Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Texas Flag surrounded by Bluebonnets Quilt on San Jacinto Day

 In February I finished my Texas flag quilt, which now hangs in the dining area. To create a waving effect, the bargello technique was used. The bluebonnet fabric I purchased years ago and is my favorite of any bluebonnet fabrics I've ever seen. It was machine-stitched and hand-quilted, using a star pattern.

Texas Flag Quilt

I waited until today, San Jacinto Day, to share this latest quilt. On April 21, 1836, General Sam Houston captured General Santa Anna at San Jacinto, ensuring Independence for Texas. 

Being from San Antonio, Texas, I have many memories of the many celebrations the week of San Jacinto Day, celebrated on the week of April 21. We always got the Friday of the big week off from school, so that the high school bands could compete in Battle of the Bands at Alamo Stadium at Trinity University on Thursday night, and then perform in both the Battle of Flowers Parade on Friday afternoon and the Fiesta Flambeau on Saturday night.

When I moved to San Marcos to attend celebrations. When I student taught in New celebrations. When I later moved to Wichita celebrations. So it seems that San Antonio is the only area that celebrates San Jacinto Day, at least to this extent. And most of the festivities center around the Alamo.

When I taught third grade in San Antonio, we had our students make their own floats representing Texas History so we could lead our own parade for the school, on Thursday of Fiesta Week. After all, we'd be off on Friday so everyone could attend the events and support the high school bands. We'd dress up in our best Fiesta attire, wear our medals, and showcase our floats. Each third grade teacher led their class in the procession for the rest of the school to enjoy. What fun!

Then I moved to Virginia where of course, there are no fiesta events. That is when I finally blogged about the history and the fun. I wish I had taken better pictures in the past, but I was in the moment, and didn't yet have a digital camera. I hope to one day again attend the many events, to do a photo explosion that I can share.

Numerous unique parades, scores of colorful medals, and glittering gowns with extensively long and equally extensively embellished trains mark the occasion. Read all about it:

San Antonio River Parade and the Texas Cavaliers

Pilgrimage to the Alamo and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas

Fiesta Medals, the Old Guard, and El Rey Feo

Glittering Gowns and Trains of Fiesta

Battle of Flowers Parade, Cascarones, and the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets

Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade and the University of Texas Longhorns

Monday, April 19, 2021

Me Made May 2021

 It's that time of year again, Me Made May...the 2021 version! I greatly appreciate Zoe of So, Zo...What do you know? A Sewing Blog for hosting this yearly event.

Refashion Remake-Store bought skirt that I refashioned with vintage flair

I have been sewing my own clothes ever since the 4th grade. By high school I was designing some of my own summer blouses. By college I started embellishing my clothes with vintage flair: ruffles, tucks, and pleats. 

Inspired by a love for creating with my hands, I also wanted to save money. I often find a poor value with off the rack clothing...rarely fitting my unique body shape. Increasingly I find fewer styles that I like. Currently I'm finding poor quality fabrics in ready made clothing, that don't even survive one round with the washing machine and dryer (despite the use of gentle cycles and low temperature settings). 

Despite my current irritation with off the rack garments, they still comprise the bulk of my wardrobe. Used to be only a couple of my garments were store bought. Over the years sewing became increasingly difficult.

The last I happily purchased fabric was 6 years ago.

Hard to believe that as a little girl in the 70's I could go to Bruners, a tiny department store in a tiny shopping mall near the country in San Antonio, Texas, that had a small corner of fabric of lucious colors and textures. The problem was in choosing just one.

Even in the 80's I could walk in to Cloth World (which later became JoAnn's) and a factory clothing store (that later became Hancocks) and have a mecca of anything I wanted. 

Hancocks closed out a few years ago. JoAnn is a hot mess in Northern Virginia. The fabrics are not organized. They are thrown willy nilly here and there. 

To that end, I greatly appreciate Me Made May to help me refocus on something I truly support...the empowerment that comes from owning our wardrobe, instead of letting off the rack clothing own us.

Scores of seamstresses and tailors participate in this yearly event. I'm hoping to glean shopping ideas for great fabrics from them...and hopefully return to my sewing machine and fill my closet with clothing that I enjoy with a touch of vintage flair.


'I, Laurie, pledge to wear clothing I've sewn myself throughout May 2021...with a daily analysis of my sewn wardrobe, what I have, what I need, what I like, what I want to change.'

I will be posting photos to my instagram. 

Details on my Refashion Remake Skirt (in the above photo) is here.