Pig in a Wig

In case you missed yesterday’s live presentation on Pig in a Wig by Emma Virjan, you can still view it on her website. It can only be posted for a few days, so click on the Facebook icon on her website . She gives great insight to the illustration and writing process. She is also quite funny!

Pig in a Wig

Great news!
My sister, Emma Virjan, Children’s book author and illustrator  will read WHAT THIS STORY NEEDS IS A PIG IN A WIG. After the reading, she will have a workshop and discussion about her illustrations process.
Time: 3:30-4:30 EST
Here is the link to the Brooklyn Public Library

Here is the link to her website, where you can click on the Facebook icon at the top of the page:
Emma Virjan

When I was teaching elementary school, Emma would come to read and share her writing and illustration process with my students. Emma is great with children. My students always enjoyed her visits. They learned so much from her. Emma would perk their interest in reading and writing. She also encouraged and brought out the children’s creativity.
So, for all the parents, grandparents, teachers, and anyone interested in art and children’s literature, be sure to join in on this reading and workshop. In fact, I invite EVERYONE to listen in and participate.



My sister, Emma, and I were having a conversation about Inchies. We were talking about how satisfying it is to draw, sketch, create, something in a small space. She shared with me that as a university senior art student, she created art in two inch squares. This reminded me of a YouTube tutorial by Carrie Chambless…Inchies and Twinchies. Carrie demonstrates using thread scraps in making Twinchies. I, of course, hoard…I mean, save…thread scraps. I have them in jars. In the past, I have used some of these thread and fabric scraps in making a new fabric piece. I then used these new fabric pieces to make journal covers or signatures. I also find myself using balls of thread scraps like a stress relief ball…weird, I know… but it works. Anyway, today I used some burlap and satin scraps, along with thread scraps, to make some Twinchies. I started by backing the fabric scrap with a light weight fusible. Then I added the thread, tiny fabric shavings (which I also collect). Tulle was used to hold all of the scraps in place. Then, I used the sewing machine to free motion everything in place.  Embellishing these little squares with more hand stitching and buttons was very enjoyable.  I had all my jars of buttons out and tried different arrangements. It just so happened that I had some brooch pins, so I made some of the Twinchies into brooches for Emma.  It was a fun and easy process.  And, I just discovered Rinchies! Oh, my! I just love this stuff.
In the cleanup process, I found a new pile of scraps sitting on my table. They are what’s left after I cut the pieces into two inch squares.
When is it Trash or Treasure? I was just about to throw away this latest pile of scraps, when they starting falling into place, making a pretty piece. Trash or Treasure? For now, I am leaving the pile on the table. I will see how I feel about it tomorrow. Maybe the pile will transform into a a stack of Rinchies!

Great Week

I just returned from a great week with my three youngest grandchildren. Time was spent in the library, playing board games, reading, and having great conversations. I got some special one-on-one time with my infant grandson. It was also fun to meet with my three sons and daughter-in-laws, my friend Nancy, and my sister Emma. Of course there were some trips to quilt shops, craft shops, and thrift shops in the area. In between visits and time with my grandchildren, I researched different crafts and things to make. There are numerous YouTube tutorials on how to make a variety of pouches. I recently made a zippered box pouch that had exposed seams. One of the tutorials I discovered was by Marcela’s Purse. This tutorial is for a zippered and lined box pouch with no seams exposed. Marcela gives excellent directions. I was able to make three of these pouches in two hours.

I am looking forward to another great week. I hope you have one also.

Mi Casa

This past July, two of my friends and I headed for La Grange for our own quilting retreat. Each one of us was making our own Village quilt pattern by Jumble. One of my friends had seen an adaptation of this quilt where a character fabric was sewn into the doorway. My friends and I had prepared for the trip by cutting from our fabric stashes. At the retreat, we pooled all of these fabric pieces. What fun we had just choosing from the different piles. I left the retreat with a few houses already pieced and plans to complete it at home. The piecing for this quilt was intense, and it just wasn’t that much fun doing it all alone. I kept setting the project aside. With encouragement from my blogging friends, I continued the project. I’m happy to say it is now quilted. I picked it up from my quilter yesterday and started binding it last night.
This quilt is such a  happy, fun quilt. The scrappiness adds so much color and design. The characters in the doorway are inviting you in. I decided to name this quilt, Mi Casa es Tu Casa.
One of the rows include characters from my sister Emma’s  children’s books.  I think this will be a fun quilt to use as for reading and story telling activities with children. I plan to try it out soon.
I pieced a house block to use as the label.
Recently, I was thinking of discarding my overflowing bins of scraps. Again, thanks to my blogging friends, and my sister, I rethought the situation. I hope to organize the scraps and make more scrappy quilts.

Pig in a Wig, Rat, and Bunny are three of the characters in my sister’s books.
I chose a swirly heart design for the quilting.
My label.


Next week, I plan to be away from my sewing room. This made me determined to do as much piecing as possible on the Village quilt. My goal today was to piece 52 house blocks, so I had to work on focusing and staying on task.
The pattern calls for cutting four pieces for each of the houses, minus the roof. My friend, Diane, showed me a short cut. I cut a 5″square that would be for the two side panels. I chained stitched the door and door tops first. Then I chain stitched one side of the 5″ square to one side of the door/top piece. The next step involved folding the remaining side of the 5″ square to the first end side of the door/top piece that I had just sewn.  This forms a type of tunnel. Then I matched the two side door seams, held the house square fabric taunt, and cut. The end result is the 4.5″ x 5.5″ house… with a little less hassle.
I have three more houses to make. I plan to make a house with  story book characters my sister,
Emma Virjan, created. I need to get a new ink cartridge for my printer before I can make these.

I am having fun with this project again. I love the different characters in the doorway. This is quite a scrap buster project. My friends and I pooled our scraps and remnants and then chose what we needed. We also shared character fabric. Diane had a treasure trove of character fabric that she graciously shared.

The fabric for the triangle roof has already been cut. I just need to sub-cut the white fabric for the corners. I already have the fabric cut to the required measurement for the strips. I need to divide the 52 house blocks into two groups. One group will have chimneys, the other will not. Or, depending on how I feel at the time, they might all be without chimneys.


I thought I had finished for the day, and I started to clean up the mess on my work table. I had scraps everywhere. When I picked up a grey polka-dot- on- grey scrap, I got a visual of some fluffy, layered hair.
Then I pulled out some white scraps and created a face to go along with this coiffure. More polka dots and Kaffe Fassett floral scraps, and voila! Nadine came to life. I sent a picture of Nadine to my sister, Emma. Of course, she immediately responded with a biography of Nadine.

Introducing: Nadine
Biography by Emma J. Virjan
Has three dogs
Loves Thich Nhat Hanh 
Makes Kick-ass cherry cobbler   
Zumbas on Wednesdays
Never turns down a glass of wine 
Bought Intel at a penny stock and is independently wealthy 

Fabric Journal

Since I have finished making rugs and bowls, I was looking for something to do. Then I remembered that I had not yet made the monthly block for my 2019 fabric journal.
This is what I have made for the journal so far:

This will be the title page.

January                                                              February

For the April quotation block, I used one of my orphan blocks that I made years ago. Instead of embroidering over the printed quote, as I did on the others, I embroidered over a handwritten quote. It did not come out as neatly as the printed quotes, so lesson learned.

My tendency is to save even the smallest of fabric scraps. I have tried to be more practical and  organized, but my two scrap bins are full. I also save thread scraps. 🙄 As I was getting ready to throw these scraps away, I decided to upcycle them and use them in the April block instead. I threw a small amount of fabric scraps onto 10″ X 10″ muslin block. I scattered and played with the fabric before I threw on some of the thread and ribbon scraps. Then I covered the block with Sulky Wash Away Stabilizer.
I was able to practice some free motion quilting over the stabilizer. Then I cut some larger brown scraps into a tree limb. My sister had shared some birds that she drew, and she gave me permission to print them on fabric. I have made some items for her with these birds, and today, I used one of the birds for this textile art piece. I appliqued the bird and leaves to complete the piece. This fun process just confirmed that I will not be throwing away tiny scraps of fabric or thread. 😉

Happy Birthday, Emma!

Yesterday was Sibling Day. I have the best siblings ever.
The last time all we were all together was at Christmas. My brother lives in another state, so I do not get to see  him as frequently as I would like.
Today, Adri, and I, went to Gruene, Texas to meet up with our sister, Emma. We celebrated her upcoming birthday with lunch at the Gristmill.

Emma is an author and illustrator. She is creative, inspirational, and way too funny.
I had previously made her some pouches for her pens and pencils. She mentioned that she needed some more, so I made two. One pouch is a bit of an odd shape because I was using the leftover fabric from the other pouch I made.

Front View                    Back View

My dad used to call Emma, his “Yellow Rose”. I made a yellow rose brooch for her.

Front View           Back View          Pinned on my wrinkled shirt.

We had the perfect day for sitting by the river for lunch. The food at the Gristmill was great, and being with my sisters was a blast.
I’m the one on the right.

As you can see in the photos, Emma kept us laughing.

Saturday Stuff

My friend, Nancy, makes some beautiful fabric, floral pins. On one of our Wabi Sabi sewing days, my Meemaw friends and tried our hand at making floral pins.
Today, my sister, Emma, sent me a photo of a fabric brooch that had thread sketching and embroidery. I just had to give it a try.

Now, I am looking online to see what others have done with fabric brooches.
It has been a drizzly, lazy Saturday, so I have not started on any big project. I did complete another thread sketch for the #100 Day Project. I am not a selfie-type person, but I find it easy to thread sketch caricatures of myself. This way, I do not offend anyone.😉
Since I was not able to go for a walk today, I thread sketched a selfie of me taking a walk.