Thursday, February 28, 2008

American Hero

What's all this? This is what I've been working on all last weekend and into the wee hours.

This will end up being a beautiful quilt donated to the American Hero project. I made the blocks and sent it off to Susan for her expertise in putting it together. You can read about the American Hero project on Susan's blog (scroll down a few entries or Susan has a link on the left side). These are quilts for our wounded soldiers. Since Madeline loves to help with every quilt project, I could not lay this out to put it together without fear of a major cat hair infestation. Since these quilts are going to a hospital, I figured this one needed to be as pristine (and Madeline free) as possible. Susan graciously offered to put this together for me (in a sterile envrionment -- hee hee)

And on a side note -- this entire quilt (I'm hoping it's close to twin size) was made totally from my stash. I did not have to buy one single piece. And I still have patriotic fabric. I don't know whether to be proud of this or ashamed (LOL).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Seam Embellishment Week #7

Here it is Tuesday again and time for another seam embellishment. The last few weeks I've shown you straight line seam treatments. Your seam treatments do not always have to follow the straight line of the seam. Let's get a little curve action going. These seam treatments are done by me. I like to do curved lines, as I machine piece my blocks so I have lots of straight lines and angles. It's nice to break that up with a few curvy lines once in a while.
The embellishment above is done with a line of stem (or outline) stitch making a gentle curving line across the top of the block. I've then added some silk ribbon leaves and then little flowers with detached chain stitch. Next will come beading or french knots and then this large top piece will be nicely filled in.
This embellishment is done using fly stitch (or feather stitch -- they are both very similar, or at least they are when I do them (g)). Again, I had a largish space to fill up on a printed fabric. So I meandered the fly stitch and then gave it some "arms" to help finish filling up the space. I will probably scatter some beads or french knots around the whole area.

As far as marking your curvy lines, I used cotton in these blocks so I was able to use one of the purple air erasable pens. If I were using fancy fabrics or a dark colored fabric, I would use a fine chalk marker. (You can use any chalk for this -- a good tip is to "sharpen" the end using sand paper). I did my lines freehand, as it's much easier to make curvy lines then it is to do absolutely straight ones.

Hope these two treatments help you to think outside the box a little and move off the seam lines and onto your patches.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Seam Embellishment Week #6

Here we go -- another Tuesday -- another seam embellishment -- well, two seam embellishments to be exact. Both courtesy of Christy once again. I chose these two seam treatments because of their use of bigger beads. So many of us get stuck in the rut of just using the little seed beads and bugle beads and it's nice to break out the "big boy" beads once in a while to vary up the look of your blocks.
The top seam treatment has couched thread, straight stitches and then the bigger beads in the little box that's been made for them. Above that, just three straight stitches and again the bigger pearl bead. This is a good seam treatment to use on those bigger areas where you need a little more coverage. Using the larger threads (or even cording) and the bigger beads like this makes your seam treatments stand out and not get lost or fade away into the block. This is especially good if you have a printed fabric that you're working on.
The second seam treatment is once again straight stitches along the seam line with some added decorative straight stitches and lazy daisy flower stitches. Again Christy has used the bigger pearl beads and they look great whereas the little seed beads would have just disappeared on this seam treatment.
So don't be afraid to vary the sizes of your beads in your work, along with the sizes of your threads. Notice in Block 1 the nice thick line the bottom thread makes. Think of using some of your thicker yarns or even decorative cording and just couching it down. I hope these two treatments spark some ideas for you. Now get out your bigger beads and go play!

Friday, February 15, 2008

ATC - Artist Trading Card Swap

Here are my little ATC's for our latest swap on CQForNewbies. This swap is hosted by Mary, down south where it's much warmer then it is here (LOL). I use my scraps for these. The size is 2.5 x 3.5 inches -- the size of a playing card or baseball trading card. I used a piece of pellon interfacing for the back and then sewed on binding strips (just like a real quilt) and bound them off that way. A couple of them have girly, glitzy threads on the bindings. Two of them have a spider web stitched with Sulky Holographic thread. I don't know if you'll be able to see it if you click on the photos and enlarge or if its just one of those things you have to see in person. There are 6 done and I have almost a month left so I may do some more this weekend. These little cards are fun and a great way to use up your little pieces of trim that are too small for a regular CQ block.
Have a good weekend everyone. We're supposed to get ice/sleet/freezing rain or any combination late Saturday. And I won't even talk about the cold temps. Let's just say Maddie and I are snuggling real close.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Seam Embellishment Week #5

Sorry for missing last week's posting. We've had a few weather issues here and in between fighting the weather, crazy drivers and work, I just didn't have it in me. So moving on ----- here's another seam embellishment from Christy.

This is using the cretan stitch and then adding detached lazy daisy flowers and a nice size bead in the center. As you can see, this seam embellishment takes up some "real estate" on the block and would be good to use if you have a rather largish patch you need to decorate. If you go back to prior Seam Embellishment posts, you'll find links to get to the video library of stitches for any help you need. I confess, I love the cretan stitch, but can't quite do it myself. I used to feel bad about admitting I didn't know how to do certain stitches until Miss Carole Samples made the same confession about all the stitches in her Treasury book. Of course, Miss Carole has the excuse of she's busy writing the book (g).

While I was not posting here, I have been working on things. I got Block 3 done in my Birds of a Feather quilt and also the next block prepped. I told you all I needed a break from all those miles of skinny stems so I jumped ahead in the book and finished this block. This the only block without miles of skinny stems. So go practice your stitches and make something beautiful!

Friday, February 01, 2008

It's OVER!

The dreaded month of January has come and gone -- yahoo!! In a normal year here, we have 9 to 10 "snow events" as the weathermen call them. This year we have had 21. Is it any wonder tempers are so short and gas bills so high? (LOL) I am so glad January is over, I can't tell you.

I snapped this of Maddie the other day. The box was sitting on top of the dryer and she worked and worked getting the lid off and then knocking it down on the floor. This is a good photo of her little "pom pom" tail.

I had brought this box home to hold my hankie collection, which has grown quite a bit and was spilling out all over the sewing room. Do any of you have any really neat ideas on what to do with hankies? I made one of the Hankie Pankie type quilts and would like to find something else to do with all of these. They're so pretty and delicate, some very small prints, others big prints. Let me know if you have any good links, etc.