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Friday, February 25, 2011

Another cupcake

I liked that first cupcake pin cushion enough that I've made a second, slightly different one. I modified the pattern slightly, but I have to say that these cupcakes are pretty easy to make, and they definitely don't take a huge outlay of cash to do. The only part that was a bit funny was having to buy a package of floral stems to make the cherry stem. To get that 3" piece of stem, I had to buy a package of 30 stems, each 18" long, but the package was only $1. LOL! I now have enough stem "stuff" to make 90 pin cushions — but I think I'll stop at two for now. ;)

Here are my two together. You can see that the cups aren't exactly the same size, so this is pretty adaptable to whatever is available, in case I do decide to make more at some point.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Finished is good ...

As you can see from the photos, I did decide not to do any filler quilting in the corners of this piece. After trying two different fillers and having to pick them out, I just couldn't bring myself to do a third. If I'd had to pick that one out, too, I think the fabric would have fallen apart. I didn't have any of the fabric used in this one, so the binding is just another piece I had lying around and that I thought worked okay. This will work as a table topper, as it's fairly small: only 17" square.  Below is a detail of the quilting, though I apologize for the color being off.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sometimes nothing works

During the class I took in Phoenix last month, I drew out the designs for two wholecloth quilts. One of them must be redone, due to slithering problems, but the other (smaller) one is fine, so I began quilting it a few days ago. I quilted all of the main motifs and then added some cross hatching around the central wreath. So far, so good.

Then I decided to do pebbles as the filler around the corner motifs; pebbles are one of my favorite fillers. After doing half of one section, about 10-15 minutes' work, I decided that this just wasn't going to look right this time. Okay, so I spent the next three hours unpicking that mistake. 

I really don't want to do a "traditional" stipple, so the next thing I tried was echo quilting around those corner motifs. It was looking pretty good until I realized something. The instructor for the class had required us to use the standard blue markers when doing our drawings — not the fine line type. So when I removed some of the blue lines to see how things were looking, I realized that the corner motifs were completely lost in the echo quilting! Ack! 

Last night I began unpicking those echoing lines, and I'm only about halfway done now. I may decide not to do a filler at all at this rate! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Adorable!

Last fall I saw some absolutely adorable pin cushions at the Houston show, but I remained strong and didn't buy the pattern to make one. However, last month when I was in Phoenix and went to a sewing expo there, the same company was showing the pin cushions again. How could I resist? I mean, wasn't it meant to be? I didn't buy the pattern, though; I bought the kit in order to make life easy. I also bought a second little cup for the bottom, and I'm thinking I'm going to be making a second one of these very soon -- though I'll have to go look for the rest of the materials.

So what kind of pin cushion am I talking about? A cupcake! Isn't it cute? :) Sorry the photo is a little fuzzy, but you get the idea.
The pattern is called With a Cherry on Top. I'm beginning to think I have a pin cushion fetish. ;)

Table Runner

It's finished! I really wanted to get this done before the next meeting of our local group, and I made it. Whew! ;) This was a fun table runner to make; we took strips and watched as they magically became this simple but very interesting pattern. (Click on the photos for a larger view.)

I couldn't remember how I'd wanted to quilt this, so I resorted to more of the feathers I love so much. :) Since nothing was really going to show in the busy border, I did some basic straight lines before adding corded piping and the binding. I'd have liked to have used more of the border fabric as the binding, but I just didn't have enough. This entire table runner came from my stash! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Storm at Sea news

My goodness! My little Storm at Sea miniature is getting around! I'm very flattered that it's making an appearance on the John Flynn (really written by Brooke Flynn ) blog. Look here. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pumpkins

Yes, I know I missed the season, but this piece will be ready for next fall. ;) This is wool appliqué, all done by hand, and I began making this while in Phoenix last month. Most of the fabrics were from a kit, and the thread is Valdani perle cotton in size 12; the Valdani has a lovely sheen, much nicer than DMC.

The biggest problem with this pattern (created by Cathy Skow) is that it was literally impossible to see through the background fabric (the olive-y green) to trace the layout and the embroidered tendrils. I made a plastic overlay to place the wool bits, but then I had to make a stencil for the embroidery -- not an easy task with scissors. ;) I will say, however, that this fabric was quite easy to appliqué to the scalloped backing. The original pattern showed that scalloped backing in a little brown plaid, but I couldn't find anything similar for my version. In fact, I couldn't even find a good range of colors in solid colors of wool felt! However, I think the green I finally settled on works well enough.

This was fun to do, but now it's back to quilting! :)


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A finish and an "almost"

At last month's meeting of the local group I attend we made table runners. I finished the top of mine, decided just how I wanted to quilt it, and then left town. Do you think I can remember now what my plan was? Of course not! :S The runner is all pin basted and ready to go, but I'm stumped as to what I want to do and will have to ponder a bit longer. This photo shows part of the runner. It's the "almost" from the title of this post.

So what was the finished item? First, a bit of background. Remember that Winding Ways quilt I've been working on for quite some time? I finished the top, which turned out to be enormous — about 95" x 112" or a bit more. Gulp. It sat, basted and ready for quilting (and I did remember what I wanted to do on this one!) for a while as I procrastinated about beginning. It was just so big! I had serious doubts as to how I was going to manage on my Bernina, much as I love that machine, and especially since my back had been bothering me — how was I going to wrestle this monster in my limited space? I wasn't; I chickened out and asked a good friend of mine to long-arm quilt it for me. She used most of what I'd originally intended to do myself, with some tweaks of her own that came out great. :) The quilt is so big, though, that I can't take a picture of it yet! However, it will be going into our local show in a few weeks, so I'll hope to get a photo of it hanging at that time. Meanwhile, here's a "teaser" of the result!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Where did the time go?

Gosh, I hadn't realized it had been so long since my last post! A couple of days after that one, though, I went to Phoenix for Quilting in the Desert, staying with a dear friend and her three dogs for almost a week. You may remember that I have a little cocker spaniel; however, what you don't know is that I used to have Dobermans, so it's not as though I've never been around large dogs. In fact, up until not too long ago, we had a big lab-chow mix! Phyl's family includes a Golden Retriever and two black standard poodles. What is always a surprise to me about them is that they're so light on their feet! I was used to big dogs having a certain amount of "heft" to them, but these poodles can jump on me, and I have absolutely no chance of being knocked over. (G)

As for Phyl and me, we stayed pretty busy during my stay. We each had a class to attend, and we went out to dinner a couple of times (YUM!) and to the theater (great play!) once. We did our own mini-shop-hop one day, updated some computer stuff for each of us, and did our own "class" on wool appliqué (Phyl was the instructor, and I was the student). Above all, we laughed and had a great time. :)

I don't know where my head was, but I completely forgot to take pictures of most of what we did. But I did take a picture of the three dogs waiting for their treat. I guess that tells you where my priorities were. ;)