Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Quilted Symphony is DONE! I Think???

From the book quilted symphony by Gloria Loughman

So... I think my Quilted Symphony quilt is FINALLY DONE!  This project ended up taking a looong time, especially for how small it is!  12.5" x 21".  It took so long I was beginning to think it was going to become a UFO.  I kept waiting for it to speak to me, you know, tell me what it wanted me to do with it.  One day I walked by and it SHOUTED at me, "I've been hanging here so long my colors are starting to FADE."  I gave it a closer look and thought, "Yep, it's starting to fade."  As the days continued to slip by it would occasionally whisper, "I really am fading."  Those aren't the words I had been waiting to hear!

One day I got bored and pulled it off the design wall and started doing some quilting stitches on it.  A few stitches is all it took for the piece to start talking to me.  I guess it needed to know I was actually going to try and finish it. 

I started stitching one section at a time.  As I was doing the quilting my mind started seeing places where embellishments could be added.  But, wait... Gloria's book is full of these quilts she and her students have done.  There are pages and pages of photo examples and NONE OF THEM are embellished with anything other than thread!

Every section kept asking for embellishments!  So I started adding some yarns.  Pretty soon every section had yarn above it and below it.  All colors of yarn.  Funny how now there was no problem with choosing colors like there was in the beginning!

It didn't seem to matter that Gloria and all the others didn't use beads and trinkets to embellish their pieces.  Every piece of yarn, little bead, button and trinket I sewed on seemed to work okay on this quilt!

So I kept going.  Stitching and adding THINGS.  I didn't know I had so MANY things I could add to a quilt top.  I am, after all, NOT an embellisher!  Every once in awhile I'll add a button or bead here or there.  But REALLY, I'm not an embellisher.

I even found myself wandering the isles of JoAnn's looking for something a little special that I could sew on this quilt!  And it was actually as if the quilt was there with me, helping me find THINGS. 

Maybe... at this point in my life as a quilter I can start to say, "Sometimes I get a little carried away with embellishing the surface of a piece if the piece tells me it wants embellishments."

During the embellishing process I took the project to a sewing day with friends.  I showed them what I was doing with all these THINGS and asked if it was too much.  They didn't think so.  In fact, they actually encouraged the process and donated some beads from their collection that they thought would be PERFECT.  I sewed them on and they are... PERFECT!

And the embellishing didn't stop!  There are even beads on the BACK!  I should never have used a button hole stitch as quilting.  It should have been done before I layered the quilt.  A few years ago I took a class taught by Karen Fisher.  She shared with us a piece that had an unpleasing area on the back so she covered it up with EMBELLISHMENTS.  So I though maybe embellishments would make this yucky part look like it's special, you know, PLANNED.

And then, there's always the label.  This is only embellished with thread.  If you have read earlier posts on this project you may remember I lost my sun at one point.  So I made another sun and then wouldn't you know it, I found the lost one.  It must be one of Murphy's Laws, as soon as you get a new one you find the old one.  Now what am I going to do with a lost and found sun?  Sew it on the label!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Amy Butler Apron

My youngest daughter had a birthday this month (she's 31 now!).  There are times in the lives of people younger than myself that I find it more difficult to figure out what they would appreciate receiving as a gift.  This dilemma seems to begin when they are teenagers.  I mean REALLY, what do you give a teenager?  I could share some of my age old wisdom... Give them some life advice... But those never go over well.  When they get out on their own and start building a life it gets a little easier.  Then you can get them cool things for their new life as an adult.  When they seem to have their living quarters filled they start appreciating personal things that they haven't been able to purchase in awhile because they have to pay bills every month.  HAHA!  Then they go into the 30 somethings and it seems to become harder again.

This daughter just relocated to another state and it seems that every time I talked with her she was sharing a new recipe.  This is the daughter that DOESN'T COOK!  Recently she asked me to make her a Potato Bag (which I blogged about).  So I thought if she is getting into all this cooking and asked for a Potato Bag MAYBE she would like an apron!  So I collected all the supplies and made her an apron.

Pattern Domestic Goddess Aprons by Amy Butler Designs.  Print fabric comes from the Cook's Kitchen collection by Makower uk.  The orange accent fabric if from the Puzzle Pieces collection by Moda fabrics.

The pattern calls for the long ties to be placed on the half apron but I put them on the bodice apron.  I find it much easier to tie in front of me rather than behind my back.  Isn't having to tie behind your back kinda like a test in dexterity?  I need to SEE what I'm doing!  When you get a project done you HAVE TO try it on and SEE what it looks like!  I was surprised when I tried it on and discovered it has an umpire waist (is it even called an umpire waist these days?)  The picture on the pattern looks like it ties around the waist NOT right under the BOOBS!  Oh well, it's DONE.  As you can see it has a little towel loop, which I thought was a handy feature.

If I ever make another one I'll make the bodice BIGGER, the overall length shorter and the towel loop closer to the center.  This towel loop puts the towel under your elbow which was awkward feeling.

Her comment when asked how she liked it, "It will fit the boyfriend great."  I guess that means she has already given up her cooking career and it's now on the boyfriends list of responsibilities!