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. ( 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

Sweet Pea Embroidery sew along for June – Ocean Scene

I completed my first sew along challenge with Sweet Pea embroidery designs.

I saw the ocean scene design on their facebook page and the many different entries looked fun.  Looking at the other entries helped me to pick out colors and thread colors.  So I signed up and bought the design.  You even get a discount for the current sew along design.

There is a specific window of time to complete your design to enter in the contest to win free designs.  The embroidery company is in Australia so you have to submit your design based on Australian time – I noticed that some people on facebook missed the deadline because of the time difference.    Each design has 3 sizes – I did the largest hoop size design (7″ x 12″).  

There were 5 panels for the scene and then the panels were sewn together.  I added 2 borders, then put another layer of batting for the whole design and added the binding.  

It took some time to find the fabrics for the scene – I tried to have dark, medium and light values for the water.  

This was a fun project to complete but it did take time.  The last panel (beach scene) took 200 minutes.  So what did I do while the machine was busy stitching out the designs?  I cleaned out 8 drawers in our sewing room.  I found items to donate, throw out, and organize so I can actually find some of the supplies.  LOL.  I plan to try another sew along later this year.  

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna


Finished piece.

Llama and elephant tote bag

old bag

Time to make a new tote bag to replace the purple tote bag with a Hawaiian t-shirt design. I bought a pink t-shirt with an elephant embroidery over 3 years ago on our trip to Nepal for my son’s wedding.  I was looking for a second embroidery design to use with the llama embroidery to add to the new tote bag so the elephant was perfect for this project.  I went through the fabric stash for bright colors that would match the colors in the embroidery designs.  First I cut 2 pieces of batting the size of the bag.  I looked through my pile of fabrics and just started cutting strips and laying the strips next to the embroidery design for each side.  Just winging it.  I did straight line quilting before adding the lining and finishing the tote bag.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

More embroidery fun

We found these blue napkins at a consignment shop so I decided to practice some embroidery designs on these napkins.

The flower designs are from OESD.  I used white thread on the top and in the bobbin and used aqua mesh (wash away stabilizer).

I love the contrast of the white flowers with the dark blue napkins.

I also made a zippered bag in the hoop with the embroidery machine. I wanted to try making a bag in the hoop but this bag was the smallest zippered bag that I have ever made. LOL.

The bee (also about 3″)  was my fist time making a free standing design.  This type of design is not stitched on fabric but is stitched on a stabilizer (either tear away or wash away). I used a tear away stabilizer. There are over 9200 stitches in this design – hard to believe.

Have fun sewing and quilting.  Donna


Llama UFO complete

Donna recently gave me another UFO when she embroidered 2 Llama’s for me.   I just love them.

So, last week at our all day Quilt Bee sew-in, I made a new tote with them.   My old tote was well loved and probably needed to be retired anyways.   I do like totes as they are great for toting quilting magazines and hand work when you know you may have a wait for appointments (e.g. Dr. offices).

Drumroll… here is my new No-Drama-Llama tote.

All the fabric was from our stash and I even raided my secret stash drawer for the camera fabric (my other love) to make the inside of the bag.

Happy Stitchin,


Playing with machine embroidery with bird designs

I am going to put away my embroidery module later this week so I can get back to some quilting projects.  I found some bird designs on OESD and wanted to experiment with different backgrounds for the birds. So I made collage backgrounds using neutrals, blues, and greens.  I cut out random sized squares and rectangles and used a straight stitch to attach to a muslin foundation.  Then I used these 3 backgrounds to stitch on birds using the embroidery machine.  The bird designs stitched out over the patchwork collage backgrounds without any problems. On the blue background, I added a tree for the woodpecker.  With the second woodpecker on the green print fabric, I enlarged the bird by 20% without any problems with the design and the stitches.

20% larger

Three of the birds were stitched on the same green print since I plan to put those birds on a cactus wallhanging that I am working on.  I really liked these birds designs. I can’t wait to put the birds on the cactus.  Have  fun  sewing.  Donna