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 response 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?

 

Vroom and Zoom

The mailman delivered a great surprise today.
My sister, Emma Virjan, sent me a copy of her fifth book in the Pig in a Wig series,
What This Story Needs is a Vroom and a Zoom.
This delightful book , published by Harper Collins, will be available on July 4, 2017.

The characters are adorable!
What an adventure!
Pig in a Wig has a great pit crew of friends!

I highly recommend that you zoom over to your nearest book store and get a copy.


My goody package came in this adorable envelope.
Emma sent me one of the color sheets that is on her website, in case I was
“looking for something to do.”
Of course, I immediately took out my crayons to start coloring.

Way to go, Emma!
Pig in a Wig Power!

Summer Celebration


It is hard to believe that June is almost over.
July has always been a special month in our house.
All three of my sons were born in July.
My granddaughter also has a July birthday.
My sister Emma Virjan has her fifth book being released on July 4th.
Yay for Pig in a Wig!

This weekend, my sister will be having a family pool party to celebrate July.
In preparation for the month-long celebration, I decided to make my granddaughter a
July purse.

Sapphire Throne

Oh, the summer night, Has a smile of light, And she sits on a sapphire throne.
Bryan Procter

As children, the neighborhood friends and my cousins (who lived next door)
spent the summer outside…all day.
We’d bolt out the door after breakfast, and explore and enjoy the hot Texas days.
Trees were our friends; as were water hoses, water guns, and tin wash tubs.
We would return to our respective homes for supper; then head out the door to catch the sunset.
Nights were cooler outside, since we had no air conditioners.
Our parents would sit on the porches and watch us exhaust every last bit of energy we still had within us.

How I loved to sit on our brick porch column and look at the summer night sky.

Thinking of these summer nights made we want to read some poems about summer, stars, and evenings.
I pulled out some old poetry and reference books and ran across this poem quote by Bryan Procter.
The next thing I knew, I had an idea for a Summer Night quilt.

Pattern Jam offers a free design tool. I spent a few minutes on this design board and came up with this Sapphire Throne quilt design.  The design tool gives you the option to upload your own stash or choose from a line of their fabrics. Since this is just an idea, and a Project In Waiting, I used Pattern Jam fabrics. I have used this design tool before, but I have never purchased fabric from Pattern Jam.
I chose to use the Sawtooth Star block and a simple 4 Patch.

This quilt is now on my ever growing list of PIW.

Positive Thinking

The mind is everything. What you think you become.
Buddha

 

Port A, Texas, has been on my mind.
My son went last week.
A friend of mine is there this week.
I sure want to put my feet in some Port A sand.
The closest I got to anything coastal today was eating the Senior Fish Fillet
at Sea Island.
I could almost hear the sea gulls and feel the coastal breeze.
Almost…
Maybe I can head towards Port A in August.

In the meantime, I spent the afternoon making my garland of flags.
The garland has a combination of prayer, inspirational, and “me” flags.
In my stash I found burlap and canvas that I used for  making the flags.
I also had some quote squares that I previously used to make tote bags and mug rugs.
My favorite quotes are the Grandma Lottery and the  “The heart that loves is always young” squares.
It was fun sorting through my buttons.
I used some scissor, needle, and sewing machine buttons for a “me” flag.
I had forgotten how much fun it was to make these flags.
Future small project:  prayer flags for my back fence

 
 

These flags are pleasant reminders to think and be…

Good Intentions

Good intentions are not enough. They’ve never put an onion in the soup yet.
Sonya Levien

After finishing the super cape, I had every intention of cleaning out bins and reorganizing my sewing room. Needless to say, no onion was put in the soup today.

I opened one bin that had ribbons, lace, burlap, and other things I had used to make prayer flags and pennants.
About a year ago, my friends and I made prayer flags and Halloween banners.  I also made some prayer flags with my granddaughter, and they are still hanging in her house.
Then, I remembered a post by Linda on Take Time to Create. She made a beautiful embroidered garland.
So, I went off on another tangent.
I was going to make a garland of prayer flags.

As I was pulling out the box of flag stuff, I remembered the project I had made with mom. I often took craft stuff to her house to keep us busy.
One time, I took material and things for us to make prayer flags for her house.
It was the last project we did together.
I decided to open the box that contained a few things that I had kept from her house.
Not only did I find the prayer flags we made, I also found her jar of buttons and her thimble collection.

We were only able to make two prayer flags, but I am so happy we made them.
 
I pulled out another box that I had brought from mom’s house and found the yarn
yo-yo’s mom had crocheted.
We had talked about using these to crochet a shawl, but we never got a chance
to do it.
I am going to look for a way to make this shawl.
I love to crochet, but my thumb does not…it jams on me when I crochet.

A floral crocheted pot holder ,made by my Aunt Pi, was in the bag.
When I do clean up my sewing room, I will hang up the  thimbles and the prayer flags.

Instead of getting back to my good intentions, I started making some flags for my room.
This is what I have so far:
   
So much for good intentions…
It was a great afternoon anyway!

Pig in a Wig Power!


This is the first in the series of books written and illustrated by my sister,
Emma Virjan.
Be sure and check out the other book titles on her website.

I finished the cape for my sister to use on her school visits.
She always captivates and engages her young audience.
This cape will add to the fun.
  

Now, I am planning my next project.
I ordered some material from Spoonflower to make something special for Emma.
The fabric is entitled, “feeling pensive”.

As soon as the material arrives, I will post more information about this project.

Super Writer Cape

This evening I was able to applique the letter M and the lightening bolt on my sister’s writing cape.
For Christmas, I pieced three black and white fabrics to make the front panel of a messenger bag for my Emma. I remembered that I had a pieced section left over in my stash. I used it to make the initial.
The pig snout is poofed up with batting.
The white and black polka dot lining is also cut, so I pinned it to the red fabric.
It will be ready to sew tomorrow.

Another Chance

I see retirement as just another of these reinventions, another chance to do new things and be a new version of myself.
Walt Mossberg

Retirement was a very difficult decision for me.
In May of 2014, I informed the principal of my school that I was thinking of retirement.
Thankfully, she allowed me to keep this private until the last teacher work day of school.
It just so happened that the last school day with children was on my birthday.
My three sons surprised me with a visit that day, to celebrate my birthday and retirement.
This visit definitely helped me make it through on the day I said farewell to my last class.
Their visit also gave me the strength to say good-bye to my friends the next day, when we met for the last teacher work day.

My youngest son made this for me. I had quoted Dr. Seuss to my son when I told him I was retiring.

This photo was taken exactly three years ago today.
I had gone to Austin to sign the final paper work for retirement.
Then, I visited my Alma Mater, the University of Texas.
I walked the campus hoping to come up with a plan for what to do next.
It has taken three years, but I am finally  comfortable with my decision.
I still miss the children…but I love the freedom and the chance to do new things.
I think I will celebrate this anniversary with some apple pie and ice cream!