Monday, January 18, 2016

New Year goal: Project completion

Piles lean precariously in multiple spots in the sewing studio, a sure sign of scatter brained behavior. In other words, not really finishing one thing before moving on to another.

Well, this is going to be the year of endings. Finishing things, or deciding they need to be handed on to someone who will finish them.

Over a year ago, I bought a dozen kitchen towels to embroider. A basket full of towels sits on top of the refrigerator; I generally go through one a day. After almost ten years of use, the ones I'm currently using are showing signs of age. Besides, it would be good practice to do so many, knowing they aren't meant as gifts and I can

Well, I ended up making a set of towels as part of a silent auction donation for the 2014 Christmas party, then two sets for the 2016 party. There were six towels in the pack I bought for the 2016 donation, two each of red, blue and green borders. The red and blue ones were used for the donation. The green ones? Well, my kitchen is blue, as are the towels I mean to do for me. But a friend has a passion for gingerbread people, and I had a cute set of gingerbread applique patterns, so...

None of these have been trimmed or cleaned up yet, but they are too cute not to share. The gingers are in the hoop applique - the body of the gingers and the bows are pieces of fabric, positioned on the background, tacked down, trimmed, then embroidered over.

The other two are actually two of my towels, finally. These are filled embroidery; the design is made entirely of machine embroidery. It was the first time I'd done a filled design that large (each chef is roughly 4 or 5 inches by six inches), and they took forever to stitch out. The result, however, was worth it.

Well, not worth it enough for me to do all twelve in filled designs. I've done another eight in bluework, where the outline and a few details of the chef are stitched in blue thread. Two more will be done with the high end design company's version of French chefs. That will need to wait until I have an entire weekend and more patience than I did today. Those designs are rather...intense.

Ah, but that's not all. After discovering I had bought the wrong foot for a scarf hemming project (long story not worth retelling), I moved on this afternoon to experimenting with the binding attachment purchased at the closing of my beloved local quilt store (purchased for half price - even I'm not crazy enough to pay full price for it).

When you feed your unfolded bias binding into the hopper on this attachment, it miraculously folds it and snugs it around the edge of the piece you are binding, just before the binding/quilt reaches the needle that sews it down. My "practice" pieces are the owl embroidered charity quilts.

I did the first one today.

As you can see, it works a treat. There is a definite learning curve (which is why I didn't photograph my very clumsy corners) and a certain art to using this thing, but for smaller projects, these single thickness fleece blankets and things like hot pads and placemats, it will be a great time saver.

Ordinarily, I'd have used green or blue thread to sew this on. Somehow, I knew I'd be ripping out, unsewing a bit as part of the learning process; the white thread is much easier to see when ripping.

Note that neither of these projects is actually done. There are still a couple of towels to embroider, not to mention all of them to do the picky, time consuming clean up work for. This owl quilt is done, but there are six more in the stack (each one bigger than the one before it).

Still, a decent start on a bitter cold Monday.

1 comment:

melissa said...

Such cute work, if I can use that word to describe hard work. :) Lovely embroidery, as always.