Monday, April 27, 2015

ALYOF Goal for April is Completed!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

April's goal is finished!  


I have made SALAD with Quilt Soup!  
(pattern name is SALAD, fabric is from QUILT SOUP) 

It's been complete for a while, but there's been no sunshine when I had someone around to hold it up for a photo.  We had sun yesterday, but wind, too and you all know what an adventure it is trying to photograph quilts in the wind!  Poor hubby was being attacked!

Here's the best photo of the bunch.  Can't decide if I actually like this quilt or not....maybe it will grow on me?  Maybe I'll like it better once it's quilted?? 
Still, it is nice to mark this top off the to do list! 

There hasn't been much sewing going on around here.  I've spent most of the month ill, but am finally doing better.  I actually have a completely finished quilt to show you as soon as I can grab 2 quilt holding family members at the same time.  It's too big for just one!

It's absolutely gorgeous here in San Antonio today.  Clear blue sky, sunshine and a nice breeze.  It's great to have all the windows in the house open.  Hope you are enjoying some gorgeous spring weather and still finding a little stitching time, too!  I'm heading for the sewing room right now to play in some scraps.  

Happy Stitching!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fabulous Friday Finish! The Folk Art Mini Quilt

Recently the MQTS, Mini Quilt Trading Swap, completed a Folk Art Mini Swap.  The creativity of this group is really amazing, and if you'd like to see some great eye candy made by very talented women go peek at THIS and THIS and THIS and THIS! The Folk Art theme was very popular and it was fascinating to see how the theme was interpreted by each maker. 

My partner in this swap was Andrea/quiltedoma.  She loves bright colors, cheerful themes, hand stitching and kitty cats.   I created this mini quilt for Andrea.  

The Details:
Title: "Content"
Designed and Created by me, Staci Payne
Size: 11 x 14
Fabrics: Background is linen.  Appliques are hand dyed felted wool, borders and binding are Kaffe Fasset Shot Cottons. Backing is by Lakehouse Dry Goods. 
Techniques used: hand applique, hand embroidery and hand quilting. 
Embroidery Stitches Used: Back stitch, Running stitch, Stem Stitch, Colonial Knots, Fly Stitch, Crested Chain Stitch, Couching. 
Embroidery was done with DMC and Valdani Perle Cottons. 
Hand quilting was done with Mettler Silk Finish Thread

Here's a close up of the sky.  I added a puffy cloud with the hand quilting. 
The flower is made of three layers of felted wool and embellished with Back Stitch, Colonial Knots in the center and Straight Stitch.  The sunshine has a Stem Stitch swirl.  I love the texture and depth the Shot Cottons add to the borders. I had originally planned to use prints in the border but when my eye caught my stack of Shot Cottons I knew it was right.  The colors just glow and move with the light.  Sadly, it was a rather dreary day when the photos were taken. 

Meet the Kitty!  She's sporting Fly Stitch stripes, and the rest of the embroidery is Back Stitch.  She looks like she's having some sweet summer time dreams, doesn't she?  Here you can see the flower stem better.  The Stem is made from a piece of woven ribbon and was applied with Couching Stitches. The grass is made up of Crested Chain stitches and Running Stitches. 

Here's the finished mini quilt along side my original sketch.  For once I stuck close to my plan!  LOL!

Andrea seemed pleased with her mini quilt. She said she loved the texture of the piece and she's named the kitty Petunia!  I put a few extra things in with the quilt. There's a couple yards of pretty blue fabrics, a tile with bluebonnets because it's beautiful blue bonnet season here, a San Antonio magnet and super cute kitty buttons. 

The back was simply done with this grey dot print from Lakehouse and a hand embroidered label.

I'm taking a little break from mini quilt swaps to work on other things, but I'll be back to swapping in late summer.  This group has such fun themes and such talented quilters, and I am amazed to be part of it.  I think the next swap I'll play in will be Circles & Curves. Does't that sound like fun?

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tote Bags!

Sewing with my Daughter is the best way to spend an afternoon or two!  Recently we got together to make some cute tote bags.  Daughter found the pattern for the "Dinner Party Grocery Bag" in this book  "Sew Practical" by Patchwork Place.  In fact, we made the totes featured on the cover of the book. 

The outside of the bags are made with heavy canvas fabric but the inside lining is laminated cotton. This was the first time either of us had used laminated fabrics in a project and we were a little nervous, but a kind lady who works in Creations of Kerrville  (wonderful shop!!) gave us some very sound advice.  She suggested we use a non stick foot for the sewing machine, lengthen out our stitches and keep things together with small Wonder Clips rather than pins where ever possible.  

Hubby actually helped us out with this project, too.  The bottom of each bag is rigid because there's a piece of thin plywood in it. He was kind enough to hit the home improvement store for it, and to cut it to size at home!

The bags have soft sides with no batting between the layers so they can be folded up when not in use.  

This is Daughter's tote bag.  She used a brown & green polka dot canvas from Moda's Oh Deer! collection for the outside and the green & cream houndstooth laminated fabric for the lining is from Free Spirit.  
Daughter's bag, the super cute outside!

Peek inside Daughter's bag. 

This is my bag. The outer fabric is Mochi dots cotton & linen canvas from Moda and the laminated lining fabric is from Riley Blake.  
Outside of my tote bag. 

The very bottom of the bag has a piece from my daughter's fabric.  I goofed on my cutting and ruined that piece of my fabric and didn't have enough left to cut another.  Daughter's fabric was wider, so she shared a piece with me.  The colors all work together very well! That's the piece that has the plywood base inside it.  
Inside of my tote bag. The houndstooth covers the plywood base and is removable.

These totes were a fun project, and a learning experience.  The laminated fabrics were easier to work with than I imagined, and I look forward to playing with them again in the future.  

Now, maybe we need to go shopping and fill these bags up with something?
Hmmmm.........What would you suggest??

Happy Stitching!