Today’s Art: March 31, 2020

Trying to find a silver lining in each day.
Daily art projects.
I found this tutorial on Youtube by Handiworks.
Allergies have put a halt to my walks.
So, I have to embroider flowers instead of seeing them up close.
My mother always tried me to get interested in embroidery.
She created beautiful embroidery art.
I tried it a few times and never got into it.
Now, I find it to be a soothing way to pass the time.
I still have a lot to learn.
The back of the embroidered pieces my mother created were clean and perfect.
I am definitely not there…but I’ll keep working on it.
Hope you are doing well.

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March 30, 2020

Beginning another week of isolation. My Meemaw friends and I are trying to set up some type of chat time, probably with Zoom.
This morning, I made an interactive lesson board for my grandson using Thinglink . This is an online tool that allows you to post interactive activities on one board. I used this when I was teaching and I thought it might be helpful to make one for my grandson. I based it on the curriculum calendar that his teacher provided. I found reading, math, science, and creative activities on Youtube and added the links to the Thinglink board I set up. Thinglink is a very easy tool to use, and the link above is a short tutorial on how to make one. I thought sharing this information might help some of you who want to connect with your grandchildren or others.

I also worked on today’s art. I pulled out more tiny scraps to play with and collage a piece. I already had leftover fabric and batting from a quilt, so I used that for the main block. The birdie came out a bit hefty in this piece.

Today’s Art March 28-29

Thanks to technology, I have had a great day. I was able to have a Zoom chat with my three siblings. My brother in Seattle, younger sister in Austin, and my older sister here in San Antonio. Lots of laughing.
This past Friday, my calendar reminded me that I was supposed to be in Round Rock for Grammy time starting this weekend and throughout all next week. Since that cannot be, the next best thing was being able to Zoom chat with my granddaughter. We challenged each other to learn a new fact to share each time we chat. We also get to draw together. Then, I was able to Facetime with my grandson.
After some morning exercise, I find myself looking through scraps to see what I can make. Yesterday, I made a fabric collage art piece that was inspired by a photo my sister, Emma, sent me. It was a photo of a butterfly in the midst of Emma’s lantana. I have a box of tiny scraps that were just perfect for this. I just cut, pasted, and basted the fabric onto a quilt sandwich block. I added embroidery stitches for some texture.
For today’s art, I made a simple heart with stitching.
Just doing my best to stay positive.
Hope all of you are doing well.

Today’s Art

These are difficult times for all of us. In an attempt to stay hopeful and keep anxiety levels down, I start my day with a walk. There is something about the sound of birds and the beauty of trees that make me feel like everything will be okay. One of my daughter-in-laws sent me a picture of two birds that were perched on the fence in her backyard. My sister sent me a photo of a butterfly landing in her lantana. My friend, Nancy, posts beautiful photos of the flowers in her garden. I appreciate receiving and seeing such beautiful thoughts and photos.
On this morning’s walk, a little black bird flew to the ground right in front of me. It had a blackish top and back, with a reddish throat and grayish belly. I shared the description with my friend, Marti, who is an expert on birds. I did not have enough information to give her, so she made some guesses. I also looked on some bird identification sites. The bird that mostly fit the description of what I saw was a juvenile barn swallow. I really don’t know for sure what it was. All I know is that it was pretty and it lifted my spirits.
I drew the shape of the bird on muslin. Then I cut pieces from my fabric scrap box to make a collage.  The gray and white scrap I used was actually part of the selvage. I glued on the fabric pieces and then sewed the outline of the bird. Then, I cut the bird and glued it onto a green fabric that was backed by batting and muslin. Stitching was done to add details to the bird. I placed another piece of fabric, front sides together and sewed around the sides, leaving an opening to turn inside out.
I hope all of you are doing well.
Stay healthy.
Stay hopeful.

Embroidered Jewelry

I went through a few days of making thread sketch inchies, twinchies, and rinches. For some of these inchies, I added a clasp on the back to make a small brooch. I researched different ways to use the inchies for making jewelry. Back before this virus, on one of my shopping trips, I looked for different pendants. I could not find anything that readily fit what I had already made, either in shops or on Amazon. I particularly wanted to make a pendent out of the owl inchie I had thread sketched for my granddaughter. I contacted my friend, Nancy, because she is a great resource for ideas, websites, and just about everything. She told me about Heather Bailey. I purchased the tiny stitches embroidered jewelry kit. The kit included different transfers, cloth, embroidery thread, needle, hoop, and two pendant necklaces. I chose the owl transfer and made the pendant today.
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March 22, 2020

I try to keep abreast of the latest information about Covid 19 that is necessary to stay safe, but it becomes overwhelming. I wish the best for all of you, and hope you are safe and well.
In order to keep things in balance, I try to keep busy. I alternate exercising, watching movies, and working in my sewing room.
I have been keeping busy making small crafts and working on quilts. The  Scrappy Rectangle quilt I made in February for one of my nephews is quilted and ready for me to bind. This quilt pattern was designed by Jo Parott. I have not gotten to the binding yet, but I did start and finish piecing a second scrappy quilt top for my other nephew. The designer for this quilt is Amy Walsh. My friend, Linda, will be longarming it for me when things get back to normal.
Since January, I have been cutting 1 1/2 inch blocks from all of my scraps to make a scrappy quilt. I started to put one block together so I could see if I really wanted to do this. I like the way it looks, so I will continue working on this scrappy quilt.
I am also cutting some 2″ x 3 1/2″ blocks to make another Scrappy Rectangle quilt.
Besides these in-progress scrappy quilts, I made a fabric book for my grandbaby. My granddaughter loves to read to him, so they will both enjoy this book. I love the Bear books by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. The fabric panel was the Bear Sees Color book. It is from Elizabeth’s Studio.
I’ve been keeping in touch with my sons and family. We share photos and Facetime to keep in touch. Today would have been my dad’s 100th birthday! My siblings and I shared memories.
Hang in there, everyone!
Stay Safe.

North Star

My friend, Linda Jennings, has a working relationship with the Mesquite Bean for picking up and dropping off quilts that she longarms for clients. I went to pick up one of my quilts today and was brought to tears.
The shop, which is usually bustling with people on a Thursday, was dark. Only the owner and one staff person were inside. The shop has cancelled all classes. For now, they are open for two hours and offer a drive-through service for picking up fabric. They don’t know how long they will continue with this schedule.
I have been listening to the news and practicing social distancing. I order curb-side groceries, of which there is limited supply. Yet, the site of this beautiful shop, in the dark, with none of the usual happy faces, was a hard-hitting dose of reality. Cindy, the owner, said I could shop if I wanted to do so. So, I took one last fabric shopping trip, all by myself. We left the shop assuring ourselves we would get through this.
It is not just the fact that a quilt shop is closed.
It is the reality of what is happening to our lives as we know it.
My concern is for the future of my grandchildren.
We will get through this if we get smart. We need to all be accountable for our actions and hold our government officials accountable.
I have gone the gamut of emotions from sadness, to anger, to hope.
My sons remind me that worrying is not helpful.
I read from Martha Karelius’s book, You, Improved ; A Daily Dose of Inspiration.
Today’s reading is about finding your North Star. Your North Star is your fixed purpose. The passage reminds us to not give up. “ The storm will pass, the clouds will clear, and  you will find your guiding light. Keep it in your sights everyday.”

I hope all of you stay safe, positive, and  healthy.

Social Distancing

Instead of going birding with my friends today, I spent the day practicing social distancing. I listened to the latest updates of the Coronavirus.  The city of San Antonio has been proactive and on target since the onset of this situation. I have confidence in our city leaders.
I checked in on the CDC website and found an image of the Coronavirus. I was struck by the color, design, and dimensions of the virus. In order for me to get a handle on how this situation makes me feel,  I decided to embroider the image of the virus based on the photo from the CDC website. The site even has a download of a sticker or button of the virus image. I found the process of planning, embroidering and making a simple quilted block helped me to put things in perspective. Embroidery is very soothing for me. It also gave me the chance to practice making French Knots and Bullion stitches.

We will get through this.
Take care.

Fabric Book for March

In a January post, I mentioned the #areyoubookenough challenge. I liked the idea of making a book a month, but I did not know if I would work entirely within the rules or themes of the challenge. I just liked the challenge of creating a book a month.
For the month of January, I made a book of small fabric meditations without following the theme for the month, which was “in-between”. The book was mostly collages of birds, buttons and hearts. It was a great way to use up scraps.
The theme for February was “healing”. I chose to make a book about love and healing based on the quote from Hubert Humphrey: “The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.”
The theme for March is ‘hexagons”. I had some hexagon rulers and paper templates, so I used these to make my book for the month. I used the one inch paper templates to make flowers and a butterfly. I also had some hexagon buttons that I used in creating some flowers, a snail, a bird and a vase. For the first page, I thread-sketched some hexagons and used buttons to decorate the centers. The front and back covers are made from Kraft-Tex. The cute floral and bird selvage from the Deborah Curiel Viva Mexico line of fabric came in handy to use as ties for the book.
There is now a confirmed case of Covid-19 in San Antonio. Austin also has some cases. It seems it might be a good idea to stay home for a few weeks. It is not my favorite thing to do, but it is the responsible thing to do for now. I think I have enough fabric and things to keep busy.
Stay healthy!

La Celebración

As part of my Chelabration year, I wanted to make a festive quilt that reflected my family and culture. Las Colchas is known for it’s Tex-Mex lines of fabric. I was out of town when I saw the Deborah Curiel Viva Mexico fabric posted on the Las Colchas Facebook. As soon as I returned home, I went directly to the quilt shop to purchase this gorgeous fabric. My friend, Marti, had lent me her book, The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking. One of the quilt patterns in this book is a large Log Cabin quilt. I thought the Log Cabin pattern would be a good way to show case the bold prints and colors of the fabric.
The center block is 18″ x18″. I chose a black and white Mexican village scene fabric. The center fabric is filled with action. The 2.5″ borders are black and white polka-dot, a pink print, and a turquoise solid. The 5.5″ borders are all floral, with birds and animals. The second-to-the last border has toucans. My plan was to add an extra border to make it a larger quilt. However, I miscalculated on one of the pink, floral and bird fabrics. I only had enough fabric for three sides. So, the quilt ended up being a 78″ X 78″ quilt. I pieced the backing for the fabric about two weeks ago, so it will be a bit larger than needed. That will teach me to never start with the backing. As I was piecing the top, I questioned if I had too much color and print going on. I set it aside for a bit to think about it, before deciding the more color and print the better! I could not decide if the binding should be the same black and white polka dot fabric or the pink fabric. I asked my sister, Emma, and she confirmed my preference of using the pink fabric.
In April, the city of San Antonio celebrates with two weeks of partying, called Fiesta. My friends and I were planning on making our hats and badges and attending the Battle of the Bands event. It looks like our Fiesta may be postponed or cancelled this year, because of the Covid19. Hopefully, I can get my Celebración quilt long armed and ready by April, so I can decorate and have my own Fiesta at home.