July 02, 2017

A Slice Of Summer

I just finished making the sample for the Kimberbell "A Slice of Summer" pillow class that I am teaching on July 19th, and thought that I would share a few pictures with you.  There is a lot of work and steps involved, but the final product is very cute and completely worth the extra effort.

The first thing that you have to do is create the pillow front that you are going to 'decorate' with machine embroidery and the 3D extras.  I also choose to do my background quilting before I begin adding the machine embroidery.  It makes it much easier to quilt a blank slate than doing it later and trying to quilt in between all the watermelon pieces. I didn't take a picture of that step, but after I finish making the pillow front, I added batting to the back and went ahead and quilted it.

Base Pillow Front

The large watermelon slice consists of numerous applique pieces.  There are five different fabrics that needed to be placed and tacked down in their different locations.  Once all of the pieces are tacked down, then my trusty Babylock Destiny takes over and stitches the decorative cover stitches.

Decorative stitching in progress

Large slice done
These pillows are quite large, so you do have to 're-hoop' several times in order to complete the design. Here is the pillow with all of the machine embroidery completed.
Machine embroidery completed

Once you have the machine embroidery complete, you have to add all the extra 3D details. I temporarily glued the Rick Rack vine and watermelon rinds down and let it dry before I sewed it down with the sewing machine. That small step makes it a lot easier to get the Rick Rack where you want it.

For the rind of the large slice of watermelon, I hand stitched the green fabric using a ruched method and then hand sewed it down on the watermelon.  I also made the small yellow flowers using a similar method, added a button to the middle, and then stitched them down by hand to the pillow.

And here is the completed pillow!  Love it!

June 23, 2017

June Class Wrap Up

All of my June classes at Quilts and Lace  are completed!  Kimberbell Embroidery Club was on Saturday June 17.  We did the Ice Cream Table Runner called A Pop of Summer.  Here is the picture of my completed sample for the class.  Sew cute!

Pop Of Summer

On Wednesday June 21 we tackled the patriotic Kimberbell Land That I Love Bench pillow.  I asked the girls to do a little 'homework' before class, I think it helped tremendously since they had time to finish all of the Machine Embroidery work in class. 

First here is a picture of my completed sample.

Land That I Love Bench Pillow

Since everyone picked different fabrics, all of their pillows are just a little different and unique.

Karen fabric choice was very unique and looks great!

Lynda chose to use a red thread for her 'America..." 

Denise already had her whole pillow made except for the applique!

Bonnie is making a present for a family member!

Lynda, Bonnie, and Karen

I am currently working on my samples for the July classes.  On July 7 for Kimberbell Embroidery Club, we will be stitching a snowman mug rug to start off the Christmas in July celebration!  On July 27 we will do another mug rug from the Kimberbell Holiday and Seasonal Mug Rugs Vol 2, the snowflake.  I already have my sample stitched out for this one.

On July 19 I will be teaching the Kimberbell Slice of Summer Watermelon Bench Pillow.  I don't have the sample for it made yet, but  I will post when I have it completed.

Hope to see you in July!

June 05, 2017

My Happy Village

Last week I thought it would be fun to take a quilting class and learn a new technique.  It is always a good thing to get 'out of your comfort zone' and try things that you never thought you could do.  Kathy Van Pelt was teaching a class at Quilts and Lace from Karen Eckmeier's Happy Villages book which provided a perfect opportunity for me to do just that.

The technique is basically a fabric collage.  Karen's book Happy Villages, which we used as inspiration, shows many different types of villages that we could create using her technique.  The book gives you some various shapes as a guide to cut out your fabric, then you build your village from those basic shapes.  The 'out of your comfort zone' part comes into play at this stage.  You have to turn off the part of your brain that wants a 'pattern' so that you can create the exact village shown in the book.  The point of the exercise is for everyone's village to look different.

Of course we all wanted ours to look as good as Kathy's!

Kathy with her Happy Village sample she made

Then once you get your basic building arranged you start adding different elements to make your village.  You add roofs, windows, trees, plants, and anything else that you want to make your village unique.  One very interesting factor was that the houses didn't really come alive until you started adding windows.  It's amazing how they all look so different!

Even after two days of adding roofs, etc., none of us finished.  Every time you looked you saw where another roof needed to be added, or another window, or some greenery, or something else. 

Once you do decide that you have enough goodies added, you then place a piece of tulle over the top.  It was fun to audition different colors of tulle to see which looks best with your village.  Each one of us actually chose a different color which really surprised me. 

Then the fun begins.  You free-motion quilt the top so that everything stays where you put it.  You quilt around the buildings in a sort of stitch in the ditch method.  You don't want to stitch right on the edges of the buildings because that will make them fray.  You don't want to do too much because you want your buildings to be the focus, but a little greenery here and there might be a nice addition.  Once you have finished you can embellish it with beads and/or yarn.

Since I love machine embroidery I am pretty sure that mine will end up with some machine embroidered items added.   I am thinking a sun, some birds in the sky and maybe a palm tree or two? 

I am still adding windows and roofs to mine, but here is a picture of my progress so far.  Yes, there are kitties and birds added, and even a little tiny mouse, but he is hard to see.  I think the most fun part of this exercise is you can add anything you want, there are no wrong pieces or parts!

Cherri's Happy Village in Progress