Tag Archives: embroidery

Secret Garden


IMG_3817When one is good, two is better, don’t you think?

Actually, Secret Garden was parallel processing with Hidden Treasures (my geek is showing – parallel processing indeed!).  I made all the strips at the same time.  It was pleasantly mindless sewing, which I really needed at the time.

The original thought was to quilt them together, so both sides would be colorful.  Some ideas are best left by the wayside, as I realized trying to line up all those strips, and stitch-in-the-ditch from both sides would make me crazier than I already am.

The next thought was to cut the whole thing in half, and rotate the two pieces 90 degrees.  That would solve the issue of lining things up, but I would still have to be careful of the embroidered additions.  I certainly didn’t want to quilt though carrots or an owl.  Scratch that idea too.

In the end, they became two quilts.  I had enough wonder fabric* from the local ASG Holiday Gala to make the backs the same, so there was continuity with that as well.

I haven’t yet decided if this quilt is staying or gifting.  Mr. Puck would prefer it stay, even though he doesn’t sleep on quilts.

*Wonder Fabric:  When you look at fabric, and wonder…why did I every buy that?  Every holiday the local ASG has a party, where exchanging one’s “wonder” fabric is part of the festivities.


Hidden Treasures


IMG_3826Ever have one of those times when you need to do something just to take your mind off something else?  Well, this quilt is the result of one of those.  It was also a good reason to try some embroidery designs “just because” as well as use up stash.  We all have them, those cotton pieces toted around from place to place – too large to throw away, too small to be made into anything.

I got the idea from the Ebambo quilt I wrote about here.  That one turned out so well, I decided to tempt fate, and see if I could do it again.  The strips on this one are narrower, 2 1/2 inches instead of 3.  The embroidery designs are from a number of places – Urban Threads, BullarIMG_3833d Designs, Momo Dini and Kreations by Kara to name a few.  Other sources as well, though they slip my mind at the moment.

Very therapeutic sewing.  Row after row after row.   I did have to get a wee bit fussy to be sure that when I joined the rows I wasn’t going to cut through an embroidery design, but that really didn’t take a lot of effort.

I had originally thought to add something beyond the black border.  Then I realized it was large enough as-is.  Big enough to nap under, not really meant to cover a bed.

The back, as you can see, is a bunch of crop circles.  They get the Phred Paw of Approval!


Jalie 968: Basics


IMG_3665What can be better to sew than a basic pair of jeans?

Pretty much nothing, unless it’s a basic T-shirt.  Or basic something else.

And by basic, I mean a wardrobe staple that will get lots of use, using a Tried-And-True pattern that doesn’t require fitting, tweaking, muslins and the like.

That’s what this Jalie pattern (alas, now discontinued) has become for me.  It’s my go-to whenever I just want to sew, and not think too much.

There are notes scribbled all over the pattern envelope, and the actual pattern…  Let’s just say it’s been tweaked, taped and “adjusted” to account for it’s many years of use.

The fabric is (I think) from Fabric Mart or maybe it was Fabric.com.  Either way, it’s aged to perfection and long gone from inventory.  I would call it a mid-weight twill.  Not too heavy.  Not too light.  A real Goldilocks of a fabric.

IMG_3671I know, the front looks simple and plain.  It is.  The back, on the other hand, well, I couldn’t leave that unadorned, now could I?

Once again, Bobbi Bullard and her wonderful embroidery designs stepped front and center (or would that be back and center?) to provide the necessary bling.

The design set is called “Chain of Jewels”.  I would have put a link, but couldn’t find it on her web site.  I’ve had it for a while, so it may be discontinued.

I used a variegated Sulky thread for the lines, and a nice periwinkle for the jewels.  The rhinestuds are much closer in color to the periwinkle, they just don’t photograph that way.

These are sure to see a lot of wear once the weather cools down.

Ursa Major


IMG_3634I’ve been playing around with dyeing some of the bone cabochons I have, trying to get something that wasn’t so white and pristine looking.  This little bear has enough carved texture to soak up the color very nicely.

Both the head and body are peyote bezeled to the backing.  The rest of the body is bead embroidered using bugle, triangle, seed and firepolish beads.

Now, I’m stuck.  I spent a whole day auditioning various beaded ropes to make her into a necklace.  None of them worked.

The piece is too large to be a brooch.  I would be concerned that either the neck area would bend, or the stone body would snap trying to close a clasp on the back.

I suppose a bail with a simple cord might work, but I think she deserves more.

Suggestions anyone?



IMG_3573Is gorgeous, if I do say so myself.

I’ve wanted to make another beaded face brooch for ages.  It just took a while to match the face with the cabochon.  Ophelia is just over 2 inches tall, and about 1 1/2 inches wide.  Large enough to be seen, but not so large as to be bulky.

The face is carved something-or-other from Tucson.  I think it’s some sort of bone.  I know it’s not proscribed ivory.

The body cabochon is dichroic glass from Weir Glass Studios.  Andrea Weir does some of the most beautiful glass, don’t you think?

The dragonfly highlights of the cabochon are echoed by the bugle beads.  I used lime and kelly green, accented with silver seed beads and chartreuse AB crystals.

The bezel is a mix of matte charcoal 15°s and milky white 11°s.

Ophelia will give a nice pop of color to that little black sweater I wear all the time.

Ebambo’s Birthday


IMG_3545is today.  He’s turning One!

IMG_3550I’ve been staying with him and his grandparents (friends from junior high) on and off since the beginning of the year under somewhat trying circumstances.  They have been so kind and generous.  I just had to do something to say Thank You. This seemed like the right occasion.

IMG_3551The quilt is a mix of embroidered designs and strip piecing.  I dug through the stash pulling out all my “little boy” prints, and surprisingly there were quite a few.

The embroidery designs are ones I’ve had for ages, and always wanted to try.  Just haven’t had much need for robots and ray guns.

Until now.

The piecing on the quilt was very simple.  Just joining 3 inch strips end to end to end.  Fold in half longways (that’s a word, isn’t it?) and stitch.  Fold in half again.  And Again.  And Again.  It reminds me of making butter pastry with all the folding.  My biggest fear was that one of the folds would require cutting a robot in half.

IMG_3555Thankfully that didn’t happen.

The back of the quilt is pretty generic.  Nothing fancy.  The binding was made using the remaining bits of primary fabric.

The fabric is a mix of all sorts of prints.  Motorcycles.  Hawaiian shirts and shorts.  Planets.  Robots (yes, more robots).  Frogs.  Geometrics.  Dragon teeth.

I suppose I could have made it using more of a themed motif, but this is bright and lively, and I think suitable for a wee lad.

IMG_3559It gets the Phred Nap of Approval too!

Show Towels


IMG_3359While doing laundry the other day, I realized we could use another set of holiday show towels.  That would save wear and tear on the pair that we use the most, as well as save me from having to frequently wash them.

I put a couple of existing towels into service, and with the help of holiday designs from Embroidery Library, worked up this pair.  Yes Virginia, they were even completed before Christmas!

The designs are loose enough that the towels still feel soft.  I also changed the colors.

Now, a comment about show towels.  Guest towels.  Hand towels.  Until now, I’ve never lived anywhere they were at all practical.  There was never anywhere to hang them.  They would balance precariously atop the bath towels, then fall to the floor.  Now that they have a place to hang properly, they’ve come in quite handy, even if only for wiping away paw prints.  I still think of them as show towels though…