August 20, 2016

Teacup Coaster & an Owl

I didn't really decide to sew a tiny coaster on the hottest day of the year in my attic studio... it just happened!

I needed something to put under my ice water to soak up the droplets dribbling down the sides of my jar. I have a bunch of mug rugs but I wanted something smaller this time, and I wanted to include a little teacup applique because (believe it or not) I don't have anything with a teacup!

I tried a few decorative stitches on my machine but only the last two flowers were aligned even though they came out perfectly on the scrap. A few years back I would have picked out every tiny stitch of that row and re-sewed it but I'm slowly challenging my perfectionism. Besides, the coaster is only for me... and it was way too hot up there to stay a moment longer than needed!

I'm currently working on a new owl ornament pattern requested by Kay who has made over 100 of my bird ornaments and wanted another simple animal or bird ornament pattern to give as gifts. It's tough to come up with something new when it has already been done so many different ways. I think I've made an owl that is my style... I was thinking about calling it "Owl on a Stick" but it will probably end up just being called "Owl Ornament".

What do you think of my owl?

It has been so hot the past few days. I have been meeting my friend Jana at the air-conditioned cafe down the street for some mindless colouring in the squelching hot afternoon heat!

The vegetables in my garden aren't complaining, neither are the plums or grapes. And when It's time to water the garden, half the water ends up on me!

Enjoy your afternoon tea ice water & quilted crafts :o)

August 19, 2016

Stacked China

I made this stacked coins quilt for my friend Maya using blue & white to go with her living room decor. I think it looks like stacked China dishes. I quilted her favourite quote into the quilt...

"What we desire for ourselves,
we wish for all."

by J.S. Woodsworth

(photo by Selep Imaging)

I decided to go with linen for the long strips and binding because it set off the blue & white beautifully. I love linen. It looks good with everything! I free-motion quilted meandering lines and the words, and hand-embroidered a running stitch along the edges of the linen strips.

I found the perfect fabric for the back. It is a blue & white Asian style cotton print of birds on branches. I lost track of where I purchased it online. I used every last piece in the quilt. It wasn't quite large enough for the back after using some for the front so I added a large white border of text fabrics including a fabulous newspaper print.

Maya and her kids loved the quilt. Both of my cats thought that the quilt was extra comfortable too! Get off the quilt, Opal! I still need to embroider it...

Enjoy your afternoon tea & quilted crafts :o)

August 4, 2016

Forest Friends

It seems like everything I make recently has mushrooms in it! If it's not a cake decorated with meringue mushrooms or a little painting of mushrooms then it's a quilt!

I always start my projects with a sketch that I scan into the computer and print it out the actual size. This usually means taping a bunch of paper together.

Sometimes I change small things like adding an extra flower or removing the ferns. In the original drawing, the tree was slanted and the ground was curved but for ease of making a pattern I decided to make the tree & ground straight.

Then I lay my pattern on the ground and start playing with fabrics! This is where my studio becomes a hurricane! For this quilt, I used the Freezer Paper Applique technique.

I trace the reverse of my pattern pieces onto the paper-side of the freezer paper and iron them to the back of the fabrics. Starch helps a lot when pressing the fabric around to the back. The entire quilt was free-motion quilted including attaching all the appliques.

I embellished the quilt with details such as hand embroidery & stamping, and fake felt buttons so it would be baby-safe.

It's just so cute that I can't stop taking pictures!!

I must admit that I fell in love with the finished quilt like I do with practically everything I make! It was difficult for me to give it away but it was totally worth it after all the smiles it created! I think Max likes it!

I feel like this quilt needs a better title... Any thoughts?

Enjoy your afternoon tea & quilted crafts :o)

July 29, 2016

Hummingbird Pillow

The hummingbirds have been visiting me while I'm out in the garden. They are quite curious little fellows, hovering just above the spray of water. They enjoy the blooming sage bush and jasmine vines.

They reminded me of this pillow I made for my Mom a couple Christmases ago. She adores hummingbirds.

I started with a paper-pieced block that I designed especially for this pillow. Then I added applique stems cut from bias strips so they would curve easily, borders, and finally some 3D Fuschia flowers and leaves.

It was difficult to make the stems thin so I added the rest of the vines using repetitive free-motion quilting or "thread painting". Feathers were added to the hummingbird wings during quilting, and details were added to the flowers using hand embroidery and beads.

I used the same design for the back as in my Crane Star Pillow pattern. My Mom loves her hummingbird pillow, and I was happy to see it on her couch last week when I visited.

Enjoy your afternoon tea & quilted crafts :o)