Sunday, December 30, 2012

Serendipity Sunday–A Rose by Any Other Name

Shakespeare would have us believe that all roses are sweet . . . er, something like that.  After today’s experiments, I can say that not all roses are equal!


Things started out pretty well.  Making these pleats was pretty straightforward, although marking one-inch measurements into thirds was a little tricky!  With that secured, the next steps sound simple . . . open up the pleats, hold the center, and turn.


Well, not so simple, as it turns out!  The second attempt was slightly better, probably because I started over 3 or 4 times! 


Not exactly breath-taking, is it?  Well, I thought I’d finish up a block and see if I like it any better.


OK, I can see where this would have potential.  So, is this an interesting or attractive element?  Sure.  And the samples in the book are really beautiful, so we know it can be done!  Am I likely to use this in a project at some point?  Eh, not so much!  That “hold the center and twist” is waaaay too fiddly for me.  It takes longer to arrange the folds than all the folding and stitching before or after!  Then you need to hand stitch to maintain the twist – and if you’re me you get thread tangled in the folds and have to cut it all loose and start over! 

You might guess that I wasn’t having a lot of fun by this point! 

But next week I can go back to precise folds and detailed instructions.  Just my speed!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wednesday WOW–December 26

The last Wednesday of the year!  Hardly seems possible, does it? 


I was able to make just a little more progress on my purple profusion project.  These arcs are about half done.  At the rate I’ve been going lately, it will be another year before this piece gets finished!  Oh, I hope not!!!

On a slightly different note, look what Sarge brought home today . . .


How cute is this?  A chocolate covered maraschino cherry, with a “kiss” for the head and slivered almonds for ears, set on half an Oreo cookie.  Eyes and mouth are dots of candy/syrup.  To tell the truth, he brought two of these home, but the first one didn’t last long enough for a photo.  LOL!  (They are very yummy, by the way!)

I’ve been sort of between projects lately, but it’s time to think about what I want to do next.  So much fabric, so little time . . . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday WOW–December 19

Is everyone ready for Christmas?  Yeah,  me neither!  But today I did some virtual cleaning up in my Electric Quilt files, and got sidetracked into a little play time.

magazine freebies

There was a discussion recently in one of the EQ groups about drafting magazine patterns into EQ.  Instead of saving the whole magazine, you can save space and get some practice using the software as well.  I have many, many free project sheets that I’ve collected over the years and this sounds like a good idea to me.  This first one is called Midnight Garden and it is from McCall’s Quick Quilts.


This one is from McCall’s Quilting (same company, different magazine) and is called Ocean.

jelly roll spin

This is Jelly Roll Spin.  The idea is to use all the fabrics in a jelly roll, but I think I like it with a limited color palette, too.


On the other hand, this one, called Charming, uses 1-1/2 inch squares of a whole lot of fabrics!  Wouldn’t this be a fun way to clean out the stash?

I can see more EQ time in my future.  Something to keep warm and occupied if we get the snow that’s been forecast.  Not that I plan to go outside for long periods, anyway!  Hello?  Winter!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Serendipity Sunday–Coming Up Roses

As promised, I have roses to show you today.  Well, fabric roses anyway.


This flower involves a lot of creasing and folding and tucking, so I started big!  This is a six-inch square and it measures about three-and-a-half when finished.  I think it is actually too big to get the impression of a rose.  So I started working with smaller squares.


This one is from a four-inch square.  I see now that the picture is blurry, but maybe you can tell that it is a bit more poufy and slightly better proportioned.


This one is from a three-inch square.  That’s getting pretty small for all those folds and tucks!  This one looks pretty lumpy, because the center was actually too big!  The center is from a separate square and it took me awhile to get the hang of folding that and tucking it inside.  Small stitches from the back are what hold the rose together and this one took a lot of stitches!


By the end of my play time I had decided that the perfect size is from a 3.5-inch square.  I was also getting better at inserting the center piece and holding it all together with just a few stitches.  The red fabric has less sizing in it and I think I like that softer look better.  Sounds like a good reason to pre-wash my fabric!


I can definitely imagine ways to use this little flower.  It takes a lot of practice and definitely patience, but now that I know I can do it, I’ll have to look closer at the projects in the book.  There’s bound to be an idea that appeals.

Next week is a different kind of rose.  It looks interesting, too.  We’ll have to see how that goes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday WOW–December 12

I’m in the middle of some Christmas quilting, but I can show you some close-ups


This is the back . . .


and here is the front.  I’m working on tying off all those starts and stops before moving on to some more continuous quilting.  Right now it looks like a hairy mess!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Serendipity Sunday–Flowers with a Difference

This week I’m starting a different book:


Rebecca Wat is an Origami artist and she has adapted some of that to fabric.  Each chapter in this book demonstrates how to fold a flower, and then gives a couple of patterns for quilts, wall hangings, or embellished garments.  The pictures are all yummy, too!



Up first is a star-flower.  I made a couple of these and you can see that it works best with a solid or near-solid fabric.  The sizing in the print made it somewhat resistant to creasing, so I “helped” it along with a couple of blind stitches.  The plain yellow, however, is au naturelle.



I also tried a couple of variations on the basic star fold.  Those were fun, so I decided to go on to the next chapter.


This is a flower with petals that open out and is the style shown on the book’s cover.  This one started out as a 6-inch square, but I also did some from 3 1/2 inch squares.


I had a couple of issues here.  Besides not being able to tell right-side from wrong-side, that is! 


The petal points are formed where the raw edge is folded in.  As you can see in the close-up, it can be difficult to keep those raw edges tucked out of sight.  This is a case where you want the extra sizing that I struggled with in the first flower.  I really like these little 2-inch flowers, though, so I would probably add some anti-fraying solution before folding.


Here’s a shot of all of today’s flowers.  You can see I tried them in a variety of sizes and layouts.  There are lots of fun things I could do with these. 

Next week . . . Roses!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday WOW–December 5

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know what I mean . . . you are busy all day, but have nothing to show at the end.  Like you spent the day spinning wheels and going around in circles.  Well, today was one of those.

So, instead of showing you what is on my worktable, here is what the Design Wall is currently showing:


Not much, I know.  On the left is a wall hanging that was pinned over those cabinet doors.  But then I couldn’t get into the cabinet!  So, it’s folded back for now, until I can get back to work on it.

The red and white block in the center is for our Guild’s President’s quilt.  The purple on the right is some of what I stitched today . . . and tomorrow I will be un-stitching it!  Grrrr.


Here’s the little piece below the red and white block.  It’s a pieced hexie made up as an ornament.  Who says Christmas Trees have to be green!!?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Serendipity Sunday–The Last Flowers

An appropriate title for early December, don’t you think?  We may be having unusually warm weather, but the flowers have definitely packed up for the winter!

Last time I worked with the Kanzashi folding, I said I wanted to try some different fabrics.  So today I pulled a variety and cut squares.


There’s denim, a tricot scarf, felt, home dec canvas, and a linen (or linen-type).  Some of the felt was Kunin and some a cheap acrylic.  I started with a cooler setting on the iron and turned up the heat as I changed fabrics, so I started with the felt and ended with the denim.

An unexpected benefit of starting with felt (after all, that’s why I’m calling this Serendipity!) was that working with the other fabrics was much easier by comparison!




I made three sizes of petals in the felt, thinking perhaps I could make a poinsettia style flower, but the felt is so bulky that it wasn’t a practical option.  The middle size came out the best, although it took quite a bit of fiddling to get there!  In fact, the felt was a lot of work and took extra stitching to hold together.  It does pair up nicely with lighter weight fabrics, though.


The scarf fabric created a completely different style of petal.  It was possible to do the extra folds quite easily, but you can see that it doesn’t have a lot of shape.  It does make a nice flower, though, just in a different category.


The linen was my favorite for handling and folding.  It was easy to fold, staying in place without springing apart on me, and plumped up to make nice pleated petals.  It almost made me think I’m getting the hang of this Kanzashi stuff!  But, then there was the denim . . . . .


I had quite a time keeping these petals together and getting my little needle through the layers.  It might have been easier if I hadn’t chosen such a heavy weight denim!  I have to admit, though, this makes a very nice, crisp rounded petal!  I just need to look for a lighter weight if I do this again!


So, there’s today’s bouquet.  I think this is about all I want to do from this particular book.  For now, anyway.  I’ve learned the basic folding techniques, and have an idea of what fabrics are easiest to work with as well as what makes the prettiest flower – not necessarily the same thing!

Next week, I’ll pick another book.  It’s time to make different kinds of flowers, I think.  See you then.