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Monday, May 27, 2013

Drunkard's Path progress

Not too long ago, I showed you some fabrics that are to be in my next quilt. Yesterday I began making the blocks and continued today. I'm pretty happy with the way they're turning out, though there's one at the lower left in the photo that looks pretty wonky. However, that's because it's sitting on top of a lot of seams in the blocks beneath — it's a smooth curve, I promise! The larger blocks aren't hard to do, but the smaller ones are a bit trickier. Still, they're coming along nicely. I have another set of small ones to do — perhaps tomorrow — before I begin cutting sashing and putting everything together. No rush, though! And I may need to make more blocks if I don't have the "right" mixture of fabrics already put together.

Monday, May 20, 2013

An embroidered finish

When I recently began using the embroidery module on my Bernina to create labels, I had no intention at all of using it for other embroidered projects. Yup. So much for that idea! ;) Since then, I've done a few small free-standing lace embroideries, and I did those little gift card holders before the holiday season, too. Then, during an evening "event" at my local quilt shop, I saw a set of designs that were various French themes. I was sunk! I used to be a high-school French teacher, and I definitely have a soft spot for a lot of related things. That set came home with me, as you might have guessed. LOL! I used a pattern for a cushion (found in Creative Expressions magazine, issue 34), though I decided to make it into a little wall hanging instead of the cushion.

This quilt measures about 18 3/4" square. I couldn't do a lot of quilting on it without causing the central embroidered panel to puff out, so I just did some curlicues in the floral corners and a motif I adapted from the floral print in the plainer side triangles. The braided border was done with the Double Diamond ruler, which isn't all that easy to use when you're left-handed. ;) I added the corded piping I like so much next to the binding.

I still have no intention of doing a lot of embroidered projects, other than quilt labels, but what's the harm in doing one or two now and then? ;)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A beautiful orchid!

Sunday was Mother's Day, as many here know. We have two daughters with five grandchildren between them, and we all spent the afternoon and evening together. The grandchildren all had a wonderful time swimming, and then we had dinner. Daughter #1 prepared a gorgeous salad and a delicious and light trifle for dessert. Daughter #2, who hosted us, fixed wonderful appetizers, followed by grilled salmon, scallops in brown butter sauce, and pasta. It was all soooooo good!

As if that weren't enough, there were lovely cards and even gifts. I now have a gift certificate for a pedicure, as well as a gorgeous new orchid plant. You may remember that I had an orchid for last Mother's Day, but it died. I replaced it with another (a magenta dendrobium), and now I have a second one. This one is a spectacular white phalaenopsis, also known as a moth orchid because of the shape of the blossoms. I rushed right out yesterday and bought a cache pot for it and a plant stand so it would be safe from curious doggie noses. ;)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Next on the agenda

What do you think of these fabrics? I love them! I bought them about a year ago to make a pattern I'd had in mind, but — as so often happens — I was sidetracked with other projects. Now, though, I'm going to prewash these and get busy cutting them for my next quilt! It will be another variation on a Drunkard's Path; I do like curves. :)

I'd have begun already, but I've spent the afternoon "supervising" a repairman who was here to change our telephone and internet service. Of course I'm kidding, as he didn't need my supervision at all, but I like to watch what they're doing when someone is here, just because I'm curious.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

And another Ditty Bag!

I liked yesterday's Ditty Bag enough that I decided to make a second one. This one is from a Hoffman Challenge print (2002, I think!) and a companion print inside. I trimmed it in purple and did all of the top stitching in yellow.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ditty Bag

I've made other bags designed by Annie Unrein, but this is the most recent, finished just this evening. This pattern has three different sizes, and I made the medium one. I'm planning to use this to keep all of the accessories for my electronic devices handy when I travel — though I'm not planning to go anywhere right this minute. ;) Still, it should keep my multi plug and cables all nicely organized and look pretty in the process. I used an oriental-themed fabric for the outside, with a similarly-colored batik inside and a periwinkle batik for the handle and trim. As always, using the recommended Soft and Stable makes the bag hold its shape much more beautifully than batting could do.  This was quick enough to make that I may make another!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A new bed for Bisou

Bisou has never shown any interest in a bed of her own. After all, she's allowed on the furniture and sleeps on the bed with us, so why did she need a bed? I did give her a little quilt to curl up on behind the chair where she likes to lie as she keeps me company in my sewing room, but she was perfectly happy with that. Until recently. My first clue that she might be interested in something more was when she recently began sneaking into the laundry basket and snoozing there.

As a coincidence, I'd bought a pattern for a really cute dog bed last fall, even though I didn't really think I was going to need it. But here was the perfect opportunity to make that bed! It wasn't the easiest project; the pillow wasn't difficult, but the padded "frame" was a bear — mainly because of the bulk. I don't think the instructions were entirely clear, either, but I managed. I did make one change, though; I used Soft and Stable instead of batting in that frame, as I think it makes it hold its shape better. I finished the bed this evening:
The pillow portion of the bed is machine pieced and machine appliquéd, and it's stuffed with a bed pillow. I've had tentative approval from Bisou, though it will take our timid little pup a while to become completely comfortable with her new bed. ;)