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.
This morning, I started making a block for my 2019-2020 fabric journal. When I finished with the piece, I decided to make it a quilted block to hang on the door to my studio.
I started out by painting some canvas with fabric paint, markers, and crayons. I cut a flamingo from pink fabric. Then, I thread sketched, using different threads. I am having trouble with the stitches when I thread sketch. I have adjusted the tension, but I think the trouble stems from how I stitch. I find myself pulling the cloth, instead of gently gliding it along. This is an area where I need to consult with someone who knows what they are doing. Any suggestions, hints, and feedback is welcomed. Even with the uneven stitching, I am happy with the results.
For my May entry of the fabric journal, I found a denim block that I had pieced and started embroidering a few months ago. I cut out some flamingos and outlined stitched them onto the denim. I need to add some more embroidery and label it for the month of May.
It has definitely been a Flamingo-Kind-of-Day.
This morning, I took a morning walk at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. It is one of my favorite places to visit. I do not have a green thumb, so I need to go to the gardens to see beautiful flowers. The weather is still spring-like, with a lot of humidity. The summer heat has not hit yet. Birds were every where. A Blue Jay posed for me ; and I captured a photo of a cardinal just before he took off.
I made a short video with the photos I took with my phone.
The color, design, and textures in the garden were inspirational. I think these flowers are named Brown-eyed Susan.
I used fabric paint and crayons on canvas for the background. Then I cut fabric to form the stems, leaves, and flowers. I thread sketched a bit to give it texture. Then I machine stitched a black outline.