Monday, December 27, 2010

SAL - Antique Hearts Needleroll

Antique Hearts Needleroll by Shepherd's BushLinda Björk Eiríksdóttir from Litla Skvís in Reykjavík, Iceland, and I have challenged each other to finish some jointly held items in our needlework stash. First up is «Antique Hearts» Needleroll by Shepherd's Bush.

Here is the first two rows - my color is a little off - must learn more about my camera! Also in the picture are white thread «rows» to help me judge my stitch placement and counting--they save a lot of removing miscounted stitches.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Embroidery, a howto film from 1932. It is in French, but the video is very self-explanatory. For those reenactors out there, think of yourself as seeing the embroiderers of St. Aubin or the Plates of Diderot coming to life …

«Silent documentary on embroidery with different types of stitches and techniques as well as their application in clothing and decoration of Interiors of the time. Explanatory captions alternate with the different stages of manufacture of an embroidery filmées. Présentation sequences: the design model to its realisation by an embroidery business where the worker will run various stitches to vary for specific types of embroidery effets. Démonstration: beads embroidery, embroidery application that allows you to stitch pattern directly on fabric or a dress, metallic embroidery and finally the mechanical embroidery.»

Documentaire muet sur la broderie présentant les différents types de points et de techniques ainsi que leur application dans l'habillement et la décoration d'intérieure au fil du temps. Des cartons explicatifs alternent avec des séquences filmées.Présentation des différentes étapes de fabrication d'une broderie : de la conception du modèle à sa réalisation à l'aide d'un métier à broder où l'ouvrière va exécuter divers points pour varier les effets.Démonstration des types de broderie spécifiques : la broderie de perles ; la broderie d'application qui permet de broder un motif directement sur un tissu ou une robe, la broderie métallique et enfin la broderie mécanique.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stitch Markers

Such a handy little thing, a knitting stitch marker, but only if I can visualize how it would be used. Prior to seeing Litla Skvis's lovely ring stitch markers, my only visualization was of little plastic safety-pins! And here is an interesting site on how to make another type of ring stitch marker.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Disappearing Nine Patch

Loving «Rouenneries» as I do, I fell in love with Kim Quiltz's use of them in the Disappearing Nine Patch so I recreated four of them. I will be adding sashing and using them to back the four placemats I've been working on.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Shopping for quilt fabric …

I've only taken one quilting class, long ago in Boise, Idaho in the late 80s, at Quilt Crossing, a local quilt shop run by a fellow Boise Basin Quilters member. The quilt was based on strip piecing and was called Garden Trellis. I knew nothing about choosing fabric for a quilt, I just chose 3 lights and 3 darks and a large print. The sewing of this quilt is beginner level but the concepts of color and shading do not lend themselves well to a first quilt. When I saw what the other women in class did with their color choices and placement of the combinations possible, I was really demoralized and never finished mine. In fact, I've only completed one quilt since, although I have now returned to quilting, but I've chosen a quilt with instructions in a book--hopefully with answers to all of the questions I'll likely come across.

Now, as to choosing fabric--I've been lucky enough to find almost all of the actual fabrics Denise used in her Jacobean appliqué quilt. But, like Bradie, I've just about died when I added up the cost of all those fat quarters needed. I've solved that problem by buying charm packs, layer cakes, turnovers, jelly rolls and honey buns of the three collections in the colorations used in the book, many of them on eBay and several from on-line merchants. I've only had to purchase yardage for three of the backgrounds and the backing--all of the rest is useable from the Moda precuts. I tried going to quilt shops, but they either didn't have any of the fabric left or had never had those particular collections in their store. So it's on-line for me--it saves me time and gas money searching here and there and usually coming up empty.

I also try to save money by choosing fabric collections to make items for my home or as gifts that will actually match or coordinate with items or rooms that I already have or need to make for someone else's home as a hostess gift. I'm willing to spend a little more to gather the precuts I need to make a lap quilt and shoulder wrap to wear when I sit in a drafty room at my computer for hours. It will save me money in the long run on energy costs. I need some placemats and small appliance covers and a quilt to use in favorite chair when I read and another to nap with on the bed. So I will acquire a stash, but I intend to use it all--dying with the most unused fabric is not how I want my epitaph to read.

Quilter's Blog-Along

Friday, March 5, 2010

Quilting for Kids

The first quilt I ever finished was a 6 block machine appliqué of Winnie the Pooh for by grandson, Anthony. I used a color book illustration of Pooh, reduced it down to the colors of gold, red and black pieces for the bottom of Pooh's foot and his nose. It was my first attempt at machine appliqué. The six Pooh blocks were interspersed with solid green blocks appliquéd with hunny pots. The sashing, border and back were made with a small green and red plaid and small green blocks. Anthony is going on fifteen, but he still has this quilt.

Quilter's Daily Blog-Along

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Machine Piecing

whirligig2 block from The Graceful Garden Jacobean Quilt

whirligig1 block from The Graceful Garden Jacobean QuiltI'm not at all happy with the supposed 1/4" seam my quilting foot makes. Even though I was oh so careful, my first three pieced blocks did not turn out to match the dimensions that should have resulted from my careful cutting and stitching. I will be experimenting with other feet in my sewing box in hopes of finding a more accurate foot. QuiltCetera offers some tips to eliminate this problem for Tutorial Tuesday.

Flagstone block from The Graceful Garden Jacobean QuiltThe Flagstone block is one of the larger pieced blocks in the Graceful Garden Jacobean Quilt I am reproducing. The Whirligigs are one set of paired piecing. The two Poppy blocks were an appliquéd pair.

Quilter's Daily Blog-Along

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Machine Appliqué - Some Thoughts

I have decided that I want my machine appliqué stitches to show, instead of trying to achieve an invisible stitch by just taking a small bite of the cloth. I have used my elna point-de-Paris stitch cam and thread to enhance, not necessarily match, the pieces appliquéd down.

Denise Sheehan suggests tightening your bobbin tension to keep the color of the bottom thread from pulling through onto the top. I am lucky that my elna has a small dial to do just this adjustment. You can see the top thread has actually been pulled through to the back--this ensures that the top thread color will be neat and even. I also pull the threads through to the back at the beginning and ending of each stop and start and knot them, cutting them just past the knot. This keeps the back not only neat, but doesn't allow any tangles or extra bulk. I do not cut the excess backing behind the appliquéd pieces--I do not think it is necessary.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mirror-image Blocks

No matter how many times I looked at the blocks, being oh-so-careful to glue-baste-it the pieces in just the right place, I ended up with two of the same blocks. But the miracle of the Roxanne's Glue-Baste-It! allowed me to pull and tug the offending poppy up and replace it in the correct position. Now I will repress the poppy down with the iron and begin machine quilting. I use an elna Carina and a point-de-Paris appliqué stitch cam with ecru thread in the bobbin and the color of each of the appliqué pieces as the top thread. This is the first set of mirror-image blocks I am assembling from Denise Sheehan's The Graceful Garden Jacobean Quilt.
The fabrics are from Aviary, by 3 Sisters and Collections for the Cause Legacy and Heritage, all Moda fabrics.
Denise stresses in her instructions to make sure the curves are cleanly cut, else the appliqués will have little pointy bits along the edges. You can see that the blue poppy has the pointy edges. My husband could spot the mistake clear across the room! I guess it's like sewing 4 bride's maids dresses all in a row, the fourth is by far the best! Practice makes perfect is a true axiom!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shortbread Buttons Tutorial

Many thanks to Echevette for sharing her special find of these delightful «sewing» cookies/biscuits from Forty-sixth at Grace. I shall have to find someone to invite to tea.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Double Wedding Ring Quilts

Quite the loveliest combination pieced and appliquéd quilt I have ever seen is featured in the banner of Quiltsalott's blog. Here is a link to the whole quilt laid out flat. I think the intensity of the color is what draws me to this quilt; normally I've seen it done with 1930s colors, and this is the first wedding ring I've seen combined with appliqué. Here is the link for how she put the quilt together. Beautiful job, Janet and thank you for such lovely work!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Offset Square - Biscornu Pincushions

I have made two wrist pincushions to match my Ort Bags, one for the sewing nook and one for the office/living room. Here is a marvelous tutorial on how to make the biscornu - offset square wrist pincushions.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ort Containers - The Ort Port or Ort Bag

Here is an Ort Port for all those little bits of thread that seem to multiply in a sewing room. I have used 1 1/2" strips for the outside of the bag to match the pinks and greens in my sewing nook under the eaves. A 5" cardboard square from the underside of a Charm Pack is the perfect size to interface the fabric sewing cabinet square under the sand-filled weight. Velcro patches attach the strips that drape over the cabinet edge linking the ort bag.

I've chosen 1 1/2" Honey Bun strips from the Rouenneries line from French General for another ort container for my office, which also goes well in the living room. In the background is a market bag using 2 1/2" Jelly Roll strips, also from the Rouenneries fabrics by Moda.
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