Embroidery Projects

Stitching Up A Storm

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Making a bit more progress on my 'Field & Forest' quilt.  I haven't had a lot of time to work on this and have just been passing through the studio and stitching up one or two blocks at a sitting.  Sometimes when waiting for the tea kettle to boil.  Sometimes to recover from mopping the floor.  Then a soft chair becomes an oasis and my quilt project a happy little respite. 

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I am also finding it immensely satisfying to be able to use up a bunch of scraps, odds and ends and left-over jelly-roll strips.  The colors seem to go together in a weird sort of way.  The green ties everything together, I think.  Once I removed the blue blocks the colors worked better.  Funny, because it started out as a summer themed quilt (with the cool blues and greens), but then was transformed into "fall".  I will have to do something else with the blue blocks now.  

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These seams are just begging for some feather-stitching and fancy embellishment though, don't ya think? 

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Still Stitching . . .

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Here's an update on my 'Field & Forest' lap quilt.  I'm still experimenting with the colors and layout.  A few of the blocks are already sewn together, with other "floating sections" laid out on my homemade flannel design wall cobbled together in 2006.

Anyway, my design wall is great for small projects like this.  I may rearrange everything a few more times before I'm done. I've got another stack of embroidered squares waiting in the wings to trim and sew into blocks.  We have clouds and possible rain--a good day for stitching!


Blue Butterfly

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With all the smoke and fire and heat here in the west, cool hues and shades of blues are appealing now--bringing a bit of calm.  This is the only sighting of the elusive blue butterfly I've seen these days.  Keeping watch . . . 


Summer Stitiching

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In between a flurry of travel and other summer activities, I'm contentedly stitching these small embroidered blocks with the Field & Forest pattern set.  It's been great digging into my stash of fabric scraps again in the spirit of 'Use What You Have, since I don't really have a grand plan for this project. 

In fact, it's all very random at this point.  But while I'm concentrating on keeping my chain-stitches evenly spaced, and trying not to stab my finger with the needle, I am envisioning a colorful quilt, a sort of lap throw, of embroidered blocks connected by strip-borders constructed Log Cabin style.  Well, more or less.  Keeping in mind, that none of my blocks are the same size and they are not square.  The result being more abstract than a traditional precise pieced quilt block.  Also my fabric strips are a bit random, as I'm just pulling "left-overs" together. 

So, no telling what's going to happen here.  We shall have to wait and see where this leads.  It could be wonderful. It might be tragic.  But I guess that's what makes this little experiment so exciting!


Field & Forest

Queen_anns_laceEvery summer, mother nature provides us with an ever-changing meadow nearby. It's always a surprise.  Last year it was mostly field daisies.  Before that, teasel and tall grass. This year it's dandelions mingled with Queen Ann's Lace.  To some, only weeds.  But to others, wildflowers!  Certainly miracles.  Rain or shine it takes care of itself.  Gentle breezes make it dance.  Bees and butterflies come and go.  Ladybugs lurk.   Nothing more is needed.  It's free for the taking: a little calm within a chaotic world.  A gift.

Wildflowers_1295It's always interesting to see what 'volunteers' arrive each summer.  Mostly from seeds carried on the wind or dropped by birds and other small critters that have made homes in here.  Lavender and lilies share a stage together, harmonious counterpoints, though their performance is brief.  At the height of the season, and even beyond it, bright colors fade into muted mossy tones and I take joy in every blossom, seed and leaf.  It's always a little sad when the show is over. 

However, I can still preserve a few snippets for remembrance with needle and thread. 

Embroidery_pattern_7300 And, best of all, I can share it with you!  I've made a revised version of a vintage pattern I call, Perennial Garden Quilt #7300.  The original (above) has twenty-four 8" x 8" block motifs connected with lattice strips.  It's a striking quilt on it's own with lots of pattern and variety, and a wonderful companion if you are looking for a big lap-stitching project to while away the hours. 

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However, I wanted to make a smaller quilt, like a lap throw, with smaller 5" blocks, so basically I pulled out and resized some of the motifs for this purpose.  Just over forty in all.  Plenty enough variety for my purposes and plenty to share as a "new" pattern I will call:  Field & Forest  #6589

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So, that done, I started my project with the dragonfly motif.  These harmless critters come in an array of amazing colors; reds, gold, orange, purple, as well as blues and greens--so anything goes.  Not wanting to get overly technical, colors are just randomly placed.  I'm using a pale silver for the wings which is quite nice.  A plain linen background really makes the colors pop.  I will also be combining blocks with bold background colors too. Dragonfly_embroideryYes, I know...my stitching is a bit loose and messy, but that's the effect I'm going for, so no worries.  Still have a ways to go on this one.  Then ladybugs next. 


Spring Chicken Bakes

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This 1960's dish towel design from Tri-Chem was originally designed to be painted with liquid embroidery.  Back in the day this was a brand new product introduced as a time-saving solution for the busy working woman. 

My Mom, being a busy working woman, had eagerly purchased the ball-point tubes of paint for us to try (I was about 12 then), but we discovered the medium was messy and difficult to control.  As a result, we ended up with some very interesting dust cloths! 

However, I'm told the current liquid embroidery paint tubes work much better.  So if you prefer coloring to stitching then here's something for you too.

But as I prefer to stitch these, and others may as well, I took liberties and made a few slight modifications to the graphics choosing a friendlier font (for needlework) and a different layout. If you love Lazy-Daisy, I've also added optional daisy borders, to carry out the theme.  They can be stamped lengthwise alongside the chicken (like the original lettering) or used as a border underneath her. 

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But wait!  There's more!  I also created BAKE! as a theme towel.  It's not shown on the envelope cover (above), but it will be included in the pattern as a sort of Surprise Bonus.  Only my blog readers will know the what, where, when, how and why.

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Here's the BAKE! towel, stamped and ready to go. 

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Already a work in progress!  This was stamped onto a fresh flour sack dish towel, but I think it would be darling on an apron bib or baking smock.  It measures about 8" x 7" (without the weekday).

Lazy-daisy-redThese old patterns usually had numbers and rarely had names (with the exception of Aunt Martha's).  But this one had neither that I could find, so I've given it both and added it to the PatternBee website as Spring Chicken #4472.  In the event the link no longer works, look under the Kitchen Towel category, under 'Feathered Friends'.   


Just Warming Up

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While I wait on the weather and the spring bloom, I'm reveling in bright spots of color wherever I can find it.  With spring cleaning' underway I'm finding all sorts of eye-popping stuff!  I need to find my sunglasses.

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2018 February Bonus

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This Redwork motif (Ingall's late 1800's), with a wording modification, was part of the Bonus pattern for February 2018.  I wanted to stitch it up as soon as I saw it.  I think it works nicely as a decorative towel. 

UPDATE: Now included in the 2018 Bonus Collection on the PatternBee website.