I was getting ready to do the buds. What fabric? I had these pinks as possibilities. But I couldn't make a decision so
I went on to the hearts. I had found some light pinks I liked and used them. Now my daughters are seamstresses. They sew clothing. And they throw away large scraps. I go through their trash once in a while and take out scraps that I think I may be able to use. These hearts have some of that. I fused the Floriani onto the fabric and just cut a slit for the center hole.
You can see how I was stitching the hole, just needleturning it around the fusible as I went.
All the hearts. Because some are from the girl's trash, they aren't necessarily quilting fabrics. One is a knit and another is a home decor weight fabric. I liked their colors so I used them anyways.
After the hearts, I found this fabric (also some the girls had thrown out) and thought if I fussy cut, the roses would look great for flower buds. So all those other pinks got put aside for another project.
I laid the two squares next to each other to make sure they look compatible.
All the greens for the buds are fused and ready to be cut. I cut them one at a time to keep them more organized. You can see the hole in the dark green which was a leaf from another project.
To sew them down, I used 2 needles again with a light and dark thread so I wouldn't have to keep changing the thread out. It is just too hard to keep threading the needles.
And the bird is going to get to sing. I wanted his wing to be bright.
I used six strands of a dark embroidery floss to do the twirlys that go around the stem. I used a running stitch.
And here's the finished square. I am pleased with it. I washed it to get the blue out and see how the Floriani would feel. You can't tell it was there. It works great. It makes for crisp edges in doing the applique, but is not stiff when it gets wet. I'll put veins on the leaves when I quilt it.
My seamstress daughters hoodwinked me into doing some sewing for them. They are very busy right now and have hired their students and friends that know how to sew to help them. And they also came to me. So I asked, "What shall I do for you?" They gave me a ruffly dress to sew for a customer. A size 1T. A small dress.
It is an older pattern from the time when I was sewing for my girls. It took me back a while in time to thinking of all the dresses I made for my girls.
I am still a quilter, so for the straight pieces, the ruffles and ties, etc. I measured and used my rotary cutter. It's easier than cutting with a scissors.
It's coming together. Back 15 -20 years ago, I made all my girls their Sunday dresses. Just about all of them. I loved to sew and I enjoyed making them dresses that I knew I'd have to pay a lot for if I bought them of the same caliber. Of course I didn't serge. I didn't have one. And I didn't french seam. That was a lot of work. So they weren't especially professional looking.
And we didn't have digital cameras. I wish I had photos of all the dresses. It would be a nice way to help the girls remember them. When they outgrew them, I gave them away to girls younger than them. So I don't have any of them.
Here is one of the few photos I do have. These young girls are now my seamstresses.
And here they are with their older sister, who is also in a dress I made for her.
Eloise is displaying the last of the sweaters that I've knitted out of my Sirdar book. I have knitted at least one variation of each sweater in it. The sweaters all have several variations.
This is the ribbon wrapped cardi. In my opinion, it is more work than is needed for a baby to get it on with that ribbon. All of these sized do go up to a 7 so it may be different with older ones. But the ribbon does go through a hole and a loop as it wraps around the back. The ribbon does add a nice touch though
My daughters were going through their yarn stash and said "Mom, this is your yarn. " I did not agree but I took it. It is a cheap acrylic like I don't buy anymore, but it looks nice on this sweater.
Detail of the sweater front and maybe you can even see the lace edging knitted on.
I do think the model is cuter than the sweater. Of course she's my favorite model.
I completed Block 1 except for the corners. I want to wait and decide on them later - maybe at the end?
For the second block I at least have now picked out my vine and leaf fabrics from my stash.
I put my pattern together with tape.
I cut bias strips for the stems.
I trace the pattern onto the Floriani Stitch and Wash.
And I made sure to number code my pieces. I actually did more coding than what shows here. I'm learning to be organized.
As for those bias strips, I started doing it the way I always do it for my appliques. I usually only do tender curves, so I iron 1/4" on one side and sew, with my machine, the other side down. This wasn't working on this piece. The curves are too curvy. There was too much puckering in the center of the arches. And that middle circle with the vines weaving in and out. What was I going to do? I went with my plea to the Yahoo group we have for this quilt and got some good advice. Some are making templates. I believe that's what Esther does. Some are piecing the circle in pieces, breaks hidden behind unseen places.
What I learned though is to forget my machine seam. There's no give in it. One person also suggested doing the inner curves first. That really helped to smooth things out. The template would probably get it really smooth, but since I had already cut my bias strips, I decided to go with them.
This photo shows how I was weaving the strips amongst each other. Two needles, two threads.
I ironed the Floriani to the wrong side of my fabric and pressed the edges over. I was going to do the starch method, but the edges seemed so crisp how they were, that I decided not to do that. I like how the leaf turned out. I'm going to do the veins on the leaves when I do my quilting.
Several more leaves came on. It is an encouraging start.
I spend every evening knitting. Now that my children are all older it makes a difference how much time I have then that I can just sit and knit. I love it.
Here's Zoe (one of Eloise's older friends) modeling a sweater I just finished . I broke down and actually bought a pattern that I thought was cute. I usually try for free ones or in books I have bought at a bargain. This one is called Springtime in Hollis by Teresa Cole. I really like this one.
I used a yarn that I've had stashed away for a long time. It's a Caron Country. A little wool, but mostly unnatural. It has knots and it splits. But it has a lovely sheen and drape. I can't think whether I want to use it again.
Zoe seems to be enjoying getting her picture taken. She has just recently learned to walk.
You can get more details about the sweater on Ravelry.
There are always new tools and supplies to be found to help improve quilting. I am one that is hestitant to buy things unless I know they will help. Here are a couple that I've just gotten.
This first is the Towa Bobbin case tension gauge. I bought one for my longarm because I really have a problem with the tension. I used this little contraption and found I had my bobbin tension way too tight. What I had thought was good was wrong. Now my machine seems to work much easier and the back side of the quilt looks much better.
I also bought this Floriani Stitch N Wash Fusible. I have yet to use it, but will be very soon on the Heart's Desire Applique that I am doing. Esther's are so good. I want mine to look that fine also and I believe this is what she uses.