Friday, January 29, 2016

My Journey To Enchantment

My Enchantment quilt is finally finished and hanging on the wall where I can enjoy it each day.  It is prominently displayed in my kitchen where I "unfortunately" spend many hours, but it is on a wall where I pass by often on my way to other rooms.  This has been a journey of almost 2 years, mostly because I get side-tracked and work on other projects.

The journey begins with a pattern by Suzanne Cody which I purchased from Material Obsessions in Sydney, Australia.  

 The pattern provided the inspiration but I made a few changes and added quite a bit of embellishment.  I have shared photos along the way and here is the final result:

My version doesn't have the wide top and side border, there is another "hill" at the bottom, and more vines hanging from the branches.  The background is pieced using a Yoko Saito print in the center with a variety of fabrics surrounding it.  The background fabric and tree are cotton while the applique is primarily felted wool with bits of cotton and silk.  The finished size is 50 inches by 58 inches.
A few close-up photos of the amazing quilting done by Cindy Paulsen at Quilted Connection:

I think it's important to label your quilts because who knows where it may end up years from now.  Someone will want to know who made it, when and where.  

I've tried printing my labels from the computer directly onto the fabric, printing the design from the computer onto paper and then tracing to fabric, but my best results come from just writing directly onto the fabric.  I used a fine-point Sharpie and drew a bird like the appliqued birds on the quilt.  I think it's nice to have it in my own hand-writing even though it's a bit crooked.

I mentioned getting side-tracked.............. another finished block for Roseville Album.

 and, I just returned from classes with Jen Kingwell at the Winter Quilt Fest retreat with even more projects on my "to do" list.  But, more about that later.

Enjoy a stitchy weekend.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tea Rose Garden

 It's time to get ready for spring!  Yes, it's only the beginning of January, but the days are getting a few minutes longer, and I can only get through winter if I dream of spring. Just think how nice it would be to sit in the garden with the scent of tea roses, hollyhocks, and lavender blooms, listening to the buzzing of bees.

While you're dreaming, stitch up your own garden with my new pattern and kit.  Once again I rely on the handy Yazzii bag with 6 compartments to hold my needles, threaders, scissors, etc.  The embroidery is completed with your coordinating print stitched onto the 5" x 6" x 2 3/4" bag.

 I chose a purple bag primarily because it's the only color I didn't already have - but believe me, this embroidery coordinates beautifully with the colors shown below.

Kits include a pattern, felted wool and Yazzii bag in your choice of color, are only $24.00 in my  Etsy Shop

A kit with full skeins of each thread I used along with a packet of #24 Chenille and #1 Millener needles is also available for $74.50 which is a 15% discount on the threads and the needles are free.  Click HERE to see the kit in my Etsy Shop.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Only 3 kits left!

There are only 3 Dove In Bloom kits left in my Etsy Shop.

Sometimes I have ordered a kit and find that I can't begin until I run to the store for more supplies.  No need to get in the car if you buy Dove In Bloom.  This kit is complete with the pattern, Yazzii Bag, all the wool and velvet, bird's eye bead, the threads are on a handy card with the colors clearly marked and I have even included a packet of both the chenille and millener needles.  

Will I make more kits?  The truth is - I don't know.  If I do it won't be soon.


Monday, December 28, 2015

I'm Still Here

It has been a busy month here - fall turned into winter, Christmas with all the preparations, good times with friends and family.  But you know me - there was still time for stitching.  

I pieced together the Lorna Doone pattern by Kaffe Fassett and remembered why I prefer hand-work.  Do you ever see a quilt you can't get out of your mind?  For me it was Lorna Doone.  I even used the exact fabrics - no substitutions.

Then there is the Roseville Album.  I began this block 2 months ago and only enjoyed stitching the pot.  Oh, those little flowers were a lot of work.  To help ignore it's calls from my sewing room, I read 5 books but finally had to get back to it.  I finished it today and look forward to starting something new.

My fabric choices could have been better.  I like the pot, birds, and stems, but the flowers are quite ugly.  I will live with it though as I never want to do this one again.

I just finished a very limited number of kits for Dove In Bloom that are now for sale in my Etsy Shop for $40.00  The kit includes the wool and velvet, cotton and silk embroidery threads, bird eye, 1 packet each of Chenille #24 and Millener #1 needles, pattern and Yazzii bag.  

I love the Yazzii bags and have an assortment for various projects.  This once is 6" wide x 5" high x 2 3/4" wide with 6 zippered pockets.  This is the one I keep with my embroidery projects, with needles, threaders, scissors, thimble pads, emergency chocolate, etc.

Go ahead, buy yourself a gift and have some stitching fun.

Monday, November 23, 2015

At Long Last

If you have ever looked at this blog you will know that I've been working on this quilt for over a year.  After completing the Urban Owls quilt designed by Wendy Williams and offered as a BOM by Material Obsessions, I was once again tempted by a Wendy Williams design named Cat's Away.  I don't say "no" to many temptations and signed up for this 2014 BOM.

Of course, it would have been finished more quickly had I not added more embellishment or if I worked on fewer projects at the same time.  My original plan for the quilt was to hang it over my stairs but then I realized that it would be too big.  My solution was to make it even larger to fit on my bed.  The finished size is 106" square.

It was beautifully quilted by Cindy Paulsen who expertly added the final touch.  I'm really fussy about quilting.  Extremely fussy.  In my opinion, the quilting is more than a method of holding the layers together, it should enhance the quilt pattern.  Yes, it can be expensive, but with the cost of fabric and the time I have invested carefully stitching, why would I scrimp on the final design element?  Not every quilt is suited to straight lines or curves, applique should be quilted too, and yes, embellishments are added before quilting. 

OK, as I said, it's just my opinion, I hope it doesn't sound like a rant.

Next on my list I hope to finish up Lorna Doone, a Kaffe design, get back to Roseville Album, my sketching pad, a class project, and some Christmas gifts. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

A bit of this and that

Last week my husband had a guest instructor teach here in his studio.  Ten of his friends were here for 5 days and my goal was to make cushions for the window seat in my living room.  Our dogs lay here and look out the window every day.  We just repainted the walls a light gray and this Kaffe home-dec fabric was the perfect addition to our room.  The 3 cushions are 52" long x 18" wide, and 2" high.  

I ordered plenty of fabric from just in case I made a mistake and ended up with about a yard left over which was used to make a new purse.

I have a few upcoming classes where I will be teaching a variety of embroidery stitches.  This little Spring Garden was completed with 9 different stitches using both Silken Pearl and Pearl Cotton on felted wool.

Wednesday was a fun day as my stitching group has started up again in my sewing room.  This group is hand-work only and we have a variety of projects going - English paper piecing, needlepoint, applique and embellishment.  I really look forward to this great group of friends sharing a common love (addiction).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kaffe Class and More

The highlight of last week was Kaffe Fasset's visit to Salt Lake City.  Tuesday evening Kaffe and Brandon presented a lecture and slide show which was very inspirational.  Wednesday morning was our class on Overlapping Squares from the book Heritage Quilts.

As I pressed my fabric and packed up my supplies I had a good idea of what my quilt would look like.  Surprise!!! I took all the wrong fabric as small or medium scale prints are best for this quilt design.  "Luckily" Elaine's Quilt Shop had plenty of fabric at the class so shopping was my first task.

Amazing is the word I use to describe working with Kaffe and Brandon!  At first it was a bit intimidating to have them stand next to me and look at my selections, but they quickly put me at ease with their easy manner.  They both explain why a fabric/color works or doesn't and quickly make suggestions.  Kaffe would walk back to my table, go through the fabric and say, "try this one".  When I explained that it wasn't my fabric his response was, "that's OK, she is your friend, just use it".

Needless to say, my quilt doesn't look anything like I thought it would.  There is more choosing and cutting and then the dreadful sewing together of all these triangles but I'm excited about it.

Elaine's did an amazing job of setting up the classes.  We had plenty of room, wonderful lighting, lunch, snacks, a handmade quilted bag, and they even set up our design walls.

When I sit down it's time for more Kaffe fabric and Block 4 of the Roseville Album.  I prepped 2 blocks and the one I was going to do first just looked too difficult so I did this one which will sit in the outer corner.  It may be more sensible to work on all the center blocks first but this one looked "easy".  The truth is, none of them are easy.

I am finally back in the "groove" of needleturn applique after the easy whip stitching on wool.  It took some practice to get the feel of the smaller needle and to hide the tiny stitches but I'm there.

Oh, how I love all of it!!

But, this week is dedicated to covering cushions for the window seat.  Are you surprised that I'm using a Kaffe fabric? 

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