Whew!

“The beginning is always today.” —Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

To say that this has been an exhausting week is an understatement. We can now take a deep breath and prepare for the healing work ahead.
During these stressful past weeks, I have been researching and studying tutorials on many different topics and art forms. I have also been looking through quilt books for ideas on making different types of blocks. A circular block is something I had tried before, but was not too happy with the results. I found some interesting tutorials on the drunkard path quilt block. I do not like the name , but I love the possibilities of what can be made with this circular block. One of the tutorials by Quilter’s Paradise. gave pretty good directions. I did not have the Slit ‘N Sew templates used in the tutorial. I had ordered some templates from Backporch Designs.
The design I chose to make with these templates was that of a bird. There are different patterns for making bird quilts with the drunkard path templates. Originally, I had thought that I could use the different scraps in my bin to make these birds. I do not know if I have enough of the larger scraps that are needed. I do have enough white fabric. Also, after making one, I realized that this is more tedious than I thought. Maybe it would get easier as I made more, but for now, this block will sit in my One-of-a Kind block bin.
The rest of this past week, I have been busy hand-stitching and crocheting. I was also able to bind the Halloween hexagon quilt. It will soon be mailed to my DIL who loves Halloween. She makes her own beautiful quilts, but I still wanted to make one especially for her. She and I had been sharing online Halloween and autumn fabrics that we liked. When I showed her the kit, she commented on how much she liked the fabric in this Moda Midnight Magic kit.
This is the first quilt where I was able to use my new label. Laura, from Slice of Pi Quilts had posted about quilt labels by EverEmblem. I sent a sketch of what I wanted on my label, and my sister, Emma, did her magic and made the label for me. This Halloween quilt is the first quilt to have my label.
Stay safe.

Halloween Hexagons

“When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween.”

— Unknown

Most of the quilts I have pieced have been my own design, or patterns that I get from friends, books, stores, or online. I think I have only made two quilts that came as a kit. Because of this pandemic, I am only shopping online for fabric. Thanks to the great people at Studio Stitch and Mesquite Bean, my virtual fabric shopping has been successful. Recently, I saw a kit from Prairie Grass Patterns, by April Rosenthal. The Midnight Magic kit came with two beautiful Halloween jelly rolls; background, binding, border, applique fabric; and laser cut lettering. The fabric is what sold me on this kit. The kit also had the triangle ruler for making hexagons. I have been wanting to make a hexagon quilt, so I purchased the kit. This pattern definitely was a challenge for me because of the seams. It was easy to nest the seams while piecing the triangles into hexagons. The headache came when I had to piece the hexagons together. There was no way, that I could find, to nest the seams. It was a bit of a struggle, but I ended up getting the seams to lay flat, even though they were not nested. Now that it is completed, I can say that I will not be making another hexagon quilt any time soon!
Hoping you find luck, this Halloween.
Stay safe.


October Fun

October is a hallelujah! reverberating in my body year-round….
~John Nichols 

October is my favorite month. Autumn in my part of Texas is beautiful in its own way. We are enjoying our first “cool” front. We are having mornings as cool as 60 and as high as 82. Perfect weather for my daily walks.

Last Monday, I mailed an October box of goodies for my grandchildren and DIL’s. The box included the  Halloween quilts for three of my grandchildren. I was ahead of the game in making these quilts back in June. After my friend, Linda Jennings quilted them for me, I packed them away and forgot to take a photo. I did, however, get a photo of the quilt tops as they hung on my design wall. There were enough fabric remnants to piece and make some pillow/quilt/book totes. These tote bags are great for storing the quilts, or using as a pillow case. The pocket in front is for holding books.I placed a Halloween challenge joke book in one book pocket, a homemade fabric Halloween toddler book in another, and Junie B. Jones, Boo…and I mean it! in the other.

Studio Stitch has a fun selection of Halloween fabric. I especially liked the Ghouls Goodies fabric that had the old lyric : Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet, Give Me Something Good to Eat. As a kid, I used to think this was SO funny, and I guess I still do. 🙂 The fabric was purchased to make place mats. Since masks are part of our daily lives now, I used the Halloween remnants to make masks, and mask/tissue pack holders. There was also enough fabric to make Halloween scrunchies. How to with Kristen has a tutorial that offers four different ways to make a scrunchie. The method I chose requires a piece of fabric that is 4″ x 17″ or 18″. I used all remaining Halloween fabric remnants to make draw string gift bags. I placed all the goodies into these bags. I also included some of the autumn embroidery hoop art inside the gift bags.

The most fun item in the October box was a farting Pumpkin Poop Emoji. I cannot imagine MY grandmother would have ever mentioned farting, much less have given me something that farts. But, I could not pass this up. Of course, I had to try out the toy to see if it worked. What fun!  I have read that the Poop Emoji is one of the most popular emojis. This toy is listed as a toy for kids, but also for dogs. I cannot see giving one to a dog to chew, because of the bottom battery case. However, I know of a dog who was very curious about the toy. My new granddog, Sam, was entranced, as my grandson squeezed the toy. Speaking of Sam, the October box included a quilt I made for him. He was described as an “angel in a dog suit.”  I found this Henry Glass fabric panel that included a “Furry Angel” square. This panel was perfect for Sam. I cut out the 15 squares and framed them with scraps from my stash. For the backing I purchased Lunarable Dog Bone upholstery fabric. I had enough batting to put a double layer for extra thickness and softness. The challenge was to quilt this myself. I have a 101 excuses for not quilting my own quilts, but lets just say I rather piece than quilt. It was a struggle to stitch in the ditch, because of the thickness. Also, my sewing room is not set up for quilting large projects. I did a little rearranging, but it was still difficult. I managed to get it done, with okay results. I just wanted to get Sam his own blankie. My other granddog is next on my list. My granddaughter did a great job of painting a portrait of her dog.

There were a few rocks left in my craft box, so I painted some fall scenes. Since my grandson drew a picture of one of our favorite Mo Willems story characters, I painted Pigeon on a rock.

In between rock painting, I have continued adding embroidery to one of my old denim vests. I drew a sassy flamingo in my sketch book, with plans to embroider the flamingo on the back panel of my vest. The back center panel of the vest was a bit too much for embroidering directly onto the denim. So, I used the applique making technique I learned from Chezlin on Youtube. I find the process of using Sulky stabilizer to be rather successful. As recommended in the tutorial, I added the coating of Modge Podge on the backing to seal the threads. I discovered another way to make an applique patch out of hand embroidery. The method by Jessica Long Embroidery uses Heat n Bond. I think this might be a better way to ensure the integrity of the stiches, and also hide them. There is still plenty of space on the vest, just begging to be decorated. So, I will hit the sketch book again.

I know there are still two days until October, but I just couldn’t wait to start having some October Fun.
I hope you are doing well.
Stay safe.
Have fun.

Voting
I was able to vote by mail this year, only because of my age.
Texas is not providing the safety measure of voting by mail during this pandemic for anyone under 65.
Shame on the leadership in this state.
Please VOTE.

Memorial Day

Thank you to Laura Bruno Lilly for her Memorial Day post. It is a loving tribute to our veterans and also to all of the souls we have lost to Covid-19. I read this post after I had seen TV coverage of people crowding on beaches, not practicing social distancing, and not caring for the welfare of others. Laura’s post reminded me that we are better than this. There are people who care for others. Thank you, Laura.

I would also like to thank everyone who responded to my post asking for ideas and ways to handle the creative block I was experiencing. Thanks for your support.

Most of last night was spent watching the weather radar, as we were under a tornado warning. My home is in the northeast part of town. Our neighborhood was included in the southern border of the tornado warning area. It got pretty rockin’ and rollin’ for about an hour. A tornado did hit the northwest part of town. This morning was spent cleaning debris off the lawns and street. We were lucky. Another storm is expected tonight, so I have my fingers crossed.

Yesterday was dry for most of the day, so I got to go for  a walk and then a drive. When I returned home, I made two mini messenger bike bags for my grandchildren. The pattern is from Sew She Can Sew . My DIL, Shenika, had told me about this website. The site offers many free patterns. It took about an hour and a half to make both of the bags.

Since everything is pretty much soggy and muddy, I stayed in today. I spent a few hours making another Halloween quilt. I had already made two Halloween quilts for my younger grandchildren. One was a Turning Twenty pattern, and the other was the Show Biz pattern by Villa Rosa Designs. The quilt I made today is Batty, from a Running Doe Pattern. I had seen the pattern at the Mesquite Bean back in January. My grandbaby’s room is decorated with the Batman theme, so I thought a Batty Halloween quilt would be perfect for him. Last week, I called Joy, my friend who works at the Mesquite Bean. Joy is absolutely fantastic. She pulled fabrics for me and sent photos so that I could choose what I wanted. She also worked the math in figuring out how to adapt the pattern. Instead of making it a 56″ X 70″ quilt, I made a 56″ X 56″ quilt.

Rain is in the forecast for the rest of the week, but it is mostly storms at night. Hopefully, I will be able to get out for a walk tomorrow.

Stay safe.

Idea Request

This morning, as I was looking through my fabric stash, I ran across two fat quarter bundles of Halloween/Autumn fabric. One bundle is more Halloween with cats, spiders, and pumpkins. The other has some spiders and skulls, and autumn foliage and design fabric. At first, I thought I could combine the two bundles, but on second thought, I don’t think they would fit. One is in brighter, cartoon-ish colors. The other is muted in color and more artistic than cartoon-ish. I do have some black and also orange grunge that could possibly go with the more muted bundle. I also have some black and white polka dot that would go with the other bundle.
I have been looking through my books and online for some ideas to make a throw quilt using one of these bundles. I have found some cute free patterns for making spiders or pumpkin blocks that could be incorporated with either of these bundles. I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions you may have in how to utilize these fat quarters.
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