March 31st, 2016
I ended up throwing a feathered wreath inside the butterfly wreath.  My original plan was to leave that space as a big blank area that I could fill with quilted ruler work, but I caved in and added the wreath. I cut the 5 shapes that make up the butterfly on a Silhouette Cameo cutter.  I was cutting 4 pairs of upper and lower wings from each piece of fabric; here’s a shot of how I laid it out on my computer screen:
If you haven’t seen one of these cutters, here’s a shot of it cutting a piece of fabric with Wonder Under on one side:
…and here’s a shot of that piece of fabric after the cutting has happened.  You can see that I’ve removed some of the shapes but not all:
I will be using this cutter a lot in the future.  Don’t get me wrong…my number one first choice is cutting fabric with steel rule dies using my Sizzix cutter, but I just can’t have dies for all the shapes I want to cut.   
Once I’d cut about a million butterfly shapes, I embroidered 4 borders and this is where the top stands now:
I really just love how this is coming out.  The center block is bright, but it’s more of a yellowy-green than it looks here.  I honestly think I like it just as it is now, but I’m toying with the idea of throwing on a 4inch wide border, ONLY because I need a 4 in border to stitch out a cool ruler work design I came up with.  A part of me knows this is a terrible reason to add a border, so I’m just marinating with this option for a couple days.  What would you do?!!
I have had so, so, so MUCH FUN this week playing around in my sewing room.  I just can’t put into words how much this feeds my soul.  I hope you’ve been finding time to indulge your creative muse as well!

8:00 PM Addendum:  I laid the top out on the carpet with some border fabric options surrounding it, then began my workout on my ski machine.  45 minutes later, my decision was made…I’m going with the purple border and teal cornerstone block.  The colors here are not quite right, but it honestly looks great, so I’ll get to play with my ruler work border design after all!!



Still Playing with Butterflies…and a Craftsy Sale!

March 27th, 2016

Playing with these butterflies has made for a really fun weekend.  Here’s another one after its first stitch out:



This little guy seemed a bit too sophisticated for his everyday-ordinary antennae, so they’ve been upgraded to the “ethereal version” below:




Total transformation!  I’m working on a large block now that’s kind of a “butterfly sampler.”  Here’s a sneak peak view of it still in process:


…and here it is just a little bit further along…



You’ll have to wait a bit to see the finished project.  And don’t forget that Craftsy is having a huge sale right now!  They’re offering their classes at a full 50% discount, and that’s HUGE!!  Use my instructor link by clicking here to get 50% off on the classes of your choice.  Remember, you can watch these classes on your schedule and at your convenience, and you’ll own the class forever.  This is the time to stock up on all those classes showing quilting techniques that you’re dreaming about!  Let this spring be YOUR time to build your skills through Craftsy, and hurry, because the sale ends on Monday night, 3/28/16.


Experimenting with Butterfly Designs

March 24th, 2016
I’ve been playing around with some new machine embroidery applique designs, this time involving butterflies.  The photo above was my first test stitch-out and it uncovered a big problem…can you spot it?  It’s the edge finishing stitch I chose for the bug body.  It’s got a “lacey” nature to it and so it doesn’t effectively cover the earlier stitching that was done in other colors.  You can see the issue more clearly in this next shot:
The bug body edge finishing has been swapped out for another decorative stitch so now I’m happy.  This next version is my whimsical butterfly version:
Much more playful, don’t you think?  My next 3 butterflies are more celestial.  I was influenced by intricate featherwork as I drew these out:
Here’s a close-up of that decorative stitching inside the wings…I love how it came out:
Doesn’t looking at that detail just give you butterflies?!  (Pun intended!)  I only had time to stitch out one more test stitch-out before I had to get going with dinner.  This one channeled my love of swirls and plumes together:
I have to say that it was such a treat to watch as these all stitched out.  I have another one to still test and then I’ll be done.  These can all be stitched in a 5 in x 7 in hoop.  They will be available soon in our online store and will come with a pdf of shapes and also a cutting file for Silhouette ecutters…more to follow!

Incredible Class!

March 15th, 2016

wild quilting


OMG, OMG, OMG!!  I am so excited by this new Craftsy class I started watching this week!  Have you seen “Wild Quilting” by Christina Cameli yet?  There is something about Christina’s style of teaching that is so warm and inviting that just draws you in.  Once you start watching, the real hook is all the ways she creates beautiful combinations of free motion quilting designs!  Her ideas are so fresh and invigorating that you just want to run to your machine to start playing around.  So, so much fun!  Her samples are yummy and you’ll find yourself drooling over them but the best part is that this is not rocket science!  Honestly, her designs are very do-able by just breaking them down into parts.  You can find Christina’s class by clicking here and I promise that you’ll be glad that checked it out!  Can’t wait to start playing with some of her ideas!!



On the Machine Bed

March 12th, 2016
I haven’t posted here in awhile because life has not afforded me anytime to create with my hands lately and  have been going through sewing/quilting withdrawl.  Don’t you hate that?!   Today was the first time in ages that I’ve had to really get some quilting done and I spent it working on the table runner above.  These 2 large intersecting ferns are the central portion of the runner and this has been really fun to quilt.  Here are a couple close-up shots of the center-most portion:
and here’s another:
The ends before the outermost sections have a different background quilting pattern than the center sections:
I’ll post more as I finish this up but wanted to “check in” since I’ve been “radio silent” for awhile.