My friend Colleen posted a message on the HGTV Message Board to see finished French Rose Quilts, and of course that had me searching for photos. Not having the pattern, I just drew up a similiar version myself. Aidan and I had great fun this weekend working on a nine block quilt for my newly born great niece.
My Aidan is growing up right before my eyes. Where did my sweet little cuddle baby go? Time sure flies by. She is sewing up the leaves (until she found she had sewn about nine without any bobbin thread)...then see moved to chief presser because she got so aggravated. Ha, been there...done that before.
Here is the link to our pattern version if you'd like to try this yourself. It took us about two days...but we did other things too, so really you could get this done in a full day if you pushed yourself. We chose to use a very thin interfacing on the back of the flower pieces, then turn them inside-out by snipping a hole in the interfacing side. We did not trim any fabric away as we layered...but you could if you didn't like the bulk.
The latest crazy quilt block I've been working on belongs to Colleen, and she titled it "Gypsy". It gave me a great canvas to add some crochet roses that I'd been saving for just the right project. I was gifted with about six of these...but only needed two for this block.
To begin, I added three trims to the lower seam areas...then added some tatting pieces, and some stitching and beads.
This was a lot of fun to work on because it was so bright and very open to using different types of supplies.
Here is the block as it is now, ready for the next stitcher.
Just started working on my I Believe In Snowmen quilt, designed by Bunny Hill Designs. It's a redwork quilt, but I'm trying hard this year to use of some of this fabric stash that I have. There is a piece of Thimbleberries winter style fabric that I've had for at least ten years...and I love it. So, I reworked the idea of the quilt and am using that. I'll post more on this later on as I get a section complete...but today, I wanted to share with you how I prepared my linen for the embroidery work. Yes, I'm using linen instead of just quilters cotton for the embroidery blocks...mostly because I had about seven yards of this oatmeal colored linen...and it matches perfectly with the Thimbleberries fabric.
If you go to the Bunny Hill Designs link above and check out the quilt...you'd see that it is full of embroidery blocks. And these are about six inch blocks...so a lot of tracing.
My time is precious, and I was not looking forward to tracing all of those designs...so, instead...I printed them on the printer. (well, technically...I put the pattern page on the glass and hit the COPY button...so, really I copied them instead of printing them...but, you get the idea.)
First, I prepared my linen by washing, ironing, and starching. Then I cut a piece of freezer paper (waxed paper used to wrap meat at the butchers)...and ironed it with the wax side against the linen. The paper and fabric was about 10 x 12 at this point.
Then, I trimmed the newly created linen/paper piece to exactly 8.5 x 11.0 inches since that's what my printer likes to take.
I fed this into the single-feed area of my printer. (NOTE: My printer like the paper to be face-up for printing...so the linen is on top. Some printers like this to be face-down...so if you try this...mark a piece of fabric...then feed it in (remember the way you face the marked side) and copy something...when done, look to see what side of the paper the copy image was put on...is it the marked side or the other side? This will let you know how to feed your fabric/paper piece.)
Now, here's where it gets scary...the blocks printed (this one is now in my hoop ready to stitch). Of course, there is a lot of other information of the pattern page that I didn't need...but, I'm okay with the waste of that bit of linen. I only wanted the center image with the embroidery on it. BUT, I was mortified when I saw that the linen had also picked up a shadow image. You can see that at the bottom of the hoop above. This occurred I think because the image was on the DRUM when it turned the first time and it kept printing. My laser printer is at least fifteen years old...although the drum is only about a year old. Your print might or might not do this...and mine didn't do it on the snowflake block as you can see from the first photo above.
But, all is well...because I stitched one snowman block...and soaked it for about 15 minutes in dish-washing detergent after a quick little scrub of Borax washing powder too. Rinsed...and all of the printer powder came out. Whew! (Laser printer use a dry powder...not sure if this will be true if you use an ink-jet printer because the liquid might be more easily absorbed by your fabric.)
Then, I designed some snowflakes to add to the pattern...and since I was creating them for printing...I could make the ink color dark gray...instead of black. These printed and did not have any shadowing (see first photo)...so, this technique saved me hours and hours of bending over my light table and tracing...but if I was limited in my amount of linen I would have stopped after seeing the first "shadow print" as that was scary!
It was worth my time to continue and hope that the extra image washed out...and it did. So, use caution...but this might be worth you time to test out on your printer...and see if it washes out.
I'd test each fabric before doing this...but, I'll certainly consider it if I have some fabric to waste in the test. Thought you might think it worth your time too.
A member over at the HGTV Message Board Group was looking for help creating a quilt for her Aunt and Friend now living in Assisted Living. She asked for blocks of any style, and indicated that her aunt liked teddybears and strawberries. Well, I had a piece of pretty little dainty strawberry fabric...and looked for it for three days...but never found it. (Sound familiar?)
But, I found a second piece of strawberry that I didn't even remember owning. (Again, sound famliar?) It was in a stack of fat-quarter bright fabrics, so I think that I must have gotten in during a swap of fabrics. Anyway, it is really bright...that yellow is like a school bus yellow.
Thinking that it would over-power any other blocks being created, I searched for a matching fabric in the stash...and found a green and a white tonal. So, decided to do an entire top...so that the strawberries would not be 'gauty' but spring time and pretty instead.
Here is the design I sketched out...looks like a real mess doesn't it?
Ha, that's how my muse works...just hit and a miss at an idea and she's off and running.
I'll show you the finished patchwork when done...it will need borders I'm thinking...but my cyber friend will deal with that before she quilts is. A red border I'm thinking...
Here's Barbara's (I thought it was Shelly...looked at the wrong address...edited to correct) tree...now covered in snow. Fitting considering the weather most of the country has had the past few days (weeks, months). And once this was completed...it was short notice to get the remaining seams done. You can see in the photo above that I almost forgot to take the shot as I was eager to get those seams started!
And here is how the areas worked out...lot's of sparkle just like a wonder land of snow brings.
And finally, the total picture.
Makes me almost wish we had loads of snow here too...but the cold temps have been enough. I'm good...but neighbors have burst water pipes which are no fun.
Here's the letter 'W' for you. I put the entire alphabet up on my Craftsy site for sale...but so far, no sales. I'm not sure if everyone is just willing to wait for each letter to come out on Mondays...for free...or if they are just not liked. But, I enjoyed creating them and have liked my stitched letter 'T' so far and plan on stitching more. So, hope you'll give these a try sometime...and if you do, please send me a photo and I'll post share it too.
The next round robin block for my attention is Barbara's winter block. She specifically asked for a tree on each of her blocks; and this if my favorite version to stitch. I'll be adding some snow to the branches and a wee little bird's nest. Then the seams on the block will need some embellishing...but, thought you might enjoy seeing the basic tree traced from my book Embellishing Crazy Quilts to tissue paper...pinned down...and stitched over. Running stitch and stem stitch are the only two types of embroidery stitches used here.
It looks a little "blah" right now...but will improve as more is done to the block...so stay tuned to see the transformation.
I promised to show you the finished fan block for Shelley when done...and here it is. Simple and bright and cheerful! It goes into the mail today...to the last person stitching in this round robin group...so will be home to Shelley before very long.
Today, my January block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 was completed. I decided to do octagon shapes and joining squares this year...and am using some beautiful silk images gifted to me by the artist, Annette Graves of Texas.
All of the images are of fairies...and I love them so why not use them for a special project?...no reason at all...and I'm so very happy to start this year's challenge off with them. My twelve blocks are already pieced and ready for stitching...so, let's hope that this year will have me finishing the next eleven on time!