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!

Colorful Quilt Top

This quilt is an amalgamation of cloth, time, patterns, and my brain. I started making this quilt for a class using The Rabbit Factory’s Homespun Hill. The pieced blocks were fun and quick to put together. The color palette is dewy grass.

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I modified this quilt top by adding Carolyn Friedlander‘s Creativebug Polk block.  I’ve done some paper-piecing, and found this exercise to be helpful and inspiring. Paper-piecing is a great stash buster. Creativebug provides excellent instructions, visually and in print format (I’m big a fan!).

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The quilt top has batiks, prints, solids, and paper-pieced blocks. The fabric on hand became this quilt; in the past year my taste, knowledge, and understanding of fabric has become more robust, and I’m happy to see some old fabrics being incorporated into a quilt and removed from the stash. Sarah Watts’ Honeymoon made it in and some batiks my auntie gifted to me. I’m partial to Sarah Watts round lines.

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Honestly, sitting close to this quilt top since April, I don’t know if I’m ready to look at it as a whole. And really, it isn’t complete, because I have to add quilting, backing, and binding. Overall, I like the movement and the quilt top.

What did you make over the 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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Tiny Cards & Applique Arcs

Valentine’s Day is fun. This is a sweet time of year, and I love to send out cards. For previous Valentine’s Days I’ve sent out postcards, embroidered hearts, glitter cards (and those turned in to glitter bombs after being processed through the mail!), and now these old school grade school valentines I found about a year and a half ago when helping a relative move.

These sweet animal cards were perfect. Time has been a bit crunched the past two weeks, but I still wanted to send out cards.

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The other evening I sat down with some Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache in Gold and set to drawing. It’s been about eight months since I used a calligraphy pen and nib, so there were some rusty moments and valentines were limited, but I was able to ease up on the amount of pressure my fingers wanted to apply to the pen and the cards turned out cute. The sun came out just as I was taking pictures, and the gold really sparkles.

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How and why colors coming together are constantly on my mind. I want to tell a story with each piece I make, and it should not be a story that leaves one wondering why it was created. The story should be steady enough to enter and fresh enough to the eye each time that one keeps returning; I’m thinking a lot about it! After trying many other combinations, these two were my final contenders.

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Chain-piecing was one of my favorite skills I learned in beginner quilting. The product makes me want to hang garlands all around the house.

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A new sewing machine is close to being a part of my life, but I still love my little Janome. It is doing a great job sewing up those seams!

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I decided to nestle the clouds between the solid purple and blue Arcs to give this more of a sunrise feeling. Catching the sunrise everyday is one of the most amazing times of the day, and the sun pushes the pinks, purples, and dark reds against the blue sky. With this much print, I felt it was important to create a balance within the already chosen colors, and then find the most cohesive union between these rows. I’ve been contemplating a border the entire week and have yet to settle on any one idea.

Any tips on how you decide on borders?

Happy Valentine’s Day! What are you doing to mark the day?

Applique Today

This is my first time using one of Lori Smith’s applique patterns. The directions are simple and well numbered. I was introduced to her work through the applique class I’m taking at the LQS. It is a great pattern to learn many of the skills needed in applique…as I’m finding out! IMG_5265.jpg

The pattern encourages scrap usage and to date I haven’t used any new fabric. We used bias bars to make the stems and these helped make the stems bendy, easier to apply on. Glue was recommended to keep the stems in place, but since I am on the go and recently learned the joys of basting, I decided to baste the stems on. I’m saving most of my pennies, and glue feels like something I could run to pick up if I was screaming for it, but am glad not to buy right now!

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To make circles close to perfect (mine aren’t perfect!) we utilized Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles. The O-ring to hold all the circles is included, and I love that! Not only are my circles better than anticipated, but each one looks like a sweet little flower while awaiting application.

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I worked on Carolyn Friedlander’s Arcs all week. What I appreciate about this pattern is how dynamic the arcs are despite being a simple shape. I learned a lot about tucking under and securing corners.

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This is all scrap fabric I had from other projects. The raspberry fabric in the middle row almost had me cutting out new arcs, but I decided to roll with it. This project still has a lot more to be added, and the colors can be balanced. Thread color is going to be crucial.

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Other exciting things have been going on here too. I’ve been drawing a lot and am thinking about ordering some supplies to make printed fabric by hand. Any tips? Has any one worked on making fabric?

What are you working on?

Greeting Card Tutorial: Embroidery!

A thank you to all that have stopped by & looked, liked, commented, or a combination of all three. Deciding to start a blog wasn’t easy for me due to introversion, but that was a feeling I pushed aside to forge ahead.

The way I typically thank those in my life is through a greeting card. With the internet being my platform here, I thought it best to provide a greeting card tutorial. The embroidery greeting card first came in to my life in the form of tiny hearts I cut out. I embroidered my friends’ initials or names in the hearts. Many of the tiny hearts were cut  without a thought about templates and I hadn’t learned back-stitch yet (my favorite right now)! This is the sophisticated version, using calligraphy style script, of those sweet little hearts. The embroidery greeting cards don’t take much time, but make a big impact on the recipients!

Materials:

  • Card-stock or any type of paper you would like to use for a card. Firm is better here.
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Embroidery Thread
  • General Purpose Thread
  • Pencil & Eraser
  • Scissors

1.  Measure the paper to to size of card you would like. Here I cut the paper down to 6 1/2″ x 11″.

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2.  Fold the paper in half hamburger style. I used my fingers to set the crease.

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3.  Free hand draw what you might like on the card. Typically I write “Happy Birthday, _____!”, or if for a couple I draw both their names with a heart in-between. Don’t worry about using fancy script, because everything looks beautiful once embroidered.

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4.  Poke holes in the card every couple of millimeters or centimeters. The closer the holes are the more likely of a collapse of the card-stock between the spaces. The further apart the holes the larger the stitches will be and this will make the card faster to complete. A variety of stitch lengths are used in the making of this tutorial for demonstration.

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5. Pick your colors and embroider! I like to use french knots for periods. The thread may feel bulky and stiff, but this is because paper is a more firm fiber than cloth overall!

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6. I prefer to hide the knots inside the card, but if you are feeling bold you may leave them on the outside of the card.

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7. The corners have to be secured since the card will not close flat on its own. I used general purpose thread to anchor each corner with an X, but you could as easily use embroidery thread. I tied the knots to the back of the card.

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8. Admire & fill out your card to send away. Or you might use the card as a wall hanging for your inspiration board.

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Thank you for reading & I hope everyone has a lovely week. Please feel free to share any made embroidery cards!

Completed Half-Square Triangle Quilt

It is finished & I love it! IMG_4772.jpgIMG_4773.jpgIMG_4776.jpgIMG_4781.jpg

My favorite part happens to be the color combination on the binding &  how it draws everything together, really popping against the blue background. The colors & layout keep the eye moving across the quilt, almost like water.

Quilting is a calming experience. I loved every step of the process & snuggling under this quilt has been fantastic. The challenges I faced while making this quilt, measuring, sewing consistent seams & threading repeatedly, allowed me to put things in perspective & I stepped away at times. I came back fresh each day more excited than the last to be quilting, at last! Now I have a finished quilt & lots of great scraps for cards & other creations.