May 13 14

I’ve Been Working Quietly

How does this keep happening that I am not posting more regularly?  I love staying in touch with people through my blog but it sure doesn’t look like it when I go for these long stretches between posts.  Please don’t take this to mean I don’t cherish comments or other interaction through this blog.  I just find it harder and harder to get some quiet time to do a post and a post isn’t  a post without photos, etc.  Anyway, I apologize for my absence!
I have been working on developing a new machine embroidery applique block for the last month.  My goal is that there will be other companion blocks and they are all somewhat reminiscent of a Pennsylvania Dutch kind of  a look.  When you’re designing  a block like this, you go through many iterations of it before you end up with a block that you like.  Here is what the first version of this block looked like:
I liked the basic idea but there were a couple things that bothered me.  First thing that bugged me was all the internal embroidery inside the feather.  This close up shot is a good illustration of just how overwhelming it is:
Whoa!!  Talk about over-worked and over-designed!  So, first thing was to remove all that internal embroidery.  The other thing that bothered me was that the block seemed too “bare” near the center.  Taking these 2 changes into account, here was the second version:
After 4-5 more versions where we changed the swirl stitching inside the flowers, tweaked the stitching inside the leaves, and then made some minor changes on the feathers, we finally got to our most recent version, which I love.  Here’s what it looks like:
I find it hard to work with a lot of yellow, so I rarely do it, but I’m loving the colors on this block.  All of these shapes were cut from Appli-K-Kutz dies on my Sizzix Big Shot machine.   I can’t help myself, but I have fallen totally head-over-heels in love with machine embroidery applique!  I am regularly blown away by the transformative effect of thread work on an applique block.  Part of it is the interesting detail it provides and part of it are the 3-dimensional effects it creates.  Here are some closer up shots of parts of the block.  First up is my favorite part, the flower/leaf unit:
Is that not the sweetest thing?  Here’s the same flower/leaf unit  in another colorway:
…and here’s a feather (kind of boring compared to the flowers but I still like it):
…and here’s a close up of the center section:
Oh my, my!  This all makes my heart flutter!  And to finish off this post, a little garden shot:


  1. Karen Miller Says:

    Just beautiful Patsy — I’m loving the details and all of the beautiful colors. Thanks for sharing your sweet pictures and inspiration with us. Oh, and the Rhodie – awesome!! I’m afraid the deer ate a majority of my buds but I will have a few. Cheers…. Karen

  2. Mary B Says:

    Love the appliqué and machine embroidery stitches. At first glance I thought it was cording. Is that a variation of a satin stitch? First visit to site, maybe it is explained in another post. I will be reading more now. Very nice design

  3. Celia Says:

    Just beautiful! Wonderful designs, so pretty! Thank you for your hard work that goes on when you are not posting on the blog. This shows perfectly what you do best!!!

  4. Linda Erickson Says:

    Wonderful, love the new block.
    How goes it with your George machine?

  5. Kelly Jackson Says:

    So glad you are having fun and making beautiful blocks 🙂 Quiet can be good sometimes….especially when you are being creative.


  6. Sally Bramald Says:

    I love the stitch you used on the feather and elsewhere, it is like a border of fine rope. I know the feeling of not blogging enough……