Fall Leaves Bench pillow

I saw this embroidery design on Sweet Pea Embroidery (swpea.com) and the feathers reminded me of fall leaves.  The original design used appliquéd fabric on the feathers.  I decided to skip the appliquéd fabric and just use fall thread colors.  I really like how the “leaves” turned out. The embroidery design even quilts the background for you.  Very cool.   I used scraps of solid fabric in fall colors to make a border and used a print with narrow leaf designs in many colors.  Now I have bench pillow covers for 2 seasons (summer – watermelon and now fall leaves).  Looks like I will have to find winter and spring designs for the bench pillow.  I saw a monarch butterfly on the marigold flowers yesterday.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Beer Mug Rugs

I started working on a thank you gift this week and made 4 beer mug rugs for a friend of my son.  Since my son and his friend are traveling in Germany and enjoying Octoberfest, I thought the beer mug rugs would be a good gift.  It took most of the day to finish them.  I did have to restart one when it ran out of bobbin while I was out of the room.  I just couldn’t figure out where the stitching had stopped so I could re-start again once the bobbin was filled.  Guess I needed to be watching my machine more closely. LOL.  Well it did take about 80 minutes to complete each one so I do try to multi-task while doing machine embroidery. Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Playing with different backgrounds for bird embroidery designs

Stitched on blue silk blouse

I played around with making collage backgrounds for bird designs using silk (from a silk blouse bought at a thrift store).

I was inspired to add headpieces to the birds after buying coasters of birds with fun headpieces. fullsizeoutput_d11

For the headpieces on some of the birds,  I used gel pens and watercolor pencils and then free motion quilting – also added some raffia that I bought at the dollar store.

I haven’t quilted the backgrounds for the bird designs yet because I am not sure what my next step will be. Still a UFO  project. I am having fun playing with all the art supplies that I have been buying over the past few years.

Keep  having  fun  sewing  and  quilting.  Donna

Australian state birds and a tote bag

Lining with 2 pockets

More embroidery fun this month!!  Using a Sweet Pea embroidery design, I made 3 panels of the Australian state flowers ( one for each state plus the capital territory).  I like the background design for the 3 panels using 3 different fabrics.  I am going to use this technique with other embroidery designs.

I decided to use the 3 flowers panels to decorate a tote bag for a gift.  I stitched 2 panels together and sewed it to the front of the tote.  I put 2 pockets inside – one open pocket and one zippered pocket.  I was going to put the third flower panel on the back but it didn’t look good.  So I made a small zippered bag with the last flower panel.  The bag attaches to the inside of the tote but can be removed.

After the tote bag was completed, I decided that it needed a front closure.  Now it was too late for magnetic closures. So my options were velcro or a button.  I looked online for tutorials for bag closures.  I found a button closure tutorial on YouTube (#sewspire – How to make a market tote with button closure).  I had to fast forward to get to the button closure since I had already made the bag.  It was a good  tutorial and something new that I hadn’t tried before.  The button closure works good.  I will definitely try this technique again.  I do have lots of buttons to use up.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Misc. Embroidery projects this month

I am having fun using some new embroidery designs this month.  I saw a free design for a zippered scissors holder from Sweet Pea Embroidery designs.  I made the large size which fits a small scissors.  It took me 4 hours to complete the design – lots of thread changes. I think this design is a one and done. It is cute.

I also put embroidery designs on 4 bath hand towels for our house.  I used OESD aqua film topping on the top and aqua mesh on the bottom.   It worked out great and washed away with warm water.

The  last  project  was  using  cork  fabric  to make  luggage  tags. This  design  was  from  Pickle Pie  designs.   I  made  one  for  me  and  one  for  Mary.

Keep  having  fun  sewing  and  quilting.  Donna

Challenge quilt for our guild using our initials

For the recent guild challenge quilt, we had to use our initials to create the quilt ( one initial for the first letter of quilt block name, one for first letter of the main color and the final initial for the embellishments.)  The initials could be used in any order.  There were also size requirements: Perimeter can be no less than 48” nor larger than 144” total.   So I used D for Disappearing Nine patch block,  B for color black, and M for metallic/ metal embellishments.  I decided to make a companion piece for my wall hanging – Colors of Nepal. (https://quiltingsistersunravelled.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4065&action=edit) The primary color in that quilt was red.  I used the same poppy embroidery design for both quilts.  I also used some of the same embroidery trims for both quilts. I wanted the quilts to be similar in some aspects.  I also wanted to add a bird to the new quilt design.  I looked on the internet for birds in Nepal.  I found a Maroon Oriole bird that is primarily red and black.  So I used a bird in my Backyard Bird designs (OESD) that was similar and changed the colors to red and black.  For the metallic embellishments, I used metal buttons, metallic thread embroidery leaves, trims made with metallic threads,and metallic threads. I started the challenge by making the Disappearing Nine patch (12″ block) and added red embroidery – poppies.  Then I used white thread to embroider poppies on black fabric.   I made 3 rolled buttons using 3 different fabric and wrapped with metallic thread.  I had to hot glue them on the quilt. I used water soluble stabilizer to make the red yarn and thread piece at the bottom of the quilt.  The bird trim was taken from a sari.  I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do this challenge but I am glad that I did.  It was fun to try some new techniques and designs.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Cactus Birds – art quilt challenge

The inspiration for this quilt was a small African embroidery piece of a roadrunner (Tambani African Embroidery – A window on African Folk Tales – handmade in South Africa).

I have been thinking about making some quilt with cactus so I decided to make a Southwest inspired piece and use birds from the Southwest.

I checked the internet for birds in the Southwest and then found some bird designs that I could modify to look like those birds.  Using machine embroidery and Backyard Birds designs from OESD, I made 3 birds that live in the Southwest.  I used a green background fabric so that I could later stitch the birds to the cactus.

I made a roadrunner that was inspired by Charlie Harper bird images.  I fused black and white fabrics to make this bird. It was fun to make the “modern” roadrunner.

For the background, I used an ombre fabric for the sunset.  I also had a small piece of striped southwest fabric that I really liked so I worked it into the quilt in the side panel and on the top.

The cactus was made by sewing strips together and then stitching to the background.  I added fun fur yarn to the cactus to give it some dimension.

Finished piece

I used free motion quilting to make the flowers on felt and then attach them onto the cactus. The rocks and greens are fused onto the background.

I finished the quilt using a facing.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna