Around Applique

Eighty squarish circles later and I am feeling pleased to the max with the colors: I’m still in the sea.

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The pattern is Carolyn Friedlander’s Aerial Grove from her book Savor Each Stitch. Check her work out, and you will be picking up some fabric quickly.

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One of the strips was appliqued by my auntie during her visit and I completed the rest.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Applique Strips Basted

Basting after pinning applique pieces is one of my favorite parts of the craft and I like that the turned edges seem smoother when compared with my turning-on-the-line only applique. Basting may seem like it’ll away time from stitching, but trust me, it doesn’t, and I don’t worry about being stuck with needles. I love all parts of needle-turn applique.

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Pattern Name & Author: Aerial Grove & Carolyn Friedlander

Right before I started this I stopped myself from working on a needle-turn applique project I wasn’t enjoying. The project and I did not mesh creatively and when I realized this it was an easy decision to move on. Now I’m stitching away happily.

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I recently (today) had guests, and one was my sewing auntie; she helped applique one strip and I’m finishing up the second. When I first saw this quilt pattern I was excited to start working on it. The pattern is fun, graceful, and lends itself to great amounts of color play.

Have any projects you’ve moved on from?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Colors

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The morning light is soft, warm, and surprising. With all of the resettling here I surprised myself by cutting out squares for applique on a quilt top. The color palette is warm with pinks and oranges highlighted by blues, greens, and purples. Looking up from under the water reminds me of summer, and for me these colors reflect the interplay between sun and sea.

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Prepping to Applique

I find prepping applique pieces relaxing. After today’s beautiful sunrise, not unlike these colors, I am ready to get to work basting. A couple of quilts are in my future for the new apartment, because we moved when we were only staying for vacation: life has a natural flow and I can’t, and don’t want to, stop it.

The printed fabric is Kim Anderson’s Tidal Lace from Windham Fabrics. I picked it up at Super Buzzy last time I was in California. Both fabric and store are amazing.

What have you been making lately?

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Arcs + Free Motion Quilting

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The Free-Motion quilting bug caught me! Carolyn Friedlander’s awesome pattern Arcs  waited patiently to be quilted and with the new Janome now here I was more than happy to start quilting. The sun came out strong yesterday, perfect to sit down and sew by.

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Speed and stitch length are two of the things I am thinking about while quilting. It takes strong hands and arms to move the layers quickly under the needle. Sometimes I have a gap, but others I don’t move enough and the stitches are tiny. I am staying present! If my mind wands the needle wiggles! Quilting gloves may be helpful in this department by making sure for a more steady grip. Have you tried quilting gloves?

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The design translated prettily from the front to the back. My husband said it looks like an ancient calendar, and it certainly does! The scale was an easy and the most fun shape for me to make, with a swoop-away-and-back towards me. The thread is gold Aurifil, and didn’t break at all. For the background fabric I used Sarah Watts’ Honeymoon. Earlier I mentioned the front of the piece felt like a sunrise to me and this background fabric felt like night and how light time feels around those hours.

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The trees are blooming. Awhile ago I noticed this tree was shaped like a heart from growing around the powerlines and thought it would be magnificent in Spring. Here it is! The blooms aren’t in entirely, but this is a sneak peak.

What is blooming near you? Have a great weekend!

 

Free-motion for the First Time

Yesterday held firsts. The Janome serger and sewing machine arrived! I’ve been waiting all month and it flew by. After  returning home safely, I wasted no time switching over needle plate, threading up, and trying out free-motion quilting; Lori Smith’s appliqued piece was my first choice.

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Complete satisfaction: I loved every second I spent trying out this new skill. The hours flew by while I stitched. I’m nowhere near steady, but am enthused to keep practicing; I want to quilt everything and am quickly on that path. Free-motion work is what drew me in to quilting for good: Fabric doodling! I was captivated by the work of other artists/quilters, and I couldn’t wait to join.

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Doodling is an activity I love. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to transfer my ideas from brain-to-fabric. Many draw with friction pens or use an overlay, but I was so excited to try out the machine and an eyeball worked best for me. The endless options are incredible!  Before I knew it, I had a sweet little table accented by a window. This stitching made easy with Aurifil thread.

The table was a little hard to see, and I wanted to play with texture, so in came some thicker thread paired with hand stitching and a great outline formed. All of the applique practice has paid off in the stitch regularity category.

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Happy Spring! It has been a busy and exciting March. The spring peepers are out and the trees are pushing to bloom. Have you been working on anything exciting?

Thanks for stopping by!

Design-in-Progress: Applique Pattern

This pattern, Eggbert, came to me while I waited for students to filter in for conferences. Thirty seconds downtime doesn’t allow much room for my critical brain to inhibit the creative part and suddenly I had eggs drawn on the paper.

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This isn’t surprising. As a child I was prone to carrying an egg around. I love eggs. They have such strength and weight. They move internally. They are food. They are life. They come in many colors. They can be dyed and covered in hot wax, or hollowed, stuffed with confetti, and pasted over again for a spring burst.

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I thought this would be a great time to share the applique preview. After transferring the refined version over to paper, and then to wax paper, I started to think about fabric. I hunted around in the stash and, of course, found some of my favorite grey background fabric! Batiks are a great choice here, because the fabric is nicely woven and the patterns create playful movement. The final design isn’t completely ready to be revealed, but will be available on PDF soon!

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Eggbert is a great shape for those just beginning to applique and want to practice. I love these little eggs and I look forward to sharing the finished products soon.

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On Its Way: Applique

All scraps are being reused and the stash consists of the small, long, thin bits of fabric. Since I buy all the fabric the scraps all came together pretty well; purples, blues, orange, grey, greens, and pinks merged together in both of these pieces. Many things are on my mind when I work with color: eye-interest, ease of this interest, viewing the piece as fresh, and feeling like it presents something new to look at each time are important. Beautiful and interesting aren’t always the same, but I like to explore the space where two meet in a complicated way. Here is where endless possibilities of fabric keep me awake all night!

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Pattern: Set Fifteen

Aren’t borders lovely? These are my first couple of attempts at attaching borders, but the effect is incredible. The pieces instantly possess weight and feel grounded. Even though I ran out of green for Arcs the grey presented itself as a natural compliment. I doubled the size of the recommended borders for Lori Smith’s project. I like the finish, and am looking forward to quilting these pieces.

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Pattern: Arcs

The new sewing machine is on order and I am looking forward to hearing from the dealer. Thank you, Janome, for your sale in March.

T-Shirt Top with Applique

Two summers ago I took Alabama Chanin’s Studio Week. It was an amazing experience and helped me understand a lot about garment construction and the make up of fabric and a pattern. I’ve made a dress, circle skirt, and a pin cushion since that time. Ideally my entire wardrobe would be handmade Albama Chanin, and I’m working on that! Whenever I wear the baby-doll dress people stop to ask about it and are shocked to learn that I made it.

At the workshop I also cut out a long-sleeved t-shirt top in a dark blue cotton jersey. Like all items cut and set aside I planned on finishing this top a long time ago, but now I am grateful for the time. I hadn’t learned how to applique yet, and I really wanted to applique a panel of this top.

The other week I caught the flu like many others and was laid out in bed. Luckily this shirt was all handwork! I used blanket and straight stitches. The fabric is Alabama Chanin’s cotton. IMG_5417.jpgIMG_5399.jpgIMG_5409.jpg

The shirt is incredibly soft and form fitting. I love the sense of accomplishment I have each time I make a garment, especially a hand sewn one! Have you made any of Alabama Chanin’s garments?