Bird Block 2-the Machine Embroidered Version

March 29th, 2012

I had a lot of trepidation about how well this block might translate into a machine embroidered applique block. I say that because what I like the most about the block is the delicacy/intricacy of the swirl tail and the teardrops that spring from it. I wasn’t sure it would be possible to finish those edges without compromising some of that wonderful delicacy. I think it came out great,  though! Here’s a closeup of the swirl tail and teardrops:

There is a very small rope cabling stitch that finishes those edges and I think it worked out so well. Sometimes it can be a real challenge to preserve the essence of a shape and also come up with an interesting edge finishing design! Here is a closeup of the flower section-this is from the Appli-K-Kutz “Poppies” die and the stem is one of the stems from the “Stylized Stems1” die:

These birds are a bit different beyond just the tail feathers. Their bodies are finished with a dual edge stitch design that’s made up of scallops on the outside and crosses on the inside. Their headdresses are also different than the birds in Bird Block 1 as well:

I’m finishing up the quilting on a small quilt that uses Bird Block 1, Bird Block 2 and the feathered wreath block. It’s coming along really nicely and I hope to have some photos in a few days.

In the meantime, there are only about 24 hours left in our book and DVD sale! All DVDs and books by Patsy Thompson Designs are 15% off until 9 am EST tomorrow am (3/30/12). All you need to do to obtain the discount is enter “Spring” in the discount code box at checkout!

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Thanks, and New Bird Blocks

March 10th, 2012

I forgot to post this bird block a few weeks ago and today I made another new one:

Both of these should end up as digitized machine embroidery designs, but more on that later.

This has been a rough week on a number of levels, but one thing that has really helped is the incredible support from our wonderful quilting community. I received so many kind and understanding notes that it truly warmed my soul. I also heard from many people who had quilts meet far worse peril than mine…like floods and fires. Kinda puts my situation in perspective, you know? So thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for all your compassion and empathy and caring. It’s hard to feel alone with all of you special folks out there!

And now it’s time to get back to quilting! I’m working on fine-tuning what I am affectionately calling “Bird Block 1;” how’s that for a catchy name?! I guess I need to come up with something that sounds a little more snazzy. In the meantime, here’s what the machine embroidered version looks like:

To put it into perspective and see how much MEA can add to a quilt block, here is a photo of the non-embroidered prototype I made for bird Block 1:

Now to really whet your appetite, here are some closeups. This first one shows the tail feathers:

…and here’s what the tulip triad at the base of the block looks like. I’m especially fond of how the stem came out:

And last but not least, the whole bird section:

This will be available in the store once I’ve made some more headway on Bird Block 2 and also once I’ve had time to shoot a tutorial about it. That was planned for this week, but life got in the way…

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Life Interrupted

March 3rd, 2012

We had the misfortune of having our car broken into while we were traveling and a lot of stuff was stolen that meant a lot to me.  Things like an embroidery machine can be replaced, but quilts (whether completed or in progress) into which you’ve poured time, effort, and heart cannot.   Remember this quilt?

Gone. Stolen…most likely in a dumpster or ditch somewhere, covered with mud or garbage, because the person who stole it had no use for it. Can’t really buy drugs with a quilt, so what good are they?

I enjoyed every minute of working on this quilt so I’m grateful for that. For me, quilting is really about the process of making the quilt instead of the final product, but my time with this quilt was cut short. It sounds silly, but I have been quilting this quilt for about 4 months now, stretching it waaayy out and only doing a bit at a time, only because I did not want that creative process…my intimate engagement with this quilt, to draw to an end. I know some of you understand what I’m saying. There’s a sadness once a quilt is completely done and I was putting that off. Oh well.

Also gone. It didn’t look like this anymore…I had added a border to it a couple months ago and was in the process of fusing up flowers/leaves/swirls that would go in the border with a few that would cross into the main body of the quilt. This quilt had loads of trapunto work as well as free motion embroidery; I am guessing that I started working on it at least 8 months ago…

All those wreaths from a recent post…

…will never make it into a quilt. Or the many, many blocks I have been working on. Dang, I had just embroidered several really incredible blocks that I haven’t shown on the blog yet and I was going to wow you with a quilt made from them! Too bad there are no pictures of the blocks since the quilts won’t ever be “born.” Tomorrow is new day and there will be time to birth some new stuff. Please pardon my whining; I’ll be back to my old self in a couple of days.

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