Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kitties and quilts

My Pepper cat is my quilting buddy, keeping me company in the studio and testing quilts for comfort as soon as I have two pieces sewn together. His best friend Phantom (aka Squirrel) only shows up if it's quiet and there's a nice sunbeam to nap in. She's the original scaredy-cat.

Yesterday I was putting some things away in the office and emptied a little box, which I dropped on the floor to collect for recycling. Within five minutes, Pepper had taken up residence – a 20 pound cat in a 10 pound box. He occupied the box on and off for the rest of the day. This morning I walked into the living room and Squirrel had claimed the box. It's a much better fit for her.

Another good evening in the studio last night. I got three of the large star blocks done for Shakespeare In the Park (SITP). My Flying Geese are turning out much better, though slightly oversized, this time. I'm doing a four at a time method explained on Connecting Threads site. They have a lot of nice tutorials on their site, as well as some cute free patterns.

I decided to revamp the rest of the little lighthouse figures I'd started a few days ago. They are a little too big for inchies, so I'm making them two inches square and will make brooches out of them. I'm starting to think in terms of inventory for sales on Tybee Island next year. I added a bit of fabric and fused them to the backing last night, should have something worth showing after tonight.

I'm still working on the hand applique, just one palm leaf to go. I started this to try out the basting method of needle turn applique. With this, you trace the entire design on the back of the background fabric. Then you roughly cut pieces of fabric for each applique piece, leaving lots of extra. One at a time, baste a piece, using a large needle and heavy thread. Then trim up around the shape. Then you cut a couple of stitches of the basting, tuck under the edges and start your applique. You take out a few stitches at a time and fold along the line created where the basting came out. It really does work, and I'm getting smoother lines than with freezer paper, etc.

There's a nice tutorial on it on the Tropical Applique blog.

I'm still experimenting with the multi-colored quilting/threadwork. One of the sample pieces I did at the quilt show was black, which I quilted with bright pink. It didn't show up as well as I'd hoped for the demo, but it is pretty. Last night I went back and added echo quilting with a pale yellow thread. Now it's starting to pop. Here's the start, there will be more to come.

More later!