Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WIP Wednesday

I had some scraps left over from the service quilt I made as part of the 40 Quilt Service Project so I included them with some stash and made this quilt, which will be part of the next initiative in the project to make quilts for wounded service women.

I was excited to make this quilt totally from scraps and stash, with the exception of the blue stripped fabric in the border. I am also pleased with how it turned out.

I got the pattern from Evelyn Sloppy's Sew One and You're Done, which I bought at JoAnn's (with a coupon) and it's the perfect resource for this kind of project. All the quilts are lap-sized and made from one large block. You can use from 3-5 or more fabrics in each quilt. By themselves, the quilts come out from 45-60 inches square, and she gives suggestions for adding borders to make the quilts a little bigger. You can also join 4 big blocks to make a large quilt.

I'm eyeballing my stash to see what's next.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


I've been adding motifs to my crazy quilt piece, which I'm tentatively calling Morning Glory. I made a discovery which I may be the last to know about, but which has changed this whole project for me. I was unsuccessful at transfering motifs to the piece with dressmaker's carbon or with iron-on transfers because some of the fabrics are dark and because (as I've discoverd) textured fabrics are hard to mark. but I decided to try water-soluable stabilizer, which works great. It's opaque and you can easily trace any motif onto it. If you use marker or gel pen, you need to wait until it dries completely, or it will smear, and this can take awhile (like a day). Other than that, it's easy to position, pin down, and stitch through. It holds up well and you can even remove stitches and re-do them (ask me how I know) and the stabilizer remains, well, stable.

When I was done, rather than wet the fabric, because I wasn't sure if it would show water spots, I blasted it with steam from an iron held above (not touching) the fabric, and it easily softened up enough to pull apart.

Here is my feather stitch from Sharon B's Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge. It goes from a single to a double and triple feather to fill the triangular space. In the center photo you can see my fly stitch, which I will embellish. In the first photo you can see my blanket stitch, which also will be embellished. I've finished adding the last of the motifs, so now I'll concentrate on the seam treatments.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's Wednesday!

It's time again to post WIPs. I've managed to finish a quilt top I'm making as part of the 40 Quilt Service Project. The quilt was designed by Debra, the blocks were cut and pieced by Julie and it will be quilted and bound by Kay. If you're wondering Jules what happened to your blue setting triangles, I discovered an error in the formula for generating the size of those triangles, but there was plenty of fabric left to cut red ones. Because "waste not want not" is my motto, I'm going to use the blue triangles in my next service project. I found this great complimentary fabric in my stash and I'm taking votes on which option looks best:
I think I'm partial to the second option myself, it has almost a Provencal color scheme.

I've also done a bit of shopping. I had a great thrift store day recently and scored some quilting magazines and embroidery books.
I've set aside some clothes for embellishment, so these patterns will come in handy. And speaking of embellishment, I recently bought Altered Couture at Borders after having visited it in the store a few times. Yes, I balked at spending fifteen bucks on a magazine, but I decided it was really a book, which made it okay. It's full of great altered fashion ideas. It is light on instructions, but anyone with a modest sewing background can easily follow the instructions. Mostly it's a source of inspiration.

Speaking of inspired, those brilliant people at Alexander Henry have put out some new Mexican-themed fabrics. I was very happy to find this new print.
The images are from Mexican loteria, or bingo cards. I had actually looked for these images on the web, thinking of making fabric transfers, and now I'm ready to go. The possibilities are endless. Handbag? Embellished blouse or denim jacket?

I hope everyone has a happy Valentine's Day. My honey and I had a wonderful lunch at a romantic crepe restaurant. This being a small town, we knew half the people there, but we had a dark table in the back, the day is rainy, and our hearts are warm. Good love to all.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

WIP Wednesday

I've been working on my piece for the 12x12x12 Challenge and also for Sharon's Take a Stitch Tuesday series. The photo above shows a seam embellishment made from two layers of overlapping cretan stitch dotted with French knots.
This photo shows that I've embellished the central image with a second hummingbird and that I've given the Madonna a kind of veil of some old rick-rack with crocheted lace to which I added beads. I'd made the mistake of cutting off the top the the Madonna's head when I pieced the block, but I feel I conpensated for it by creating the arc and filling in the space above her head with detached chain flowers in some of the colors from the image and with clear seed beads. Although Sharon recommends in her fabulous Encrusted Embellishment class that we add "hard"embellishments last in order to stitch with a hoop, I wanted to see what this focal point looked like with the beads before I proceeded, and I find that I can manuver the hoop around the beads well enough to continue to use it.
My other project, my daughter's sweater, is coming along nicely. The pattern has only charts for the cabled panel, but I find it easier to translate the chart into conventional written instructions, which are just easier for me to work from. I'm zipping along and hope to finish this sweater before the weather warms up.