Saturday, April 21, 2018

Update on the Brownies Quilt

 Naturally, when I got this quilt out again (see previous post),  it was easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of work that still had to be done.  I decided to attack it systematically. First, I traced all the Brownie figures that I needed and then began to get them embroidered.  I finished the figure for the label because it was the largest and when it was finished, I made the back of the quilt.


Next, I worked on the grape clusters on the right side.  Whilst doing that, it occurred to me that the grapes are probably the easiest kind of handwork, so I should save them until last.  I placed all the leaves and stems and then the Brownies.



The Brownie figures were appliquéd down and then I began on the stems and vines.  Once those are finished, I will do the rest of the leaves and then just grapes will remain.  The large hand appliqués are just not satisfying me, so I think I will do something else with those four corner triangles.  (This will be the third time I've changed that area!!) Stay tuned for the progress and the changes.

Update to the update!
After auditioning several ideas, I landed on this one and after LOTS of reverse sewing, there are no longer any hands.

SaveSaveSaveSave

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Brownies quilt...It's back!

I am a great one for starting a new project with lots of energy and usually am able to follow it through to the conclusion; however, I have my bin marked "UFOs" like many creative people.  Recently, I decided to look at that bin critically and either finish or abandon the projects in it.  If you are a reader of this blog since it began, you may remember The Brownies quilt which started as a challenge piece way back in 2009.  Due to the amount of handwork involved, I didn't make the deadline and when something else came up, I put it away.  Well, it's back.
The center of the quilt was finished, but the border which includes a grapevine on three sides still has a long way to go.  Here's a close-up of the grape clusters.

Each one of the grapes is a sort of tiny yoyo that's turned under and then appliquéd down. 

The grapevine itself is bias that's also appliquéd down.
 
The quilt was inspired by the Brownie stories by Palmer Cox.  One of my favorite story books from childhood contained "The Brownies' Circus" and was my introduction to these delightful little folks.  Many people have pointed out the similarity to J.K. Rowling's house elves in the Harry Potter books.


In addition to the large brownie in the center of the quilt, I wanted to include a few more around the grapevine.  These three will be added at various locations.

I also found a book plate of Cox's that I've enlarged to be the basis for the label on the back.  Once it's enlarged to the size I want, I put the print on the bed of the lightbox and then put fabric over it and trace the image for embroidery. 

I've appliquéd a new leaf down and am adding tendrils to the vine with perle cotton.  Lots of work to come on this piece, but now I feel like I have a good idea of where it's going.  As Rachel says, "Watch this space."

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Pussy Hat Project and the Women's March in Washington #Iwasthere


This is my best friend from high school, Judy Ross, who lives outside Washington, DC, in rural Virginia.  When the Women's March was announced, she offered to put me up and made arrangements for her sisters, her cousin, and her cousin's daughter and me to take a bus into DC on the day of the March.  January 21, 2017  in Washington was an incredible day and the rest of the weekend was like an extended slumber party full of passionate conversation and food and fun. In the photo above, we are on the bus heading for the March wearing the pussy hats we both knitted for the occasion.


I knitted several hats using the Super Cat Hat pattern created by Destiny Meyer. It was linked from the Pussy Hat Project website along with several other patterns. I was very proud of myself for learning the Kitchener stitch using the excellent tutorial Destiny put on YouTube. Since I shopped early for yarn, I was not disappointed by empty shelves.


Jim snapped this photo of me modeling the first hat I made.


Hat number two comes off the needles.


Another modeling job.





I finished the last hat the night before I drove to Virginia.  


This is our merry band right before we boarded the bus to go back to Virginia  (except for young Emily who stayed in DC to visit with some Peace Corps friends). We were tired, but definitely elated to have been part of this remarkable experience.


When I got home, I used some of the left over yarn to make a pussy hat for my Lisa Simpson doll.  It only seemed right.

Additional note (2/22/2017):
Judy just emailed to let us know that one of the men on our bus had made a film about the March.  Our happy group is interviewed at 5:09. 

Baby quilt for Nomi, a new little woman child





I am not a big fan of pale, "pretty princess" pink as a color selection for items for babies and little girls.  I find it much too limiting.  After the new year, we will be welcoming a new grand niece to our family and, naturally, I wanted to make her a quilt.  When I found the flannel above, it spoke to me as a inspiration fabric and I began compiling a fabric palette of lavender and dark rose.  Since I am using the Bento box pattern, I also included tints and tones of these fabrics.


I alternated the colors as I constructed the blocks.  Above is a detail.

Borders follow the dark rose and lavender inspiration colors.


These great pink polka dots seemed like a natural choice for the bias binding.


Without my big design wall, photographing the entire quilt is really difficult.


Quilting is in progress using pin basting for the most part.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Safety Pin Studio: What's Happening Now


The little quilt above was made using some wonderful kimono fabrics that I bought from a vendor at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  I made two quilts with these amazing textiles.  The second one is a combination of the kimono fabrics and fabrics from other Japanese fabrics I've collected.


Up close and personal on the quilting.





My green fabrics have been doing yeoman service this year with the two big wedding quilts I made, so I decided to make a little baby bento box quilt just in case.


Here's the back and the binding.


Jack, the little boy for whom I made the Film at Five quilt, just had a little sister, so I've been working on a quilt for Fiona.  I made Jack a baby quilt using the Single Girl pattern, so I did the same pattern for Fiona and used one of the fabrics I used in Jack's quilt as well.  Fiona and Jack's momma is Anna's best friend, so there are also several fabrics that appear in quilts I've made for Anna.







The African Striped Baby Quilt continues its appeal for me and I made this one for a friend of Steph's who just had a baby.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bob: a special doll for a sweet little girl



Before our recent trip to Canada to visit Dan and his remarkable wife, Steph, I made a doll for their little niece.  She loves the music of Bob Marley and, though, just past two years old, she can find the CD she wants, turn on all the equipment and put on his music videos so she can dance.  

Bob also has pajamas and we spent lots of time taking his clothes off and putting on his pajamas and then reversing the process the night I gave her the doll.



Bob also has a miniature version of the Kaffe Fassett African Striped Baby Quilt.  To carry all of these things, I also made her a bag using a T-shirt.


She seemed very pleased and she recognized the doll right away.  Later that night, the little darling's father sent us a photo from the baby monitor: she had covered herself with Bob's little quilt before going to sleep.  If she hadn't already stolen my heart, that would have done it.

Facebook Fan Page and Instagram



I have to admit, I am not very good at keeping up with my blog.  I do, however, post more frequently on my Facebook Fan Page and on Instagram.  If either of these platforms interest you, please join me there.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Wedding Quilts

Our nephew and his wife married in a small ceremony last year and our oldest niece is getting married today.  I have been very busy for the last six months working on wedding quilts for both of these couples.  The quilt in the photo above is for Caylan and Michael who are being married today on Sandy Hook.  Michael proposed to Caylan In Ireland when they were on a wonderful trip to Europe, so a variation on the Irish chain pattern seemed appropriate.  The label on the back of the quilt was cross-stitched using the gingham fabric's squares instead of canvas.
I saw the design I used for Duke and Arielle's quilt on Pinterest.  It is an unevenly divided square using a sunshine and shadows type setting.
This is the label on their quilt.
Both of the quilts were hand quilted.  Here are some photos of my work in progress.