Go With the Flow


Definition of instinct 
1a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity
Source

When choosing fabric for a project, I sometimes think and rethink the matter.
Then, I usually end up not being satisfied with the final choice, and find myself returning to my first impulse choice.
Every time I passed my design wall, my eye ran directly to Block 8, the two gifts.
Not only did the green border bother me, but also, the fact that edge of one of the gifts was at the wrong angle, just didn’t sit well with me.
I could live with the ribbon segments being a bit off, but not the gift edge.
The dark solid green is pretty, and it will be used on another block, I am sure.
But it just did not suit Block 8.
Should I start over or try to redo the red and green gifts?
I decided to try to salvage the red and green gifts and I ripped the green background pieces.
I pulled out my Christmas fabric, and went back to my first choice for the background fabric.
The beige and gold fabric, with red and green holly, was the fabric that I had originally planned to use.
After I ripped the gifts and added the new fabric edges, I had to make minor adjustments to the size of the gifts.
In order to get a 12.5″ block, I added a bit of a border on the sides, and a fourth more to each of the  top and bottom border.
Next time I choose fabric, I will go with my instinct and go with the flow.


Before

After

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QAL


This QAL has been so much fun.
I chose a red, green, and gold for my palette…reminds me of my childhood traditional Christmas.
Block 7, the Poinsettia, was easy to complete.
I say easy, even though I had a few rips and re-do’s.

I almost chose not to do Block 8, designed by AliceSamuelQuiltCompany.
The two gift block design is beautiful, and the directions were specific and informational.
I just thought it would be too difficult.
But then, I remembered I joined this QAL to challenge myself and learn new things.
So, I put on my big girl pants and gave it a go.
The two gifts remind me of what my mother would say she wanted for Christmas…just Peace, Harmony, and maybe a lipstick.
These are her gifts, minus the lipstick.
After a few rip and re-do’s, the ribbon piece is still a bit off on both of the gifts, but it will have to do.
There are just so many rips and re-do’s allowed in one day.

I also redid Block 6, the angel.
I chose to make an angel different from the one in the pattern.
Originally, I had framed the angel in white, and it just washed out.
So, I chose a green fabric for the frame.

I placed all eight blocks on my design wall.

Wednesday Walk

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
Henry David Thoreau

My friends and I started our walking group today.
We were scheduled to begin last week, but we were rained out.
Today was just a gorgeous day for a walk through part of the downtown area.
My childhood home was a bit south of downtown San Antonio.
My elementary and high school years were in downtown schools.
Today’s walk brought back so many memories of my childhood in downtown San Antonio.
Our group started off at the Pearl Brewery.
The parents of one of my childhood friend worked at the Pearl when it was a brewery.
Now, the buildings and area house retail stores, eateries, and the Culinary Institute of America.
We traveled down the river walk to the Southwest School of Art.
This was once a convent and academy for girls, founded in 1851.

This is one of the courtyards.

This is the Fountain of Peace. It gave me some ideas for a project.

I have taken art courses at this center, and today, we went to visit a friend who is taking a weaving class at the center.
She introduced us to other weavers and we were able to see their beautiful work.
Our friend has just begun a project. I love the way she works…no plan.
She chooses the yarn and creates as she goes.

Her thread design board is sitting on the window.

We confirmed her choice of thread to add to the weave she has in progress.

This  school of fish suspended beneath the interstate overpass, is the work of artist, Donald Lipski.

This is one of the water fountains near the brewery, but I did not catch the name or the artist.

Throughout the morning walk, I kept pointing out things that I thought would be a great quilt.
My friends were kind enough to put up with me.

This early morning walk was truly a blessing for the whole day.
I visited the Mesquite Bean Fabric Shop on my way home.
Yes, I bought some fabric.
I had to use my 20% discount.
I needed a bit more fabric for my I Wish You a Merry  QAL.
Block 8 has two gift boxes.
At first, I thought this block was too difficult, and I was going to make a different type of gift block.
But then, I decided to take the challenge.
One of the reasons I chose to do the QAL was to learn new things.
This is as far as I have gotten.
It entailed about three rip and redos, and the seams for the ribbon piece are still a bit off.
I am letting it sit for awhile, before I get back to it.
Ribbons on gift boxes aren’t perfect…right?

Poinsettia Block

I was so happy to get the two pattern blocks for the QAL.
Today, I was only able to do Block #7 by SandyStarDesign.
Everything seemed to fall in place, and I was so proud of finishing it.
When I went to take a photo, something just felt wrong.
I kept looking at the pattern…then my block…and finally figured out that I had placed the center squares in the wrong direction. This of course, threw the whole poinsettia off.
After taking a brisk walk, I came back and ripped the whole thing apart.
It was worth the effort.

Block 5: Snow Much Fun!

Participating in the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along is SNOW MUCH FUN!
Block #5 is an adorable snowman designed by Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting.

Every year, I taught an integrated instructional Snowman Unit; and my first graders loved it. The unit started with the viewing and reading of my favorite of all time…The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. We made snowmen out of socks, read every snowman book I could find, drew snowmen, and wrote poems and stories about snowmen.

So, this morning,  when I saw  that Block #5 was a snowman, I did a happy dance.
It took me a while to choose the fabrics. My husband and my sister both chose the fabrics that were the favorite of all my choices.
I have concerns about the white with green polka-dot fabric that I chose for the snowman’s body. One of the dots bled a bit when I ironed the seam.
I will use  Shout Color Catcher when I wash the quilt, and hopefully it will not run.

Since I wanted my snowman to have character, I added reading glasses.
He is a scholarly snowman who loves to read books.
His name is Professor Frost.
He is holding two of the many snowmen books I used to read to my students.

The two books are: Snowmen at Christmas  and Snowmen All Year by Caroline Buehner.

Part of the fun of participating in this QAL is the mystery and not knowing what comes next.
It is also so enjoyable to see the different interpretations of the block that are posted by other participants.
With each block, I can see that I am learning something new and refining skills.
This snowman block has some small pieces, and I can see that my cutting is more accurate.
Also, I noticed that I am improving in sewing a quarter inch seam.
Sherry Sish provided excellent directions.
Abbie, of  Sparkle On, gave a good tip about adding to the width of the side pieces in order to facilitate squaring the block at 12.5″ x 12.5″. I also tried to follow her lead on reading the whole directions thoroughly before starting. This is a step I usually skim over. Thanks, Abbie!

Now I am ready for Block #6.
Is it a Gift pattern on the block?
Maybe a Stocking pattern…
Oh, is it a Wreath pattern or maybe a Bell?

I designed some of my own pattern blocks that I might try out if these items are not included in the QAL.

Christmas in August

Since I wanted to practice making a pillow with piping, I decided to use the first Snowflake block for the Quilt Along as the pillow top.


I stitched the white snowflake with gold thread.
There was just enough green and gold fabric left over for me to make a border.
I am not too happy with this, but it is just for practice.

I was successful in cutting bias strips for the piping, but my sewing machine was not cooperating, as I sewed in the cording.
The under stitches were loose.
I will work on trying to fix this problem tomorrow.
This is the second Snowflake block for the QAL. This time, I  only used six points.

The block needs pressing.


Blocks 1 and 2 of I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along

Shopping Day…Lucky Day

 

This morning, I decided that I had been house-bound long enough.
Since the sun decided to shine this morning, I thought it would be a good day to visit with my sister and take her for lunch.
We had a great lunch at Twin Sisters…delicious quiche.
I chose this eatery since it is right around the corner from the Mesquite Bean Fabric Shop.
We got to the store as they were shelving new fabric…oh my…what goodies!
There was a sale on Christmas fabric, so I picked out a few for
the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along.
I am sticking to red, green, off-white, beige, and a tinge of gold.
After I dropped my sister back at her house, I made my way to JoAnn’s Fabrics.
As I entered the store, a rainstorm hit.
Just my luck to be stuck at a fabric store, waiting out the rain!
There was a great sale on Christmas fabrics at JoAnn’s also, so this was my lucky day.



I love the white on white polka-dot.
If these don’t work out for the QAL, they can always be used for something else.
While at JoAnn’s, I visited with some of the salespeople that have come to know me from my frequent visits. I shared the information about the QAL and they seemed very interested.

Shopping Day was fun.
It’s back to working on the Texas quilt tomorrow.

Post Tulum…

After an action-packed, fun-filled week in Tulum, I have spent the last three days on my recliner.
It has been great to sleep in and lounge.
Today, I decided to read emails and catch up with my blogs.
I saw that Abbie, of Sparkle On, had posted the first block for the mystery quilt,
I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along .
Abbie did such a great job on the first block, and her enthusiasm is catching.

It just so happened that I had some seasonal fat quarters and white fabric remnants, so  I decided to give it a try.
The snowflake pattern is by Vanda Chittenden .

Block #1
I named this block, Snowflake in a Winter Forest.

It seems that ever since I started quilting, I have become more aware of the color, designs, and patterns around me.
While in Tulum, my design sensory mode was at an all time high.
On Sunday, I started playing around with some of the designs I had captured in photos, my sketch book, and in my head.
First, I created a design on Pattern Jam, so I could get a sense of color.
These are not exactly the colors I want, but it is a start.

Pattern Jam does not allow for designs in the sash or borders.
So, I used this design to sketch another that had some blocks to represent the ruins.
I also added a zig-zag pattern.

The border may be striped material, or strips of different fabrics.
Or, the border may be floral.
This is just a preliminary sketch.
I started thinking of the possibility of making blocks that have embroidered flowers.
I hesitate to start an embroidery project since the repeated action of embroidering affects my hands.
For now, I will continue designing Tulum quilts, while the experience is still fresh.

Tomorrow, I will start binding the Wild About Texas quilt.
Or, I may just go back to my recliner.