Red

I would like to send a big “Thank you!” to Mariss, for reminding me about the #areyoubookenough challenge. Mariss’ post about her first book, Shelter from the Storm, got me interested in maybe trying this challenge once again. Then, when I saw her Instagram post about her “red” book in progress, I just knew I wanted to make a book. I have spent the day, reading poems and reliving special memories, during the process of making this book.

The challenge theme of “red”, made me think of two special poems. One is the poem, A Lady red-amid the Hill, by Emily Dickinson. The image of red tulips came to mind, and I found the perfect scrap for the hills. Crumb scraps and beads were used to dot the hills with tulips. The other poem is The Red Wheelbarrow, by William Carlos William. This short poem is one of my favorites. As part of my instruction in both fourth and fifth grade classrooms, I included the study of an excellent novel, Love that Dog, by Sharon Creech. This novel is the perfect way to teach students about self-expression and poetry. The novel is written in a diary format and the first line is quite the conversation starter for students:



“I don’t want to
Because boys
Don’t write poetry.

Girls do.”

The Red Wheelbarrow is one of the poems in the novel. I so enjoyed the class discussion of this poem, which resulted in inspiring and creative poems written by my students. And yes, the boys in my room ended up enjoying writing poetry. 😉

Red, of course, made me think of the cardinal. This bird was one of mom’s favorite birds. She embroidered a cardinal that I had framed for her to give to her great-granddaughter. It hangs in my granddaughter’s room.

Red also made me think of my childhood. There was a red wagon with origins unknown, that my cousins (who lived next door) and I used for playing, hauling, and transportation. My sons also had red wagons. I have a very special memory of decorating the wagons for a 4th of July parade in our neighborhood.

Another childhood memory inspired by this color, is that of a popsicle. My cousins and neighbors would drop everything as soon as we heard the cheerful melody of the Ice Cream Truck. We would line up on the street curb, with the coins my Tia Chicha would give us. The big decision was which flavor to choose…cherry red, banana, or root beer. Most times, the problem was solved by each of us ordering one of each and then breaking them in half to share.

Roses come to mind when thinking of red things. My Tia Chicha had a large rose bush by her porch. Mom also had beautiful rose bushes in her yards. My dad used to give mom red roses on their anniversary, and he would sign the card, Love, Chester. His name was Pepe, so this was a personal joke between them.

Red also reminded me of summer fun. My cousins and neighborhood friends and I would play outside all day. There was nothing more fun than to end the day with a cold slice of sandía. My dad would spread newspapers out on the backyard table and cut up huge, delicious watermelons. Dad was an expert when it came to picking sweet, just-right, watermelons. Of course, there were seed spitting contests to add to the fun.

You can’t think of red without including a red heart. The heart reminds me of a favorite Beatle tune, All You Need is Love.

Originally, I was thinking of hand-stitching the fabric book. Instead, I took the opportunity to finally use the extra stitches on my sewing machine to make fancy borders. The cardinal is machine thread-sketched. Fabric scraps were used to make the wagon, and other things. Beads and buttons were added as embellishments.

I have enjoyed this walk down memory lane with the color, red. Thank you, Mariss!

Fabric Book for March

In a January post, I mentioned the #areyoubookenough challenge. I liked the idea of making a book a month, but I did not know if I would work entirely within the rules or themes of the challenge. I just liked the challenge of creating a book a month.
For the month of January, I made a book of small fabric meditations without following the theme for the month, which was “in-between”. The book was mostly collages of birds, buttons and hearts. It was a great way to use up scraps.
The theme for February was “healing”. I chose to make a book about love and healing based on the quote from Hubert Humphrey: “The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.”
The theme for March is ‘hexagons”. I had some hexagon rulers and paper templates, so I used these to make my book for the month. I used the one inch paper templates to make flowers and a butterfly. I also had some hexagon buttons that I used in creating some flowers, a snail, a bird and a vase. For the first page, I thread-sketched some hexagons and used buttons to decorate the centers. The front and back covers are made from Kraft-Tex. The cute floral and bird selvage from the Deborah Curiel Viva Mexico line of fabric came in handy to use as ties for the book.
There is now a confirmed case of Covid-19 in San Antonio. Austin also has some cases. It seems it might be a good idea to stay home for a few weeks. It is not my favorite thing to do, but it is the responsible thing to do for now. I think I have enough fabric and things to keep busy.
Stay healthy!

What a day!

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just comes together? These types of days are rare for me, but today was ONE OF THOSE DAYS.
Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I kept getting ideas about making birds…then Valentine cards…then small books. Needless to say, I did not get enough sleep. But it was worth it.
I love making fabric books, and I had seen an interesting post on Instagram. It was a monthly challenge to make books, #areyoubookenough. I liked the idea of making a book for each month, but I was having difficulty thinking of a book based on the January theme of “in between”. I decided to just make a book with no particular theme.
A few weeks ago, Francine and I ( at Las Colchas ) had a conversation about making books. In fact, my interest in books began with a book-making class I took at her shop about four years ago. In our recent conversation, Francine suggested that I just dump my scraps on a table and start playing. That is exactly what I did.
The morning was spent making the fabric Valentine Cards, but I kept thinking of making a book. After supper, I picked up some of the small scrappy art I had started during the week. Then the idea of using some of these pieces in a book came to mind. I also found two very small bird fabric pieces I had made last year. Stitching, buttons, thread-sketching were all included. I made an applique of a bird to sew onto the cover which was made with a 5″ X 8″ piece of Kraft-Tex. The cover is lined and there is a Kraft-Tex piece to support the spine.
Now that the book is complete, I need to clean up my sewing room. Scraps of fabric are everywhere! Once I clean up, I am sure I will get a better night’s rest.