Summer Doldrums

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After an exciting weekend, I woke up with the Summer Doldrums. I have been busy making stitch meditations, zippered pouches, learning new techniques, and other minor crafts…but I have not started on a quilt.
I know I want to make one, but I just do not know what kind I want to make. So, I pulled out my hexagons that I am making for my quilt fabric journal for the year 2018. I decided to stitch them together to see how it looks. I have completed 24 blocks so far.

I think I need to go to a quilt fabric store and get inspired.

Block #24~June 15 Childhood Memories

This week’s block has brought back many childhood memories. My childhood home was in a neighborhood a bit south of downtown San Antonio. I was a Downtown girl. Today, the neighborhood is called Southtown.
My elementary school, St. Mary’s, was a four story building. We had recess on the rooftop. Each morning, we would go through the tunnel under St. Mary’s street that led to St. Mary’s Church. The school library faced the San Antonio Riverwalk. I used to love to sit there and read.
My mom worked at the Tower Life Building, further down by the Riverwalk. When I was in second grade, I convinced my mother to let me stay downtown after school with my friend, Jodell. I promised her that we would stay at the San Antonio Library, which was near her building, on the Riverwalk. Things were a bit different back then, and my mother allowed my friend and I to stay downtown from 3:00 to 5:00. We would walk to her building where my dad would pick all of us up.
The San Antonio Library was located on Market Street, right along the Riverwalk, from 1930-1968. The Riverwalk was not yet developed as it is today. It was still a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. Jodell and I spent most of the time in the library. I remember the excitement we felt when we moved from the downstairs children section, to the upstairs level, where we checked out Jane Eyre! We sat by the river reading this classic. The library also had the Hertzberg Circus Collection. There were some pretty odd and awesome things in this collection that kept us pretty enthralled. We used to climb up on the elephant that sat in front of the library. At this time, the elephant was grey.
Luckily, San Antonio preserved the elephant. It is now located in front of the Witte Museum. It is called Cinnamon Kandy, and it is now painted like a circus elephant.
My granddaughter, daughter-in-law, and I went to the museum last week. When I saw the elephant, it surely brought back so many memories.

Cinnamon Kandy

I just had to capture this memory for my fabric quilt journey. I decided to make the elephant without the circus painting, since that is how it was when I was a child.

Fabric Collage

Today, I tried what I think one would call fabric collage. First, I ironed on medium interfacing to the back of some canvas. Then I laid strips of fabric on the canvas. After I tried a few arrangements, I settled on what I wanted and used a glue stick to help secure the pieces just a bit. I used a zig-zag stitch to secure the collage. The tree trunk was cut from the slashed block I made yesterday. I chose to hand stitch the trunk onto the block. I added some light batting under the cloud. The tree leaves were ironed onto some interfacing. I then sewed them with the zig-zag stitch. I then attached the leave section onto the block. The piece is not yet quilted. This is just another practice piece for me to learn how to make textured and dimensional blocks.

Summer Day

Note to self: Shape the strips or use smaller strips

Trying Out New Things

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

Sometimes I like to do my morning walks at outdoor malls. Today, I went walking at the outdoor mall that has a Barnes and Noble store. I spent some time looking at the textile art quilting books. The walk, and the visit to the bookstore, energized me. I went home, ready to try new things.
I had never heard of the slashing technique that I saw in a book, so I did some more research on this. I decided to give it a try. It seems that I did not use enough layers of scraps, but it came out okay for my first try. I still need to wash it to see if it poofs up like the tutorials say it will.

I also tried out using the confetti technique. Mine came out very basic, but I like the layered look. It needs some embellishment, but for now, I am just interested in trying out layering fabric.

I am on some sort of path…don’t know exactly which type of path…but it is interesting.

 

Question

Free motion quilting is still an area in which I am trying to improve. I have prepared some quilt sandwiches for practice, and I am also FMQ-ing some small projects. I continue to study different online tutorials. On a few of these tutorials, a free motion quilt slider was recommended. I do not think that this is something that is worth my purchasing, since I do not see myself ever quilting a big quilt on my own any time soon.
However, I was wondering if this product really works. Do any of you find it useful or as a must-have?
Thanks for your input.

Meditation Fabric Journal

The first part of my day was crazy and busy. When I finally was able to get back home, I went to my stitch meditation bin for materials. I knew this would help me put the craziness behind me.
My plan was to create a stitch meditation. But as I looked at the stack of meditations I have made so far, I suddenly switched plans. Originally, these little stitch blocks were to be created just for fun, peace, and with no project in mind. I have been looking at videos on how to make fabric journals. A few years ago, I took a class on making a journal book, with paper signatures. With this bit of experience and research, I decided to try to compile some of the stitch meditations into a fabric journal. Since the stitch blocks are all done by hand, I made the signatures by hand also. The only machine stitching I did was on the journal cover. I thought it would make it more secure, but I did not like the way it looked. So I stitched around the book cover with embroidery thread.
Making this fabric meditation journal was a very relaxing way to end a crazy day.

What a Thursday!

Whew! Emotional morning.
It has been four years since I retired.
My last class of first graders that I taught in 2014, are headed to middle school.
This morning, I attended the celebration for these precious fifth graders.
It was great seeing the children and their parents.
Lots of hugs and smiles.

The ceremony was student-led. It was impressive to see  how the students presented themselves.
They were articulate and inspirational. This group of students has always been creative, energetic, and outspoken. I am so very proud of them. I definitely know there are big things ahead for them.

As I left the school parking lot, I was blubbering like a baby.
My husband said it has taken me four years to fully retire.
I agree. There is finally closure.

When I arrived home, I found this package from my sister, Emma.
She is the artist and illustrator in the family. Emma introduced me to Gelli-printing, and to the artist, Mark Hearld. Emma shared some of her work with me.

Gelli-printing

Gelli-printing and Collage

Cut Paper

It has been quite an exciting and emotional Thursday!