Saturday, January 27, 2018


It feels so good to be back at work!  I am pleased with my birdie.  Applique involves so many stages: searching thru fabric, ironing fabric to freezer paper templates, starching down the turned edges, lightly gluing down the pieces with Elmers, then tacking all down with basting prior to any stitching.  That part is completed-now I get to do the stitching!  After stitching, there is some embroidering of stems and leaves and feather-work on the bird.

Here is my wren next to pattern so you can see what embroidery will be completed.
Before I started working on the wren, I pulled out a couple of my bird books to refresh my memory as to the feathering of wrens.  It occured to me then that tho this pattern is called the Naturalists Notebook, the birds are somewhat impressionist-that is not an exact copy but rather evokes the bird. 
I use 100 wt silk thread for applique work.  I have used other types and they all have their pros and cons.  Aurifil 50wt is the current favorite being pushed as the go-to thread for appliquers and I am sure it is just great.  I am going to stick with silk because I am tired of changing-as I said, they all have their pros and cons-no one of them is perfect.

 Here is another view-I am having a hard time capturing the colors.

A couple of the bits on the bird were hi-lighted using Caran D'ache Neocolor II.

I know most of you follow the wonderful Esther Aliu @  .
She has begun an exciting new group on facebook.  You can find it at: Stenciled & Painted Quilts Group to sign up.  She is demonstrating some beautiful stenciling work right now.  The idea behind this group is for us all to share our experiences with textile paints and help each other learn.  I know most learning is done by playing but helpful hints from other's experiences might set a person in the right direction.  For instance, I have trouble with the Caran D'ache appearing to dull out the fabric so the new color may be correct but the overall look is meh! Any ideas?

On Feburary 1st, Helen Godden will release her pattern and video classes on how to paint Aussie birds using Jacquard Luminere acrylics.  I have all my paints, brushes, and black Kona ready to go!
The Sweet William pattern I mentioned last post has morphed from reproduction fabrics to a "Liberty of London" feel.  Liberty of London, as you know is lovely colored, finely printed, small florals-very expensive here in the US.  There are some clones available such as Regent Street by Moda and Garden Delights by In the Beginning fabrics.  After having lived thru the hardest year of my life, I found I did not want to use the toned down reproduction fabric.  I want sunny!  Tho subject to change, here is kind of what I am thinking of:

 Instead of yellow gingham, maybe this mottled yellow with the basket blocks picking up the lightest tones.  I have ordered a charm pack of the Garden Delights and am thinking of mixing them with Kona cotton pastels.  I can tell more once I receive the fabric.

These are computer models of weather patterns.  I was struck by the similiarity to Van Gogh's swirlings.  It must have been hard on him if he saw the world like this:

 That's all for now!  Happy quilting until we met again!

I am linking up with:
Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog, Making Monday,  Em's Scrapbag, Esther's Wow, 
Let's Bee Social, Whoop Whoop, and Finish or Not!, Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, January 15, 2018


and we are not talking wind chills here either! That slight glow in the sky is the sun. You can see the ice which formed on my hair from my breath. COOO-OLD!

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to look forward and make plans for the future.  I have settled on three projects on which to work.  Some painting, some old-timey feel, some realism-a variety of possibilities.

1.  Sweet William

This is the "old-timey".   This quilt has an antique look which I love plus the color yellow.  I am striving to use fabrics such as reproduction fabrics which will adapt to an aged look.  May have to do some tea dyeing also.I have not yet received the pattern yet so I cannot show detail photos.  This project seems like a good one to work intermittently and will enable me to switch back and forth on projects.  The pattern maker is Susan Smith, an Australian designer.

2.  Feathered Friends BOM with Helen Godden

Another Aussie designer!  (they are my favorite!) This BOM is different.  For about $60 US, you can access a link and each month beginning Feburary 1, Helen will post a new downloadable pattern.  This exciting fun of this BOM is that the designs are is painted on using Jacquard Lumiere paints, and then quilted in the most charming ways.  No applique this time.
There are nine 14" blocks all of which are of Aussie birds!  I can't wait for Feb 1!  I have ordered my paints and some new sized brushes, and have the black kona pfd (prep for dyeing) fabric so I am ready.  Here is a link to Helen's facebook page describing her class if you are interested:
You can google Helen Godden to find her webpage-for some reason I could not get the link right.

3.  Sandra Leichner's Naturalist's Notebook block series.

Here is the first block which is 9.5 square :

This is block number 1 and it is relatively simple just applique and embroidery. The end result is very naturalistic.  These blocks require a lot of batiks and, as time goes on, more and more sophisticated techniques.  You can see this pattern and the other 10 on her webpage under "shop":
I have lots of batiks but I also will be tinting the fabric here and there to create more tones and variations with my Caran D'ache pastels.

Soooo....that is me all sorted for awhile!  I am looking forward to receiving the Sweet William pattern and beginning the search for the correct yellow gingham, and for Feb 1 to roll around.

And a jigsaw puzzle for your moment of zen:
Pretty tricky I betcha!

Happy quilting to you until we meet again!

I am linking up with:
Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog, Making Monday,  Em's Scrapbag, Esther's Wow, 
Let's Bee Social, Whoop Whoop, and Finish or Not!, Off the Wall Friday.