a video of the booklet, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to post it.
I downloaded it onto You Tube but I can not find it!
So much for my technology skills.

Fabric Book Journal…Almost Done

The last two pages of the fabric book journal are complete and ready to be sewn together.

My sister likes to take walks with her dog, so I chose one of my favorite quotes for this block:
An earlymorning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau
I made an applique of her dog. The tree has small yo-yos.
On the second block, I included words our mother always used to tell us: Use your God-given talents.
We would always joke about it, but I guess mom had some good advice after all.
I found a book charm and covered it with a fabric photo of one of my sister’s books from her Pig in a Wig series of five books.
My sister’s name is Emma, but we call her M.
I just noticed that the M charm is twisted in the photo.

Tomorrow, I will make a simple front and back cover.
Then, I will try to put it all together.


It has also been cold and rainy.
Perfect weather for creating and working in my sewing room.

Work in Progress
These are the front and back of the first segment of the book.

Each block is a sandwich that includes: the pieced and embellished top; thin interfacing for embroidery; thin batting.
A tag board square is inserted in between both blocks to add a bit of firmness.
The blocks are then sewn, wrong sides together, with a 1/2 seam.
A zigzag edge is added.

These are the front and back of the second segment.
These were wonky blocks I had made a few months ago.
The front page has charms with the number 5.  One of the charms is turned, so you can not see it in this picture. “Five” is my sister’s special number.
I still have the buttons from my dad’s plaid shirts, so I used five of them as the center of this 5 block.

The other day, I bought a fat quarter block of pastel, checkered flannel.
I have never sewn flannel, and I wanted to try it out.
The purple polka dot fabric was in my stash.
A bit of stuffing was added to give dimension to the heart.

I  bound the first two book segments, just to see if it would work.
So far, it seems that it opens and shuts well.
My plan is to bind the segments in pairs.
Then, I have to figure out how to bind all of the pairs.
I have some ideas for two more blocks, so I will work on those tomorrow.

To Set Goals or Not to Set Goals

That is the question.
Yesterday, I set a goal to not start anything new until 2018.
It took me one day to fail at this goal.
So, I guess my answer is…Some goals are met to be set aside.

I started working on a WHIMM, (Work Hidden In My Mind).
For the past few days, I have been looking online for tutorials, photos, and videos on how to make fabric journals.
My interest in keeping journals, plus by love of trying new things, just made it a natural thing for me to try my hand at making a fabric journal.
I have seen more photos than tutorials or how-to’s, so I am really jumping into this with only my interest and a willingness to try something new.
Since Pantone chose my favorite color, purple, to be the color of the year, I pulled out some fabric from my stash. Thanks, Mary (Zippy Quilts )! Your post about Pantone inspired me and got me started.
Like I said, I really don’t know where I am going with this.
I once took a class on making book journals, so I think I can figure out how to sew the segments together.
This is going to be a gift for my sister, Emma.  She is the artistic one in the family. Emma has written and illustrated five children’s books.  She keeps the coolest journals. One year, I gave my siblings a personalized journal as a Christmas gift. I told them it was a selfish gift, because I wanted them to keep the journal all year and then give it back to me.  Only Emma returned the journal and it was fantastic.
I could see her daily thoughts and activities through her fabulous illustrations.
This is the first square I made for the journal cover.
I made my own fabric, and I hand quilted it.

I am not quite finished with this one.
Some of the fabric included in this block is from the pieces my brother sent me from his furniture design company.
For the next block, I will be using embroidery thread.

Wednesday Walks

Starting in October, I meet with a group of retired educators every Wednesday. We take walks and hikes in parks, historical landmarks, and local places of interests.
Usually, it is just in San Antonio; but we do venture out to Blanco and Wimberly Texas.
Today was the last of the scheduled walks.
A smaller group of us, my Meemaw friends, continue throughout the year with our own walks and craft days.
Our walk today was to downtown San Antonio and the King William historical area.
It was like a trip down memory lane for me.
As a child, I lived just south of downtown San Antonio, and east of the King William area.
Many of my friends lived in the King William area.
We formed a River Rat Pack since we would spend time on the river.
One of the places in this area is the Guenther House.
The house is decorated for Christmas, and it had a gingerbread house that took 200 hours to complete.

This house made me feel like a kid again.
As we walked along the river, we saw an egret and a blue heron.
It just made my day!

When I returned home, I realized that my sewing room and my fabric stash is way out of control.
I have a few more projects to finish before Christmas.
My goal is to revamp the space and the fabric storage after Christmas.
I have been viewing different organizational ideas online.
One way was to make your own bolt of fabric, using magazine board.
Another way was too expensive. It entailed buying plastic boards with clips to fold the fabric.
There was a tip to cut hanging folders in half and fold the fabric around the folder.
This might be good for my larger pieces, and I have canvas baskets that fit the size of the hanging folders.
I had once tried plastic bags, but I do not remember why I did not like the results. I think it didn’t work because I just threw them in a plastic bin and it got too bulky.
Then, there are those small bits of fabric that are good for making your own fabric.
What is the best way to store these?
I have steel frame shelving units.
Right now, I have different sizes of plastic bins on these shelves.
I guess this is okay for the small stuff, but I need ideas for larger remnants and yardage.
What works for you?
If you have any organizational tips, I would appreciate your input.


Yesterday I posted about being inspired by my grandson’s singing rendition of Rudolph.
I made a pillow using the Reindeer Games pattern designed by Bobbie Bridgeman of Snowy Days Quilting.

So today, I made another pillow cover for my grandson. He can use this to replace the Rudolph pillow cover after Christmas.
It is a smaller version of the I Spy floor pillow I designed for my granddaughter.
(I haven’t quilted the floor pillow yet.)

I hand quilted the center of both of these pillow covers.
I decided to make my own pillow insert, but I ran out of stuffing.
So, tomorrow, I will either buy more stuffing or just buy a pillow insert.