Still Raining

It is still raining, and since I am stuck inside, I decided to get busy on some small projects. One of the projects is a small zipper tote. I followed the tutorial by Jenny Doan at Missouri Star. I had some of the sewing notion print fabric leftover, so I made two small zippered pouches.

Sewing Notion Pouches

Zippered Pouch
These pouches will come in handy tomorrow. If we get out of the low water crossing and flood alert, I will be meeting two of my friends at Las Colchas. Francine, the owner of Las Colchas, is opening her shop on Monday to give us sewing lessons. It has been years since I made clothes for myself. I need a refresher on how to fit the pattern and make necklines and sleeves. It should be a fun day…if it stops raining!
I also made some small zipper-less pouches. Vanessa, at Crafty Gemini, has a tutorial for these small pouches. These pouches are good stash busters. I plan to gift them at a luncheon I will be attending.

It has been a productive Sunday.
I hope you have enjoyed your day.

Sewing Machine Cover

Las Colchas had this bright, happy, sewing notion print-fabrics. My sewing machine makes me happy, so I thought this fabric would be perfect for making a sewing machine cover.
I viewed many tutorials on Youtube, but I found that the Crafty Gemini had the easiest instructions. I love to view Vanessa’s tutorials. She has tutorials on just about anything you can think of making. I made some changes to the instructions by adding a lining made from remnants and scraps. I quilted the cover using masking tape to make my diagonal lines. Vanessa talks about making crisp corners. My corners are a bit mushy but that’s okay. Binding is something I dread since I am awful at making mitered corners. I gave it a shot, and the results were not too bad.
When I was cutting the fabric for the main part, I cut it in the wrong direction. The sewing machine prints were upside down. I did not have enough fabric to re-cut, so I covered the upside-down sewing machines with heart appliques made from the fabric that had the pin print.

Inside Lining


Back (with the boo-boo hearts)


It has been raining and dreary for three days. Making this cover made things a bit brighter.
The sewing machine cover has made my Happy Place an even happier room!

Block # 37~ Friday September 14

In my post, Quilting Grandma, I shared some memories I have of time spent with my grandmothers. I have spent the past two rainy days just thinking back to special moments with my family, especially my grandchildren. This led me to think of a design for my hexagon block for this week’s fabric journal entry.
The elephant is one of my favorite animals…so majestic and beautiful. I read that the elephant is a symbol of family, love, patience, strength and good luck. The elephant has strong memory. It is a symbol of the gift of remembering beautiful moments of joy and happiness.
I have a collection of small elephants that my mother collected. I have also added some of my own elephant figurines to the collection.
So, I decided to make an appliqued elephant to represent the gift of special memories.

Collection of Elephants

Block #37~ Friday, September 14
Gift of Special Memories
Light blue print; pastel leafy background
Technique: Applique

Quilting Grandma

This Grandparent’s Day got me thinking about my grandmothers. Both my grandfather’s had died before I was born. I got to have eight years with my grandmothers. My maternal grandmother was Emma Almazan Martinez. My paternal grandmother was Manuela Ancira Virjan.
Both grandmothers were very strong women who had large families. My mother was the youngest of 10 children; my dad the youngest of 13.
Grandma Emma was stately and quiet. I remember being allowed in her parlor where she played records on her Victrola. I used to love our visits.
Mama Mela was loud and feisty. People were afraid of her, but I could make her laugh. She doted on me and laughed at my pranks. I once poured ketchup on my leg and started yelling for help. She was besides herself trying to help me when she saw me lick the ketchup. She laughed it off and thought I was so funny. She didn’t laugh when I ruined her perfect rice, though. She used to brag about her rice being perfect and she made the rice for dinner since she said mom didn’t make good rice. I had my older sister distract Mama Mela, as I poured uncooked rice into her “perfect” rice. The look on her face as she crunched on her perfect rice was priceless. I’ve never had poker face, so my mom knew I had something to do with the rice fiasco. Mom gave me a smile of approval.
This week, I attended a Grandparent’s Day lunch at my granddaughter’s school. Her teacher greeted me with “Hello, Quilting Grandma”. Apparently, she has heard all about my quilts and things I make for my granddaughter. The name, Quilting Grandma, reminds me of a porcelain figurine that belonged to my mom. It portrays and old grandmother with her grandson. I have it in the curio cabinet that I also inherited from my mother.

I have so many special memories of my grandmothers.
And I am having special times with my grandchildren.
Happy Grandparents Day!

Coiled Fabric Bowl

Months ago, my brother sent me  designer upholstery fabric, along with an order for fabric bowls.
Since his birthday is this weekend, I thought I better get started.
The fabric is beautiful, but it is way too thick and difficult to handle. I didn’t use the strip-wrap method because the material frayed too easily.I just about pulled my hair out trying to get this done. The results are a bit wonky, but it is the best I could do.

Getting the coil started was difficult.

I had to go back and hand-sew places I missed because of the bulkiness of the fabric.

The other material he sent is even thicker, so I do not think I will even try to make another bowl.
I’ll pack this up to mail tomorrow.

Meemaw Tour

“There is nothing that can’t be done. If you can’t make something, it’s because you haven’t tried hard enough.”
Sakichi Toyoda

Today, my Meemaw friends and I took a field trip to the
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas  plant. Of course, we started out with a breakfast before we traveled, in a rainstorm, from the Northeast side of town to the very end of the the Southwest side of San Antonio. It was well worth it. The biography of Sakichi Toyoda is very interesting. His most famous invention was the automatic power loom. This loom implemented the principle or autonomous automation.
The plant has very strict rules and dress codes for visitors. Once inside, I could see why. The robots and machines are amazing. I am in awe of the people working these machines and factory lines. They have four, two hour shifts, with 10 minute breaks in-between. They change stations every two hours in order to avoid repetitive motion injuries. Workers have a mandatory time to spend in the on-site gym. They have a doctor and nurse on site, along with the cafeteria.  Every station is ergonomically designed to help the workers from over use injuries. Everything is so precise and measured to the second. Seeing the body of a Tundra moving above the chassis; and then landing right on top, fitting exactly onto the chassis, was quite amazing. The worker’s movements were as precise as the robots. They did not miss a beat.
I would be like Lucille Ball in the I Love Lucy Chocolate Factory episode. There is no way I could do this type of work, eight hours a day.
When I returned home, I read some more information about Sakichi Toyoda, and I found the above quote.  I posted this quote above my cutting table as a reminder.

Early this evening, started making a table runner and some place mats. My daughter-in-law to be had shown me this fabric she liked. I didn’t tell her that I bought the fabric later, planning to make her a set.
I tried out one of the stitches on my new machine to decorate and secure the fabric on the table runner. I finished the table runner, and assembled the place mats. I just need to fancy stitch the place mats.

Table Runner

Place Mats

Rainy Sunday

For the past two days, we have been hit with  a lot of rain. This morning, the water rose high on my porch, and we had a rushing stream of water on our front street. It all went down by noon, leaving us with another day to piddle around inside. I am not complaining…we sorely needed the rain.
I made my journal block for this past Friday. I had to spend time straightening out the hexagon.

Corrected Version

I started prepping for making some table mats, but I got sidetracked into making another tissue pouch for my grandson. When I was with him last, it seems like we were always looking for tissues. A few years ago, I had made him a pouch. I called it a Moco Monster.

I can’t remember which one of these three was his. It is no longer around. So, I thought I would use the last of the Pokemon fabric and make an updated version. This pouch is called Mokomon.
I made a Pokemon trading card to go with the pouch.

I am looking at different tutorials for making a sewing machine cover. The other day, I found some cute fabric at Las Colchas that will make a cute cover. I hope to get started on this soon.

Tomorrow’s plans involve a tour of the Toyota Plant.
Don’t ask me why we are touring plant.
My Meemaw friend thought it would be a fun thing to do.
I am always in for fun, but I do wonder how this tour fits the description of fun.
Of course, we are starting or day meeting for breakfast.

Block #36~Friday, September 7

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Butterflies are know to be the symbol for happiness, life, and love. I read that butterflies also represent life celebrations such as weddings.
Next month, I will be attending the wedding of my youngest son. My daughter-in-law is a beautiful person. Our family really has something to celebrate.
The block for September 7 represents my anticipation and excitement about the wedding.

After viewing the photo that I posted, I could see that the hexagon is off. I will have to do some repair work.
Block #36~ Friday, September 7
Background: Sky blue 100% cotton; white and red polka-dot backing
Technique: origami fabric butterfly, FMQ

Fabric Butterfly Origami

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
Rabindranath Tagore

What do you do with 4.5″x6″ scraps? You make origami fabric butterflies!
I found this great free pattern by Michelle Roberts at CreativeBlonde. The instructions have photos to help guide, but I have so much trouble with following diagrams without seeing someone do it. So, I found some different videos on youtube to help me with direction.

This was the first one I made, and it took forever for me to understand the directions. After viewing tutorials, and studying Michelle’s photos, I was able to make three more. I finally got the hang of it by the time I made the fifth one.
Now, what do you do with fabric origami butterflies?
Make Tissue Pouches!
Next month, there will be a wedding in my family. I am known for getting emotional…so I made some tissue pouches. I call them Butterfly Booger pouches.

Then I made a butterfly head band and some hair clips for my granddaughter.

Free Friday

Free Friday was a fun way I used to end the week with my first grade students. Students were able to choose from a variety of integrated curriculum activities that were based on what we had been learning all week. They worked in groups to create a technology product that included reading, writing, science, math, and social studies. I would spend 15 minutes explaining the activities and expectations, and then they were “free” to work on their own for the whole day. The last 30 minutes of the day were spent presenting their product to the class. Free Friday gave me the opportunity to work with individuals who needed reteaching or support. It gave the students a sense of independence and a chance to show what they know. It gave me a chance to evaluate and plan for the next week. Music was playing all day, and everyone was busy and happy.

Today was my Free Friday. I only made a few things, but I accomplished quite a bit. A good chunk of the morning was spent learning more about my sewing machine. I practiced different stitches and also how to get a perfect 1/4 inch seam on this machine.
Time was also spent planning and designing my next quilt. I am making a quilt for my future daughter-in-law. We discussed color and pattern ideas, and she ended up saying it is up to me…she would like anything.
The afternoon was spent at the Mesquite Bean. They have a great selection of fabric, and there is an associate there who is absolutely the best. Tracy was super helpful in guiding my selection of fabric. He would pull out all the bolts I wanted and then watch me as I narrowed down the 24 fabrics that I needed. After I would make a combination, I would ask his opinion. He has a great sense of color and fabric design.  We mostly agreed on the fabric, but he pointed out things that I did not see right off. We would discuss and make minor changes here and there. I totally enjoyed the afternoon selecting fabric with Tracy.

This is the origami fabric butterfly I made while practicing on my sewing machine.

Last night, my son sent me a video of my grandson reading.
Music to my ears!!!!!
Of course, he is getting a reading pouch with three new books.

Reading is Out-of-This-World!
I decided not to add a lace zipper to this pouch. It shuts just fine and it is easier to open and close.
Free Friday never fails to be a fun and productive day.
I hope you enjoyed your Friday.