Another Ruler Work Border Design

October 16th, 2017
I’m not wild about my fill-in choice for the lower section, but I can see a lot of variations on this that could be quite cool!  Here is how to make an arched swag border like this:
Step #1:  The basic ruler work framework is an arched swag using the PTD 12 arc ruler, then I added a 1/4 inch parallel channel followed by a 1 1/4 inch tapered channel, and then another 1/4 in parallel channel:
Step #2:  Using a straight line ruler, I added a right angle that intersects the bottom center base and straddled it equally, then added (2) 1/4 inch tapered channels on either side of the right angle:
Step 3:  Fill-in begins!  First, I stitched a waterfall featherette in the top section:
Step 4:  I added a basic upright featherette in the center bottom section:
Step 5:  I added a small stipple in the outer 2 bottom sections, just to add a new color.  This is the portion I’m not wild about, but I have lots of other ideas I will play with later:
This blog has been sorely neglected over the past few months and that has not been my intention.  I have been doing so much traveling that I haven’t had much time in my sewing room.  To make up for this drought, I promise that today’s post is the first of 3 posts this week!  I will do better!!!!

Done, at Least for Now

September 25th, 2017
I had to turn in my quilt today, so all work on it has ceased, at least for now.  It’s 61 in x 61 in and I love the bold color combinations and also love the quilting.  There is one border section that actually isn’t quite finished yet, and I couldn’t begin work on it or it would really look odd.  I am hoping that I will find the time to go back in and finish what I want to do later.  Here are some closeup shots:
This next photo shows where I couldn’t finish.  I want to add a single row of pearls in the tapered arc-shaped channel that abuts the blue applique shapes in that red border zone.  I estimate that the quilting, plus all the thread burying, will take at least another 20 hours of work and I just ran out of time.
Quilting this one really drove home to me how important color is.  Having such a close view of that center section, which is a hand-dyed cotton sateen, was thrilling for all the hundreds of hours I worked on it.  I need to use my hand dyed fabrics more.
I’m excited to work on some other projects for awhile!

3 Weeks…

September 13th, 2017
…since my last blog post.  It’s never my intention to go so long between posts, yet it’s happened once again.  In truth, I have hardly been sewing for the last 3 weeks but in the last week, I have been quilting daily to try and get a jump on a quilt with a deadline.  Here’s a shot of the outermost border zone (the wider dark blue section):
I haven’t completed all the quilting on the “inside” parts of the quilt, but my focus is on the outermost border right now.  This is so I can get the binding on as I’m still working on other parts of the quilt.  This border design began with the ruler work framework below:
It’s not so easy to see, but the framework stitched in turquoise rayon thread was done with my PTD 12 arc ruler and the smaller “melon shapes” were done with the PTD 8 arc ruler.  There is some additional ruler work using a lavender thread on the outside of the large arc border design (toward top of photo), and those were done with the PTD 12 arc ruler as well.  You can see that the featherettes filling the large “superior” zones of the design has been completed.  In this next shot, I’ve added another type of featherette design to fill the large “middle” zone.  This was stitched using an aqua Floriani polyester thread:
The key to doing this kind of “fill-in” work is to go into it with the goal of filling the entire space with your featherette.  This makes you stretch or contract each individual plume so it looks like it was “born into” that space.  Next up, I stitched the same type of featherette inside the two “melon shaped zones” below.  I used the original Sulky Rayon turquoise thread for these spaces that I used for the original ruler work framework:
The final move was to fill the center bottom space with another featherette design, in this case, the Aztec featherette.  I did this with a gold Floriani polyester thread:
Depending on time, I may go back in with a different color thread and hyperquilt those bottom featherettes.  I only have 1 1/2 weeks until this quilt must be handed in, so whether or not I make it back into those sections in time remains to be seen!  Unfortunately, I have aspirations for additional quilting in many sections of this quilt, so it will likely boil down to which zones need it the most…

New Stitch-outs

August 21st, 2017
These are some machine embroidery applique oak leaves that are more traditional, and this next shot is the whimsical version:
Here is a traditional version of a different variety of oak leaf (hence, the different shape):
…and here’s the whimsical version of this alternate oak leaf shape:
Notice that part of the swirls are missing on the right side of that center leaf…that’s the kind of thing you find when you stitch out a design for the first time!  I can see that more stitch outs are in my future!  I like the whimsical versions better-how about you?
We watched the eclipse today from our backyard in Asheville, NC; we had a 99.2% total eclipse.  We were surprised how much the temperature and humidity dropped and the birds stopped signing as the sky’s color became kind of eerie.  I kind of have a deja-vu from the 1979 eclipse but can’t recall where I was when it happened.  I hope I’ll remember this one forty-some years from, although I will likley be dead by then!

Fantasy Fern

August 15th, 2017
This is a small wall hanging that I made as a donation quilt for the Indianapolis Quilt Guild auction in October.  It started out as a machine embroidery applique design.  In the shot below, you can see the internal swirls being stitched inside the fronds:
Once it was in the final quilt sandwich, I outlined the fern using invisible thread, (Monopoly by Superior Threads.)  I then used 3 different solid colored threads to stitch the background designs.  These were rayons (Sulky) or trilobal polyester threads (Floriani and Superior Threads):
When I’m working on a hand-dyed background like this one with blended colors, I try to change my thread color as I work:
…and here it is bound.  I am officially hooked on that 2 color flanged binding now:
There is something so yummy about quilting hand dyed cotton sateen fabric…it still thrills me every time I do it!