Three Favorite Quotes~Day 2

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
Henry David Thoreau

Each morning, I start by reading books, poems, articles, or quotes about life’s journey. Each week, I choose one quote or thought to write in my journal and calendar. This quote becomes my focus for the week.
I frequently refer to Thoreau for inspiration. This is one of my favorite Thoreau quotes. I especially like the reminder to “find your eternity in each moment”.

Star Wars

My grandchildren are a main source of inspiration for me. The other day, my grandson said, “Gramma, I love everything you make for me.”
He had me at “Gramma”!

So, of course I was inspired to make him something.
I decided to make his pillowcases for May, based on a conversation I overhead him having with his uncle. It was an exciting discussion between two Star Wars fans.
My son has been a Star Wars fan since he was a toddler himself…wearing Star Wars Underoos. When I first started quilting, I made my son a Darth Vadar quilt. He has it displayed in his home office.

Another celebration day in my classroom was Star Wars Day, May 4th.
I would wear my black Darth Vadar cape, and use a lightsabor for a pointer and talking stick. The kids loved to explain the process they used in solving a math problem, because they got to use the lightsabor.
I also had a t-shirt that read: Metaphors Be With You. I would wear this for teaching writing.
Here are the pillowcases I made for my youngest grandson and my granddaughter:

This is for my grandson’s little pillow.

This is his standard sized pillowcase.

This is my granddaughter’s standard sized pillowcase.

Naturally, all this talk and memories that come with Star Wars will have to be documented in my fabric quilt journal for this week. I thread sketched and painted Yoda. I will finish it later this week.

It has been a fun afternoon, just thinking of all these Star War moments!
I hope you all have enjoyed your afternoon.

Three Favorite Quotes, Day 1

Thank you, Cindy! (A Quilter’s Corner)
To think that I inspire you is quite an honor for me. Your blog is one of my sources of information and inspiration. And, I always look forward to reading your Enough Said Posts. Your posts make me smile, laugh, and shout…AMEN. I totally agree with the life journey quote!
On my studio closet door, there is a very simple statement posted. It is something I found years ago, in my early years of teaching. It came in a set of bulletin board cut outs. This strip shows the wear and tear of being posted in my classroom each year. It is not exactly a quote, but it is an inspirational thought and my philosophy  on teaching and learning.

I would start the year asking students to tell me their interpretation and meaning of the word “fun”.
The words “happy” and “feel good” were always first on the list. Someone would always bring up the fact that it does not feel good when something is hard to learn and you are having trouble learning something. Then the conversation would turn and we would be talking about how it feels when you don’t give up and you finally learn something you thought was difficult. We would talk about how powerful it feels when you are in engaged and in charge of your learning. I would also ask them to let me know what I could do to make our learning environment fun. That is why my classroom was filled with music, fidget toys, dancing, thinking hats…whatever made them happy.
At the end of the day we would quote Dr. Seuss: Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
This simple poster continues to encourage me to keep on learning…and to have fun!

Cindy, you nominated the people I would nominate. 

Journal/ Prayer Pocket

What I love about working with fabric is the range of possibilities of things that can be made.
I started out making a fabric journal. My intent was to make signatures by piecing various fabric, ribbons, etc. .
My first two signatures were a bit more applique than piecing.

This project was not coming out like I had thought, so I set it aside for a bit.
Then, I remembered that this weekend, I am meeting with one of my cousins.
I thought I could make her a journal pocket or maybe a prayer pocket.
She keeps lots of prayer cards, small booklets, and rosaries with her.
I placed some notebooks and a pen just to see if it worked.
My first thought was to fill the pockets for her, but then, maybe she would like to decide for herself how to use this.
The penny in the back pocket is for ” A Penny for your Thoughts”.

The blue signature will be put on hold until I make some paper with the Gelli frame.
I still do not have a brayer or the variety of paints I want. I am also still studying videos. In the meantime, I am finding things from home that can be used on the Gelli plate.

There are many cool videos from Gelli Arts. The one at the bottom is about painting on fusible interfacing.

Fabric Quilt Journals

Lately, I have been really getting into trying new things with fabric. I spent some time looking through Pinterest…way too much time…and I saw so many textile art craft ideas. A while back, I made a fabric journal for my sister. She and I have been having conversations about collage, Gelli art printing, and other fun stuff. I have some Gelli art plates on order, so while I am waiting, I decided to play around with some of the memos that my brother sent me. I started cutting and adding applique. I quilted and outlined with thread.
I made two signatures, but I have not yet put them together. I am thinking I will use other fabric tomorrow to make signatures to add to the back of the two I made today. I also am looking through my beads and buttons to see what I can use to embellish the signatures. I’m thinking that I might add some pearl beads on the gray and white embroidery border on the blue signature.

This is what I have so far. I need to put it away for a bit and think of what I want to do next.

Block #17~Friday, April 27

Since I don’t think this week will provide anything more inspirational than my granddaughter’s ballet recital, I went ahead and made Block 17 early.
It is entitled, Morganina Ballerina.
I once made my granddaughter a ballet quilt, with the same title.
She loves reading  Anglina Ballerina books by Katherine Holabird.
I loved watching my granddaughter dance and perform at her school’s day time show.
Then, the evening ballet performance was adorable. She was so tired, and yet, she still managed to give 100%. Dance class has given her such stature and grace.
I also loved watching her father, my son, beam with pride as he watched his daughter dance.
It was also enjoyable watching her mother do her Mom Magic as she fed, dressed, fixed a ballerina hair bun, and applied make-up on a six-year-old who does not particularly care for make-up.

Great way to spend a weekend.

Background: 100% cotton linen memo
Technique: Drawing, applique, fabric painting, free motion quilting
Embellishments: Tulle, rhinestones, ribbon flower

Note: This is the first time I tried FMQ swirls before I added the applique.
I was very happy with the top and bottom FMQ. I finally got the right tension for the thread.
Then, I as I cut the hexagon, I accidentally cut part of the backing…. I had to trim, add a new backing, and just outline FMQ.

What a Week!

My six-year-old granddaughter had quite a week.
She had three days of rehearsal for a school performance, plus extra ballet practice for a dance program.
Both events were scheduled for this weekend.
During the school performance, she was singing and dancing and rapping, sunglasses and all.
She had a brief moment to rest after school, then we were off to the last rehearsal for the night ballet performance. We fed her in the car on the way from the ballet studio to the high school theater for the performance. She was tired, but laughing, because as she was eating her hamburger in the car, I was trying to feed her French Fries.  I almost stuck them in her nose, with all the traffic bumps.
The performance was beautiful.
I get so emotional when I see children performing, especially my own!
This experience, of course, has to be the entry for this coming week’s journal entry.
I returned home today, and I started on the block.
So far, I have the applique I drew and colored.
I need to add the tutu and some sparkles on a head band.
I don’t know exactly how to do this, so it will be a learning experience.
The pink tights came out too pink. I was planning on using a pink background fabric, but this won’t work because of the color of the tights. I thought the floral might work, but now I think it is too busy.
What color background would you recommend?

This is all I can do today…it has been quite a week-end for me!

Yellow Breasted Chat

San Antonio has many beautiful parks that are sanctuary for many species of birds.
One of my Meemaw friends is a Master Naturalist, who is well versed in identifying birds.
We frequently go in search for particular birds that may be in the area during a particular season.
Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy is one of the parks we visit.
The conservancy provides a list of birds that can be found in the park.
One of the birds listed, is a yellow breasted chat. I have never been fortunate to see one in the park, so I decided to paint one on fabric.

I used pastels to paint the bird on a beige, linen memo.
Fabric markers were also used to highlight areas.

After thread sketching the block, I pieced a frame and border.
The block is a 9″ square after adding the pieces.

These blocks that I am making are for practice and trying new things.
I am making a list of areas that show improvement and those requiring more practice.
At the Texas Quilt Museum, I saw a binder that contained blocks made by various quilters.
I am thinking of making my own quilt block binder.


Trying Something New

We have been having beautiful spring days…super green lawns and trees and gorgeous, blue skies.
In our area, we appreciate these spring days because our summer starts early and stays long.
Soon, everything will be yellow-brown, dry, and super hot.
Don’t get me wrong…I love summer. There is nothing like a hot, sweaty, Texas Summer day.
But, I am enjoying this cool, fresh bout of Spring.
As I was taking a neighborhood walk, I start thinking of doing something I have wanted to try for some time now…landscape quilting.
I returned home, looked at some tutorials, and just attacked my stash bins.
What a mess!
I decided to start small, keep it basic, and not realistic.
I have mounds of fabric on my cutting table, floor, and ironing board.

I started by laying out strips of hand cut fabric on a 10″ muslin square.

I added different greens for the tree tops.
I went for the bluest blue and greenest green to exaggerate the spring we are having.
I thread sketched the tree trunks and then used fabric crayons to color the leaves and the trunks.
Then, I used black marker to add some shading on the tree.
I attempted to do some stippling.
The batting I used was very thin. Next time, I will use batting that is a bit fuller.
The end result is an 8.5″ x 8.5″ square.

I think the piece needs some flowers, animals, and some movement…but I need to think about how to do this.
I might zig-zag stitch the edges or just leave it as it is, since this is just a practice piece.
Tomorrow, I might view more tutorials and try to learn different techniques.
Trying something new can sometimes be frustrating.
I found today’s project was challenging, but fun.

Viva Fiesta! Block #16 Friday, April 20

Every April, San Antonio celebrates the heroes of the Alamo and the different cultures of our city.
Fiesta began in 1891 with the Battle of Flowers Parade.
The festivities have grown to include numerous events: the day parade, the Battle of Flowers; the night parade, Fiesta Flambeau; Night in Old San Antonio;carnivals, art, music, and food galore.
As a child, my family would pack an ice chest with drinks and chicken salad sandwiches. We would carry our own folding chairs and enjoy the festivities. My mom, usually very quiet and proper, would whistle, yell, sing, and march. Marching bands are my favorite, especially the band from my Alma Mater,
the University of Texas …they always open the Flambeau.
In my classroom, we would study the history of our city and cultures throughout the month of April.We decorated our room, and ourselves, with bright and festive colors. The children would make papel picado to hang from the hallway ceilings. Tissue flowers were strung up across the room.We made our own badges and hats to wear all month.
And of course, for the entire month, I wore my Mexican dresses, flowers in my hair, and cascarones or chili pepper earrings. Our school would have a Fiesta festival, and our first grade and kinder classes would have a parade in the hallways. I would have the University of Texas CD blasting the
Eyes of Texas/Texas Fight songs, as we marched our way through the school.
This year, Fiesta is extra special, since the city is celebrating its Tricentennial.
So, the block for Friday, April 20, is inspired by Fiesta.
I do not make it a habit of taking selfies, but one of my goals in thread sketching is to improve on sketching cartoon people images. So, I decided to try to thread sketch my Fiesta Self. For this block, I did not draw myself with pencil on the fabric. I just thread sketched…that is why you will see that the hand and arms are not the best. I did draw in the eyes with ink pen. In the image, I am making the “Hook’em Horns” sign, and I am holding a raspa, snow cone. At the Texas Quilt Museum, I had seen a quilt that had some designs cut-out in the  fabric. I do not know what this technique is called, so I’ll just say “cut-out”. I decided to try to use this technique and make the papel picado from scraps.

Friday, April 20
Viva Fiesta!
Background: White Kona painted with acrylic
Technique: Thread sketch, cut-out, free motion quilting, fabric painting with acrylics, pastels, and pencil