Morning Meditations

This past Sunday, I was drinking a cup of coffee from one of my favorite mugs. I should say that I have many “favorite” cups.  All of a sudden, the thought of creating fabric art pieces based on my coffee mugs came to mind.
I started collecting coffee cups and mugs years ago. My collection grew each year, because many of my students would gift me all sorts of mugs and cups. After 42 years of teaching, I have quite a collection. I add to my collection every time I visit shops or new places. Every morning, I choose a different cup. Each mug brings a special memory or thought to mind. Choosing just the right cup from which to drink coffee becomes part of my morning meditation.
For this past Sunday, I recreated my “All You Need is Love” coffee cup. This is one of my all time favorite songs, so I just had to make it be my first art piece for the week. It was my Singing Sunday.
On Monday, I was drinking from a cup that reflected my Manic Monday mood. I love flamingos, and the “I Don’t Give a Flock” cup was perfect for this Monday. I fussy cut a flamingo from a scrap, then I thread sketched the outline. The words were  hand-embroidered.
Tuesday’s cup is a philosophy of life, “Live Every Day like it’s Taco Tuesday”. Scraps were used for the top of the cup. I also used the tiniest of scraps to make the taco. I thread-sketched the outline of the cup, and hand-embroidered decorations and words. I used to dread making french-knots, but now I like to make them.
Wednesdays have always been a bit wacky. My students and I used Wacky Wednesdays as an excuse to have extra fun mid-week. My cup for the day had to be my Dr. Seuss cup. It holds the extra bit of coffee one might need on a Wednesday. I fussy cut a Dr. Seuss fabric and appliqued it onto the blue fabric that I had cut into the round shape of the cup.
I have been missing my trips to the quilting shops. I am doing some online and drive-by shopping at two of our local shops. My Thursday morning cup was about quilting. I found this cup on one of my trips to JoAnn’s last year. I fussy cut a spool of thread image, thread-sketched the outline, and hand-embroidered the wording.
After making these first fabric pieces, I decided I was going to use them to make a fabric book. One of my year long projects is making a fabric book for each month. My morning meditations have been so helpful in getting through this month of April so it made sense to me to make a Good Morning fabric book of meditations. I used two of my four remaining sheets of Kraft-Tex to make the book cover.
In order to make the book, I already chose and made my cup for this week’s Fun Friday. It will be my elephant cup. I also collect elephants, so, when I saw this cup in a shop, I just had to buy it. I drew the elephant on white fabric and thread-sketched the details. Water color pencils were used for the fabric rendition of this whimsical cup.
Saturday’s cup will be all about birds. This cup was a gift from one of my students. I used fabric scraps to form the top and the handle of the cup. The birds and tree limb were thread sketched. Water color pencils were used to color the birds and leaves.

The first page in the book is a selfie-thread-sketch. Whenever I have spent time with my granddaughter, we would choose one day to be a Pajama-Day. During this pandemic, I am trying not to have too many pajama days. I did have one this week, so it became part of my book.  I made a muslin cut-out of myself and made fabric paper doll style pajamas. The face, neck, hands, and ankles are thread-sketched. I fussy cut some owl fabric for my slippers. The coffee cup I am holding is made from a very tiny, fussy-cut Cat in a Hat.

Making these fabric art pieces about my cups has been a fun activity for me this week. This Sunday morning will begin with a different cup!
I hope all of you are doing well.
Stay safe.

Fabric Book for March

In a January post, I mentioned the #areyoubookenough challenge. I liked the idea of making a book a month, but I did not know if I would work entirely within the rules or themes of the challenge. I just liked the challenge of creating a book a month.
For the month of January, I made a book of small fabric meditations without following the theme for the month, which was “in-between”. The book was mostly collages of birds, buttons and hearts. It was a great way to use up scraps.
The theme for February was “healing”. I chose to make a book about love and healing based on the quote from Hubert Humphrey: “The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.”
The theme for March is ‘hexagons”. I had some hexagon rulers and paper templates, so I used these to make my book for the month. I used the one inch paper templates to make flowers and a butterfly. I also had some hexagon buttons that I used in creating some flowers, a snail, a bird and a vase. For the first page, I thread-sketched some hexagons and used buttons to decorate the centers. The front and back covers are made from Kraft-Tex. The cute floral and bird selvage from the Deborah Curiel Viva Mexico line of fabric came in handy to use as ties for the book.
There is now a confirmed case of Covid-19 in San Antonio. Austin also has some cases. It seems it might be a good idea to stay home for a few weeks. It is not my favorite thing to do, but it is the responsible thing to do for now. I think I have enough fabric and things to keep busy.
Stay healthy!

What a day!

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just comes together? These types of days are rare for me, but today was ONE OF THOSE DAYS.
Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I kept getting ideas about making birds…then Valentine cards…then small books. Needless to say, I did not get enough sleep. But it was worth it.
I love making fabric books, and I had seen an interesting post on Instagram. It was a monthly challenge to make books, #areyoubookenough. I liked the idea of making a book for each month, but I was having difficulty thinking of a book based on the January theme of “in between”. I decided to just make a book with no particular theme.
A few weeks ago, Francine and I ( at Las Colchas ) had a conversation about making books. In fact, my interest in books began with a book-making class I took at her shop about four years ago. In our recent conversation, Francine suggested that I just dump my scraps on a table and start playing. That is exactly what I did.
The morning was spent making the fabric Valentine Cards, but I kept thinking of making a book. After supper, I picked up some of the small scrappy art I had started during the week. Then the idea of using some of these pieces in a book came to mind. I also found two very small bird fabric pieces I had made last year. Stitching, buttons, thread-sketching were all included. I made an applique of a bird to sew onto the cover which was made with a 5″ X 8″ piece of Kraft-Tex. The cover is lined and there is a Kraft-Tex piece to support the spine.
Now that the book is complete, I need to clean up my sewing room. Scraps of fabric are everywhere! Once I clean up, I am sure I will get a better night’s rest.

Kraft Tex

One of the things I love about blogging is getting to meet people who share ideas, and promote creativity. Mary, of Zippy Quilts, has a few posts on using Kraft Tex. After reading her posts and seeing the products she made with Kraft Tex, I was quite interested. Then, she graciously invited and encouraged me to give it a try.  My time in the sewing room has been unpredictable lately, but I managed to have some time to try out the Kraft Tex.
I realize that there is SO much that can be done using this fabric paper. I only touched the surface. I viewed many tutorials on the product. I decided to start with something simple, like a journal cover.
For the year 2019, I made two quilt blocks for each month. The blocks represent special people, places and events. I practiced and tried many different techniques in making the blocks. I also used blocks and pieces in my “What-Do-I Do-With This?” bin. I turned these blocks into signatures and ended up needing a spine that was 2.5″-3″.
Here is a brief summary of the process:
1. Cut the cover from Kraft Tex (Front 9″ + Back 9″+ Spine 2.5″ +Flap 2.5″) 23″ X 9″
2. Cut the lining from light cotton fabric at 23″X9″
3. Fold and crease the Kraft Tex to form the front, back, binding and flap.
4. Cut light fusible about 1/4 inch shorter than length and width of lining and fuse onto lining.
5. Sew lining and cover, wrong sides together, using a zigzag stitch.
6. I chose to use my AccuQuilt Go! to cut appliques from Kraft Tex. My plan was to glue them on, but apparently, I did not choose the right glue. I ended up having to sew the applique on, and I am not quite happy with the result. I know it can be done, but I need more practice.
7. Hand-sew signatures onto the spine.
8. Fasten flap to front cover using velcro circles.

I also had time to make a small lined, zipper pouch to help organize my purse. I followed the simple tutorial by Gourmet QuilterShe gives examples of different ways to make this pouch. My original plan was to Gelli-print and paint the Kraft Tex, but my time was limited. I needed the pouch right away. It was made in 30 minutes, and there are a few oopsies in it. This pouch is so handy for carrying and organizing the small essentials in my purse. The Kraft Tex is so durable. It has received many compliments whenever I take it out.

My plan is to play and discover more ways to utilize Kraft Tex. Thank you, Mary, for sharing this product.