Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fancy Work!

Last weekend, my EGA Chapter hosted a class with Jane Timmers of Fancy Work.  The class taken was Shakespeare's Garden Sweet Bag.  It's a delightful bag.  I'd love to show you my project, however, I worked on practice linen during class.  That was a smart move as I learned several techniques and stitches that I haven't used before and really needed to practice the stitches.
Our class was 2 days, the first was focused on the speciality stitches and the stitching of the bag.  The second day was focused on finishing techniques.  I was delighted to learn we would be making tassels!  I'd made cording before so that part of the class was a needed refresher.  We won't discuss the Christmas ornament I've had sitting for 3 years just waiting for cording .  It might now also get a tassel!   Here is my tassel in progress.  It looks a hot mess but it all worked out.
Here are my two finished tassels that are connected to cording!   Isn't that cool?!  I was very enthusiastic about learning this technique.  Thankfully one person in class, Carol, shared my excitement.  We were both tickled pink!  My husband also showed proper interest and respect in this new skill of mine.  He thought it was amazingly awesome (well, he didn't exactly use those words but I know he meant to).   You can read more about the class and see some of Jane's exceedingly beautiful designs at our EGA blog which can be found here.   Lots of pictures over there!  Jane was a fantastic teacher and I love the project.  Win all around!
After coming home, I felt this urge.  This urge to work on the needle book from Ellen Chester's A Lady's Work Boxe.  I've stitched on it all week long.  Every day - which is very unusual for me since I work and many nights just don't have the mental capacity.  I've made good progress for me.  I actually didn't mind the over 1 stitching - let me just say, that shocked me.  I think I might even like it a bit!  And this is 36 count!
I'm absolutely thrilled to be stitching and sewing again.  It feels good and it doesn't feel forced.  Next week is going to be busy as we have family coming in at the end of the week from out west and still need to do some prep work for that visit.  I'll be sure to have the needle in hand a couple of nights though.  I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Spending Time with My Needles!

Things are actually moving along in the world of the needle!  A couple of weeks ago Greg and I went on vacation and I finished another block on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow.  I was happy about that! 
No ironing - otherwise this post would not have happened!

I've also been sewing!  I took out this old WIP (I refuse to call something a UFO for some reason) and have been working on it.  As I previously talked about, I'm making this one work with what I have on hand.  Since I started this early in my quilting "career", it's less than perfect.  I've made some adjustments and it's now smaller at 9 blocks vs. the 12 originally intended.  Would I put these fabrics together today?  Probably not. There are some 30's fabrics in there along with some Kaffe and a Tula Pink plus some other odd fabrics.   The quilt is from Egg Money Quilts by Eleanor Burns.  Excellent step by step instructions.  Some say you don't even need to read the words to understand what to do.
I'm going to try quilting this one myself.  I have some vague ideas of what I'm going to do on most of the blocks but need to figure out the sashing and cornerstones (not shown).  I'm not going to get better if I don't start doing it and I thought this would be a good quilt to start on!

It feels good to spend time with my needles again!  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Finish Finish!

I'd like to share with you my completely finished 2010 $5 Quilt.  I originally shared with you when the top was completed but now it is quilted and bound!  I'm happy to have another finish of a large(ish) quilt this year.   My husband was the only one at home and at 6'2", he wasn't quite tall enough to get a great shot of the full quilt.  You can see a picture of the flimsy here that is a bit better.
Nancy Wines quilted this for me.  She is a local longarm quilter and this is the first time I've used her.    I didn't give her any information other than requesting how the applique blocks were quilted and asking for the borders to be quilted differently.  Since this is a sampler quilt, each pieced block was quilted differently.  
The color is more accurate here but it's a little bit more difficult to see the quilting on this block.
Nancy quilted feathers in the outer border and a geometric pattern in in the inner (burgandy) border.  I think this picture shows both pretty well though the outer border color is off.  I bound this quilt in the same fabric as the outer border.  I didn't want any additional contrast as I like lattice look.
All of the applique was echo quilted.  I really like this!  You can also see the flower like pattern Nancy used in the cornerstones pretty well here.
I've really started thinking more about improving my own quilting techniques to hopefully get to the point where I can do some of my own quilting.   I think echo quilting would be something that would be forgiving.  I need to move from the thinking stage to the action stage!  I do have a project I'm working on that might be a good one to begin with.  It has sashing strips I could do something with and the rest could be echo quilted easily.  More to come!  

Thank you all for your visits and comments and for standing by while I work myself out of my funk.  I appreciate you all and am inspired by you!  Thank you!