Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chicken Scratch Heart

I'm not exactly sure when I finished working on the actual embroidery on this one.  I'm sure it was several months ago.  I just couldn't decide what I wanted to do with it.  I thought about making it into a pillow, but I figured that in a house with 3 boys who like to throw pillows at each other, and two cats that sometimes knead on pillows, it wouldn't last too long.  My mother suggested that I frame it instead, so that's what I finally did, yesterday.  I went to Walmart, hoping to find a nice white frame, and to my astonishment, I actually found one.

When I was younger, I remember my mother showing me how to do chicken scratch embroidery (also called Hoover lace, among other things) and decided to try my hand at it again.  I could remember the general nature of it, but I couldn't remember all of the stitches and exactly how each stitch corresponded to the squares on the gingham.  So, I did a quick search of the internet and found a great tutorial at Pink Paper Peppermints.  It's not hard to do, especially if you stick to the basic stitch, and you can use it to makes lots of different designs.

I'm planning to enter this piece in the country fair, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not as simple fringed blanket

The other day my Walmart had some of their fabric marked down for clearance, including some of their fleece.  I saw this fabric and thought it was really cute and very soft.  I decided to get some to make another fleece blanket, like the one feature in this post to donate to the same organization.  As it turned out, this fabric was not quite appropriate for that application.

Just like with the last blanket, I sewed around the outside of the fabric about 2 inches from the edge.  Then I cut out the corners and fringed the edges.  However, this time, the fringes on two of the sides (selvedge sides, I think) were not stable and just wanted to pull off.  Obviously, that is not good for a child's blanket.  So I went back and cut off the fringes on those two side, almost to the stitching line.  Then I turned under the edges and zigzag stitched it down. 

To my thinking, it is not nearly as cute with fringe on only two sides, but there seems to be no other choice in the situation.  It would have looked neater if I had just left the selvedge edges on, because they were  not white.  But I didn't know it would turn out the way that it did.  I still think it is plenty nice enough to donate, though.  Oh well, I guess you live and learn.  I guess in this case, softer isn't always better.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pineapples in the Pumpkin Patch - finished!

I finally finished my pumpkin wall hanging quilt that I started last fall.  The first block is featured in this post from November 15.  And it is actually a do-over from the original block posted on October 18.  But at least I got it finished in time for fall (and the County Fair).

The quilt finished 24 inches square.  It is machine pieced, with both traditional piecing and paper piecing, and hand quilted (mostly quilting "in the ditch").  I quilted it in a hoop because it was small.  This was challenging for me, simply because I'm not accustomed to using a hoop, but it was also much more comfortable than sitting at a frame.  I'm very happy with how it turned out.

I added a hanging sleeve to it, which I haven't done with a quilt in a long time.  I also made a decorative label for the back.  A cute little pumpkin, unlike any of the ones on the front, but using some of the same fabric.  The backing is a pretty autumn, pumpkin themed fabric.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Day and Night

This quilt top is made from Eleanor Burns Day and Night pattern.  It is made with strip sets (of course) and it requires a special tool to cut triangles from the strip sets.  I bought the book, because it comes with the tool.  I used the "three strips, two colors" option to make the crib sized quilt. 

She suggests using fabrics with good contrast, so I went with complimentary colors: yellow and purple.  The design makes me think of a harlequin, even though it is a little different.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I'm not sure what I'm going to name it, or what I'm going to do with it once it is finished.  I've bought fabric to make a sofa-sized quilt using the same pattern, but that one will be in shades of red to match my living room.  I made this crib-sized one as a trial run before I moved onto the larger one made with more expensive quilt shop fabric.