Category Archives: Applique

Reach For The Sun

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Sunflowers are one of my favorites. They are so big, sunny and cheerful. And in the midst of the beastly cold snap we’re experiencing in the NC Piedmont, they are a welcoming sight.  I’d wanted to do this wall hanging for some time and started it about 4 or 5 years ago. Thought I’d never finish it! The background is various sunflower fabrics sewn together in uneven strips. It was then quilted and bound. I wanted the sunflowers to make a BIG statement so I decided to do a dimensional applique.

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All the petals and leaves were sewn right sides together then turned. The stems were cut on the bias, machine sewn down on one side then hand stitched on the other. The petals were put in place and machine quilted.

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The centers of the flowers were fun to construct. Three quarter inch strips were sewn together, cross cut, then sewn together again to make a checkerboard. This project was definitely consuming me at this point! There was no way the centers could be sewn down by machine – too thick. I chose brown pearl cotton and a hefty needle, but still could not easily sew. Pliers to the rescue! This turned into work and made my hand ache, so I attacked it little by little each evening.

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The centers still needed something so I added some beads. Then hubby suggested that the quilt needed a bee. I just stared at him for a moment and then declared, “you are so right!” A few sketches later and a trip to the store for yellow and black beads, the bee was taking shape in my head. It took a whole evening to stitch that li’l critter and I love him! Thanks hubby! After I added the bee’s “flight pattern” it was definitely time to celebrate – “Reach For The Sun” was complete!

ReachforSun hanging heARTsCreations (Medium)

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The date on the label should be February 2017 – when I made the label and quilted it in, I was SO sure the quilt would be done last November!!

 

Linking up with Em’s Scrapbag, Let’s Bee Social, WIPS on Wednesdays, Super Mom No Cape and My Quilt Infatuation.

 

A Southern Quilt Shop

 

 

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The “Reading Room”

 

Two weeks ago a friend and I visited Charleston, SC with a side trip to Summerville, SC which is just outside Charleston. It is a charming little town with shops and restaurants and best of all, a great quilt shop. People, Places and Quilts is in a fine old building. It is such a treasure hunt as you go from room to room, each filled with fabrics, tools, threads and so much more.

Diane, the owner is a delight as was the other staff members there. They are all friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Above is Diane the worker bee, Diane the Owner and Diane my traveling companion. Then there is me and my cousin who lives in Summerville.

There are quilts on display everywhere – such inspiration! Some on display were also class samples.

Lots and lots of fabrics. Prints, batiks, solids and many scrumptious flannels.

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This antique cash register was not only a joy to look at – it works and is used for all the shop sales! Do you embroider? Applique? Work with wool felt? There was a whole section devoted to all of those!

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I strongly suggest you stop by to see this wonderful shop if you are ever any where near Summerville. I’ve checked out their class list and might just have to “visit” my cousin soon!!

Great First Month in 2017

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Paper piecing – I enjoy it but at times can wear me out. I just completed a paper pieced border for a wall quilt and wanted to sit and mindlessly sew. The first of the year I cut out several charity quilts so I pulled one out and sewed away! It was all pieced in just a few hours – how fun! It really needed something else, though. The fabric is a bit wild – all generously donated. There is one print among the batiks that is a lizard fabric. Ta Da! I’ll applique a few large lizards! Even better, I used my Scan n’ Cut – what a treat to have precise cutting done in just moments.

All in all, January was a very good sewing month, especially considering I was on vacation for a whole week. I revamped my Work in Progress listing. Yes, I do have more projects, but have not touched some in such a long time I eliminated them from the list for now. I have promised myself to only add charity quilts and gift quilts – there is a wedding gift quilt added to the list. Oh how I want to stay on task and shorten the list. Can I do it? Yes! Will I do it?  We’ll see!! Do you have so many projects started it seems overwhelming? Do you have an action plan? I’d love to know how other quilters deal with this.

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Today I’m linking up with Esther Aliu’s Blog, Let’s Bee Social, My Quilt Infatuation.

A New Toy & a Gadget!

scan-n-cut-largeAfter over a year of questioning and procrastinating, I bought a Brother Scan N’ Cut! What a cool machine. No, I haven’t used it very much yet, but did play a little before Christmas. I made some sewing related Christmas ornaments and Yoga related ornaments using sticky back vinyl. I also made Christmas gift tags. There is a learning curve, and I have a way to go, but I don’t think it will be difficult.

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Sorry for the camera reflection. Couldn’t take another pic – I no longer have the ornament!

There are a couple of fabric/quilting projects I plan to cut out on this nifty machine. I will use it for both fusible applique and hand applique cut-outs. I can see this saving me a LOT of time! I had to rearrange a few things in the studio to make the Scan N’ Cut easily accessible – it just wouldn’t get used if it were put away in a closet. “No more toys” – if I say that over and over again every day will I stick to it? Probably, at least until the next nifty gadget or tool comes along!

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Santa brought me a great gadget that I’m keeping on my coffee table for when I do hand stitching in the evening. The “Sew Darn Handy” holds a spool of thread, a pair of scissors, a thimble and has a side pin cushion.  Best yet is that I really use it! I’ve linked to their website contact page if you’re interested. No, this is not any kind of affiliate link, I just like to give other crafters a helping hand.

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Hmmm. Wonder what other nifty inventions other crafters are coming up with for the quilters and sewers of this world?!

A Last, A First & A Favorite

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The very last finish of 2016 was fun!. This colorful and creative pillow was a mix of piecing, applique and decorative stitching. I think the basket background really pops with the polka dots surrounding it. The leaves are felted wool and the flowers are fussy cut cotton prints appliqued onto felted wool. The real joy came when I began doing decorative stitching on the leaves and flowers. There was no plan – I just went with whatever seemed like a good choice at the time. Whoa – I did have to make myself stop because I could have stitched and stitched! This pillow looks really good on my living room sofa. However, kitty likes to paw on it so it is now resting on a guest room bed. It looks pretty there too, I just don’t get to see it very often.

I think my all time favorite finish of 2016 was Prism Arabesque. It continues to bring me joy as it sets on display in the living room.

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The first finish of 2017 – and on the first day (!!) is also my first charity quilt of the year. It is a baby quilt that will go to a child in the hospital. It is made up of blocks from a storybook panel cut apart and sewn together with blocks and strips. It’s a fun and colorful little quilt and I love the crayon fabric on the back. As I make these little quilts for children and babies, I always think of the warmth and comfort it will bring them, but more so of the comfort and joy it will bring to their parents.

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Yesterday the Hospice quilt makers gathered at the local Hospice office and donated all the quilts we made in 2016. The upper pic is of the quilters and two Hospice employees. It is just so joyful to see how excited they are to receive these quilts and how they look forward to passing them on to patients. The children quilts usually go to a child of a patient that has passed away. It was good to hear that they have very few child patients. We are all looking forward to sewing more quilts for 2017 and will even be welcoming a new member to our group!

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Linking up with: Super Mom No Cape, Esther’s Blog, Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation

Red, Black & White Finish

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Put together, these are three dramatic colors. It’s pretty obvious why I named this one “Planetary.” Actually, hubby named it per my request. There was a lot of arranging and rearranging of strips on the design wall before sewing together. Then there was deciding where to join the strips. It was a bit challenging and a lot of fun. Mostly, I worked from my stash. I just happened to have a design roll of black and white fabrics which helped a lot. I didn’t need big pieces of reds, so those came from my scrap bins. I did sew all the circles on by hand, but looking back I could have easily fused them. I do like the turned edges though. For the back I used up large pieces. And yes, I do still have black and white fabrics and some reds. They just never go completely away, do they?

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I’m all ready for Christmas, so I’ll probably have time for another finish, maybe two. Must admit, though, bindings are becoming just a bit tedious! Fortunately, having a project finish outweighs that by quite a bit!

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I know not everyone has a busy, busy schedule during the holidays, and maybe you’ll be enjoying some great sewing time. Others will have a packed schedule with friends and family. Ours is somewhat in between, but on a grand scale: quiet. Sewing with Christmas music playing will be much enjoyed. Wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

NOTE:  There is still room in the Quilt & Sew-In Fall II – Please join me for a really fun time!

Today I’m linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation. Hop on over to see all the great works!!

 

My Studio Blew Up!!

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Eight Placemats complete.

 

Well…not really. Just looks that way! I have often prided myself on being so neat and organized, but every now and then it all gets away from me. That’s what happens when I work on several things at once – literally at the same time! I tend to just put things anywhere there’s a flat open surface.

It all started Thanksgiving eve. I was working on a really fun and creative sewing/applique project when I decided to make a set of placemats. First, I tore through my home dec fabrics, then began cutting. Not pieced or quilted, just plain, letting the fabric print do all the work. I knew I didn’t want to mess with binding, so I rounded the corners, sewed right sides together, turned right side out and sewed near the edge and one quarter inch in. A set of 8 in no time! What really made this possible is that I wasn’t cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. My son hosted at his house and he and his sister did the cooking and serving. What a Treat!!!

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Reverse side of placemats.

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On another note, have you taken the pledge to not buy more fabric but work from your stash? I did, but when hubby cleaned out his closet I grabbed the cotton shirts he was getting rid of. I’ve had a shirt quilt on my wanna make list for quite some time. I immediately cut them up and am amazed at the amount of fabric you get from one shirt. If any more freebies come my way, I’ll scoop them up, but won’t be searching any out to buy in the near future. This is definitely a “some day” project.

Now that my projects that made the mess are done or nearly done, I’ll tidy up!

Curly Q

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