Sunday, November 17, 2013

Just Because

Mittens and Tam

Here we are with winter upon us (I really do like winter) and my thoughts turn to wool appliqué.  I spotted this quilt pattern titled "My Christmas Album" in Quilter's Newsletter and it looked like a perfect project for me.  Just because.  Because at night, I like to hand stitch.  Because I get tired working at my machine.  Because I run out of designing energy and want to create using someone else's pattern.

My Christmas Album
Pattern by Tina Curran

I like the simple 9 block layout of this quilt. It's all about appliqué.  And I like the mandala like layout of the blocks.  But  what I like best about this design is the sweater border. They are just too cute! 

Tina Curran is the designer of this fun quilt.  I've changed up some of the blocks, replacing some of her motifs with some of mine.  I have 4 more blocks to prepare, then on to those great sweaters. 

Winter Birds


Fun trees

Christmas ornaments

After showing my work in progress to my quilt group, one of my friends offered me and another quilter a chance to go through her extensive wool collection and choose any pieces we could use.  Like kids in a candy store:

Some of my new woolens

By the way, when I do wool appliqué, I still use my raw edge fusible technique to prepare each motif.  I know some would frown on fusing anything to wool and instead use glue, staples, or pins.  But I find it works just great and helps keep those wool edges from fraying.  I am using a variety of gray toned cotton fabrics for the blocks and a slightly darker gray fabric for the sweater border background. I use a buttonhole stitch to appliqué each piece with 2 strands of embroidery floss.  I'll add embroidery details as I go along, using various threads and techniques. 

Ready to cut and fuse

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Edge of Nature

Spent wildflower in late autumn

Wasn't there a soap opera once titled "The Edge of Night"?   What is the edge of nature?  

Nature abounds here in the Northwoods of Wisconsin at all times. Summer blooms and flora are long past but take on another beauty when spent and dried.  


This is a block from a new quilt I'm working on, probably to be titled Nature's Edge.  I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal's Style and Travel section a while ago about New York Fashion Week and the spring theme of "edgy floral designs." Flowers always catch my eye and the inspiration took hold.  Just yesterday, I actually read the article noting  "softness and toughness, dripping with color, washed out in black and gray, blurred, black blooms."  

The flower blocks are not meant to be anything in particular though they were inspired by real flowers.

Bachelor buttons?

Anemone and spiders?

A graceful black and gray bird

One block to go....

I plan to extend the bird branches and leaves all around the block borders and then of course, there will be an appliquéd outer border, so there will be lots more color and dimension.  None of the blocks have been appliqué stitched yet.  Lots of work to do.  

Sage and Rosemary brought inside for the winter.  

A nice sprig of mint popped out when I repotted the Rosemary.  We'll have fresh herbs for  Thanksgiving dinner this year!