Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sharon B's CQ Stencils

They have finally arrived!
Sharon Boggon has been feverishly working to fill the orders for her new set of crazy quilt stencils.  She designed them, had them manufactured, and created a very useful pair of PDF files that she e-delivers upon purchase of the stencils.

These stencils are so well thought out.  They give the maximum options for marking crazy quilt seam patterns and moitfs in any way you can devise, in four small 3 1/2" X 3 1/2" plastic squares, that have been laser cut for accuracy.

I've found that I prefer to mark my seams these days.  It just makes for much neater stitching.

So I've just begun to put them to work.

Here they are on a piece of wool so you can see them.  See all the great edges, petals, shapes, and swirls?

I put my two pdfs she sent on a thumb drive, brought them to my local printer, and had 2 sided color copies made on good paper, and then bound with protective covers.  I intend to get a lot of use out of Sharon's superbly presented ideas for using the templates.

I've tried out some simple edges on this border strip for my Broderie Perse CQ, and know already that these templates are going to keep me company all summer as I stitch on this large bedquilt.

Here is the link to Sharon's page where she presents her stencils and workbook in much greater detail, with instructions for how to order them.

I highly recommend them!  Thank you, Sharon!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sweet 16ing a Vintage Quilt Top

You remember Pete and Katie don't you?

My nephew Pete asked me to make this for his girlfriend Katie a few years ago.
Now who wouldn't say "Yes" to a guy like that when he asked her to marry him a little while later?

Their wedding is in a few days...and it has been the perfect opportunity for me to not only make them a quilt, but also to try some experiments with my Sweet 16.

I have been saving a vintage quilt top for just the right occasion, and this was it.  I wanted to keep it true to its 1930's to 1940's time frame, but also really personalize it for Pete and Katie.  So this is what I did....

 I decided to try to quilt their names into the top, and began to lay them out.

Then I thought, why not make the letters raised up a bit, like in trapunto?
So I bought some craft fleece and cut out my letters.

I used some Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive to stick them to the back of the quilt top.

Then I pin basted the top into a sandwich, with Quilters' Dream Cotton Batting (which I REALLY liked) in the middle and a piece of wide muslin for the backing.  In the picture you can see the Sweet 16 just waiting!

I outlined the letters in red thread, and then meander-quilted all around them, continuing on to quilt the entire surface.  I hoped the letters would be subtle but still easy to read.  (And by the way, doesn't everyone quilt while chatting on their phone?)

Well, they didn't show up quite enough.  So then I got drastically creative.


As you can see, the "and" here is ok but just a bit too faint.

Better, don't you think?  I do.
It's faux stitching!

I think of them as "Sharpie Stitches".
I did test this ink out thoroughly to make sure it was water fast, and it almost bled a little.  But not enough for me to care.
I wasn't willing to do actual blanket stitching on the machine because I didn't want to squish the letters, and wasn't sure I could pull it off technically anyways.

I admit, I do feel just a little smug about this, and think it is pretty funny.

To carry on with the theme of fake blanket stitching, I quilted a "blanket stitch" into the border.

Here are their names from the back....

...and here is the finished quilt from the front.
The quilt is still vintage looking but there is this very personalized twist to it, which I enjoy a lot.

I hope they do too.  And may they have a long and happy life together!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Craftsy Class is Live!

Here's an incentive for you!

Click the link below and you will automatically be entered for a give away of the class:

It is really going to be fun, and will help newbies and traditional quilters get crazy quilting, with block construction, intro embroidery stitches, seam treatments, a few embellishments to get you started, and some finishing techniques too. Old timers just might pick up some new tips as well....

I hope you will join me soon!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ring Bearer Pillow!

My son Max and his Esther will marry this week-end  ....sigh....  I've completed their ring bearer pillow and would love to show you how I made it...

Step 1: I printed up Max and Esther's initials in Word using the "Harrington" font at about 300 pts.  I spray basted them lightly onto some velvet that had some Shades Soft Fuse fused onto the back.  And then I cut them out.

Step 2: Ironing them in place was simple...first I "fuse tacked" them on from the front (using the Soft Fuse release paper as a press cloth).  Then I flipped over my vintage doily and really gave it some heat from the back.

Step 3:  Using some Aurofil #28 cotton thread, I blanket stitched by machine, with the stitches set at 2.5 wide, 2.0 long.  When I was done I brought the threads to the back and tied them off.

Pretty neat work!  The "M" is a little smooshed where it makes that loop in the center, but c'est la guerre!

Step 4: It was very important to include this bit of hand crocheted lace.  I pinned it and then hand stitched it on.

The reason the lace is so important is because it was made by the bride-to-be.  She eventually crocheted something like 50 feet of it to trim her bridal veil.  Is that cool, or what?  She made it all herself, from upcycled tulle and crochet thread from a used crafts supply store.  That's my girl!  It cost her $3.00.

Step 5: Some embellishments: vintage lucite beads and fabric flowers from the one and only M & S Schmalberg company whom you all know I love....

Step 6: I pinned the back to the front and whipstitched all the way around, leaving an opening for some stuffing.  Then I sewed the rest closed.

Allow me to introduce the Ring Bearer....

My lovely niece Qwen will do the honors.  Here she is modeling the dress she will wear on Sunday...

I used my husband and my rings just to test out the pillow.  I think it will function just fine!

All the skills we learn and enjoy in needlework give such happiness when we get to use them this way....Happy Wedding Season, everyone!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Broderie Perse Meets Crazy...Background Pieced

Well, it is mostly pieced!
But you can see what I am aiming for here...

Those white background fabrics will go all the way to the hexie frame, so it will look like it is on a whole cloth background.
I'll be hand embroidering the seams over the next many's such a luxury to be able to spend so much time with one quilt again!