A new quilt!!

Aspens on my Mind

And it’s even mostly finished! This is the new project that I started so that I would have a quilt to use for the Swarovski crystals demo at the guild in March, and I do love the way it turned out. I think if I had to do it again, I would use a different batting, probably a very low loft cotton or something like that. I used a chunk of polyester that I had around, and it’s kinda over-puffy, which I usually like, but for an artsy quilt like this it’s not quite right. I think I discovered this once before, maybe, but as I usually don’t do these types of quilts, it didn’t stick in my head. Live and learn, again. That’s what I love about quilting: there’s always more to learn, and sometimes you even get more than one opportunity to learn something!!

My mom liked it so much, she said “Oooooo – I LOVE that one!” and “As a matter of fact, it would be perfect on a wall in the new house…” Since I had thought that I would eventually ask if my Mom and Dad liked it enough to have it, I took the “hitting you over the head with a brickbat” hint (as she put it!) and told her it was hers!

It really needed to be their quilt anyway, since it made me think of the aspen trees in Pine Valley, Utah, where my parents and I used to camp and hike when I was a kid. I do have some fond memories of those camping trips when I was little, even though camping wasn’t (and isn’t) my thing, and I’m positive that I was a complete pain about it all back then (and oh, am I getting paid back in spades by my own daughter now!).

I could hear the breeze in the aspen trees in my head when I looked at this piece, so I quilted tree trunks in the left border area, waving lines in the middle for wind, and aspen leaves in the right border. I will add a few Swarovski crystals to it before it becomes part of Mom and Dad’s collection. I named the quilt Aspens on my Mind. See bigger pics in the Gallery and let me know what you think!

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Napkin rings with Machine Embroidery

So, I did get the gift for my landlady done on time! It was a bit tricky to make these things so that all the seam allowances were enclosed, and they had enough body to really act like a napkin ring (if you know what I mean) but they turned out really well, and I’m so pleased that what I had in my head really worked.

Machine Embroidered Napkin Rings

I already had a lovely fabric covered box for her, and the napkin rings fit right in, and I have the perfect piece of organza ribbon to tie around the box for the finishing touch.

Napkin rings in box

Voila, the perfect gift!

Fabric Box

I’ve had such fun with my embroidery machine and all the software that now I just want to keep going, but I have to wait until after Christmas probably, since if I don’t go bake Christmas Tree Bread and some other goodies today and tomorrow, my family will probably mutiny! I really want to try these Brombeerbusserl from Delicious Days, a simply yummylicious blog that my mom sent me a link to recently. They sound (and look!) so d’lish, as Nicky says. I’m off to the kitchen, then!

The unorganized quilter?

I really don’t think I’m all that unorganized. Yeah, my studio (and the rest of the house, it could honestly be said) is a bit cluttered, but I’ve always said that know where everything is. I do have a pretty good memory, and that helps most of the time. Every once in a while though, I end up running around crazy looking for one stupid item that’s gone astray. I must point out here that I didn’t, in any way shape or form, help whatever it is to go missing. I didn’t put it somewhere weird, or lend it to someone, it just grew legs, and isn’t where I left it.

Every once in a while, I end up running around crazy looking for one stupid item that’s gone astray.

What does all of this have to do with my quilting and fabric art life? Today I set out to make some little napkin ring type thingys to give to my landlady for Christmas, to match the tablerunner and door hanger from last year. Nothing is ever as simple as you wish it to be. Considering that I haven’t used the embroidery machine since last Christmas, the first order of business was to excavate the thing from the clutter that finds its way to the table where the machine lives. Then I realize that due to major computer issues including a new motherboard and reformatted hard drive, the software that drives the card reader/writer that makes the embroidery designs available to the sewing machine isn’t loaded.

So I go hunting for it, and the box with the software and instructions is nowhere to be found. After an hour and a half of tearing the studio apart, Continue reading The unorganized quilter?

Crafty gifts

Every year, I think long and hard about what gift(s) to give our landlord and landlady. They are just wonderful people, but it’s difficult to know very well what they like. They’re German, of course, and retired, and pretty much have everything they need. Things to eat and drink seem safe, and are usually well received, but I do like to go a bit farther than that if possible. Last year, I used my embroidery machine to make a table runner and a matching door hanger:

Table runner & door hanger

It was really funny, since I’d put the fabric that I used for the lining in a pile with bunches of other quilting stuff to get rid of donate to charity, and when I needed something to line the table runner with, I had to go digging for it. See, this is why we never get rid of anything, packrats that we are in my family. As soon as it’s gone, we need it for something. It absolutely never fails.

Anyway, I still have more of the green fabric (and the lining, which I decided might be worth keeping after all), and more threads for the embroidery, so I’m thinking I’ll make some napkin rings or something with some of the other embroidery designs that came in the package I bought. I’m not sure that I have the time to make placemats (much bigger and take longer of course), but some kind of napkin thingy might be doable. Oh, and maybe if I actually use the embroidery machine for the first time since I made these gifts for last Christmas, hubby will quit twitting me about it!