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Showing posts from 2010

Twenty Four Nine Patches

23 nine patches with dark corners and 1 with light corners.
Usually when I'm working on something and estimate when I'll be finished, I'm wrong.  It always, always takes longer.
Guess what!  This time it went faster than I imagined.  The nine patches came together quickly and I've had more time this holiday season to quilt than I thought I would.
The next step involves more blocks but they are smaller and can be mass produced.  This time, I'm not even going to guess how long they will take.

The stockings were hung ...

Isn't this cute?  I found the free pattern last year and planned on stitching it sometime this year.  I finished just in time.
You can find the pattern here.  You have to scroll down a bit.  I couldn't figure out how to link directly.  The site is in Russian.
When it was time to finish, I withdrew threads so that the border would be even.  I liked the look and wove red threads into the withdrawn area.  Now it looks even better and the red lines made it easier to center.  I'll have to remember that finishing technique.

It is finished with a simple felt back and a ribbon scrap.

Merry Christmas!

Vintage Erica

It seems like I can't stop making ornaments this season.
This is a crewel kit from Erica Wilson I purchased at Goodwill.  At first, I hesitated to call it a vintage kit, but then, I looked up vintage.  There is general agreement that something is vintage when it's at least 30 years old.

The date stamp on the fabric clinches it - the kit is vintage.  It's kind of scary when something from when you were growing up is now vintage.
I also wonder about what the kit has been doing all these years.  Did it have one owner or dozens?  Was it a spur of the moment purchase which was forgotten in a drawer?  Was it a well meaning gift to the wrong person?  Was it going to be started "next week"?
I'll never know - but I'll try my best to get it finished.  The result will be 3 felt birds covered with metallic stitches and sequins - how fun!

17 fabric squares

I've started my next quilt - this time it's a lap quilt.
The first step was to cut 17 background squares.  I used 2 quite busy fabrics.  I have a feeling this quilt will be quite lively.

I've sorted and arranged different fabric scraps and I think I've narrowed it down to the final colors.  This quilt is from a book and I want to keep the same feel as the original quilt - an antique reproduction.  I wanted the quilt to be mostly red, but most of my red fabrics were rejected as being too modern looking. 
A new project is always exciting and I feel energized and ready to go.  Although I want to start piecing immediately I'm going to be taking it slow.  I'll probably get a few more blocks done every weekend.
The next quilt post will after I hit another milestone in the construction.

Christmas Squares & Turning the Corner

Here's my latest design.
It seems like I've been working on this all year long.  I've been planning having it done every weekend since Thanksgiving but things kept getting in the way.
The main design is four squares.  Each one has a slightly different border and a slightly different center.
I decided I needed an outer border around the squares.  Typically, I'll figure out how long the border needs to be and break it up into sections.  For example, a border of 70 stitches will have 10 repeats of a 7 stitch design or 7 repeats of a 10 stitch design.
In this case, I wasn't in a math mood.  So, I played around with a design on graph paper until I had a repeat that I liked.  I centered it over the design and repeated it past the edges on two sides.  Where the designs met I simply erased stitches and added others until I came up with something I liked.  This time, the plan worked out well.  I like how the chain turns the corner.

This is the bottom left square and is my favori…

Pretty Paper

I love pretty papers and have a hard time throwing them away.
My favorite papers include calendars and Christmas cards.
Instead of saving whole Christmas cards I've taken to cutting out interesting circles and saving them instead.
I've turned a whole box of them into garlands and gift labels.

There are so many styles that I can always find one to suit the recipient.

A new batch of cards has started arriving in the mail!  More pretty papers for my collection!  I wonder what I'll turn them into next year.

Mini Twisted Cords

Twisted Cording is a great way to finish stitched items.  But sometimes the cord can be too much.
The center cord is made from about 6 lengths of floss.  The rest are made of individual strands of floss.
The reddish ones one the left are 3 strands of red floss, 2 strands of green, 1 strand of pink and one strand of blending filament.  The skinny green one was probably made of only 3 strands.
I like the delicate look of the mini twisted cords.  And I like the subtle color when using different colors of floss.

And it makes a great finishing touch for an ornament.

Whimsical Christmas Cards

Here are this years Christmas Cards.
They are similar in technique to the cards I made last year but I was a little more random this year.
I used mostly a watercolor scribble drawing cut up into pieces.  There are also bits of other colored papers.

This year they are all different.  Some are trees and others are random patterns.  They all have random scribbling.

Playing with Fabric

Here is the striped fabric I used for my potholders (taken indoors with a flash).  It looks very different cut up and sewn back together.
I knew I was going to be making potholders but I'd like to make more quilts using this method. 
I couldn't resist playing with the blocks before sewing them into potholders.  Here is one of my favorite layouts (taken outside in the shade)

I tried about 5 or 6 layouts.  Most were variations of the traditional log cabin layouts.  Here's another favorite:

Luckily I have enough fabric to make more squares.  I don't know if I'll be lucky enough to find another striped fabric this fun. I did buy all they had (2.5 yards) and I have looked for more without any luck.  I do have more stripes so I'll probably end up making do with what I have.

Quilted Domino Potholders

Yes, that's correct.  Quilted, not knitted domino potholders.
They are made of one randomly striped fabric sewn into half-square triangles.  When the fabric is lined up carefully, the resulting squares have the same look as the knitted domino squares.  The best part is opening up the individual blocks to see what pattern emerges.

I've got the binding finished on 7 of the 9 squares and then all that is left is to sew on the loops.
After that they will be sent out as Christmas gifts.  Except for one or two for me.

Stashbuster Scarf

Hopefully I'm going to be using all these mini-balls of yarn.
I've been practicing knitting domino potholders all year and I'm now ready to knit a domino scarf.

I haven't knitted much yet but it has been fun and addictive.  I'll plan an evening of cross-stitching and the next thing I know I'm knitting.    Luckily, each square goes quickly and then I can move on to my other projects.
It's calling my name now.  Must resist!

Wool Ornaments

I've been finishing these wool ornaments.
I started them back in July and then put them aside.  They are overdue to be finished  All that is left is to add a hanger, a backing and perhaps an edge trim.
Let me back up a little so you can see all of the ornaments.

It is fun to not have a pattern.  I just mix up stitches and colors however I feel at the moment.  Then I add beads.
I was experimenting with a burlap like fabric for the backing.  It worked very well except that it kept slipping out of the Q-snap frame I was using.  A wooden frame may have worked better. 
For the final finishing it was very nice.  I was able to fold it back easily, unlike canvas, and have no trace of it showing at the edge.
A little more work and these will be ready to hang.

Knitting Bunnies

I've been knitting bunnies!
The free pattern can be found here.
They are fun to knit and will make some great stocking stuffers.
It was hard getting them to cooperate for the pictures.  First, it was too cold and they refused to go outside.  So, I set them up next to a sunny window.  Well, it wasn't sunny enough and the flash went off and blinded them.  Bad Move.

After a few seconds blinking they scurried off and hid.  I had to round them up again and they were even more uncooperative.
They closed their eyes, made faces and then one tried to moon me!

They are cute so I have to put up with all their tricks.

Knitting Stripes

Here are some of the potholders I've been working on for the last few months.
They are from the book "Domino Knitting".   This batch is all stripey.  For the first two I changed colors by changing the yarn.  For the last one (on the left) I used some self-striping yarn.  The effect was not quite what I was expecting.  I really like the border and I'm going to used it in other projects, I'm sure.

But, this washcloth is the way to used self-striping yarn.  It makes the simple design look fancier than it really is.  And, no ends to weave in!

The Quilt is Finished!

The binding went on faster than I imaged and the quilt is done.
The clothesline wasn't high enough to get the quilt off the ground.

And on the bed it reaches almost to the ground.
There are 90 blocks set 9 x 10 and the center squares were made from 45 charm squares.

Empty Spools

The empty spools are piling up.  That can only mean one thing. 
The quilt is almost done!
I've lost track of the number of bobbins I've wound.
I'll need over 400 inches of binding.  It's prepared and ready to sew on and, if I measured correctly, the quilt will be done!
I've been working on it for almost 1 year and 3 months.  I have my next few quilting projects mapped out and they will be much smaller.  It may be years before I tackle another big quilt.

Finished with Rick Rack

Time to finish off the ornaments I've been working on.  I was in a rick rack mood so I dug out my collection.  Most of it came from grab bags from Goodwill.  I love some of the older packaging.  It is so much classier than what you find today.  Isn't the Silhouette lady grand?

Unfortunately I don't have any red or green rick rack and had to use more boring colors.

For the reindeer I sewed the rick rack between the front and back to leave a scalloped edge.

Some mini brown rick rack, lace and seed beads finished off a silky Santa.
I think I've finished my quota of ornaments for this year ... maybe.

Spider Web

A stitched spider web for Lyn.

Band Sampler - One Square at at Time

I'm working on a mystery band sampler for the 35th Anniversary of my EGA Chapter.
It started last January and I'm only slightly behind instead of really behind.   That's because I'm stitching 2 inch squares instead of rows.  
When the band of the month is a repeating pattern, I can simply stitch one of the repeats, but for bigger designs like Pikes Peak or the EGA Logo I need to crop the pattern to make it fit in the square.

I've been using scraps of leftover linen and basting the 2 inch squares.  Recently I basted 6 more squares so when I have a spare moment I can fill in the squares.
I'm probably going to end up with more than 12 squares.  Some bands will become multiple squares.  I've also come across some patterns I'd like to include just for fun.
Originally I was going to sew the squares together into cubes but now I think I'll add small fabric borders to each square and make a wall hanging.
I'm hoping that this idea works out.  I've gotten m…

I'm being watched, again!

Last time I was being watched, it was random items appearing as faces.
Now, I'm being watched by my stitching. This is the Candy Cane Reindeer by Serendipity Designs from the 2010 JCS Christmas Ornament Issue.
Usually when I stitch a face I like to do the outline first and add the features last. But, I also start stitching in the middle of a design and that's where the eyes are in this design.  So, I started at the eyes and then the nose and then the outlined.  As I work, I'm being continually watched. 
The eyes always add soul to a design.  In this case, it's big buggy eyes and it's hard to think serious thoughts while looking at these eyes.  I'm enjoying some not so serious stitching.
It's been fun watching the design grow around the two eyes.  With each stitch the face becomes more complete and real.  It's getting to the point were it's talking to me.  It wants to be finished.  Soon.

Christmas Quarter Fleur de Boo Ornaments

This is a halloween ornament from September/October 2010 Just Cross Stitch. 
The ornament in the magazine is done in black and orange and consists of four squares in different  color configurations.  I changed the colors to red and green and turned it into a Christmas ornament.
 I only stitched one of the four squares for my ornament.  After the first one I simplified it further by leaving off the border.

I'm continually tring different finishing techniques.  For this ornament I sewed the ornament onto felt.  The backing is simply fabric fused to heavyweight interfacing.  I whipstitched the two layers together.  By using a coordinating floss, I didn't have to worry about making the stitches perfect.
To stitch the ornament, I used DMC Variagated Floss.  The color changes slower than it does in Sampler Threads.  So, after the first ornament I used only the light parts for one ornament and the dark parts for another. 

All three ornaments were stitched with the same two thread colors…

Origami Bats

I'm getting into the holiday spirit with strings of origami bats.  They will look great hanging in my cubicle at work.
They are from the book 10-Fold Origami by Peter Engel.

They are quick and easy to fold.  Before I knew it I was out of black paper.

Signing Samplers

I'm much better at signing my samplers than I am my quilts, still they are not all signed.
The easiest way is to add initials and/or the date into the sampler.

I prefer to use all 3 initials, but sometimes, for design reasons or to fill the available space I'll only use 2 initials.  No matter how I stitch it, M always takes up space.

Sometimes I even have to go over one or backstitch.

I have finished many samplers by adding a quilted border.  Then they will have the details magic markered on the back.  These won't be washed so I don't need to worry about the marks disappearing.