Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Quilting goes into the kitchen

Do you ever see those beautiful dish towels in the gift shops?  They are colourful and well designed.  So tempting.  Well, I think about 3 or 4 years ago I succumbed to one.  It made me think of summer and outdoors and I was not eager to muck it up in the kitchen.  When I cook it is not like the pristine cooking shows but more like too many helpers making too much stuff and needing lots of ingredients.  If you are going to make 'A' mess, make several.  It takes the same energy.  I also pays off when you want to quilt all day and only want to take something out of the freezer and nuke it.

So the dish towel languished until I started doing a series of small quilts representing the seasons.  Fall, Winter, Spring.  Somehow when it came to summer my fuel ran out.  Then I remembered the dish towel.  What if I quilted it?  Ok, the idea rolled around until there was a challenge at my guild to make an apron.  I don't wear one; forget every time to unhook it from the back door.  What if I used the dish towel in the apron?  What if I quilted it first?  Then how would the design progress to go around someone's hips?  Well all was conquered and I have this to be given away. The ties at the waist are not tied to better show the finished product.  And now I think I will haunt a few gift shops looking for my summer in my series since I have it all figured out.  Quick to quilt.  And I can also tuck away a special gift for a non messy cook if I never get to the summer quilt.

 I also had fun with a challenge.  Two paper bags; one with a colour and one with a shape.  With those two items you make a small quilt.  I got grey and circles.  Circles ok; grey not so much.  I think I have had only one piece of grey in my stash and I used it for something else.  At my little local variety store I found a fat quarter of a dark grey with an etched design in lighter grey.  This is the result.
There is no more fun than just quilting and quilting in various shapes; mix things up.  Add heavy quilting to make things bounce off the surface and in other places almost engulf the background.  Lay on lots of light grey thread to add a bit of brightness.  Some glitter ribbons, some beads, some glue rubbed into the center of a circle with sparkles rubbed in after.  It really highlights the stitching. My Bernina BSR came through. Then add my favourite colour, red.  A thread binding finished it off.  

Now, I have some quilts waiting to get on to the frame so I leave you with this recipe for blueberry pie.

How to make a Fresh Blueberry Pie
1.  Convince your husband that picking fresh blueberries will make THE BEST PIE. Make sure he has a hat to avoid sunstroke while he picks the blueberries.
2.  Sit down and have a glass of iced tea after he leaves.
3.  Invite your grandson over when you get the blueberries; the one who loves to play in the sink.  After all the berries have to be washed.
4.  Now with the blueberries all ready, you need to make the pastry.
5.  Call your good friend who is so proud of her pie crust at every social event and tell her you want to learn how to make the pastry as good as hers.  You want to watch her every step.
6.  When she comes over, offer her a glass of iced tea as she works and you watch.
7.  And since you have lots of blueberries, you watch her make two pies while keeping her cool with iced tea.
Now that was easy wasn’t it?

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Just some fun

Well, with the grey of winter, one has to have a bit of fun.  For the longest time I have had a silk flower on my shelf of 'lots of things'.  You know; what you see and wonder what you can do with it.  Or perhaps you are not such a magpie as I am.

One day I found a silk flower in a bright green; the opposite of what it was outside.  It was on sale and looked lonely.  It has floated around but today I did try something.  It is not perfect but it does hint a possibilities in the right circumstances.

I took a few minutes and grabbed spare bit of fabric and batting lying around already from the teaching prep I was doing and this is what I created.  The colour pops and although he is not what one might call practical he is amusing.  A light sketch with a pen, some petals and a bit of embroidery with straight stitches and

If nothing else he is a spot of colour in my sewing room on the design wall.  But the petals give texture and it is all done with just straight stitches.  I can see some possibilities.  And of course there are all those beautiful silk flowers on the shelves of the craft store.  The colours are intense and gorgeous. 

Here is a closer look at the stitching.  The thread is a 60 weight cotton so it does not show too well but you can see  how the outline stitching lets the petals take the cupped shape they originally had.