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Whoo Hoo Thursday!

Hello friends,

Thursday is the day I’ve designated for miscellaneous posts and my day off.  But since I haven’t been posting everyday, we’ll call it lagniappe.

Susan Else and our kits!

Susan Else and our kits!

Susan’s lecture on Tuesday night was fun and filled with stories of her art and how she got to where she is today.  I fell in love with her Merry Go Round.  I also picked her up at the airport where we had the adventure of lost luggage….You are probably familiar.  Anyway the luggage did arrive and was delivered to her.  Happy ending.

I’ve never considered myself as an “artist”.  You know, the ones who paint, sculpt, make art quilts.  I am a musician and quilting has given me a visual outlet that I can hold on to instead of just having a memory or recording of a great concert.  So I’ve always toyed with the idea of using quilting as art, but I REALLY enjoy making quilts and seeing the joy they bring to the recipients.

Well, this sculpting with fabric has opened a new window and I think I might climb through.  I have visions of fabric sculpted dragons, one being teal, of course, and bringing my favorite Sci Fantasy to life.  I’ve never been able to draw to my liking, though my sketches look better after a little time has passed…the same with my recordings.  I guess I am just too self critical.

There's me playing Sculptor! My pieces to sculpt The tree of my sculpted piece Here I am working on my sculpture and the tree.  There will be leaves, flowers and a vine added.  I hope to finish with the leaves this weekend.

Thanks, for stopping by and may your journey be filled with fun twists!

Happy Quilting, Mary

Story Telling Monday

Grandma Flannigan's Chair

Grandma Flannigan’s Chair

Hello Friends!

Welcome to Story Telling Monday.  I apologize for not posting during the week.  It’s been very busy at my house.  A friend of mine from college is visiting and looking for a job in Houston, so we have been talking about old times and catching up.  I would love to share some of our stories, though funny and amusing, they are coming of age stories and not for the general public!  Instead I will share the story of how I got this chair.

This is my great-grandmother’s chair.  It used to have rockers and it was perfect for her height.  (not sure what that was, but she was a petite woman in stature).  She passed away when I was about 7 and I remember her vividly.  I can see her face, her glasses, and I remember that SHE got to sit in Daddy’s chair when she visited.  My brother and I were the only children she let jump on her feather bed.  She was the mother of 12 children, my grandmother being one of the youngest.  She traveled with a bottle of whiskey and her pistol, which she kept under her pillow.

She gave my mother some advice when my brother was born.  “Spoil your children.  You only have them for 18 years and then they move away.  Teach them right from wrong and to respect others property, but if they want to wear their new shoes to bed, let them.”

The chair was passed to my grandmother.  My grandfather hung his ties, belts, and jackets on the chair which sat beside their bed.  When I visited, that is where I sat waiting for my grandfather to get ready; it was just my size.  He said it was MY chair.  I grew up thinking it really was my chair that my grandfather was using.  As I grew older I learned that it belonged to my maternal great-grandmother.

When my grandparents passed, I was asked if there was anything of theirs that I wanted.  I asked for three things.  A music box, my dishes my grandmother had saved for me, and this chair.  It’s made of pine and not really that well constructed, but it’s lasted this long and now we use it for clothes headed to the dry cleaners.

I do not know if Grandma Flannagan quilted, but her daughters are the ones who made the quilts I grew up with.

Hope you have enjoyed this tale and hope to write about photos on fabric for my Technique Tuesday blog.

Happy Quilting!  Mary

Hello friends, I have another story for you.  I’ve mentioned that I am reading Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron.  I’ve looked back and have seen that my father had a prosperous heart.  Enjoy the tale!

My father was one of 9 children.  He was 7th in the line. (hey that’s a good number!)  They lived on a farm and would grow cotton to sell so they would have money to buy seeds to plant a garden for vegetables to eat.  There were tales of only getting one pair of shoes a year, and having to go to school barefoot, because said shoes were no longer wearable.  You get the idea, times were tough.

Uncle Buddy was only a year or two older than Daddy and they were inseparable.  They were always scheming of ways to make money.  They played the imaginary game of Rich Man/Poor Man.  (of course imaginary games were frowned on back then.)  They would haul stuff into town to sell.  If they had a wagon, they could haul more stuff to sell!  They looked in Granny’s Sears catalog and found The Little Red Wagon.  They saved and saved to buy the wagon.

They almost had enough, it was Christmas, and the older brothers came to them and said there was no money to buy the babies gifts from Santa, so they were going to use the money Daddy and Uncle Buddy had been saving all year.  I don’t know about you, but I would have been ticked, would have hated Christmas.  I would have felt cheated.  I would have said “over my dead body”.  My daddy gave it freely to his brothers, knowing that he could make more money, but the babies not getting “Santa” would be very sad indeed.

Both my parents loved Christmas.  My mother’s wish was that every child receive something from Santa, but that’s another story!

Happy Quilting, Mary

Texas Two Step

Texas Two Step

Hello Friends,

The Texas Two-Step that I’m working on requires a lot of little pieces sewn together.  Normally, I would chain stitch these.  But this past week, I’ve used them as beginners and enders for Josiah’s t-shirt quilt and Wyatt’s baby quilt.

Beginner/Ender

Two pieces to sew.

I need 30 to complete the quilt.  This past week, I have 10, yea.  Only 20 more to go.  I almost didn’t do this, because I would have to figure out what needed piecing and then prep work for sewing.  Which actually did not take all that much time.  And then with me moving my machine at least twice a week, I would have to restart, and then there’s the accuracy issue.  When I fix a seam, I don’t need a beginner or ender.  It usually ends up getting in the way.  SO many excuses!  Well, I shushed those voices and just “got it done”.  Now, I’m 10 pieces closer to the end of my “next action”!

So even though I haven’t actively worked on a UFO, I have made a little progress!

10 pieces ready for the next step!

10 pieces ready for the next step!

Hope your UFO’s are moving toward completion!  Happy Quilting, Mary

Look Back Friday

Doesn't this look yummy?  Found it on Pinterest!

Doesn’t this look yummy? Found it on Pinterest!

Hello Friends! The first week of March is done.  I’m doing fair to middlin’ in my journey.  Some things are going great, others, not so.  Overall, I feel like I am doing well.  I’ve sent birthday cards to siblings, nieces and nephews.  Usually, I don’t even get a good start.  It’s a lofty goal, really…7 siblings for Don, 1 for me and spouses, 19 nieces and nephews (including the one spouse, she’s great by the way), 2 great nieces and 1 great nephew.

I’ve been doing my daily tasks, most of the time.  They’ve been slipping more than I would like, but it is a journey.  My journaling has been good.  Almost everyday.  It’s like I can start my day and get things off my chest.  I can gripe and not use anybody’s ear.  I did come up with a quilt pattern during one journal…more on that later.

Decluttering, check. Zone cleaning, check.  Next actions, check.  I do need to make time to review my projects and progress.  I have been procrastinating on that step.  Maybe if I find another day besides a weekend….Blogging, I did slow down, but am now back on track.

I am in Chapter 5 of Prosperous Heart by Juilia Cameron.  Speaking of journeys, this one is getting tough.  Money has always been a taboo subject.  I have a long way to go.  I’m in the same place I was when I quit the journey last time about 2 to 3 years ago.  So by blogging about it, I hope to increase my chances of moving further in the journey and maybe completing the book.

This is a concert weekend, so I have been spending a lot of time in the “woodshed”.  For those that aren’t musicians, the woodshed is an imaginary place you go to work out, learn, improve your playing or a difficult passage(s) in a piece of music.  I’ve been there a few times this week!

I don’t think I sewed any this week, but I did pull the paper out of a string quilt, and I figured out what to do with some boy scout sleeves and pockets that are going in my nephew’s t-shirt quilt.  And that design I came up with, who knows if it’s new or not, but I’ve been working a little everyday on drawing it out.

As far as staying in touch, I’ve done well with the birthday cards, but not so good with writing family and friends out of town.  My houses are still company ready!  Believe me when I tell you, that is the thing that helps me feel the best.  I don’t usually get unannounced visitors, but it always feels great to walk into my house, now.

I hope your journey is going well.  Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Quilting!

PanelsHello Friends,  I hope you are getting things done!  I have moved forward with my WHIMs.  I’ve cataloged half my panels.  I discovered a few pieces that I will donate to my guild.  I found some I had forgotten I had purchased.  My next action is to finish going thru them and donate any I don’t want to keep.  Then I can choose one to work on to become my WHIM.

I have an idea to quilt a whole cloth quilt with a Carousel horse.  Then I thought I wanted to quilt a dragon.  Maybe I'll do both!

I have an idea to quilt a whole cloth quilt with a Carousel horse. Then I thought I wanted to quilt a dragon. Maybe I’ll do both!

Isn't he gorgeous?

Isn’t he gorgeous?

Anyone remember these wild animal prints?  Love the elephant!

Anyone remember these wild animal prints? Love the elephant!

Doesn't the sky glow?

Doesn’t the sky glow?

Piano, Violin, Cello and others

Piano, Violin, Cello and others

Beautiful little birds

Beautiful little birds

I had huge plans to send everyone I knew a postcard, yeah, right.  Maybe I can do a few.

I had huge plans to send everyone I knew a postcard, yeah, right. Maybe I can do a few.

Beauty

Beauty

Fell in love with this one and HAD to purchase!

Fell in love with this one and HAD to purchase!

Hope you have enjoyed looking at some of my WHIMs.  Hope to be showing some finishes soon!

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Quilting, Mary

Happy Mardi Gras, friends!

Happy Mardi Gras!Have you ever made a King Cake?  It’s pretty fun and maybe in 2015 I will give it another try.  I do have a beaded headdress that I wear on Fat Tuesday.  It’s really cool.  It’s another yucky day here in Houston and yesterday was so pretty.  Oh well, Spring is on the way.

I did some little bitty one inch squares for a baby quilt and discovered I still have a LONG way to go for accuracy.  I cut 1 1/2″ strips, sewed them together into a 4 piece strip set. (4 strips sewn together) and then cut them at 1 1/2″.  Mix them up and sew together.Postage StampsYou can see they are a little wonky.  My problem is I keep going from a 1/4″ to a scant 1/4″.  I know where the scant 1/4″ is on my machine, but the 1/4″ is a little more illusive.  I’m still not sewing straight and curving out or in on the seam line makes a huge difference in these 1″ squares.  Maybe I’ll try the technique my friend uses with her granddaughters.  Sew on lined paper without thread.

Here’s my plan, cut more 1 1/2″ strips, cut them in half, warm up on the lined paper, ( you thought I was kidding?)  Well it will show me where I’m crooking and maybe I’ll discover why.  Then sew another batch of strip sets.

I’ve been working on my action folder and decluttering, so much that I excluded sewing time, so I’m forcing myself to back off the next actions that are not quilting related and pick a few that are.  It seems to be working.  I feel better balanced.  My daily activities are still taking up a large portion of my day, as is my practicing for my next concert which is Sunday!  I still have to put out a few fires, but I’m getting better at getting things done in advance.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your Accuracy Quest!

Happy Quilting, Mary

Hello friends,

I hope you have been doing well.  I took a two day class week before last and I am STILL trying to “ketchup!”

Wool Applique 2 day class

Wool Applique 2 day class

I hope you haven’t been counting on a story or technique.  I will do those, but not today.  My “next action” plan has gotten out of control.  I keep going thru my stack of “next actions” and doing them, but I put my music and quilting to the back of the stack.  What is UP with that?  I am changing how I think.  My talents are worthy of my time.  My talents deserve to be first on the list.

Quilt for Wyatt Samuel 6 Gun Pugh

Quilt for Wyatt Samuel 6 Gun Pugh

I can take a next action in my quilting stack and still have enough time to feed my family.  Blogging has fallen into the “talent” group.

I have a plan, of course I have a plan.  Don’t know if it will work because I write spontaneously.  It will be a challenge to get a backlog of blogs.  I will keep a week or two ahead of publishing the blog and I will use my TealDragon FanPage on Facebook to post about my daily happenings.  I think that was the original plan, anyway!

Have a great day, and I’ll try to post on Monday, tomorrow is a music day.  Concert in Pasadena and rehearsal tomorrow night in Galveston.  I’ll leave you with this really cool picture.  Can you figure it out?  It’s a reflection.  The water was calm and clear.  Pretty cool, eh?

Canal house and it's reflection

Canal house and it’s reflection

Story Telling Monday

Hello friends!

My mother made this for me while I practiced for National Piano Guild

My mother made this for me while I practiced for National Piano Guild

Happy Monday.  Are you ready for another story?

This one is about the little girl who turned to music.  She started piano lessons at the age of 7.  She would walk to her piano teacher’s house once a week.  She was extremely happy.  The piano was fun and everyone was pleased with how well she was progressing.  Her momma had visions of her playing in church.  The little girl had visions of Carnegie Hall and grand pianos.

Every year the little girl would participate in the National Piano Guild.  She would perform scales, chord progressions and piano works for a judge who would critique the performance.  It was HUGE.  Every September, Teacher would bring new music that was to be learned and memorized for this event.  The little girl excelled.  The teacher was proud.

One year, the teacher said “Mary Lou, let’s learn and memorize 13 pieces.”  A lofty goal, but Mary Lou was all for it…in the beginning.  Then for some reason, practice became a chore.  Lessons were dreaded.  Pieces were not being learned, let alone memorized.   In December Teacher sat the little girl down and said it was too much, too hard, and too short of time to continue aiming for this goal. You can’t do this, you don’t have enough time to prepare.

WELL, you don’t tell Mary Lou she can’t do something.  She’ll prove you wrong!  Mary Lou went home and talked to her momma.  Momma had a plan.  She would sit and listen to practice and crochet while Mary Lou practiced, learned and memorized all 13 pieces with the major and minor scales.  And when a piece needed improving, Momma would chime in and say “play that one again, I love to hear it and my crochet goes so much faster”.  Momma was “crafty ” in more ways than one.

Mary Lou was ready in time for the National Piano Guild and performed well thanks to the help from her mom and teacher.

Hope you enjoyed the story.  Do you have someone who has helped you achieve a “lofty” goal?  Be sure to thank them.  I still play my piano and am thankful for the encouragement I received, when I was loosing interest.  Thanks for stopping by, happy quilting, Mary

Inspiration Sunday

Sunset

Sunset

Hello Friends!

Hope you have had a glorious day.  We are back home and walking into a house that is in order is a little inspiring.  Remember that “clean spot”?  

What has inspired you this week?  I was inspired by the homily I heard last Sunday.  “You are the Light of the the world”  from Matthew 5:14.  I love this sentence.  I don’t usually share what I believe, but I like being the “light”.  I like to “shine”.  I like that when I feel like this, God is working through me.  In the homily,the priest talked about when Jesus said this to his disciples, He did not say, “if, you are good”, “if, you obey me”.  The priest had some other ifs, but you get the idea.  Then he points out that no matter what we do, we are the light of the world.  Of course his homily lasted about 10 minutes and he said it much more elegantly than me.  But I walked away ready to let my light shine.  I was singing “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”.

I’ve been working my action folder and putting my UFO’s on paper.  Got the ones in the Tiki House done today.  This week I have a 2 day class, so may just be maintaining this next week.  But hope to get my UFO’s, panels and patterns on paper.  Once I figure out what I have, then I can plan what I will accomplish.

Have a wonderful week full of finishes!  Thanks for stopping by, happy quilting, Mary

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