Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I've Been Up To (Instead of Blogging!)

BEFORE
AFTER

It's hard for me to believe that I've been blogging for a year already!  I realized it when I got my renewal notice for my domain name.  Wow, what a great year it's been!

Unfortunately, I fell off the blogging wagon this summer. It's been busy as most summers are, but part of my reason for not blogging is that I've been quilting instead!

Do you remember this quilt?  I've posted about it a few times.  I love the colors and the vintage look of it.  Well, a couple of weeks ago I got inspired and started working on the next step, embellishment!

I've been on a roll and am nearly finished with the central squares and have two of the borders done.  It's amazing how when you get in that "zone" you can get so much done and it just seems to flow.  I love it when that happens, so instead of blogging I decided to go with it.

At the top of this post you can see the bottom right square and borders in their finished state.  What a difference!  I decided that since I used so many embellishment techniques on this quilt that it would be the perfect piece to post about, square by square.  So, today, let's take a look at my embellishment choices for this section.
Here's the overview again.  When you look at it you don't see a lot of actual quilting stitches.  The piece is very dimensional without lots of "quilting" because there are other ways to add that dimension without using a quilting stitch.
Here's one of the border edges.  Note the running stitch in turquoise with an assortment of beads running through the motifs.  I love to do this because it ties objects together and is a great way to add an accent color without going overboard.  This border piece features a red "softie,"(a scrapbooking embellishment), one of my 1" paper piece squares, and a decorative button.  Notice how they all have central motifs in them.  That's a great way to tie disparate things together. 
Here's the continuation of the border.  Note the red button on the left.  I love to use buttons to highlight polka dot fabrics and give them texture.  They're also a great way to change the colors of the dots to whatever you want.  In this case I wanted to tie the polka dot fabric to the previous toile fabric.  Surrounding the red button with beads is a great way to do it.  Using the black and white makes the separation obvious, and yet ties it together.  Strange how that works!  I also used another "softie" button instead of a plain button in one of the dots.
                           
Next is the quilt square.  The outer border is a batik, which can be difficult to embellish.  In this case I decided to go with an assortment of "red" seed beads stitched along the edges of the red pattern.  I love the randomness of the sizes and the fact that there's one bright pink bead in there, (see if you can find it).  The beads aren't the expensive perfectly sized ones because I like the inconsistent nature of the cheaper beads.  Whenever I use the pricey perfect ones I end up taking them out, they're just too perfect for my imperfection!  I didn't do any quilting on the inner floral fabric, only adding a few flower buttons in different colors to give the fabric some dimension.  The little girl looks like she's writing the words on the fabric.  Kind of fancy writing for a little girl!
Lastly, we have the border next to the square.  I knew I had to have something long and skinny and when I found the Chinese brocade flower applique I knew it was perfect.  The ribbon already had pink dots on it so I accented them with red plastic beads and stitched on three rows of translucent leaf buttons.

I hope that this post gives you some ideas to use in your own quilts.  I love how I can get the quilted look without all those quilting stitches, and it's so much fun finding uses for my collection of buttons and beads.

There are twelve squares to this quilt so tomorrow I'll go over another one with you.  In the meantime I can't wait to get back to my easy chair and my little quilt, (although  my finger really hurts, I need to learn how to use a thimble!).

Happy Stitching!

Susan

1 comment:

Maddie Can Fly said...

Thanks for posting the close ups and your details of working these squares. I'm loving this quilt!