Fabric Art and Doilies

Today’s Thought: No hay mal que por bien no venga.

When I was little, I used to watch my Tia Lupe crochet doilies with cotton thread and a small hook. I thought it was something cool for an old lady to do. Well, it’s official. I am an old lady who makes doilies! However, this is probably the only one I am going to make. I can’t believe that my Tia even crocheted table cloths with these tiny hooks. So much work!

After crocheting rock socks out of the cotton thread, I thought I would try making doilies. The tutorial by Kristines Crochet is excellent for beginners. I was able to make a doily in an afternoon, with breaks in between.

I spent the morning social distance celebrating with my friends at the Meemaw tree. I wore my special shirt to give them a laugh. The shirt says: I am 70 years old and flocking fabulous. One has to find humor in getting older.

What makes my birthday special for me is that I was born on my Mother’s birthday. I celebrated every birthday with her. I wanted to celebrate her in some way this week, so I made two quilt blocks. One block is inspired by the begonias in my mother’s garden. I could not enter her house without her asking if I had noticed her begonias. The second block is a fabric collage of a sparrow. Mom used to talk to the sparrows from her kitchen window. On my Sunday visits with mom, we would sit out on her patio so we could see the sparrows in her yard. Making these blocks was my way of celebrating with mom once more.

Today’s Thought is something my mother frequently said: No hay mal que por bien no venga.
It means that even if something may be bad, something good will come out of it.
That’s my hope.

Monday,Monday

Ideas and inspiration for my daily art pieces can come at any time of the day. (Sometimes, inspiration doesn’t come at all.)This morning, at about 4:30 am, I started thinking about the trips my Meemaw friends and I have taken to the beach. We have gone birding at South Padre Island. We have also taken numerous trips to Rockport, Texas. Our last trip to Rockport was this past March. The fun times we had there were my inspiration for Today’s Art.
I pencil sketched a picture of us walking on the beach. Then, I traced the drawing onto white fabric that was backed with firm interfacing and muslin. I pulled fabric scraps to make our clothing. I then thread sketched around the figures in order to be able to cut them out as individual appliques. I used different embroidery linen fabric to make a beach collage. White tulle was placed over white burlap to add texture and form waves touching the sand. The appliques were glued in place and then thread sketched.
After a bit of online exercising, I watched a few movies. This totally mellowed me out. That’s when I decided to make a Mellow Monday selfie. I followed the same process listed above in the making of this quilt square.
I hope everyone had a Mellow Monday.
We are expecting rain this week.
Although the thought of not being able to go out is bothersome, we definitely could use the rain.
Maybe Tuesday would be a good day to dance in the rain.
Who knows?
I hope everyone is well.
Stay safe.

Mother’s Day

My sister, Emma, sent me a photo of her and her dog. They were relaxing on the backyard deck. Instead of attempting to make a fabric art piece exactly like the image, I took a little liberty with the models. In the photo, my sister and her dog were laying on a outdoor sofa. I decided to make a back view of them sitting in her backyard. My sister has a gorgeous garden and yard to enjoy with her pal, Bella. I sketched Bella and Emma on paper. Then I used this as a template to trace onto muslin. The muslin was backed with firm interfacing.The next step was to collage the images with fabric. This was followed by thread sketching the image. I cut close to the thread sketching to make an applique. I made a quilt square using green and blue fabric for the top. I used a muslin backing. Then I glued the applique onto the center of the block and thread sketched once again.
The flowers that my son and DIL sent me are in my sewing room. As I was admiring the arrangement, I realized that this will be a Mother’s Day where I will not be with my sons. I have a photo taken of us the last time the four of us were together this year. These guys are the best! They are my pride and joy.
I made a quilt block based on the image of the photo. It is an abstract, thread sketch outline of our photo.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Stay safe.

Another Week

My day began with communicating with my sons. We all related to Bill Murray in the Groundhog movie. I always feel better after I get in touch with my sons. They make me laugh.

The video for this week includes different types of projects. The first photo is that of a yellow rose. My younger sister had a birthday this week. My dad used to call my sister his Yellow Rose, so I made one out of fabric scraps. I had mailed her a rice bag tote and a set of magnetic Spanish words to write poetry. Our original plan was to meet in Gruene, Texas to have lunch by the river. Instead of having a scenic lunch with my sisters, I had a peanut butter sandwich in my sewing room. Not complaining…just missing my sisters.

The second photo in the video is that of a bookmark. My daughter-in-law sent me a photo of a bookmark that she made out of fabric. I liked the idea, so I made one for myself. I plan to make some more.

I follow kitschychic on Instagram. She creates very interesting and beautiful textile art. She posted a piece about a roll of fabric collage that she was making out of scraps. She plans to use these rolls to make fabric for other projects. In her post, she asked for ideas of how these fabric collage rolls could be used. The responses from different people were so creative. I decided to make my own fabric collage roll. I cut a 2.5″ X 36″ strip of muslin. Each day, I dump my bin of small scraps on the table. I glue the scraps onto the roll, and then plant myself in front of the television to watch old movies and stitch. This is such a great way to wind down at the end of these LONG days. I am almost finished with my first roll. My plan is to make more rolls. I do not know how I will use them yet, but there are so many possibilities.

The next photo in the video is that of a sparrow. I used the smallest of scraps to make a collage of a bird and cloud.

After the sparrow on the video, I have a photo of a thread sketch I made of my grandson. My son sent me a photo of another great father-son activity. He and his son made a shield out of wood, to go with the wooden sword they made last week. These two guys love to upcycle materials. They used wood from an old futon, and the remains of an old belt, to make the shield. My son’s message with the photo was #neverthrowanythingaway. I sent him a photo of all my tiny fabric scraps on the table and asked him if he was talking to me!

Today’s art project is next in the video. I was thinking of one of the last times I went up to take care of my grandson. It was such a fun time, just the two of us. On one of the days, I went to pick him up from school. I surprised him with a special treat. I had a juice pack and his favorite cookie. There is a Mexican restaurant by his house that has a bakery. My grandson loves the cookie with “bajillion” sprinkles. The name of the cookie is Polvorne con Chochitos (sprinkles). The smile on his face when he saw that cookie is such a happy memory for me. To make the cookie, I made a circle fabric sandwich. I placed the cookie fabric and the muslin right side together. The batting was at the bottom, behind the top fabric. I sewed around the edges. Then, I cut a slit in the muslin and turned the fabric inside out. The result was something that actually looked like a cookie. Then, I made french knots of different colors to make the sprinkles. I sewed the cookie onto a Mexican design fabric I had used to make a quilt.

The last photo in the video is artwork from my grandson. All week, his online reading assignments have been books illustrated with collages and mixed media. His assignment for today was to make his own paper collage. He cut and created a dinosaur drinking water. I was very impressed with his creativity.

My afternoon ended with a zoom session with my granddaughter. I was able to participate in one of her school assignments. She was to have and write a conversation with someone on a topic of choice. She chose to ask me about what I plan to do for my next project. It was so much fun to have her ask me questions. She was interested in knowing the details of what I planned to do next.

We are in for a rainy weekend.
I hope that you are doing well.

Busy

It has been a busy two days. Some Texas mayors are requesting that masks be worn. Our mayor has taken great measures to protect the people in our area. Thank goodness for our local government’s scientific approach to handling this pandemic. The San Antonio mayor has been ahead of the situation from the onset. I wish I could have the same confidence in the other branches of government. Even our Texas grocery chain, HEB, was prepared for this. The Texas Monthly has a great article about the preparations.
On April 7, I spent some time looking at the pink moon. I took a photo with my camera. The next day, I made a fabric piece to commemorate this moment. Maybe this will be a repeat post about the pink moon. Sorry, if I am repeating myself. These past few weeks is so much like the Groundhog Day movie.
Yesterday I began making masks for my family and friends. I finished them today. It is a task that I am glad I could do, but not one that I particularly enjoyed. I do not have the patience for this type of task.
I am not a seamstress. Also, I was beginning to feel depressed with each one I made. To think that the world my grandchildren live in requires them to wear a mask if they go out. Even though they do not go out, the masks were made for emergency purposes.
Thanks to Tierney, who shared the pattern by Made Everyday. Since elastic is nowhere to be found, I used my stash of binding strips to make the ties.
After two days of working on masks, I got back to my Daily Art project. I thread sketched my eyes and neck. Then I did a fabric collage for my hair and face mask. The hand-stitching added some texture to the piece.
Now, I think I will indulge in a Movie Marathon.
Wishing all of you a blessed weekend.

March 30, 2020

Beginning another week of isolation. My Meemaw friends and I are trying to set up some type of chat time, probably with Zoom.
This morning, I made an interactive lesson board for my grandson using Thinglink . This is an online tool that allows you to post interactive activities on one board. I used this when I was teaching and I thought it might be helpful to make one for my grandson. I based it on the curriculum calendar that his teacher provided. I found reading, math, science, and creative activities on Youtube and added the links to the Thinglink board I set up. Thinglink is a very easy tool to use, and the link above is a short tutorial on how to make one. I thought sharing this information might help some of you who want to connect with your grandchildren or others.

I also worked on today’s art. I pulled out more tiny scraps to play with and collage a piece. I already had leftover fabric and batting from a quilt, so I used that for the main block. The birdie came out a bit hefty in this piece.

Today’s Art March 28-29

Thanks to technology, I have had a great day. I was able to have a Zoom chat with my three siblings. My brother in Seattle, younger sister in Austin, and my older sister here in San Antonio. Lots of laughing.
This past Friday, my calendar reminded me that I was supposed to be in Round Rock for Grammy time starting this weekend and throughout all next week. Since that cannot be, the next best thing was being able to Zoom chat with my granddaughter. We challenged each other to learn a new fact to share each time we chat. We also get to draw together. Then, I was able to Facetime with my grandson.
After some morning exercise, I find myself looking through scraps to see what I can make. Yesterday, I made a fabric collage art piece that was inspired by a photo my sister, Emma, sent me. It was a photo of a butterfly in the midst of Emma’s lantana. I have a box of tiny scraps that were just perfect for this. I just cut, pasted, and basted the fabric onto a quilt sandwich block. I added embroidery stitches for some texture.
For today’s art, I made a simple heart with stitching.
Just doing my best to stay positive.
Hope all of you are doing well.

Today’s Art

These are difficult times for all of us. In an attempt to stay hopeful and keep anxiety levels down, I start my day with a walk. There is something about the sound of birds and the beauty of trees that make me feel like everything will be okay. One of my daughter-in-laws sent me a picture of two birds that were perched on the fence in her backyard. My sister sent me a photo of a butterfly landing in her lantana. My friend, Nancy, posts beautiful photos of the flowers in her garden. I appreciate receiving and seeing such beautiful thoughts and photos.
On this morning’s walk, a little black bird flew to the ground right in front of me. It had a blackish top and back, with a reddish throat and grayish belly. I shared the description with my friend, Marti, who is an expert on birds. I did not have enough information to give her, so she made some guesses. I also looked on some bird identification sites. The bird that mostly fit the description of what I saw was a juvenile barn swallow. I really don’t know for sure what it was. All I know is that it was pretty and it lifted my spirits.
I drew the shape of the bird on muslin. Then I cut pieces from my fabric scrap box to make a collage.  The gray and white scrap I used was actually part of the selvage. I glued on the fabric pieces and then sewed the outline of the bird. Then, I cut the bird and glued it onto a green fabric that was backed by batting and muslin. Stitching was done to add details to the bird. I placed another piece of fabric, front sides together and sewed around the sides, leaving an opening to turn inside out.
I hope all of you are doing well.
Stay healthy.
Stay hopeful.

02-20-2020

For the past nine days, I have been working on a rectangle scrappy quilt designed by Jo Parrott. Originally, the plan was to compile scraps with two of my quilting friends. We are still going to do this at a later date. We are planning our own spring retreat.
The pattern gives an option for using either scraps, or half-yards of 18 different fabrics. I had a bin with some fabric remnants, partial fat quarters, and less than half yard pieces. I thought the colors and designs in this bin would make a nice quilt for my nephew. I finished piecing the quilt top today, and dropped it off with my friend who will longarm it for me. I will post about this quilt when it is quilted. Thanks to Mary, from Zippy Quilts, I was able to be more successful with matching intersections. I read her post when I was about half-way into piecing this scrappy quilt. Her tips really paid off and made the second half of piecing less of an ordeal.
After dropping off the quilt, I started to clean and reorganize my work area. Then, I decided to just have fun instead. I backed some muslin with light fusible interfacing. Then I thread-sketched two birds. I used water color pencils to paint the birds. A textile medium was used to coat the water colored birds. I had a piece of cloudy fabric that I used for the background. This was hand-stitched. I used brown grunge fabric to collage tree limbs. I free motioned the stitches on the tree. After these steps were done, I backed the top with thin batting and a blue fabric. The birds were then quilted onto the block. I couldn’t decide if I wanted buttons or not. My daughter-in-law helped me with that decision.
It was a fun way to spend the afternoon on 02-20-2020. I hope you enjoyed your day also.

Fabric Bird Journal

This past week was spent with one of my son’s and his family. I also got to spend a day with a friend and her grandson. Needless to say, it was a busy, fun, happy, non-stop action week.
When I returned home, I decided to unwind a few days before I got back to the projects I left in progress. I like to relax by hand stitching while I watch classic movies. It just so happened that it was Irene Dunne Day on Turner Classics, so this was perfect. 👵
My Process

  • I have a bin with muslin and batting already cut in different sizes for making small-to-medium sized signatures for journals.
  • My threads, beads, scissors, and all necessary items for a small hand stitching project are in a pink box, that was formerly a jewelry box. This box was a gift my youngest son gave me back in the ’80’s, so it has a lot of sentimental value.
  • I began the fabric collage process by looking through the scraps trying to find particular designs that I could shape into a bird body or wing
  • I free-cut the bird shape and wings by following the designs on the fabric.
  • Then, I use an Elmer’s Glue Stick to secure the bird to the fabric.
  • This makes it easier to hand stitch the birds.

Fabric Journal

  • The muslin signatures for this project are about 8″x 12″. The measurements are not exact, since I prefer the unfinished, uneven look. The bird fabric journal I made is very simple compared to the beautiful, elaborate fabric journals on Pinterest.
  • I used the sewing machine to zig-zag the edges of the signatures.
  • The wrap cover was made with strips sewn onto canvas.

This journal project was a great way to relax and unwind. The unfinished projects are calling me, so I will get to them this week.