Showing posts with label Wool Applique. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wool Applique. Show all posts

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hand Stitching Round Up

It's been a couple of months already since I shared my hand stitching projects, so I thought I'd catch you all up.

I now have three of the Little Wooly Baskets blocks finished:

These blocks have proven to be a big hit! My first photo of the one on the left with the little red berries was pinned on Pinterest well over 30 times, last I checked. But you know ladies, I have to say, that photo was not the finished block! My white basting threads were sticking out all over it. Now it's finished:

Pin away! I'm always honoured when people pin my photos. The block's designer, Dawn Heese, also has a Pinterest board for this project, which is full of good ideas. That's where I got the idea to transform the berries into little flowers with radiating straight stitches in perle cotton. And then I had my own idea to stitch down the leaves with fly stitches, almost like couching. I love that added texture!

There is just a little perle cotton in this one, which is actually Block 1 of the series:

In my first Little Wooly Baskets post, I went to a lot of trouble to come up with 24 unique background fabrics for the project. But actually, I was right the first time, and there are only 12 blocks in the series! Somehow I must have multiplied "12" and "2 per month," and come to the wrong conclusion! The first ten have now been released, so I have some catching up to do.

The second project that needs an update is Vintage Blooms, the free stitchery series from Sentimental Stitches. With these two blocks, I've now finished four of the 20 that will be released.

The satin stitch centres were padded with an underlayer of chain stitch, which gives them that great height.

These are easy to stitch, The real challenge will be to give them more depth and drama with the quilting.

And third, there is another stitchery finished for Best Friends Forever:

After I posted the last BFF block in April, I looked back over all my previous posts on the project, and I had to laugh. Almost all them include a complaint about how hard it is to photograph! Well, it IS hard to photograph, but I will try to stop mentioning it. After today...

The BFF EPP (lol) setting has also been getting some attention:

You can see that I haven't started filling the background yet. Each flower will be surrounded with 24 scrappy light yellow/green/blue kite shapes, the same size as the dark green "leaves:"

That will turn them into big hexagons. With 31 flowers planned, and 24 background pieces each, this will keep me busy for quite a while yet.

So, for Slow Sunday Stitching today, I am spoiled for choice! What I should sew is this binding:

But it's hard to look at Christmas fabric in June, so maybe not!

Anyway, I have a couple more posts planned before I break for the summer, but this is probably my last Slow Sunday Stitching link up until September. Have a great summer everyone, if it's summer where you are. And happy stitching, in every case!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wooly and White

I think it's going to be a long and rambling post today, so be warned!

I've finished one of my Little Wooly Baskets, Block 3:

I'm doing my own thing with the colours, so I went with my signature Black Eyed Susans for the large flowers, and sort of a rosehip or bittersweet thing for the berries. You can find links to all the patterns for this free design by Dawn Heese in my last post right here.

In the end, I stitched it down the same way as always, with a single strand of co-ordinating DMC floss. But I did try some other ways:

I like the look of dark blanket stitching when other people do it, so I gave it a try. But, it really looked out of place on my block. I don't think it fits with my lighter, brighter colour scheme. It might have worked better if I stitched everything that way, but I had already sewn down the basket body with the light thread. I also tried perle cotton a few different ways, but the only things that stuck were the little crosses on the berries.

The coloured wools for the flowers and leaves are all by Wooly Lady. A local store once had many of their pillow kits on sale for half price, and I bought a few! I really loved the bright hand-dyed colours and stylized natural designs. But, it turned out that I'm too allergic to wool to sew a large, all wool project like that. So, I use a little here and there for smaller projects like this. When the backgrounds are cotton, I'm usually ok.

The basket fabrics are from my old jackets. I threw the whole, wool, jackets in the washing machine so they would felt a little, hung them to dry, and then cut them apart. Considering that I only ever use small pieces, I probably have a lifetime supply of wool now!

This past week, though, I've had new projects springing out all over. I did no improv sewing this month. Instead, I spent two days planning and rough cutting pieced backgrounds for a new applique project:

The hearts are Post-It notes. Pretty and functional!

I've planned these down to the inch, and I hope the result will look completely random! So, not improv at all, I'm afraid. The backgrounds are from a few Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements collections, and the applique will be these fabrics that I got in September:

Painter's Canvas by Laura Gunn

Yes, it's the exact same colour scheme as the Wooly Baskets. I can't seem to let it go! But, I've been thinking about it for more than a year now, so I'm glad to get it started.

And that's not all! In January I spent a lot of time looking at all the patterns offered by Gay at Sentimental Stitches. She has lots of great applique patterns, but the ones that caught my eye were another free Block of the Month, the Vintage Blooms stitchery designs. You can find all the patterns for that right here.

This is a very easy stitchery project that once again has a lot of scope for personalization. I spent a couple of days re-designing it in January, and then I managed to file away my drawings and get back to some existing projects. But, recent days have been very stressful here at Casa Monica, where we have been having a lot of trouble with my elderly father. So, a very easy, "low volume" project seemed like just the ticket.

My idea for Vintage Blooms was to try it in white work:

I've been admiring white work quilts all over lately, including Julia's here, and this one at Keepsake Quilting. I really like those low volume batiks!

For the white stitching to show up well, it has to be heavy. So, I enlarged the pattern to 130%, and I'm stitching with four strands of white DMC floss. The background is some of the Connecting Threads fabric I bought in the fall for Stars for a New Day. Now that I've redesigned that one too, I will have lots of the light fabric left over. I used it for a test run of the white stitching because it was handy, and it was so perfect that I'm going to use it for all 20 blocks.

They are fast to sew. A second one is almost done too:

Right now I'm thinking of using some pale colours in the setting for these blocks, so it won't be completely white and beige. Earlier this month I was hoping to avoid buying any more new fabric this year, but after the past two weeks here, I feel like I deserve it! So, I've ordered some of this, from the same Keepsake Quilting catalog, for the setting. I hope it will be light enough!

And, I will just gloss over the fat quarters I bought at one of my local quilt shops last week...

More neutrals! But hopefully, not another new project. :D

(Not yet, anyway.)

I have found that for me it works best to just buy for stash when I see fabric I like, and then start projects with mostly stash fabric. Often if I buy a few yards of one fabric for a specific project, I will change my mind about it before the order arrives! But then, another new idea will come along that is perfect too, just as Vintage Blooms will use my extra fabric from Stars for a New Day. It's all good.

My plan for Easter Sunday is to spend some quiet time on one or both of these hand stitching projects. Let's hope that materializes! And check out all the other Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts tomorrow too. Happy stitching!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Little Wooly Baskets

Little Wooly Baskets, block 2

Resistance is Futile

Or, even more accurately, resisting something makes it a certainty!

On Thursday night I made a quick list of the projects I want to get done in the next few months. Plenty to keep me busy! "Really," I thought to myself, "I would have a satisfying year without one more new project. I have tons of great projects already started. I should resolve to spend the rest of the year finishing some of them"

Friday morning I was clicking through blogland, and this project, "Little Wooly Baskets," caught my eye. Again. I know a few people have joined in with this free BOM by Dawn Heese at Linen Closet Designs, but I have deliberately resisted looking at it too closely. Because I know that once I start thinking about how it might work, I am done for. But, on Friday I had a look at the patterns:

I really love those unpretentious ink sketches! So much scope to make it my own way! For me, that is the primary appeal of any given pattern -- how much room for personalization does it have? So, that was that. I've been wanting to design a pattern with neutral baskets and colourful flowers for a couple of years. Now I don't have to, I can just make Dawn's!

There will be two blocks per month for a total of 24 blocks. I went down to my stash and pulled 12 beige fabrics, but somehow I only cut one square from each of them. What to do? Should I unfold and cut them again, or can I find 12 more suitable beiges in the stash? Well, it wasn't too hard to come up with 24 unique backgrounds:

Now I'm well on the way! The first four blocks are all cut out, laid out, and basted into place. I plan to spend an enjoyable Slow Sunday Stitching stitching them down.

(Edit 16/5/16: Well, somehow I got the wrong end of the stick, and there are only 12 patterns after all. I guess I read "12" and "2 per month" and jumped to the wrong conclusion!)

Little Wooly Baskets, block 4
This past week I've been breaking my back with machine quilting, so this little project will be a welcome relief!

As I mentioned, this is a free BOM. You can download the patterns for Blocks 1 & 2 here, and Blocks 3 & 4 here. You can also read Dawn's introduction and the fabric requirements right here.

(Edit 16/5/16: To see all my Little Wooly Baskets posts so far, please click here.)

And finally, don't forget to see what everyone else is making for Slow Sunday Stitching by clicking this link right here.

You can see that Mod Trips is now washed and put into service. On to the next!

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Country Progress

Here is the pony from Month 8 of Lynette Anderson's 2015 BOM for The Quilt Show, My Country House. Mine is pretty much the same as Lynette's design, I just made the legs a little thicker and the stomach a little fatter so she looks more like a pony than a horse. When you search for pony photos online, they all look extremely well fed!

(And if you somehow haven't seen those Scottish ponies in their cardigans, you should definitely have a look here.)

In addition to all the individual blocks that I've been showing, last month I also managed to sew the postage stamp border around the centre house block:

Those are 3/4" stamps, because my quilt is 3/4 scale! There still need to be hearts appliqued into the dark green squares, and the flowering vine appliqued onto the pale yellow border. And the blue bird is still missing from the right chimney.

Even with lots left to do, it was time to finalize the layout so I can finish all the details. So, here it is all pinned up on my design wall:

It's coming along! The squirrel and the owl applique blocks in the top row both have leaves that will overlap the adjacent blocks, so those are not finished yet. And the Month 4 strip across the bottom is completely missing.

But, I don't feel too far behind. Half the flags for the final Month 12 border are already done. Plus, wool applique really is a lot faster than needleturn. And, it makes a relaxing break from working on the machine. So, that is what I'm going to do today! My half square triangles for Week 1 of Allietare are now half done, and I feel comfortable taking a day off. I'll get back to them tomorrow.

So, it's more slow stitching this Sunday, and I'm linking up to Kathy's Quilts again this week. Plus, I'll link up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times tomorrow. Happy stitching!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Country Beehive

Until now, I have been pretty much sticking to the script on Lynette Anderson's 2015 BOM, My Country House. But for Month 9, Lynette's design for the beehive has two flowers on the same stem, very close to the right edge of the block. Since I am using thick wool felt for those flowers, I would have had to sew them on after joining the block if I kept to the design.

So, I used the same elements in a different layout:

The beehive fabric is the same as the house fabric in the centre block. I thought it would be interesting to echo the same layout as the house block, using the flowers the same as the trees:

However, if you think about the perspective in the beehive block, with the stems behind the horizon, suddenly they look about twelve feet tall. Truthfully, they are reminding me of the Martians in the original War of the Worlds movie:

At around 0:36 you'll see the resemblance!

But, I'm not doing it again. I think once the block is sewn into the whole quilt, and not standing alone, it will be less obvious.

Plus, I'm really happy with how cute the bee is:

I have a few more bees cut out, to scatter around the rest of the quilt. So, on I go! The last three applique blocks are all nearly done, with a just a few embroidered details left. They will make a nice break from the heavy sewing with Allietare!

It is a long time since I linked up with Slow Sunday Stitching, so it will be fun to see what they are all up to over there. Check it out to see for yourself!

And, how do you like my changes to my blog layout? Now it's a little wider, the text is larger, and there's room for bigger photos. Of course, I changed the header photo too. If it's a problem for anyone, please let me know!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Country Cat

Here's a nice, peaceful cat, just minding his own business.

Or is he?

This is the third applique block from Lynette Anderson's My Country House. Another ambiguous one!

In Anderson's design the cat is looking a little away from the bird. In my experience, when a cat suddenly turns his back to wash an itch, that is when he is deciding if today is the day that he will finally eat you.

So I thought it might be friendlier if the cat was turned towards the bird. What do you think?

Cats always seem to have an ulterior motive.

In the photo you can also see my trusty bamboo background fabric, and the dark pink flowers are a weed that pops up between our patio stones every summer. This spray hung over my "photo shoot" in a convenient way.

Ten days ago it was still hot and humid outside when I photographed the first two Country Critter blocks. This morning I had to put on an extra fleecy layer, because it was only 8 C (46 F). Suddenly I'm in the mood for warm, cozy projects! (And carbohydrates...)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Country Critters

I apologize, I was unable to resist that title!

Here are the first two applique blocks from the 2015 BOM for The Quilt Show, Lynette Anderson's My Country House. Month 5 was called "Naughty Fox," but mine is a grey coyote instead:

A couple of winters ago we had a coyote right here in our suburban backyard. We have foxes too, but design-wise I prefer the silver grey coyote. Coyotes are controversial here in Toronto, but the consensus is that they are here to stay. Anderson's quilt block is a little ambiguous. Are the chicken and coyote friends? Or is the chicken chasing the coyote away?

Month 6 is "Rabbit Love:"

Since my version is 3/4 scale, and all the critters are felted wool, I have been stripping down some of the details in each block. The original design has an embroidered heart on one of the rabbits. I stitched it, but then took it out again. It felt cluttered, maybe due to the busy, aqua rose background fabric. I love that fabric! I remember buying a lot of it for almost nothing in the 90s, at the same time that I bought all the pink and yellow fabrics for Circa 1998. "That will be useful," I thought. But I never thought it would take this long to use it!

But anyway, since the background is so strong I decided to fill in the leaves so they would show up from a distance:

Mary Corbet posted her video for Raised Fishbone Stitch a while ago, and I have been looking for a chance to try it ever since. It is fun and not hard to do, although I probably should have used a hoop. I kept the stitches a little separated since the fabric is lightweight, and because I wanted to make the whole leaf with one length of floss (almost a yard -- 90 cm).

Wool applique really is addictive, and I have enjoyed making these blocks. They were only a couple of days each. That's a good thing, since there is still much more to do!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer Break

Now that all the birdhouses are done for Down in the Garden, I've been picking up a few of my other projects. Yesterday I finished up the piecing on this block of Best Friends Forever:

Although it's pretty cold today, on hot days it's nice to work on smaller, individual blocks like this, so I think I'll be doing more of them over the summer.

I also think that I'm going to unplug this summer, and take a blogging break. The last day of school was this week, and I've been reminiscing about how nice it was to look forward to a completely unstructured summer. I also remember that I used to go home with as many library books as I could! These days I'd rather stitch than read, but I still have a big line up to keep me busy.

Last winter there was steady, behind-the-scenes progress on Jacks and Cats:

All the wool felt pieces are sewn together, and I'm currently working on the back stitched lines for the teeth. The oval Jacks pumpkins will get their stems, vines and leaves once they are appliqued onto the blocks. I'd like to be well along on this by Halloween, although I doubt it'll be finished.

For Slow Stitching Sunday today, I'm going to put a few more stitches in this Dimensions Gold cross stitch design, A Kiss for Snowman:

This one will be finished soon -- just a few more stitches in the background, and all the outlining left to do.

In all the chaos with the basement flooding (we had three floods total last month), some of my new fabrics have been sitting on my sewing table, waiting for things to settle down. Tempting me. Eventually I started cutting them up:

They are the two new summer collections from Connecting Threads, Island Hopping and Batik Paradise. I thought they would be perfect for the cover quilt on Carrie Nelson's book, Schnibbles Times Two, which I've been wanting to make for ages. I put together a few rows, just to see how it works...

With the crosses and the Hawaiian-themed fabric, I'm calling the quilt "Aloha Kisses," The white fabric is from Northcott. Around here it is the same price as Kaufman Kona solids, and I actually like it better. It is smoother, the thickness of the threads is very consistent, and it has a dense, higher thread count that makes it stable and easy to sew. I am very happy with it!

And, of course, Down in the Garden still has plenty of work left to do. Here's the first of those dratted butterflies:

They're a trial, but I know they'll be worth it. They'll probably end up as the key feature of the whole quilt.

So, I don't think I'll have time to be bored this summer! But, I'm not going to schedule anything. And who knows, there may be more new projects as well. Like the kids, I'll be back for sure after Labour Day. If the finishes really pile up (she says optimistically), maybe you'll see me sooner. Our basement problems are half fixed, so there's still plenty left to do there as well.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great summer (or cozy winter if you are down under)! I'll still be around and answering email if anyone needs me. Take care!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Country House Landscaping

Gosh, I see it is almost two months since I last showed this block! It's the centre block for Lynette Anderson's 2015 BOM, My Country House. I had to re-sew the roof seam on the machine before I could applique the trees. "I'll just wait until I have white thread in the machine," I thought. Did that happen? No. Finally I threaded the white thread specifically for that one seam. It only takes a minute -- silly, isn't it?

Anyway, it gave me lots of time to mull over the width of the strips for the trees. In the pattern the trees are a little Christmas-y, with stars at the top and an evergreen shape. The tree trunks are thicker than the branches. My version is smaller at 3/4 scale, decidedly summery, and I knew I wanted to change the tree shape and put leaves all the way around the top. Finally I decided to make all the stems everywhere on the quilt the same 1/4" size, using the Clover 1/4" bias tape maker. I like the feathery look to the trees. Plus, with the smaller scale I think consistency with the stems will be cleaner, and help to tie the whole quilt together.

The stems started out pretty wild...

...but they were soon pruned down to size. The leaves are big chunky detached chain stitches, done with four strands of floss, two medium and two light green. When you compare this with the first photo, you can see other changes as well. The doorknob was done in padded satin stitch:

While I was sewing the doorknob, the window above the door started to look too empty. As an experiment, I filled the space with the same motif as the gingerbread along the eaves. It seems like the obvious choice now that it's done, doesn't it?

But after that, the original gingerbread along the eaves looked very dingy, and I became convinced that I had used a different, less white, thread. After another day or so of dithering, I took out the original stitching. The new gingerbread was stitched with four strands of floss instead of the original two strands, and fewer "spokes" in the wheel:

I think it is better. With the heavier thread I thought the colonial knots in the original would be too much. Now that I am looking at the photos, though, the knots looked pretty good, so I may still try them. Without the knots, I did have to add an extra red brick on either side to fill the empty space.

The felted wool sheep were the last addition. Two of them are peacefully munching the daisies:

And the one on the far left is looking up... the big blue chicken which will sit on the right chimney. But, the chicken will overlap the top seam, so it is still on hold.

With the trees for landscaping, and the sheep as landscapers, I think the block has really come to life. Given that I started this block on January 2, I am glad to have it done!

Monday, March 30, 2015

MCH Month 3 Finished

Probably for the first time ever, I have finished a block in the same month that it was released! This is Month 3 of Lynette Anderson's 2015 BOM, My Country House. Of course it helps that it was the easiest month so far, and I simplified it further:

Instead of piecing the heart, I just fussy cut it whole from the same red fabric that I used for the house door in Month 1.

I've had the stems sewn down for over two weeks, but then I waffled quite a bit about how to sew down the hexie flowers. Click the photo to see it larger:

I pieced the flowers with 100 wt silk thread, which is completely invisible. But it felt wrong to use the same invisible thread to applique them down. So I had three options:

  1. Sew down the flowers invisibly with the 100 wt silk.
  2. Use cotton thread for the applique, same as the stems and heart. But, should I then change colours for the coral and orange hexagons?
  3. Use perle cotton and a running stitch for the applique, same as I did for Jacks and Cats. But what colour should that be? Yellow, orange, coral, or even black?

I do not believe that an invisible applique stitch is the only right way to applique. Rather, I think it depends on the type of project and how it will be used. In this case there will be a lot of wool applique, which I like to whip stitch down with a single thread of embroidery floss. And I appliqued the stems with cotton and a regular, visible applique stitch, so they would relate to the leaves.

Finally I chose to use pink perle cotton and a running stitch to applique the flowers. I had some size 8 perle cotton in my stash, so I used that, but ideally I think a narrower size 12 would be better. I think the pink blends well with the coral and orange, and it will look nice as a big stitch quilted detail on the heart, once I get that far.

I also waffled about whether to stitch the vein on the leaves, because that is a big commitment for the 48 leaves still to do in Month 2. But, since I went with the perle cotton on the flowers, I decided it would be a nice touch for the leaves. Fortunately, I had the perfect colour in my stash! It is also size 8, DMC 580 perle cotton, and back stitch. And it didn't take long at all.

At 3/4 scale, I was just able to squeeze the 40.5" block into one width of fabric. I still need to finish the trees on Month 1, and then I'm going to move ahead to all the pieced blocks. There's a postage stamp border between Month 1 and Month 2, and I have the idea that it will be more efficient to make the stamps from the leftovers of the pieced blocks. I'm not sure it really is efficient, but I will try!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Country Flowers

Although I've been quiet for a couple of weeks, I'm still sewing! A little here, a little there. Here's a preview with the two kinds of flowers for the TQS 2015 BOM, My Country House by Lynette Anderson.

The "fried egg" flowers are felted wool from Wooly Lady. I love the colours! Felted wool is my big secret plan to minimize the difficulty, especially with the 3/4 scale, and stay on schedule with this BOM. All the critters will be wool.

The hexies are 1/2", which I decided would be the best fit for my smaller scale version of the quilt. The coral and orange fabrics are long time stash inhabitants, and the yellow and green are both fairly new Quilter's Candy Basics from Connecting Threads. There will be a lot of CT fabrics in this quilt. They seem to match the simple feeling that I want for this project.

Month 3 will probably be the first month to be completely finished. I plan to make good progress this week!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...