March 30, 2020

Beginning another week of isolation. My Meemaw friends and I are trying to set up some type of chat time, probably with Zoom.
This morning, I made an interactive lesson board for my grandson using Thinglink . This is an online tool that allows you to post interactive activities on one board. I used this when I was teaching and I thought it might be helpful to make one for my grandson. I based it on the curriculum calendar that his teacher provided. I found reading, math, science, and creative activities on Youtube and added the links to the Thinglink board I set up. Thinglink is a very easy tool to use, and the link above is a short tutorial on how to make one. I thought sharing this information might help some of you who want to connect with your grandchildren or others.

I also worked on today’s art. I pulled out more tiny scraps to play with and collage a piece. I already had leftover fabric and batting from a quilt, so I used that for the main block. The birdie came out a bit hefty in this piece.

02-20-2020

For the past nine days, I have been working on a rectangle scrappy quilt designed by Jo Parrott. Originally, the plan was to compile scraps with two of my quilting friends. We are still going to do this at a later date. We are planning our own spring retreat.
The pattern gives an option for using either scraps, or half-yards of 18 different fabrics. I had a bin with some fabric remnants, partial fat quarters, and less than half yard pieces. I thought the colors and designs in this bin would make a nice quilt for my nephew. I finished piecing the quilt top today, and dropped it off with my friend who will longarm it for me. I will post about this quilt when it is quilted. Thanks to Mary, from Zippy Quilts, I was able to be more successful with matching intersections. I read her post when I was about half-way into piecing this scrappy quilt. Her tips really paid off and made the second half of piecing less of an ordeal.
After dropping off the quilt, I started to clean and reorganize my work area. Then, I decided to just have fun instead. I backed some muslin with light fusible interfacing. Then I thread-sketched two birds. I used water color pencils to paint the birds. A textile medium was used to coat the water colored birds. I had a piece of cloudy fabric that I used for the background. This was hand-stitched. I used brown grunge fabric to collage tree limbs. I free motioned the stitches on the tree. After these steps were done, I backed the top with thin batting and a blue fabric. The birds were then quilted onto the block. I couldn’t decide if I wanted buttons or not. My daughter-in-law helped me with that decision.
It was a fun way to spend the afternoon on 02-20-2020. I hope you enjoyed your day also.

Enough!

As of today, I am done with anything ending with -inchie. I had two piles of scraps on my table this morning. One was a pile of the tiniest left overs from the Inchies and Twinchies I made. The other pile was the remnants from cutting the straps on the fabric strip bag project. I read that a Rinchie is a one inch circle, so they can fit into bottle caps or pendants. I chose to make mine two inches. After finishing these Rinchies, I unceremoniously threw away the scraps that were left.

It was fun, but now…enough with the inchies.

02-02-2020

Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from doing little things well.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I have been sidelined for a bit. I have one more week of being restricted to staying indoors and off my feet. This is driving me a bit nuts, so I concentrated on doing small things as I rest on my recliner. I have concentrated on hand-stitching, small art, and embroidery. I have cheated a bit, by going to my sewing machine for some thread sketching.
I have been wanting to try Sashiko. A few weeks ago, I found some Sashiko templates. I already had the needles and thimble. After tracing the templates on some denim scraps, I stitched the two different patterns. This is going to take more practice, but I like the process.
Another small project was upcycling a scrappy block that I had in my scrappy bin. I added a black border, then hand-quilted the block. White scraps were used to make a daisy flower that I stitched onto the center.
The 365 Button and Stitch project is still in progress, even though I am still not too happy with it. The other embroidery hoop art project, on which I am working, is more fun. I added a flamingo, elephant, sun, and star to this project. I love the challenge of drawing in a small space with embroidery thread.


The other small project I have become obsessed with is making fabric inchies. Again, the challenge of staying within one inch is so much fun. Today was day two of inchies. I cut two strips of 3″ x 10″ muslin to make a quilt sandwich. I centered and traced a one inch square template onto the muslin. Then I thread sketched birds, faces, and Sponge Bob. After the thread sketching was completed, I added a black backing. Next, I sewed along the sides of the square to make a one inch square. Pinking shears were used to cut the four sides close to the one inch thread border. At first, I was thinking of sewing these inchies onto muslin and making a fabric book. But, from what I read, inchies are used as trading cards or items to share and gift. Mariss, from Fabrication, suggested a box. I had the perfect box for these. My youngest son is very artistic and good with wood work. He made me a box with a drawer made from a 4″x4″ block of cedar. I had been using it to hold jewelry, but it is perfect for holding the inchies.

I am trying to make the best of this down time. Taking this time to stop and think, has helped me appreciate the small things.

Friday

This new year, I am finding that I am not as organized as I would like to be. I have a rough idea of projects and things I want to do; but nothing is set in stone. I still have not figured out what to do about the problem I am having with no more space for photos on my blog. Tierney sent me the link where she explains her photo management. Thanks, Tierney! The problem is how to change the situation as it stands now. I had already upgraded once, but I took up all the space with those unedited photos. I have to consult with my sons to see what, if anything, can be done.

One of my interests for this year is to learn embroidery stitches. Two of the local quilt shops I visit are each having Sue Spargo embroidery classes, but it seems I can never make it to any of the classes. I am trying out new stitches on my own and making small art pieces. One of the pieces I embroidered was a selfie for 2020. The other piece was a combination of techniques. I drew a bird on muslin, and used water color pencils to add color. I sewed some burlap onto a leftover floral charm fabric. Then I added a silk backing. I am also working on another piece where I embroidered the dove, tree, heart, and butterfly that I drew on some linen blend. I am liking this project better than the 365 Day Button and Embroidery project that I started. In this project, a button and or stitches is added on each day of the year.

My Meemaw friends and I had a Wabi-Sabi day, last Sunday. Three of us decided to use these Wabi-Sabi days to work on new quilts. The fourth buddy is helping with whatever needs to be done. Since I had just returned from out-of-town, I did not have anything ready for the quilt I was planning. Instead, I helped my friend cut and get ready to piece her first quilt. This past Monday, I visited Las Colchas to get the fabric for my next quilt. The shop has a great selection of Tex-Mex prints. I have been wanting to make a quilt to celebrate my family culture and heritage. I chose a pattern from the book, The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking by Jane Brocket. The book was loaned to me by one of the Meemaws. She recommended one of the quilt patterns that she had chosen from this book to make a quilt for herself. She thought that the pattern would showcase the vibrant color and design of the Tex-Mex fabric, and I totally agree. I pieced the backing for this quilt, using a fabric which features milagros.

I am also working on a Minecraft quilt. The free pattern is by Kelli Fannin. In November, I had pieced the top three rows, and the bottom two rows. When I went to attach the two parts, I realized I was off. The bottom piece was wider than the top. After fooling with it a bit, I threw it in the This-Is-Driving-Me-Crazy bin. I pulled it out this past Tuesday, and took it to the Mesquite Bean. The helpful people at this shop gave me some suggestions that would require minimal rip and sew. Thanks to these friends, I was able to piece the top together today. Kelli Fannin created a dragon block for the backing. I plan to try this out tomorrow.
Note: Phyllis, if you are reading this blog, this quilt is a secret!

Last week, while in Round Rock, I went on a birding walk around the lake where one of my sons lives. It was my first birding walk for the year. Then, this Wednesday, the Meemaws went on a birding walk by the river in the King William area of San Antonio. So far, I have seen 21 different species of birds this year. Bird watching is so exciting!

*In the video, the linen blend that I used for the embroidery projects, shows an exaggerated version of the fabric. The fabric is really not that grainy.

Fabric Face Collage #4

Making these fabric face collages is a learning process. I am trying out different techniques with each one. Last night, I sketched Fabric Face Collage #3…Mari Gloria. This is all trial and error for me, and it is a challenging learning process. These are a few of the steps in creating the face.


This time, I hand-stitched the multiple pieces that I had glued to the fabric to make the face. This helped tremendously when it came time to using FMQ. I am still trying to figure out how to improve the eyes and nose.


Mari Gloria
Former dancer in an international Flamenco group
Retired instructor and owner of a Ballet Folklorico dance school
Teaches the art of playing the castanets
Board member on the city cultural events committee
Makes a delicious paella
Hosts a monthly Margarita and Movie night
Favorite song: Amor de Mis Amores by Augustin Lara