Sewing Tote Bag

The other day, I read a post on Zippy Quilts. Mary posted a bag she made using a Kraft-Tex base. She provided the bag tutorial link from Bijou Lovely. I liked the bag pattern, and the bird fabric Mary used was beautiful. I also liked the Alexander Henry fabric, Sewing Woes. The fabric reminded me of the romance comics that my older sister used to read…and hide from me.
I decided to make the bag a bit larger than the pattern, mainly because I wanted to showcase more of the fabric. This size will also come in handy for carrying my stuff whenever I attend craft days with my friends. I added pockets to the inside lining.
I wanted the bag to stand on its own, so I used Bosal one-sided fusible foam. I have enough scraps to make other small projects.


Pyramid Pouch

Thanks to Mary,  at Zippy Quilts, for posting the pattern for a pyramid pouch by Susie.
I had just finished piecing 20 log cabin blocks and I could not go purchase the fabric needed for the borders since we are in the midst of thunderstorms.
To pass the time, I attempted making one of these pyramid pouches.
There are some small boo-boos on my first attempt at making this pouch, but I see where I made the mistake. These pouches are so cute. Thanks, Mary and Susie!


Fabric and Rope Bowl

About a year ago, I saw some fabric rope bowls/baskets, on Pinterest.
I placed the idea of this project on my Someday List.
Then, Tierney posted pictures and the process of making these bowls.
Later, she sent me a link for tutorials and for the Bali Bowl pattern.
This is what I love about blogs. I learn so much just by reading and connecting with other bloggers.
I had prepped the fabric and had a roll of strips all ready to sew.

Then yesterday, I started sewing the strips.
What a disaster!
I thought the hard part would be zig-zagging and forming the bowl; but sewing the strips gave me more trouble. I kept having gaps where I didn’t catch both the top and bottom.
This is what it looked like after one hour, when I dumped everything on the table and left.
I may have said a few choice words as I left the room.
Maybe more than a few.

I then returned and started to rip and redo the strip.
Patience is not one of my virtues, and I almost dumped the whole thing in a Forget This box, but I did not want to admit defeat.
So, I decided to start sewing another strip.
This time, I stopped and checked as I went.
I also used bigger stitches, which is recommended in the pattern. I had forgotten to change the stitch size for the first one.
This time, I was having more luck folding the right side down, and the left side on top, and holding it tightly.
I still had to fix mistakes, but at least this time, it was “fix-as-you-go”.
When it came to zig-zagging and making the coil, I experienced some co-ordination problems.
I found it difficult to hold the rope perpendicular AND make sure that the zig-zag was catching both sides. Once I got the swing of it, and once the sides starting getting larger, it was much easier.
The results are not the best, but I am happy that I did not give up.
This may be the one and only bowl I make…at least for now.

It is a bit wonky, but it is finished!

Thank you, Tierney.
Your support and encouragement got me to try something new and challenging.
Mary, you said you wanted to make one of these.
I am sure you will have no problem.

January 3…

Look what was waiting for me when I got home today…my rotating cutting mat!
One of my sons gave me an Amazon gift card, and I knew just what to get.
I found this Skyhawk mat for only $25.49.
I made this short video clip to show my son, so he could understand my excitement.

This mat will come in so hand, especially when I am working on my hexagon quilt journal blocks.
Thank you, Mary, for posting information about this handy tool!

So far, I am running a bit slow on starting any of my projects.
Basically it is because I am not so fired up about anything I had planned.
I am excited about the 52 Fridays Quilt Journal, but that is a year long project.
I guess one of my problems is there is no recipient in mind for most of the quilts I had planned.
There is no reason or story behind the quilts, so I just can’t get motivated.
I thought  focusing on the art of the quilt, in itself, would be fun, but something is missing.

I have been working on improv quilt blocks.
There is some motivation there.
I just don’t know where I am going with this.

All my old blocks have been pulled out and I have been cutting, piecing, and cutting and piecing.
I enjoy the process, but so far, I do not see what can be done with these new blocks.
Also, can there be such a thing as being tired of fabric that is in one’s stash?
It seems like the same old-same old.
The improvised pieces come out looking better, but they are still the same fabric I have used and reused.
All my fabric seems to be bright, sweet, and almost sugary.
I think I need a change.
Instead of giving my fabric stash away, I will put it on hold until I think about it some more.

I am also practicing FM and thread sketching.
It is still far from perfect, but I am feeling a bit more relaxed about the process.
I am actually enjoying it.

Maybe if I got more involved in the quilt guilds to which I belong, I could find some motivation.
I guess I started the year with a mental block when it comes to creating.
Maybe it is just the cold weather…
I finally went out for a walk yesterday.
Today I was busy with appointments and errands.

My 2018 Mascot, Joy, just does not seem to be singing to me right now.
Hopefully, I was still hearing some tunes soon.

Pinwheel Ornaments

After finishing the fabric journal, I officially closed down the sewing room.
Then, today, I got a delivery that had me running to my sewing room.

A few days ago, I read Mary’s post about using pinking shears to make pinwheels.
Mary posted Jayne’s blog, Twiggy and Opal, where Jayne has a tutorial on the pinwheels.
My old pinking sheers never really worked.
They were heavy and dull.
I asked Mary for some information about pinking shears.
Mary told me about Havel scissors.

Santa must have known I needed pinking shears!
He had Amazon deliver my new pinking shears this morning, and I just had to try them out.

Thank you, Mary. These pinwheels make cute ornaments and gift wrap decorations.
I just sent the tutorial to my daughter-in-law.
She thought it would be a good activity for her nieces.

I made the three inch square pinwheels. I have some more ready to cut and sew.
It will be fun afternoon.

The other day, I went to Michael’s to see if I could find a cute package/bag for my granddaughter’s Christmas Eve present.  I found a cute Christmas suitcase box that was perfect for giving a gift of clothes and toys.  All Christmas storage boxes were 60% off.
The price was right, so I also bought one for myself!
I have stored my Christmas fabric in this suitcase.

To Set Goals or Not to Set Goals

That is the question.
Yesterday, I set a goal to not start anything new until 2018.
It took me one day to fail at this goal.
So, I guess my answer is…Some goals are met to be set aside.

I started working on a WHIMM, (Work Hidden In My Mind).
For the past few days, I have been looking online for tutorials, photos, and videos on how to make fabric journals.
My interest in keeping journals, plus by love of trying new things, just made it a natural thing for me to try my hand at making a fabric journal.
I have seen more photos than tutorials or how-to’s, so I am really jumping into this with only my interest and a willingness to try something new.
Since Pantone chose my favorite color, purple, to be the color of the year, I pulled out some fabric from my stash. Thanks, Mary (Zippy Quilts )! Your post about Pantone inspired me and got me started.
Like I said, I really don’t know where I am going with this.
I once took a class on making book journals, so I think I can figure out how to sew the segments together.
This is going to be a gift for my sister, Emma.  She is the artistic one in the family. Emma has written and illustrated five children’s books.  She keeps the coolest journals. One year, I gave my siblings a personalized journal as a Christmas gift. I told them it was a selfish gift, because I wanted them to keep the journal all year and then give it back to me.  Only Emma returned the journal and it was fantastic.
I could see her daily thoughts and activities through her fabulous illustrations.
This is the first square I made for the journal cover.
I made my own fabric, and I hand quilted it.

I am not quite finished with this one.
Some of the fabric included in this block is from the pieces my brother sent me from his furniture design company.
For the next block, I will be using embroidery thread.

Learning Something New


Thanks to Mary J. Puckett from Zippy Quilts, I learned about fabric postcards.
The fabric postcards she posted are so pretty.
I decided to research some more information about fabric postcards DIY.
This morning, I made a patriotic fabric postcard.
It is very basic, but I wanted to keep it simple on my first attempt.
I happened to have the necessary supplies and fabric remnants.
It was so much fun…I plan to make more!
Thank you, Mary!

Liebster Award


Years ago, a technology instructor in my school district, introduced me to blogging.
I immediately saw the instructional benefit and the fun that this form of communication could be for my students…and me!
I had a classroom blog and a teacher blog. Once I retired, I decided to start a blog to share my new creative journey, and also make new friends along the way.

Through blogging, I have connected with many inspiring and creative people.
One of my new-found blogging friends, Abbie, has nominated me for the Liebster Award.
This is an award given to bloggers by fellow bloggers.

Abbie’s blog, Sparkle On, truly does sparkle! Her blog is filled with fun, creative ideas.
Thank you for the nomination, Abbie!
Oh, and thank you for your sweet comment about my having  “Joie de Vivre”…you made my day!
Here are my answers to your 10 questions:

10 Questions

1.) Who inspired you to quilt/sew?
My family.
My mother had seven sisters, each one talented in many crafts such as sewing, quilting, crocheting, embroidery, knitting, and painting. They were all inspirational women.
Mom did beautiful embroidery and crocheting. My Tia Isidra was the one who got me through Home Economics sewing class…no one could help me through the cooking part of the class!
Tia would let me choose the fabric and design my birthday party dress. She also made clothes for my Madame Alexander dolls.
Quilting was something I always wanted to do. I never gave myself the time or opportunity to study quilting when I was teaching. My first attempt was a quilt I made for my mother-in-law. All eleven grandsons drew on cloth squares and I somehow patched it together.
I also made small wall hangings with drawings that my students made.
It wasn’t until I retired in 2014 that I attended a quilt convention and my sister Adri encouraged me to go for it.
My husband and sons encourage my endeavors. And I just love designing quilts especially for them.

2.) If you could meet one “Quilting Celebrity’, who would it be?
Jenny Doan’s enthusiasm is contagious. I love how she explains and demonstrates techniques in her tutorials. She makes me laugh.
I also would like to meet Vanessa Vargas Wilson from Gemini Crafts. She has such a down-to-earth manner in her tutorials.

3.) What was the last movie you saw in the theater?
My friends and I went to the theater to see Love and Friendship. This was in 2016.
I really don’t go to the theater anymore, but I am a movie buff.
I love old movies, especially silent films. Charlie Chaplin is one of my favorites.
Movies with Bette Davis, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, and Greer Garson are still what I prefer to watch…over and over again.

4.) What kind of music do you like?
Mom always had music playing in the house and I love listening to most genres.
I particularly like folk, blues, jazz, swing, country, rock and roll and classical.
I grew up in the time of great music, and I still listen to my favorites which include: Bob Dylan,Willie Nelson, anything Beatle, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin….anything from my era!

5.) What is your favorite candy bar?
Oh, I have a terrible sweet tooth. If I had to choose, I would say Baby Ruth.

6.) Which is your favorite quilt block?
I just love trying new and different blocks. I seem to favor Flying Geese and the different types of Star blocks. I am also interested in the New York Beauty block.

7.) To pre-wash fabric or not to pre-wash? That is the question!
So far, my answer is to not pre-wash. I have never found the need to do so.

8.) What is your favorite color?
I love playing with colors. I tend to favor anything purple.

9.) What is your favorite quilting/sewing notion?
The best sewing notion I ever purchased was the quarter inch sewing foot guide.
It has helped improve my seam accuracy.

10.) Do you have a favorite quilting book (or any book for that matter!) to recommend to others?
I recommend Block a Day by Lucinda Ganderton. I have learned so much from this book.


There are a few blogs that I follow, and I am always looking for more.
It is my turn to nominate, my nominees for the Liebster Award are: Linda, at Take Time to Create and Mary J. Puckett from Zippy Quilts.
Linda’s blog is filled with creative ideas and projects.
She described her blog as being “all about trying new things”…something I like to do.
Linda creates beautiful products in various media. Check out her Faux Sea Glass post.

I just recently started following Mary’s blog, Zippy Quilts.
The subtitle of her blog, “Modern Quilts with a Twist”, caught my attention.
The first few blogs I read were filled with exciting, new, fresh ideas.
I look forward to learning more from Mary’s posts.
Today, she posted information about Big Stitch quilting…wow!

Linda and Mary, here are the rules and my 10 questions.
Feel free to answer any or none of these questions.
I look forward to your responses and your future posts.

Liebster Award Rules

1. How do you define creativity?
2. What do you do to get in a creative zone?
3. What theme song would you select to be the soundtrack of your life?
4. Is there a particular project that gave you the most joy to make?
5. How do you handle any moments of “creative block”?
6. Is there a particular time or place where you feel more creative?
7. Are you a stickler for plans or a go-with-the flow type of crafter?
8. What is your favorite media for creative expression?
9. Who inspires you and encourages your creativity?
10. What advice or words of encouragement can you give to someone who wants to try new things but is not sure of their abilities?