I like making things that I can hold in my hands and admire, and whimsical things make me happy. So I've decided that I'll spend my time creating whimsical stuff. Then I'll sit around and admire it. And after I've admired it for a while, I think I'm going to share it.
I started sewing before I started kindergarten. My mom sat me down at that old, tan Singer, and I sewed along lines she had drawn with a pencil. Through grade school, I sewed tons of clothes for my Barbies. The Barbies that had not been blown up by my three brothers. There were not many of those.
By junior high, I was sewing my own clothes. For a while I tried to see how big I could make my bell bottoms. And how many purses I could make out of old jeans. There were some memorable outfits happening back then. I get to revisit some of them through my school photos. Awkward doesn't even begin to cover my personal style back then.
Thankfully I learned some pretty good sewing skills over all those years. I can totally rock an invisible zipper. I actually own a clapper. And if polyester double-knit makes a comeback, I am your go-to gal
I finally made my way back to my fanatical sewing roots. Memorable detours over recent years have included scuba diving, bagpipes, jewelry making, card making, hula, stamping, tap dancing, knitting, crochet, lots of cooking classes, literacy tutor, and lots of child rearing adventures. I did not get eaten by a shark, I had a card purchased by a card-making magazine, won a state fair ribbon for knitting, and 100% of my children are not in prison. So not bad overall.
Now I'm sewing for the joy of it, sewing what I want. And I'm just kinda having fun keeping track of it all.
Let the celebration begin, the Hawaiian quilt is complete and on the bed!
Picture, if you will, my awkward self dancing an Irish jig. Strike that. An awkward hula.
I am truly and utterly excited to debut my Hawaiian quilt.
So if you are new to my party, each quilt block is made in a different batik fabric. The embroidery designs are by Anita Goodesign, from their Hawaiian Quilt collection. Each block is comprised of four identical machine embroidered sections. Each section took about three hours or so to make. I’m tired thinking about it.
A terrific embroidery design by Urban Threads ( urbanthreads.com ) was the basis for my quilt label. I added text to document all the important information about my quilt. Like the fact that it took me forever.
Did I mention that my bed is a king size? I started the blocks and refused to measure my bed to see how many I needed. When I had finished 20 blocks, I laid them on the bed to see how close I might actually be from a quilt. That was when I decided to use plain white borders. But the borders had to be special, to be quilted so they would match the pizzaz of the quilt itself.
This is when you call in the big guns. Natalia Bonner, author and quilter extraordinaire, did a great job on this quilt. I said I like bubbles, and feathers, and lines…oh my! Check out more of Natalia’s amazing work on her blog Piece N Quilt ( pieceandquilt.com )
One dilemma of a king size quilt is how to wrangle it to sew on the binding. Let’s just say that it took a long time and some arm strength to get the binding on this puppy. I draped it across my cutting table AND a sofa, repositioning it after every few feet.
It was a trial by fire for my new machine, a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2. I chose it mainly for the built-in walking foot. Are you ready, foot? Start walking! (Short break while I dance the pony and sing “These boots are made for walkin!”)
I’m elbow deep into another embroidered quilt, this one for Christmas. Hey, it’s only November 2nd…
Our hands will be the first at our house to celebrate Halloween this year.
I happened upon some orange hand towels in a store last week. They had black also, so you know they called out to me. “Come,” they said, “embroider us!” So I did. I embroidered them good.
I think they got ahold of our little fatty precious kitty as a model for this one. Love me some black kitties.
Frankenstein and his lovely Bride got the orange makeover. I think it suits them.
I have so many projects that I am working on, I can’t quite explain how I got sidetracked by Halloween hand towels. Maybe it’s because one of the projects is locating a gift that I made and then lost in my sewing room. Or more likely, because I need to clean up my sewing room.
Nah, I just needed Halloween hand towels. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
Don’t you just love picking out fabrics for quilt blocks? Once I’ve got that first print, that is.
I just got my hands on this yummy orange colored apple print. The blue jumped right in, and then the yellow.
I wanted black in my Caroline block. The red and green allowed for great contrast, which makes the pinwheels pop!
I am paper piecing my blocks, and have discovered a wonderful hint for the blocks like Caroline that have lots of pieces in lots of colors. Before I start stitching, I write the colors that I am using in the appropriate sections of the foundation papers. This has saved me a lot of grief in the piecing process!
Too lazy to wander out into the blazing sunshine, I decided to photograph the blocks on my new couch. The couch is orange, but seems to show up as a different color in each picture!