Monday, April 20, 2015

Stitching on Enchantment

There are a lot of leaves on Enchantment - really, a lot of leaves.  Three vines are hanging from the tree on the right side of the quilt. A simple Closed Fly Stitch with Painter's Thread #3 Pearl Cotton in Rousseau on the outside vines with Lazy Daisy in Painter's Shimmer Floss Rousseau on the center leaves.

Unless I break up stitching on leaves this poor project will be put on the shelf so next I stitched a flower.

The flower center is a Spiral Trellis using Valdani Pearl Cotton #8.  Unfortunately, this color has been discontinued so I just use a little bit at a time.  Sea Grass "Butterscotch" in the closed Fly Stitch and The Lavenders Silken Pearl #5 for Bullions.  The flower was outlined with Valdani 0244 Pearl Cotton #8 using a Pekinese Stitch.  Tiny seed bead flowers are stitched on each petal.

I think another flower before more leaves........... 

To see more Enchantment photos check out my Enchantment Board on Pinterest

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Back to Stitching - I hope

Do you remember last fall when we built a new wood carving workshop in the back yard?  The project didn't end there.  With the arrival of spring weather we have been working to restore the landscaping around the workshop.  My husband has had to do the majority of the heavy work; taking up brick pathways and laying them back down, hauling wheelbarrows of sod, dirt and top dressing from place to place.

Last week we visited the nursery and purchased plants for a new flower garden.  Here in the Salt Lake City valley, it can be a bit tricky to find just the right plants.  They need to be hardy enough to withstand sustained freezing temperatures in the winter and searing sun with low humidity in the summer.  In fact, this part of the yard won't be watered by our sprinkling system so in addition, they need to cope with very low moisture.

I am most excited about a new (to me) plant named Red Bird In A Tree.  Doesn't that sound like the name of a quilt?   The stems will be about 24" tall with red blooms that look like little birds.

After this project, my husband and I have agreed that we are too old for this type of work.  Oh, the aches and pains!  I'm hoping that the swelling in my hands will subside enough today that I can hold a needle.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I'm Still Here

Last week I attended the American Quilting Retreat in Midway, Utah.  This is a great gathering of talented women that I look forward to each year.  Three weeks before the retreat I mailed kits for my Mug-Wump block to everyone registered for my class, with instructions on completing the applique.  Class time was dedicated to embellishing the block with beautiful embroidery stitches.  I had a great group of students and stitching on an actual project was a great way to learn.  

Each person attending the retreat has their own sewing station where we can sew together in one big room.  For the remaining 3 days I focused on piecing blocks for While The Cat's Away BOM.  Piecing really isn't my strong suit and it took me 2 days to make the 8 star blocks.  The final day was spent on the Churn Dash blocks that were finished when I arrived home.

You've heard about me cleaning out the closet (finally) and one more quilt was sent off recently to be quilted.  Imperial Blooms was completed about 4 years ago and I'm so happy that it is finally quilted.  "My" machine quilter, Cindy Paulsen, is amazing and has really perfected her craft.  

Cindy knows that I love a lot of quilting in the background, quilting on top of the applique, and threads matched to each color.  Since picking up this quilt a few days ago, I keep going back to look at all the details.  Wow!!

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.

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