Embroidery Art

Since I am in my last week of being home bound, I have been trying to pass the time by trying out embroidery. My Tia Isidra used to embroider beautiful pieces. I especially liked the table cloths she embroidered for my mother. Her embroidery stitches were perfect, both on the front and the back of the piece. My mom also created some beautiful embroidery pieces.
I am thinking of embroidering and thread sketching small pieces and maybe eventually stitching them into a wall hanging or small art quilt. One of the pieces I stitched was inspired by a card that my daughter-in-law sent me. The card had a vase with dainty flowers. I used fabric to make the vase, and then embroidered the flowers.
The other piece I embroidered was that of a Lesser Goldfinch. My friends and I keep a list of birds that we see on our walks or birding trips. I am thinking of drawing and embroidering the different new birds that I see this year.
The third piece I embroidered was inspired by my mom. This week marks the fourth year of her passing.¬† My siblings and I shared some special memories that day. I drew a Robin and embroidered it. Mom used to sing the song, When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’, so I thought it would be fun to try to make one. I used some of the buttons from mom’s button jar for the flowers.

One of the Meemaws shared a free scrappy rectangle pattern. We are planning to pool our scraps and make one for ourselves. I cut quite a few scraps from my bin, and we will start working on this in the spring. In the meantime, I started working on one of the suggestions provided in the pattern. Instead of using random scraps,this scrappy quilt can be made from 18 different fabrics of at least a half yard of each. I have a bin that has some half yard and fat quarter pieces leftover from other projects. I started cutting (1620 pieces) and piecing a quilt for one of my nephews. The color palette for these pieces is mainly blue, orange, brown, beige, and green. I thought it would be perfect for my nephew. I’ve pieced 8 out of 90 blocks, so I have some work to do.

02-02-2020

Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from doing little things well.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I have been sidelined for a bit. I have one more week of being restricted to staying indoors and off my feet. This is driving me a bit nuts, so I concentrated on doing small things as I rest on my recliner. I have concentrated on hand-stitching, small art, and embroidery. I have cheated a bit, by going to my sewing machine for some thread sketching.
I have been wanting to try Sashiko. A few weeks ago, I found some Sashiko templates. I already had the needles and thimble. After tracing the templates on some denim scraps, I stitched the two different patterns. This is going to take more practice, but I like the process.
Another small project was upcycling a scrappy block that I had in my scrappy bin. I added a black border, then hand-quilted the block. White scraps were used to make a daisy flower that I stitched onto the center.
The 365 Button and Stitch project is still in progress, even though I am still not too happy with it. The other embroidery hoop art project, on which I am working, is more fun. I added a flamingo, elephant, sun, and star to this project. I love the challenge of drawing in a small space with embroidery thread.


The other small project I have become obsessed with is making fabric inchies. Again, the challenge of staying within one inch is so much fun. Today was day two of inchies. I cut two strips of 3″ x 10″ muslin to make a quilt sandwich. I centered and traced a one inch square template onto the muslin. Then I thread sketched birds, faces, and Sponge Bob. After the thread sketching was completed, I added a black backing. Next, I sewed along the sides of the square to make a one inch square. Pinking shears were used to cut the four sides close to the one inch thread border. At first, I was thinking of sewing these inchies onto muslin and making a fabric book. But, from what I read, inchies are used as trading cards or items to share and gift. Mariss, from Fabrication, suggested a box. I had the perfect box for these. My youngest son is very artistic and good with wood work. He made me a box with a drawer made from a 4″x4″ block of cedar. I had been using it to hold jewelry, but it is perfect for holding the inchies.

I am trying to make the best of this down time. Taking this time to stop and think, has helped me appreciate the small things.

Friday

This new year, I am finding that I am not as organized as I would like to be. I have a rough idea of projects and things I want to do; but nothing is set in stone. I still have not figured out what to do about the problem I am having with no more space for photos on my blog. Tierney sent me the link where she explains her photo management. Thanks, Tierney! The problem is how to change the situation as it stands now. I had already upgraded once, but I took up all the space with those unedited photos. I have to consult with my sons to see what, if anything, can be done.

One of my interests for this year is to learn embroidery stitches. Two of the local quilt shops I visit are each having Sue Spargo embroidery classes, but it seems I can never make it to any of the classes. I am trying out new stitches on my own and making small art pieces. One of the pieces I embroidered was a selfie for 2020. The other piece was a combination of techniques. I drew a bird on muslin, and used water color pencils to add color. I sewed some burlap onto a leftover floral charm fabric. Then I added a silk backing. I am also working on another piece where I embroidered the dove, tree, heart, and butterfly that I drew on some linen blend. I am liking this project better than the 365 Day Button and Embroidery project that I started. In this project, a button and or stitches is added on each day of the year.

My Meemaw friends and I had a Wabi-Sabi day, last Sunday. Three of us decided to use these Wabi-Sabi days to work on new quilts. The fourth buddy is helping with whatever needs to be done. Since I had just returned from out-of-town, I did not have anything ready for the quilt I was planning. Instead, I helped my friend cut and get ready to piece her first quilt. This past Monday, I visited Las Colchas to get the fabric for my next quilt. The shop has a great selection of Tex-Mex prints. I have been wanting to make a quilt to celebrate my family culture and heritage. I chose a pattern from the book, The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking by Jane Brocket. The book was loaned to me by one of the Meemaws. She recommended one of the quilt patterns that she had chosen from this book to make a quilt for herself. She thought that the pattern would showcase the vibrant color and design of the Tex-Mex fabric, and I totally agree. I pieced the backing for this quilt, using a fabric which features milagros.

I am also working on a Minecraft quilt. The free pattern is by Kelli Fannin. In November, I had pieced the top three rows, and the bottom two rows. When I went to attach the two parts, I realized I was off. The bottom piece was wider than the top. After fooling with it a bit, I threw it in the This-Is-Driving-Me-Crazy bin. I pulled it out this past Tuesday, and took it to the Mesquite Bean. The helpful people at this shop gave me some suggestions that would require minimal rip and sew. Thanks to these friends, I was able to piece the top together today. Kelli Fannin created a dragon block for the backing. I plan to try this out tomorrow.
Note: Phyllis, if you are reading this blog, this quilt is a secret!

Last week, while in Round Rock, I went on a birding walk around the lake where one of my sons lives. It was my first birding walk for the year. Then, this Wednesday, the Meemaws went on a birding walk by the river in the King William area of San Antonio. So far, I have seen 21 different species of birds this year. Bird watching is so exciting!

*In the video, the linen blend that I used for the embroidery projects, shows an exaggerated version of the fabric. The fabric is really not that grainy.

100 Day Project

When I was cleaning off my cutting table, I found some muslin strips that had fusible batting. These were left over from a pillow backing that I had made. The strips were 2.5″ by 20″. I couldn’t throw them away, but they aren’t really a good size for anything. Then, I decided to use them to practice embroidery and slow stitching, and thread sketching. It just so happens that the 100 Day Project started, so I decided this will be my daily project.

Day 1: I thread sketched a selfie and backed it with some scraps.


Day 2: I just can’t seem to throw away even the smallest pieces of fabric ūüėČ


Day 3: Thread sketch of two bluebirds.

 

 

A Bit of Beauty

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.
Thomas Aquinas

Thirty of my forty-two year teaching career was at my neighborhood school.
Only one of the teachers who opened the school with us, back in the ’90’s is still teaching.
She was the baby of the group and plans to retire at the end of this year.

We were a pretty strong faculty and staff.
We didn’t always agree, but we always had each other’s back.
We went through the hardships and joy of teaching; all the weddings, births, raising of children, graduations, marriages, and funerals.
All as one big family.
Today, was another one of those funerals.

I consider myself very fortunate to be part of this group.
Some of us meet regularly and have a busy calendar of fun, which includes birding, crafting, and hiking.

These ladies are very creative, in so many different ways.
Terri, who use to run our campus special education department, can do just about anything.
She just finished making this beautiful pillow for a baby in her family.
Terri drew the peacock and did a great job with embroidering.
The stitches are perfect.
I love the colors she chose.

On this very sad day, I just wanted to share a bit of beauty.
I asked Terri if I could post it on my blog, so here it is.
20161020_151740726_ios 20161020_151754201_ios

Rattle and Roll

skullcupThis is a cup similar to one I purchased for my daughter in law, who loves anything sugar skull.
I wanted to add more to her birthday bag, so I meandered to my favorite place, |
Las Colchas.
There, I saw a Halloween display that included a pattern by Crab-Apple Hill.
The pattern title is  Rattle and Roll.
Las Colchas prepared the kit with  the embroidery and fabric needed to make the pillows.
The instructions included illustrations of the different types of embroidery stitches. The pattern also gave instructions for tinting the design techniques.
Instead of embroidery Happy and Halloween on the pillows, I embroidered the names of my
daughter in law and my son.
rattle roll  halloween
Start Date : May 28, 2015
Completed: June 1, 2015

Acquired /Improved Skills: french knot stitch, cast stitch, back-stitch, tinting the design

My First Projects

Before I attempted quilting, I started embroidering.
This was due to the inspiration and prompting of my mother, Tonie.
Mom did beautiful work.
She was precise, neat, and creative in her embroidery.
I decided to try my hand and started with dish towels.
Just like my mom, I love birds, so I chose this Blue Bird of Happiness for one of my son.
NY (6)I then made a coffee set and a sunflower set for my other sons. The bird with polka dot set was made for a very special person.
dishtowels  sunflower