OK – this is such a sweet little finish! Remember I mentioned Julia is learning to embroider and to knit? She stitched the word thankful for me on a simple square of quilting cotton. (She was looking for something to do and I asked her to stitch one word I could display during the fall season.)
I knew I would make something very understated with this. Using a deep red scrap, I sewed on the first border. It finished at 3/4″ wide. Then I took an earthy brown scrap and attached a second border which finished at 1 1/4″ wide.
The quilting is simple and quite minimal. I did a few rows of big-stitch hand quilting above and below the word. You can still see the (crooked) line I had marked with the Hera marker right below the word. That has since melted away (I love using a Hera marker!) I think this is really all it needed. I did machine stitch a tiny border just outside of the red fabric as well. The binding is the same fabric as the outer border which less distracting, keeping the focus to the center.
Measuring only 8″ x 11″, it is easy to tuck into any spot. I originally planned to hang it during Thanksgiving but truly, it is something that should always be displayed. It will most likely be kept on display as a little reminder throughout the year.
Well all this time at home is certainly allowing for lots of time in the sewing room. Last June I started sewing these charm squares I had accumulated into blocks. The charm squares are from a variety of sample packs from Benartex. Simple, prints in soothing colors that wanted to be made into something rather than live on the shelf in the closet (where they had been for at least two years or so).
I saw this idea on Julie’s blog, Me and My Quilts, around that time. She was making something similar and I absolutely copied her!! I cut 2 1/2″ strips and sub cut them into five inch strips. Each was sewed to a charm square, then sliced vertically. One piece flipped around and then I sewed them back together.
I did lay out the pieces in a random order first but decided I wanted something a bit more organized so I started putting them in collections by color.
Finally making up my mind, I got the rows put together and added a few borders (it is a bit on the long and skinny side).
I used this purple print from the shop for the outer border. It is from the Ginger & Spice line by Missy Carpenter and looks great with the neutral sashing. I chose purple because there are only three purple blocks in the quilt and I thought it just needed more!
Now I am looking through choices for the backing. I have decided to keep this one. It is time for me to set up a hand quilting project to work on in the evenings. I have never hand quilted anything larger than a pillow or a mini so this is a big undertaking for me.
I have so many questions since this is a new undertaking for me! Once I baste it, I am thinking of stitching in the ditch along the sashing lines. I was thinking if I had it anchored in place, it would be easier to quilt. Of course one might say after stitching in the ditch it is basically quilted already. Is this a normal progression? I need all the hand quilters to give me lots and lots of tips and tricks in the comments please!! I am thinking of using Perle cotton. Yay or Nay??? I really don’t know what I am doing here so would love any and all hints or referrals to good places to read up on this.
I appreciate the help. Hope everyone is doing well as can be. These are trying times so let’s all stay connected even if virtually. Take care all of you. 🙂
Linking up with all the usuals. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
I have two little projects to share with you. These were both gifted at Christmas and I thought I would wait to post until after they had been given to their intended owners. First is a small, fabric book that I made for my soon-to-be-born grand daughter.
I have several of these panels, in two different flavors, that I purchased when a local fabric store was closing out, maybe four or five years ago? I thought it would be good to have them on hand as a fun gift to give. Then somehow I lost track of them or they went to the bottom of the pile in that closet of mine. After some digging, I found them.
I think it is a sweet way to introduce baby to books. The pages are thick and easily grasped, bright colors and not a whole lot in the way of a plot. Plus it is washable which might come in handy. 😉
If you haven’t made one of these before, it is basically a panel of rectangles. Once you cut them out, the panels are paired up to be sewn in a certain order so the pages are in the correct order. (This is crucial when the plot is as deep as these are!) The instructions said to fuse a mid-weight interfacing to one page of each pair. I chose to use fusible batting instead. It makes the book a bit softer. Each pair of pages is sewn, right sides together and then turned right side out. Press and sew up the little opening that was left to turn the book right sides out. Stack the pages and sew down the center to hold them together. Ta da! Your book is complete.
I didn’t put her name on the book because it hasn’t been shared yet. (Actually, I am not certain they have truly decided on one yet.)
The other gift I made is a scrappy Christmas pillow. I had cut lots of rectangles from a bag of Christmas scraps and decided to use a few of them. I stitched the rows and then when I sewed the rows together I offset the seams. It makes things a little bit more interesting. I love some of the vintage Christmas scraps in this pillow (especially the candy cane fabric).
It looked too busy with the patchwork rows right next to each other so I took a solid khaki color scrap and cut some strips that were 1.5″ finished. At first I quilted the scrappy rows with my walking foot and a variegated Mettler thread in Christmas colors of red and green. That looked boring. I added the big stitch quilting on the solid rows and liked the way that was looking. (You may have seen some of this on Instagram – I shared a few pictures there along the way.
After doing the straight lines of big stitches (using Perle cotton thread) I added the phrasing. I think that finished it off nicely. A simple envelope backing and it was complete.
I didn’t give as many handmade gifts as I sometimes do. Time doesn’t always allow for these things! But these were very simple and fun to make.
I have been reading lots of great posts about everyone’s plans for the new year. I am hoping to get to that soon. I didn’t get it done ahead of time and now we are in the middle of lots of family time. Maybe next week when things settle down again. I do have some fun ideas for 2017 and am excited to share them. Stay tuned!
Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all the best in 2017.
Linking to my usuals – find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups. Additionally, I linked to Frontier Dream’s linky party, Keep Calm and Craft On.
The day we were to leave for our vacation in Maine, I decided I really wanted to take a hand stitching project along with me as I was fairly certain Ray wouldn’t be too keen on my bringing along a sewing machine. He can be so darn unreasonable. Ha ha. We were to be gone for two weeks which is far too long to be without needle and thread. I was searching through the closet in my sewing room and decided to change my plan for a UFO that I had.
Here is the back story. In July, 2014, I posted about a packet of scraps I ordered online. It turned out to be strips from the Moda line called Lexington, designed by Minnick & Simpson. I planned to make a string quilt. Here is a picture of some of the blocks. Side note: wow, that is a horrible picture. I am happy to see that my photography has improved over time. 😉
Each string block finished at seven inches. After making about 20 blocks I set it aside and have not touched it since. I am not sure why, but I lost interest in it. I really like the colors in the project though. I decided to repurpose the blocks that were made and quickly sewed twelve blocks together to use as a table runner. Using twelve blocks gave me a runner that was about 13.5″ x 40″ which is a nice size for my table.
I cut a piece of batting from a bag of batting scraps that I had and also a piece of backing. I love the backing – I purchased it a couple of years ago at a quilt shop in the bay area. My sister, Cathy, found it on a sale table for me.
It has been on the shelf for a bit and I was happy to find a project to use it in. After stitching up the blocks, I quickly sandwiched everything and ditch stitched it down the center and across the width at each seam. I didn’t want to pack a hoop to quilt it and if it was stitched already, I knew it would be stable to hand stitch.
This was such a nice way to practice hand quilting. I have not done a lot of handwork. I did quilt a pillow last spring but since then, not so much. I brought my Hera marker and a square ruler with me, hoping I could figure out some sort of design once I got going. I also brought some basic hand quilting thread as well as Perle cotton.
There are three centers and on each, I stitched a flower. In the center I placed a cluster of french knots. To create the flower petals I used my Hera marker and traced around the top of a coffee cup. Once I got going, I could just freehand them but I needed a guide to get me started.
In each triangle I echoed the lines of the triangles with straight lines. I like the simplicity of the quilting. While we are looking at this picture, let’s all ignore the fact that the point isn’t even close to matching properly. Thank you kindly.
The table runner is very pretty and I look forward to using it later this fall. It feels autumnal to me. I love the binding. This bit of fabric was in my stash and works perfectly. I definitely enjoyed the hand quilting and will continue to practice my stitching.
I still have a few more of these string blocks which will likely sit in that lonely pile where orphan blocks go until I find a use for them.
Hope everyone has a lovely weekend which involves at least a little time in the sewing room. Linking to my usual favorites. Find them at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
In case you are searching for that perfect class to take on Craftsy, there is a sale running this weekend on their most popular classes. It’s a good time to take advantage of a great deal and learn something new.
As a Craftsy affiliate, I will earn a small portion of any sale made by clicking through the links on my page. If you choose to make a purchase, thanks a bunch!
Have you all been looking for little signs of the arrival of spring? Living in California, spring is noticeable early on. My daffodils are done blooming and our fruit trees are leafing out, with all of their blossoms raining down. It is definitely spring here.
Another sign of spring is the gorgeous Windham Fabrics collection, Whisper, which was recently released and is now shipping at Brewstitched. I love the gorgeous pallette used in this line. Soft, muted shades of blue, pink, and mustard yellow are used in this springtime collection. The fabric features various florals and sweet butterflies for a truly feminine feel. Sheryl, the owner of Brewstitched, would like to give four fat quarters to a lucky reader!
For those of you living in cold weather country, this is the perfect way to bring a bit of spring to your sewing room!
Sheryl sent me a few fat quarters of Whisper to play with. I immediately thought of our Downieville house. It could certainly use something cute hanging on the walls.
The pattern for this mini is one that I downloaded last winter during the Aurifil Designer Mini series. It was designed by Kim Jolly over at The Fat Quarter Shop. It’s been on my list to make for a while now and this was just the right opportunity. I added a scrap of bright yellow to make the center pop a bit.
One of the reasons I wanted to make a simple project was to practice some hand quilting. I have some spools of Pearle cotton floss that I have been itching to use.
I ditch quilted in several of the seams so that I wouldn’t have to worry about things slipping around as I hand quilted. Adding a bit of hand stitching makes just about anything look that much sweeter.
Stitching with Pearle Cotton was a treat. I will definitely keep practicing to increase the consistency of my stitching.
OK – Back to the Whispergiveaway! In order to enter, please take a peek over at Brewstitched. Sheryl has recently added some wonderful new fabrics to her shop. She is carrying the entire line of Whisper and I happened to notice she now has several pieces of the crazy popular Cotton and Steel line, Bluebird. So hop over and then come back and tell me about your favorite. Spring is here and it is blissfully evident over at Brewstitched!
If you follow me, you are welcome to comment a second time telling me how you follow. Are you following Brewstitched on Facebook or Instagram? If so, that is worth a third entry. Be sure to let me know how you follow them.
This giveaway is open through March 29th. The winner will be announced first thing, March 30th! Make sure to leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger. In the event that someone is picked and I cannot email them, I will draw another winner. Due to the cost of shipping, this giveaway is open to US residents only. Good Luck!
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
Remember that Needle and Foot readers have a discount this month over at Brewstitched. Enter coupon code NANDFMARCLUB10 for 10% off your order through the end of March!
Linking to my usual parties – all links are listed at the top of the page under Link Ups.