Monday, March 7, 2011

A Finish and an Experiment

I finished this wall hanging last month. Tonight I took it off the wall and went outside to get pictures. Not great but good enough. The applique in the center of this quilt was done by hand by the back basted needle turn applique method. You can find a tutorial here. This is my first hand applique project and I'm not sure if I'm going to be much of a hand applique quilter. I am going to try another project or two in order to get more proficient and see if I learn to like it more. A good tip from our instructor is that when your curves are pointy to take smaller stitches. That helps more than I would have thought. This was a Jo Morton's Little Women Club project and our instructor is Jan Vaine who just had an amazing book released! I've seen the book several times while it was in production and it's a must own if you love applique.
Prairie Basket

Lessons Learned From This Project:
1. Break hand applique projects into smaller time blocks to avoid hand pain.
2. Don't leave things until the last minute (see Lesson Learned #2).
3. When you just want to get it done, it's time to stop!

On Friday, I received this little goodie in the mail from a blogging friend, Karen from Karen's Handiwork. Last year she set a goal of stitching and finishing 3 ornaments a month. I watched in amazement as month after month she posted pictures of her finished ornies. She didn't give up and she met her goal! This year, she changed it up a bit and is stitching one ornament a month for herself and for one of her followers. I was the lucky follower in February.

Isn't this just gorgeous?!
Ornament from Karen
The back is cute too! I've been studying the beaded edge. I want to do this one day. Just beautiful! Karen, thank you. I'll treasure it!
Back of Ornament from Karen

Sunday I was glancing through the Pioneer Woman blog when I came across this series on aperture. I decided to pull out my camera and take my fiddling around with it a bit much further. Her blog posts made it sound simple enough so I decided to give it a try. The ornament photos above are a couple of the resulting pictures and are completely unedited. I like how the hanger is a little fuzzy in the background and how the foreground is really sharp. I've always had difficulty photographing red and the top one is pretty true colored. The background is dingy though. I'll continue to work on it and hopefully learn more. I'm thinking of getting a DSLR camera and I really need to step up my game. If any of you have found any online resources helpful but that are also in simple language, I'd love to know about them!

Oh, and if you don't know who the Pioneer Woman is, you really must check out her blog. Her food is amazing and her story of how she met and married Marlboro Man is wonderful.

I hope each of you had a good start to the week and will have a few moments to spend doing the things that you love. Thank you for your visits and your comments. I appreciate you and continue to be inspired by you!

43 comments:

Pat said...

Your applique is very sweet. Question...how big is that piece? In the photo it looks so tiny and I'm finding myself wondering how the heck you did such a small applique piece! I love the ornament you got, too....lucky gal!!!

Karen said...

OMg....I love your quilt! I really like the colors in this one. Quilting is the one thing I hope to learn one day. We'll see!

Glad you liked the ornament! Hope you have a great stitchy week!

Margaret said...

I love your quilt! It's gorgeous! I think you did a fabulous job with the applique You're lucky to win that ornament from Karen -- it's so pretty! Nice camera work!

Ranae said...

Very pretty quilted wall hanging.
The ornie from karen is so pretty, love the red linen with the gold trim

valerie said...

I love your appliqued wall hanging! It's so pretty! And congrats on winning the ornie from Karen. It's wonderful!

Dee said...

I need to learn my camera better. The manual is HUGE!!!

The ornament is adorable. I love the beaded edge.

Tonya said...

great finish.....and love the ornament....

Barb said...

I just love your applique...and my thoughts exactly about when you just want to get it done it is time to stop...I have been pushing myself on a project and well.....I just stopped...thanks for the advice.

We Six Nasons said...

You did such a wonderful job on your applique wall hanging. I love the borders that you put around the block. What a wonderful little ornament to get in the mail. It really is beautiful.

Theresa said...

Your wall hanging is so beautiful!! Love!!!
Congratulations on your winning~~~~~ it's awesome!!

Sylvia said...

Cute little ornie, but your wall hanging takes the cake - it is stunning.

Big PW fan here. I read the story of her and Marlboro Man while my daughter was in the hospital for 3 weeks. It made the whole thing more bearable.

Brigitte said...

Oh my gosh, what a quilt this is! I just love it, the fabrics, the colours, the style. Congratulations!
A nice little ornie you've received from Karen.

Annie said...

That wall hanging is fantastic! You have really done an amazing job on it.

Lucky you.. your ornament is a real treasure.

I'm too lazy to find out how to take really good pictures. I'm all for point and shoot! But you seem to have picked up some nice techniques!

*karendianne. said...

Oh! Great post. Congrats on a lovely finish. I, too, am taking an applique class from Jan. I like these tips you shared. I didn't pick those tips up along the way. I like backbasting and needle turn but I'm turning into such a hand-piecer I'm not sure how long I'm going to stick with the slog of applique. Of course, hand piecing isn't exactly the quickest way to get anything done! ;)

Anyway, really enjoyed this fun, informative post.

Nancy said...

Your quilt/applique piece is gorgeous Jackie! Such beautiful work. I love the little ornament. Beaded edges are so pretty!

Vonna said...

That quilt is absolutely stunning! Gorgeous!
And congrats on the pretty win from Karen! She does exceptional work and this one is pretty as a picture!

Carol said...

What a gorgeous wallhanging, Jackie--wonderful work. And you are so lucky to win such a cute ornament from Karen--her work is always perfect.

I loved the Pioneer Woman cookbook--such an interesting life her family leads...

Laurie in Iowa said...

Your quilted wall hanging is so pretty. Congrats on winning that sweet ornament.

Julia said...

You never cease to amaze me!!!

Carolyn NC said...

This applique is beautiful! Wonderful fob from Karen, too!

Tammy said...

Jackie your work is just beautiful, your wall hanging is gorgeous. High Five!!
I love pioneer woman too and recently got a DLSR - thank for finding the aperture information - I need it.

Lois said...

Your quilt is gorgeous! What a sweet ornament from Karen. Now I'm off to follow the link about taking pictures. That's an area I definitely need improvement in!

imquilternity said...

I love your quilt too! It's really beautiful and applique is always impressive to me. I hope you get a DSLR! You will love it. I think you did a great job on the photos BTW. When I come across some good info, I'll email it to you!

Daffycat said...

Oh, I love your green grass, Jackie! I'm so looking forward to spring.

Oh my, Karen has created the loveliest ornament for you. You lucky girl! It is beautiful.

Trisha said...

Your quilt is beautiful and I admire you for doing needle turn applique. I have never seen that method of stitching it down and then needle turning and unbasting as you go. Very interesting! Thanks for the link about taking photos. I have a Cannon Rebel and need to get it off the auto mode and start playing with it!

poussy-stiches-my-love.over-blog.com said...

oh my gosh ! very beautiful

have a good day

marylin FRANCE

poussy-stiches-my-love.over-blog.com said...

oh my gosh ! very beautiful

have a good day

marylin FRANCE

Patty C. said...

Nice Quilt work & your ornament is beautiful

Sally said...

Your quilt is so pretty Jackie.

Gorgeous ornament from Karen :)

woolwoman said...

what a great finish Jackie ! I love the 2nd border fabric - your applique basket is so neat - I bet you are learning a lot from these Jo Morton projects. Enjoy it !
Melody

Suzanne said...

Your quilt is beautiful! I love the ornament that Karen sent you.

My DH has always enjoyed photography and purchased a DSLR a few years back. It was the best thing he ever did and last year purchased a more professional camera and lenses. I have noticed how much better the photos of the children and my stitching have become.

Littlebit said...

Your appliqued piece is beautiful, Jackie! And how lucky you are to get the lovely ornament from Karen. She always does such nice work. Love the bead trim!
I have all the camera and know-how that I can handle! I'm glad we have a photographer in the family because I just do NOT have the patience for learning beyond what I know, which is VERY little. lol.

Mylene said...

WOW! Your quilt looks gorgeous!! and such a cute cute ornament.

Heidi said...

Oh Jackie....you new quilt is simply WOW! Great job and the center is just beautiful. Congratulations on winning the ornament. It is so sweet and how pretty with the red linen.

Hugs from Holland ~
Heidi

yarnjourney said...

Love the applique quilt! It is so adorable. Your photos are amazing too.

Katie :o) said...

I love the applique! Very pretty! And such a sweet ornament! Kudos on the photography :o)

Kim D. said...

Wow Jackie, beautiful work for your first ever hand applique piece. That little ornament is so pretty.

poussy-stiches-my-love.over-blog.com said...

have a good week end

marylin

Siobhan said...

What a cute ornament! I love it.

Your quilt is AMAZING!!

poussy-stiches-my-love.over-blog.com said...

hi thank you for your comments at me, you read is an honor for me, my friend, I wish you a sweet Sunday, all my friends

Stephanie said...

Your first applique project! Outstanding. Love the borders, fabric, everything.

paulafrances said...

Thanks for this tutorial! Needle turn applique is sort of the last frontier for me... today anyway!

I am just intimidated by it! I'll try this... beautiful work!

Thelma said...

Thanks for the book tip, I just ordered it. The book that I'm using for my applique project doesn't have much in the way of instructions or helpful tips. Sounds like you are learning from a wonderful teacher. I think your project is great and I love that pieced border, I'm a checker board fan.