Friday, May 31, 2013

More stitching completed...and some fabrics selected!

Yesterday, I got a little further along on stitching Jenny's Block-of-the-Month from her E-Zine. 
Here are the fabrics I'll be using in mine. Jenny is using a smaller print rose...but I've got about six yards of this and want to use what's in my stash as best as I can.

She is also using a gingham...where I'm using a small polka dot. But, I like polka dots and could not find a pink gingham anywhere that was pretty. Hugs!
 These fabrics aren't a perfect color match...but will work well I'm thinking with the design as Jenny has created it because they are not right next to each other...being separated by the embroidery which is on white Kona cotton. I'm excited about where Jenny will be taking her little mystery quilt and hope to keep up each month... after I catch up that is! Plus, I've ordered another pattern from it has to travel all the way from Australia before I can begin that! I'll show you that when it gets here!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Wasn't Going To...But, I Just Can't Help Myself!

Early in the 90's I fell in love...with hand applique. As work, then grand-children took up more of my time...I tried more fusible (quicker) methods of applique...but, they never really "took". In my opinion, there is absolutely just no comparision between the two. I tried to fall in love with fusible...really I did. I "converted" the fusible method to a form of shadow make it more palatable. And that did make the transition seem somewhat better. 
I had a pattern company in the 90's that focused on shadow applique patterns...florals, fairies, angels...and odd/ends. But after a divorce...half of my team was gone...and I just didn't want to do design work any more.

The patterns already done are used for current classes for the technique; and I did create two other small sets (hand drawn without Illustrator work) for the HGTV Group classes. Working on crazy quilt designs lead me to create my own workbook...which meant that I had to learn Illustrator (which my husband always dealt with before).
This year...I started working again on some hand-applique quilts (Merry Merry Snowman and Jingle) with purchased patterns of other designers...and that has put me totally back in the mood to do my own designs for regular applique again. And with my new Illustrator talent...I have the confidence that I can do this for myself and by myself.
 I am so glad to have that desire back again...thank you Lord! 

So, anyway...I digress. The real point is...look what came in the mail today. My first rough draft of my first hand-applique pattern! It is printed on 11x17 full size...which I love. The center medallion is so large that it will take nine sheets taped together to get the entire "picture" together. But, the cover is almost okay...just some tweaking of the photo and verifying the size against the layout when printed.
Aren't the colors of the print so pretty!
The full size sheets will have to be put together to check them properly...but they look correct at first glance.
The full size pattern sheets with layout, color guide, and pattern pieces (reversed already) are looking great! Each section has it's own little mini-flower in full color for reference too.
Next, I will write the instructions for layering the flowers together and completing the design. And, I'm going to include a "general tutorial" of the method I use to create my applique...because it's a little different than other methods. When you've been around a can pick-and-choose what works for you from a variety of techniques...and combine them to create your own way of proceeding. So, I'll share mine since it works for me so well.
Then, I have to find some hand-applique stitchers willing to test the pattern...and THEN it will be available for sale on Etsy. So, I had thought about NOT sharing this just yet...but, I just could not wait to tell someone. And who better to share with than my bestest cyber buddies!
p.s. (My muse has 3 more designs started in, there is no stopping her now!)

Elefantz Design

Morning all! Thought you might want to see my progress on the center block from Jenny's Elefantz Newsletter. I'm done with the roses and leaves...and am working on the words. Next comes the applique then finishing stitches.
This has been a great project to work on during the day when I only have a few moments to spare.
I'm enjoying this process.
If you have not yet checked out Elefantz, or have been wondering about getting Jenny's monthly electronic magazine...please just do it! Her designs are just too cute...and she's a pretty nice pal from "down-under" too!
Sorry that the pic is a little blurry...but, at 0500 in the morning my hands are a little unsteady...think my system is still asleep! It's always hard to get used to a new routine...hugs!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ooops, You Almost Got a Boob Shot!

Aidan is my camera "person" for this, I'll have to just close my eyes and be thankful that she is here to help me this week. 
I'm a Great several little wee folk. Here is the latest one...this is my Great-nephew...he is 7 weeks old...and I have him all to myself Monday through Friday now while him Mom and Dad are working.
Aren't I a fortunate gal!
My stitching through the week is in the evenings and my blogging is early in the morning and in the evening too. I fit small projects in while the baby is asleep. 
I love little babies...they make me smile (most of the time).
Aidan did really well helping today...except when she thought she was going to change a wet diaper...and "unwrapped" to find MUCH more. She ran for the bathroom...leaving Nana to handle the details! The next event was when she learned that little boys work like lawn sprinklers sometimes when their diaper comes off!
He got her Nana good however so his aim is right on target!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Needlework Sayings...

Some words of wisdom for you...

"I've spent most of my life making quilts.The rest I've just wasted."
"You may admire my dust, but please don't write in it"
"Success is often a series of failures that you didn't allow to stop you!"

"Embroidery is the art of enriching a fabric with stitchery."

When life throws you scraps, make a quilt. 
Any day spent sewing, is a good day. 

I got a sewing machine for my husband! Good trade, huh?  

Aidan's First Embroidery UnderWay! -- Grandma Alert!

School is out for the summer...and Aidan is here this week. She wanted to do some embroidery work since I was working on this quilt design by Jenny of Elefantz (above). So, I gave her the rose floral design I did last week. It is in draft...but would be cute done as a colored pencil item for a pillow on her bed. So we started by me ironing some freezer paper to a piece of linen fabric, then I taped the pattern to the back of the freezer paper. Aidan used the light table to trace the design on to the fabric. The freezer paper helped to keep the fabric flat so she could trace easily. Here is the design after she had traced it, and after she completed the color pencil work.
Next, she is stitching the outline of the leaves in green perle size 8. This will take a few days, then she'll do the flower petals next. 
She knows that it will take her a while to get it done, but she's still stitching this I have high hopes that she'll get it done eventually! She is doing a I'm using on Jenny's design above.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Woot! Woot! I accomplished it!

Finally, I figured out how to change this signature for posts! Now, all I have to do is get the size correct so it can be read! 
After searching and searching through the HTML Template was not there at all! It was just too I found the old code on my basic setup pages instead! Geez! 
Edited to Add: Yea! I'm still smarter than my laptop...barely! Hugs!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Jingle Continues...

Finally, I've gotten back on track with Erin's Jingle Block of the Month quilt top. But, not completely...because my points are matching on my pieced block...
and the berries are not on the applique block...
Mostly this is because the pattern left off the berries, and I forgot Erin had posted that they were needed but she had forgot that too. She also mis-counted her red 2" inch squares...there should have been "8" and not the "4" that the pattern for Pieced Block #2 calls for. But, that's okay...that was not my problem, I figured that out and marked my pattern. I just did not pay attention to the center area enough and got off track a little. I'll pick it out and re-align...but, not right now. For now...these are done and marked off my list.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Header

I'm trying out a new header. Think I like this one better than the old lace or roses. What do you think? 
Guess I'll need a new siggie too now...hmmmmmmm...back to the drawing board for that next.
Edited to Add: The above version was the first idea...but, the comments are is too "not me". I tried adding some pink...
but, that just isn't enough either. So, what about the newer-new one? I'm pretty much in love with this. And, it would be a good idea to build a pattern logo and business cards from too I think. 
As always, I'm open to opinions..and thanks!
2nd Edited to Add: Well, Blogger has changed their template format...and I can't even figure out how to delete the below siggie from their Template...even within the HTML Edit Mode. If anyone out there can help me with adjusting this...please advise, I would really appreciate that. I've tried Blogger help...and it isn't any help.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HGTV Round Robin - First Round Completed

All of the buttons and beads are now sewn on Mary's block...the first of a Round of Robins I'll be working on over the next couple of months. Mary wanted a nautical type the cluster of buttons, beads, and charms were something I knew that I wanted to do. To balance all of that "stuff" the seam opposite the cluster has large glass flower beads added...except, these beads are up-side-down. Why? Because they look a bit like starfish when they are turned over, and fit the theme pretty well...and were the perfect color. The applique sailboat and dolphin were done first...then I added a second smaller little applique sailboat to look like a distant image...and it filled in a little blank space very nicely.
The little seaturtle charm makes a transition for the eye to travel from all those buttons/beads over to the seam treatment...and hopefully around the block once the other ladies have had a chance to stitch more seams and motifs as the block travels around.
Here are some closeups for I know how important it is for us to really be able to see the work done on these crazy quilt projects.
I hope a little something will help or inspire you in your work as well. And, if you don't like something...that's okay...we all have different tastes and ideas. Hugs!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

HGTV Round Robin Continues - Sailboats & Dolphin Finished

A little tiny sailboat was also added to the mix of applique & embroidery sailboat and dolphin. The seams are almost done and the mermaid cabochon added. Next, I'm adding shells, buttons, and beads clustered and trailed long the bottom of the block. I'm thinking "sea floor" so there might be a little anchor in the mix as well! It might take a couple of days to get all those beads stitched down, is where I am right now.
 I like the applique with embroidery accents more and more when I look at this block, and think that I'll be doing some other blocks with this technique too!
You can click the photo to enlarge it so you can see the stitching around the dolphin and boat. Now, doesn't that add some more interest to the monochromatic type theme? I'm thinking so.....


Monday, May 20, 2013

Just Checking In with You

Hi all, just checking in. I have not posted this week because some how I managed to injure myself. And what's that I did it in my sleep. When I tryed to roll out of bed on Thursday morning, my right leg/hip gave me a heck of a pain. I have no idea what I did during the night, but my body did not appreciate getting up. As far as I know...I do not sleep walk. Aidan came over Friday, and was here for a visit this weekend, and she helped me pick up things and get around. Today, I went to the chiropractor for xrays and everything seems to be in place with the possibility of an ever-so-slight turning inwards of my right leg. So, seems that I could have simply slept in a strained position and pulled some muscles in my leg. I'll be fine in a few days hopefully, but have been eating over-the counter pain meds and now my stomach doesn't like me either! Plus, they have not really helped me much. So, I'll just have to try being a little slower for a couple of days...and will post when I get my lazy butt in gear and get something else finished.
 I did manage to work a little more last night on the CQ Round Robin, but not enough to even see much difference.
I have determined that either my muse is beating me up at night while I sleep...or that getting older is just full of body parts that break down for no apparent reason!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Floral Passion

Okay, my muse went just a little too far this time. I spent two hours last night taping this together. The design is about 45 inches across and 55 inches tall. Too large to deal with all the printing issues...but, wouldn't this be a wonderful quilt! I might just try to attempt it in this size anyway.
But, for marketability...I'll have to get it on fewer sheets. The largest I can get printed sheets for is 17 x 22 easily (and cheaply). That size is a good wall hanging or medallion for a lap quilt. If I print in across four pages, it would be large enough for a bed size medallion...right?
Think I'll have to try printing out a smaller size (more taping pages together) and see if that would be a scale that I like enough to proceed. Here is the design in color markup...isn't it pretty? Can you imagine how that would be in applique...perhaps with some hand embroidery to accent...and some additional bits of lace butterflies, dragonflies, or embroidery fairies?
This is a long-term project...and has to go to a back burner because I have to get back to my CQ Round Robin block and my upcoming CQ Class and my Merry Merry Snowman Quilt top and...the list goes on!
I need a keeper...and a helper too!

Do You Smell Smoke?

Because I'm pretty sure that I'm burning some brain cells! I'm still working on designs, and have so many ideas that I can't even get them down fast enough. I'm going to have to just stop and rest my eyes from this laptop...pick up my trusty little journal...and write down some thoughts before they flee my head!
Seriously, do you smell smoke?
Last night, I started working on an applique design. I have always wanted to do an applique medallion quilt and design my own flowers. So, yesterday I spend hours creating roses, irises, daisies, tulips, ...well you get the idea...and today I started playing around with layouts. The top photo is of my first sketch with just roses. It's okay...but could be better. 
This second photo is my next attempt. The background oval is now a circle...which fits the design much better I think because I had the paper size set to 32 x 32 (duh, a SQUARE). I also like the addition of more leaves and rosebuds. The four quadrants are the same...just flipped and rotated differently than the first photo. Can you see the difference?
These will take a few more days to "perfect". Then the hard work of actually creating independent little patterns for each separate piece of applique. THEN, creating an actual pattern than can be loaded as a complete pdf file to PatternSpot. Sharing is sometimes hard work..but, it is also a great reward! I just wish I was faster so that I could get more done!
Okay, I'm off to go find the fire extinguisher...cause I am definitely on fire here! My muse is working overtime...and I love it. When I crash, I'll have to sleep for a week! (No, I'm not on any meds...and no, I have not been drinking or anything! But, I'd consider it if it kept my brain working this good and gave me energy! Okay, just kidding again...geez, you can take a joke...right?)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Owl Family and a Freebie Design

Here's the third design finished and uploaded to Pattern Spot. Aren't they just too cute! I love them, and want to do more designs with owls.
Here's a little freebee which I think would make a cute little applique or embroidery design for a mugrug...or quilt block. Hope you enjoy it! Send me photos when you finish your project, I'd love to see how you are using this.

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Designs for Whole Cloth Miniature Quilts Available

Do you like to work on white work embroidery? Do you enjoy creating whole cloth mini-quilts? Have you tried the latest crayola or colored pencil work using solid quilted blocks of fabric? Well, you might want to consider these ideas for the two new quilting design patterns I just loaded to PatternSpot.
The first is titled Circles and Swirls.

The second is titled the Sun, Moon & Stars.

Here is the back story: "I love Sharon Schambers." There, I've said it...and I'm not afraid! Sharon is of course a master quilter...and far from my own talent or aspirations. I don't even do machine quilting. However, that doesn't stop me from admiring her masterpieces. So, when I saw on QuiltShow blog that she had a video tutorial on how she creates her quilting designs (available until 30 Jun 2013), I just HAD to watch. As a matter of fact...I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning...watching all three episodes...back to back. SO inspiring!! The next day, I had to try my hand at it too...but, with my Illustrator software instead of gridpaper and pencil. These are the first two ideas I came up with. But, I am still excited...and still working at my third design! Tomorrow, I'll have a freebie design for you...simpler than these two...but, I think you'll like it...especially if you like owls! Hint, hint! Hugs for to get back to work!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Huntsville Block Completed

In the previous post, this block has embroidery work and lace only. Today, I finished the silkribbon...
and then the beads as well. So, it's ready to be finished into a small pillow or the class.
I'm always surprised at how the beads make such an impact on crazy quilt blocks. And today, I decided that given the choice...I'd pick beads over chocolate. That's real love!