Playing with Owls

Owls are popular right now, especially for baby stuff, so I played with an idea I saw on Pinterest for a cushion cover with owls peeking in from the edges, and expanded it to baby quilt size.  It seems that no matter how you make the owl bodies – with details or just simple shapes – the real magic happens when the eyeballs go on!  That part is really fun because as you try out various positions for the black spots you can change the expressions and the whole look of the owl.

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If I make another one similar to this, I’m going to make the big white circles different sizes for each eye and have some fun with that effect 🙂

Next time I’m using a basic outline shape like these owl bodies, I think I will hand appliqué them as they aren’t intricate and I really didn’t need to use fusible web in such large pieces.  I’d rather just fuse and raw edge appliqué the smaller pieces in the eye sections and then hand stitch the whole thing onto the quilt top.  It would save the cost of the fusible web, but also give large scrap pieces when I cut away the background fabric that would be useful for something else!

I also put together a cute patchwork baby quilt this week and I like the way the white squares make the whole thing look like an old fashioned quilt.  It certainly is a soft and fluffy one with the open stitching pattern and the white muslin backing.  It’s not big enough for my cuddling needs or I might just keep it!

I used Fantastico variegated thread on this one, but the base color is white and the color changes are faint so I don’t think you can see them in the photos.  It’s pretty though!

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That’s all for now, no videos of the above work, but stay tuned because there will be more!

 

With Glowing Hearts

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I received a special order from a previous customer for a Canada themed quilt, and with this being our country’s 150th birthday celebration, it was a good opportunity to add some extra touches to the quilt already made cute by the “With Glowing Hearts” fabric line itself.

The piecing design was simple – an idea I found on Pinterest – which I like for reasons we are all aware of at this point, but also because the fabric has so many Canadian words and symbols on it that would be lost by breaking it up into many small pieces. Haha

I did a bit of marking on this one just to make sure certain straight line areas actually came out looking at least reasonably straight, and then contrasted with curvy designs next to the line designs.  I wanted to split the wide border into two narrower ones, so that called for a line marked evenly all the way around.  In smaller spaces, I am fine with eyeballing lines. (Don’t look too closely at my “eyeballing” for the lines all around the outside edges … “Close enough is good enough!”Angela Walters)

I really haven’t used a stipple stitching pattern for so long, but once I had done the lettering I needed something that would move easily around those parts without interfering with the words, and off the top of my head, stippling seemed a good choice.  For a section here and there, I think it works 🙂  (To see the video of how I did the lettering, check out my free motion cursive post)

Some of the colouring appears a bit dark in the photos, but that red lettering really does pop in person 🙂

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I love how this turned out and while I tend not to be into themed projects in general for my own home decor, I am tempted to make another one for myself, just because it’s a big national thing and all.  We’ll see!

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This quilt has been sold.

 

Free Motion Cursive

I’m working on a Canada themed quilt and I decided to add a couple of phrases from our national anthem in cursive writing, with a thread painting kind of system for making the letters stand out nicely.

I should have thought of this simple method myself … but … I saw it on a Leah Day video and had a face-palm moment 🙂  She was doing block letters herself, and the same principles apply, so if you’re interested, take a look at the video below.

I’ll share the finished quilt when it’s all ready to go!

Wild Quilting Stitching Videos

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I stitched this green sampler in parts so I could make videos showing my process along the way, so if you’re interested in watching the action, I’ve posted the links to each step in order below.

After doing a few in a row like this, I’m pretty sick of hearing the music that once sounded cool to me, so I think I have to get a new background tune for the next video!

Remember, if you are viewing this post in an email message, you need to tap on the pictures to get to the videos 🙂

Compositional Quilting

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Don’t ask me to define it; it’s a term used by someone else whose quilting I’ve admired for a long time now and I finally set out to grab a marking pen (gasp!) draw some lines and go for it!  I think of it as a kind of wild quilting with constraints but you can think of it any way you like 🙂  I used this process on the light blue side of the quilt and as I wanted to leave the narrow strips on the right side un-quilted, the resulting rows were obviously calling for various border designs.

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Some people mark the whole quilt top at once and draw in every detail they want to stitch before they start.

But we all know that’s not me.  Let’s face it: that seems like it would take far too long and limit my spontaneous and organic quilting process (read as “making design decisions on the fly”…)

For this first one, I decided to start with marking off just a section or two, fill them in, and then choose what and where to mark next, just using lines to define areas, knowing that I might or might not respect them, and then worked from one section to the other incorporating the free motion stitching patterns I wanted to use.  Those adaptations are evident where you see swirls crossing lines that were drawn, which is exactly what I intended to do, but the lines had to be there first so I could know how I wanted to break through them to create the illusions, depth, and flow in the design. I didn’t mark in any of the fine details – just the straight lines bordering the larger sections, the diagonal lines to section off the diamonds, some of the radiating lines in a square or two to make sure they stayed even, and the partial circle outlines – and found that it really wasn’t necessary to worry about details anyway, because as long as specific lines were in place, the rest was just like wild quilting 🙂

I was nervous to draw lines on my quilt top because even though the pen promised to disappear with water, I was worried that perhaps MY pen would not (black cloud syndrome…)  I had seen it demonstrated online, live, and the water spray really did remove the marks, but I still did a test piece first to make sure.  When everything was finished, and I had sprayed the whole quilt top, I let it air dry before putting it through the washer and dryer.  Even then I was nervous to take it out and see if something had randomly re-appeared with the combination of detergent and heat.  But it came out just fine 🙂 Yay!

I’m so happy with the visual effect achieved through this compositional quilting process, and now I’m very excited to do more of these!  I absolutely love how that swirl chain winds up and around from bottom to top (you must know by now that I find it most difficult to complete an intricate quilt WITHOUT swirls!!!)

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(This quilt top is my own design and I wasn’t even sure I liked it until it was quilted!)

Hello Sunshine!

imgp2035I just finished this bright and cheerful quilt made with lovely batiks and offering a nice break from the blah of winter 🙂

I got the idea from a quilt that Kimberley Einmo was doing in an online class so I adapted it to my own preferences (i.e. a lot less piecing, different quilting style and I added appliquéd words to mine!).

I don’t normally go for batiks for a few reasons: they tend to feel stiffer than regular quilting cottons, the prints aren’t usually my style, and they have more of a “polished” feel, especially when I’m quilting them. I loved the aqua batik background of the original idea quilt though and when I got lucky and found a very similar fabric on sale I grabbed it.  I definitely wanted the yellow and while I wasn’t completely sold on the orange I agreed it was needed to compliment the other two and create more interest so I conceded and threw it in.  Looking at it now I know it would have fallen flat with just yellow 🙂

Kimberley’s had a small partial sunshine in every 9 inch block and I wanted more wide open space and a lot fewer pieced blocks so the colors would be more like accents on the blue rather than the main repeating focus.

Once I figured out where I wanted my sunshine sections, I knew it needed words, because words on a quilt just change everything for the better!

People experienced with using the Dresden plate piecing design will undoubtedly wonder why I have partial rays of sunshine along the edges rather than the full ones that would typically result from using either one quarter or one half of the dresden plate.  I could just let you imagine that I was taking creative license here and doing my own thing because that’s more interesting than explaining that I was adapting a ruler to suit my desired shape and had to fudge a bit on the spacing to get it just right!  That takes creativity, people (and a few other words that I might have uttered during the process but won’t share here …)

In addition, I noticed in a previous post a few days back that I mentioned sharing pictures of a couple of baby quilts I had done with star patterns in them and I never did post them, so I’m adding them here just in case anyone has been waiting for them …

I might do stars again, you never know 🙂

Swirling Leaves

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I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to post this one!  It just came out of the dryer all soft and cuddly and I still have enough daylight to get pictures so I just had to share 🙂  I have to admit that I was a little concerned about stiffness with all these appliqués but it came out just fine and I am totally loving the look and overall effect of the raw edges with the intricate quilting.

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This is absolutely one of my very favourites thus far.  I’ve never even been a fan of yellow tones but this soft color (Fig Tree Cream from Moda) is just so inviting.

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(Yup, I do see that little thread that needs to be trimmed)

I’m having trouble listing this one – you’ve heard that before – because it is tugging really hard at my heartstrings, but (gulp) it is currently for sale in my Etsy Shop.

I am DEFINITELY going to do more of this!

That’s it from me for today 🙂  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thread Art

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The custom quilting projects I worked on last weekend have been picked up, so I can now share some pictures with you.  This sunflower wall hanging gave me the opportunity to do a bit of thread painting for detail and some artistic variations in the stitching patterns to compliment the overall design.  I love the versatility of leaves and I enjoyed stitching them in various ways around the background of this scene.

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The Canada themed quilt below has a simple edge to edge loop stitching pattern so the fabric gets to do all the fancy work here!  Both were pieced by Shelley Knott of Mayerthorpe, AB.  Isn’t that map in the centre cool?  I know from experience how much fun (cough) it is to deal with pre-printed panels that aren’t straight on grain so I’m sure getting all those provincial pieces to fall in line was a challenge fit for – as my readers can attest to – someone other than myself! Haha

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I’m just finishing the binding on the appliquéd leaf quilt I posted the sneak peek of earlier this week, so I’ll be back tomorrow with pictures of the end result 🙂