Thursday, July 31, 2008

Heart in Woven Ribbons

Three "Pay it Forward" packages are in the mail. That was fun!

Now it is time to finish all these heart motif mats/table centers. This is the latest one. It was lots of work, but I always wanted to try this technique. Never again, even though p
utting on the beads made me happy and the overall result is okay.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pay it Forward Challenge & a Wreath

I'm nearly finished the "pay it forward" challenge pieces, which I cannot post because I want to surprise the three recipients. June was my target for mailing these, but life happens. We were away for a week, had a wedding and a few other events, the biggest one being that our granddaugter, who has been living with us for the past two years, departed for South Korea to teach English. She did most of this herself, but the preparations included shopping trips (she does not drive), last minute "I forgot..." stuff, and a lot of emotions.

Anyway, I wanted to post something, so this is a paper-pieced Christmas wreath, about 20' square, from a pattern in an old magazine. I made about eight of them for gifts and as samples for a class that I taught. They were in several color combinations, from traditional to this, and even one in pale blues and silver lame. Most had beads or some type of embellishment. Quick and easy.

Last night someone asked me how to quilt a project she was making. She had purchased some Nativity panels and was making "cheater quilts" for Christmas gifts. She said the four recipients loved to decorate their homes at Christmas time and "have everything" so she hoped this would be a good gift. I had to admire her for thinking this far ahead. I'm usually making Christmas gifts the first week of December!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Heart in Confetti

Here is another heart table-center. This one uses a technique I've never tried or seen and it turned out exactly as I'd hoped -- soft, feminine, and not at all like me! These are the steps I took:

Plan the size, then draw a heart stencil to fit inside it. Since this is a cutout, the stencil is in two pieces, the outside and the inner portion. I laid it on my background fabric (which is creamy with pastel flecks in it) and used masking tape on the back of each piece to hold it in place. In my photo, the green paper is the stencil and it looks like it is behind a heart, but it really is on top of the heart.

If you save tiny bits (which I don't, but I might start) great, otherwise cut up several scraps into small pieces about the size of bunny ears that you cut off half square triangles and normally throw away. I made lots. This little black tray is about 7" x 8".

Spray fabric glue on the background fabric inside the stencil. Then remove the stencil and sprinkle the bits on the portion that is glued. They went beyond it, and missed some spots, so I took some tweezers and sat in front of the TV and fiddled with them, not excessively but just to make sure the glue was covered and the edges had a nice raggedy look. Also, a few pieces were up-side-down and didn't look good that way. Picky, but it didn't take long to fix.

Layer over with tulle or any sheer fabric to give the look you want. I used a white, glistening silk organza. The photo showing this stage was too shiny to show well so didn't bother posting it.

Baste (I used plastic headed silk pins, not safety pins), and quilt it. I went around the entire heart, inside and out. Then I did some loose double feathers on the heart, and stippled the rest of it. After binding it with a pale pink that had a bit of mottled color in it, I put on a pink organza bow that seemed to suit it. I may add a few tiny pearl beads, but right now am fairly happy with it as is.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Heart: 9 patch - done!

Finally, after a week's vacation and another week of putting my house in order (as if that will last long - LOL!) I have finished another heart mat for the writer's conference in September. It is about 14" x 14" and a standard pattern, but fun to make. I did the heart shape in CorelDraw X4, printed it and cut it copies in freezer paper. The applique is needle-turn. It takes longer but I like it better than raw-edge, at least on some things. I even hand-quilted around the hearts, but don't look too close. I'm not merely rusty; I've never been good at hand-quilting. Alex Anderson's method works best for me though.

The next heart mat is going to be a confetti-like project. I've never made one using the technique I have in mind, but it will be fun -- and hopefully quicker to get finished and will definitely use up a bunch of bits.