Thursday, April 28, 2011

No Plain Shirts!

I determined that Ben had too many plain shirts in his wardrobe (and i had a few designs i needed to "test",  so i recently had a little embroidery fest.

This design is from Urban Threads--a FAVORITE design shop with the kind fo embroidery designs you can get behind--instead of flowers, and puppies and rainbow unicorns (gag)

i COULD NOT turn down this one when Niamh advertised it.  As some of you may or may not know, i appreciate the nerdy chic look, and often dress my son in this look.  This design was just too cute!

I know this pic is a little fuzzy--i've got a crappy camera--deal.   But basically this is just an embroidered pocket with a calculator, pen, pencil and broken horned rim glasses.  ANd yes, the calc. does read 3.14.  (speaking of which, you should see her Pi designs!)

I put Ben in this the other day, and he was quite a cutie.  Wouldn't stand still for a pic, though.

Of course One of Ben's favorites is rockets.  To be honest, I'm not sure where i got this design (i download a lot of free ones from designers).  I placed it a little high on the shirt (i refuse to mark the shirt for placement because i've had situations where the mark did not come out--so sometimes my placement is a bit dodgy)  This was a nice full design that didn't pucker and the bright almost neon thread showed up beautifully against the black

And of course, i had to try the peep design.  This was a free design i downloaded from an embroidery forum that i frequent.  (there are lot of those flowers/puppies/rainbows on that site--but an occasional gem will pop up!)  This is an applique design--meaning that yellow you see is actually material that is tacked down and stitched in with the satin stitch on the outside edge.  I used two layers of yellow flannel to make it soft and plump, like my favorite easter candy!  
Ben, as you can see, was a fan as well.
 It's one candy he knows quite well!  "Peep!"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another BOM

This one is from Dreamcastle Quilts, and it's entitled Betty's Blue Birds.  Instead of using shades of blue, however--since i am DETERMINED to quilt down my stash--i am using scraps from the mu'u mu'u job from two years ago.  Purple, White and will be bright at least!

These are the first three blocks.  I will be posting the 4th one once i get a chance to get into my studio.  As it is Spring Break, my usual studio time (when Ben is in school) is currently non-existent.

 This first block is called hovering hawks.  Appropos as we have a few of them in the area.  I should applique a black triangle on there to represent the crows that harass our local hawk...

a pretty simple square--all half square triangles and squares.

This one is called Fox and Geese--a variation on an old classic.  The small triangles are called "flying geese" units, so the corner units must be the foxes.  The geese are paper pieced (otherwise they wouldn't look THAT sharp!)

I really like this one, called Doves.  This one was actually pretty easy because the curves are actually just applique instead of curved piecing.  Something i CAN do but DON'T.  I wanted to do some applique with a more open zig zag stitch as it seems very...casual to me, and i like that!  Satin stitching is pretty, but too perfect.  (that and this material is actually a cotton poly blend--yes, i know, a SIN in quilting, but there it is--and i wasn't sure how well it would hold up under the tension of a satin stitch)

Luckily, each of these blocks is supposed to have a border, but i wanted that color to be the same, so i'll have to get that material later when i can really look at the blocks and determine what color would work best since it will be the dominant color of the quilt.  Right now, i don't even know.

Monday, April 18, 2011

more Celtic BOM

Once i finished the Beltaine quilt, i decided to work the three previous quilt tops and then quilt them at a later time--since those months/holidays are over.

I should state that i am using only scraps on each of these, with the exception of the white batik background.  I am deptermined to use my stash of scraps!  (especially for a mini quilt!)

This one is for january, and is the sacred pentacle, representing the four elements and the spirit.  This is the only one that is actually the correct size since i finally figured out the percentage to print the PDF file!

The pentacle itself is paper pieced, and then appliqued on using the sew and turn method.  That was attached using a blanket stitch.   The rest was done with strip sets or just strips.

This one is for February and Imbolc.  This design is called Brigid's cross, as Brigid (or St. Brigid)--goddess of midwifery, among other things, is often worshipped for this sabbat.  This should symbolize a broom, or grasses, thus the use of greens and browns.  Mine weren't as subtle as the example on the website, but i like it just the same.  The red signifies fire, which is pleasing to Brigid (think home and hearth).  This was also paper pieced.

The third one, for March, is for Eostara or the Vernal equinox.  Yes, its' an Eostara egg (seem familiar?  should i even mention the rabbit that lays eggs?)  Eostara is a celebration of spring and fertility, and i used soft pastel colors for this one, except for the border.  Also paper pieced, i look forward to practicing my stippling on this one.  I plan to stipple the white sections and stitch in the ditch for the rest.  This is the only one for which i've planned out my quilting.

I'm looking forward to next month's mini quilt already!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

BOM celtic quilts

since I've gotten back into quilting, I've jumped on a few Block of the Month series so that i don't feel pressured to get a bunch of blocks done, i can work with different color palettes and styles, and practice a few skills.

This first series caught my eye from Simply 2M.  I love that you can either make these as quilt blocks or mini quilts.  I am doing the latter, so that i can use them on my altar for each month/season/holiday.  Now, since I've been working on other things for these past few months, I am behind on jan-april.  So for this series, i decided to make the April quilt first, so that i could use and display it.  It is a design that celebrates Beltaine--one of the big sabbats--for May 1st.

For this one i tried two different applique techniques.  I did the sew and turn method with the circle, using some iron-on stabilizer.  Note to self--use lightweight fusible interfacing instead!  The triangles, being so small, i just fused as is.  I used a blanket stitch around both.

Now, this bock was a bit of a struggle because i didn't print it up to the proper size, and the center square was a little larger than the instructions.  This involved math, measuring, sewing, cursing, more math, more sewing, and settling.  You may notice that on the row of little squares, the outer squares are a little smaller than the others.

I also got more practice on my free-motion quilting--and as you can see, i need more.  My straight lines echoing the triangles turned out ok, but those durned curves are gonna be the death of me.  I even practiced on scraps before i did this.  The scraps look awesome.  This one looks like i suddenly developed a palsy!  As the design here is the second one (i ripped out the first) i decided to keep it.  I wanted to grace my altar with the most beautiful work, but i realized, that i needed to adorn it with reality.  And reality is, my skills still need work.  So here is my daily reminder.

Notice I've placed Ganesha in the center of that sun.  Perhaps he can help me the next time i tackle curves...