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 last week was filled with so many things to celebrate. But it wasn’t difficult to choose what I wanted to do for my quilt entry. The days with my grandson were beautiful and I wanted to capture a very special moment…he read his first book!
My grandson has been read to since the day he was born. He loves books. It is so much fun seeing him delve into the National Geographic Books for kids. He spouts off information about space, dinosaurs, and just about any topic. I could see that he was recognizing certain words as we looked through books. He has also been getting reading readiness training at his daycare. I knew he was ready to read. One of the greatest pleasures of my teaching years was the joy of seeing the look on a child’s face as they realized they could read.
I gave my grandson a book and told him it was time for him to read with me and then to me.
I used the Neurological Imprint Method of teaching reading. The look on my grandson’s face when he read the book himself is something I will remember forever. The look on my son’s face when his son read to me is also imprinted in my memory.
Step into Reading Series
Block #35~Friday, August 31
Background: White,100 % cotton; blue on blue polka-dot backing
Technique: *Thread-sketching; fabric paints and colors; *FMQ
*This is the first product made with my new Juki machine. I was able to use a letter writing decorative stitch. The FMQ and thread-sketching was so smooth.
Definition of “just ducky”: When asked how you’re doing, “just ducky” is a sarcastic way of saying everything is fine.
Block #19 is eight days late in getting done. I had it in my mind, but I have been side-lined by a health issue. Last week, after strolling the San Antonio Riverwalk and visiting Comfort, Texas with my Meemaw friends, I came down with a case of shingles. All I can say is…well, I can’t print the words I have been using. Let’s say I am “just ducky”.
Today is the first time I felt like coming into the studio to work…so, I consider this progress. During our stroll on the San Antonio Riverwalk, we were delighted to see so many ducks and ducklings.I found myself singing one of my favorite children’s songs, Six Little Ducks. This is the version of the song by Raffi…one of my favorite singers for kids.
I enjoyed watching a mother mallard and her ducklings…such a sweet sight.
I decided to record this memory in my quilt journal. My plans were to thread sketch ducks, but that would have been a bit too much for today. Instead, I drew and painted some ducks on a linen fabric.
I decided to tell a story with this block by having one duckling going in the opposite direction. This is the duckling that swims to the beat of a different drummer.
Block #19 Just Ducky
Background: 100% Cotton Linen, acrylic paints
Technique: Drawing;fabric pencil colors used on ducks; acrylic paints used on background; FMQ
It was great being back in my studio. It made me feel much better.
One of the fabrics I used for Gelli-plate printing is a 100% cotton, thin dish cloth.
It’s the one in the middle of the bottom row.
This piece started out a pretty turquoise and ended up a mess. I didn’t like the texture of the cloth…at first.
As I studied the piece, I thought the texture would make a good tree bark applique. I started cutting the tree shape; and then used small pieces to collage a tree. This is still a trial and error, work in progress.
San Antonio has many beautiful parks that are sanctuary for many species of birds.
One of my Meemaw friends is a Master Naturalist, who is well versed in identifying birds.
We frequently go in search for particular birds that may be in the area during a particular season.
Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy is one of the parks we visit.
The conservancy provides a list of birds that can be found in the park.
One of the birds listed, is a yellow breasted chat. I have never been fortunate to see one in the park, so I decided to paint one on fabric.
I used pastels to paint the bird on a beige, linen memo.
Fabric markers were also used to highlight areas.
After thread sketching the block, I pieced a frame and border.
The block is a 9″ square after adding the pieces.
These blocks that I am making are for practice and trying new things.
I am making a list of areas that show improvement and those requiring more practice.
At the Texas Quilt Museum, I saw a binder that contained blocks made by various quilters.
I am thinking of making my own quilt block binder.
Every April, San Antonio celebrates the heroes of the Alamo and the different cultures of our city.
Fiesta began in 1891 with the Battle of Flowers Parade.
The festivities have grown to include numerous events: the day parade, the Battle of Flowers; the night parade, Fiesta Flambeau; Night in Old San Antonio;carnivals, art, music, and food galore.
As a child, my family would pack an ice chest with drinks and chicken salad sandwiches. We would carry our own folding chairs and enjoy the festivities. My mom, usually very quiet and proper, would whistle, yell, sing, and march. Marching bands are my favorite, especially the band from my Alma Mater,
the University of Texas …they always open the Flambeau.
In my classroom, we would study the history of our city and cultures throughout the month of April.We decorated our room, and ourselves, with bright and festive colors. The children would make papel picado to hang from the hallway ceilings. Tissue flowers were strung up across the room.We made our own badges and hats to wear all month.
And of course, for the entire month, I wore my Mexican dresses, flowers in my hair, and cascarones or chili pepper earrings. Our school would have a Fiesta festival, and our first grade and kinder classes would have a parade in the hallways. I would have the University of Texas CD blasting the
Eyes of Texas/Texas Fight songs, as we marched our way through the school.
This year, Fiesta is extra special, since the city is celebrating its Tricentennial.
So, the block for Friday, April 20, is inspired by Fiesta.
I do not make it a habit of taking selfies, but one of my goals in thread sketching is to improve on sketching cartoon people images. So, I decided to try to thread sketch my Fiesta Self. For this block, I did not draw myself with pencil on the fabric. I just thread sketched…that is why you will see that the hand and arms are not the best. I did draw in the eyes with ink pen. In the image, I am making the “Hook’em Horns” sign, and I am holding a raspa, snow cone. At the Texas Quilt Museum, I had seen a quilt that had some designs cut-out in the fabric. I do not know what this technique is called, so I’ll just say “cut-out”. I decided to try to use this technique and make the papel picado from scraps.
Friday, April 20
Background: White Kona painted with acrylic
Technique: Thread sketch, cut-out, free motion quilting, fabric painting with acrylics, pastels, and pencil
The block for Friday, March 30, is a little bit late.
I had the design, but I was not able to work on it during the week.
The weather had been rainy, and rather stormy.
A very harsh late night thunderstorm was followed by a beautiful spring morning.
I awoke to birds chirping and enjoying the fresh weather.
This made me think of a quote by Robin Williams: Spring is Nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party.”
So, I designed a fun block to represent spring.
Since I had been studying how to fabric paint, I decided to give painting a try.
I thread sketched the birds and flower.
Then I used pastels, colored pencils, and fabric markers to paint the fabric.
Block # 13~ Friday, March 30
Background: Painted fabric
Technique: Thread sketching, fabric painting, free motion
Batting: 100% cotton
I also wrote an Ode to Spring, since April is poetry month.
When I was teaching, my students and I wrote a poem every day in April.
Ode to Spring
You energize the soul.
Airy, alive, abloom~
Freshen, frolic, and flourish~
Spring is life.
Spring is joy.
It has been a beautiful Easter weekend with family!
I got to spend time with two of my sons, my youngest grandchildren, and my sister and her partner.
(Oops…I forgot to mention my fabulous daughter-in-laws!)
I had phone time with my other son, and texts from my oldest grandson.
When I returned home, I got busy on my fabric painting projects.
I have been viewing tutorials on fabric painting and trying things out.
I purchased some acrylic paints, pastels, and textile medium.
I might regret my decision to be economical and buy Artist Loft pastels instead of Inktense.
My reasoning was to try the process of using pastel blocks before investing in the pricey Inktense blocks.
Since I used these paints to make my hexagon blocks for my quilt journal, I figured it would be okay to experiment. This quilt journal is for me; and it is more of an art piece than a functional quilt.
Supplies: Fabric markers, colored pencils, pastels, and textile medium
Fabric painting is so much fun!
My work is basic and simple…nothing fancy.
There are so many things that need improvement, but it is a learning process for me.
I decided to work on two quilt journal blocks.
The block for last week is Ode to Spring.
I also wrote my first poem for the month of April, since this is poetry month.
Since I will be out of town next week, I went ahead and made the block for the week.
This block was inspired by the fabulous Easter Egg hunt I had with my grandchildren.
Easter Egg Hunt
I started out by using water colors to paint the background for the Easter Egg Hunt block.
I ironed the water colored background. As it dried, I worked on the Ode to Spring block.
After the background dried, I appliqued some eggs and flowers.
My black thread outlining is a bit sketchy, but it will have to do.
Besides the fact that my free motion skill is limited, I was also having trouble with the tension on my sewing machine. I just need to sew the border.
Ode to Spring
I drew the picture for Ode to Spring using a black Micron marker.
Then, I coated a section with the textile medium. This was followed by a color with the pastel and then reapplying medium.
I worked a section at a time, applying the medium after each coat of paint.
I used pastels, markers, and colored pencils on this block…just trying things out.
The background is a bit streaky.
I added some colored thread sketching. (Not pictured here.)
There are so many possibilities with painting the fabric.
This is just the beginning, and I hope to improve and continue having fun.
I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend!