Something New

This morning, I was able to complete The Tannebaum strip tube quilt top. I delivered the top to my friend, Jeana, for long-arming. After cleaning up my work space, I revisited a small project I started yesterday.
One of my goals is to make a collage quilt. I have been interested in doing this ever since I saw some art pieces by Shannon Brinkley. I discovered another fabric collage artist, Laura Heine, on one of my visits to the Mesquite Bean. The quilt shop is having collage classes taught by Vicky, who is certified to teach the Laura Heine method. Unfortunately, I can only make the introduction class, and not the class where the actual quilt is to be made. Vicky is the person who helped me make my first quilt.
In the meantime, since I cannot make the classes, I viewed some videos and thought I would give it a try on a very small scale. I fussy cut pieces from 5 different fabrics for the hummingbird. Then, I fussy cut some Kaffe Fassette flowers. I used fabric glue instead of backing the fabric with Steam-a-Seam 2 double sided fusible web. If I were to make a larger project, I would use the fusible web.
I am still having difficulty with free motion quilting. I can never seem to get the right tension. I have more control when I am FMQ, but I still do not know what I am doing. I thread-sketched the fabric I used for the bird and the flowers. I thought I had enough flowers tucked into the corner, but apparently not. The flowers look like they are suspended in the air along with the bird. Maybe I can add some more flowers tomorrow. The bee was fussy cut from a remnant.
The inspiration for the hummingbird came from the time I spent at my friend’s house. Marti’s backyard is bird heaven. There were blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, doves, and hummingbirds happily visiting and co-exiting in her yard. This was a fun learning piece.

Seams!!!!!

Which way do you press the seams on blocks that have many pieces? There are multiple opinions on how to answer this question. I have read, watched tutorials, and asked other quilters what they do when it comes to pressing seams. One of my friends said to just press the way it fits best. Well, this is difficult to do when there are eight rows of  eight inch blocks made from four inch blocks made from two inch strips! The Tannenbaum tutorial by Jordan Fabrics, recommends pressing the seams to the dark fabric. Donna Jordan demonstrates that pressing correctly, even on seams that are going in the same direction, will solve the problem and result in a flat seam. I had to do this on some of the pieces and they did come out okay. One of my friends recommended pressing the seams open.  I did a little bit of both…open and to the side. There were still places that I had to redo in order to make a flatter seam. I am happy with the accuracy of my quarter inch seams. This helped a bit, but it was still a hassle.
There has to be an easier way. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
I finished piecing the center of the Tannebaum quilt top. I do not know if I will add just one border to make it a throw size quilt; or three borders to make it a queen size quilt.

DIY Jewelry

My friend, Marti, makes beautiful jewelry. I have been bugging her to teach me how to make my own. Last month, we went shopping for beads at Ann Pearce Jewelry Design & Beads. Today’s Wabi-Sabi project was to make jewelry. I started off by making a bracelet with three strings. It took me forever to design what I wanted. Thank goodness I have a very patient friend. I managed to complete the bracelet. The necklace will be made on another Wabi-Sabi day scheduled for August. I am happy with the bracelet I made, but I realize that jewelry-making is not for me. I just don’t have the patience for this craft.


Of course, we had to celebrate National Ice Cream Day. I hope you also celebrated!

100 Day Project

My interest in the 100 Day Project started when I was viewing some Instagram posts. I read information on the project and ran across this quote:
Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits.
Twyla Tharp

I decided to make 2.5″ x 3.5″ small art trading cards only because I had some 2.5″ muslin strips already cut for another project. I liked this small project, because it did not require much time or material preparation. It also gave me the opportunity to record special memories of people, events, places, or things on fabric. This project was a great way to spark my energy and creative process. I chose to thread sketch, applique, collage, or embroider…whatever caught my fancy each morning. 😉
Each day, I added the piece onto a Power Point. Today, I learned how to turn a Power Point into a video.

This was an enjoyable project. Now, I have to figure out what I want to do next. 🤔

Progress

This afternoon, I spent some time piecing the blocks for the Tannenbaum quilt. I was able to complete the 15 red and green square blocks for the center of the tree. I also completed the 12 white, red, and green blocks for the sides of the tree.
The next step is to make 14 background blocks. I realized that I need to make two more tubes of the background fabric to have enough to make the 14 blocks.  I laid some of the blocks together in order to get a preview. So far, I have not run across any major hurdles along the way. The tutorial by Donna Jordan certainly has been helpful. I did have a couple of rip and redo, but that is par for the course.

Shop is closed for the weekend. I will be celebrating my granddaughter’s birthday.

Christmas Quilt ~ in July

As summers go, we have had a relatively mild summer. That’s to say we have not had weeks of continuous temperatures above 100. When I was teaching, this part of July was when I was already busy preparing for a new school year. This July, I have decided to prepare for Christmas. Today, I started on a Christmas quilt. I am making the Cozy Quilt Strip Tube Tannenbaum from the pattern design of Daniela Stout. I chose this pattern because I have never made a strip tube quilt, and I thought it would be interesting to try out. I found a great tutorial by Donna Jordan of Jordan Fabrics. I am such a visual learner, and the video tutorial provided the help I needed to understand the pattern. Since I did not use a jelly roll, I needed help in double checking my fabric calculations. Nancy, at Mesquite Bean, helped me with figuring this out.
This morning, I cut the background fabric and the strips.

This afternoon, it took just about thirty minutes to make the three sets of tubes.

Maybe after I finish running errands tomorrow, I might be able to use my new strip tube ruler to cut the blocks. I might even play some Christmas music for motivation. 🎄

I Love Tuesdays

Every Tuesday, I head over to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens for Tai Chi classes. Ming Xie is a delightful and very patient instructor. I am not the most coordinated of students, but everyone there makes the class enjoyable.
It just so happens that the botanical gardens happen to be on the SAME street, a few miles south of one of my favorite quilt shops, the Mesquite Bean. It also happens to be U.F.O. Tuesday at the shop. The back room is filled with quilters working on projects. As I drive pass the quilt shop on my way to the gardens, I tell myself that I will skip the quilt shop this time. But on the way back, my car just pulls in the parking lot…every time. I have been pretty good about sticking to a budget and just going to visit with the quilters and staff. Joy and Nancy are two staff members who are always so helpful and generous with sharing ideas.
Today, Nancy helped me select some fabric for the Christmas tree quilt I plan to start soon. I had purchased some fabric on my Fayetteville trip, but I needed just a bit more. Nancy also helped me read through the pattern and gave me some tips for making this tubular quilt.
I also purchased fabric to complete the Batman Baby quilt.
You can see why I love Tuesdays.
I finished piecing the top.
I chose this super light flannel for the backing.

On the Design Wall

I have been making a few things to welcome my grandson  who will be born in September. In keeping with the Batman decor of his room, I have made some Batman burp cloths and bibs. Today, I started piecing a small quilt. There is research that shows that newborns see primarily in shades of black, gray, and white. I ordered some Batman quilt charms that are mainly these colors. I plan to add some yellow, and maybe some of that dusty blue color of Batman’s clothes. I might add sashing, and two borders.
The four nine patches are on the design wall, along with four corner bat symbol blocks. I need to think about this a bit more.
I already have two baby quilts that I need to bind. These are a bit more colorful.

Peanuts Quilt

As mentioned in an earlier post, my sister asked if I could make a quilt for her son. He will be 50 soon. He has always been a fan of the Peanut characters. He still decorates his home with seasonal Peanut decorations. My sister had been purchasing Peanut character fabric throughout the years. She gave me a tote bag filled with remnants and half yardage of old fabric. The fabric was in good shape, just old. I purchased a panel that had three different character scenes. I chose one for the center, and just built from there. My sister said she would use the other two parts from the panel to make pillows or pillowcases. I purchased red, orange, yellow, and charcoal fabric to make the center boarders. I also used some white and black thin striped fabric, and some white with red polka-dot fabric from my stash. The character fabric was used in making a keyboard quilt border. For the backing, I cut 12.5 inch squares from the character fabric.
I delivered the quilt to my sister today, and she was very happy. My sister is a master gardener. I thought the garden would be a good setting to take the photos of the quilt.

Fabric Quilt Journal

My year-long project for 2018 was based on a book, 52 Tuesdays, by Sandy Gilreath. I loved the idea of making weekly hexagon blocks to represent memories of special people, places, things, or events. The author was very generous with her idea and encouraged the readers to create their own quilt journal. There were 52 Fridays in 2018, so that is the name of my quilt. I also kept a hard copy journal of the process and the memory of each block. It was a learning process for me. I used this as an opportunity to practice quilting skills and learn new skills. My first block was the very first time I thread sketched a piece. I also dabbled in fabric paint, crayons, and pencils. It was a great way to use scraps. If I were to do it differently, I would not complete each hexagon with backing. Sewing the completed hexagons together did not work out for me. I took it to my friend, Jeana, who decided the best thing to do would be to longarm the quilt. She did a great job. She returned it to me a few months ago, but I have been doing other projects…binding is not my favorite thing to do. I needed to complete this project before I continued working on other projects. I spent the afternoon looking at each block and remembering  2018. The stories represented by each block definitely made me smile today.