Friday, March 11, 2011

Boring Progress Post....Saving the Exciting News for Tomorrow

On Monday evening I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Elly Sienkiewicz. I worked really hard at getting almost all of my block from her workshop assembled to show her, and was pleased to hear that she thought I did a good job. She liked my fabric and color selections, which was high praise for someone as color-challenged as myself.

Now, before you start marveling at my magical powers that allowed me to get those 48 tiny little half inch leaves sewn on, save it. They are glued over freezer paper templates, seriously glued over freezer paper. Elly wanted to know if I was going to slit them and pull the freezer paper out when I was done. (Negatory there, good buddy). I did use a washable glue stick to glue them, but I also used a dab of Roxanne's to stick them to the backing to be held in place while I stitched, and that, dear friend (as Elly would call you), is permanent glue, so those leaves aren't coming loose.

I'm still playing with the two buds. Elly liked that I was doing something dimensional (the ochre one on the right). The pattern more or less calls for flat that looks like the two-tone on the left. I'm leaning more toward refining the ochre colored fabric to be a finished rosebud. A much older and wiser workshop participant said to me, more than once, 'make it your own and have fun with it', so I'm going to follow her advice.

Now, energized by how far I got on the workshop block, I put the old nose to the grindstone and finished both heirloom machine quilting blocks. I'm hoping the third class in a couple of weeks has enough participants and happens, so I thought it would be nice if I finished the blocks from the first two classes and took them in to show the teacher (another shameless attempt to pursue some artistic validation from an instructor....come to think of that, I've been sucking up to my teachers since kindergarten, rather successfully....except for that witch in the 2nd grade who took away the wax easter-themed cottage cheese containers I brought in for show and tell because I was scraping the wax off them onto the floor waiting my turn (she always picked me last....she was not fond of me or my suck-upedness).

So, here's the actual Sharon Schamber design. If you can zoom in on this by clicking it, you can see the tiny little  micro-stitching. I've got to say that this piece has given me a bit more confidence in my machine quilting abilities. I'm starting to use my imagination now.

I've cut off a bit of this next one in the photo. It's another 15" square, off white thread on off white fabric with off white binding.

All that's left is to hand sew the binding down on the back and toss them both in the wash to rid them of the wash away marker I used to draw some guide lines. I think I've got that covered in the next 2 weeks. Most likely I'll stich the binding on the way to the AQS show in Lancaster (that is, if I'm the passenger and not the driver).

Okay, I've fulfilled my creative posting quota for the week and hope you've been inspired to try your hand at a little needle-turn applique or some heirloom quilting on your domestic machine.

The last couple days at work, and tomorrow, spent validating a data conversion with a shipload of code problems,  have driven me to drink (oh like that's such a stretch). Tonight's poison was a lovely little Australian Shiraz/Grenache that I'm feeling a need to start hoarding for future solace (as if an unopened bottle of wine would survive longer than a week in this house). If you like reds, look for this one, you'll not be disappointed.

I'm pretty excited about tomorrow's post (which will have nothing to do with sewing). I think you'll enjoy the ride. See you then! 


  1. All the blocks are beautiful. I would never have the patience to do all that applique, or the micro-stippling - instant gratification, that's what I want.

    I particularly loved the 2nd of your quilted blocks.

  2. I clicked to see what you are up too...and OH WOW!!!! and then later in the post again a really big OH!!! WOW!!! You have had a very, very busy creative week!! Looks fabulous!!

  3. Funny how clearly that 2nd grade teacher still sticks in your memories!

    Love, love, love what you're doing with the hand applique and the quilting.

  4. So love your block and I too love the colors you chose....

  5. Oh my --- what a beautiful block. Love those colors too.


I appreciate and look forward to your comments. Thanks for reading. Happy quilting!