Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gloria's Quilt

Originally uploaded by jenamoured

I'm finally getting around to posting this.

I delivered Gloria's quilt last weekend when I went home to help her pack for departure to William & Mary College.

She loved it! We snuggled under it and dragged it around the house all weekend, refusing to pack it until the very last minute.

You can see the two of us holding the quilt over the loft railing. Lucky that house is so big so that we could get a great full view, far away picture.

Machine pieced, hand bound
Machine quilted by Rebekah Richardson of Kept In Stitches Quilting in Richmond, VA

I used fabric from the Natural Effects line by Marcus Fabrics. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of my original fabric, so I had to supplement with another fabric from the Natural Effects line (same print, smaller scale) and one Al Fresco print, which is also used as the backing. I used this as the border, along with a couple blender batiks.

I, personally, think it looks beautiful. I'm so proud of my work and I can't believe I actually made that thing.

My aunt emailed it to a family member, who wrote back to ask if the center section was a single piece of fabric. It felt great to say, "Nope! That's patchwork!"

The Bomb.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I really wish someone would buy me this!

It's so cute. For some reason I'm all about halloween fabrics right now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Originally uploaded by Boered

I know that my DQS7 partner is out there, somewhere, silently watching and reading and trying to get to know me.

I can't wait to see what that person is making for me! And the fact that I might have seen it in the flickr pool is absolutely tantalizing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cast-On Stitch

Originally uploaded by kleio's belly

Look at this cool thing! Turns out, she's using something called a Cast-On Stitch to create those curlicues.

Thankfully, on her blog, she linked to Sharon B's Stitch Dictionary, where she found the Cast-On Stitch Tutorial.

Totally going to try this.

Handwork Continues

After neglecting my current embroidery block, I have rallied and finished it completely (to much delight!). Check it out.


This is Bareroots Little Stitchies #178 September. Just as with the August block (#177, of course), I made a few changes in stitching and color, and I added a few beads this time!


The tree trunk was filled using a satin stitch, and I did most of the leaves in yellow, rather than adding the light green the pattern called for. I embroidered the roof with a double feather stitch to mimic shingles (like a gingerbread house), just like I did on the August (#177) block. The apples in the foreground were satin stitched, and I added a single green bead for the stem leaves. I outlined the windows and door with the same cerulean floss I used for the house-- that color is too lovely and I had to have more! Lastly, and probably my favorite change, I used bead embroidery for the smoke plume coming out of the chimney.


See my hand for scale? All in all, I really love the way it looks. I used stabilizer this time, and thank God, because the foundation help up much better than the August (#177) block.


Summer is coming to a close, and that's bringing me down. As some of you know, I am an inner city public school teacher. The concept of heading back to work after a long relaxing summer is making me anxious. The possibility of having another terrible year is looming large in my mind.

With September comes the DQS7 swap deadline! Oh no! I hope my partner likes what I'm working on...


Friday, August 14, 2009


thrifted long ago
Originally uploaded by bricolagelife

I found this photo in the flickr embroidery pool. It's awesome, right? The user who uploaded this photo lamented in the description that she wishes she "could embroider like this."

Don't we all?

As my summer vacation draws to a close, I'm starting to get kind of down about the lack of craft time I will have in the future. Since this spring I have attempted and succeeded in areas of craft I never thought possible. Even though I've always felt craft-incompetent, it all boils down to the fact that, really, I just had to try it.

In the words of Nike (not the goddess), I had to just do it. And I do feel victorious about my accomplishments (even if my apartment is a god-forsaken mess).

So, I left a comment on bricolagelife's photo.

"I bet you can embroider like that."

Because, I mean, I bet I can too. We just have to get to it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Paper Piecing!

Now it's time for another episode of Not My Tutorials!

This Paper Piecing Tutorial from The Sometimes Crafter is clear and concise, with excellent pictures. Once I'm feeling brave enough (and once Hand Sewing Month is up) I'm definitely going to try this.


I went to Chicago to visit family, had tons of fun, and even visited the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry (the only building still standing from the Columbian Exposition aka the Chicago World's Fair). All was excellent.

When I got home, I had a wonderful surprise! Crystal, of Sonnet of the Moon had sent me a package full of goodies. She included many wonderful quilted coasters, some cloth napkins, a bar of chocolate (Twilight Delight, one that Josh really loves!) a folding fan, and a gorgeous cut of fabric. When I opened the package and looked at all the goodies, Josh noted how excellent a job Crystal did with the fabric choice, considering all those fabrics are ones I would have chosen for myself. Thank you so much, Crystal! I love all my goodies. <3


Also, continuing progress on my DQS7 quilt. I picked up some charm batiks at the quilt shop yesterday and have gotten all my little birds cut out. Of course, I'm deviating from my original plan, but I think I like what I've got. It's too dark to take a picture of my layout, but feast your eyes on my fabric!

DQS7 Fabrics

Here's hoping my partner likes what I've got going on. She's not blogging much and she only has about three favorites on her flickr page. Ah well. What can you do?

A Giveaway!

Not mine, though I should have one.

Randi is having a remnants giveaway!

All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your favorite childhood television show.

It's tough to choose just one favorite show, so I'll give my top three kid-favorites:

1. Rocko's Modern Life on Nickelodeon
2. Doug on Nickelodeon (and not Disney's Doug, either!)
3. Pop-up Video on VH1

I feel like all I ever did was watch television when I was a kid.!

Getcha some. ;p

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Lightbox

My Lightbox
Originally uploaded by jenamoured

Don't have a lightbox but need to trace an embroidery pattern?

Use your television (as long as it's not one of those fancy plasma or LCD models). Simply use masking tape to affix your fabric to the printed pattern, like so, then tape the whole shebang over the illuminated television screen.

Voila! You have a lightbox. The light from the television screen will allow you to view the printed pattern through the fabric. Pull up a chair and get to work.

Monday, August 3, 2009


As promised, here's a look at my first finished handwork item of them month.

You're looking at Bareroots Little Stitchies #177 - August. As mentioned, there's one embroidery block for each month of the year.


I've made a few changes. The only stitches the pattern called for were backstitches, lazy daisies, and French knots. As a general rule, line-only embroidery doesn't appeal to me. I prefer to have fill stitches and variations in texture, not to mention dimension and color. Changing up the stitches called for in the pattern really allowed me to do this.


I chose to use satin stitch to create the tree trunk, and I think it looks beautiful. The roof was created using feather stitches (though I auditioned square stitches and couldn't get them quite right). The sun embroidery includes a buttonhole wheel stitch and French knots to create sun sparkles. The hills were embroidered using a (not so neat) stem stitch to create texture to mimic grass.

Additionally, I differed from the pattern in outlining the door and windows in blue rather than brown only because there was so much brown in the block already. All leaves for flowers and on the grass were embroidered in a different green than the hills and tree leaves, just for variation. Lastly, I added a circle into the middle of the front sunflowers. It adds detail, plus I thought it was cute.

Not too bad... I learned three stitches for this block-- buttonhole wheel (as discussed), lazy daisy, and feather stitch. And after all that practicing, I'm pretty much a French knot expert.

Of course, the whole fabric is distorted and I wish I had used stabilizer. Good thing I cut the foundation one inch larger than necessary.!

A Month of Hand Sewing

red hands sewing
Originally uploaded by Bascom Hogue

What a coincidence! The folks at Sew, Mama, Sew! are rediscovering handwork, too.

To celebrate handwork, the sewing mamas are hosting A Month of Hand Sewing. There'll be tutorials, photos of the day, and giveaways, including this cute little hand sewing kit.

The quiet patience of a needle sewing thread has always appealed to me. A month of hand sewing isn't a bad idea, so I'm going to try not to go near my sewing machine this month. Instead, I'll work on the various handwork projects I've got going.

Buttonhole Wheel

TAST Portuguese Knotted Stem
Originally uploaded by Kay Susan

A while ago I purchased the Leisure Arts Embroidery Pocket Guide Leaflet. It's laminated and folds up just like a map, which is extremely handy. I love using it to refresh my memory on stitches that I already know how to do-- the diagrams are great.

However, it lists some stitches I don't know, which looked pretty cool. The stitch I taught myself today was the buttonhole wheel stitch (seen above in Kay Susan's awesome embroidery).

If you're curious about how to do it, check out this video tutorial for buttonhole wheel stitch from Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Variety Hour

I'm getting some brainwaves for my DQS7 project. My partner seems to like applique, so hopefully she will like what I'm cooking up!


Many quilters love putting binding on quilts, because it is slow and meditative-- at least, that's why I love it. But, I do so hate making the binding. Halfway there... all that's left is the ironing. :(


Finally, I got started on some embroidery. I'm working on the Bareroots Little Stitchies #177 August. There's one homestead scene for every month. I don't normally go in for this sort of thing, but those houses were irresistible. I'm tweaking the pattern a bit... stay tuned for details.