Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Doily flowers

Here is another type of flower, made from a vintage doily (under 10" diameter).

1. Cut a length of hand sewing thread, thread your needle and knot it.  I like to use 8 or 12 weight pearl cotton for the doilies. 

2. With a long running stitch, sew a circle around the doily with a 1" or so radius from the center.

3. Don't overlap your first stitch, but when you get all the way around, take your thread to the backside of the doily.

4. Gently pull your thread with one hand while holding the doily in your other hand.  The doily will gather and ruffle as you pull the thread, creating the flower shape.  There will now be a small lump at the center of the flower, this is the back of the flower.  Take a few whipstitches through the lump to secure the flower.  Leave the thread end long to sew to a larger piece of fabric.  That's it!  So simple, a neat way to use old doilies.  Use them to add dimension to Baltimore Album type quilts, crazy quilts, or your own unique art quilt bouquet.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Lace Flowers

This is one of the embellishment techniques I was demonstrating at the quilt show last weekend.  It is very easy, and quick to do.  All you need is a length of wide lace trim, sewing thread and needle.  I include several cuts of dyed lace trim in my Creativity Kits, available on my Etsy shop.

1. Cut a length of lace trim, 7" to 12" long, cut a length of matching thread, thread your needle and knot.

2. Fold 1/4" of short end of lace to the backside, bring needle up through fold.  Sew a long running stitch along the long flat side of your lace trim, as close to the edge as is reasonable.  Be sure to catch the thread in the thicker parts of the lace.

3. When you reach the other short end of the lace, fold 1/4' of the end to the backside of your lace, sew through the fold. 

4. Gently pull the thread with one hand while holding the lace with your other hand.  The lace trim will pucker and ruffle, and curve back on itself until the two short ends meet.  Sew the short ends together with a few whipstitches.  Knot the thread in the trim, and leave your thread end long to sew onto a project.

Here's a view of the backsides of two flowers:
It might be a bit difficult to see, but I usually take a few running stitches to the outside of the flower after pulling the thread and whipstitching the center.  This further secures the flower and looks neater.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Streetsboro Quilt Show

If you have found your way to my blog after meeting me at the Streetsboro Quilt Show, welcome!  Thank you to those who made a purchase from me.  The hand dyed fabric and related art quilting goodies are my livelihood now; I appreciate your support, and I'd love to see what you make with my fabric.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting instructions for various things you can do with the vintage and unusual products I sell: flowers from hankies or lace trim, machine sewn yarn "lace," and couching fancy yarns.  Keep checking back.  I am trying to get into the habit of posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In my last post, I wrote about several plants I use as dyes, but I did not have an image for the dahlias.  Over the weekend, I gathered a gorgeous bouquet of them from my mother's garden.  Dahlias have been bred to an amazing array of colors and variances in flower and petal form.  Some avid growers of them show their flowers at judged events with passion on the levels of horse and dog shows.  We enjoy them at home, and when these blooms fade, their color will be captured in some silk that I have waiting.

We always need beautiful things to look at in a world full of people doing ugly things.