Fabric and Pie…What a day!

Fabric and Pie…who needs anything else?
My Meemaw friends and I visited three shops on the Bluebonnet Shop Hop that began today. We started at A Quilter’s Folly, in Austin. We met my friend, Nancy at the shop. Then we visited the B&B Quilting Shop in Buda. It is one of my favorite shops. One of my Meemaw friends wants to go back when it is not so crowded. By the time we finished in Buda, it was past our lunch time. We stopped in old downtown, Kyle, Texas at our new FAVORITE all time places, The Texas Pie Company. Oh, my…

The cream pies are sold whole or in slices. The fruit pies are sold whole or in 10 oz. sizes. They have a scrumptious chocolate fudge pie and also a chocolate fudge pecan pie. We were in Pie Heaven.

Our last stop was in New Braunfels at the Quilt Haus. This shop has a great selection of cute baby and children fabric.
Two of my friends are not quilters, so they just went along for the pie. We will make quilters out of them one day. They gave us their free fat quarters. We walked around like quilting nerds, wearing our Shop Hop Ribbons.

I bought this small wall hanging kit to piece and embroider. I just loved the wool birds.

This is my loot:

I loved this elephant panel. I do not how I plan to use it yet. This fat quarter of sassy cats also made it into my bag of goodies.
The cream fabric is for the house quilt that I will be making with my friends at our own sewing retreat this summer. We plan to rent a B&B in La Grange for four days. There is a quilt shop close by.😉

I will not be in town to visit the San Antonio shops that are participating in the Shop Hop. Tomorrow, I will be driving back to Austin to visit the Quilting the World’s Conscience Exhibit at the Texas Folklife Gallery. I am looking forward to seeing Tierney Hogan’s work of art. My sister and Nancy will be visiting the gallery with me. I also hope to be able to visit Nancy on Sunday at the Uncommon Flea Market where she will have some of her beautiful work.

Sew Let’s Quilt Along

I am participating in my second Quilt Along, sponsored by Partners in Design. Abbie, from Sparkle On!,is the one who introduced me to this group of designers. I participated in the Christmas quilt along, which resulted in a quilt. I made a few blocks of the Fall QAL, and made small projects with these blocks. This time, the theme for the QAL is quilting…what fun!

Here are the designers of this QAL:

Sandra Healy of Sandra Healy Designs →The Sewing Machine Block designer
Abbie Danahy of Sparkle On! →You are here 🙂
April Adams of  JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca Fenstermaker of Pretty Piney Quilts
Bobbi Bridgeman of Snowy Days Quilting
Jennifer Fulton of Inquiring Quilter
Kathleen McCormick of Kathleen McMusing
Sandy Maxfield of SandyStar Designs
Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting

The first block is a sewing machine.

I finished the second block which was released yesterday. There is nothing like a cup of coffee to get me started on a day of quilting, so this block is appropriate.

I had been purchasing fabrics with a sewing/notions theme, and now, I can use them. I do not know if I will make a quilt or different small projects with these blocks. In the meantime, I am thoroughly enjoying participating in this QAL. Thanks, Abbie!

Donation Quilt

Last week, my friends and I met to cut the fabric for the quilt we are making for the Headwaters Sanctuary. A lot of the fabric was donated by a friend who is clearing out the home of her sister, who recently passed. Marti, the Meemaw who volunteers at the Sanctuary, also purchased more fabric. The fabric is in browns, greens, golds, and blues. The designs and colors of the fabric reflect the landscape of the Sanctuary.
We met today to start piecing. Two friends arranged the pieces for the block, and pressed. Marti and I did the sewing.
We are using the Soho Table Runner pattern. We will be piecing three runners to form one quilt. Photos of the Sanctuary will be included in the design.
We had the cut fabric sorted by size and ready to randomly be chosen for the blocks.
Marti set up her two machines. We had difficulty adjusting her old machine to have stitches similar to the ones she was making on her new Bernina. It worked well when we made the larger four patch, but it just wasn’t working out with the blocks that had smaller pieces. I think the timing is off in her old machine, or there maybe something wrong with the machine feed dogs. Marti ended up making the blocks with the smaller pieces.
Teamwork! I was taking a break. 😉
Four Patch

Of course, we took a lunch break. We went to Teka Molino where they make the best puffy tacos. We also indulged in some pan dulce. This is a delicious gingerbread cookie in the shape of a pig. It was one of my favorites when I was younger.

Library Day

My home is located by Comanche Lookout. Fossils found in this historical area date back to 9,200 B.C.. It is the fourth highest point in Bexar County.  Comanche Lookout was part of the Camino Real that was established during the time of Spanish rule.
When I first moved into the area, the city was discussing how this land would be developed. Neighborhood groups were formed to provide input to help preserve this historical area.
The elementary school where I taught is located across the street from the back side of the park. In the early ’90’s, I was teaching fifth grade. I had my students invite the city council person for our district to come to our school and visit the Comanche Lookout. They greeted him with signs of “We Love Comanche Lookout”, and we presented our ideas. The city developed the 96 acre park. The Semmes Library is located adjacent to the park. My students and I would hike up the trails to the library. We also took many nature observation and science trips.
I live within walking distance to the park, and I used to include this route in my daily walks. This year, I have been opting for walking shorter distances. Today, I decided to once again enjoy the beautiful natural resources this park provides. Since I just finished two quilts, it was time to look around for some inspiration, so of course I wanted to go to the library. The park itself provided an atmosphere conducive to thinking. The weather is just perfect for a comfortable hike, and I need to take advantage of this while it lasts. Backpacks come in handy on these walks to the library. I came home with a good selection of books to get me started. One of the books was The New Bohemians, by Justina Blakeney. It was recommended by Tierney and I sure am happy that it was at the library. Thanks, Tierney!There is a small room that I will be decorating in the near future.

Fussy Cutters Club, by Angie Wilson, has some great tips for a project that my friends and I are planning for the summer. We plan to go to La Grange, Texas and meet up with another friend who lives near by. We are renting a B &B and having our own sewing retreat where we will be working on a house quilt pattern. We will be fussy cutting people, characters, and animal fabric to add to the house block.

Scandinavian Stitches, by Kajsa Wikman, has some cute ideas and tips for making small seasonal projects.
I continue to want to develop free-motion skills, so I checked out First Steps to free-motion quilting by Christina Cameli.
I am still reading through Sneaky Piecing by Beth Ferrier. It was recommended by Mary Puckett. I’m glad I purchased this one, because it is a good resource to have on hand.


Park Entry from the library.

My plan is to continue these walks to and through Comanche Lookout as long as we have this spring weather. More library days ahead.

Quilt-On-The-Go

I like to make totes to carry quilts. This makes it easy to take a comfy quilt wherever you go.
Tonight, I just made one for the Floral Pet quilt that I pieced. There were extra animal prints from the panels that I used for the quilt, so I used them for the tote. Remnants were used to make the envelope style pillow case. I added a strap to make it easy to carry.
         
Floral Pet Quilt

New Project and Finished Quilts

New Project
Marti, one of my Meemaw friends, is very active with the Headwaters at Incarnate Word. The spring water source for San Antonio is located in this sanctuary. It is called the Blue Hole. Since my friends and I already made a quilt for the Brackenridge Conservancy, we decided we also wanted to make a quilt for the Headwaters. Marti found a pattern and purchased some lovely fabric. Today was our first day of working on this project. We cut all of the pieces and then headed out for lunch. Next Tuesday, we will begin piecing the quilt. I was so busy cutting today, I forgot all about taking photos.

Finished Quilts

This past Monday, I picked up the two quilts I had left with my long arm quilter, Jeana Kubik. Jeana always does such a great job with her quilting. I am going to miss her when she moves next year.
She completed the quilt I pieced for my sister, Adri. I also made a quilt tote bag.

This quilt was so much fun to make. The inspiration for this quilt came from studying books by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston. I had no real plan for this quilt, other than building around the center panel piece of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is the first time I made borders that are not of equal widths on each side. The Broken Dish block border and the Sawtooth Variation block border were also a first for me. I usually just had boring borders.

Jeana also finished quilting the Floral Pet quilt. Jeana  had shown me the quilting pattern of a heart-shaped paw print, and I just knew this would be perfect. I had fun using scraps for the flying geese and the outside border. As you can see, I sort of went over board with polka-dots.
Is there such a thing as “too many polka-dots”?

Now it is time to reorganize my sewing room. I am also reading a book that was recommended by
Mary Puckett. The book, Sneaky Piecing, by Beth Ferrier arrived in the mail today. I have just read up through page 10, and I already have learned some good tips, and refinement of some techniques I already use. This is such a good resource, my friends now want to order.
Many of you probably know these things already, but I found these tips to be interesting.

Tips I have learned so far:

  • Pile the bolts of fabric you have chosen and look at the edges. This will give a better representation of what you will see. ( If making a quilt with smaller pieces.)
  • Beth says: “A quilt that is all medium is neither rare nor well done.”
  • For cutting, fold the fabric a second time. The center fold lies along the selvages.

I am looking forward to learning more. Thanks for the recommendation, Mary!

Lost Week

This has been a lost week for me. I had flu-like symptoms that knocked me down for a bit and kept me out of my sewing room.
Over the weekend, before I got sick, I was able to make some table place mats.

I made these trapezoid place mats to fit on a round table.
Then I made some Easter egg shaped place mats.

Since I am finally back on my feet, I made something just for fun.
When my sons were little, we always celebrated their half-birthday. I still celebrate their half-birthday, even though they say there is no such a thing. My grandson will celebrate his half-birthday in April. At this time, he is enrolled in karate classes.
So, I made him a Karate Birthday Bunny. The bunny has a black belt, and a buttoned, reversible and removable number.

Quilt Along


Partners in Design 

The first quilt along I joined was a Christmas quilt hosted by Partners in Design.  I also made a few of the blocks they had in last year’s fall quilt along. These quilt alongs gave me the opportunity to try new things.
This year, the theme for the quilt along is sewing. I had been looking online for some sewing machine quilt block designs. I have also been purchasing sewing themed fabric, with no real plan in mind. So, when I saw that this new quilt along was beginning on March 12, I decided to try it out.
I may just end up making a “sewing” quilt for me.Although, this year, they will be offering ideas for using these blocks in small projects. Abbie, of Sparkle On!, is a host of the small projects. I am looking forward to seeing her ideas.
Today’s block was designed by Sandra Healy. She provides great directions. All of the other designers, offer great tips as to how to complete the block.

I am finding difficulty with precision. I double check my cutting and my quarter inch seams. I measure each section as I complete it. But I still find that I am a bit off in final measurements. I noticed that I am not pressing correctly. I still tend to mash and distort the fabric. I also noticed that as I sew, I sometimes stretch and distort the fabric. I especially have trouble when piecing smaller pieces, as required in this sewing machine block. I am just a bit off of the final measurement of the block. I need to be more diligent with this. Any suggestions or tips on how to improve on precision are appreciated.

I still need to embroider the thread running through the machine; and embroider the tops and bottoms of the thread spools.
I love the porcupine pin cushion on the bottom black fabric. This fabric represents the mess I have on my sewing table!😊

Hosts for this QAL

Abbie @Sparkle On
April @JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca @Pretty Piney Quilts
Bobbi @Snowy Days Quilting
Jennifer @the Inquiring Quilting
Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Kathleen @Kathleen McMusing
Sandy @SandyStar Designs
Sherry @Powered by Quilting

DIY Phone Pouch

This was the phone that sat on a “phone table” in the hallway of my childhood home.
I did not “need” to have this phone with me at all times.
So, why do I “need” my phone now?

I am all for technology, and I do see the value of having my phone with me. But, there are times that I pick up my phone to check on things…just out of habit. I am trying to break this habit, and just use the phone for real reasons.
That said, I made two phone pouches today. 😉 These pouches will facilitate carrying the phone in a manner that is more convenient than in your pocket, arm pouch, or purse. I received a request to make a phone pouch, and that is what got me started. I made one for my cousin. When I showed it to my sister, she expressed that she wanted one also. I think I will make a pouch for me to use when I go for my walks. I take the phone on my walks for emergency purposes. On occasion, I use it to take a photo of something that catches my eye…like snails or dandelions😊.

I found two tutorials for making phone pouches. One is a tutorial by Carole’s Cricut Crafts. I do not have a Cricut, but I liked the simple pattern for making this pouch.  The other phone pouch tutorial is by Angela Boone. I liked the idea of pockets to hold keys or ID. I combined some ideas from both of these tutorials to make the black and white polka-dot pouch. I used fusible foam to add some protection for the phone. These pouches are very easy to make in a short amount of time. It took 45 minutes max to make the first one. (Blue fabric with dogs). The black and white pouch took only 30 minutes.

I cut the blue fabric at 4.5″ x 7.5″. It  holds an iPhone.

I cut this fabric at 5.5″ x 7.5″. It holds an iPhoneX.

Wacky Bird Dish

Today, I stopped by the Sunin Clay Studio to pick up the Wacky Bird Dish that I made in class. It was a surprise to find it on the display window. The process for making this silly bird was a bit tricky. Luckily, Lynne, the instructor, was very patient. She offered great tips on how to safeguard the pieces from falling off. I was concerned about the tail and head being too heavy for the legs. The head was formed by making a pinch pot, so it is not solid. A tricky step was trying to get the beak and feet to balance…but it worked out.

Wacky Bird will keep me company as it sits on my work table. It is the perfect dish for holding my quilting clips