Dia de Los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, has been celebrated throughout Mexico and Latin American countries, since pre-Columbian times. It is a time to celebrate our deceased loved ones. There are many traditions on ways to celebrate with food, altars, family gatherings, visiting cemeteries and much more. For the first time, San Antonio is having a Dia de los Muertos River parade. One of my friends and her granddaughter set up a beautiful altar with photos of family, friends, and even pets that have died.
This year, I have made some fabric art for this special day. I made a fabric journal for two family members who recently experienced the death of two loved ones. I printed some poems on fabric, made some puffy quilt blocks for the cover and some of the pages, and added buttons and milagros. Milagros are small charms that are like prayers, petitions to saints.

Our local HEB grocery store has an array of Day of the Dead clothing, items, food, and decor. I purchased a crow that was the inspiration for a quilted art piece.

  • Iron fusible stabilizer to the back of muslin fabric
  • Draw bird on the stabilizer
  • Collage and hand-sew different pieces of fabric to form the bird
  • Use white fabric paint to paint skeleton
  • Prepare 12.5″ x 12.5″ block for quilting, using a muslin backing
  • Iron bird onto quilting block
  • Hand quilt and use embroidery thread for stitching
  • Embellish with milagros and buttons
  • Cut quilted block to 9.5″ x 9.5″
  • Prepare backing, cut at one inch more than block. Fold and form the binding.

Village Quilt

In July, two of my friends and I had our own quilting retreat in La Grange, Texas. We each worked on the same Village quilt pattern, by Jumble. The house block took seven pieces to build. This was fun, when I was working with my friends. But it got tiresome when I was working on this at home. I almost gave up on this pattern, but many of you encouraged me to go on. I had all the houses completed, and the sashing cut, but then I got busy with other projects and family fun stuff. Yesterday, I pulled out the box of houses and managed to piece four rows. It made me smile as I saw it hanging on the design wall. I finished the piecing today. Scrappy quilts are becoming my favorite type of quilt. A lot of the scraps are from my stash, but I also shared scraps with my friends. It was fun to add the different colors and designs that my friends had in their stash. My friend, Diane, helped to change the pattern to a 55″ X 63″ quilt.
The pattern shows a white border and a thin colored binding. I do not know what I want to add as a border. I know the white lets the different colors of the house pop out, but I was thinking of a black and white small polka dot…maybe. I’ll let it hang on the design wall and try different things out.

Home…And Still Celebrating

So far, October has been a blessed month. Lots of celebration going on.
In the spirit of celebration, and happy to be back in my sewing room, I made two fabric journals.
The first fabric journal I made was for celebrating the one-year wedding anniversary of my youngest son. I have a bag of quilted fabric pillows that are based on Teesha Moore’s style. I used one long pillow rectangle to make the front and back of a very small journal. Small buttons were sewn into the spine of the journal. I printed some “love” quotes onto fabric.  A house and a heart charm were added to two of the pages.The hand-stitching was a great way to relax and ease into getting back in the groove of making things.
Anniversary Fabric Journal

My granddaughter is interested in art and crafting. In between spending time with the baby, she and I kept busy with other things. She hand-stitched some of the fabric pillows I had prepared. I used some of the pillows she sewed to make the cover for her Big Sister Fabric Journal. There is a superhero theme in her and the baby’s room…Batman and Wonder Woman, so I included some detachable ornaments in the journal.

I am so thankful for this October. I plan to keep on celebrating all the way into November.😁

Family Time

These past few days have been intense. All is well, now that my daughter-in-law and grandson came home today. My granddaughter has taken on the role of big sister. She said she knew she loved her brother as soon as she saw his face. In preparation for the homecoming, she made some Welcome Home and Family posters.

While the baby is napping, my granddaughter and I keep busy with different activities. Today, she helped me stitch some quilted pillow squares that I plan to use for a journal of some kind. We had some very relaxing hand -sewing sessions between baby feedings.

These are the two quilted pillows I have so far. I saw a video on how to embroider a thread flower, It did not come out like I wanted. I forgot to save the tutorial video, and I cannot find it. Now, I will either rely on my memory and try again, or just try something else.
In the meantime, I have a few more days to be here with my son. I plan to help as much as I can and enjoy every minute of this family time.

Batiks and Backing

Thanks to all who responded with tips and suggestions for making a batik quilt. I had been wondering about using a cotton or flannel backing, but did not know if it would work. Thanks to your responses, I am going to be looking for a flannel backing. I want it to be snuggly.
Blogging has given me an opportunity to learn from others. I appreciate hearing from you. Thanks.


While in Seattle, I visited the Undercover Quilts store. I purchased a pattern and fabric kit, Blue Moon, by Janine Burke. I rarely buy kits, but I liked the color scheme of the fabric chosen for the pattern. I wasn’t totally sold on the fabric being Batik, only because I had difficulty with the fabric the first time I used it in to make a quilt. This is only the second time I have made anything with Batik.
At the onset of making this quilt, I had an encounter with a rotary blade. The finger is healing, but will never be the same. I worked with a  nine-finger handicap piecing this quilt, but I finally finished today. One thing I do like about this quilt is that it reminds me of my great trip to Seattle with my daugher-in-law. The blues and greens are the colors of Seattle, and some of the fabric has a sea design.
I looked for tips on sewing with Batiks, but did not find anything new or useful. Now, I am trying to decide if I want to back the quilt with Batik or cotton. Any input, tips, or suggestions is welcomed.
Soon, I will be off to take care of my granddaughter, as we await the birth of her brother. I am one excited Grammy.

Moving Forward

Thanks for all who sent well wishes about my finger. In response to Sandy’s (Gray Barn Designs) sewing humor, my finger is “on the mend”.😄 My pointing finger will actually be pointy when it is totally healed. According to my doctor’s instructions, I have been spending time with my finger wound uncovered. This has prevented me from doing any cooking…Oh, darn! I have also not done much of anything else, in order to give my finger a chance to remain uncovered. I was told it would heal better if I did not keep it bandaged too much.
I have also been a bit hesitant and rotary blade-shy. I took stock of all the sharp and pointy tools used in sewing, and I made a commitment to Safety First. Today was my first day to try things out. I do have to move my finger so it won’t stay stiff. I bandaged the finger, took a deep breath, and picked up the rotary blade. I managed to cut the remaining fabric for the Blue Moon quilt. The fabrics are beautiful Batiks from Hoffman, Timeless Treasures and Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
I used a ruler gripper to cut this time, but not a glove. I’ll use a glove when my finger is totally healed. The gripper worked quite well. It feels much better to have my fingers above and away from the rotary blade!

I was also managed to sew black strips to 24 colored strips. It was a bit clumsy at first, but it got better.
My hand-stitching projects are out of the question for now. Hopefully, it will not take too long to get back to these projects.
In the meantime, I have signed up for a free online workshop by Shannon Brinkley, on how to grow your unique style.
I am also studying YouTube videos by Jude Hill. She makes beautiful spirit cloths. Her tutorials are inspirational. Once my finger is fully healed, and the flexibility returns, I would like to try creating my own versions of spirit cloths.
Any suggestions or recommended tutorials are greatly appreciated. I want to keep busy as I move forward in this healing process.

Finger Update

It looks like I won’t be working on my new quilt project for a while. As mentioned in an earlier post, I sliced a piece of my pointing finger with the rotary blade. I thought the cleaning and bandaging I did last night was enough. But when I went to clean it this morning, the bleeding started up again and I could see the finger was swollen. I am glad I decided to go to a clinic today. The PA pulled a piece of fabric out of the skin…Yikes! 😲 I really did a number on this finger. It is now cleaned and hopefully on the road to healing.
Next item on my list : Purchase a ruler gripper😉


Today I was set aside for cutting fabric for a new quilt project. The pattern is Blue Moon. I purchased the pattern and fabric at the Undercover Quilt Shop in Seattle.
I had only three more fabric pieces to cut when I ran my finger over with the rotary blade. In the photo, what you see is a 1″ x 1/2″ slice of my finger.
At least I did not get any blood on the fabric!