Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Applique and This weeks Doodle

As I have already pointed out, I am completely hooked on hand applique. This week, I wanted to see if I could create a design/pattern from an original drawing I did. This is based on an image from an old hockey card. The block is really a tribute to a group of guys who range in age from mid 50's into their 80's who hit the ice 3 times a week playing full 90 minute about dedication. Notice the white hair?
Back when these guys began playing the game as kids they did not wear helmets and did not have the fancy, flashy equipment our athletes now use. You just gotta know that these guys will all be cheering on Canada as they go for Olympic Gold later today.
I have to say that I am fairly pleased with how this came together.........I learn new things with each project I tackle.
The striped effect on the socks and jersey was created using red SetaColour paint on white cotton. The face detail was drawn with pigma pens and colour pencil. Dimension was added to the hair by thread painting with white and pale grey thread. Some simple embroidery takes care of details like skate laces and blades.

This weeks CPP word is many choices. Well lets see, in the block you will find a pair of gloves, eyes, socks, skates, pants, get the idea.
But this doodle is of my favourite pair of thread snips. I have probably used these nearly everyday since they were purchased in 1974. I have bought other pairs over the years ...but you know, the old saying "They just don't make em like they used too." is so very true.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

#55 See

This week's CCP word, See is quite appropriate for me this week. You see, even though I have worn glasses for more than 50 years (not a typo) I rarely wear them at home because I am nearsighted, I haven't really found the need, but this week working on those tiny applique stitches I discovered that I can actually "see" what I am doing if I put on my specs.

Here is a close up look at my stitching, since this is my first real attempt at an applique project I am quite pleased with my efforts and I have to say I am completely hooked on applique, I absolutely LOVE it!

I did have a couple of problems to start out though. First, I always have had trouble keeping a thimble on my finger but I found these flexible ones which work great.
My second problem seems a bit strange or does it?
I broke 5 needles.........yes 5 of them right in half while hand stitching by the time I was roughly half way through the Bunny block (see earlier post).
I can only guess that perhaps I was a bit tense as I haven't broken any more since. Has this happened to you? It just feels so odd to have your needle snap in half.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Labels & Doodles

 Note*  if you are looking for information on printing fabric with an inkjet printer and or, a homemade Bubble Jet Set solution......please click on the "Tutorials" tab contains the most complete and up to date info

Want to be sure your quilt and it's label are never separated? Instead of merely adding the label to the back when the quilt is finished why not use your label as part of the pieced back? That is exactly what I have done with this quilt...sorry can't show you the front just yet.......well....okay how about a little sneak peak.
Since my fabric was not quite wide enough and had to be pieced anyway I decided to go ahead, print my label to incorporate it into the backing.

Have you tried making my homemade Bubble Jet Set solution? you can find those earlier posts here. While my first few batches stayed clear, my most recent one, I discovered, had separated and settled in the bottom of the jar. Not sure why, but I went ahead and shook it was cloudy, sort of like watery milk but it worked fine and was just as effective as before.

Now for the doodles........did you notice my initials on the label? I try to include them on all of my labels.
Jaye is still providing us with our weekly prompt and this week's CPP word is Whisk so here is what I have for you Jaye.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I am INSPIRED!........but not to Doodle

Yesterday, I attended a workshop conducted by Rosemary Makhan who led us through a wonderful day of learning her applique method. Those of you who are regular readers know that not only do I rarely work with someone else's patterns, I generally am not a flowery type quilter. That just might all change after the last couple of days.
Seeing Rosemary's work on her web site is one thing but seeing it up close and personal is entirely different. I don't think you can look at her amazing work and not be inspired. We were treated to her trunk show at guild on Thursday evening .....each time you thought it could not possibly get any better another spectacular quilt emerged. If you ever have a chance to take a class with Rosemary, take my advice, do NOT pass up the opportunity.
My last post showed how I was preparing for this class beginning with my little mock up of the block I would be working on. Well here is my full size block (see the little one in the lower left corner) now ready for needle and thread.
My fabric choices are based on the fact that when the bunnies visit my garden (usually to nibble my favourite plants) it is early morning, so I wanted this piece to have that dappled sun effect.

I have not really been in a doodling mood lately, but I did do this sewing bird for prompt word #52 Sterling Although my antique sewing bird is actually brass there were a few made in Sterling silver.
Prompt word #53 is Magnify........and well, I just thought the one I did for #23 Look worked so well that I decided not to doodle another.

Okay time to thread a needle and see how long it's going to take to achieve those incredibly fine stitches I admired in Rosemary's quilts.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Preparing for Class

Next Friday I plan to take an applique workshop and want to be properly prepared. I have not taken many classes or workshops so I'm never sure that I have chosen the right supplies to take along, I just know that when I get started I'll wish I had made different choices.

Since I can't bring my entire stash with me, I devised a simple way to "Audition" my fabrics for this class. I went online and snagged a picture of the pattern we will be working on. (note, I am not a bunny and butterfly kinda quilter) but I do want to learn technique. I printed the picture ( about 1/4 of the actual block size) and proceeded to trace the elements onto freezer paper. I cut the flowers, leaves, and bunny from the fabrics I thought might work and placed them onto my background. So here it is in miniature and I think I like my choices. The ladyslipper leaf fabric actually reads a little more green in full size. I will take a few of my second choices along as well in case I want to make any last minute changes. I am thinking that I may enhance some of the colours with a little thread painting once the applique is done.

You will notice that I have chosen to use a light background, this is partly because I don't care for the dark background and because I have very few light fabrics in my stash that would work. You may also notice that there is no butterfly in my mock up........I gotta draw the line somewhere, the butterfly is not happening, not real sure that toad will be staying either.
I stitched my mock block onto a piece of stabilizer that could be slipped into a clear binder sheet for easy reference. Now everything is neat, organized & ready to go.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


For the longest time I have been wanting to make myself a needlebook......well I have finally done it. I plan to take an applique class next week so this should come in handy.

I started with this fabulous Mark Lipinski print,
( LOVE this black and white) came up with a bit of a plan, decided on a size and then just kinda made it up as I went along. I put magnetic strip here on the inside so I won't be loosing my needles. I dug through some old jewelry findings and using a jump ring, attached a lobster claw to a short length of lightweight chain. It holds my needle threaders.

I have 6 felt "pages" to hold my betweens, straw, and basting needles along with glass head pins & safety pins.

I added a pouch with a flap and a little tiny pocket. This holds my thread snips, leather thimble and even my seam ripper.
For the pocket, I used a tightly woven batik for extra strength.

I made the inner and outer layers separately. The inside has the pockets and pages sewn to it using a piece of cotton on a medium weight stabilizer. The outer cotton print was stitched to a layer of a Timtex like product (at Fabricland it is called Flexi-Firm)
Once that was done I just put the two pieces wrong sides together, finished the edges with a zigzag stitch and added my closure.
Copyright Jill Buckley