Ready to Go

Even though I make it a point to clean up my sewing room each time I use it, the room still gets out of control. This week, I have been making numerous small projects. I finished with all of them today, and the sewing room was a mess.

Since I plan on starting on a new quilt tomorrow, it was time to do a major cleaning and reorganization of my sewing room. I love the excitement that comes with planning and starting a new quilt. I have never made an attic window quilt, so I am looking forward to trying it out. I have been looking at different pictures and tutorials of the attic window quilt, and I have finally decided on the one I want to make. I drew the blocks on graph paper, and took the plans to my friend at the Mesquite Bean. She helped to figure out the amount of fabric I would need. Since I tend to miscalculate, I wanted her input. I found some great fabric at the Mesquite Bean to make the attic box around the trademark character fabric.

I plan on making four rows of three blocks. There will be 2″sashing, a 1″ inner border, and a 6″ outer border.

One of the small projects I completed today was a shopping bag for my daughter-in-law who is a seamstress, crafter, and quilter. I used the Time to Go Shopping Sack pattern by Fishsticks. ( I just read that Fishsticks is going out of business.)

My daughter-in-law loves anything Halloween, so I am including a Quilter’s World magazine I saw when I was grocery shopping. The magazine fits very nicely in the shopping bag. The Quilted Tricks & Treats issue has 22 fun projects. There is a wall hanging with haunted houses that I was tempted to make myself, but my To-Do list for August and September is already too long.

My room is all set up and ready to go. Hopefully, I can start fussy cutting the character fabric for the attic window quilt tomorrow. I also want to work on some of the blocks for my house quilt. I had purchased some Halloween fabric for another project, and I was able to fussy cut some of the Halloween characters for the house doorways.

No More Pinterest

Yesterday was Movie Monday for me. I started my day by watching old movies to relax, before I went onto business. After a busy afternoon of errands, I went to my computer. I had not visited Pinterest for some time now, so I thought I would just glance through. Too many minutes later, I had a list of new projects that I thought would be fun. I especially liked this Christmas quilt made by Angie, from The Little Fabric Blog.
Who needs another Christmas quilt? I don’t need one, but I do want one.

The pictures and directions for the quilt are very easy. Angie adds a link to Allison from Cluck, Cluck, Sew.ย On this link, Allison gives a tutorial on Stack n’Whack Blocks. I had some Christmas fabric that I purchased at the B & B Quilt Shop the last time I was in Buda, Texas. Then I remembered seeing some great fabrics at the Mesquite Bean that I knew would coordinate well with what I had in my stash. Since the Mesquite Bean is on the same road as my exercise class, I stopped by to pick up a few more fabric pieces. I completed the first step of cutting 9″ blocks. I will stack and whack them tomorrow.
Note to Self: No More Pinterest

Something New

This morning, I was able to complete The Tannebaum strip tube quilt top. I delivered the top to my friend, Jeana, for long-arming. After cleaning up my work space, I revisited a small project I started yesterday.
One of my goals is to make a collage quilt. I have been interested in doing this ever since I saw some art pieces by Shannon Brinkley. I discovered another fabric collage artist, Laura Heine, on one of my visits to the Mesquite Bean. The quilt shop is having collage classes taught by Vicky, who is certified to teach the Laura Heine method. Unfortunately, I can only make the introduction class, and not the class where the actual quilt is to be made. Vicky is the person who helped me make my first quilt.
In the meantime, since I cannot make the classes, I viewed some videos and thought I would give it a try on a very small scale. I fussy cut pieces from 5 different fabrics for the hummingbird. Then, I fussy cut some Kaffe Fassette flowers. I used fabric glue instead of backing the fabric with Steam-a-Seam 2 double sided fusible web. If I were to make a larger project, I would use the fusible web.
I am still having difficulty with free motion quilting. I can never seem to get the right tension. I have more control when I am FMQ, but I still do not know what I am doing. I thread-sketched the fabric I used for the bird and the flowers. I thought I had enough flowers tucked into the corner, but apparently not. The flowers look like they are suspended in the air along with the bird. Maybe I can add some more flowers tomorrow. The bee was fussy cut from a remnant.
The inspiration for the hummingbird came from the time I spent at my friend’s house. Marti’s backyard is bird heaven. There were blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, doves, and hummingbirds happily visiting and co-exiting in her yard. This was a fun learning piece.

Christmas Quilt ~ in July

As summers go, we have had a relatively mild summer. That’s to say we have not had weeks of continuous temperatures above 100. When I was teaching, this part of July was when I was already busy preparing for a new school year. This July, I have decided to prepare for Christmas. Today, I started on a Christmas quilt. I am making the Cozy Quilt Strip Tube Tannenbaum from the pattern design of Daniela Stout. I chose this pattern because I have never made a strip tube quilt, and I thought it would be interesting to try out. I found a great tutorial by Donna Jordan of Jordan Fabrics. I am such a visual learner, and the video tutorial provided the help I needed to understand the pattern. Since I did not use a jelly roll, I needed help in double checking my fabric calculations. Nancy, at Mesquite Bean, helped me with figuring this out.
This morning, I cut the background fabric and the strips.

This afternoon, it took just about thirty minutes to make the three sets of tubes.

Maybe after I finish running errands tomorrow, I might be able to use my new strip tube ruler to cut the blocks. I might even play some Christmas music for motivation. ๐ŸŽ„

I Love Tuesdays

Every Tuesday, I head over to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens for Tai Chi classes. Ming Xie is a delightful and very patient instructor. I am not the most coordinated of students, but everyone there makes the class enjoyable.
It just so happens that the botanical gardens happen to be on the SAME street, a few miles south of one of my favorite quilt shops, the Mesquite Bean. It also happens to be U.F.O. Tuesday at the shop. The back room is filled with quilters working on projects. As I drive pass the quilt shop on my way to the gardens, I tell myself that I will skip the quilt shop this time. But on the way back, my car just pulls in the parking lot…every time. I have been pretty good about sticking to a budget and just going to visit with the quilters and staff. Joy and Nancy are two staff members who are always so helpful and generous with sharing ideas.
Today, Nancy helped me select some fabric for the Christmas tree quilt I plan to start soon. I had purchased some fabric on my Fayetteville trip, but I needed just a bit more. Nancy also helped me read through the pattern and gave me some tips for making this tubular quilt.
I also purchased fabric to complete the Batman Baby quilt.
You can see why I love Tuesdays.
I finished piecing the top.
I chose this super light flannel for the backing.

Boro Stitching

Recently, I have become interested in boro and sashiko stitching. I had been viewing different tutorials and talking to my friends at the quilt shops. Francine, at Las Colchas, offers classes in sashiko. Joy, at Mesquite Bean, got me started on boro stitching. They have a free Tuesday where people can come work on projects in the back room of the store. I had purchased a Moda , boro findings, flax woven messenger bag at the Mesquite Bean. Joy and I discussed how I could boro stitch to decorate the bag. Boro actually means “tattered”, and the original purpose for boro stitching was for mending. However, for the messenger bag, I wanted to use some boro fat quarters by Moda. This was my first attempt, and I totally enjoyed the process. There is something so relaxing in making the simple stitches.
Since the messenger bag is lined, I decided to place the boro fat quarters on muslin and stitch onto the muslin. I then was able to attach the stitched muslin to the bag with an outlining stitch. It started out as a blanket stitch and ended up in some sort of stitch of my own creation, since I didn’t know what I was doing. ๐Ÿ˜ I also tacked in with some simple stitches throughout the muslin square.

I made some fabric flowers and now I am trying to figure out how to attach them to the bag.

I am also working on a different piece. This time, I added up-cycled denim pieces to the boro Moda fabric. I do not know how or if this piece will be used.

Busy Day

It was a run around morning for me, but I was able to stop off at the Mesquite Bean to buy two yards of Steam-a-Seam that I need for a baby quilt. I also purchased some four different types of black and white fabric…just because. I also purchased an Olfa cutting mat and new rotary blades. JoAnn’s had a great sale, and I had coupons. It ended up costing half the price.
This afternoon, I managed to make the Crazy Anne block for the gypsy wife quilt. It is perfectly named, because those little triangles drove me crazy. Having the new rut-less cutting mat certainly improved the accuracy of my cutting.

This evening, I made another fabric face. I tried something new, in order to get more contour on the face. I drew the head on paper. Then I drew contour lines on the paper face…sort of like a mask. I then traced the head on fabric. Next, I cut the paper contour mask and traced and cut them from fabric. I drew eyes on a small white scrap and laid it between the face and contour mask. A strip of fabric was laid down for the nose.
I have been using a glue stick to hold things down, but I am thinking I need to use some Steam-a-Seam. The only problem with using the fusible is that I am using tiny scraps and pieces. I probably can back some larger fabric piecesย  and cut from there. But it seems like a waste of fusible, which is expensive. For the lips, I machine stitched with orange thread. I messed up when I made the glasses, so I will just say that Felicity bought an unbecoming pair of glasses. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Felicity
Master Naturalist
Volunteers at the botanical garden
Yoga instructor at the senior recreation center
Vegetarian
Keeps a poetry journal
Her favorite poet is Emily Dickinson

Takes classes in water color

Floral Pets: Day 2

There is so much information, and so many wonderful people in the blog world. For the past week or so, I had been stuck in the creating process. In my usual unorganized manner, I looked through Pinterest, viewed tutorials, pulled books and magazines…and got nowhere. Then I visited with quilters and associates at the Mesquite Bean Quilt Shop. I purchased the Floral Pets fabric, but still had no real plan. I just knew that I wanted to do something different than the free pattern.
That’s where Melanie McNeil enters the picture. I read her post, Project Process, and that was the jump start I needed. Each step of the process got me closer to visualizing what I wanted. I am now “executing chosen solutions”. Thank you, Melanie!


Yesterday’s Work

Today’s Work
The blocks are still not in final order. I have run out of Kaffe Fassett floral remnants, so, I guess I will be making another trip to a fabric store. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Right now, it still looks pretty traditional. My plan is to jazz it up…somehow.
I need to repeat steps 1-3!

Something New

I have been trying to figure out what I want to do next.ย  I have a long “Someday” list, and I have been studying tutorials in preparation for some of these small quilting projects. It had been a while since I visited the Mesquite Bean, so I grabbed my shopping bag and headed out. I had some errands to run after a hectic morning, so I knew a trip to the fabric shop was just what I needed.
I knew that on Tuesdays, the store opens up the back room for a sew along. The shop was humming with activity, both in the store front and in the back room. I shopped around for some fat quarters, then I found two cute panels called Floral Pets.

One of the super helpful associates, Mechelle, told me that the ladies in the backroom were all making quilts with a pattern that used these panels. The pattern was designed by Mary Kay Davis for Thread on the Floor. It is a free pattern that can be found on Blend fabrics.
I meandered my way to the backroom and was immediately welcomed by all the quilters. What I found interesting, was that each person was working from the same pattern, yet each quilt was different. Some just made a dog house quilt. Some just made a cat in a basket quilt. Some made it wider, others made it longer. They used the same suggested fabric, but utilized it in different places. I apologized for being nosy and asking dumb questions. One of the quilters reassured me that there is no such thing as being nosy or asking dumb questions when talking with quilters. Each one shared their techniques for adjusting to the different sizes of the the individual panels. I also learned ways to problem solve other technicalities. When I said I was thinking of making a quilt using both the dog and the cats together, some of them said they wished they had thought of that.
The suggested coordinating fabrics are pretty, but they are a little too pastel for me. I held the panels next to some Kaffe Fassett floral and polka-dot prints. I loved the way the bold colors made the pastel floral pets pop out. I have some good remnants of the Kaffe Fassett polka dots, so I just bought some floral designs and some white and black polka-dot fabric. I am going to play around with this a bit.
It is so much fun to meet and share with other quilters. There is always something new to learn.

My Wabi-Sabi Quilt

Francine, from Las Colchas, had told me to drop by on Thursday so she could assess the faded photo problem I had with the quilt I made for my grandson. I could not wait until Thursday. Since I needed more fabric for the log cabin quilt, I dropped by the Mesquite Bean this morning. There were quite a few experienced quilters there, since they meet on Tuesdays to work on projects. The consensus there was to keep the faded photos, wash with fabric color catchers ( I always do), and try adding some Retayne.(to stop the bleed).ย  I then drove over to Las Colchas. Francine wasn’t there, but Vicky was working. She is a super talented and artistic quilter. Vicky confirmed what the quilters at the Mesquite Bean recommended.
I just pulled the quilt out of the dryer, and I am happy with the results. It did not fade or bleed any further. The dryer poofed up the quilt and it looks bright and bold.
I guess this is my Wabi-Sabi quilt.