Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A stitch here, a stitch there

When I began embroidering details on my Phebe quilt, I looked for images on the web of any other Phebe quilt which had been embellished with embroidery but I couldn't find any. In this post, I'm including a few photos of the embroidery stitches I'm adding for anyone who would like some ideas about embellishing their Phebe quilt.

I've learned how to do all the stitches from my experience with crazy quilting and by looking at stitchery books. I am certainly no expert but just keep trying different stitches, colors and floss or perle cotton until I find the results I like. Click on the photos for a closer look and please forgive my fuzzy photography!

The first thing I remembered about hand embroidery is how long it takes! Besides stitching some embellishments on each applique, I'm also stitching a decorative stitch or backstitch around each piece of applique. I feel like I worked on this all last week but haven't made much progress. Of course, I always think I can do things faster than what really happens.  I'm using whatever floss I can thread the needle with - DMC, Valdani and whatever I'm finding in my embroidery box in both floss and perle cotton weights. I especially like variegated colors.

Unfortunately, I'm finding that some of my applique is too close together. For instance, the flower and leaf above. I think I know what I'm going to have to do but am still trying to convince myself about it. The flower is going to have to be moved, isn't it? Don't want to even think about picking out the blue French knots. It looks like the too closeness could be an issue at another part of the border too.

My "design wall" is such a mess, not to mention my sewing room! We're in the process of decluttering our house and my sewing room is going to get the treatment when I'm finished with Phebe. Maybe I will post photos of where I stitch when my room gets its makeover. Please bear with me but this is my "design wall" with layers of projects and stuff pinned to it.

If you can make it out, on the right is another section of Ohio Stars. This section was definitely a challenge because hardly any of the blocks were the correct size. I'm going to try to block the different sections to get them less lumpy and bumpy before I sew them to the medallion. Poor Jan (the machine quilter)! Can you quilt that out?!? 

On the left are the 3 1/2 nearly finished sections of the 8 dogtooth borders which are coming up. Since I'm paper piecing these, its fairly mindless sewing and sometimes I've wondered where my mind is! I've sewn pieces on upside down and in the wrong order, etc. so I keep my seam ripper close by.

The other stuff on the "design wall" is an EPP Grandmother's Flower Garden I started two years ago and would still like to finish. When I started it, I thought it would be bed sized but now I'd be happy with a wallhanging. The print out for the Love Entwined quilt center is peeking out from behind the dogtooth border strips and the actual center is under the Ohio Stars. Under the lower part of the dogtooth borders is a "Welcome" wallhanging which was a present from our outgoing guild president.

Must get back to stitching so until next time,


  1. Thanks for these great photos of your embroidery. Perfect timing for me as I am planning a similar style of embellishment on the new quilt I am working on. Great minds think alike. :)

  2. Your Phebe is gorgeous! I did quite a bit of embroidery and embellishment on mine, if you want to look back on my old blog.

  3. PS I think I'd remove the leaf, make it a hair smaller, change the angle a bit and no one would notice!

  4. Wow! You are certainly creating a very unique piece here Mayleen!!! In years to come someone will pour over this and will be delighted with the extra dimenions you are putting into your work!!!! It may take a while to do these but well worth it in the end. Beautiful work!!!!!!

  5. I'm not worried Mayleen, I know you are creating a masterpiece!

  6. Beautiful quilt. Good luck de cluttering I am doing that too.