New Year’s Eve

I’m ending the year watching movies and stitching. I’m working on my version of a Vision board. I pulled out some blocks I had pieced a few months ago; and now I’m adding some embroidery and beads. My younger sister, Emma, and I had a great discussion about goals. She came up with three: Create, Focus, Enough. My original goals were similar: Create, Persist, Enjoy. But then I asked my sister if  she would mind if I adopted her goals, since I definitely need to focus and know when it is enough…time to stop second guessing or being over critical of my work. Of course she said I could.

I found some letter stamps in a bin, and stamped my goals on fabric. The block is still in progress.

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Happy New Year

The last few days have been spent with family. My siblings and I enjoyed a very special Christmas together.

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Since my brother was in town for a few days, we also had a mini-cousin reunion. We grew up in a family with 24 cousins. Six cousins have passed. Eight of us were able to meet for a luncheon. Stories and laughter filled the room.

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Before the holidays started, I was able to organize my sewing room. I am looking forward to 2019. I wish all of you a Happy New Year.

Notebook Pouch

In preparation for 2019, I have purchased my new calendar, journal, sketchbook, Moleskines, and pens. This time around, I want to be more organized and have all of these items in one place. I looked on YouTube for tutorials on how to make a pouch that would be just the right size for my stuff. I found a very good video, by Alanda Craft.
The pouch was very easy to make, thanks to the great tutorial by Alanda Craft. I cut and prepared the pieces this morning, before I left for a luncheon. It took about 15 minutes to sew it all together when I returned home. On paper, I am ready for 2019!😉
I have been reading the many goals and vision statements people are posting on their blogs. Melanie, of Catbird Quilt Studio posted a thought provoking list of things she learned or had reinforced this year. This got me to thinking. I’m in the midst of seasonal fun-craziness right now, but I plan to sit and reflect on 2018, and project for 2019, when things settle down after the 25th. In the meantime, I now have a pouch to carry all my stuff.
 These three books, plus my pens and two Moleskines fit in the pouch below.

Last Quilt

A few months ago, my friends and I were visiting one of our favorite quilt shops, Las Colchas. They had a Christmas quilt hanging on the wall that just caught my attention. It was different. Seasonal, but not Christmas-y. I had no intention of buying the kit, but I did.
My first response to the fabric was that it was lively and told a story. The fabric is A Winter’s Tail, by Elizabeth Grubough. The bear and rabbit featured in these fabrics are very cute. I just thought there were a lot of stories going on in the fabric. I thought it should be named, A Winters TALE.
I have never made an X block, so this was a learning experience for me. Once I pieced the top, I thought maybe it was a bit too busy. I ended up adding a neutral beige with small polka-dot border to give a place for the eye to rest. There is a bright green binding that is not seen in this photo. There are tinges of this green in the blocks, and the binding really picks it up. Jeana Kubik quilted it for me and I love the end product. It is still a bit busy for my comfort zone, but it is growing on me. I hope the recipient of this quilt feels the same. 😉


Jeana sells 118″ wide backing, and I chose this beige/gold star and snowflake fabric.

Two Down…One More to Go

This weekend, I gifted the Log Cabin quilt. It took me two days to bind this king size quilt. My friend, Jeana Kubik, did her long arm quilting magic on this quilt. It looks beautiful.
My mistake was making the quilt according to size specifications instead of design. The quilt is missing a symmetrical point. Since I do not have a large design wall, I never really studied the pieced quilt top as a whole. I am still happy with the quilt. I will just add this mishap to my Things I Will Do Better Next Time list.

Yesterday, I was busy binding a second quilt. I had finished piecing this bird quilt back in June. I took it to Jeana for quilting, but I kept giving priority to other pieces to be quilted. I picked it up on Monday. This quilt will be gifted to my cousin.
 
There is one more quilt that I need to bind, and then I am finished for the year.
In total, I pieced 7 quilts this year.  Each quilt gave me the opportunity to learn something new.

Tooth Fairy Monster Pillow

A couple of years ago, I made a small Tooth Fairy Monster tote for my granddaughter.
Since she likes to journal, I placed a small notebook and pen for her to write about each time she lost a tooth.The Monster mouth was made into a pocket to hold the tooth.


Well, it is Tooth Fairy Monster time again, but this time, for my grandson. Yesterday, he proudly showed me that he is ready to lose a tooth. I offered to make him a pillow, and he readily accepted. He did suggest that a zipper pocket would ensure that the tooth did not fall out of the pocket and get lost.
So, when I returned home, I researched different styles of tooth pillows online. Then, I studied tutorials on how to make zippered pockets. After a fun evening of planning, I drew up a pattern and prepared to start on the pillow today. I was a bit hesitant when it came to making the zippered pocket. But it was easier than I thought.
  
Tooth Fairy Monster Pillow

 

 

Block #49~Friday, December 7

Today, I am catching up with making the blocks for my fabric quilt journal. I had the ideas, and drawn my designs, but I am just now able to get them done.
During this first week of December, I found myself surrounded with the sounds and sights of Christmas. My sewing studio is decked out with Christmas decorations. I have been listening to Christmas music while I’ve been working on gift projects and quilts. On one occasion, I visited a mall. This is where I saw children lined up to see Santa. This brought back a special Christmas memory from my childhood.
The Santa kiosk at the mall was festive, but no way compared to the visit to Santa of my youth.
Joske’s was a premiere department store in San Antonio from 1888-1987. My childhood home was in downtown San Antonio. near Joske’s. In the 50’s and 60’s, downtown San Antonio played a central part of my life. As a child, I could not wait for Joske’s to set up the huge Santa on top of the building. I also loved visiting the special Fantasy Land that Joske’s created in the store during the season. My mother and my aunt would pile my cousins, my older sister, and me into the 1952 Chevy and take us to see Santa. I have a photo of me with Santa, that is from 1954. The special memory of this visit came to mind this week, so I included it as Block #49.

Block #49~ Friday, December 7
Christmas Memory-Santa and Me
Background: Holly Christmas fabric; brocade backing
Technique: Photo printed on fabric; strip patched

Block #50~ Friday, December 14
Karate Kid
My son sent me a photo of my grandson on his first night at karate class.
It made my week!
The smile on his face speaks volumes.
I printed the photo on fabric, and framed it with polka-dot fabric.

I can not believe that there are only two more Fridays remaining in the year!

Block #48~Great Blue Heron~Friday, November 30

The Meemaws spent the last weekend in November visiting Rockport, Texas. The purpose for our trip was to take the Whooping Crane and Coastal Birding tour and just have fun.  We were able to spot 25 different species of birds. Watching a family of three Whooping Cranes defend their one mile territory from intruding Whooping Cranes was absolutely amazing. My most favorite bird, however, was the Great Blue Heron. I ran across some individual Herons in different locations and was able to get up close.

These photos were taken in the early afternoon.

This photo was taken in the early morning. It is my favorite.

The Great Blue Heron was the trip’s hit for me, so I included it in my fabric quilt journal. I am late in making the hexagon block because I am finishing off Christmas projects.

Block #48~Friday, November 30
Great Blue Heron
Background: Cotton linen; marbled beige backing
Technique: Applique, thread-sketching, FMQ

Snow Owl

With bandaged fingers, I was able to bind the small Snow Owl quilt I pieced for my granddaughter. This is the first time I used Minky fabric for a backing. I was looking online for washing instructions. I wish I had done this before I used Minky. Everything I read had major restrictions on washing and drying Minky. I consulted with my friend, and she says that she has washed Minky in cold water and has dried it in the dryer with no problem. I will find out the hard way, I guess. Although, I did wash and dry a Minky pillow cover I made for my granddaughter, and there was not a problem.
Any suggestions or shared experiences with washing Minky  would be appreciated.

Procrastination and Pouches

Procrastination is my middle name.
I have four quilts to bind before Christmas.
Instead of binding, I spent the afternoon making small pouches. Well, I sort of have a reason for this procrastination. My fingers need a chance to heal. I had a run-in with the needle when I was sewing a coiled rope coaster. I sewed right over the tip of left pointing finger. Ouch! Then, I had a mishap with the rotary blade on the pointing finger on my right hand. It is difficult to bind with my fingers in bandages.

My sister had asked if I could make her a small pouch. I tried two different sizes. The first pouch is 4″X 5″. The second pouch is 2.5″X 3″. I am going to try to make one that is 3″X 4″. I think it would make a cute set of three pouches. This project gave me the opportunity to use the button-hole tool on my machine. I have been wanting to use it ever since I took a class on how to use the machine. As you can see, I am still having difficulty with the button placement. The feather pouch was my first attempt, and the button is way too high. The other two pouches came out a little bit better.