First applique experience

I finally wrapped up my sister-in-laws 2-year-belated wedding present and gave it to her. In this post, I am going to talk about the process. When she sends me over a photo of it hung on the wall in all its glory, I will post the final look.

I learned many things. One, I like appliqué as much as I like hexagons. For her project, I used all free materials, except we purchased the background (a nice canvas for structure) and the trim (upholstery piping). The rest came from her grandmother who has passed away, her stepmother (my neighbor, a quilter and giver-of-scraps), and what I had in my stash (some gifted from my friend Leslie). I used a template I found on the internet, but for the life of me I cannot find its source again. Grr! I did not use the giant one, mostly the three on the left and a few of the one on the bottom right.

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The process was simple – cut paper templates out, baste stitch around the edge and press.

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Oh, so two, I learned the difference between ironing and pressing. And three, that you can burn your ironing board cover :(

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Kaite was very lax about what she wanted. Or where she wanted to put it. So, I tried to stick with neutrals and her general house colors, but she also said to make it a bit fun. I selected a rainbow of colors and fabrics.

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Not all of them made the cut once I started putting them together. I think I only used about half of the ones I had prepared. Here is a look at all of them:

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My inspiration came from this image, I found through a foray into Pinterest (I do not have a Pinterest account, for the record – but I scope it out every now and then. But not having it prevents me from locating this art’s owner…).

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A long time ago, I bought this rectangular embroidery (?) “hoop” (is lap-quilt frame more appropriate?) for a project that I hope to embark on soon for a coworker of mine. (See a theme here about belated projects?) It worked out really well! I pinned the petals in place, and then appliquéd them on one by one. And four, let me tell you, Star Trek TNG is starting to get really, really good. I am almost on Season 4 and I am just now starting to understand why the internet thinks Picard is such a badass (when I was little, he was just the old man!). Now, I know.

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An easy roll-over over to finish the edge:

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Even with the original choices for this pattern, not everything made the cut in the end. You’ll see that in the finale in the next post.

Then, some embroidery for the bride and groom – standard backstitch in a complimentary brown.

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I had to cut it to size, and I lost some of the petals here. It was slightly crooked so to square it off; more got chopped off than originally planned. Then, of course, adding a quarter inch seam all around ate some of the real estate too.

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I had another piece of canvas for the back trimmed out with pockets for a rod – to either be hung vertically or horizontally (the embroidery works with both!). And, to either be hung so you do see the rod, or with spaces so you can use rod hangers behind the whole thing so the hardware doesn’t detract from the view. I wasn’t sure how they would hang it, or if they would want it hidden or not. I sewed the front and back face-to-face and left a fairly large hole to turn it out. More pressing and ironing. Then I sewed the trim to the backside (I was too afraid to try to get it perfect whilst sammiched inbetween). I also wanted to hide the edges of the canvas for the rod pockets, but with them being that small, I could not get them to turn out. The sides are nicely hemmed, but the bottom isn’t. And ironing them was a pain also, so I went with fray check (the darkened line across the bottom). I mean, it’s the back, right?

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See those sweet scissors? Boy got them for me for my birthday! He says no embroiderer is complete without gold swan scissors. He admires them for their engineering and is sad he is not allowed to use them (he’s learned the hard way about my sewing sharps!). I should mention he is the one who picked out the background and trim for Kaite’s project. He’s very proud of that.

Hopefully she will send me pics along soon to show you the front so ye can be dazzled.

I also learned finally how to not end up with crazy knots all over the backside (in all of that, I had one knot – in the embroidery – and I was able to get it out before I tied it off!). I was so proud of it I took a photo, but the thread is too much the same color as the canvas and you can’t tell what’s going on. Just believe me. It was cool.

Crafternoon: Paper Quilling

September’s Crafternoon theme was Paper Quilling, though the end of summer is a busy time for everyone so only I had managed to get quilling supplies. No matter – we chatted and enjoyed snacks while we learned about each other’s WIPs.

I had ordered the Darice Beginner Quilling Kit, as I had expected to just make a lot of random bits and bobs as I was learning the process. However, once I sat down with google image search to find inspiration, I decided I wanted to make a tree. This one was my inspiration:

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I am not really a hearts person though, so I simply used circles in mine. I am pretty proud of the outcome, considering it was literally the first time I had ever tried quilling!

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Oh, my, is that a heart in the middle of the tree? How did that get there? Alright, so when I decided I was digging this project enough to quite possibly actually display it somewhere in my house, I thought about what artful trees mean to me – and they mean family.

Boy and I do not really have things around the home celebrating ourselves but I expect this to change soon. I have always planned to print photos of our elopement for our bedroom, but our current bedroom has been “temporary” (can I use that word still? for five years?) so once we move to the new room, I imagine I will finally get them printed. Plus I have had ideas for my dining room, but that has kind of been under construction for quite some time, too. Soon, the rehab contractor people will be out fixing this house up and afterward I think I will finally feel like it’s ok to hang some photos!

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My favorite thing was a true inspired moment. I was mentioning to the gals about how I like the look of mixed textures. Ink and quilling paper, for instance. So I had decided I wanted to perhaps draw a swing. But then the idea came: if this tree meant family, and I wanted a swing, well, at  my gramma and grampa’s, I feel like I practically lived on the tire swing, so ta-da! (Mixed media being a yellow cord – just like the one on their tire swing!) The tire – Goodyear whitewall and all –  dangles freely. I absolutely love it.

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What I did not expect was for my paper to get wavy from the glue’s moisture (I used Elmer’s glue on parchment looking cardstock). I think once I frame it, that will not be noticeable. In fact, I have a frame that once upon a time the glass got broken, so I think it will be a perfect pair.

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Of course, none of my spontaneous crafts like this are well-planned so the art does not fit the mat board. I’ll have to take off about a quarter inch on the left and right so it might be some few weeks before I find a mat cutter. Meanwhile, I will find a place to display it! Another thing that I try to not think about is that I ran out of greens, so in the top middle portion, I had to start spacing them out further than I would have liked, and the tree didn’t get to be quite as full as I had originally imagined. If I ever get more quilling paper that matches, I will likely add to it some.

I learned a few things too. One, paper quilling like this is actually fairly easy. Two, you get glue all over. Three, you get paper cuts, but I didn’t notice these til I turned myself into a prune after a long hot shower. Four, originally I had tried to keep the outline of the tree very straight and not curve around the individual circles. Sometimes, I failed at this and as it turns out, I like the bumpy factor more than the straight edge and wish I had done that all over. Five, talk about time consuming!! Although I liked the process and am very proud of the end result, I am not sure I would want to do it again. At least not for myself, anyway. Our crafternoon started at 4pm, and I wrapped this up around 1am. Yeah – that’s normal for me. Once I start on something I am really excited to see finished, you cannot stop me from crossing that finish line. I’ll even forget to eat! But there is nothing more of a stress reducer than focusing hardcore on something creative, I tell you what.

Sneak peek

I have been sewing while watching Star Trek: TNG. I swear, that is the best sewing series around! It is amazing that I grew up watching it, yet every now and then, I come across an episode I have zero memory of. Very fun!

Here is a sneak peek of something I am working on for my sister-in-law. I had hoped to get it to her before her anniversary (cause, you know, it is actually her wedding present…), but we all know that won’t happen. This year, at least.

Anyway, the picture doesn’t really describe anything. It is just a cool accident I found on my camera, but it gave me good reason to let ya’ll know I haven’t given up on crafting!

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Crafternoon: Felt flowers

Over the weekend, I hosted another crafternoon. I printed out several templates from around the web and between my friend Ashley and I, we supplied felt, scissors, glue, thread, needles, buttons, and beads. Sites included How Joyful, Make & Do Girl, Lines Across, and some general ones I found through google image search that I can’t locate the original site for.

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Everyone also brought a snack. We had cheesy turkey quesodillas, blueberry muffins, peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, zucchini chocolate muffins, fresh blueberries, and fresh chips with queso and salsa.

There were four of us, a small group, and I wondered at how many I had actually invited and what would have happened if that number had been doubled. Out of everyone I know, I have the largest table (easily seats 8), and we certainly filled it with just the four of us!

Ashley made flowers to match the theme of a shadow box she is making and sent me a photo:

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Some flowers were much more time intensive than others, and so I decided I am too impatient to make the more complicated ones. I did enjoy learning some new tricks, like how to make flat 2D flowers more 3D. Oh, and how easy some of them turned out to be!

Mine were just randoms, so I could learn the process, though I might use that embroidered one for a book cover:

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I forgot to take photos during the crafternoon, so I do not have any more to share. Katie made her new niece and nephew (twins!) a little gift: flowers for a headband and a small little bowtie. Courtney was creative and made the little cloud flower out of two different colors and added a button in the center, then she stacked a bunch of complimentary colors together for one of the 2D versions. Everyone’s flowers was pretty awesome and it’s a shame I didn’t take photos. Hopefully next time!

If you’ve been following, my hexagon pillow top is complete, and I bought a pillow form. But life came up and once again, it looks like I will not be finishing a project for a while. We have changes around the house (siding, windows, HVAC system, and a lot of other smaller jobs), I am in an intense gross anatomy workshop, my summer class began about two weeks ago, and it dawned on me the other day that the fall semester is almost upon us and I still have classes to prep for that. Oh, yeah, and a grant application for an archaeological project.

But I hope to squeeze time for some crafternoons, at least once a month. We floated around several ideas and it looks like paper quilling might be next!

Lysa’s match needle book

Here it is! This is the result of a pattern I tested for Lysa, the most generous gal to have given me a free kit to make my own (serious goodness, right there!). I truly felt that this little needle book was one of the most clever things I’ve seen around. I just had to have one, and I am so grateful she is so awesome to make that happen:)

Here you can read about the SMS Giveaway she hosted with books she crafted herself. I did not find the pattern troublesome so I am optimistic that she will have it ready at her shop soon enough so you can make your own match needle book! I also enjoyed using such a thick stabilizer; I had never used anything other than stiff interfacing and having something like stiff felt was brilliant. I am going to totally look into this option for future projects.

(Read on if you wish to hear a story about lightning, the evil doer.)

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This project was also perfectly timed. It is late June, but Mother Nature doesn’t realize it, so we have been enduring storm after storm after storm (I am listening to thunder as I write this). Thursday circa 9pm, lightning hit our house. Of course, Boy has installed all the high end surge protectors one could possibly own, but lightning is a force in itself. Apparently, and who knew, lightning can use the internet back door. It looks as if Comcast (the cable internet people) did not ground the cable outside our house, and the jolt of electricity came in that way, zapping anything directly connected to the internet (the modem, router, all the switches and miscellaneous devices to make the internet work in the house, the Vonage phone box, possibly the main phone, a smart tv, a PS4, and two media boxes). So, without the ability to do much work, or watch movies on Netflix, or play video games, I sewed!

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We thought it had also damaged our Wii U, and PS3, but when Boy brought home some equipment from the office the next day to get back online, they both magically turned on and were also able to connect to their networks. Phew. (Seriously, is there anything worse than losing all your saved games??) Now, something we cannot figure out is why our Onkyo receiver is fried as well, not being an internet device and all. But, who can say we puny humans will ever understand the force of lightning?

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