Meemaw Clown Car

The Meemaw Clown Car will be on the road this week. We are heading out to Rockport to see the Whooping Cranes and other birds. We have booked an excursion on the Whooping Crane and Coastal Bird Tours . One of the Meemaws asked if I would paint a rock for us to leave behind at her brother’s coastal house.

After painting one rock to leave behind, I thought it might be fun to paint a rock for each one of us to keep.

I hope the weather cooperates with us so that we can go on the boat tour. I won’t mind if it is cold; I just hope it is not raining.

Owl Quilt

A few weeks ago, I was shopping at the Austin Sewing Machines and Quilting Shop in Round Rock. I purchased a  Black Cat Creations pattern, Snapshot, designed by Minay Sirois. The shop had changed the pattern a bit, by using a smaller panel for the focus. The panel was a snow owl, which is my granddaughter’s favorite owl. I thought it was cute, so I purchased the fabric, along with the pattern.
I cut and pieced the quilt top today. Now, I am wondering if the owl is cute or maybe it is a bit scary. The eyelashes on the owl are questionable. Too late to change now. I will be using an orange Minky fabric for the backing, since my granddaughter is very fond of Minky.

The studio is now closed for the holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Note to Self: Start Earlier

I thought I had given myself plenty of time to make the seasonal crafts I like to gift on Thanksgiving. The time away from my studio led to a mad rush upon my return home. I like to help my family start their Christmas by giving them something seasonal on Thanksgiving Day. In the past two days, I made three sets of place mats, two hot pads, one sock snowman, and eight pillow covers. Now, I need to cut and piece an owl quilt that hopefully can be quilted in time for Christmas.

I made the mistake of putting the zipper on the top of the pillow!👀


My work table was a mess!

Nancy gave me these vintage panels. One has a red backing and the other has a green backing.

This is one of the hot plates I made out of coiled rope, covered by fabric. I used the remaining fabric from the place mats that I made. I didn’t take photos of the place mats or other hot plates.

One of the favorite activities I used to do with my students during December, was reading The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs. We would also view the video…the music is beautiful. The story is wordless. The students made snowmen out of socks. Then they drew pictures to tell their own wordless story. When I was with my grandson, we viewed the video. I made him a sock snowman to capture this very special evening.

FMQ

Free-motion quilting is something that I still find very difficult. I can FMQ small things, but anything larger than a place mat is beyond me. I  have made sandwich blocks for practice, and I try to practice at least 3 days out of the week. Lori Kennedy at Inbox Jaunt, provides great FMQ tutorials on her blog. Recently, I started viewing tutorials on how to use FMQ rulers.
Today, I visited the Austin Sewing and Quilt Shop. I purchased my Juki sewing machine at this shop, so I went to ask about the FM ruler foot for the Juki. The shop will be having lessons on using the ruler foot in January. I do not know enough about the effectiveness of using a ruler for quilting. Before I go through the expense involved in using a ruler for FMQ, I was wondering if anyone could share their thoughts and experience.
I spent the morning watching Hallmark Christmas movies and painting more seasonal rocks.

 

B-rrr!

It has been a beautiful, cold, November morning. I will be away from my studio for a few days. In the meantime, my Grinch project is in the works. I received some great ideas from friends on how to use the Grinch blocks I made. I finally decided to make a double-sided pillow, as suggested by Sandy, at Gray Barn Designs.

I am not happy with the hearts I have made so far, so I will try again later.
Yesterday, I went to drop off a quilt top with my friend, Jeana,for quilting. I find our visits to be very inspirational and educational. Jeana is the one who encouraged me to enter a quilt in the GSAQG Quilt Show two years ago. Because of her, I was able to win Honorable Mention in the first-time quilt category for a quilt I made in honor of my mother.

Jeana surprised me with this crystal sewing machine yesterday. She is such a sweet friend.
😍

Wow!


My Meemaw friends and I enjoyed the day trip to the Houston International Quilt Festival that was sponsored by the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild. It was a long day, but well worth the experience. My brain was on over-load, as I viewed the excellent works of art. I was practically speechless (not usual for me.) All I could say was, “Wow!”.
We are thinking that maybe next year, we might like to sign up for some classes offered at the festival.
I took a long, leisurely morning to try to recuperate from the one day bus trip. Then, I started to play with some Christmas fabric remnants and scraps.
The story of the Grinch was always one of the favorites for my students. I prefer the story-book Grinch, and I’m not necessarily a fan of the movie-Grinch. I made a “mean”Grinch and a “reformed” Grinch, using some of my Christmas scraps. Then I raw-edged appliqued the faces onto some holly fabric. I added a bit of thread-sketching to draw in details and the face. I do not know how I plan to use these Grinch designs. Or, I may not even use them to make anything. Maybe, I should make Max, the dog. He is such a cute character in the story.
Any suggestions for how to use these Grinch designs in a small craft/product would be appreciated.

In progress photo

Block # 45~ Friday, November 9

Autumn weather hit home this week. I enjoyed my cup of coffee and the brisk weather out on the side porch. As I would sip on my coffee, a crow would perch on the highest limb of one of the trees. This crow would caw to me every morning.
It is said that when a crow caws at you he is telling you to be bolder, braver, and brazen in your self-expression.
Something to contemplate.
I enjoyed the crow’s visits so much, that I couldn’t pass up these adorable crows I found at a store.
These crows are now perched on the work table in my studio, and I can hear them cawing at me.

(I made this cloth pumpkin last year.)

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Block #45~Friday, November 9
Be Bold
Background: 100% cotton, feather print
Technique:
Applique

Block # 44~Friday, November 2

The block for this week is all about two fur babies, Marley and Richard Parker. They were my closest and dearest companions for over a week.
Marley is a geriatric dog that is still going strong, in spite of some maladies. It was great to see her frisky and playful as we sat outside and enjoyed the fall weather. As I spent time on my sewing machine, Marley would lay right behind my chair keeping me company.
Richard Parker is an adorable cat with plenty of personality. He would leap onto my sewing machine whenever he thought I had spent too much time not giving him the attention he deserves. He would jump on my lap whenever I sat to watch movies.
Both of these fur babies are great listeners. They would listen to me chat for hours on end.
Marley and Richard Parker…truly, unconditional love at its best.
 

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Block #44 Friday, November 2
Fur Babies
Background: 100% cotton floral; grey backing
Technique: Applique

Way Too Soon

In my opinion, the day after Halloween is way too soon for the stores to play Christmas music. For me, the Christmas season has always started the day after Thanksgiving. When I was teaching, my wardrobe included enough tacky Christmas shirts and sweaters (with no repeats) to last from that Friday after Thanksgiving, to the day in December that started our two week break. I wore blinking ornament necklaces and earrings. The children decorated themselves and the work spaces in the room. I love the season, but I just think starting the day after Halloween is way to soon.
Even though it is too early for me to play Christmas music, I did start making some Christmas Bowlies.
I have a suitcase of seasonal remnants that are just enough to make some Bowlies.

Seasonal Suitcase