Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thread Painting

I wanted something really different for one of my little quilts.  At our last Surface Design meeting, one of the demos was about free motion embroidery and how to make your own appliques using stabilizer and thread.  I tried this once about 12-13 years ago with excellent results, but kind of forgot about how much fun it can be.

 I used three layers of Solvy Stabilizer and drew the maple leaf outline onto the top layer with a fine Sharpie marker.  (I had a bunch of dried leaves from my last trip to Maine).  I forgot to take pictures until I started the second layer of thread. 

 It takes a lot of stitches and thread but not a lot of time to make a "thread applique".  The most important thing to remember is that once the stabilizer is rinsed out with water, there is nothing to hold it all together.  So, your stitches have to overlap or criss-cross each other by making a base layer.  Think of it kind of like weaving.....back and forth, up and down.
What do you think?  I don't want it to be as deep a red as the real leaf, so just a bit more and it will be finished.  See all of those light yellow "threads" sticking out from the edge of the stitching?  They're actually dried corn silk one of my friends gave me.  I thought the corn silk would make a fun foundation to stitch through to add a bit of texture.  It worked! 

I'll show you the finished project in a day or two.  Just have to finish the binding and label.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


The "American Beauty" quilt top is finished and on its way to Draper!  The pictures aren't great, but you can see how big it is.  That's a CA king bed it's on!  Yes, I'd say it's a "generous" queen size.  If you are near Thimbles & Threads Quilt Shop in Draper, stop by to see it and say "hi" to Cathie Z.
 I couldn't get far enough away to get a full picture and my design wall was way too small to hang it properly.

This was the best I could do to show the size....

Scroll down to the earlier posts to see the pretty pinks and soft yellows.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What I've Been Up To

The last couple of week have just flown by and I can't believe that it is almost the middle of March.  Between board meetings, guild meetings, and other things, I've been working on a shop sample for Thimbles & Threads.  So, I thought I'd share a few pictures.  This quilt (almost) is Marti Michell's bom, American Beauty.  It really is a beauty (in more ways than one).  Now I know why I don't especially like using templates.....the really small templates!  It's not me as much as old Arthur(itis) in the fingers.  Big templates are fine and by big I mean over 2".  Yes, templates make cutting odd shapes easier and more accurate.  The way the corners of the various pieces are trimmed really do make the process of fitting everything together much better.

All of these goodies arrived March 1st.  Beautiful fabrics from Maywood Studios, thread, and templates.  There are some pieces of luscious yellow fabric that don't show up very well.

This is one of my favorite blocks.  The black will be the background.

I love the green stripe and dark pink together and the black makes everything pop.  I thought the stripe fabric would be hard to cut straight but it was easy.

These blocks aren't sewn together yet, but you get the idea of how it is going together.  The Friendship Star block, on the left, is my favorite out of the twelve blocks.  I've never seen this setting using five stars in a 12" block.

Ready to start sewing it together!