Tuesday, November 19, 2013

For the Birds

I had a difficult time finding any fabric which I thought worked as a bird wing so I made my own! The two birds in the outer border have wings made of individual small paisleys which I fussy cut and appliqued using the starch method. The wings were preassembled before stitching them on. 
Here are the other birds -

I'm not sure what to do about this one's beak and may just let the fabric design be the beak.

I'm trying to finish the embroidery on the center panel and applique borders by the end of the month. Dare I say it? I think I might just make it or come very close!

Until next time, Mayleen

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Phebe's Flowers & Foliage

Staying home because of my cold has given me more time to embroider!

Just in case, anyone else is considering adding embroidery to their Phebe quilt, here are some details about the flowers and foliage I've finished or partly finished. Click on the photo for a closer look! 

The blue Coxcomb (or is it a Morning Glory?) has a laced backstitch run around the outer edge and a back stitch next to cream print. I used the Chain Stitch on its foliage.

The pink flower actually should have 10 petals but I chose to give it only 8 since I'm fairly new to applique. Both it and the red flower in the center have simply been backstitched with red or pink. Sue Spargo's book, "Creative Stitching" gave me the idea for this flower center's embroidery. The leaves have been embroidered with a Feather Stitch.

The blue fussy cut flower is only partly finished. Its four inner petals have French Knots on the design in the fabric and I still need to Backstitch around the outer petals. Those are French Knots made with Perle Cotton around the edges of the leaves.

The Red Gingham flower is the same shape as the pink flower. It still needs its Pearl Stitch around the outer edge. I've gone blank but I think that's called a Lazy Daisy stitch around the center with French Knots on top. The design on its leaves is a simple stem stitch following the design of the fabric.   

Enough of all that. Most of these are very basic embroidery stitches and if you click on the photo, you can see them better for yourself instead of me trying to explain them to you!

When I embroider, I like to work sitting at my lowered ironing board. I can spread out my floss and use the ironing board as a very large pin cushion! Here you can see my fairly new, clean ironing board cover which probably won't be that way for long.

I've been putting off finishing a part of the applique border until now. (Ignore that yellow blotch, I think its my shadow as I took the picture.) 

This bird and another one like it almost became an Apteryx, something found only in a comic strip here in the States! Next time I'll tell you how the birds have fared.

Until later, Mayleen

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Guess where I've been?

I took a bus tour to the Houston Quilt Festival!

Day One: Long bus ride from Wichita to our hotel in Houston. Believe it or not, my husband has agreed to go with me.

Day Two: Stuck in traffic (I think its safe to say that I will never drive in Houston!) Quilters in line to get into the arena are doing a countdown and we all surge in. I don't think its too crowded until I stop to use the restroom and then its, "Where did all these women come from?!?" The arena is the equivalent of 5 football fields - one for the food court, two for the vendors and two for the quilt show. Shopping, oh yes! I have a list of vendors I want to visit. I enjoy meeting several bloggers and shop owners I'm familiar with. We make it only half way through all the vendors before we decide to take a break. We saw many beautiful quilts and I will probably share more pictures later. Husband finds the Men's Lounge with chaises and TV tuned to the sports channel. Back at the hotel, my legs and feet are so tired! Can one possibly prepare oneself for walking 7 hours on thinly carpeted concrete floors?

Day Three: Yes, repeat day two. Spend more money and never see the absolutely essential quilting gadgets other tour members find. We find the Starbucks on the arena's second level and relax on the sun roof. Look at more quilts. Take more pictures of quilts. Husband visits Men's Lounge.

Day Four: Husband pleads upset stomach and stays at the hotel. I tag along with other tour members (Hi Cheryl), look at more quilts and take a few pictures. Browse through vendors again.

Day Five: Long bus trip back to Wichita. Believe it or not, my husband is willing to go to Paducah with me in spring! Maybe I just caught him at a weak moment, LOL.

The house is still standing, the cats haven't destroyed my plants, its good. We collapse in our own bed.
I am motivated to finish Phebe so I can start a new pattern I purchased in Houston.

No, I'm not going to show it to you yet but I've been wanting to make it for a long time. If you know me, you know I like quilts with a lot of pieces. Just a hint.

my husband was the first to have the flu/cold symptoms. Apparently, someone on the trip decided to share it with us and I am now down with it too. So, no guild meeting for me this week and I'll try to work on Phebe as I have energy and between the sneezing and nose blowing. Lots of embroidery going on!

Until next time, Mayleen