Fabric Books

Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play, children learn how to learn. ~O. Fred Donaldson

During this pandemic, I have often thought of the children who have had limited contact with people other than their family. The lack of socialization has depressed me, so I can only imagine how the children are feeling. My friends and I plan to volunteer at schools as soon as it is possible. There are many children who will need help.

My one year old grandson started Montessori pre-school. This has brought on great excitement, along with some of the initial stress of separation and a totally different routine. Last week, I bought him two shirts for school. My son said that my grandson loves his new shirts, and he sets out his school clothes at night. I thought it might help to get him some more shirts. Then, I thought about how much my grandson loves the ABC fabric book I made for him a few months ago. He takes it everywhere. So, I made him a new book about going to school. I printed photos of the new shirts on fabric printing paper. Then I wrote some lines having the animals featured on the shirts talking to my grandson about how fun it is to go to school. Hopefully, this will add to the excitement and routine of going to school. He is ready to to play and learn how to learn.

La Sandia

“Las sandías son las sonrisas del verano”.

“Watermelons are the smiles of summer.”

—Unknown

One of my DIL’s gave me some fabric for my birthday. She chose a watermelon (sandía) design as the focal fabric and chose others to create a bundle. The watermelon fabric brought back memories of my childhood summers. My dad would always pick up the juiciest, sweetest watermelons at the downtown market or at trucks on the side of the road. My favorite were the black diamond watermelons. There was no better way to spend a summer day than eating watermelon with my cousins and neighborhood friends.
My first thoughts were to make a picnic blanket with this beautiful bundle of summer fabrics. There were a couple of tutorials that suggested using outdoor fabric, or flannel-backed table cloths for the backing. I had no real plan or design in mind, but I started out by making one of my favorite blocks, the Sawtooth Star. I wanted to try out my new Ultimate Flying Geese Tool by Creative Grids. I had been using an 8″ square ruler to finish off my flying geese and this worked well. But when I saw the Creative Grid tool, I thought I would give it a try. What I like about this new tool is that the measurements for 8 different sized flying geese are already marked on the ruler. This makes it so much easier and more accurate. I used the watermelon fabric for the focal point of the star, and for the outside border. I consulted with my DIL concerning the cornerstones on the outside border. She helped me decide to use the striped fabric instead of the pink polka dot. After piecing the top, I decided that I would not be using any outdoor or weather proof fabric for the backing. Instead, I pieced the remaining fabric remnants. I wanted to use as much of the fabric bundle as possible. All that is left is about half a yard of the white fabric, and this will be used for other projects.
It took one afternoon to piece this 48″ X 48″ quilt top, and another morning to piece the backing.
Nothing says summer like La Sandia!🍉
Another fun summer project I am enjoying was inspired by Claudia McGill. I was so taken by her metal sculptures, that I just had to try to make some of my own. These were so much fun to make. Now, I find myself looking for scrap metal every time I am out.
I just love summer!

In summer, the song sings itself.– WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS, AMERICANPOET


Summer Fun

I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.

L. M. Montgomery

When I was a child, I looked forward to June because it jump started my summer with birthday celebrations, pool parties, and watermelon picnics. Thanks to the vaccines, this summer holds the promise of being just as much fun. This summer, June has started out to be much better than last June. My calendar is filling up once again with fun visits to family, Grammy time, and Meemaw outings. We are all still taking precautions and wearing masks, but we are venturing out a bit more. I even went in-store shopping at two of my favorite fabric shops. I chose to go to these shops since they still require customers to wear masks. It was such a blast walking around the shops and buying fabric. I had no particular quilt or project in mind. I just bought fabric that caught my eye.
Luckily, the first two weeks of June have been rainy. We definitely needed the rain. Now, we are slipping into our typical summer pattern of heat and humidity. My walks have to take place early in the morning, when the temperatures are not so high. Because of the rain, everything is so green and beautiful. This will change soon.
The Meemaws are out and about again. We are starting off slowly, just meeting for lunch. This gave me the opportunity to show them the Meemaw quilt. They suggested that the quilt become a visiting quilt, so that each can have it hanging in their homes on a temporary basis.
As for the Magnificent Meemaw Musicians Kazoo band, well, we are not quite ready for prime time. It has been fun just making noise. It brings out the inner five year old.
I knew exactly how to spend my birthday gift cards. I had been eyeing a Panasonic cordless iron for some time, so I ordered one. It is just perfect for pressing seams. I love the 360 rotation.
The Temperature quilt is half way completed. Even though I am beginning to like the results, it might just become a UFO.
The 2.5 inch scrappy block quilt top and back are completed. This quilt was enjoyable to piece. I just loved the memories that came with each of the scrap fabrics that were used. My friend, Marti, has a special way of piecing the backings of her quilts. She makes a vertical strip that is off center, and it always looks so pretty. I asked if I could borrow her signature backing idea and she helped me with it. I used some of the 2.5 inch squares to make a 6.5 inch wide strip. The photo in the video does not show that there are two panels of blue fabric, one on each side of the scrappy strip. I will be taking this quilt to the quilter this week. Marti suggested I have her friend long-arm this one for me. I have seen her quilting, and I think she will do a good job. She lives closer to me, so this is a plus.
The 1.5 inch scrappy block I am making is still in progress. I need about 6 more 12.5 inch blocks. Since all of the 1.5 inch blocks are already cut, I bagged up the rest of the fabric scraps, cut squares of different sizes, and remnants, to clear my bins and start all over. There is a reuse shop, Spare Parts, that is located near my house. They take donated fabric and art supplies. I have not been there yet, but Marti has, and she says it is a great place. My old scraps will find a good home. 😉
Last year, I made a quilt that was made by piecing different lengths of 2.5 inch strip. I still had a leftover roll of these strips in my bin, and I have used what was remaining to bind a quilt, and to border the center panel of the Meemaw quilt. A little over 3 yards of this roll was still left over. I folded the long strip in half and sewed up one side. Then I cut the fold, and repeated this process about three more times. This resulted in new yardage of pieced fabric. I cut the fabric into different sized squares. One square was used to be the center of a Sawtooth Star block. The remaining squares may or may not be used for some other type of block. After cutting the blocks, I had some odd shaped strips left over. I think these strips could be used in making some improv blocks.
About a year ago, I started making the Gypsy Wife quilt by Jen Kingwell. I made so many mistakes in making the first few blocks, and I just stopped. Then, I saw the Boho Heart quilt pattern by Kingwell and Bair. Marti and I thought it might be fun to schedule a quilt retreat for the two of us and another quilting friend. If the Covid numbers continue to decrease or stabilize, we are thinking of booking a B& B and setting up a fun three day retreat. Marti will be making the Gypsy quilt, and I will try the heart quilt. In the meantime, I am studying the pattern. Maybe this time, I will not mess it up with mistakes.
June has been great so far.
I hope you are having a fun start to summer.