Christmas in June ~I Wish You A Merry QAL

Last July, I joined my first quilt along. Thanks to Abbie at Sparkle On!,for the invitation and encouragement to join the I Wish You a Merry QAL. I learned quite a bit of different techniques with this quilt. As I made each block, I experienced a lot of special childhood memories of Christmas. I entitled this quilt, Traditional Christmas. Mom use to have different sets of Christmas decorations. My favorite was her traditional Christmas, which included many of the ornaments from my childhood.
There are two blocks that I chose to make instead of two from the QAL. The Christmas cocoa mug is from a block pattern in Block a Day by Lucinda Ganderton. The stocking block is one that I designed myself.

Front

Back
The center Christmas lights block is one of the QAL blocks.

Bad Grandma

Last March, I took care of my granddaughter during spring break. I dropped her off at her ballet practice at Central Texas Ballet Studio in Dripping Springs. Just a few blocks down from the studio is Valli and Kim’s Fabric Shop . The ballet class was two hours, with a lunch break after the first hour. After dropping my granddaughter off at class and seeing her settled, I took off for a quick trip to the quilt shop. Big mistake! I got lost in the fabulous fabric selection, and was in the middle of choosing
Kaffe Fassett fabric for a quilt, when I realized that my granddaughter’s lunch break had already started! It was a Bad Grandma Moment that we laugh about today.
I picked up the quilt from my friend, Jeana Kubik, who quilted it for me. I finished the binding today.
I plan to give this quilt to my daughter-in-law. She, my granddaughter, and son, will soon be losing one of their precious dogs due to his age and illness. I think they need a comfortable quilt to help them through this.

Front

Back
I did an oopsie on the the quilt label, by putting it on the wrong side and in the wrong direction.

Fresh Start

My sister, Emma, belongs to the Girlustrators, a group of illustrators who share and support each other. I depend on my blogging friends for artistic support. I also heavily depend on Emma. She frequently checks in with me to see how I am doing when it comes to art and creating…and other family things, also. We share our successes, doubts, failures, and thoughts about our art work. Emma intuitively knew that I was going through a bit of a rut, and she called me today to see what was happening. She was not surprised about my decision to empty my bins and donate all of the fabric stash. She agreed that it was a good move for me. She told me that an empty bin is a sign of hope…that it will be filled up again.

It just so happens, when Emma called, I had just returned from a fabric shopping spree with our sister, Adri. I love shopping with Adri. She is always telling me to “go ahead and buy it”! So, I did!
We spent a lot of time at the Mesquite Bean. I walked away with a bag of gorgeous fabric. I have not pieced an entire quilt for a few months now.  I still have a long term goal to make an improv quilt one day, and I will continue to practice improv pieces. But right now, I will reboot by piecing a simple fat quarter quilt.

My new marvelous Moda fabric!
Valley by Sherri and Chelsi

I am happily clearing my table, cleaning my machine, and changing my rotary blade.
Hopefully, I can get a fresh start tomorrow.

Note: I was so eager to get some fabric, that I showed up to the Mesquite Bean before opening time. The store owner let my sister and I in because they saw our faces pressed against the window! The store has a row by row with a three Mariachi applique design. They have decided to include this block into a quilt that reflects San Antonio. They are in the midst of designing the whole quilt, and they had the paper layout on the table.They allowed us to see the paper layout of the San Antonio quilt and I LOVE IT! This is a definite next quilt project for me. They are going to sell it by blocks, and the blocks should all be ready in another month. One of the blocks is a taco!

uh-oh

Yesterday was a Pitch and Ditch day.
What started out as a reorganization of my stash bins, ended up being a fabric give away. I called a local thrift shop, and was told they accept fabric. Usually, when I reorganize, I look at each stash bin and sort by “keep or pitch”. This time, I just emptied bins into bags without looking. The thrift store got some good fabric pieces. Some bins had small pieces, while others had good sized remnants. Some of the fabric was quilt shop quality and some were Jo Ann’s fabric. I even emptied my bin that I had prepared for stitch meditations.
This morning, I went to assess what I had done…yikes!

All of my bins look like the bin on the left. I only have one bin with autumn fabric.
What was I thinking?
Oh well, it helps to know that my fabric give away will benefit some other person (s).
It was time to get rid of this stash. I was tired of using the same prints and colors in different projects. Someone else can appreciate this fabric.
Before I purchase any more fabric, I think I will spend some time reading some of my quilt books and studying tutorials. I also still have to make the baskets for my brother. He sent me the great fabric that he wants me to use for the baskets.
Give me a call if you want to reorganize your stash bins!

Summer Doldrums

 Source

After an exciting weekend, I woke up with the Summer Doldrums. I have been busy making stitch meditations, zippered pouches, learning new techniques, and other minor crafts…but I have not started on a quilt.
I know I want to make one, but I just do not know what kind I want to make. So, I pulled out my hexagons that I am making for my quilt fabric journal for the year 2018. I decided to stitch them together to see how it looks. I have completed 24 blocks so far.

I think I need to go to a quilt fabric store and get inspired.

 

Block #24~June 15 Childhood Memories

This week’s block has brought back many childhood memories. My childhood home was in a neighborhood a bit south of downtown San Antonio. I was a Downtown girl. Today, the neighborhood is called Southtown.
My elementary school, St. Mary’s, was a four story building. We had recess on the rooftop. Each morning, we would go through the tunnel under St. Mary’s street that led to St. Mary’s Church. The school library faced the San Antonio Riverwalk. I used to love to sit there and read.
My mom worked at the Tower Life Building, further down by the Riverwalk. When I was in second grade, I convinced my mother to let me stay downtown after school with my friend, Jodell. I promised her that we would stay at the San Antonio Library, which was near her building, on the Riverwalk. Things were a bit different back then, and my mother allowed my friend and I to stay downtown from 3:00 to 5:00. We would walk to her building where my dad would pick all of us up.
The San Antonio Library was located on Market Street, right along the Riverwalk, from 1930-1968. The Riverwalk was not yet developed as it is today. It was still a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. Jodell and I spent most of the time in the library. I remember the excitement we felt when we moved from the downstairs children section, to the upstairs level, where we checked out Jane Eyre! We sat by the river reading this classic. The library also had the Hertzberg Circus Collection. There were some pretty odd and awesome things in this collection that kept us pretty enthralled. We used to climb up on the elephant that sat in front of the library. At this time, the elephant was grey.
Luckily, San Antonio preserved the elephant. It is now located in front of the Witte Museum. It is called Cinnamon Kandy, and it is now painted like a circus elephant.
My granddaughter, daughter-in-law, and I went to the museum last week. When I saw the elephant, it surely brought back so many memories.

Cinnamon Kandy

I just had to capture this memory for my fabric quilt journey. I decided to make the elephant without the circus painting, since that is how it was when I was a child.

Fabric Collage

Today, I tried what I think one would call fabric collage. First, I ironed on medium interfacing to the back of some canvas. Then I laid strips of fabric on the canvas. After I tried a few arrangements, I settled on what I wanted and used a glue stick to help secure the pieces just a bit. I used a zig-zag stitch to secure the collage. The tree trunk was cut from the slashed block I made yesterday. I chose to hand stitch the trunk onto the block. I added some light batting under the cloud. The tree leaves were ironed onto some interfacing. I then sewed them with the zig-zag stitch. I then attached the leave section onto the block. The piece is not yet quilted. This is just another practice piece for me to learn how to make textured and dimensional blocks.

Summer Day

Note to self: Shape the strips or use smaller strips

Trying Out New Things

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

Sometimes I like to do my morning walks at outdoor malls. Today, I went walking at the outdoor mall that has a Barnes and Noble store. I spent some time looking at the textile art quilting books. The walk, and the visit to the bookstore, energized me. I went home, ready to try new things.
I had never heard of the slashing technique that I saw in a book, so I did some more research on this. I decided to give it a try. It seems that I did not use enough layers of scraps, but it came out okay for my first try. I still need to wash it to see if it poofs up like the tutorials say it will.

I also tried out using the confetti technique. Mine came out very basic, but I like the layered look. It needs some embellishment, but for now, I am just interested in trying out layering fabric.

I am on some sort of path…don’t know exactly which type of path…but it is interesting.