Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hot Stitchin'!

Polar Vortex, what...?  Meh!  Go ahead, let it drop to negative "Let's freeze the World on it's axis" temps.  It's been toasty warm and creative in our house!  I'm sure I'll feel differently when I see the oil bill...  but for now I'm loving the creative oasis in our dining room/sewing studio!

A lot of sketching has been happening.  I love Henna/Mehndi floral patterns and am always doodling them in some form or other.  But lately I've been plotting how to get more Henna into my quilting.  So why not just whole cloth quilt it - essentially drawing on fabric with my machine!  EASIER SAID THAN DONE!!

I had a simple flower and leaf patten on paper, drew the basic outline onto my fabric and set to it!  20 minutes later I had a jumbled mess of thread and lost my overall pattern.  Time to back up to something simpler.  Feathers!

I've done feathers in my quilting before, but I've never taken the time to practice or study them.  I just winged it.  When done correctly, they are beautiful!  Flowing, fun, some are formal or they can be more playful.  Whatever you need them to be, you can stylize them to meet your project.

After many, many pages of sketch practice, I came up with these first fabric attempts.  And I'm proud to say that every time it got a bit easier and (at least I think) a bit more artistic.  They really are fun.  And once you have your stem built, the plumage just flows naturally.

First Attempt!

Second Attempt! 

Ok, so not perfect but getting better, right? :-)

This afternoon, I tried adding the Henna back in:

It was also fun playing with thread colors, highlighting here and there...

In addition to feathering about, I've been working on a couple Valentines Day projects!   So far this what I've got.  I cannot take any credit for the overall design as I've seen it done a million times over - postage stamps, tee-shirts, wallets, etc...  This is just my version  :-)

16" by 16" wall hanging.  Thinking maybe Prairie Points to finish it off...?
Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you are all staying warm and keeping creative!!  Feel free to share your projects either here in the comments or on my Facebook Page for M. Rose Quilt Studios!

And here's the link up to Leah Day and The Free Motion Quilting Blog.  I frequent both her blog and her books for quilting ideas - love her! 

Cheers and stitch on!!

Mood: Chipper
Music: "The Clincher" by Chevelle

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I'm Back!!!

Hi Y'all and Happy 2014!
 And what a great year it's been so far!  

I'm sorry I haven't posted recently - the Holidays were wonderful but so incredibly busy!  Wow!!  From Thanksgiving till now was one giant whirlwind of friends and food and so many things to get done in a hurry that I didn't have a minute to sit and gather my thoughts!  So much so that we didn't even have the time to get a proper tree - so I made one :-)

Our dining room/quilting studio turned into a snowflake ornament factory.

Advent Stars are made by fusing 2 fabrics together, cutting into strips and weaving then tacking with hot glue
Several years ago, my Aunt M made an Advent Star ornament for me which now stays over my drafting table.  I used her pattern and made a bunch as gifts this year and were a hit at a couple ornament exchange parties! 

 Along with the Advent Star, we made a few 3D snowflakes.  I saw one made out of paper hanging in the window of a paper store a few years ago and played around with it until I figured out how it was made.  After making a few dozen in paper for Christmas parties, I decided to try them with fabric!  Even Django liked the results!
Also made with fused fabrics!

(Both ornaments are super easy and quick to make!)

I'm also just now (hanging head in shame...) just finishing my Christmas gifts for my Mom.  She loves cardinals, especially anything quilty with cardinals.  As any proper quilter would, my mom has a giant stash of fabric, filling many a bin all over the house.  And like any self respecting quilter, she knows every piece of fabric and in which bin it rested!  I, being the young quilter with a healthy addiction to fabric and design, often perused said bins and would try to barter with her for pieces I wanted.  Separate and hidden from the general stash was her collection of winter cardinal fabrics.  I once found them on accident (she has some GORGEOUS fabrics there) but my life was threatened.  Ever touch those fabrics again and fingers would get smacked.  Hard!

DISCLAIMER!!!  My mother is the SWEETEST, most loving mother in the entire world!  Never has she ever been anything but wonderful in every way!  I don't want anyone to have the wrong impression of her in the slightest!  Just know that this cardinal collection of fabrics was on the same level to her as her children and protects it just as dearly!
She is so sweet that she looks more the part of Mrs. Santa Clause than the Mrs. Clause at the hospital that day!! :-)

This year I made a table runner and wall hanging of cardinals for her.  The two are not a matching set but they feel similar as they came from the same fabrics.  Interesting story here - this table runner is another "No Planner" project, just like the Bright Day of Thanks turkey.  A few minutes after I finished quilting it, I relaxed  by browsing pinterest and what pops up?  A table runner of branches with cardinals.  The one I found was lovely, done with branches of evergreens and in wool but I was slightly disheartened.  I'm in awe of how creative our quilting world is but I was going for originality and something unique for my mom.  **deep sigh**  I'm still proud of my little project.

Wall hanging in progress!

2014 has started with a new baby quilt pattern!  This pattern started as a post-it note and got dropped into a sketch book for months until I was asked recently if I had any puppy patterns!  I was very excited to say, "Why, yes I do!"  Let me introduce "Puppy Paws" newest from M. Rose Quilt Studios!  (Obviously the customized name can change or be omitted completely - this was a custom job...)

The paws on the top of the quilt were done by appliqueing the outline in white over a block of print.  I had all these cute left over cut outs and thought they'd be a cute surprise on the back!

Also up and coming with 2014 will be some blogs on costuming!  I've recently signed on with a Revolutionary War era group and will be visiting with a Civil War group shortly.  I love quilting so much, but there is nothing like throwing on "funny clothes" and running around for a few days!  With each of these groups, I'll be recreating pieces to wear and I'm sure I'll have plenty of pictures to share!

So thanks for checking back in!  I hope you're enjoying 2014 as much as I am!  We'll chat again soon!  Be well!

Mood: All New and Excited
Music: "Come a Little Closer" by Cage the Elephant