More August Stuff

 So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.
John Lewis

The Peace Quilt I made as a birthday gift has shipped to my grandson.  The pattern for this quilt is by J. Michelle Watts, Peace in Pieces. I chose this pattern, because I was inspired by the words of John Lewis. My grandson is a compassionate, brilliant, and artistic young man. I totally enjoyed making this quilt with him in mind.

There is a joke in the family about how I am always making mug rugs for everyone. My youngest sister joked about my sons being in the Mug Rug of the Month Club. Well, now, she is a member. She asked for some heart shaped mug rugs, which I made and mailed to her. I also saw a cute bird block on Pinterest that I thought would be a cute mug rug. There was not a pattern, but I was able to sketch a pattern out on graph paper. I scaled the measurements to 1″ blocks. My sister now has two bird mug rugs.

My granddaughter and grandson are back in school, online. Their parents did a terrific job of setting up a school room for them in their homes. The chair my granddaughter is using is a high back, upholstered chair. My grandson has a chair like those that are used in classrooms. I made a chair pocket organizer for him. I used to make them for the students in my class. Throughout my years of teaching, there were mothers who would volunteer to make the pockets for the students. I used the same “pattern” that my friend and I used; but I added an extra double pocket onto the back pocket. This pocket organizer could also be used as a lap reading pillow, by inserting a pillow into the chair top pocket.

Yesterday, I dumped all the tiniest of scraps from one of my large bins into two bags. My intent was to throw them away this morning. Then, last night, my DIL sent me a photo of mini quilt blocks. These blocks are made from those irregular, small cuts that are leftover. My friend just throws her scrappy scraps and tells me I should do the same. Of course, I couldn’t go through with the plan to trash this treasure. I had to try out making the mini quilt block today. It took me all of 10 minutes to make three mini blocks. I just love the way the blocks look. They would make a cool border. They could even be pieced into a larger block. Many possibilities. My scraps are now back in a bin…and I blame my DIL. 🙂

I have found my new favorite quilt shop, and I have never walked inside the doors! Mary J. Puckett introduced my to Studio Stitch. I ordered the fabric and received the Quarantine Pattern designed by Mary. This is the quilt that is with the longarmer right now. Carrie, from Studio Stitch, is very friendly and super helpful. After my first experience shopping online with Carrie, I decided to go back. Originally, I was thinking of making an autumn quilt, with leaves and pumpkins and such. I went to the website, just to look, and I found some fun fabric. It is a fall-ish fabric, that has little crows shopping and walking down a country road. I have recently become very interested in crows, and this fabric is just perfect! There is such a lot of activity and story in this fabric. I chose the six fabrics that came with the line, and Carrie helped to find the other fabrics (fat quarters ) needed for the quilt.  It was two afternoons of chatting on the phone. I felt like I was shopping with a friend. The fabric is ordered and will be mailed today. I cannot wait to get started on this quilt. When, and if, this pandemic is over, I definitely want to visit this great quilt shop in Greensboro, NC..

The next few days will be spent clearing and reorganizing my work space. Or not… 🙂

Library Day

My home is located by Comanche Lookout. Fossils found in this historical area date back to 9,200 B.C.. It is the fourth highest point in Bexar County.  Comanche Lookout was part of the Camino Real that was established during the time of Spanish rule.
When I first moved into the area, the city was discussing how this land would be developed. Neighborhood groups were formed to provide input to help preserve this historical area.
The elementary school where I taught is located across the street from the back side of the park. In the early ’90’s, I was teaching fifth grade. I had my students invite the city council person for our district to come to our school and visit the Comanche Lookout. They greeted him with signs of “We Love Comanche Lookout”, and we presented our ideas. The city developed the 96 acre park. The Semmes Library is located adjacent to the park. My students and I would hike up the trails to the library. We also took many nature observation and science trips.
I live within walking distance to the park, and I used to include this route in my daily walks. This year, I have been opting for walking shorter distances. Today, I decided to once again enjoy the beautiful natural resources this park provides. Since I just finished two quilts, it was time to look around for some inspiration, so of course I wanted to go to the library. The park itself provided an atmosphere conducive to thinking. The weather is just perfect for a comfortable hike, and I need to take advantage of this while it lasts. Backpacks come in handy on these walks to the library. I came home with a good selection of books to get me started. One of the books was The New Bohemians, by Justina Blakeney. It was recommended by Tierney and I sure am happy that it was at the library. Thanks, Tierney!There is a small room that I will be decorating in the near future.

Fussy Cutters Club, by Angie Wilson, has some great tips for a project that my friends and I are planning for the summer. We plan to go to La Grange, Texas and meet up with another friend who lives near by. We are renting a B &B and having our own sewing retreat where we will be working on a house quilt pattern. We will be fussy cutting people, characters, and animal fabric to add to the house block.

Scandinavian Stitches, by Kajsa Wikman, has some cute ideas and tips for making small seasonal projects.
I continue to want to develop free-motion skills, so I checked out First Steps to free-motion quilting by Christina Cameli.
I am still reading through Sneaky Piecing by Beth Ferrier. It was recommended by Mary Puckett. I’m glad I purchased this one, because it is a good resource to have on hand.

Park Entry from the library.

My plan is to continue these walks to and through Comanche Lookout as long as we have this spring weather. More library days ahead.

New Project and Finished Quilts

New Project
Marti, one of my Meemaw friends, is very active with the Headwaters at Incarnate Word. The spring water source for San Antonio is located in this sanctuary. It is called the Blue Hole. Since my friends and I already made a quilt for the Brackenridge Conservancy, we decided we also wanted to make a quilt for the Headwaters. Marti found a pattern and purchased some lovely fabric. Today was our first day of working on this project. We cut all of the pieces and then headed out for lunch. Next Tuesday, we will begin piecing the quilt. I was so busy cutting today, I forgot all about taking photos.

Finished Quilts

This past Monday, I picked up the two quilts I had left with my long arm quilter, Jeana Kubik. Jeana always does such a great job with her quilting. I am going to miss her when she moves next year.
She completed the quilt I pieced for my sister, Adri. I also made a quilt tote bag.

This quilt was so much fun to make. The inspiration for this quilt came from studying books by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston. I had no real plan for this quilt, other than building around the center panel piece of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is the first time I made borders that are not of equal widths on each side. The Broken Dish block border and the Sawtooth Variation block border were also a first for me. I usually just had boring borders.

Jeana also finished quilting the Floral Pet quilt. Jeana  had shown me the quilting pattern of a heart-shaped paw print, and I just knew this would be perfect. I had fun using scraps for the flying geese and the outside border. As you can see, I sort of went over board with polka-dots.
Is there such a thing as “too many polka-dots”?

Now it is time to reorganize my sewing room. I am also reading a book that was recommended by
Mary Puckett. The book, Sneaky Piecing, by Beth Ferrier arrived in the mail today. I have just read up through page 10, and I already have learned some good tips, and refinement of some techniques I already use. This is such a good resource, my friends now want to order.
Many of you probably know these things already, but I found these tips to be interesting.

Tips I have learned so far:

  • Pile the bolts of fabric you have chosen and look at the edges. This will give a better representation of what you will see. ( If making a quilt with smaller pieces.)
  • Beth says: “A quilt that is all medium is neither rare nor well done.”
  • For cutting, fold the fabric a second time. The center fold lies along the selvages.

I am looking forward to learning more. Thanks for the recommendation, Mary!

January 3…

Look what was waiting for me when I got home today…my rotating cutting mat!
One of my sons gave me an Amazon gift card, and I knew just what to get.
I found this Skyhawk mat for only $25.49.
I made this short video clip to show my son, so he could understand my excitement.

This mat will come in so hand, especially when I am working on my hexagon quilt journal blocks.
Thank you, Mary, for posting information about this handy tool!

So far, I am running a bit slow on starting any of my projects.
Basically it is because I am not so fired up about anything I had planned.
I am excited about the 52 Fridays Quilt Journal, but that is a year long project.
I guess one of my problems is there is no recipient in mind for most of the quilts I had planned.
There is no reason or story behind the quilts, so I just can’t get motivated.
I thought  focusing on the art of the quilt, in itself, would be fun, but something is missing.

I have been working on improv quilt blocks.
There is some motivation there.
I just don’t know where I am going with this.

All my old blocks have been pulled out and I have been cutting, piecing, and cutting and piecing.
I enjoy the process, but so far, I do not see what can be done with these new blocks.
Also, can there be such a thing as being tired of fabric that is in one’s stash?
It seems like the same old-same old.
The improvised pieces come out looking better, but they are still the same fabric I have used and reused.
All my fabric seems to be bright, sweet, and almost sugary.
I think I need a change.
Instead of giving my fabric stash away, I will put it on hold until I think about it some more.

I am also practicing FM and thread sketching.
It is still far from perfect, but I am feeling a bit more relaxed about the process.
I am actually enjoying it.

Maybe if I got more involved in the quilt guilds to which I belong, I could find some motivation.
I guess I started the year with a mental block when it comes to creating.
Maybe it is just the cold weather…
I finally went out for a walk yesterday.
Today I was busy with appointments and errands.

My 2018 Mascot, Joy, just does not seem to be singing to me right now.
Hopefully, I was still hearing some tunes soon.