Sunday, June 30, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Sweet, Sweet Pea

Another Sunday, another flower.  This time it is the Sweet Pea.  As with the previous flowers, I started with two-sided circles.


I used a variety of red and pink fabrics for my circles.  Then each one is folded just so.


Then each is gathered through all (eight) layers.  This can be something of a challenge with cotton!  I will have to try it with silk some time – I’m sure it will be easier!  But these look fine and I managed to do six of them without shedding blood!


And again, the leaves are made from wired ribbon.  If I had any idea what sweet pea leaves actually look like, this might have been more intuitive.  But then, I’m sure most leaves do not have red, blue, and yellow stripes in them!


What I DO know about sweet pea, is that it is a vine.  So I used ribbon to sketch out a lattice and then a twining vine to pin these flowers to.


Here is how the Spring wallhanging is shaping up so far:


Yes, I am enjoying this book much more than the earlier one.  This is definitely a “keeper.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday WOW–June 26

I am still paper piecing.  In fact, it looks like I’ll be doing that for some time to come . . . or not.


The project I had in mind is to make twelve of these blocks.  But this first one has taken two full days to complete . . . or two weeks, since I have only worked on it once a week.


At that rate, it will take me until late September to do eleven more blocks!  And then, the blocks will need to be set – probably with sashing – and borders added, etc.  Add on the time to get it quilted and maybe it could be done by Christmas.  That’s if I don’t have interruptions or distractions.  Do I want to spend the rest of the year on this one project?


This is Cinderella.  I got the pattern from Michelle Thompson who has designed sixteen Disney Princess patterns, among other television and movie characters.  (If you have Harry Potter or Sesame Street fans to sew for, check out her collection!)

So the question I have now is, do I carry on with the princesses and let it take however long it takes . . . or do I make Cinderella into a smaller wall hanging and call it good?

What do you think?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Magical Flower

One of the side effects of my working through my books is that occasionally I learn something not related to fabric or stitching.  Today’s flower is called The Magical Flower of the Incas.  I had not heard of this flower before so I turned to the trusty Wikipedia.

File:Kantutas Cuzco.jpg

I learned that the Cantua buxifolia is the national flower of Peru and grows in the valleys of the Andean rain forest.  How interesting!  If I had done the research before I started I would have used red and orange fabrics.


Instead, I started with four circles with blue on one side, and green on the other.  These circles are smaller than the ones I made last week, but this flower starts out the same way.


Next, I rolled each one up into a spiraled tube.  Getting stitches in place while keeping the roll intact was probably the trickiest part!


Wired ribbon makes up the leaves.  I had this gauze/chiffon ribbon, but I do think silk would look better.  This seems to be fine, though.


In no time at all I had these two clusters done!  They actually look a bit like the real thing, too.  Except for color, of course.


And the Spring panel is off to a good start with about one third of the flowers pinned to it.  I can’t wait to see what next week’s flower will be. 

I think I’ll research the flower before I choose fabrics though!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hello . . . Goodbye

The doll I’ve been working on for the Hoffman Challenge is finally finished. 


She needed accessories and that meant time to research and create the right size.  Sizing to keep everything in proportion can be the trickiest part!


I got caught up in the details, too.  I suppose that a less detailed instrument would have been acceptable, but before I knew what hit me I was stringing the silly thing.  At least I didn’t try to tune it!

So, say HELLO to Violin Concerto:



And I’ll be saying GOODBYE soon.  All that’s needed now is to find a box for shipping and all I can do is hope she “plays” spectacularly for the judges!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday WOW–June 19

I started a new project today.  This one is paper pieced, but quite different from the bedrunner I made last month.


This project has some verrrrry tiny pieces.  So even though I worked steadily through the day, the first block is only half done.


I guess you can see why!  Those eyes were pretty detailed and there was a fair amount of un-sewing.  But the rest of the block should go much faster.

Yeah.  Really different from what I’ve done before.  So far so good!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–A New Book

Since I finished the last book, that means I have a new book starting today.  I think I am going to like this book much better.


Ms. Sudo introduces this book by explaining the close relationship between flowers and the seasons and the importance they hold in Japanese culture.  The flowers in the book are based on origami techniques and grouped by season, with two projects per month. 

Since I don’t especially want to do twenty-four wall hangings, I’ve decided to make one wall hanging for each season. 


The first season is Spring and is introduced with a haiku poem – too bad I don’t read Japanese!  It makes for a lovely picture, though.


The first flower is Melaleuca or tea tree  It starts with a two-sided circle.  I made three.


I had a little trouble with forming the calyx on the first one.  The directions say to gather about an inch below the point that is formed by folding.  However, I have no idea how one is supposed to “gather” through twelve layers of fabric!  I finally settled for sort of pleating/scrunching and running the needle back and forth a few times.  The stem covers up the details, anyway, and these look more or less like the photos in the book.


So I think I’m off to a good start and I’m liking these better than some of the other techniques I’ve tried.  We’ll see if I can continue in this manner.

Oh yeah . . . about last week.  I knew I wasn’t going to be home and had planned to post a warning at the end of the last Serendipity post.  Forgot.  Plan B was to add something to Wednesday WOW.  Um, forgot that too.  Okay – on to Plan C.  Schedule a short explanatory post to go live on Sunday.  Well, that didn’t work!  Sheesh!  I had good intentions, but you know what they say about good intentions and the road to . . . . . . .

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday WOW–June 12

I finally got my act together this week! 


I remembered to take my camera to the shop for today’s sewing session.  It was a productive day, too.


I got all the blocks sewn together.  This is the “companion” quilt to the one I showed here.  These blocks have more of a little-boy style and the colors are blue and green.  The darkest blue even has frogs! 


Here is the full quilt.  I think I have enough fairy tale squares to make another quilt – although it would be slightly smaller.  Then I’ll have to choose another project.  Shouldn’t be any problem with that!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday WOW–June 5

Today was another quilt shop Wednesday, but I forgot my camera!  I didn’t stress too much over it, though.  “I’ll just use my cell phone,” I thought.  Well, yes, that works.  The only trouble is I can’t figure out how to get those pictures OFF the cell phone!  You would think that my background in computers would help me figure it out.  Apparently my computer knowledge does not extend to cell phones!

However, I DO have photos of some of the things I’ve been working on during the rest of the week.


I’ve been taking some on-line classes on sculpting figures with polymer clay.  They are provided by A for Artistic and this is a whole series with teacher Deb Wood.  These photos are from a class called “Turn That Frown Upside Down.”


This class is all about getting various expressions.  The first lesson was laughing/happy.


I haven’t painted the eyes on this one yet.  It looks a little freaky at this stage!  Right now I don’t have any plans to use these heads, but I’m sure they will eventually get bodies and become whole figures.

In the meantime, though, I am just trying to learn how to manage the clay and to get the musculature right.  The next lesson is MAD!  Oh boy, oh boy!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–It’s Kansas!

Today I reached the last flower in this book.  Very appropriate since I live in Kansas because it’s a sunflower.


I used some of my yellow scraps to stitch up petals – sixteen of them.  The darker petals are a bit larger.  They form the outer ring of petals, like this:


It’s pretty easy to put these together – just run a gathering thread and form them into a circle.  Then do the same with the lighter (and smaller) petals.


I like how the print of the fabric adds variety and texture to the color of each petal.  The real magic happens when the two circles are stitched together.


The center of the flower is lightly stuffed, so it is slightly rounded/domed just like a real sunflower would be.  This flower is super easy to reduce and enlarge since the petals are basically quarter circles.  Buds use the same petal shape with a green calyx, so I did not do one of those.


This is what my vase looks like now.  It will need some more flowers to be a full bouquet and I will probably do that eventually.  If I leave it up on the design wall, if will make me feel guilty every time I walk by.  Sooner or later I will finish it just to get some peace!

Next Sunday I will start on another book.  I’ve picked the one I’ll be doing next, but you’ll have to come back to find out which one it is.  It’s still flowers, but a very different approach.  I think it’s going to be fun!