A Meemaw South Padre Island Adventure

My Meemaw friends and I just returned from a great road trip to South Padre Island. Our goal was to visit the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, and the Turtle Rescue. One of the Meemaws could not make the trip, so we took her with us in the form of Flat Kaye. This is based on the adventure stories of Flat Stanley. It was fun documenting our trip with Flat Kaye. I did not get to document the 15 minutes we were locked outside on the top of the five story observation tower. We were too busy trying to get someone to come rescue us.
We saw 35 different species of birds on a super windy, and very cold day. We even got to see an Osprey dive and catch a fish, and then watch him fly up to the top of the water tower to enjoy his catch.
The turtle rescue was my favorite.These beautiful creatures stole my heart.
We are planning a return trip for next year.

Flat Kaye

An enjoyable book and activity in my classroom, was Flat Stanley. The children had so much fun taking Flat Stanley on adventures. They would also send him to friends and relatives to take on journeys and visit different places. It was a great way to learn about other cities, states, and places.
My Meemaw friends and I are preparing for a trip to South Padre Island. We are going to visit bird sanctuaries and sea turtle rescues. One of the Meemaws will not be able to go on this trip. I did not want her to miss out on our fun, so I made a Flat Kaye doll.
I drew the doll on muslin and backed it with double-sided Bosal foam and felt. After sewing on the doll outline, I used pinking shears to cut close to the outline. Then I used acrylic paint and a fabric medium to add color. My plan is to include Flat Kaye in the photos we take on our trip. I guess I am still in teacher-mode and I feel the need to plan fun activities for my friends. 😊

Sewing Tote Bag

The other day, I read a post on Zippy Quilts. Mary posted a bag she made using a Kraft-Tex base. She provided the bag tutorial link from Bijou Lovely. I liked the bag pattern, and the bird fabric Mary used was beautiful. I also liked the Alexander Henry fabric, Sewing Woes. The fabric reminded me of the romance comics that my older sister used to read…and hide from me.
I decided to make the bag a bit larger than the pattern, mainly because I wanted to showcase more of the fabric. This size will also come in handy for carrying my stuff whenever I attend craft days with my friends. I added pockets to the inside lining.
I wanted the bag to stand on its own, so I used Bosal one-sided fusible foam. I have enough scraps to make other small projects.


Impulse Buy

The only cameras I own are my iPhone and a Go-Pro. I have limited experience with the Go-Pro. I have viewed tutorials on how to use the camera and I have used it a few times. I need to learn what to do with the footage I take with the camera.
I am happy with the camera on my phone, and it is my go-to camera. The other day, I gave into an impulse and bought an instax mini 9. It was also a type of nostalgic buy. I used to have one of those old instant cameras. I know the film on that instant camera was not the best, but I enjoyed using it in the classroom back in the day.
I thought the instax might be fun to take on outings with my Meemaw friends and my grandchildren. I read some positive reviews on this mini camera. I plan to try it out soon.
I made a tote that has enough room for the camera, extra film, my phone and wallet.
Another impulse buy for today was at Las Colchas. I went for the purpose of buying fabric for the backing of my quilt. I also ended up buying some yardage and fat quarters that caught my eye. So, I have already used up my January and February budget for fabric. Oops!

Pajama Day

(Photo taken with my iPhone)
Last night was filled with the excitement of the Blood Wolf Lunar Eclipse and a football game. I stayed up way past my bedtime, so I officially declared today to be a Pajama Day.
My morning meditation began with reading one of my all time favorite books that my students and I loved. Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. , by Doreen Rappaport is an awarding winning book. The illustrations by Bryan Collier are absolutely stunning. Teacher Tube has a reading of this book.
The rest of my day was spent completing my quilt top. I had all the broken dish blocks already made, so it did not take long to piece the last border together. I had been dreading making all of those broken dish blocks, but it turned out to be the most fun part of this project.
I do not know if I will piece the backing or look at the wide quilt backing that my friend and quilter, Jeana, has on hand.

Freddy Moran advises quilters to never point out mistakes. So, I won’t point out the blocks that are too white and light for the rest of the quilt. 😉
I might rip and redo those two sections.
Or not.

Day 4

We had a cool front that came in with a lot of wind. Outside furniture and things were strewn about. The chimes my son made me were ringing like a church.
Inside my studio, there was a wind storm of another kind. What a mess!

There is no point in cleaning up at this time, since I am in the middle of making a bajillion broken dish blocks. Maybe not a bajillion…but it feels like it. I figure whatever is left over will be used in another project.
Today’s work:

I completed a floral border. I just barely had enough of the fabric.

I think I need a black and white fabric strip, maybe just 1.5″ wide, in between the yellow floral and the broken dishes.
Right now, all I see are triangles…so, I need to stop.

Today’s Progress

Music was always playing in my classroom. We had special music for every occasion…morning greeting, thinking time, working time, end-of-day…just to name a few. Years ago, I attended an educator workshop that showed research showing that playing Mozart for math. I do not know if it was the placebo affect or if it was for real, but it worked. My students would ask for Mozart whenever they went to work on math problems, independently or in a group.
Well, today, I had Mozart playing for me. I was trying to figure out how to make a star block to fit the corners of the quilt border. The border itself was an odd size, so this made the star block difficult … for me, that is. Thanks to Mozart, I figured out what I needed to cut.

I need to sew the bottom border together, make three more star blocks, and then I can attach the borders and corner. All the pieces for the remaining star blocks are cut.

I could have gotten further on the quilt, but I decided to work on one of my other goals for the year.  I have never been a cook or a baker. My sons all became great cooks, out of necessity, I am sure. This Christmas, one of my daughter-in-laws made me a cookbook with some of her recipes. Phyllis and my son even gave me spices and basic supplies to start up my kitchen.
My daughter-in-law is a great cook and baker. With her support, and her cookbook, I have begun to make a few meals and breads.
Today, I took time out to make zucchini bread…from scratch! I feel like Betty Crocker.

It looks a little dark, but it is delicious.
Thanks, Phyllis!

On the Wall

For two days, I have been cutting and piecing like a crazy woman…and I love it. I am making this quilt based on ideas from Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston. What I love about their books is they offer a Parts Department, where instructions for blocks are given. There are no specific patterns, just samples of gorgeous, inspirational quilts.
This is what I have after two days:
Day 1
(I just noticed an oopsie on the right strips. It’s a good thing they are not sewn yet.)
Day 2
All of the half-triangles are made. I have pieced the two strips on the right together. I hope to get the other three sides pieced and attached tomorrow.

Wonderful Wednesday

So much for my resolution for a low fabric buy month. I just spent a very Wonderful Wednesday morning with my friends, Francine and Toni. They are the owners of Las Colchas. Francine and I have been friends since 1967… I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. Las Colchas offers a varied selection of fabric that will catch the eye of anyone who likes to play with fabric. They also have wool, felt, threads, etc… just about anything you need to create. The bonus at this store, is the help, guidance, and support that Francine, Toni, and all of the gracious people who work in the shop.
I have been wanting to branch out and try something different, original, colorful, and artistic. At my library, I ran across books by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston. Collaborative Quilting Talking It Over, and Collaborate Again, are books that I just had to order for myself. I have been pouring through these books for some time, and I have been purchasing colorful and different fabric …just because…no real plan. Over the holidays, I started designing my own quilt based on suggestions and ideas from the books. Yesterday, I started pulling out some of my fabric. I realized that even though the fabric was beautiful, it was all still real “safe”. Not “matchy-matchy”, but just not free enough for what I had in my head. I decided to consult with Francine… and I am so glad I did. We spent the morning talking about my ideas. Both Francine and Toni encouraged me to have fun and just pick out different fabric. I picked some out, still a little conservative, and then Francine helped me out. She threw in fat quarters and talked to me about looking at the fabric as pieces, not as a whole. Each piece in one of the fat quarters added a different splash of color or design that would make blocks stand out. This was so much fun!
 This may not look like much, all stacked together. But I think this fabric, along with the fabric I already bought, will make some great blocks.
So, thank you, Francine and Toni! I am cleaning up my work space and plan to start tomorrow. Wonderful Wednesday was a bit too much for me and I need to put my feet up for a bit!