Block #11~ Let’s Go Fly a Kite

The events of this Spring Break have provided so many ideas for this week’s quilt journal entry.
It was difficult to choose just one, but I finally decided to make a kite block.

One reason for my choice is that I love flying kites.
Every year, I would write a two week kite unit of study for my students.
The unit included the study of the history and science of kites.
For math, we would measure the different aspects of the kite. We would also write poems and stories about kites. Of course, there were kite art projects. We also learned the song, “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.”
On the Friday before Spring Break, the parents and kids and I would fly kites for the last two hours of the school day. It was a blast. The children were always so amazed that I could fly the highest kite.
The main reason I chose to make this kite block was because of a special moment with my granddaughter this past week. Our Spring Break adventure began with a trip to Wal-Mart to buy a kite.
She chose a beautiful kite with a mama turtle and her baby turtles on the tail.

It wasn’t the best day for flying kites, but there was just enough wind for me to get the kite up.
My granddaughter started jumping for joy, singing : “Look at my Granny! My Granny is flying a kite!”
This was another heart melting moment for me.
I gave her the kite and she ran around with the kite flying behind her.
It was such a joy to see her having fun.
So, here is Block #11.
I cannot decide if I should try to add a string to the kite or not.
I used some batik remnants that were perfect for the turtle.
Without a string                                                              With a string

Block #11~ Friday, March 16
Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Background: 100% Cotton/Linen memo
Technique: Applique
Batting: 100% cotton
Embellishment: Ribbon for a tail; possibly a string for the kite string

A Forever Memory

The Spring Break spent with my granddaughter was absolutely fantastic.
We entertained ourselves observing nature and participating in the simple things in life.

The house itself was a big treat.
The San Gabriel House was built in 1908.
We stayed in the Bishop Room, which had a huge four-post bed.
After a long day of non-stop activity, we returned to the comfort of this historic home.
We played a math dice game, drew in our art notebooks, and wrote in journals.
No TV!
When we turned in for the night, we would start telling stories. We would take turns adding detail and suspense to the story-line that my granddaughter would start. The storytelling would go on for some time…until the time I would turn the story over to her and there was no response…she was sleeping.

Each morning, my granddaughter looked forward to the fancy breakfast that was served in a beautiful dining room.

Since she likes to cook, she would try to figure out the ingredients and the recipe for the breakfast that was served.
We walked the historic downtown Georgetown area. One of her favorite places was All Things Kids, where we indulged in homemade bubblegum ice cream.
Her favorite place for lunch was Laurie’s Cafe, a quaint eatery with a touch of home. (Not my home…I never cooked anything as delicious as the items on the menu!) We would order two raspberry muffins to have for our before bedtime snack.

I had ordered the book, Caves and Caverns, by Gail Gibbons, so that my granddaughter could be prepared for our trip to Inner Space Caverns. She read it the night before we went to the caverns.
Our cavern tour was made extra special, because my friend Nancy and her grandson joined us.

We visited the Georgetown Public Library more than once. The library is very welcoming and one of the best I have seen. My granddaughter loved the sculptures that decorated the outside of the library. She would pull out a couple of books to read each time we went.

This Mermaid was my granddaughter’s favorite sculpture.
Chautauqua Park was a great place for the children to run, play Frisbee, and fly kites.
On the last day of our adventure, I had planned a surprise art class for Morgan.
 Paint With Me is an art studio run by Kimberly Keller. I had contacted Kimberly after I read about her online. I told her that my granddaughter loved okapi’s, so she arranged for the theme for that day to be painting okapi’s with florescent paint in black lighting…what fun!
Kimberly is a fantastic teacher who just has “fun” written all over her.

Kimberly had her face painted and encouraged the kids to paint their faces and hands!

As we were packing the car to return home, I asked my granddaughter if she wanted me to take a picture of her in front of the San Gabriel House.
Her response melted my heart:
I don’t need to take a picture. I will remember this place forever.

What a Day!

My granddaughter was waiting with her packed suitcase when I picked her up this morning.

After an hour drive, we drove into the driveway of the San Gabriel House. She gasped at the sight of this beautiful house and said, “I love this place already.”

We spent the afternoon walking the historic downtown area. Georgetown has the best public library, with beautiful outside sculpture. Of course, the mermaid sculpture was the favorite. My granddaughter couldn’t wait to get back to the house where we read and played games on the upstairs veranda. We are pretending it is our house.

She is all excited about having breakfast in the grand dining room.

I love  how it’s the little things that are so exciting.


Working on new projects gives you the opportunity to learn and absorb new things
 Michelle Ryan

I am always setting my glasses down and forgetting where I put them.
Today’s project was made to help remedy this problem.
The project also gave me the opportunity to learn something new.
In the book, It’s a Wrap, by Susan Breier, there are directions for making an oval basket.
In my rope project supply box, I found some already prepared fabric that was left over from one of the baskets I made. There was only 4 yards, and I did not want it to go to waste.
I guessed and made adjustments to the directions and was able to make a small oval basket.
It would be have been better if I had had more fabric to build up more of the walls.
The directions state that the walls of an oval basket tend to be flimsy. Suggestions are given to support the wall with cording on top of the wall as embellishment. I used buttons instead, and they seem to give the support necessary.
As you can see below, the ends are dipping.
I added a handle made out of a remnant of webbing.
The button that is holding the webbing, also adds support to the end.
The basket is narrow and so it will sit nicely on my side tables without taking up too much space.
Now, I have a special place for my glasses.
I just need to remember where I put the basket!

Block #10~Friday, March 9

Previously, I posted a video of a snail who was “moving mountains” at his own pace.
This little snail inspired me to thread sketch a snail.

Since my grandson loves snails, I was originally going to turn this sketch into a block for a quilt that is in progress. I had placed the snail in one of my containers for later use.
This week, I made my grandson a spring basket that I embellished with snail buttons.

As I sewed on the snail buttons, I was thinking of a special time I had with my grandson.
That day, we spent a lot of time outside, looking for snails.
He loved telling me all about snails as we were enjoying the site of snails in his yard.
So, I decided to commemorate this special moment in my quilt journal.
This Friday’s block is called Moving Mountains.

Block #10, Friday March 9
Moving Mountains
Background: Snow Kona fabric
Technique: Thread sketching, free motion
Batting: 100% cotton
Embellishment: I will add buttons for the eyes after the quilting is done.

Spring Basket 2

It seems that I did not order enough of the colored rope to make two baskets of equal sizes.
The one I made for my grandson today is a bit smaller than the one I made for my granddaughter.
I am beginning to get a better feel for how to gradually change the shape of the basket.
All of these little baskets are helping me prepare for making the baskets for my brother.
I went out for a walk at the Forum, and outside shopping mall.
There is a Hobby Lobby at the end of the shopping strip. I usually park at the other end and walk the one mile strip up to Hobby Lobby. Of course, I had to take a look around. I found the cutest snail and insect buttons. The snails are perfect for my grandson. He loves snails.

Spring Basket

After studying the book It’s a Wrap, by Susan Breier, and other various online tutorials, I spent some time designing an Easter, spring basket for my granddaughter. I had planned to use the white, orange, green, and aqua cotton rope that I had ordered.
After making the center for the basket, I learned the difference in using 100% cotton rope, and 100% cotton clothesline. The rope is not as tightly woven as the clothesline. This makes it a bit more difficult to start the coil. It also makes it more difficult to use and connect different colors.
I also soon realized that no matter how much I planned a certain design for the basket, the rope just takes on a life and shape of it’s own. I thought I had control of the angles I wanted for “throwing” the basket, but it kept changing as I went along. This does not necessarily mean that I do not like the outcome. It is just each bowl or basket will be different and unique.
One of the cool things about making the baskets is that it is easy to cover up mistakes. I had made a handle that just didn’t look good. I cut it off, and covered it up with a coiled handle.
Some of the stitching is off in this basket because I had trouble controlling the softer rope.
Also, the natural white rope seems to get dirty. I do not think I will be using it as much any more.
But, all in all, I think it will be an okay basket for my granddaughter’s Easter basket.
Now, I need to make  a basket for my grandson.
No telling how this one will turn out.
I plan to use just one color.

Spring Preview

My thoughts and prayers are with all of my blogging friends who are experiencing the winter storms.
We finally had a break from grey, misty days.
Our spring weather is so short, so my friends and I decided to go for a walk to enjoy the spring preview.
I made a video with the intention of giving you a glimmer of hope that spring will soon be coming your way. I was using my phone camera, so some of the videos are a bit hazy.
Also, there are two photos that I thought I had rotated but apparently I didn’t…oops!
I included the shot of the train for my grandson.
The stars for the day were the Egyptian Geese we saw along the river.
We walked a portion of the San Antonio River that led to the newly opened Confluence Park.
The park  promotes ecological education and provides a place for recreation.
It was a very enjoyable walk.

March Madness


March Madness has certainly arrived.
I think I over did it in ordering rope.

These arrived in three different envelopes, at three different times today.
Don’t you just love the colored rope?
I think there is one more delivery due tomorrow.

I think I am going to have to wrap the fabric for my brother’s baskets since the fabric is a bit thicker.
I decided to practice the wrap around technique today.
At first, I really doubted if I was going to like the results.
It was a bit too stringy for me, as I wrapped 50 ft of rope.
I had read two different opinions on wrapping.
Some say to wrap as you go; others suggest wrapping the fabric ahead of time.
Since I am still figuring out how to “throw” the bowl, I thought it would be best to wrap the 50 ft and have it ready. Figuring out how to angle the bowl in order to shape it, plus wrapping, would have been a bit much for me.
I made three different bowls, using up every bit of the 50 ft of rope.

A coiled flower was made to finish off this bowl. I added a button to the center.

The medium-sized bowl had one small loop and a button in the center of a coil.
The small ring dish has a cardinal button attached to the small loop.
I think that the result of wrapping the fabric around the rope gives the basket a more organic warmth and natural look.

Coiled Fabric Rope Mania

Today, I received the book I had ordered, It’s a Wrap, by Susan Breier.
After reading the Dedication segment written by Susan Breier, I knew I was going to love this book.
She dedicates the book to all women who don’t have any clue as to what they want to be when they grow up, even though they are already full grown!
Susan Breier also uses the phrase my mother frequently preached about using one’s “God-Given Talents.”
The possibilities for creating with rope and fabric are endless.
I do believe I am caught in a bit of Coiled Fabric Rope Mania.
The other day, I gave some small baskets to my Meemaw friends.
One of the Meemaws said that her granddaughter loved the basket.
She asked if I could make spring baskets for her two granddaughters.
I made two baskets similar to the one I had made my friend.
Then I made one smaller bowl with a wider brim.
With the remaining fabric strip, I made a basket with handles.
I am studying the different techniques in Breier’s book.
There is a square basket that I would like to try out.
Here is a little video displaying the baskets I made today.
I had prepared the fabric rope strips the day before.
This may be the tedious part of the whole process, but it is also fun to put colors together and see what happens.