Friday, November 23, 2012

Vermillion Teacup & By The Bay SAL Bag

Back in the day, I just could not get my fill of Donna Vermillion designs.  I loved changing colors a billion times within a small space, doing loads of fractional stitches and adding just the right back-stitching to make a really realistic piece.  I still love the look and I still kind of enjoy stitching like that, but it now it just tires me out so fast!   The World of Charity Stitching is doing  a quilt with a teacup theme. Many of the members signed up to do one of the Vermillion teacups in Donna's current free series.  I knew if I chose one, it had to be a really colorful one.. 50 shades of white weren't going to cut it with me anymore.  So I did the poppies.  By the time I hit that third flower and final leaf, I was really ready to stop.  It isn't even that big, but it seemed like it took forever.  I must say, though,  I do love the results and I haven't tired of that part one bit!

And speaking of charity stitching, I'd like to say how happy I am about my contributions to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI).  I have made nine mini-quilts over the last year.  Three sold fairly quickly.  The remaining quilts languished on the sale page forever.  I stopped making them since I didn't want to burden the organization with quilts they couldn't sell.  In October, the group took about 2100 quilts to the Houston quilt show and sold about 1600 of them between Wednesday and Sunday earning about $75,000 for the cause.  I'm proud to say that all six of my remaining quilts sold as part of that effort!   You can see all of my quilts and how much they earned here.  This is such a great grass roots organization.  All the income from selling these quilts goes to fund research.  And  this group finds the worthy research projects.  They don't just pass the money onto some large organization.   I'm inspired to make more now!

I also finally finished the Autumn By The Bay Mystery SAL, just a bit late.  At least it's still autumn!
I decided to make this into a little cross-body sling bag.   It turned out pretty well, so this one will be a holiday gift.  I make these a little different every time, never quite finding the perfect way to do it.  This one mostly follows the Lazy Girl Runaround Bag pattern.  I add some iron-on interfacing to all the pieces to give it a little more heft.  I also leave really long tails on the straps inside the bag,  Then I sew those down by hand over the side seam allowances.  So no raw edges show inside on the sides.. only on the top and bottom seams that aren't so visible anyway.  Plus the straps are much more secure.  I think I really like this technique the best.  I've done another method that has no exposed seams in the lining. but it doesn't leave me a way to do those straps like this, so I think I prefer this method.  I think it's pretty cute and eye-catching.  Quite a conversation starter in the grocery store lines!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Heartbreak Hotel and The Traveling Bunny

The World Of Charity Stitching Group decided to do an Elvis-themed quilt after finding some interesting Elvis-printed fabric.  I wasn't planning to sign up for that one.  Seemed too complicated to find an appropriate pattern.  But they were short a couple of stitchers and no one had done anything for "Heartbreak Hotel", so I took it as a challenge.  I now have a ton of drawings and ideas for this theme.  But nothing that I wanted to stitch.  My drawings all required too many large one-color blocks for my taste.  I finally settled on an adaptation of the Charlotte's Web Needlework design, "For My Friends", from the 2006 JCS Ornament issue. My rendition kind of looks like a candy shop rather than a hotel.  That's why I had to stitch in the words at the top.  I changed the stylized tree in the front to a heart with a zig-zag crack... get it?   And there was a wreath on the front door that became a heart as well.  Doesn't look like the end of lonely street exactly, but I think it works.


 I've signed up for a number of those 'traveling patterns', but I was never lucky enough to get in on the fun until now.  Lee selected me as one of the next group to stitch "The Littles Bunny" by Bent Creek.
He arrived  safe and sound from  Gracie and he couldn't be cuter.  I stitched him in one night on tea-dyed Monaco.  He made a cute little card.  In real life the card is more cream-colored and looks a lot more impressive.    I used all DMC, but changed some of the colors and just did French knots for the middle of the flower instead of beads.  Stitchers have each added some little things to the package as it hops around the world... floss, beads, charms, fabric, needles, etc.  I'm adding a few goodies myself.  Since there are already three more stitchers on the list, I won't run a contest myself to choose the next one.  I'll leave that for a stitcher further down the list.  Next up is Lelia and the bunny will be hopping on the bunny trail to her house soon.

Lee also included a lovely little fob as a gift for me.  She comes up with such clever ideas and does a perfect job of stitching and finishing.  I could not find a way to show this photo in a vertical position.  Blogger drives me crazy these days.