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.

Fabric Postcards

One of the things I loved as a child, was receiving letters and postcards in the mail. I had a friend who lived in Corpus Christi, and we would write each other every week. I loved to buy postcards to send and just add to my collection of pretty pictures.
A few years ago, I made a some fabric postcards for my grandchildren. I have been thinking of making some postcards for Valentine, but I decided to make some just for fun.
Recently, I purchased a rubber stamp to print the postcard side. Remnants of batting, card stock, and stiff fusible interfacing were used to make the card. The official size for a postcard is 4″ X 6″. The postcard side and the stiff fusible were cut to the correct size. The batting and fabric were not cut to size until after the quilting.
When I taught first grade, my students loved when I read Junie B. Jones books by Barabar Park. My grandson loves to read the Junie B. Jones books. His teacher reads them to his class. One evening, I had the pleasure of reading one of the books to my grandson. The teacher in me loved seeing his connection and reaction to the story as it was being read. He totally enjoys hearing the antics of this funny, independent character, so I chose to make a Junie B. Jones postcard. I looked up some images of Junie and drew them on paper. I then drew them onto muslin. I added fabric for the hair and the shirt. After thread sketching the applique, I quilted a remnant of fabric to use as the top piece. I then thread sketched the applique onto the top piece.
My granddaughter loves anything with owls. I have made her owl quilts, pillowcases, totes, etc. So, why not an owl postcard? I drew an owl on some linen fabric. Then I thread sketched and cut the owl out as an applique. I found a quilt block in my “This Will Come in Handy One Day” bin. I quilted the block and cut it to size.
I had forgotten how much fun it is to make these fabric postcards. I know my grandchildren will enjoy receiving them in the mail.

Botanical Gardens

This morning, I took a morning walk at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. It is one of my favorite places to visit. I do not have a green thumb, so I need to go to the gardens to see beautiful flowers. The weather is still spring-like, with a lot of humidity. The summer heat has not hit yet.  Birds were every where. A Blue Jay posed for me ; and I captured a photo of a cardinal just before he took off.
I made a short video with the photos I took with my phone.

The color, design, and textures in the garden were inspirational. I think these flowers are named Brown-eyed Susan.

I used fabric paint and crayons on canvas for the background. Then I cut fabric to form the stems, leaves, and flowers. I thread sketched a bit to give it texture. Then I machine stitched a black outline.

Spring

It was a beautiful spring morning…just perfect for visiting the Semmes Library and taking a walk in Comanche Lookout Park. I only checked out three books: joyful Daily Stitching by Valerie Bothell; Rule Breaking Quilts by Kathryn Schmidt; the Best-Ever Appplique Sampler by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins. Lots of good stuff in these books!
When I arrived at the library, this Mockingbird was waiting for me. He did not bother to fly away. Instead, he continued to sing and pose for me.

He inspired me to thread sketch this singing bird when I got home.

I was able to get a four mile walk in the park. It rained heavily last night, so everything looked green and fresh. The walk was so energizing and inspirational, the inner me wanted to break out in song. The real me did not want to scare the other walkers in the park with my singing. 😉 I captured this moment in a thread sketch selfie. I am singing, “Oh, what a beautiful morning…”.

I took a few photos along the way. One is a picture of Fox Run Elementary, where I spent 30 of my 42 years of teaching. The picture is taken from the view of the park, by the path where my students and I would take to enter the park. We would write poetry, complete science nature hike activities, and walk to the library. There is also a photo of the educational pavilion in the park near the library. It made me sad to think that the students were stuck inside the building on a beautiful day like today.

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Saturday Stuff

My friend, Nancy, makes some beautiful fabric, floral pins. On one of our Wabi Sabi sewing days, my Meemaw friends and tried our hand at making floral pins.
    
Today, my sister, Emma, sent me a photo of a fabric brooch that had thread sketching and embroidery. I just had to give it a try.

Now, I am looking online to see what others have done with fabric brooches.
It has been a drizzly, lazy Saturday, so I have not started on any big project. I did complete another thread sketch for the #100 Day Project. I am not a selfie-type person, but I find it easy to thread sketch caricatures of myself. This way, I do not offend anyone.😉
Since I was not able to go for a walk today, I thread sketched a selfie of me taking a walk.

#100 Day Project

One of my goals is to learn how to thread sketch. At this time, I am “drawing” outlines with the thread as my pen. The #100 Day Project is a fun way to keep me practicing. I love making small things, so I chose to make these 2.5″ X 3.5″ fabric business cards. It is quite satisfying to see my stack of fabric cards grow.
Some of the cards will be hand stitched, and others will be thread sketched. I might start fabric painting some of them.

Today’s piece comes after a long day of making a rug, a lunch date, and going for a walk.
Thread Sketching
Big Yawn
Growing stack of fabric cards

April is Poetry month. My message board has a quote by Muriel Rukeyser.

100 Day Project

When I was cleaning off my cutting table, I found some muslin strips that had fusible batting. These were left over from a pillow backing that I had made. The strips were 2.5″ by 20″. I couldn’t throw them away, but they aren’t really a good size for anything. Then, I decided to use them to practice embroidery and slow stitching, and thread sketching. It just so happens that the 100 Day Project started, so I decided this will be my daily project.

Day 1: I thread sketched a selfie and backed it with some scraps.


Day 2: I just can’t seem to throw away even the smallest pieces of fabric 😉


Day 3: Thread sketch of two bluebirds.

 

 

Fall Thread Sketching

I’m in the process of making a log cabin quilt. I have pieced the center, and today, I purchased the fabric for the borders and backing. I decided to take a break before I add the borders.
We have been having some cool-ish fall weather. I pulled out some prepared quilt blocks that I had stored, and started thread sketching some fall images. It has been a while since I have practiced thread sketching. It was nice to get back to it.

The first block I sketched was an owl in a tree. I am beginning to add more detail in my sketching. I feel a bit more confident in controlling the movement as I sketch with the thread. Keeping my hands coordinated with the picture in my head is still something I have to improve.

The pumpkin block came out a bit more wonky. I found this one more difficult than the owl block, partly because I started without a complete image in my head. My grandson says he has an “imagination clock” inside him that helps him make things. My imagination clock was a bit out of sync on these pumpkins.

The last block I made this evening is an owl in a pumpkin patch. I have owls on the brain because my granddaughter loves and collects owls.
I enjoy thread sketching. I want to practice more.

Block #35~Friday, August 31

This last week was filled with so many things to celebrate. But it wasn’t difficult to choose what I wanted to do for my quilt entry. The days with my grandson were beautiful and I wanted to capture a very special moment…he read his first book!
My grandson has been read to since the day he was born. He loves books. It is so much fun seeing him delve into the National Geographic Books for kids. He spouts off information about space, dinosaurs, and just about any topic. I could see that he was recognizing certain words as we looked through books. He has also been getting reading readiness training at his daycare. I knew he was ready to read. One of the greatest pleasures of my teaching years was the joy of seeing the look on a child’s face as they realized they could read.
I gave my grandson a book and told him it was time for him to read with me and then to me.
I used the Neurological Imprint Method of teaching reading. The look on my grandson’s face when he read the book himself is something I will remember forever. The look on my son’s face when his son read to me is also imprinted in my memory.


Step into Reading Series

Block #35~Friday, August 31
Background:
White,100 % cotton; blue on blue polka-dot backing
Technique: *
Thread-sketching; fabric paints and colors; *FMQ

*This is the first product made with my new Juki machine. I was able to use a letter writing decorative stitch. The FMQ and thread-sketching was so smooth.

Block #31~ Friday, August 3

The block entry for this week is all about the two precious pets that kept me company for four days.
Marley is the sweetest dog. She is about 14 years old and I think she is still living because of the love she receives from my son and his family. We had a bit of an incident one day. I took her out for a bit, and she spotted an armadillo in the yard. Luckily, she is not as fast as she used to be. Still, I had to do some intervention to protect the dog and the armadillo from each other.

I am not a cat person, but I dearly love Richard Parker. This young cat loves to play. He is also very inquisitive. I would find him in my tote bag, my purse, and my computer. He would curl up with me when I slept. He also would knock his treat jar over to let me know it was time for a snack.


Block #31- Friday, August 3
Background:
Beige and white fabric; darker beige backing
Technique: Applique, thread sketching, fabric coloring
Embellishments: Buttons