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April Squares Bring… More Squares in May?

OK, just ignore my poor attempt at a pun in the title!  Another short and sweet today, here are the 4×4 squares that I have stitched this past month:

Out of each group, which square do you like the best?  Which one do you like the least?

How do you feel about the color combinations?  I definitely notice that certain colors attract me on a certain day, but on another day, I wonder what I was thinking.

Do you like the stitch selections that I chose for the pieces?  What stitches would you have used?

If you love hand stitching like I do, I hope that you will try a few squares.  Even if you haven’t done a lot of hand stitching, give it a try!  These squares do not take long to complete, and who knows, you just might discover a new passion.

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Next Step in an Experiment

Thursday already?  Time sure flies while slow stitching, strange how that works.  I have made two quick mini collages to go on the damask napkin that is my latest experiment in using these vintage textiles.  Here they are:

The collage on the left was stitched by machine with some hand embroidered details.  The one on the right was entirely hand stitched.  I think that it is time for me to measure and cut the batting and backing for the napkin base.  I am going to cut the backing fabric a generous two inches larger than the finished size.  My plan is to fold over the extra backing fabric to the inside of the quilt sandwich, then quilt to secure all of it.

There won’t be much room for error, and I am a bit nervous, since I want to use this technique on a much larger piece.  At this point, I need to just go ahead and try it and quit rethinking the process.  Find out if I succeed on Tuesday.  I need to come up with a catchy title for this piece too…



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Working Through Challenges

Using vintage linens and working in a collage style presents some challenging problems.  Certain traditional quilt methods of assembly just don’t work well with my creative visions and materials of choice.  If you’ve visited my booth at a quilt show, you’ll know that I sell quite a few dyed vintage damask table linens.  Many of them have a nice finished edge that I want to preserve while using them in a collage.  I am still trying to come up with an easy way to bind all the layers and not lose that finished edge.  Today, I am embarking on my latest attempt at this quest.

Starting with a medium size dyed damask napkin that will be the base of the collage, I picked out a couple of smaller squares on which to stitch scrap compositions.  These smaller squares will be similar to the 4 x 4” square that I have been featuring in previous posts.  The next step was to select scraps to add to the little squares:

I pulled out more scraps than I’ll be able to use in this project, but that’s OK – it is good to have more to choose from during the early planning stages.  Next, I started working with the wool square.  Several little scraps jumped out at me, and the placement of them came together quickly.

Notice that all the pieces are separate from each other.  How would they look with a piece of fabric underneath (other than the background) that connected them together?

I like the second version, the additional piece of fabric adds another layer of interest.  I’m going to take a look at some trims and funky yarns to add, as I think I’m ready to start stitching this one over the next couple of days.

I invite you to follow along in my quest over the next week or so, will this work out, or be a dead end?  This will also be another look into my creative process.

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Scraps, Squares, Stitches

I am addicted to these little stitched squares!  This most recent bunch has turned out very well, I like all of them.  I am still amazed at how scraps can be transformed into little treasures.

In this set of four, I played with making stitch flowers by filling in petal shapes with combinations of stitches, and then tried out a monochrome color palette:

More trials with monochrome, and then I jumped back into multicolor mayhem:

These little squares are a great way to audition color combinations. Think of them as preliminary sketches for larger pieces.  I absolutely love the layers of textures that I combined in the square on the lower left here:

I wonder if the square I make for a given day reflects my mood at the time.  I’ll have to pay more attention to that.


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Very Small Pieces

Another very quick post for today.  I have been playing with little shreds of fabric.  Now, I am not one who feels compelled to make use of every little scrap, but I have been setting aside the trimmings that result from my box making process.  Once I trim each side, I end up with a substantial pile of fabric bits, a prime example of which you can see on the left side, below.

A few days ago, I embarked on a quest to use some of these little scraps.  I’m starting by making some artist trading cards by fusing the scraps to fusible interfacing (center and right, above).  Next, I will machine quilt the cards to secure the pieces.  I have not yet thought about embellishing, other than that hand stitching is out of the question.  Amazingly, the overlap of the little pieces has made the cards too thick to easily hand stitch.  That actually doesn’t bother me, as these cards are supposed to be finished quickly.  Over the weekend, I will work on ways to machine embellish.  My sewing machines need more exercise anyway.  Check back on Tuesday to see the finished cards.