Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stitching Details

The name of this little guy i T.C.I spent the day sewing with a friend on Monday. I worked on some stitching and detail work for a couple of appliques. Here's a photo of T.C. one of the little Dazzling Dogs for a quilt I've been working on. I meant to do more than just plain satin stitching. I didn't add the extra detail on the collar until the very last when I realized I forgot to jazz it up with other decorative stitches. I guess we got to talking too much. I was a bit distracted since my friend's grand-daughter was there visiting. She was sewing with us, too. It made for a lively, albeit disjointed, kind of day with a youngster in on the activities.

T.C. gets some details stitched.Here is a close-up of the block. I finished up another applique project that I'm keeping mum about for now. Then I went on to finish only this one other block. Considering the extra activities and distractions taking place with an active third-grader participating in sewing (and bouncing around), I'd say it was a productive day.

I plan on adding some bling with heat-set crystals on the glasses of these dogs as well as adding buttons to the shirts and collars, plus any other extras I can think of to embellish these blocks for added interest and humor. I like the way it is coming together so far. I'll keep working away on the blocks a bit at a time until they are finished. The dogs are so cute with their funky glasses and quirky outfits.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I've been enjoying my lazy Sunday. All I can say is my internal clock must be messed up because I have been staying up late (with insomnia) and getting up late (what with the staying up late) the last few days. Don't know what's up with that. But it's okay since it's the weekend I'm just taking it easy and going with the flow of things. Tomorrow is different. I'm planning on setting my alarm clock to get up on time. I've got my regular Sew With a Friend Monday coming up tomorrow. That's always a fun day to get together, chat and sew in the morning. Then we do lunch. Then more sewing, chatting and fun in the afternoon. It makes for a great day.

I've got five more blocks to go with my Dazzling Dogs quilt. That's on the agenda for tomorrow. I might even work on a few more blocks tonight. I think I'll be doing some of the blanket stitching and detail top-stitching on the blocks tomorrow. I still need to decide on color choices for the sashing strips then get those cut and pieced.

Stitch An Art Quilt banner update image.Hey how do you like the new banner? I thought it was time for a change. This one coincides with the quilt I'm working on now so it is much more appropriate. I like to keep updating those banners from time-to-time to keep things fresh. It's so much more fun to see something new once in awhile. This banner is from my Garcia block. I photoshopped the eyes in place since I don't have the stitching and buttons sewn on it yet. I'm still pretty new to using photoshop. This turned out good for use as a banner.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Movin' Along Little Doggies . . . Yeehaw!

I found my pumpkin scented candle from last fall.While I was sewing today I re-discovered my pumpkin scented candle from last fall. Mmmmn! I have it lit right now. Yummy. This is just the thing to get me looking forward to fall . . . and also thinking about other fall things like: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frappucino, Pumpkin pies, and going out to Papa's Pumpkin Patch for a nice fall ride on the motorcycle down by the river. Aaah! such pleasant memories to think about . . . and look forward to as well!

Obviously if I was in my Sewing Studio I must have been sewing, right? Well, yes and no. I was 'prepping to sew' this evening. I got two more of my Dazzling Dogs blocks fused and ready to applique, but I didn't actually do any sewing. I did get as far as booting up my Pfaff Creative Vision and look through some designs I've got stored on my USB memory stick. Then I thought I'd just relax and cut out the pieces for the appliques and not try to keep an embroidery going at the same time. Sometimes that's a way of getting two things done at the same time, but it means I do a little less kicking back to relax and enjoy it as much. Sometimes I even have more than one embroidery machine going at a time when I get the Designer 1 and the Pfaff 7570s going. That means I hardly get a chance to sit down - running from machine to machine changing threads and such to keep them all going at once. Yep, tonight was a mello night.

MajorHere's 'Major' as completed so far. You have to use your imagination quite a bit at this point since none of the detail work is done on these yet. Once the blanket stitching, satin stitching and detail stitches are in place it will look more like a cute little doggie face. Try to imagine button eyes and silly grins on these canines.

Need help visualizing them? Here's a link to Amy Bradley's website to peek at the finished blocks.

Dan the DaneThis one is 'Dan the Dane'. He had some teeny, tiny pieces to cut around the ears and hat. Being so small makes it more of a challenge to cut and get them fused without the pieces moving out of place. The tiny pieces might pose a challenge when it comes to the stitching of these blocks, too. Lots of little pieces to stitch around.

I'm planning on doing all the stitching with my sewing machine. I want to vary the stitches using a variety of the decorative stitches from the machine to embellish it a bit. Five more blocks left to fuse before I start with the stitching.

Mmmmn! that candle smells good. Maybe I'll mix in a little baking time tomorrow along with my plans for sewing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Doggie Quilt - Progess Goes Slowly

'T.C.'This is the applique quilt I have been working on with my friend, Deb, on our Monday Sewing Days ever since I injured my finger. So far I have all the dog block patterns drawn onto the fusible web in pencil. These five blocks are the ones I have coordinated fabric colors and fused into place so far.

I am limiting myself to a miscellaneous collection of fabric and an assorted pile of fabric scraps. This should help to limit color choices a bit. I want a scrappy, somewhat country/cabin look to the quilt, but I don't want it so scrappy that every piece on it is from a different line of fabric. My fabric stash is pretty large. Thus I felt it necessary to limit the color choices. It should help the overall quilt be more consistent and unified. This block, 'T.C.' is the first one I put together. Naturally it's because we have two chihuahuas and I think they are such cute little dogs.

FrankieHere is Frankie. Notice how all the dogs have glasses. I think that's a cute detail that Amy Bradley (the quilt designer) came up with as a design device. And each pair of glasses is unique to the dog. What a clever idea. I recently located her blog on the web as well as her website where some of her other patterns are shown. Once there at her site I was snooping around through some of the pages. There is a page showing other quilter's Dazzling Dog quilts from this same pattern. Perhaps when I finish mine I will email a photo and have mine displayed along side these others.

GarciaI have chosen a batik fabric for the backgrounds of most of my blocks. There are a couple that are prints that coordinate. I'm going for the country/cabin look and trying to stay with more nature inspired prints and colors on my blocks. I usually stay away from the brights as I think of them more for children's quilts. I guess I'm not that much into brights. That theme wouldn't fit so much into my house at this point. Who knows, that could change over time if I ever had any grand kids some day. The theme on this doggie quilt should go well with my vintage travel trailer once I get one. I'll do a sewing/cabin theme to my trailer when I get it.

PrissyAll right! Here's Prissy, a cute, blinged out poodle. The pattern shows bling from crystals on her glasses. I'm definitely doing bling on these dogs when called for. I've got heat-set crystals here at the house ready and waiting to be used on a project. Hopefully I'll be able to spread the love around with the crystals and work them into most of the blocks. I was just thinking that might not perpetuate the country/cabin look, but nah . . . older style, traditional country music singers were always blinged out with crystals and rhinestone. It should fit right in!

SkipperThe last dog (for now) is Skipper. This canine was shown on the pattern with a lighter color, white fur coat. I happened to pick up the tan colors and decided to go with it. I'm not sure just yet what I think about that since it isn't very true to this breed of dog, but it's not really a realistic quilt so doesn't really need to be that true to life. I'm exercising my artistic license to change dog coat color when I chose. Oh, and about that license . . . I once read in a book that every artist should actually make up their own copy of an 'artistic license' for those moments of doubt when we wonder if we are making the right choices. It seems kind of strange, but that kind of "permission" to work with that kind of freedom of expression is a good thing. Maybe that is something I should actually do . . . make up an 'artistic license'. I could be an authentic, card-carrying artist!