Brown and Turquoise Quilted Pillow and Table Runner

Yay! Another finish! This is a pillow and table runner for the shop. Both can also be hung on the wall. These were pretty fun to quilt up, especially the feathers. I love feathers.

Detail of the runner below. The brown is a slightly varigated King Tut by Superior Threads and the interior of the plumes and the quilting in the larger print is a varigated Mettler Polysheen.

The turquiose fabric isn't actually a solid, but has bits of colors in a 'grunge' kind of pattern. I did the main quilting at the shop during one of their publicity events. Nothing sold, but I did get nearly 4 solid hours of quilting done!

Sweet Fabric Dumplings

My first attempt at making Keyka's Dumpling zip pouch was a bit lumpy but made my 5-year-old very happy. She's holding her coin purse below, made in Riley Blake's Quite Contrary fabrics. Which is fitting since my little Miss can be quite contrary; she resembles the little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead.... You know, the one whom when she was good she was very good, but when she was bad she was horrid? Sunshine and storms this one.

Anyway, Keyka calls for hand basting the zipper and the outer and lining fabrics. Not gonna happen. I also will not use 2 bowls in a recipe if I can get away with using one. And my result was a lumpy dumpling. I also tried to only interface the lining and not the outer fabric also.
I wonder what tutorial and recipe writers think of those who try to shortcut their directions? I can't seem to follow to the letter of either. But I had to try, especially since the generous Keyka is OK with folks selling their own dumplings made from her tutorial and I think these would be great in my shop if I can make them quickly.

So I tried again, this time with fabric that matches my purse. Success! And still I avoided hand basting. Yay!

The big difference? I clipped the zipper better as Keyka instructed and then applied it with a little tension, so that the zipper laid flat against the curve of the fabric. I also used interfacing on both the inner and outer fabric. Then I added a wrist strap and I am loving it! Thank you Keyka!

I didn't bind the short bottom seams as instructed, but zig zagged them instead. The jury is still out as to whether I'll bind the edges on the ones I make to sell. At the shop I'm in now, nothing is moving, so I want to make these quick and at a low price-point for holiday gift giving. The seams are really inconspicuous. If I can get any of my stuff in a higher end shop in the nearest city, I think I would definitely bind them.

Also, before the seams at the bottom of the zipper are stitched, the dumpling is mostly flat, and I think if I use fusible fleece to interface the outer fabric, it would lend itself nicely to a bit of free motion quilty goodness.

Now I'm off to stitch. What have you been stitching on? Have you made these dumplings before? They're yummy!


Ooh, I think I'm going to try making these wonderful dumpling coin purses, thanks to the tutorial at Keyka Lou. Permission is even granted to sell these, isn't that wonderful? Thank you!

I'll work on these soon, printer and kids willing, and post a pic asap. I think the circle design will lend itself to some quilting.

The Dreaded Frog Stitch

Frog stitch; you know, rip-it rip-it. Also known as unsewing and involves the evil seam ripper. You'd think that the more sewing we do, the less ripping would occur, but it seems that it increases proportionately.

I have to take out the stitches in the center and in the top right corner of this pillow. It had been a fun and simple project, but not so much fun right now. Not the way I wanted to spend quiet time. And the baby woke up early.... Gotta go.

A Fall Giveaway

Yay! I found a reason to be glad that hardly anyone reads my blog. The lovely and marvelous Leslie at MarveLes Art Studio is having a give away and blogging about it gets me another chance to win. So go on over to comment on a chance to win some lovely prizes.

I'm hoping to win a spool of Razzle Dazzle thread myself, but there's also the book "Bittersweet- Art to Heart", and some of Leslie's work too.

I love her blog, you will too. But most of all, I'm finding I love her kind heart!

Stitching Sunflowers

Have you ever noticed the amazing geometric pattern in the seedy part of a sunflower? I wanted to mimic it a bit in this wall quilt but I'm not too sure about the stitching in the dark brown centers of some of these sunflowers. I think curved crosshatching would have come close to God's pattern, but I was too tired, too pushed for time, and possibly too lazy to figure out the size and placement of the cross hatching lines. But I am making progress. Which is good because this quilt is slated to hang in a window display where I (try to) sell my work. Actually, I was supposed to have it ready yesterday!

I love having my creative outlet and I even like having deadlines that make me take time to do it, but I'm having serious difficulties in prioritizing my time. Kids, stitch, sleep.....

Below is a little trick I use to help me with thread tension and thread color selection when doing my quilting.

I add a little bit of extra top fabrics to my sandwich so I can test the threads on the actual batting, backing, and top fabrics that I am using. Having at the edge of the piece I'm making saves me some cutting time and gives me more room to grip than if I were using little scrap bits. Of course, getting your tension as close as possible to balanced is very important, but this is the best way I've found to test the color. You really have to stitch it out to see how it will look because the fabric color really impacts the color of the thread as does the thickness of the thread. Puddling the thread on top is a good start, but it is only the start.

I really wish I could play with color without having to buy so much fabric and thread! I like to mix and match the colors on hand, but I don't always have the best colors. But these sunflowers are looking pretty good, I think.