Monday, March 23, 2015

The Last Bird

The final bird on Enchantment just needs to have an eye stitched on and then she is finished.  I have really been neglectful of this project and feel like I need to get motivated to give it more attention.  I covered the wing with size 8 pearl cotton in a cast-on stitch, tail feathers are outlined with back stitch and wheat ear stitch down the center of each with silken pearl #5.  The beak is satin stitched with pearl cotton #8 and bullion stitches in silken pearl #5 for legs.

My plan is to finish a set of leaves, then a flower, leaves, flower, etc. until they are all done.

While ignoring Enchantment, I was busy making this tuffet that is 12" tall and 18" in diameter.  I used a jelly roll of Kaffe fabrics and painted the legs purple (confession - my husband painted the legs).  A tuffet class was offered at Elaine's Quilt Shop and my husband bought the class for me as a Christmas gift.  I had to reschedule twice and was so excited when the date arrived.  The first class was devoted to sewing the strips onto muslin foundations to make a wedge shape and then we were sent home to make 7 more wedges.  Two weeks later we returned for the "upholstery" portion of the class and went home with a finished project.

The teachers were excellent with easy to follow instructions, helpful hints, hands-on help and all the materials necessary.  There was quite an assortment of fabric themes and they all turned out beautiful.  If you love the tuffet I suggest taking a class rather than trying it yourself.

I just couldn't resist and bought 2 more upholstery kits.  Oh, Enchantment.................. don't let me put you aside again.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Enchantment - Bird 5

The 5th bird on my Enchantment quilt is finished!  The bird's body is silk with a batik cotton wing and felted wool tail.  Cast-on stitches in Valdani #8 Pearl Cotton decorate the tail feathers along with bullion stitches, colonial knots and fly stitch in Thread Gatherer Silken Pearl #5.  The beak is satin stitch in pearl cotton, fly stitch decorates his chest and the outline is Thread Gatherer Sea Grass.

The orange eye bead was hand-made by my sister, Lynda, and the addition of 3 pistil stitches give him a rather surprised look.

I've been thinking about bird #6 for a few days .... choosing colors and stitches.  Isn't surprising how plain they are before adding a few stitches?  I can't wait to get my needle busy and see what happens.

Here is "before" and I hope to share "after" in a few days.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Another Enchantment Bird

I just love this little bird appliqued with red silk my friend brought from India, a batik wing and wool tail. Valdani pearl cotton 8 was used to satin stitch the beak and tet le boef on the tail feathers with cast-on around the wing, drizzles on the head and bullion legs in Thread Gatherer silken pearl 5.  I think the bead eye is perfect.

Only 2 birds left to finish.  It's snowing today, giving me a good excuse to sit by the fireplace and stitch.

If you read this blog regularly, you will know that I love the Australian style of quilt making and especially the Material Obsession store.  Take 5 minutes and click Here to watch a short video. This looks like such a fun day!  It took about 10 minutes for my computer to load the video, just enough time to choose the bead for the bird's eye, then I played it through again without stops.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Back to Enchantment.

Another bird finished and 3 more to go.  My Enchantment project was set aside for a few months but it has reached "priority" status once again.

Last week I had class at my home and also taught Crazy For Embellishment at American Quilting.  The past few days have been spent writing a pattern and making kits for my MugWump block.  Next month I will be teaching this project at the American Quilting Retreat and I need to get the kits mailed out.  Students will finish the applique prior to the retreat so we can devote class time to embellishing with 12 fun embroidery stitches.

 I made my MugWump block into a notebook cover but it could be sewn into a variety of projects.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I'm Thinking Spring

This morning I hung The Honey Flow where its bright colors sing out to me as I move from room to room or sit to enjoy a little rest.  This has been an easy winter for us, as winters go, very little snow and not too cold.  That being said, it's still to cold to sit outside without a coat!

But........ I see signs of spring.  The crocus have bloomed, tulips and daffodils are following close behind.  Last week was President's Day which signals that it is time to start feeding the honey bees sugar water to urge egg laying and building up the hive's population for the big spring bloom and "honey flow".

The sun is shining bright, The Honey Flow brightens up my home, and friends will be here to stitch.  It's going to be a good day.

If you would like to make your own spring garden, The Honey Flow pattern is available in my Etsy Shop, just click HERE.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Quilts In The Closet

Just take a quick look at Pinterest and you will see a lot of Pins about cleaning everything in the house and even making a journal about.  Sorry if I offend anyone, but is there a bigger waste of time than making a housecleaning journal?  Anyway, I got off track............ moving my sewing room forced me to do some sewing room cleaning (forget the rest of the house), and I found some quilts.

I'm calling this one Blackbird Pie and I made it at least 3 years ago but never had it quilted.  It's now quilted, bound, had its picture taken and can go back in the closet.

This is a Blackbird Designs pattern and I can't remember its name.  Again, made 3 or 4 years ago and just quilted and finished a few weeks ago.  Already in the closet.

As I look at these two quilts it's obvious that I love red, and I think they mark a time when my style was changing from dark primitive colors and designs to the brights that I love now. Or as I sometimes refer to it, leaving the dark side to see the light.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On The Road

Last week I joined my husband for a road trip to Mesa, Arizona to visit the Desert Wood Carving Show.  While he was busy with all things carving I visited Beads Galore and spent way too much money. 

We traveled on the "back road" through Kanab, UT and spent the first night of our trip at the Cameron Trading Post on the Navajo Reservation.  Not only did we have a very nice room, there is an amazing garden area and restaurant that boasts antique stained glass and a huge tin ceiling.  I was fortunate to watch a Navajo weaver working on a "Storm" pattern rug and was mesmerized at her skill. If you are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon area this is the place to stay.

Did I mention how nice the 80 degree weather was?  Did I mention having lunch in Sedona, sitting in the sunshine - without a coat?  Heaven comes to mind.

Speaking of road trips, I've been invited to teach at  Hens & Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa next October.   Yes, that's a long time from now but some of you live in the mid west and you just might want to travel on over, up, or down to Heidi's shop for her anniversary celebration.  Keep it in mind, and I promise to remind you as we get closer to that time.  But for now, dream of warmer days and check out Hen's & Chicks Studio Here and don't forget to look at the amazing retreat center with 18 beds!

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