Tuesday, May 28, 2013

More Little Blocks

Some of you have asked if I was going to finish posting details of my Little Blocks.......ever.  It has been quite a while and I appreciate you checking in.  This has been a busy month!  My friend, Norma Whaley, invited me to join her at the International Quilt Market in Portland, OR 2 weeks ago.  You may be familiar with Norma's designs at Geoff's Mom Pattern Co. and now she is on her own at Timeless Traditions Quilts where she will continue her wonderful designs.

We left home early on Monday, with plans to take a leisurely drive to Portland so we would have plenty of energy for Market.  Boise, ID is usually about a 5 hour drive from here but it was almost 13 hrs. when we got to our hotel as we did a bit of shopping along the way.  We made it to the Portland area the next day which gave us more shopping time before we set up Norma's booth.

Market was a great experience but I caught a bug which involves a lot of coughing even now.  A few days at home in the sick bed then packing up for a week at our cabin.

So, after that little "catch-up" let's talk about the last 2 blocks on my new bucket.

This block is one of the original City Bucket blocks stitched up a little bit differently.  I started by piecing the background block and appliqueing a taupe colored trim over the seam.  The flower stems are a narrow ribbon qppliqued in place on each side of the ribbon.  French Knots were stitched in the center of the stems and the leaves are Double Cast-on stitch, both with Valdani Pearl Cotton, Size 8, color M26.

The flowers were created by couching silk Sari yarn into a round shape.  I threaded a #18 Chenille needle with the yarn, pulling just enough through the eye that I could poke it through the fabric to the wrong side in the center of the flower.  Then I threaded a #24 Chenille needle with a contrasting thread (any thread is OK) and couched over the silk yarn to make the circle.  When it was the right size I cut the yarn, leaving enough to thread the #18 again and poke this end to the wrong side.  I whipped over both ends with the couching thread to secure them.

The silk Sari yarn is made from leftover strips of silk used to make Indian Sari's.  The strips are shredded and woven together into lengths of colorful "yarn" with many colors and a variety of texture.  I picked up more at Market and will get it packaged and listed on my Etsy Shop.

The bird and wings were fussy cut from a cotton print and appliqued in place using a needle-turn technique. A small charm found in the bottom of a drawr was sewn to the beak.  I used Sea Grass to Back Stitch around the bird and Silken Pearl #5 for Bullion Stitches around the pink wing and on the tail, a Bullion Loop for the eye, and Fly Stitch on the breast.  I used colors the coordinated with the fabric I used, stitching  Bullions in pink and yellow on the tail.

Ignore the yellow pin head - it's not an embellishment, just holding the block to my design wall.  I had a small scrap of a Japanese fabric (on the upper right) that is my very last piece of this fabric that I absolutely love and wanted to include in the bucket.  No worry that it wasn't 5 1/2" square, I just pieced it with coordinating fabrics.

This flower is also one of the City Bucket block designs.  The flower was cut from a light blue wool with an orange bottom piece appliqued on top of it.  I prefer to layer the wool pieces rather than matching at the seam or overlapping.  Cut the entire flower from the blue and applique it down, then applique the orange on top.  Chain Stitch in Silken Pearl #5 Rose Briar outlines the orange piece and 3 lines of Chain Stitch are stitched in the center.  Two rows of Back Stitch in Canary Yellow Sea Grass adorn the top of the blue wool and small straight stitches are between the blue wool and beads.  I used a matching cotton thread to stitch the beads in place.

I ruched a length of ribbon for the stem and appliqued it in place, stitching along both sides.

The leaves are felted wool for the bottom layer with a smaller cotton leaf appliqued on top. When layering leaves or other shapes it is sometimes difficult to get the top piece centered with an even border showing all around.  It is much more simple to applique a cotton leaf (top leaf) to a larger piece of the wool (bottom leaf) and then just cut around the top leaf leaving an even border. 

Bullion Stitches outline the leaves in Valdani Pearl Cotton, size 8, color M26.  This thread was also used to make Fly Stitches surrounding the cotton leaves  then use Silken Pearl #5, color Rose Briar to add French Knots in the center of each Fly Stitch. 

The pink "leaves"  are felted wool outlined with Whipped Back Stitch using Valdani Pearl Cotton, size 8.  I've lost the color label and unfortunately, Valdani has discontinued this color.  This same thread was used to stitch the Bullion Roses and Fly Stitch stems.

If you have been following my Little Block posts, you will notice that for this bucket I chose to use cotton backgrounds for each block.  The body of the bucket is a combination of cottons and wool as I like the variety of textures and colors to give more of a "scrappy" look.

I hope you have enjoyed the postings on my Little Blocks and are ready to make your own bucket.  As you can see, block designs from either the City or Country bucket can be changed or even designs from other projects or your own drawings.  Don't be afraid to try something new!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Little Block 5 and 6

 The butterfly is appliqued onto linen in a floral print.  This is one of my favorite fabrics and there is just a little bit left.  Luckily I will be able to enjoy it on my new bucket. 

Butterscotch Sea Grass was used to Back Stitch slightly inside the orange wing and outline the gold spots on the bottom wing.  Here's a tip:  a laying tool helps to keep the Sea Grass from twisting but I don't really like to use a laying tool as it slows me down.  I iron my Sea Grass, with steam, and it lays flat.

Peacock Silken Pearl #5 Bullion Knots outline the yellow Batik upper wing and the striped bottom wing.  I also Back Stitched around the butterfly body with this thread.

Seafoam Green Silken Chenille Drizzle Stitches form attenae.

A metallic embroidery thread without a label was found deep inside my thread box and was used to Feather Stitch on top of the gold spots on the lower wing.  French Knots top the Feather Stitches.

Metal tags can be found in many scrapbooking stores and stitched onto your blocks.

Several years ago I purchased this beautiful ribbon and finally found the perfect use for it!  I simply appliqued it onto the background block of Japanese cotton.  I think it adds just the right bit of interest.

The applique pieces were all cut from hand-dyed, felted wool except the flower center which is cotton.  I used Valdani Size 8 Pearl Cotton V16 for Fly Stitches around the cotton center. 

Small beads were added with a yellow silk thread using the Coral Stitch.

The flower is outlined and filled with Bullion Knots using Autumn Honey Silken Pearl Size 5.

I thought this block was finished at this point but the more I looked it seemed like something was missing.  I added (not shown in photo) Bullion Knots in the center of each fly stitch with Autumn Honey Silken Pearl, Fly Stitch down the center of each leaf with Camoflage Silken Pearl.

I hope you are enjoying these blocks and are tempted to make your own bucket.  Remember, there isn't a bucket or basket inside!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Trunk Show on Saturday


 Village Dry Goods is a full service quilt shop located on the historical Main Street of Brigham City, Utah. This is a great shop that carries a full range of heirloom quality fabrics, quilt kits, patterns,wool, yarn along with embroidery and stitchery supplies.  Fran and Rolayne have been busy remodeling the store next door and Saturday will be their Grand Opening.

I'm excited to be part of the celebration and will be giving a trunk show at the new store on Saturday, May 4th at 1:00 p.m.  

I will be bringing all my samples so can see them up close.  I will also have a selection of embellishment threads for sale and we will be the first to see the new store.  Hope to see you there!

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