Posts Tagged With: embellishments

Design Challenge: Someone else’s Favorite Things

FL Sister id tag

Sometimes I think I’m forgetting more than I ever knew in the first place. So this week’s foundation paper piecing project made me feel really good about myself. Not because it is prize-winning work (although the points do match pretty well) but because I realized how long ago I first learned to foundation paper piece – and I still remember how to do it!

forgetful

Back in the days we lived in Utah I went to a foundation paper piecing class in Logan Canyon – one of Utah’s many beautiful spots. The teacher had great handouts, a logical and methodical approach to her explanations, and it worked! Wonder of wonders, I finished the project!

apple paper piecing

I hand quilted this one. With four kids at home at that time, I’m not sure how that happened!

And if you judge a teacher by how long the information sticks in the student’s head – she was a success.  Because here it is 25 years later and I’m still remembering the process! I wouldn’t say that it is my favorite method, but sometimes it is the only way to get where I need to go!

 

This month I needed this knowledge in a real way in order to “kill two birds with one stone” on my To Do list.

First goal was to prepare for a quilt show entry. The Pensacola Quilters Guild will host a show in the spring of 2018 and they have chosen Feathered Star as their theme block. You can be sure that the only way this stitching sister is going to do a Feathered Star is via foundation paper piecing! Before I commit to a whole quilt featuring a Feathered Star I needed to do a practice block. So some friends from guild met for a sew day to help each other get started.

paper piecing

It’s kind of like paint-by-numbers, only you use fabric. And PS – this is not a feathered star, it’s a tree.

At the same time,  my Red Hens sewing bee friends had started a design a mini-quilt challenge. This challenge is meant to stretch our quilting resume to include a project based, not on our preferences, but the preferences of another person – kind of a widening of our quilting perspective. We drew a name out of the hat to determine who we were designing the quilt for. In order to design the quilt we were to interview that person to find out their quilting history, their preferences, how they made quilting choices.

diane and vernell Christmas Party sm

Diane Carson and Vernell Savage, our Red Hen sewing bee leaders, at our Christmas party.

So, I interviewed Diane Carson, one of the fearless leaders of our Red Hens quilting bee. This is what I found out:

What color scheme to you like? Not pastel, no brights or primary colors; Blues; Batiks

What style of quilting do you like? Not modern – more traditional with a twist; Applique is good; Dimensional is good

What scale of prints are you drawn to? Medium prints rather than large;

What was your first quilt choice? Log cabin

I learned a lot by asking what had influenced her as a quilter. She said: Dixie Hayward influenced her and changed her tastes

 

As I plotted and schemed I realized that I could achieve these two objectives in one project – a 24″ mini quilt for Diane with a Feathered Star center made from (not bright) blue batiks with a simple border that would accentuate the points of the Feathered Star.

I used my trusty EQ7 to print out the 12″ block that I wanted. There are plenty of choices since the middle of the star leaves space for lots of different options.

foundation pattern sm

Marking the squares with D for dark, L for light, etc. helps me remember what fabric goes where.

Using batiks added to the challenge because my batik stash is not huge. So the design of the sashing and border was determined by the amount of fabric left after the center was stitched.

f star ready for border sm

Now it’s ready for the border – simple so it doesn’t distract but still needs to echo of the center block.

And here are some of the other design challenge entries….

embellishments sm

for the embellishment lover

Herbie owl sm

for Herbie who loves owls

sunshine and flowers sm

for the quilter who loves sunshine and gardening

 

yellow and blue sm

She requested blue and yellow

linen lover

For the one who loves old linens. 🙂

final star sm

And now I know I can do a feathered star!

 

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Categories: Guild News | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Holly Jolly Santa Quilt & the Never, Ever Again Sister

We are Christmas lovers. We admit it. We embrace it.

We love all things Christmas –

Ornaments 3x4

These red work ornaments are from the Starry Night collection.

mangers and angels;

SN stocking printable

These are from our Starry Night collection

trees full of lights and stockings hung on the fireplace;

figgy pudding

Yummy!

wassail and figgy pudding –

okay, so neither of us has ever even smelled figgy pudding-but you get the idea.

 

You would think that the design and production of a Christmas quilt would be pure joy. Bliss. Easy peasey pie.

We thought so too.

 

Such was not the case. Without going into a lot of gory details about miscalculated changes

and mis-measured squares

and mis-cut sashings

and ill-filled Santa appliqué suits,

let’s just say that even the sister who has a whole collection of old Santas reached her frustration limit and called a halt to the process until sanity could be restored. At that point the half-finished Santa quilt was banished to the southern division of the company via USPS with an enclosed note that read in part: never to be seen or heard about again. Ever. I mean never, ever. Never, ever again! Fiddle de de! I mean bah humbug!

bah humbug

So the partial Santa quilts were nestled away for a long, long, long winter’s nap -for a few years. Then one night when the luster of moon light on the new fallen … actually it was one hot summer day during a move when the other sister stumbled across this half-finished treasure. So she wheedled out an agreement whereby the never, ever again sister would give one more Christmas try to the project — IF all the parts were sorted out and pre-calculated and pre-cut before they were granted re-entry into the Colorado sewing studio.

The old adage “Begun is half done” was quoted several times in the negotiating process.

So the pieces were re-assessed and the whole plan re-evaluated and some extra touches were added and Holly Jolly Santa was added to our pattern collection. We think he is better for the wait – he matured along the way.

santa line drawing

And we are delighted to welcome Holly, Jolly Santa to the Sisters at Heart collections! He was worth the trouble!  Okay, to be completely honest, the never, ever sister may still be “reserving judgement.”

 

The Holly Jolly Santa appliqué figure from our Really Big Hat collection sits in the center of the quilt on a large Christmas Star block framed with gold sashing. The blocks surrounding the center are an echoing explosion of the Christmas Star.

 Christmas Star with Santa

If you can make half square triangles and split quarter square triangles, this quilt will come together quicker than Santa can lay his finger to the side of his nose and give a nod…  And the outer borders will give you lots of room for wonderful holly quilting lines.

The final touch for this holiday quilt are the felted wool holly sprigs that Santa holds, along with the holly leaves and berries scattered out to the border of the quilt.

holly

Working with the wool is such a pleasure that I cut out more holly leaves than we needed!

holly close up

The pearl cotton stitching really makes these a great embellishments as finishing touches to the quilt.

A note about the felted wool: Some quilters will prefer to quilt the quilt before they applique the felted holly leaves. That could make appliqueing the leaves and berries a little tricky. So we’d suggest that you do the stitching around the edges of the holly leaves and berries before they are attached – much like you would do the pieces for a wool penny rug. Then once the decorative stitching is done, you can attach the felted wool to the quilt with fabric or applique glue and a few hidden stitches that go through the entire quilt. We would offer the same advice for putting the felted wool “fur” on the Santa suit.

Holly Jolly close up

He’s holding on tight to those sprigs of holly! We think that is what makes him jolly!

Making this quilt can give you an extra special holiday memory if you make it together with a stitching sister. As you know, every one of our quilt patterns has a Trading Hearts Plan in it so that, if you wish, you can stitch a quilt (trading parts) with someone else even if they live far away from you. Just think of the lingering “fa-la-la-la-las” and “ho-ho-hos” that would be part of your holidays every time you unwrap a Holly Jolly made with shared stitches.

Holly Jolly for printing

I really need to add some twinkle lights above this bed!

Holly Jolly Santa is available as an instant PDF downloadable pattern or in the regular printed paper pattern format though our Etsy store.

The really good news is that by Christmas you might just find the aforementioned never ever again sister cuddled under her Holly Jolly quilt with a good book and a cup of hot cider-having no memory of the initial hurtles and challenges of making this quilt.

It could happen! We true Christmas lovers believe in Christmas miracles!

Categories: Patterns and Projects, Really Big Hats, Seasonal Stitches | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

YoYo Pride

FL Sister id tagThe Colorado Sister is probably driving into town from the ranch and has hit one of those spots where the phone reception isn’t stellar so I can’t tell her this news and it really is kind of a Moment. So, please indulge me for just a minute, will you?

I have had a long held fondness for yoyos – the stitched kind. But I’ve never felt like I’ve quite got the knack of making them.  Now, that hasn’t stopped me from cutting lots of circles and stitching around the edge and then using whatever was the result.

You’ll find them all over my house,

kitchen pillow with yoyos sm

even in the kitchen.

The yoyo process was certainly helped when we discovered the Martelli templates with the no-slip backing because those templates keep multiple layers of fabric from slipping as you cut the circles. You can get your very own set HERE.

But, somehow the end result of my yoyo making never quite satisfied me. Especially when I needed to use them in our Mother’s Flower Basket Centerpiece and I decided to make my booth sample out of vintage fabrics.

centerpiece with yoyos sm

They were ok but not like – well, not like the ones my sister makes.

Then my sister explained that the larger the stitches the smaller the hole in the center of the yoyo and that the smaller the stitches, the larger the hole would be.  This was SO helpful because it was the hole part that needed attention.

Today was the day that I realized that by trying to have the smallest yoyo hole known to man, I was sacrificing the overall look of the yoyo. So, I shorted my stitches, thereby enlarging the hole enough that the fabric would lay down in a pretty gathered fashion, leaving a reasonable sized hole and …. TA DA!!!

my best yoyo sm

The best yoyo I have ever made. I am so excited!!!

Now I realize that for some of you, that’s not registering on your MOMENT meter so, I really appreciate you sharing my joy in this momentous MOMENT. I’m telling you – This is progress!

Now, I’m going to go cut some more circles – and try one more time to call my sister.

Categories: Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ... | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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