Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come.

Greta Thunburg

It’s been awhile since my last post. It was getting more difficult for me to stay hopeful about things getting back to normal. It was time to stop looking for hope and get into action.
I started by getting outdoors a bit more. Our library is at the base of Comanche Lookout Park. They had a StoryWalk for the children that I thought was a great idea. I love going up to the park to just sit and listen to the birds. I purchased a monocular and I get great views of the birds. It made me happy to see that some of the cacti that was frozen during our February storm are now growing back.
My DIY gave me some cute fat quarters with bees and flowers. It is not pictured in the video, but I used the FQ to make a skinny quilt. I used one of the patterns from Skinny Quilts by Kim Schaefer. This quilt is the perfect size to use on my recliner. With the leftover FQ, I made a tote bag. It is featured in the video.
My sewing rooms were in disarray, so I purged and reorganized. I now have bins with different sized blocks that I cut from the remnants. After getting things in order, I tried to get back to making things. Focusing on one project was not happening. I flitted around from one project to another.
The Meemaw rug has been quilted and the binding is complete. I was supposed to meet with my friends to share the quilt with them today, but we are having thunderstorms. I used some of the same fabric I used in the quilt to make mug rugs for my friends. Hopefully, we can get together next week.
Lately, I have developed an interest in using beads. I made some fabric birds and strung them up with beads and a bell. When I showed my sister the box of beads that I have, she mentioned the idea of making wine charms. So, I did.
An ongoing project is the temperature quilt. There have been times that I think of just chunking this quilt, but I am glad I am sticking with it.
My friend and I have gotten interested in making sampler blocks. Marti had given me the book Sister Sampler Quilts. We are each working on the Sister’s Ten Sampler. Making these samplers has helped me to improve on my accuracy in cutting and sewing. I am using Art Theory fabric by Alison Glass for this project. The gold background fabric I chose is usually not one of my colors. At first, I was not happy with my choice. But as I completed more of the blocks, the color began to grow on me. Right now, it is on the design wall for me to study for placement.
At the same time, I have been working on sampler blocks using Quotation Fabric by Zen Chic. I love the sherbet colors.
While reorganizing my bins, I started cutting 2.5 inch blocks of fabric. Soon, I had a bin full, so I started piecing a scrappy quilt. I am totally enjoying the scrappiness. I believe that no fabric should be left behind. As I am piecing this scrappy quilt, I get to see pieces of quilts I made for my grandchildren, family and friends. It brings back special memories of making and gifting the quilts and projects made with these fabrics. I still have the 1.5 inch blocks that I am piecing for another quilt. For now, I am just cutting more of the 1.5 inch squares.
Last year, I started a Gypsy Wives quilt, pattern by Jen Kingwell. I did not get too far into making this one, and just set it aside. My friend and I have now decided we want to make Jen Kingwell’s Boho Heart quilt. I purchased the pattern to start studying it. I do not want to make the mistakes I made when I tried the Gypsy quilt.
My Meemaw friends always tell me that I come up with “different” and crazy ideas. Well, I came up with another one, and they do not yet know about it. The idea came about as I was cleaning my rooms. I found a bin that had the remaining books from my teacher collection. I found the book, The Duck Who Played the Kazoo, by Amy E. Sklansky. I remembered how much fun my students and I had playing the kazoo, and thought it was about time I did it again.
My plan is to start a Magnificent Meemaw Musician Kazoo band. I ordered some kazoos and made some storage drawstring bags. I have been practicing, All You Need is Love, by the Beatles. I was so surprised to see all the YouTube videos of people having fun with kazoos. All I have told my friends is that they are in for a big, fun surprise. They are all very nervous about my surprise. 😁
This past weekend I was finally able to spend time with all three of my sons and their families. I was in heaven! This is exactly what I needed to reenergize. Hopefully, there will me more days of family time ahead. In the meantime, I will get busy again.
I hope you are doing well.
Stay safe.

End of January

Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy. – Tchaikovsky

After I finished piecing the dinosaur quilt, I found myself in a quandary as to what to do next. I did a little bit of this and that, but just couldn’t get interested in anything in particular. I made some Valentine crafts for the grandkids, but that took only two days. I didn’t think I was being lazy, but inspiration just wasn’t coming my way. 😉
My granddaughter and I have frequent video conversations, and one day I started talking to her about zentangle art. A few years ago, I was really into this form of art, and I have quite a few art journals filled with zentangle. My granddaughter is a doodler like I am, so I thought she might like to try it. I shared some tutorials for kids just to get her started. A few days later, she showed me some of the zentangle art that she had done. This renewed my interest in zentangle, and finally, I was inspired to make something. Instead of using markers and pens to zentangle, I wanted to use thread. I had thread sketched some inchies and twinchies a couple of years ago. To prepare for this fabric book, I cut some 6″ x 12″ canvas, muslin, and batting to make quilt sandwiches. I folded the quilt sandwich in half, and thread-sketched a bird on each half. I drew a one- inch strip in the center for the spine. After thread sketching the birds, I got to practice on meandering. My meandering is still not perfect, but I am finding that my hand motion is much smoother and not as jaggy as before. To make the book signatures, I placed two thread-sketched sandwiches, wrong-sides -together, and zig-zagged from the lines I had drawn for the spine, all the way around. This formed a folded spine. I then sewed a seam along the open edge, completely sealing the signature. Each signature had four birds. There were two signatures with a total of 8 birds. I attached the two signatures by blanket stitching along the pinched spine. Two 9″ X 12″ pieces of fabric were quilted for the cover. The signatures were centered on the cover and opened to expose the center of the book. The cover was attached to the signatures with a machine- stitched seam down the center of the spine.
Every Friday, I look for the next tag theme for the 52 tag challenge. This week, the theme was “kisses”. I love watching the tutorials by Anne Brook. She makes beautiful things out of scraps and bits. I found some scraps and I added a butterfly charm to represent a butterfly kiss. The buttons represent the hugs. This OX tag was made with my grandchildren in mine.
On January 1st, I started piecing a temperature quilt. I am using the pattern by Canuck Quilter Designs. The January row is now complete, and it is a fun representation of our crazy Texas weather. There are lows of 28 and highs of 80.
My friend, Marti, sent me a very cute crow pin. Marti is the one who got me hooked on bird watching. Today, she called to ask if I was interested in wool felt pieces she was ready to donate. She said she no longer wanted to make pins with the felt and thought I might like them. She knows that I am never one to say no to free supplies. She then reminded me of the thread sketched pins I made her a few years ago, and hinted that she might like some more. I thread sketched some twinchies and small shapes for her. She said she would add the pin parts to them later.
This afternoon, UPS delivered a box of two fat quarter bundles that I ordered from the Fat Quarter Shop. One is Art Theory by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics. The other bundle is Quotation by Moda. Marti and I had planned to have our own quilting retreat with another one of our friends. Since this is not possible at this time, Marti sent me the book, Sister Sampler Quilts, by Anne Marie Chany. We are going to have a Zoom retreat somehow, and make one of these samplers. I ordered two fat quarter bundles for the sampler, because I couldn’t decide which bundle I liked better. I still can’t. It all depends on which sampler we choose to make.
February will soon be here.
Hopefully, healthy and good times are around the corner.
Stay safe.

“Time Has Flewn”

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
Dr. Seuss

Even though this pandemic has made it seem like the Groundhog Day movie, it is hard to believe we have made it to December. With hope and a little prayer, maybe we can finally see our way through this.
In the meantime, we celebrate in new and different ways. A Thanksgiving Zoom with siblings did my heart a world of good. Planning and isolation since Halloween, made it possible for me to spend some days with one son and his family. An added bonus for this holiday was the social distanced visits with each of my other two sons and their families. Being able to see all five of my grandchildren was a perfect ending for November.

During my visit with my granddaughter, we were able to craft, play games, and make a gingerbread house. With each piece of candy that went on the house, one piece found its way into our mouths. The back side of the house is plastered with flattened Starbursts. 🙂
My granddaughter did an excellent job of hand stitching a Christmas book. After looking at all the buttons and fabric pieces I had taken, she designed and stitched a beautiful little book. My favorite page is the melted, Texas Snowman.
My DIL lives in a neighborhood where items are swapped or given away for free. She had picked up two bags for me. One had some craft and quilting books. The other had fabric remnants and scraps. I have already put some of that fabric to good use. She said if I was interested in more, she could have some bags ready for our next visit. I think this may be a new gold mine for me.

Some of my small projects I’ve completed so far include placemats, fabric napkins, fabric nesting baskets, and tea towels. There were remnants from a superhero quilt I made for one of my grandsons. I used these pieces to make three nesting storage baskets for my baby grandson. Last month, I had purchased some fabric to make my brother some placemats. There was just enough fabric left to make two small nesting baskets.

As I was looking through my stash, I realized that my supply of yardage and larger remnants is running low. I have bins filled with scraps, but I have plans for these. Some fabric has already been cut and organized by size. I was encouraged by what I saw as I assessed my craft/fabric storage room. I think organization is doable.

Today, I started looking for fabric for my 2021 year long project. Mary gave me information about a temperature quilt. The free pattern by Canuck Quilter Designs looks like it is going to be a fun project. Since I live in Texas, most of the quilt is going to be in the yellow to red range, but I think it will still be a nice quilt to make. I love looking at Zippy Quilts…so many ideas. Check out Mary’s Little Jewels post. I think this quilt would be perfect for using up my scraps. I also like her post, A Quilt for a Man (or anyone).

Before we know it, 2021 will be here.
Let’s hope it is a better, more just, peaceful, healthy, and a safe year for everyone.