Saturday, January 28, 2017

More Babies

My great nephew and his wife are expecting twin boys. As usual I made them baby quilts. I did not want them to be the same, but still somehow "go together". I used flannel and a very simple patchwork pattern. I hope these quilts will be used and dragged around and machine washed often.




This pattern calls for two coordinating fabrics with one contrast for the inner border and the binding.




I quilted them on my mostly-unused Sweet Sixteen and it behaved itself very nicely. It allowed me to do much more quilting than I usually do on a baby quilt.




Backing




On this one the two fabrics went together too well and it's a little hard to see that it is actually two different fabrics. Note to self..choose fabrics that have more contrast the next time.



I still love the animal print and the big polka dots and the colors.




Backing


Now I just have to make the labels, sew them on and get them shipped off to Baltimore.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Oh, Baby!

In the midst of the toxic political atmosphere this past weekend it was great to be able to do something fun. What is better than the anticipation of a new baby?

One of the members of FANE, one of the art quilt groups to which I belong, is having a baby. She is the youngest of our group by far, decades younger than many of us. Christine is such a delightful person. She also led the art quilt group of our guild, while working full time, going for her Master's Degree and dealing with a sick husband. All with a big smile on her face and boundless enthusiasm.

Linda got the group together in her newly renovated home. She hasn't purchase living room furniture yet and that big room was perfect for the luncheon. Here it is all decked out with white tablecloths and pink flowers. Christine knows they are having a girl, Natalia, thus all the pink.

There was another table that you can't see in this picture.


What you can see draped over the windows are these adorable little onesies made out of different papers and sewn onto pink ribbon. She also had a long string hanging from the chandelier in the foyer, greeting you as you walked in.


Linda asked that everyone bring something handmade or embellished purchased items. She got so many cute things. I didn't get pictures of them all and I didn't write down the names of who made what, but here is just a sampling.

A set of hand embroidered onesies. She also got some that were appliqu├ęd and stamped.



Christine holding up part of a pile of "drool" bibs. Each one a different print backed with white flannel. I think they were made by Judy.




A darling collaged and stitched picture to hang on the wall by Nike.



Linda made this fabulous snuggle bag that she crocheted with a matching cap adorned with more crocheted flowers.


A darling knit "monster" doll made by Paula, so cute and cuddly.



Joyce made this from a recycled infant's shoe, her son's from many years ago. It was painted, covered in modge-podged fabric, and filled with fun fabric flowers. There was a wonderful poem to go with it.



A book bag for trips to the library.


Christine is originally from Texas, so these two alphabet books were perfect.



I took a picture at home of the onesies I stamped. I have a collection of Hot Potato stamps, which I love, and I picked the most whimsical ones I had.


The cake was as yummy as it was pretty. White cake with fresh strawberries between the layers.

Christine cutting the cake and showing off her big belly. She is due at the end of March.



Cute party favors made by Linda.



 Almost everyone from the group was able to attend. It was a lovely day, filled with friends, laughter, good food, and well wishes. 

Thank you, Linda, for being such a gracious hostess and for making this day possible. She took this picture and so is not shown.

All pictures are clickable for a bigger view.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Still Stitching

I am having the kind of week that I love and rarely have. Hardly any social or otherwise obligations, other than going to the gym and getting in my morning walk. No meetings, no lunch dates, no doctor or dentist appointments. Monday through Thursday. Just a few piddly errands and making a big pot of soup. Lots of time to work in my studio. I have finished a baby shower project that I can't show yet because it is a surprise, but I will show it next week. I'm well on the way to finishing two baby quilts for twin boys soon to be born. Again, I'll show them when I'm done.

And every night I'm stitching in front of the TV on my denim jacket that I showed you here.


I finished the center back panel and it was so much fun to do. I did decide to fill in the background with the variegated thread and I like the way it looks. I have to decide how much more to do, since it has to be finished by the end of February to go in the Woman's Club Arts and Crafts completion.

For now I have started on the front right yoke. It, too will have more French knots in the paisley and a background fill with seed stitch as I did on the back.


Maybe I'll do that big back yoke next. I'll decide as I go along, but in the meantime it is wonderful to have some handwork to do. Prior to this and since the demise of my hand quilting, the only hand work I've done is stitching down the binding on a quilt.

Stay tuned.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cute Purse

I finished this little purse today. It was made from a pattern that I bought last spring at my local guild's quilt show. The pattern, by Material Girlz of Florida, also came with a link to a video showing an easy way to do the prairie points. I will enter it into the Woman's Club Arts and Crafts competition at the end of February.





The blue fabric is one of my hand dyes that I free-motion quilted in a variegated thread. The checkered is a commercial batik. It's just the right size for going to the movies or out to dinner.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Shibori Pillow


Here's one of my shibori velveteen samples made into a small pillow. I wasn't sure if it was the right shade of blue for my family room, but look how nicely it is playing with a pillow that's been there for a long time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Velveteen Shibori

I saw some velveteen shibori pillows in a catalog recently at a very high price. I thought they were gorgeous and also thought that I could make them. I like to do shibori and dyeing and have done a fair amount, but never on velveteen. I ordered the fabric from Dharma Trading and I finally got around to trying it. I would like to make some big pillows for my sister's white couches in her new home and they have to be fairly large, about 20" square.

I thought I'd better do some samples on smaller pieces before tackling the big job, so I made three pieces about 16" square. I cut them a bit larger, allowing for shrinkage. They didn't shrink much, but there was a lot of fraying.

Here are the results.



This one was the easiest to do. I accordion pleated it and then clamped it in six rows with plastic clothespins.



This was the hardest to do because it took six rows of hand stitching, which were then pulled tightly and knotted. A very subtle look, much more subtle than if I had done it on plain cotton.




This one was accordion pleated in two directions then clamped using metal canning jar lids and C-clamps.  I was able to get a very tight clamp, thus the stark white circles. Not sure if I like this for a pillow. Of course they will look different and better when rounded out on a pillow form.

The velveteen was very easy to work with, unlike velvet. I could steam press it on the wrong side with no ill affects. My sister's couches are actually off-white, so I'm not sure how these will look. I don't think I want to dye the fabric first, but that is a possibility. 

Next is what can happen if you buy cheap rubber gloves at the dollar store. Don't, I repeat DON'T use them when dyeing fabric.



There must have been a hole in one of the fingers. This picture is after scrubbing with some scouring powder. It was pure navy blue when I first took off the glove.



Palm side, also after some scouring. I know that it will eventually wear off in a couple of days, but I certainly have learned a lesson. Ah, how were suffer for our art!


Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year

I once heard or read that what you do on New Year's Day sets the tone for the whole year. So this is what I did yesterday. I took a good brisk walk in the morning, went to Mass, took down some of the Christmas decorations, did some reading, went to a party at a neighbor's house, came home and did some stitching while watching TV. Not too bad.

What I am stitching is a jeans's jacket. I had a lot of fun doing the one with the buttons last year, but I wanted to do something different. I am a sucker for paisley so I went online and looked at a lot of patterns and then did my own thing.


This is just the beginning. I'm using six strands of embroidery floss. I'm not sure if I will do any stitching on the two side panels, I'll decide when I finish this panel. I will enter it in the Woman's Club Arts & Crafts  competition at the end of February. That will also determine how much stitching I will do. Deadlines are good for me and if I do an hour or so every evening, as I did last night, I should be able to get a fair amount done. I'm also debating filling in the background with seed stitch in a variegated blue floss. What do you think?

I'll post more pictures when I have some more done.