Block #24~June 15 Childhood Memories

This week’s block has brought back many childhood memories. My childhood home was in a neighborhood a bit south of downtown San Antonio. I was a Downtown girl. Today, the neighborhood is called Southtown.
My elementary school, St. Mary’s, was a four story building. We had recess on the rooftop. Each morning, we would go through the tunnel under St. Mary’s street that led to St. Mary’s Church. The school library faced the San Antonio Riverwalk. I used to love to sit there and read.
My mom worked at the Tower Life Building, further down by the Riverwalk. When I was in second grade, I convinced my mother to let me stay downtown after school with my friend, Jodell. I promised her that we would stay at the San Antonio Library, which was near her building, on the Riverwalk. Things were a bit different back then, and my mother allowed my friend and I to stay downtown from 3:00 to 5:00. We would walk to her building where my dad would pick all of us up.
The San Antonio Library was located on Market Street, right along the Riverwalk, from 1930-1968. The Riverwalk was not yet developed as it is today. It was still a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. Jodell and I spent most of the time in the library. I remember the excitement we felt when we moved from the downstairs children section, to the upstairs level, where we checked out Jane Eyre! We sat by the river reading this classic. The library also had the Hertzberg Circus Collection. There were some pretty odd and awesome things in this collection that kept us pretty enthralled. We used to climb up on the elephant that sat in front of the library. At this time, the elephant was grey.
Luckily, San Antonio preserved the elephant. It is now located in front of the Witte Museum. It is called Cinnamon Kandy, and it is now painted like a circus elephant.
My granddaughter, daughter-in-law, and I went to the museum last week. When I saw the elephant, it surely brought back so many memories.

Cinnamon Kandy

I just had to capture this memory for my fabric quilt journey. I decided to make the elephant without the circus painting, since that is how it was when I was a child.

Block #19~ May 11

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.

Block #13 Ode to Spring

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

Nature’s awakening
Such beauty!
Such bliss!
You energize the soul.
Airy, alive, abloom~
Freshen, frolic, and flourish~
Spring is life.
Spring is joy.


Family, Fun, and Fabric Painting

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

Water Colors

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!

Block # 12 ~Friday, March 23

As mentioned in an earlier post, March 22 would have been my dad’s 98th birthday.
My siblings and I spent time this past Thursday texting funny stories about our childhood and our dad.
My father, Jose Leon Virjan, was known as Pepe.
He would never miss a Wednesday bowling night, and neither would I.
I never really bowled much…I just ate candy and drank sodas…all night long.
There was a heavy price to pay at school the next day.
But that didn’t stop me from going with my dad.
Dad was a very good bowler.
I can still see his graceful and powerful stance as he rolled the ball down the lane.
For this Friday’s journal entry block, I tried to capture the craziness of some of his bowling shirts with the yellow gingham memo.
Soon after my father died, my family chose to celebrate him with a family bowling night.
Having all of his children and their spouses; and his grandchildren there, was a great way to honor my dad.
This block was created to honor my dad; and to capture the memory of our family bowling night.

Block #12~ Friday, March 23

Background: Yellow gingham memo 100% cotton
Technique: Applique, Free Motion
Batting: 100% cotton
Writing: Pepe