Posts Tagged ‘diamonds’

Surprise

March 19, 2014

I expected to have the Easter Challenge Project finished this week – surprise! It isn’t done, but I made enough progress to solve a problem on the Calendar Project.

 

Eggs and diamonds

Eggs and diamonds

 

I fused the marbled eggs, and discovered there is a thin gold line around each. It is such an elegant touch, I decided I didn’t want to do my usual blanket stitch around the motifs. The blanket stitch is wonderful and versatile, but mine always looks a little folksy. My first plan was to secure the fused pieces with quilting, then add beads. None of the quilting designs I considered made any impact – no announcing, “I’m the one.” After a few days of silence from my quilt top, I decided the blanket stitch would have to do.

 

Lani Longshore Easter project detail

 

Doesn’t look all that folksy, does it? I made smaller stitches than normal, used two strands of floss instead of three, and chose a turquoise that often fades into the marbling. I used the same technique for my calendar block, a May basket.

 

Here's the detail

Here’s the detail

 

Here's the block

Here’s the block

The other great surprise of the week was finding the notes I made for the star block that I will contribute to the quilt NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg is organizing later this year for the fortieth anniversary of the International Quilt Festival in Houston (go to www.nasa.gov/press for the announcement or www.quilts.com for information on the block requirements). The deadline is August 1, which is so far away I’ve forgotten about it twice. This time, I’m making the block then clearing off my work space.

Someday, this will be a star

Someday, this will be a star

 

 

Luck and Wisdom!

 

Boxes

March 12, 2014

A friend of mine held an estate sale a few months ago. I helped out a little, and as one of the thank-you gifts she let me take what I fancied. Tucked away in the kitchen were some darling pink lunch box organizers, and a single pink tea cup with a saucer. I pounced on those like a cat on mice. This week, I made a container for them.

 

A little fabric, a little stiffener, a lot of zig-zagging

A little fabric, a little stiffener, a lot of zig-zagging

 

Since all the items are pink, I grabbed the top of my pink pile and made panels. The pink cord came from the local army surplus/camping gear store. You’d be amazed at the cool stuff for quilters you can find at those kinds of stores.

 

The box itself is simple to make – fabric on both sides of stiffener, zig-zag cording around the edges, zig-zag the panels together. I used the diameter of the plate to establish the size of the panels. I wanted the plate to slip in elastic straps on the outside.

 

Sew a tube, scrunch it, insert elastic.

Sew a tube, scrunch it, insert elastic.

 

The best part of the elastic straps is that I used a strip of non-roll waistband elastic that was too long to throw away but not long enough for most other projects.

 

Criss-cross straps for extra hold.

Criss-cross straps for extra hold.

 

Here are the treasures for my lunch box.

 

My treasures

My treasures

 

Here is the kit all packed and ready to go.

 

My lunch

My lunch

 

While I was making the box, my eye fell on a pile of solids cut in diamonds that I’ve been moving around the sewing room for years. They are so old I don’t remember how I acquired them, although I can guarantee I did not cut them out myself. The latest Challenge project is to represent Easter in fabric. “Self,” I said, “let’s think outside the box about the Easter project.”

 

Let the satin stitching begin!

Let the satin stitching begin!

 

Since I had been zig-zagging like a tipsy bumble bee, I brought out some Pellon Decor, arranged the diamonds on top of it, and dialed down the stitch length. Once that was finished, I dug out a novelty fabric from the back of a drawer.

 

And now to fussy-cut.

And now to fussy-cut.

 

The next step is to apply a fusible backing and cut out egg clusters to arrange artfully over the surface, but that’s a story for another blog.

 

 

Luck and wisdom!