Spread the Word

The recent somber and disturbing events, have caused me to feel a bit helpless and  useless. I entered my sewing room, my happy place, and just could not get back to finishing my Christmas quilt.
What can one do to stop this rise of hate and intolerance of diversity?
I decided to just spread the word…in my own small way.
Quilt Message Blocks
Spread the word.

Thank you, Tierney, for your upbeat post. You are so right…”it is good to post a reminder about the good people in the world we meet in our daily lives…”.

I will get back to making happy things. I just made a tote bag and zipper pouch for my grandson.
A Pokemon tote bag filled with school supplies.
Zippered Pokemon Pouch

The Christmas quilt will have to wait until tomorrow. Apparently, I miscalculated the fabric needed for the two borders. I am off by one strip on each border. 🙄 I might be able to adjust if I add a corner piece to each border. But, that is too much figuring for now. So, it will hang on the design wall until inspiration strikes…or I just head out to Mesquite Bean tomorrow.
In the meantime, hug your loved ones.

The first border is off-white on white with a candy cane design.
The second border is a peppermint print fabric.

Library Day

My home is located by Comanche Lookout. Fossils found in this historical area date back to 9,200 B.C.. It is the fourth highest point in Bexar County.  Comanche Lookout was part of the Camino Real that was established during the time of Spanish rule.
When I first moved into the area, the city was discussing how this land would be developed. Neighborhood groups were formed to provide input to help preserve this historical area.
The elementary school where I taught is located across the street from the back side of the park. In the early ’90’s, I was teaching fifth grade. I had my students invite the city council person for our district to come to our school and visit the Comanche Lookout. They greeted him with signs of “We Love Comanche Lookout”, and we presented our ideas. The city developed the 96 acre park. The Semmes Library is located adjacent to the park. My students and I would hike up the trails to the library. We also took many nature observation and science trips.
I live within walking distance to the park, and I used to include this route in my daily walks. This year, I have been opting for walking shorter distances. Today, I decided to once again enjoy the beautiful natural resources this park provides. Since I just finished two quilts, it was time to look around for some inspiration, so of course I wanted to go to the library. The park itself provided an atmosphere conducive to thinking. The weather is just perfect for a comfortable hike, and I need to take advantage of this while it lasts. Backpacks come in handy on these walks to the library. I came home with a good selection of books to get me started. One of the books was The New Bohemians, by Justina Blakeney. It was recommended by Tierney and I sure am happy that it was at the library. Thanks, Tierney!There is a small room that I will be decorating in the near future.

Fussy Cutters Club, by Angie Wilson, has some great tips for a project that my friends and I are planning for the summer. We plan to go to La Grange, Texas and meet up with another friend who lives near by. We are renting a B &B and having our own sewing retreat where we will be working on a house quilt pattern. We will be fussy cutting people, characters, and animal fabric to add to the house block.

Scandinavian Stitches, by Kajsa Wikman, has some cute ideas and tips for making small seasonal projects.
I continue to want to develop free-motion skills, so I checked out First Steps to free-motion quilting by Christina Cameli.
I am still reading through Sneaky Piecing by Beth Ferrier. It was recommended by Mary Puckett. I’m glad I purchased this one, because it is a good resource to have on hand.


Park Entry from the library.

My plan is to continue these walks to and through Comanche Lookout as long as we have this spring weather. More library days ahead.

Quilted Fabric Bowl

My plan for today was to wake up late, vote, and then rest. It was a busy weekend with the wedding and I wanted to just relax in my recliner. After voting, I got my lap top and returned to my recliner to read through my email and blogs that I follow. I ran across another great post from Tierney. She posted some information about art quilts made with upholstery fabric. She also posted a link to a blog by Dianne Browning . I was interested, since my brother often sends me great swatches of upholstery fabric. I have made a few things with this fabric, but nothing that really showcases the beauty of the fabric. Dianne Browning has some amazing work. I liked the quilted bowls that she has on her blog, and I started looking for tutorials on how to make quilted bowls. There was one tutorial in particular, that looked fairly easy. It was on Geta’s Quilting Studio.
The bowl in this tutorial is more functional than artistic, but I thought I would give it a try.
I used a fat quarter of some inspirational word fabric, along with some black and white polka dot fabric.
I did not download the pattern from the blog. Instead, I used my hexagon ruler for the center piece. Then I made the template for the side pieces.
I free motioned a simple heart on each section.
It is a bit soft and floppy since I did not have any stiff interfacing. I just used batting.
It is a reversible quilted bowl.
 
Thanks, Tierney.
You always inspire me to try something new.

*On a sad note, one of my granddaughter’s beautiful Rottweilers died today. He has been sick for some time and living on love.

Vandal taking a nap.
Beautiful dog.

Happy Day, Scrappy Day

Thanks to Cindy and Tierney for their responses to my question about scraps.
I had decided to keep fabric no smaller than 2.5″ x 2.5″, as Tierney suggested.
Cindy listed some names of people who have ideas about using scraps. I plan to look into these ideas.

Just as I was organizing the smallest of scraps into bags for donation, I remembered that a friend had given me a bag with pounds of jean scraps. I started playing around with the denim and the scraps that I was organizing. I even used the strip of scraps that I had sewn onto an adding machine tape.
I ended up having a happy, scrappy day.
There is no plan in sight for how or if I will use these blocks I made today.
The blocks are 5.5″ x 5.5 “, which are a bit too small for me. But, they could be incorporated somehow into a larger piece, I am sure.
It was just fun piecing.
I might embellish with embroidery and beads. Since there is no plan in sight, I will hold off on any kind of embellishment.

This is the first block I pieced, before I remembered I had a bag of jean scraps.


As you might have guessed, the bag of scraps will not be donated.
One of my Meemaw friends suggested we swamp scrap bags, so I think I might do this.

Journals~Part of the Creative Process

Melanie, of Catbird Quilt Studio, started a conversation on creativity.
The comments and thoughts of other bloggers has been informative and thought provoking.
Tierney, of Tierney Creates, has also contributed to this topic; and she has even posted a peek into her creative journaling process. This encouraged me to share a look at my journal.
Keeping a journal is an internal communication for me. I am a visual learner, and I need to “see” my thoughts and designs. I use a graph paper composition book for my designs and ideas.
These journals have handmade covers.
 
 
I also keep a journal to post photos or actual pieces of my work. I add the story, inspiration, and process for each product.

So Much to Do!

Today has been spent playing catch-up, after being gone for three days.
My head is filled with ideas for quilt blocks and designs…but the projects are put on hold.
I am going to try to jot down some notes and sketches of some of these ideas.
I do not want to have a senior moment and forget.
I will be going to see my grandson tomorrow, and that is WAY more important.
In order to prepare for our day together, I have prepared some indoor and outdoor scavenger hunt activities. I am packing a box of paints and paint brushes, since we will be searching for a limb to paint for a walking stick. Last year, I had prepared a box of supplies for his Creative Box. I am planning to replenish his box.
I also painted two rocks for him.
One rock has a painting of a heart, because I always tell him that he makes my heart happy.
The other rock has a painting of a stegosaurus.

For the past few weeks, I have been going through my collectibles in order to see which ones I could live without.
Tierney (Tierney Creates ) had shared a quote about our space reflecting who we are now. I liked the quote and started clearing out stuff. I found that I like what I had done so far. I promised myself that I would stop buying little mementos and good luck charms in an attempt to improve and update my space.
Well, when I was in Shulenburg, we visited some shops.
There went my resolve not to buy any more lucky charms or mementos.

There was this metal bird that just sang my name…so I purchased it.
I named her Purl the Pretty Girl.
And of course, I had to have the ant.
I frequently get “antsy”; and this ant lets me know that it is okay to have ants in your pants.
In the classroom, whenever the kids or I had ants in our pants, we would stand up and shake the ants out  with our Ants in Our Pants dance.
The angel is called the Worry Angel. It is her job to take away your worries.
When I showed these charms to my sister, Emma, she gave me some great names for the ant and the angel.
The ant is called, Migas N. Pantalones.
Hormiga, is Spanish for ant.
Pantalones, is Spanish for pants.
Hence, Migas N. Pantalones is the perfect name.

The word, issues, in Spanish is pendientes.
My sister suggested that the worry/issue angel be named, Yanohay Pendientes…or Penny for short.
Ya no hay“, in English, is there are “no longer any”.

I did find time to make something for “The100DayProject”.
I originally wanted to paint or piece some fabric for this project, but I did not have enough time for that.
So, I did a simple thread sketched of Purl the Girl.
This is the first time I used an embroidery hoop for a frame.


I am looking forward to my day with my grandson tomorrow.
Then, I will probably come home and sleep for two days!

Spring Craft Deadline

This morning, I met the  part of my deadline for the spring projects I will be gifting tomorrow.
I completed two sets of coiled rope plate mats and heart-shaped bowls; along with a small coiled bowl and a rock painting.
There is still one more coiled project to do for one of my three sons. I have an extension on the deadline, since he does not live close by and we will not be meeting this weekend.

Fiesta Coiled Plate Mats and Heart-Shaped Dish

Boho Coiled Plate Mats and Heart-Shaped Dish


Small Ring Dish 
Pig in a Wig painted rock
(Pig in a Wig is the character in my sister’s series of children’s books.)

Since I have working to meet this deadline, and meeting with daily life events, I have not been able to work on the hexagon block for my quilt journal. I have the design in my head, but I just have not had the time to work on it. I plan to try something new with this block.
Tierney posted some work she did with fabric painting. She also posted some great information on good habits that can change your life.
Also, my friend, Jeana, who does my long arm quilting, has been encouraging me to try some fabric painting.
I spent my non-coiled mat making minutes viewing fabric painting tutorials and trying things out.
I just played with the paint on different fabrics.
Hopefully, when I return from visiting with two of my sons, I will get started on painting the fabric for my hexagon block.

Melanine, of Catbird Quilt Studio, posted some great essays and thoughts on creativity.
Reading these posts gave me the encouragement I needed to persist on this new fabric painting venture.

I know it seems that I am going in many different directions…rope baskets, improv quilts, quilt journal, fabric painting…but that is the way I work. For better or for worse.
It would probably be better to focus on one thing at a time, but I have never been able to stay focused for too long.
But I am okay with this… I am having so much fun!

Studio Closed

This morning, I went shopping for the last minute things I needed for our trip to Lake Buchanan for the Vanishing River Cruise.
My Meemaw friends and I leave tomorrow.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the forecast for the rest of the week is thunderstorms.
Our hopes for seeing eagles on this cruise are diminishing, but not totally gone.
Oh, well, we heard about the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, Texas.
It has 16 flavors of pie. (Check out the cafe link and you will see the Texas-sized pies.)
We have not been to this cafe yet.
The cafe has a Pie Happy Hour.
As my friend said, “When it rains, let them eat pie”.
So, the trip will be worth while…eagles or no eagles.
As I was shopping, I saw many St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Spring items on display.
I started thinking of what I could make.
Then, I saw this package of colorful 2.5 inch strips.
I decided to go home and make a rainbow fabric rope bowl.
The package had 14 strips that were each 42 inches long; and 2.5 inches wide.
I made the base of the bowl about 5.5 inches wide.
I wanted to make a deeper bowl.

This bowl makes me smile.

Bottom
I want to buy some variegated thread before I make a second rainbow bowl.

I thought I could fill it with these lucky shamrock coins to celebrate the Irish side of the family.
Maybe, I can paint some shamrocks on stones.
Then, for Easter, this basket can be filled with eggs and springtime goodies.
Tierney, thanks again for introducing me to fabric rope bowls.
I am having so much fun making these bowls.
I also decided to try and thread sketch an eagle.
I will complete this hexagon block when I return. It will be this week’s entry in my fabric journal.

I viewed and studied different pictures of eagles.
Then, I very lightly drew the outside outline with a fabric pencil.
I decided to thread sketch in black thread and color with fabric crayons and markers.
I do not have enough pretty blue fabric to use for the backing, so I will purchase some when I return.
The studio is now officially closed for the week.
I will be taking hand crafts and paints for what we are now calling our Craft Retreat.
There is no room in my friend’s car to lug around a sewing machine.
Besides, we are still hoping that we get enough of a break in the weather to go on the cruise.

My Own Sunshine

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather,
always bring your own sunshine.

Anthony J. D’Angelo

The Clown Car will be departing this coming week, in spite of weather predictions of thunderstorms.
We will just take our own sunshine…and some craft stuff!
One of my friends asked if I would take my stone painting supplies so we can keep busy during the down time on our trip to Lake Buchanan. I am also taking my hexagon baggie with me. I started cutting fabric and making some hexagons out of my scraps. Maybe, I can talk my buddies into helping me increase my stack of hexagons! I am planning to make either some place mats, a table runner, or just some mug rugs with these hexagons. I found a real cool tutorial on how to make a table runner.
Making these tiny hexagons is a bit tedious, but I like using up my fabric. I can make these as I watch TV.


My husband does not think we will be seeing any eagles on the Vanishing Texas River Cruise, so he gave me a tiny eagle for my display case.

I am getting the snacks for the trip with the Meemaws, so, I decided to make four snack drawstring bags.

All I need to do now, is fill these bags up with small snacks.
I also used sealant on the rocks I painted. I want to get my brother’s rock in the mail before I leave this week. The rocks are all shiny and protected now.

I am happy to report that I had more success today as I made my third fabric rope basket.
Thanks to Tierney, who pointed out that my zig-zags were too far apart, I made the adjustment today.
I also found the preparation of the strips to be easier and faster.
My sister had told me that she wanted a basket to hold her remotes. I cut some strips from some remnants that I had. I also started cutting up more strips so that I can make some scrappy fabric baskets when I return from my trip.

It is still a bit wonky, but the stitches are much better now.

This has been yet another cloudy, grey, and wet day.
Not really rain…just yuck.
I brought my own sunshine by making some fun things.

Tomorrow’s To -Do List

  • Shop for snacks
  • Pack

Postcards

It’s been a few days since I’ve worked in my studio.
I have been with my grandson, and visiting a friend.
When I returned, there were things I needed to do before I could start up again.
I also got a pneumonia shot that left me with a very sore and heavy arm.
It took two days to get the use of my arm back.

Today, I thread sketched two postcards.
One is for my grandson, to let him know I enjoyed our time together.
He has a new cat that he was very proud to introduce to me.
And, I couldn’t leave out his dog.
So, I drew both of them on his card.

I just booked a B&B in Georgetown, Texas for a few days during Spring Break.
My granddaughter and I will enjoy the sites of Georgetown.
So, I made her a postcard to let her know we have a date.
She loves unicorns.

Both of these cards are thread sketched and colored with fabric crayons and markers.
I ran out of Wonder-Under, so I will have to complete these tomorrow.

I am reading the book , Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
I sort of need a boost.
Thanks for recommending the book, Tierney.