Sunday, March 31, 2013

Asilomar with SisterStitches

I just returned from almost a week at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. I've been there before, and they have some truly awesome classes.  It is really a wonderful experience.  But this time it was even better because SisterStitches came with me! 

Doesn't she look relaxed sitting on the deck of our room!?!  We had a great time together, and we each chose the same class, too.  We were in Sylvia Pippen's class on Japanese sashiko and appliqué.  Check out Sylvia's website because there are fabulous pictures there.  She does incredible work.  And Sylvia is also a great teacher.  Lots of fun, fairly laid back, and really good at instruction.

Here is my work in progress.  I need to make some more flowers to applique, but you get the idea.  I already have the water pieces appliqued onto the backing fabric (which is a dark blue Moda marble).  The white lines are where I will do sashiko stitching.  The idea is plumeria flowers floating down a stream.  I'll let you see more of it as I progress in my work.

SisterStitches chose to work on two different designs.  (She's an over-achiever!)  The one above is very pretty appliqued waves, and you can see that she has started her sashiko stitching.

This pretty moon (or sun) belongs to SisterStitches, too.  She has begun her stitching on the waves, which will build up and splash in front of the setting sun (or rising moon).

While we've both done applique and embroidery before, neither of us had tried sashiko (although I've always wanted to and have had the materials for quite a few years now!).  The sashiko stitching is different from regular embroidery, as the stitches are larger, and each stitch has a space between it and the next.  You can see that a little bit in my practice piece below.

And here is one of the many deer that were around the Asilomar grounds.  They are actually quite used to people being around, so they don't scare very easily.  I still wouldn't want to get too close, though!

Isn't he sweet-looking!?!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

You Know You're A Quilter When . . .

. . . a trip is coming up, and you spend more time planning and preparing projects to take with you, than you do actually planning and packing your clothes.

Recently MisterStitches and I went on a road trip to Arizona for the Giants spring training.  That means two fairly full days of driving on very straight roads.  
Each way.  
Coming and going.  
That means lots of time for hand sewing.  And I really did spend more time and energy on my sewing projects than I did on my regular packing!

The first thing I got ready was an embroidery project.  This one is a secret for now, but I will say that it's for someone in my Stitches family.  I had to buy the object to be embroidered, interface it, then draw on the design with my iron-off pen before we started the trip.

Then I assembled my English paper piecing project.  Which includes the fabric, cardboard pieces, thread, and my needle threader.

Now both projects are stacked on the bed ready to go.

I also have a small quilted wall hanging that only needs its hanging sleeve attached.  I included matching thread and needle pack, plus the label that needs to be attached, too.

So the orange quilt gets added to the pile of sewing projects.  That's the good thing about driving in a car versus flying.  Space isn't an issue, so I can take along as much as I need to.

Now comes the big quilt.  This one is not a super large quilt, probably a large throw size.  As you can see, it needs the binding sewn down, and also the hanging sleeve sewn down.

And so the blue quilt goes on the pile.  Just about ready to go.

And in case I run out of projects (I'm worried that this might not take me as many hours as we will be spending in the car), I throw in the baby afghan I am currently crocheting.

Now I think my stack is complete!  I'll let you know how many projects I finished.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Project for My Guild's Challenge

These are the fun fabrics I've been playing with recently.  Not my usual quilting cottons, that's for sure.

Our Guild's challenge this year is "Celebrate."  There are a lot of things in life to celebrate, aren't there.  (Sometimes just getting out of bed is something to celebrate!)

I won't show you my quilt until after the challenge show opens on April 5, but these two photos are little hints as to what it will be.

It's been challenging, for sure, as I've been trying to copy a photograph.  But I think it's working.  Once all the quilting is done and bindings on, and the show has opened, I'll show it to you.  This isn't my only entry into the challenge show.  I have a few others, too, and I'll show you them, too, all in good time.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hawaiian Applique Pillow

I finished the Hawaiian appliqué project which I had started a while ago.  (See this post and/or this post.)

It took a couple of tries to get the pillow right!  First of all, I squared up the pillow, then sewed it to the back pieces.  But what I saw was the red design almost squished out of recognition, being on the very edges of the pillow.

So I took it apart and added very small white borders.  Of course, I had to re-cut the back, but that was ok.  I like how it looks now a lot better.

This was zipped off to MomandDadStitches for Christmas.

I think I'll try another Hawaiian appliqué soon.

Friday, March 1, 2013

More Britches for GranddaughterStitches

I made a third pair of warm pants for my dear little GranddaughterStitches.  These pants are made from green fleece.  (You can see some of the earlier pants I made for her here.)  They are nice and simple with just an elastic waistband.  They go together very easily.

You can see that for this pair of pants I put a little pink heart on the front of one leg.  Easily fused on, and then secured with a machine blanket stitch all around.

And on the back of these pants is a nice little pocket, again secured with a machine blanket stitch.

Apparently GranddaughterStitches likes her pants, because I occasionally see her wearing them in photos!  Always wish we lived closer!