Finito!

October 25th, 2017
fern-tr-rev
 
 
The table runner above probably looks kind of familiar, but it’s actually a first.  It’s a variation of  a fern table runner I made a few months ago, but it’s a bit wider and the distance between the 2 sides of ferns is a bit wider as well.  Here’s a close up of this new one:
 
fern-tr-rev1-closeup
The ruler work was all done using the PTD 12 arc ruler and the main thread is Glide.  The loop-d-loop in the background edges was done using Invisifil.  This was because I just wanted a texture there and wanted to avoid drawing attention to that stitching.  This next shot shows the 2 table runners next to one another:
 
fern-tr-together
I am chuckling because I can hardly tell them apart when they’re together, yet I was REALLY bothered by the width of that first table runner and that’s what made me re-create it with a different layout!  Here’s a closeup of the two together:
 
fern-tr-together-closeup
I still like the wider one better, even though the difference is kind of subtle!   This is a machine embroidery applique design (meaning it’s done on an embroidery machine) that I originally designed as a border design but I like how the design works with the mirror image ferns across from one another.  I’m hoping to have this pattern available by Christmas.

Starting a New Quilt Project

October 21st, 2017
There’s nothing quite as invigorating as beginning a new quit project. I’ve had the center part of this quilt in my head for a few months now, but couldn’t allow myself to begin working on it until I had finished up some other work. Now I can really plow into this! I started by cutting out applique shapes with my Sizzix Big Shot:
 
cutting-shapes
(This was early on…I cut a WHOLE lot more than this, but it went very quickly using a steel rule die.)  My background fabrics were the hand dyed fabrics I dyed recently.  Here are my 3 center panels once they’d been backed with a lightweight interfacing and cut to size:
 
wall
(For what it’s worth, I always fuse a lightweight interfacing onto the back of any fabric I’m going to embroider, but cotton sateen is a good fabric to ALWAYS fuse to lightweight stabilizer, even when you’re not going to embroider it.  It’s a twill fabric and can be a bit of a “shape-shifter,” if you know what I mean.  Once you back it with interfacing, it will not change shapes on you.)
 
Next up, I fired up the old embroidery machines and started many, many hoopings of machine embroidery applique.  You can see one of the panels in the next shot as I’m still adding to it:
 
panels-green-1
This first panel has jade swags and dark blue flowers.  It’s my favorite one.  This second panel has turquoise swags and purply/blue flowers.  I’m not as in love with this one:
 
panels-green-2
I can’t believe I got this far already, but I’ve finished the MEA on the first 2 panels!!  Here is a shot of them next to one another on my design wall:
 
panels-1_2
The Dijon mustard fabric in between them is in the “auditioning phase”…not sure that is a “go” or not just yet.  The third panel will also have jade swags and dark blue flowers.  I won’t be able to work on this again for a week, but I’m feeling totally “juiced up” by how far I’ve gotten so far.  Here’s a closer up shot that is very off-kilter:
 
panels-1_2-cu
 
 

Done, at Least for Now

September 25th, 2017
 
gp1
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:
 
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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.
 
 
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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.
 
gp1
 
I’m excited to work on some other projects for awhile!

New Stitch-outs

August 21st, 2017
 
Oaks-B1
 
These are some machine embroidery applique oak leaves that are more traditional, and this next shot is the whimsical version:
 
oaks-B2
Here is a traditional version of a different variety of oak leaf (hence, the different shape):
 
Oaks-A2
 
…and here’s the whimsical version of this alternate oak leaf shape:
 
Oaks-A1-original
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
 
rf1
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:
 
rf6
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):
 
rf2
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:
 
rf3
 
rf5
…and here it is bound.  I am officially hooked on that 2 color flanged binding now:
 
rf4
There is something so yummy about quilting hand dyed cotton sateen fabric…it still thrills me every time I do it!