Sewing Dessert First

Usually I save my sewing for the afternoon, doing whatever else I have on tap for a day first. This might include walking on the treadmill, watering the flowers, feeding the birds, petting the cats, housekeeping, etc. Sewing doesn't necessarily wait for housekeeping, but sometimes it does. I do have my priorities.

This morning, I was so excited about the most recent block for Lisa's retirement quilt that I decided to sew dessert first. Let me show you the process.

I started with this "beta" pattern image. I've been resizing the images to anywhere between 5 and 6 inches to start so that I make sure I'm staying within the bounds of my 6.5-inch block size. This is a picture of Hannah's original block:

Yesterday afternoon, I fused and top-stitched the applique, and then embroidered the details. When that was all finished, the block looked like this:

Well, I was pretty excited to get on with things, but then Mike came home, and it was time to stop for the day. 

This morning, I headed into the sewing room early. First, I added the gray yarn. It was good to practice with that since I had an unlimited supply. It was so much easier than I thought it would be. I used a tapestry needle, and threading the needle with heavy yarn was the hardest part of the process. I used a stabilizer on the back of the block, and then just wove the strands of hair in and out of the fabric. I only did one or two strands at a time, and just held the needle with excess yarn in my teeth while I couched over the strands I had in place. I used a stylus to move the yarn from side to side to shape the strands the way I wanted. When I was finished with that, the block looked like this:

Then I was ready to do the red yarn. Thank you once again, CinderGal, for your generous gift of red yarn. It was exactly what I needed. I used the original drawing to make a map for myself, numbering the ins and outs and then following the paths like a map in order to minimize the number of stops and starts. When I had it all woven and couched, it was finished. Here is my finished block:

And I'll just say right here that I'm pretty proud of this one.

Also, yesterday I made this mug rug. I'll just say that it's for someone who has a May birthday and leave it at that. (Not sure if she reads my blog.) Anyway...she likes to garden, and so I have a gardening mug on order to go with it. 

While I was considering what I wanted to do for her, I typed this search term into Google: "gardening mug rugs". I came up with an image of a similar mug rug created by "Carol". Mine isn't exactly like hers, but pretty close. It seemed okay to do this since Carol readily admitted to copying her own design from a mug rug created by Anita Peluso. I added a few leaves to my free motion embroidery/quilting and I fussy cut the butterfly to add to mine. Here's how it looks from the back:

It was all sandwiched before I did the stitching, and so it was essentially quilt as you go. Here's a close-up of the stitching on the back:

Finally, I moved my embroidery hoop for the last time on this Vintage Tin stitchery. Just the tree in the center needs stitching. This was a big one, and so I'm glad to have it nearly finished. I started on it March 24th, and so it has taken very nearly an entire month. I'm hoping to get it finished by this evening.

Now it's time to get on with the less fun part of my day. I couldn't end without showing you that Smitty has adopted the cushiest spot in the house for napping lately. He likes to sleep on the quilts-to-be-quilted pile. I covered them with a doll quilt to keep them from being fuzzed to death.

Are you almost finished? I'd like to get some shut-eye, if you don't mind.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get some more sewing done today, but the rest of life awaits. What are you up to today?

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Carole in Nebraska said...

The teacher block is so cute. You did a wonderful job with the yarn work.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

The block came out just wonderfully - good job! Now I have some of those little flower buttons and how clever to thread paint and then fill in with those. Moe seems to have adopted the same nap stance as Smits - I think every pile of quilts in any progress has had a test drive as a napping place. And a topper of the day - IT SNOWED ALL DAY

Dana Gaffney said...

That block really does look good, the yarn is perfect. I can't wait to see all of the blocks together, each one being so different will look amazing.

Cinder Gal said...

So glad the yarn worked. You did a wonderful job attaching it. So, so cute.

CJ Smith said...

When I saw Smitty on the quilts the first thought that popped into my head was "The Princess and the Pea". I guess in this case we have to call it "The Princeling and the Pea"!

Diane Wild said...

The retirement quilt will be perfect when done. Can't wait to see all of it one day. Work outside on Thurs since the wind wasn't blowing 40 mph but today (Fri) it's raining. Inside chore-day and a bit of bear sewing (my last one for now.) Head pets to Smitty.

Celtic Thistle said...

Your teacher block is just wonderful, what a great quilt that will be:)

quiltzyx said...

This block for Lisa's quilt is wonderful! The yarn/hair looks just right.
Your mug rug reminds a bit of Candy Glendening's quilting. (http://www.candiedfabrics.com/)
Mr. Smug Smitty!

Brown Family said...

You recreated Hannah's block perfectly!

Junebug613 said...

Those blocks are coming out so wonderfully! She is going to love it. I'm more impressed with each one, as you figure out how to turn their artwork into fabric art. Fantastic!! The mug rug is sweet. After I get a few more UFOs completed, I think I will try one. Cats always seem to find the best places to leave the most fur, don't they?

Valerie Reynolds said...

Perfect post for our theme this week Barb!! THANK YOU for sharing!!!