A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order. Jean-Luc Godard
The fat quarters I ordered for four of the blocks in the Meemaw quilt arrived this week. I was able to make the remaining blocks. Of course, I also had to make a Dairy Queen and Whataburger block. A blizzard is a must have for a quick pick-me-up on our trips. And Whataburger is the best place for a pit stop and a burger. The top and bottom of the quilt were easy to piece without any problem, because the size of the blocks and sashing fit perfectly. The length of the quilt top was a different matter. I knew I would have to add/subtract/squeeze the blocks and some sashing or extra pieces to the sides in order to have a perfect fit. Last night. instead of counting sheep to go to sleep, I was thinking of 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 inches of fabric to fit the blocks along the sides. I woke up this morning with a plan…sort of… fingers crossed. After my coffee this morning, I went directly to my sewing room and started piecing. It worked out just right! The Meemaw story is not over. Our story may have been put on hold for a bit because of Covid, but we are ready to go as soon as we can. This quilt reflects the beginning and middle of our story, totally out of order, busy, and in disarray, sort of like we are. I cannot wait until it is quilted and I can show it to the Meemaws.
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” Anonymous
A few years ago, I made a quilted dinosaur large pillow for my grandson . He was a dinosaur enthusiast who could rattle off names and facts about dinosaurs. I made dinosaur stencils to trace on batiks; and then appliqued them. Every baby needs a dinosaur quilt, and since there is now a one year old grandson in the family, I needed to get started on a new dinosaur project. I was looking at different possibilities, when I ran across a dinosaur pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. It seemed like a fun idea to try making this sampler quilt, so I purchased the pattern. My friend, Joy, at the Mesquite Bean helped me choose the fabric online. I chose light and dark primary colors with designs. When I finally opened the pattern booklet of 34 detailed pages, I suddenly thought I may have made a mistake.🙄 The directions are excellent, and complete with photos; however, I was totally overwhelmed. Organization is not exactly my specialty. There are so many pieces for each dinosaur and plant, some as small as 1″x 1″. There are quite a few diagonal seams, but basically all simple techniques. The organizational suggestion in the book is to cut and prepare all of the pieces and place them in labeled bags. This may work for some people, but not for me. I knew organization would be the key, but I had to make it fit my working style. I started out by cutting and making the plants first. The large trays I had purchased at the Dollar Tree for crafting, came in handy for organizing the pieces. I then went on to make two of the same dinosaurs at one time. This organization saved me so much time and made the process fun and easy. I added another appliance to facilitate my piecing. Tierney had posted about buying a cordless iron, so I looked into buying one for myself. I purchased a Martisan cordless iron, and it works beautifully. Not only is it convenient, it also presses seams very nicely. I now have a quilting ironing board that my DIL made me. It is located near my sewing machine, so I am able to stitch and press just by turning around. It made it so easy to press the bajillion seams for each dinosaur. For the backing, I decided to purchase some dinosaur print Minky fabric. I hope it arrives soon. With all the hours I earned because of my organization, I am ready to tackle new projects. 😉
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.
With only two weeks until Christmas, I am busy making zippered pouches as gift bags. The pattern for these pouches is from Marcela’s Purse. There are a couple of more pouches on this site that I plan to try out. Marcela posts great tutorials.
I had purchased some OdiCoat gel coating to make the fabric water proof. I decided not to use it for these pouches. The process of coating would add time that I do not have to get these pouches completed. I will try the gel coating on some other bags at a later date.
For now, I am busy making personalized bags. My brother has two adorable and very spoiled dogs, Atticus and Humphrey. I used some paw print fabric to make a doggie treat bag and some scarves for the two furry characters.
I have a few more pouches to make before I can start filling them. Busy, but happy times.
Yesterday I was able to finish hand quilting a snowman table runner. I chose this project in order to practice hand quilting. This was a fun learning process. I find, as Mariss of Fabricationssays, that hand quilting can be addictive.
I folded the top so you could see the cute snowman fabric used on the backing.
After I finished binding the table runner, I went to store my remaining scraps in my Christmas fabric suitcase. While rummaging through the suitcase, I found the scraps from the Christmas quilt that I made for me. The fabric was too cute to discard, I had no idea what I could do with it. I thought of mug rugs, but that didn’t sound exciting.
So, I went to YouTube to look for inspiration. I found a tutorial by Yoan Sewing Studio, and immediately got to work on making a patchwork crossbody bag. In the tutorial, only three different colors are used for the patchwork. I cut all the remaining Christmas fabric I had for the patchwork. I had to find three fabrics for the lining, the backing, and the lining pockets. For the candy cane strap, I had to piece the fabric to have enough. I had the D-rings for the strap. Tomorrow, I will have to purchase the lobster clasps and the slider to attach the strap. This was a fun way to spend an afternoon. I am so happy that none of this cute fabric went to waste.
The front has a zippered pocket.
The back has a double pocket.
The lining also has a double pocket.
I hope your Monday was a fun day.
Since today was Small Business Saturday, I visited my two favorite quilt shops in San Antonio. My friend, Francine, is the owner of Las Colchas. She and Toni opened the shop in 1981. The shop is filled with gorgeous fabric, sewing notions, and patterns. The best part of visiting with Francine is the inspiration and encouragement that she offers. Many times, I have gone into the shop with nothing more than a simple idea. Francine helps to grow, visualize, and develop my ideas. Her main advice is to just play and have fun. As I was selecting fabric, I ran across a sample table runner they had on display. It is a very simple pattern, In the Meadow, by Creek Side Stitches. What caught my eye about this cute snowman table runner, was that Toni had hand quilted it. One of my goals is to some day hand quilt a lap sized quilt. I have done a bit of hand quilting, but only on small art projects. Toni gave me some helpful hints and encouragement to try hand quilting. I was able to piece the table runner this afternoon. I plan to start hand quilting it tomorrow.
I also visited the Mesquite Bean, where I was able to find more fabric for some future projects. The shop was super busy, so I was not able to touch base with one of the many helpful employees there. I will be returning there soon, since I need advice on one of the quilts that I have in progress.
Before Thanksgiving, I made some pouches for my Meemaw friends. The Clown Car is getting ready for a trip to Round Rock, Georgetown, and Salado, Texas. We plan to attend the Christmas Strolls and visit the downtown shops in all three of these cities. The pouches will be used for our travel snacks. I used the pattern and tutorial by Marcela’s Purse.
I also painted a rock for our trip. It needs some touch up painting because the black marker smeared when I brushed on the Modge Podge.
The temperature today hit 76. I set the mood with Christmas music so I could finish binding my Christmas quilt. I’ll just drape it over the sofa to add to the Christmas decor.
Last week, I made a pouch out of a place mat. I followed the instructions of Lorrie Nunemaker. The inside of the pouch was water proofed by using a Heat and Bond vinyl product.
This past week, I visited the Austin Sewing Machine and Quilts Shop in Round Rock, Texas. On display was a zipper pouch that had a water proof exterior. I was introduced to the Odicoat product. It is used for water proofing fabric. The feel of the waterproofed fabric was better than the vinyl product I had previously used. It felt softer and smoother. The pouch sample was waterproofed on the outside fabric and the lining fabric. I purchased a jar, and I plan to try it out soon. I found a tutorial on how to apply the Odicoat.
Please send any helpful hints or tips if you have used this product before. I will post my results.
I just returned from a great week with my three youngest grandchildren. Time was spent in the library, playing board games, reading, and having great conversations. I got some special one-on-one time with my infant grandson. It was also fun to meet with my three sons and daughter-in-laws, my friend Nancy, and my sister Emma. Of course there were some trips to quilt shops, craft shops, and thrift shops in the area. In between visits and time with my grandchildren, I researched different crafts and things to make. There are numerous YouTube tutorials on how to make a variety of pouches. I recently made a zippered box pouch that had exposed seams. One of the tutorials I discovered was by Marcela’s Purse. This tutorial is for a zippered and lined box pouch with no seams exposed. Marcela gives excellent directions. I was able to make three of these pouches in two hours.
I am looking forward to another great week. I hope you have one also.
This past July, two of my friends and I headed for La Grange for our own quilting retreat. Each one of us was making our own Village quilt pattern by Jumble. One of my friends had seen an adaptation of this quilt where a character fabric was sewn into the doorway. My friends and I had prepared for the trip by cutting from our fabric stashes. At the retreat, we pooled all of these fabric pieces. What fun we had just choosing from the different piles. I left the retreat with a few houses already pieced and plans to complete it at home. The piecing for this quilt was intense, and it just wasn’t that much fun doing it all alone. I kept setting the project aside. With encouragement from my blogging friends, I continued the project. I’m happy to say it is now quilted. I picked it up from my quilter yesterday and started binding it last night.
This quilt is such a happy, fun quilt. The scrappiness adds so much color and design. The characters in the doorway are inviting you in. I decided to name this quilt, Mi Casa es Tu Casa.
One of the rows include characters from my sister Emma’s children’s books. I think this will be a fun quilt to use as for reading and story telling activities with children. I plan to try it out soon.
I pieced a house block to use as the label.
Recently, I was thinking of discarding my overflowing bins of scraps. Again, thanks to my blogging friends, and my sister, I rethought the situation. I hope to organize the scraps and make more scrappy quilts.
Pig in a Wig, Rat, and Bunny are three of the characters in my sister’s books.
I chose a swirly heart design for the quilting.
We are having a wonderful cold front. Great weather for hot cider and sewing. On one of my research days, I happened onto a tutorial for making a 3D Christmas tree. The tutorial is by the Sewing Directory. The tree has a retro feel about it. It was fun to make, so today I prepared some more trees. I used scraps and remnants from Christmas Projects Past. All I need to do now is stuff the trees. This can be done when I watch old movies.
After enjoying a short, brisk walk, I started on another project. Last week, I found a tutorial on how to make a lined cosmetic/lunch pouches. Lorrie Nunemaker has great tutorials on how to use a placemat for making pouches. One of the great tips Lorrie gives is on how to use WonderTape instead of pins when attaching a zipper. Wow! This tape works great. I have been using fabric glue when attaching zippers. Since the placemat has a thick binding, the Wonder Tape worked better than glue. My only concern is the vinyl. This is the first time I have used the Heatbond Iron-On Vinyl, and I do not know how long this will last. The project took less than an hour to complete.
We are expecting another cold day tomorrow, so I need to find something else to make. There are so many crafters who are so generous in sharing free patterns. I love spending time learning new things.
Also, I am still working on a quilt. I need to pull more fabric from my stash to work on the quilt.
I hope you are enjoying November.