My Happy Place

And so, it is Saturday. Or, is it? Who knows anymore?

My video today begins with a selfie of my unruly, uncut hair. When I see myself in the mirror in the morning, I get a very rude awakening. My hair looks a bit like a combination of Einstein and Beethoven. I sure miss my hair stylist!

I was able to deliver the quilts I made for my two nephews. I had dropped one off last week. This week, I picked up the second quilt from my friend who longarms for me. After binding the quilt, I was able to have a socially distant visit with my sister and nephews. It was good to see them.

Our mornings have been cool and breezy, so I have been taking advantage of this pleasure. I sit on my outside rocking chair to drink my coffee and hopefully get inspired. One morning, the blackbirds roosting in the trees were being particularly raucous. I found myself listening to the different sounds they made as they flew in and out of the trees. The blackbirds seemed pretty territorial and there were some mad dash attacks on the mourning doves and sparrows that happened to get too close. The next morning, I took my stitching bag outside with me to drink my coffee and make something. I created a fabric piece about the blackbirds. The blackbirds were pretty active again and I just totally enjoyed watching and listening. I had researched the different types of sounds they make and found it very interesting.

Today, I received an email from one of the condominiums in Port Aransas, Texas. The email stated that the beaches at Port A are closed to visitors, but Port A will be ready to welcome us back as soon as they can. At first, a feeling of sadness washed over me. Port A has been the host of many family outings. There are so many precious memories of time spent there with my sons and grandchildren. I have always thought of Port A as My Happy Place. So, I decided to make a fabric art piece of this very special place.

To make the piece, I cut a 10″ square of muslin and backed it with firm interfacing. I then used fabric with a cloud design and glued it to the top part of the square. I had some leftover “wavy” blue fabric from a yellow ducky quilt I made for my grandson. I cut it with a scalloped bottom and a curvy, horizon top. I had some textured beige linen type fabric that I used for the sand. I covered the sand with a white tulle piece. I added some layers of the sand on top of the tulle, then thread sketched the sand. I also thread sketched the waves and quilted the clouds. I took a separate piece of muslin and drew a back-view selfie. I then added fabric to create the hair, a hat, and a beach dress. I thread sketched and outlined the selfie and cut it out as an applique. I also drew two seagulls and prepared them to applique. I decided to quilt this block and bind it.
I now have My Happy Place hanging in my sewing room. Hopefully, my family and I can visit Port A once again.

Stay safe.

Fabric Faces

I have been searching online and in libraries for tutorials on making fabric collages. There are quite a few out there for making landscape fabric collages, but I am having difficulty finding any tutorials on creating fabric face collages. I found one that covers cardboard in fabric to make a face collage, but I like the idea of making a quilt block instead of a card stock and multi-media product. Any suggestions of books or tutorials on fabric face collages would be appreciated.
In the meantime, I am sketching faces in an art sketch book, and trying to transfer the concept to fabric. This morning, I visualized and sketched one person. Then, I ended up making a collage of an entirely different person. I am having difficulty making the eyes and noses. I tried highlighting with fabric pencil, but that did not work out too well. Maybe tomorrow, I will try fabric paint.

This is the original sketch of what I was trying to do:

I ended up with an entirely different “person”.

Julietta
President of the Quilting Guild

Nadine

I thought I had finished for the day, and I started to clean up the mess on my work table. I had scraps everywhere. When I picked up a grey polka-dot- on- grey scrap, I got a visual of some fluffy, layered hair.
Then I pulled out some white scraps and created a face to go along with this coiffure. More polka dots and Kaffe Fassett floral scraps, and voila! Nadine came to life. I sent a picture of Nadine to my sister, Emma. Of course, she immediately responded with a biography of Nadine.

Introducing: Nadine
Biography by Emma J. Virjan
Nadine
Bra-burner
Has three dogs
Loves Thich Nhat Hanh 
Makes Kick-ass cherry cobbler   
Zumbas on Wednesdays
Never turns down a glass of wine 
Bought Intel at a penny stock and is independently wealthy 

Fabric Faces

When I attended the International Quilt Festival in Houston this past year, I was in awe of the masterpiece quilts of faces and people. The intricate facial features made from fabric, expressing emotion, just blew me away.
Lately, I have been playing with fabric scraps to make small quilt blocks. I use a fabric collage technique to make landscape scenes. Today, I decided to try to make a fabric face collage. I used the smallest of scraps to shape the face, hair, and shoulders. I used FMQ for the cheeks and facial features. Then I drew over the FMQ with fabric marker for the eyes and to outline the nose. The pink lips are from a super tiny piece that I cut from a pink and white selvage. The piece is embellished with pearl seeds. The block is a 4.5″ square.

This is such a great challenge for me.There is a long way to go and so much to learn. But, it sure is fun to try new things.

Old Lady Wearing Pearls and Too Much Pink Lipstick                                                                                     “This is NOT a selfie!”  😉

Fun Friday

It has definitely been a Fun Friday. After taking care of business and enjoying this gorgeous spring day, I went straight to my sewing room.
The gypsy wife quilt project is turning out to be so much fun. I love the “scrappiness” and different sizes of each of the blocks. It is giving me the opportunity to play with fabric, mostly scraps. I am discovering that the more scraps I use, the more scraps I have left over! My bin of tiny, irregular sized scraps is overflowing. These pieces are perfect for the textile art squares that I am currently making. The first gypsy quilt block I made today was From the Heart. I have had this purple rose fabric for some time now, and I thought it worked perfectly for the heart. This block finishes at 6 inches.
From the Heart

The second gypsy wife quilt block I made was a bit tricky for me. There are 17 pieces for this block. I had just enough of a scrap to fussy cut from an inspirational word fabric for the center. This block finishes at 7.5 inches.
Hope from Hartford

These are the four blocks I have completed to date.

After I finished these blocks, I started working on another small textile art quilt block. I have been thinking of the time I was in Hawaii attending my niece’s wedding. That was about 10 years ago. The sunsets were amazing. I tried to capture the memory of these beautiful sunsets in today’s small quilt block.

I played music by Iz, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, to get in the mood. I especially love his version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It was one of my morning greeting songs that I played for my students every morning. Of course, I also had to listen to Blue Hawaii by Elvis!
The music and this quilt block took me on a time travel adventure in my mind…a Fun Friday, indeed. I think I need to plan a real return trip to Hawaii.

Small Quilt Blocks

In between working on some family projects, I have been making small quilt blocks. It is my attempt at some sort of textile art. As mentioned before, I tend to save every scrap of fabric. My sister, Emma, asked if I could send her some of my fabric remnants. She received them today. I am looking forward to seeing what she creates with them.
I chose to make 5.5″ blocks. I begin with a muslin square and then just layer fabric. I do not spend time looking through fabric, since I want it to be quick and random. I just pull out and sometimes just dump them on the muslin. I start sorting and pitching as I try to make a scene with the scraps. Machine stitching is used to hold the fabric. Then, I add hand stitching to add texture.

This was the first one I made.

I made this one today. I used thread scraps to make the bird nest.

Fabric Journal

Since I have finished making rugs and bowls, I was looking for something to do. Then I remembered that I had not yet made the monthly block for my 2019 fabric journal.
This is what I have made for the journal so far:

This will be the title page.

January                                                              February
March

For the April quotation block, I used one of my orphan blocks that I made years ago. Instead of embroidering over the printed quote, as I did on the others, I embroidered over a handwritten quote. It did not come out as neatly as the printed quotes, so lesson learned.

My tendency is to save even the smallest of fabric scraps. I have tried to be more practical and  organized, but my two scrap bins are full. I also save thread scraps. 🙄 As I was getting ready to throw these scraps away, I decided to upcycle them and use them in the April block instead. I threw a small amount of fabric scraps onto 10″ X 10″ muslin block. I scattered and played with the fabric before I threw on some of the thread and ribbon scraps. Then I covered the block with Sulky Wash Away Stabilizer.
I was able to practice some free motion quilting over the stabilizer. Then I cut some larger brown scraps into a tree limb. My sister had shared some birds that she drew, and she gave me permission to print them on fabric. I have made some items for her with these birds, and today, I used one of the birds for this textile art piece. I appliqued the bird and leaves to complete the piece. This fun process just confirmed that I will not be throwing away tiny scraps of fabric or thread. 😉

Year of the Bird

My sister informed me that 2018 is the Year of the Bird. This Audubon site has some fantastic bird cams to view. I have been thinking “birds” all day! On my outing today, I saw some cardinals. They were in two different locations, so there was no territorial fighting dance.
After I completed my morning stitch meditation, I viewed some tutorials on fabric embellishment and textile art. I have ordered some books from the library to continue gathering ideas. I started working on a piece built around the blue fabric print I made with the Gelli plates. I am trying not to judge, just make.
But, the results are a bit too stiff and formal for me.
It’s a start.
It was fun.

Stitch Meditation

Year of the Bird

Fabric Quilt Journals

Lately, I have been really getting into trying new things with fabric. I spent some time looking through Pinterest…way too much time…and I saw so many textile art craft ideas. A while back, I made a fabric journal for my sister. She and I have been having conversations about collage, Gelli art printing, and other fun stuff. I have some Gelli art plates on order, so while I am waiting, I decided to play around with some of the memos that my brother sent me. I started cutting and adding applique. I quilted and outlined with thread.
I made two signatures, but I have not yet put them together. I am thinking I will use other fabric tomorrow to make signatures to add to the back of the two I made today. I also am looking through my beads and buttons to see what I can use to embellish the signatures. I’m thinking that I might add some pearl beads on the gray and white embroidery border on the blue signature.

This is what I have so far. I need to put it away for a bit and think of what I want to do next.