Pattern Jam

Since I am still in a holding pattern, looking for something to do, I started creating quilt designs on Pattern Jam.
This is a pretty cool site that gives a quick visual of what can be done with different block designs and fabric.
I also enjoy looking at the library of designs shared by others.
These are my designs for today:

Autumn Day
Actually, I did this one a few days ago.


Fiesta Sky


Native Consciousness


Purple Pause

Summer Day

Fabracadabra

Poster Source

Last week, I packed and mailed some of this Fabracadabra to my friend, Nancy.
The fabric had magically appeared in my stash and some of it had been there for years.
Some I had purchased and partially used.
Some I had inherited from my sister’s stash.
There was fabric yardage that was still untouched.
There was even fabric that came from Winn’s, a store that has been closed for decades!

I wanted the fabric to be put to good use, so I immediately thought of Nancy.
She received the fabric yesterday, and she ALREADY has performed some of her creative magic.
While watching TV last night, she made these adorable burp cloths using fabric remnants from some of the pillows and quilts I had made.

Thank you, Nancy.
I knew you would not let good fabric go to waste.

Don’t forget to check out her Etsy store at ReynoldsCreativeWork.

Project Hiatus

Everything is packed.
I decided to chill for these  few remaining days before my trip.
Since my work table has turned into my packing-for -vacation table, I really can’t work on any projects.
The next best thing is to design NEW projects!

Abbie, from Sparkle On! with Abbie posted an invitation to join a Christmas QAL.
I have never done a mystery quilt,and I am still considering doing this.
One of the perks, besides the fun in working with this group of creative people, would be the chance to learn/practice some different techniques.
Abbie did get me thinking ahead on seasonal projects.
I am usually a last-minute type of person.

During this self-imposed hiatus from working on projects, I decided to design an autumn quilt.
Autumn is my favorite season, even though in my  area of Texas, autumn is a bit different.
I remember dragging books about fall, and setting up scarecrows,  baskets of leaves, pumpkins, and other autumn goodies to my classroom for the children to experience autumn.
The room was turned into an Autumn Festival, even though the outside temperature was still 90 degrees and above.
On one particularly hot, September afternoon, I was standing outside with my students who were waiting to be picked up after school. One of my students started shrieking with delight when she saw a dried, dead, brown leaf fall to her feet. She shouted, “You were right, Mrs. Cunningham, it IS autumn.”
I loved her enthusiasm!

As I was saying, before I bird-walked off topic, I do love autumn.
I’ve been wanting to make an autumn quilt for some time.
Some shops already have gorgeous fabric that just shout, “Autumn!”.
These are some of my quick design sketches.

This is already larger than I want, so I would adjust this to something more like a lap throw.
The second border would be made of multi-color nine patch blocks.

The leaves would be made of different autumn colored fabric on beige, with a gold-ish border.
I would cut the block in a wonky fashion and set the blocks in different directions as part of a tumbling leaves design.
The four corners would probably be paper pieced blocks of an owl, a squirrel, an acorn, and maybe a field mouse or pumpkin.
I found these free paper pieced patterns on Craftsy.

Owl   Pattern on Craftsy
This is more of a Halloween background so I would change that up a bit.

Squirrel Pattern on Craftsy

I found these squirrel blocks on Sew Fresh Quilts .
These are definitely beyond my skills, but I just thought they were great blocks.

These are just preliminary thoughts on a quilt I might or might not make.
I just enjoy fooling around with designs.

Oh, by the way, my Brack Pack friends and I are taking a road trip to Crystal Bridges in November.
We should see some beautiful autumn foilage.

As usual, I got side-tracked and started looking through Lucinda Ganderton’s book, Block a Day.
It is the Bird Block, block #77.
It was fun playing around with this block.
I have two sketches using this block in two different directions.

There are still a couple of more days of waiting and preparing for my trip, so I have time to play with some more designs.

 

Oh, and aren’t these cute?
I found these luggage tags and thought they would be just right for our trip.
The purple and blue stripes are for my granddaughter.
The polka-dots are mine.

If this post seems to be “all over the place”, it is because I am “all over the place”…more so than usual!

Travel Preparation

My work table has become my packing table.

I guess I do not need two hats.

What started out as minimal, has now grown to almost impossible.
The plan is to just have a carry-on and a backpack.
I will have to reassess!

I am prepared to do some serious bird watching while we are on our excursions.
These pamphlets arrived just in time.
My granddaughter and I have some exciting studying to do this weekend before we go.

Out of curiosity, I did an online search for fabrics in Tulum.
I found a very interesting place;however, I do not know if it is something I can impose on the other three travel mates.

Textiles Mayas Chiapas
 
Some of the goodies in the shop.

I better get back to my packing.
Maybe I should take an empty suitcase to fill up with goodies. 

New Project

When I was organizing my stash bins, I did keep a bag of small pieces.
I thought they would come in handy for future projects.
My friend, Marti, had told me about inchies, and I knew we would be making some soon.
There are so many examples of inchies on Pinterest.
As I was browsing on Pinterest today, I remembered I had pinned some inch quilt magnets tutorials.
I pulled out some small fabric pieces that remained from the quilt that I made out of my dad’s plaid shirts.
I made a plaid heart inch magnet.
Then, I used a button to decorate another inch magnet that I quilted.

This could be an endless project!

Organization Day

I’m giving myself a great big hug.
I’m standing straight and tall.
I’m looking straight in front of me.
I’m ready for the hall

A kinder teacher at our school would have the children chant along with her as they finished their morning and were ready to move on to lunch.
Well, I finished my morning of organizing and cleaning up.
Now “I’m giving myself a great big hug and standing straight and tall!”

I only organized the sewing portion of the room.
The shelves with my teacher stuff is next.
The children’s literature that I have remaining are my favorite of all time books.
I plan to weed through these once again.
These books need to be in the hands of children, so I must let them go.
I will sort them out in three stacks: granddaughter, grandson, and new teacher.
My friend who is still teaching says she knows of a beginning teacher who needs books for her class library.
I will probably start clearing this area in August.

But for now, I am pretty happy with my sewing side of the store-room.
I also cleaned up my sewing room/office.
There were four large garbage bags of nit-picky pieces.
Someone with patience and creativity could probably make something with these bits, but it was time to for me to dispose of them.
I will be trying to find a new home for a large bag of good size remnants and scraps.
As I am typing this, I get a message on my phone that Jo Ann’s is having a 25% off total in-store purchase.
Ignore the message!

This is what my sewing room looked like when I dumped the first bins out!

Now, I have two large empty bins…yay!

My smaller bins are re-sorted. I weeded out fabric that I have used numerous times and I also got rid of smaller pieces.

These drawers in my sewing room no longer have fabric in them.
There is one empty large box/drawer that can hold projects that are in progress.
The other drawers have sewing notions, templates, and other things I need at hand.

Now, I’m looking straight in front of me.
I’m ready for …Jo Ann’s!

 

Brackenridge Park Quilt

Since the members of the Brack Pack are off in different directions, I picked up the Brackenridge Park quilt top in order to continue from our last stopping point.
I had used interfacing to make the photos ready for applique.
Then we placed the photos on wool felt and pinned them in the appropriate spots.
When I first tried to sew one the photos and felt frames onto the quilt, I had difficulty keeping the photos straight.
The group thought it would be a good idea to use double-sided fusible interfacing, so that is where I started today.
We were so wrong about the interfacing.
It made the felt a bit goopy and it didn’t stick.
I ended up slip stitching the photos.
We might still slip stitch the felt border, but we will all have to make this decision.
Our friend, Jeana Kubik, of Busy Bees Quilting, has offered to long arm the quilt for us.
We plan to consult with her to see what else we should do, if anything.
We can always count on Jeana for great ideas.

Click on Alamo Nature Challenge for information on these photos.

Dionicio Rodriquez Bridge

Pump House



Two Broken Resolutions

On Monday, I made two resolutions.
1. No more projects or purchasing of fabric until I clean up my stash.
2. No more sweets until after my trip to Mexico.

On Tuesday, I failed to meet both resolutions on one day.

Yesterday, we went to Austin to celebrate my youngest’s son birthday. After a great lunch and visit, we started our return to San Antonio.
Even though my other son was not home in Buda, my car just automatically” took the exit into Buda, and I just found “ myself at the B&B Quilting Shop.

My intent was just to “look”.
Of course, I found some fabric that would be great for a future project.
I was going to walk away, but my husband said, “We’re already here. Get it. They might not have it when you get to the project.”
What a wise man!

So, even though I said I would not start a new project or buy more fabric until I organize my stash, I came out of this store with a little white bag with three different fabrics. Again, I bought fabric with no real plan in mind, just an idea. But it is such pretty fabric.

I will stick to part of my resolution by not STARTING on this project until the stash is organized.

Now, for my second resolution.
Another fail.
You can’t go through Buda, Texas without stopping at the Buda Soda Fountain.
Yummy Ice Cream. Delicious Pie. Tasty coffee.

Organization

Thank you for the words of wisdom, Winnie the Pooh.
Something has to be done about my sewing rooms before I start working on completing the Brackenridge Park Quilt.
I cleared off the table, and put all the sewing notions back in the appropriate places in my sewing room.
But my stash bins in the middle room are Out. Of. Control.
The whole middle room needs revamping.
I still have shelves of teacher stuff that I should have disposed of already.

After piecing the top of the Live Colorfully quilt, I realized that it is time to “let go” of most of this stash.
I have used these remnants and minute pieces to make quilts, totes, mug rugs…and there is not much more I can make without getting caught in major repetition.
One of my boxes has wonky blocks I made from these same scraps.
They are bright and bold, but I just don’t see making another quilt with the same fabric.

I think I will just keep these stored away and maybe I will be inspired to use them in the future.

As for the stash, my goal is to set aside some time to go through each bin and see exactly what I have.
I love the organization idea posted on Quilting Gail.
She keeps a tally of fabric using these categories: used by week, used by year to date, added this week, and net fabric.
She also keeps a UFO tally.
My plan is to weed and sort my stash, yet again.
This time, I will do it with more resolve.
I ran across this blog, Fabric Therapy, where there is a page dedicated to organization.
The blogger, Teresa Rawson, states that organization is personal, which is so true.
Then refers to a book by Julie Morgenstein, Organizing From the Inside Out.
Morgenstein lists five steps in the organizing process that make sense.

The steps are:

  • Sort
  • Purge
  • Assign a home
  • Containerize
  • Equalize

Under containerize, it is pointed out that this should not be done prematurely. The other steps should go first, in order to know what you have.  My mistake was just putting everything in containers according to color, instead of sorting more thoroughly and purging fabrics that have been used repeatedly.

 

I also thought it would helpful if I kept a record of the quilts I make all in one place.
Right now, I have photos of them in different journals.
My aunts kept photo journals of all of their crafts.
I will continue with the  paper/pencil journals and sketchbooks.
I just thought I would add a page to this blog and list my quilts, as I have seen other people do on their blogs.

Today has been more of a “planning how to organize” day.
Tomorrow will be a birthday celebration.
Then I must finish the Brackenridge Park Quilt.
However, after that is done, no NEW projects until I am organized.
This might be wishful thinking, more than a real plan…

Sunday


This was definitely a Sunday well spent.
Each Sunday, we choose one of our favorite restaurants and enjoy breakfast.
This is usually followed by a walk.

What made this day extra special is that I ran into some special people from the past.
At one store, I met up with a parents of one of my former students.
I taught their son way back in the ’90’s.
It was great to hear that he is doing well.

Then, I went to another store.
Here is where I met a former student.
I had taught her when she was in fourth grade.
I taught her cousin.
It doesn’t stop here.
I also taught her son and daughter when they were each in first grade.
The son is now 12, and the daughter is 10.
We had a great conversation, sharing memories and catching up with time.

When I got home, I went to start on the 9-Patch Chain quilt, but got distracted with another project.
I made two quick postcards.

This time, I printed the back side using the Word template for postcards.
I haven’t decided if I like handwriting or printing the message and information on the postcard.
The handwritten one seems to be more personal; and the printed one looks neater.

I went scavenging through my stash to start working on the keyboard panel for the quilt border.
I found a keyboard strip I had previously made for another quilt and I placed it against the quilt top.
The keyboard seemed to take away from the pattern of the 9-Patch Chain, and I wasn’t particularly fond of how it looked.

Yesterday, I had looked for some teal fabric that I had used for a thin border on a very large quilt I had made. Luckily, I didn’t find it until today.
I figured out I had just enough to make a 6 inch border with the teal fabric.

At first, It thought the teal border made a nice frame.
Now that I have it hanging, I don’t know if I like it.
What I do like about this quilt, is the fact that it is made from scraps and remnants.
Tomorrow, I will think about piecing the back for the quilt.
In the meantime, I will leave the quilt hanging to see if the border grows on me.

There is one more birthday to celebrate this week.
We will be celebrating my youngest son’s birthday on Tuesday.
My plan is to begin to applique the photos on the Brackenridge Park Quilt on Wednesday.

After a well spent Sunday like today, this week should be one of content.