Monday, August 15, 2011

Birds of a Feather

I visited my Aunt in January and she asked me if I could make a quilt with the birds she has cross stitched. When I asked her what she had in mind she said "I don't know, do whatever you want......I'm not fond of purple"
I immediately called on my online quilter friends for advice. I didn't find anyone who had done it before. Someone said to line each section of aida cloth so the batting won't beard through the holes, so I started with that. Then the blocks spent a lot of time on the "design wall" (that's a flannel sheet hung on the wall with a curtain rod, not fancy but it works). It was a challenge to arrange them; mixing the various styles and colors of aida cloth and then filling in the gaps to get columns and rows. I selected fabric from my "stash". I started with greens, browns, looked for some florals (got a little purple, but I think it's OK) I wanted the fabrics to be varied as the cross stitch panels were varied. I was hoping this would draw attention away from the differences in the birds. I think matchy matchy fabrics would have accentuated the differences in the cross stitch panels. I played around a lot with the fill-in pieces. I probably made twice as many as I needed and then chose from those. The scrappy border was an after thought, but it needed something. I chose the quilting design because it reminds me of puzzle pieces (something else my Aunt enjoys) It's a basic meandering. The stiffness of the aida cloth gave free motion quilting on my basic sewing machine a whole new feel and I was glad it wasn't any bigger than it was. The label on the back lists the name I gave it: "Birds of a Feather" (My Aunt and I have a lot in common. My mother once said that maybe I should have been her daughter. I think it was when I was learning counted cross stitch, too funny!). I just love the way it turned out and hope they do to. I will happily take it back at any point.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Graduation Gifts


Maryville detail


Cincinnati detail
  • color palette: Both students are going to universities that have red and black as their school colors. 
  • theme:  Out of the Box
  • computer printed school graphic
  • I tried 2 new-to-me FMQ designs (I want to increase my repetoir)
  • machine stitched binding practice (I want to get good at this for quilts that expect heavy use)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Brianna's quilt is finished

For Brie:
Color palette -  robin's egg blue and brown (not turquoise)
Theme - "more mature"  she's a teenager now! 
backing - flannel for the fuzzy/cozy factor
For me:
time to experiment with a new FMQ quilting stitch, I like it!
binding done by machine using different stitches (mixed results here)
Label contains a smartphone TAG

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Placemats; great for FMQ practice

Placemats teach table setting

Each placemat features a novelty fabric personally chosen for each child/grandchild. The appliqued pieces show how to set the table for dinner. The back of the placemat is the same novelty fabric, making them somewhat reversible.

Applique is NOT my thing, but this turned out OK.  I glue basted the fabrics after I starched the dickens out of them.  I used machine applique.  The stitch I used looked like a combination of a narrow satin stitch and buttonhole stitch.  I'm hoping it will wear a little better than the buttonhole stitch alone and it didn't get too stiff or puckery like the satin stitch (and it didn't hang up on the foot either).  Thin batting and no binding, I turned them pillow case style so there would be less chance of a cup tipping if it was set on the edge.  I was afraid binding might make a bump that could cause spillage.