One year ago today, I was floating the lagoon in Tulum, Mexico, with my son and his family.
My son, carrying my granddaughter, to the boat that took us to the lagoon.

I loved watching this fearless girl enjoying the moment.

Great time!
I will try to remember how cool the water felt, as I go grocery shopping in this heat!

Block # 12 ~Friday, March 23

As mentioned in an earlier post, March 22 would have been my dad’s 98th birthday.
My siblings and I spent time this past Thursday texting funny stories about our childhood and our dad.
My father, Jose Leon Virjan, was known as Pepe.
He would never miss a Wednesday bowling night, and neither would I.
I never really bowled much…I just ate candy and drank sodas…all night long.
There was a heavy price to pay at school the next day.
But that didn’t stop me from going with my dad.
Dad was a very good bowler.
I can still see his graceful and powerful stance as he rolled the ball down the lane.
For this Friday’s journal entry block, I tried to capture the craziness of some of his bowling shirts with the yellow gingham memo.
Soon after my father died, my family chose to celebrate him with a family bowling night.
Having all of his children and their spouses; and his grandchildren there, was a great way to honor my dad.
This block was created to honor my dad; and to capture the memory of our family bowling night.

Block #12~ Friday, March 23

Background: Yellow gingham memo 100% cotton
Technique: Applique, Free Motion
Batting: 100% cotton
Writing: Pepe

Block # 7-Friday, February 16

One of my goals as an educator was to teach and celebrate the diversity of our country.
My team and I created lessons to expose the students to the contributions made by the different cultures represented in our school, community, state, and nation.
We did this through all subjects.
We were fortunate to have music teachers and P.E. teachers who contributed to our units.
One of our teachers had adopted a child from China, and she was well- informed about the culture.
Each year, we had so much fun learning about China, through music, reading, writing, and dance.
We had a big Chinese New Year parade.
Since Friday is the Chinese New Year, I thought it would be fun to celebrate by making a block for my quilt journal. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
I did a little research and decided to include the following information on my block:
Lucky Colors-Green, Red, Purple
Lucky Numbers-3,4,9
Lucky Flowers-Rose and Cymbidium Orchid (I chose the orchid)
Lucky Directions- East, Southeast, South
The writing in the center of the dog paw is the word for dog.

Year of the Dog

Background: Red Linen Memo
Technique: Thread sketching, free motion quilting, crayons and markers, applique
Batting: 100% Cotton
Embellishment: None

Block #6: Friday, February 9, Valentine Roses

Nobody knows this little Rose —
It might a pilgrim be
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a Bee will miss it —
Only a Butterfly,
Hastening from far journey —
On its breast to lie —
Only a Bird will wonder —
Only a Breeze will sigh —
Ah Little Rose — how easy
For such as thee to die!
 by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet.
After reading her poem about a rose, I decided to try to thread sketch some roses.
I recently subscribed to Debra Wirsu‘s website.
She is a textile artist from Australia who creates amazing works of art.
Debra is very generous in sharing ideas and tips.
I decided to try out some of her suggestions.
Using a gray quilter’s pencil, I lightly sketched the outline of roses and leaves.
Debra does not pencil sketch, but I needed at least an outline.
This was just for practice, so I deliberately tried different movements.
You will see that each rose is different because of this experimenting.
I used Pentel fabric crayons and Tulip fabric markers to fill in the empty spaces.
At first, I was just planning to set this aside as a practice sample.
But then, I decided to include it in my 52 Fridays Quilt Journal.
The journal is to reflect my year, and this thread sketching learning journey should be included…mistakes and all. I won’t list all the flaws. Mistakes are part of the learning process.

 Valentine Roses

Background: White on white polka-dot fabric
Technique: Thread sketching, free motion quilting, crayons and markers
Batting: 100% Cotton
Embellishment: Red beads
Post Script
I had a near miss today, as I was thread sketching these roses.
The machine needle broke. The needle point flew out and hit my cheek right under my glasses.
I am so glad I was wearing glasses!
Maybe I need to get some safety glasses.

52 Fridays, February 2, Block #5

Friday, February 2
Block # 5

Tulips for Tonie

Background: 100% Cotton Memo, Champagne
Technique: Applique hand drawn flowers and stem; thread sketching, free motion quilting
Batting: 100% Cotton
Embellishment: None

The inspiration for today’s journal entry is my mother,
Maria Antonietta Martinez Virjan.
February 11 will mark two years since my mother passed, and February, for me, will always be a month dedicated in her honor.
I chose tulips for this entry, since they were one of mom’s favorite flowers.
She had tulips in her garden that surround a tree in the front yard.
There is one Sunday, that I remember taking fresh tulips to mom.
She was so happy to receive them and she placed them in a vase on her dining room table.
So, these Tulips are for Tonie.

52 Fridays: January 26

When I first thought of doing a journal quilt as in the book, 52 Tuesdays: A Quilt Journal by Sandy Gilreath ,  my concern was that I might have difficulty finding  thoughts, ideas, or experiences to record each week.
I have been finding it difficult to choose only one idea for the weekly block journal entry.
This week alone is filled with possibilities…the Cowboy Breakfast, Pie Day, my birding experience, my daily reading from Gunilla Norris, Simple Ways… so many inspirations from which to choose.
For this week’s entry, I chose to create a Celebration of Life hexagon block.
According to Days of the Year calendar, today is a day set aside to celebrate life, focusing on our children and grandchildren.
I decided to create a tree out of felt and buttons. The large heart buttons represent my three sons.
The smaller red heart buttons represent my daughter-in-laws. The pink and the purple small heart buttons represent their children.

It still needs some more quilting on the sky portion, but this is what I have so far:
Friday, January 26

Celebration of Life

Background: Cotton memo; blue and green pieced
Technique: Embroidery, hand quilting
Batting: 100% Cotton
Embellishment: Buttons

52 Fridays: January 12

WHoo-oo Loves You
Inspiration for this block came from this past week that I spent with my granddaughter. It was a
fun-filled, loving, and creative week. Morgan loves owls, and she made an owl hexagon block to hang in her living room.

I decided to try my hand at thread sketching an owl to document this great week with Morgan.

Background: Light blue memo, 100% cotton
Technique: Thread sketching, free motion, hand sewn borders, Pentel fabric crayons, Tulip fabric markers
Batting: 100% Cotton
Embellishment: Buttons for eyes