Stack n’Whack

It was predicted that we would hit 100 degrees today, which we did. I did my running around in the “cool” part of the morning, and spent the rest of the day in AC.
I  had stacked the fabric squares last night, so I was ready to whack this afternoon. There were a few moments of anxiety because I have never cut through more than two fabrics at a time. I started out stacking four, then felt confident to move up to six. Instead of whacking all of the fabric stacks, I decided to stop and make a few blocks. The fabrics I chose are filled with movement and fun. The blocks are definitely happy blocks. I am a bit concerned about two fabric choices that are darker in color than the others, but I think it will work out if I place them correctly.
The Stack N’Whack method is quick and easy. I am glad I had invested in some rulers in different sizes. The 8.5″ block ruler makes it easy and quick to accurately square up the blocks. I am looking forward to piecing the blocks by the end of this week.

Stack of 18 completed blocks


I cannot choose a favorite out of the blocks I completed today. So much fun!

No More Pinterest

Yesterday was Movie Monday for me. I started my day by watching old movies to relax, before I went onto business. After a busy afternoon of errands, I went to my computer. I had not visited Pinterest for some time now, so I thought I would just glance through. Too many minutes later, I had a list of new projects that I thought would be fun. I especially liked this Christmas quilt made by Angie, from The Little Fabric Blog.
Who needs another Christmas quilt? I don’t need one, but I do want one.

The pictures and directions for the quilt are very easy. Angie adds a link to Allison from Cluck, Cluck, SewOn this link, Allison gives a tutorial on Stack n’Whack Blocks. I had some Christmas fabric that I purchased at the B & B Quilt Shop the last time I was in Buda, Texas. Then I remembered seeing some great fabrics at the Mesquite Bean that I knew would coordinate well with what I had in my stash. Since the Mesquite Bean is on the same road as my exercise class, I stopped by to pick up a few more fabric pieces. I completed the first step of cutting 9″ blocks. I will stack and whack them tomorrow.
Note to Self: No More Pinterest

Fabric Book~100 Day Project

What do you do with 100, 2.5″ x 3.5″, fabric art pieces? I had stored my 100 Day Project pieces in a box, then in a photo album. Thanks to Mariss, of Fabrication, I decided to make a fabric book. I was able to problem solve a way to collate my 100 Day project into a book after Mariss shared photos of one of her fabric journals.
To start the project, I made a page consisting of four of the art pieces. Some of the pieces were larger than the rest, so I had to make single pages. This left me with 29 pages that I would have to figure out how to bind. Initially, I was not going to make signatures, but I changed my mind. The pages were too bulky to just top-stitch together. I liked the patchwork look of the back of each page, so I did not make the signatures with pages back to back. I attached each page to a 1.5″ strip of muslin that had the quarter-inch sides folded down.  The signatures were sewn onto a felt spine that measured 4.5″. I sewed a strip of felt onto each side of the felt spine. These strips were folded back and hand-sewn to give the spine structure after all the signatures had been sewn onto the spine. Then, I had to figure out how to make and attach a book cover. I have a bin of denim from an old pair of jeans. I cut the denim into three sections: front, back, and spine. I decorated the denim with a bird thread sketch that I made a few years ago. On the spine, I attached a strip of denim that I had embroidered. I have quite a few denim patches that I embroider and stitch as I watch television. I chose another stitched block that I had in a bin to use for the back.  I thought I was going to have to hand-sew the cover onto the book, but I was able to use my machine. I  used a zipper foot to help me sew along the edge of a very bulky situation. The covers were lined with a fabric remnant that I have had for a few years.

Signatures: After sewing two signatures together, I would add another set of signatures on top by sewing down the center line of the muslin strip.

Thanks, Mariss! You were a big help in getting this project completed.

Playing With Fabric

Ever since I completed the 100 Day Project, I have been trying to find another form of small art to start my mornings. I like playing with fabric scraps, so I thought a few fabric collages might be fun. I found some practice quilt blocks that I made when I first started piecing quilts. I pulled one out to use as a background for a bird collage. First, I stitched-in-the ditch. Then I drew a bird outline on muslin. I used fabric glue to add six different fabric scraps to form the bird.  I used my Karen Kay Buckley scissors to cut the bird. These are the best scissors ever. I purchased them with a gift certificate my granddaughter gave me for my birthday. I used Aurofil variegated thread to thread sketch the bird.

Something New

This morning, I was able to complete The Tannebaum strip tube quilt top. I delivered the top to my friend, Jeana, for long-arming. After cleaning up my work space, I revisited a small project I started yesterday.
One of my goals is to make a collage quilt. I have been interested in doing this ever since I saw some art pieces by Shannon Brinkley. I discovered another fabric collage artist, Laura Heine, on one of my visits to the Mesquite Bean. The quilt shop is having collage classes taught by Vicky, who is certified to teach the Laura Heine method. Unfortunately, I can only make the introduction class, and not the class where the actual quilt is to be made. Vicky is the person who helped me make my first quilt.
In the meantime, since I cannot make the classes, I viewed some videos and thought I would give it a try on a very small scale. I fussy cut pieces from 5 different fabrics for the hummingbird. Then, I fussy cut some Kaffe Fassette flowers. I used fabric glue instead of backing the fabric with Steam-a-Seam 2 double sided fusible web. If I were to make a larger project, I would use the fusible web.
I am still having difficulty with free motion quilting. I can never seem to get the right tension. I have more control when I am FMQ, but I still do not know what I am doing. I thread-sketched the fabric I used for the bird and the flowers. I thought I had enough flowers tucked into the corner, but apparently not. The flowers look like they are suspended in the air along with the bird. Maybe I can add some more flowers tomorrow. The bee was fussy cut from a remnant.
The inspiration for the hummingbird came from the time I spent at my friend’s house. Marti’s backyard is bird heaven. There were blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, doves, and hummingbirds happily visiting and co-exiting in her yard. This was a fun learning piece.

Seams!!!!!

Which way do you press the seams on blocks that have many pieces? There are multiple opinions on how to answer this question. I have read, watched tutorials, and asked other quilters what they do when it comes to pressing seams. One of my friends said to just press the way it fits best. Well, this is difficult to do when there are eight rows of  eight inch blocks made from four inch blocks made from two inch strips! The Tannenbaum tutorial by Jordan Fabrics, recommends pressing the seams to the dark fabric. Donna Jordan demonstrates that pressing correctly, even on seams that are going in the same direction, will solve the problem and result in a flat seam. I had to do this on some of the pieces and they did come out okay. One of my friends recommended pressing the seams open.  I did a little bit of both…open and to the side. There were still places that I had to redo in order to make a flatter seam. I am happy with the accuracy of my quarter inch seams. This helped a bit, but it was still a hassle.
There has to be an easier way. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
I finished piecing the center of the Tannebaum quilt top. I do not know if I will add just one border to make it a throw size quilt; or three borders to make it a queen size quilt.

DIY Jewelry

My friend, Marti, makes beautiful jewelry. I have been bugging her to teach me how to make my own. Last month, we went shopping for beads at Ann Pearce Jewelry Design & Beads. Today’s Wabi-Sabi project was to make jewelry. I started off by making a bracelet with three strings. It took me forever to design what I wanted. Thank goodness I have a very patient friend. I managed to complete the bracelet. The necklace will be made on another Wabi-Sabi day scheduled for August. I am happy with the bracelet I made, but I realize that jewelry-making is not for me. I just don’t have the patience for this craft.


Of course, we had to celebrate National Ice Cream Day. I hope you also celebrated!

100 Day Project

My interest in the 100 Day Project started when I was viewing some Instagram posts. I read information on the project and ran across this quote:
Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits.
Twyla Tharp

I decided to make 2.5″ x 3.5″ small art trading cards only because I had some 2.5″ muslin strips already cut for another project. I liked this small project, because it did not require much time or material preparation. It also gave me the opportunity to record special memories of people, events, places, or things on fabric. This project was a great way to spark my energy and creative process. I chose to thread sketch, applique, collage, or embroider…whatever caught my fancy each morning. 😉
Each day, I added the piece onto a Power Point. Today, I learned how to turn a Power Point into a video.

This was an enjoyable project. Now, I have to figure out what I want to do next. 🤔

Progress

This afternoon, I spent some time piecing the blocks for the Tannenbaum quilt. I was able to complete the 15 red and green square blocks for the center of the tree. I also completed the 12 white, red, and green blocks for the sides of the tree.
The next step is to make 14 background blocks. I realized that I need to make two more tubes of the background fabric to have enough to make the 14 blocks.  I laid some of the blocks together in order to get a preview. So far, I have not run across any major hurdles along the way. The tutorial by Donna Jordan certainly has been helpful. I did have a couple of rip and redo, but that is par for the course.

Shop is closed for the weekend. I will be celebrating my granddaughter’s birthday.

Christmas Quilt ~ in July

As summers go, we have had a relatively mild summer. That’s to say we have not had weeks of continuous temperatures above 100. When I was teaching, this part of July was when I was already busy preparing for a new school year. This July, I have decided to prepare for Christmas. Today, I started on a Christmas quilt. I am making the Cozy Quilt Strip Tube Tannenbaum from the pattern design of Daniela Stout. I chose this pattern because I have never made a strip tube quilt, and I thought it would be interesting to try out. I found a great tutorial by Donna Jordan of Jordan Fabrics. I am such a visual learner, and the video tutorial provided the help I needed to understand the pattern. Since I did not use a jelly roll, I needed help in double checking my fabric calculations. Nancy, at Mesquite Bean, helped me with figuring this out.
This morning, I cut the background fabric and the strips.

This afternoon, it took just about thirty minutes to make the three sets of tubes.

Maybe after I finish running errands tomorrow, I might be able to use my new strip tube ruler to cut the blocks. I might even play some Christmas music for motivation. 🎄