Fun times with handwork!!

Over the last few months I have posted about my enjoyment of doing various types of handwork….starting with beading and embroidery.  I have shown snippets of these, but as Quilt Show Chairman I made a badge for each of my 34 Chairmen and Co-Chairs.   I think that they turned out great…..

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….and were even nicer when Claire helped to put the ribbons on each of them…..

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They looked super when they were all finished…..

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….and the recipients (who did an AMAZING job) seemed to enjoy having them to wear during the show…..

Over the last two (or maybe it is three) years, I have worked on a Needlepoint design from Kaffe Fasset.   It was fun to work on the funky flowers in amazing colors…..

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I gave it to my son, Brian and his wife Amber when they purchased their first house and it is now residing happily in Amber’s art studio!!

And now, I am moving on to  Hand Applique.

The few times that I have tried Hand Applique, I have really enjoyed the sewing process but was never happy with the way that I prepared the pieces beforehand.   I had tried Needle Turn but that did NOT work out well!   I tried gluing the edges down, ironing them down and folding them over a piece of Freezer Paper.   I even tried it wth TWO pieces of Freezer Paper ironed together to give it more body.   But nothing really worked!

When I was at the Quilt Show in Houston, I spent a few minutes listening to quilter, Karen Kay Buckley, talk about her method for preparing applique pieces.  She advocates using heat resistant Templar plastic to form the applique pieces.   Rather than using glue, she suggested brushing the edges using Magic Sizing…..

IMG_7659.jpgShe even suggested spraying a small amount in the cap and using a brush to coat the edges….img_7661.jpg

…and then ironing the edges in place….IMG_7663.jpg

Karen says to use a dry iron but I found that it worked much faster if I used a minimal amount of steam.   This revelation came when I “thought” that I had turned the steam off but, in fact, had only turned it to the lowest setting.   So, lowest setting it is!!

The plastic is removed and the result is a piece all ready for sewing down…..img_7666.jpg

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to start with and my mind kept coming back to 70’s Mod Flowers.   The good thing about these flowers is that they are mostly gentle curves and I think that will be a good thing to start with.

I am also using Buckley’s circle templates to do the flower centers…..

img_7667.jpgThis technique involves sewing a running stitch around the fabric, brushing the edges with Magic Sizing…..

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And then pull to make a perfect circle…..

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I have absolutely NO idea what these will be used for, but I have started making blocks and am loving the process…..

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These two went together without any problem and I am now working on a larger block with two layers of petals.

I have also added a couple of things to my sewing corner…..ie my recliner with a table to hold my cup of tea…..IMG_7804.jpg

The biggest addition is the lamp that folds over my shoulder and does a fantastic job of illuminating my project without putting out so much light that it disturbs Michael as he sits next to me. This lamp is the Slimline LED floor Lamp made by Daylight Company.  I especially like it because it folds back on itself which means that it isn’t a super obvious intrusion into the room decor when I am not using it.

I first heard of the lamp from Bonnie Hunter in one of her blog posts.   She not only extols the benefits of the lamp but also gives some great tips for how to make assembly easier.   You can check it out here……   https://quiltville.blogspot.com/2016/10/find-simple-pleasures.html

Tbe next addition was a wicker basket to hold all of my “stuff”.  Previously I had just set it directly on the floor but felt like it made my area look cluttered.   I am MUCH happier with this solution.

The only problem now is that I can hand sew the flowers pretty quickly but am fairly slow at getting the pieces ready.  Hopefully I will get better at that soon!!   And one of these days, I MIGHT try making a leaf or a stem or something else flower related.   I will keep posting as I go.

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