Snapshots of life and crafts on our little homestead

Posts tagged ‘Craft’

Guilted Komons completed

Finished Guilded Koran quilt

Gilded Komons finished after a little over two years. The quilt is named for the type of kimonos worn by Japanese women shopping and for visits at one point in time. The fabric in Komon kimonos contained small repeated patterns of items found in nature, but as far as I could tell they did not use gold or crystals, so I added “guilded” to the title.

It didn’t take 24 months to finish the quilt, but the chain of events to bring it from start to finish spanned approximately two years. finished to base top of this quilt about 18 months ago and placed it on the pile of unquilted tops where it remained until I convinced my friend Joanne (owner of Splitting Stitches ) that she had the long arm talents needed to quilt the top (she is very good at edge-to-edge quilting but this point did very little custom quilting). After a couple of planning talks she agreed to talk the project on, so the top moved from my pile to her work pile, where it sat for about six months waiting for her to build the confidence to put the top on one of her long arm machines. Over the past several months the top moved on and off her machine between other jobs, and visits and email exchanges to discuss design and in some cases design modifications. At the end of January Joanne set me photos of the quilted top and asked when we could meet to discuss the quilt.

The first week of February we met to view the top and discuss the next steps. Joanne’s work was lovely and made the piece shine.

Guilded Koran quilt back
Guilded Koran quilt back that shows off the wonderful stitching

Now it was my turn to get to work. I added a number of embleshments to give the quilt some additional dimensions. Folded fans were added to the back of each kimono, the center flower received some heavy beading and a 3D gold center to add some bling and to draw the attention. A few crystal butterflys were were added both the quilt fronts and backs to reflect light when the piece is hung.

Beaded center flower
Guilded Koran quilt section
Close up of one of the kimono sections

I am not sure if the embleshments are done, so the quilt has been hung in my sewing room waiting for feedback from my collaborator and so that I can study it for a bit.

Koran Kimonos quilt

I decided to step away from my Diamonds and Ice quilt to start the bead work on my Koran Kimonos quilt. The quilt has been picked, quilted and bound, so a 2 needle couching method is being used to add seed beads around the flower petals in the center of the quilt. This technique allows the stitches securing the beads to be hidden in the wadding instead of showing on the front or back of the quilt.

Once the seed beads have been attached, small crystal butterfly and beads will be added to each kimono to reflect light when the piece is hung.

Diamonds and ice wall hanging: Part 2

Getting ready to add the second border around the cross stitch quilt center to adjust the size for block attachment. Each of the quilt blocks contains a double windmill pattern and is 6 inches square. For this wall hanging blocks will be placed three deep on all sides and finished with a triple border.

I really like mixing needlework and quilting together.

The Gift of Handwarmers

In early November we made the 7 hour drive to my in-laws house for a weekend visit and family pre-holiday dinner. During the visit my father-in-law talked about how much his hands hurt now that the cold weather had set in. His complaint gave me a great idea for some things to add to their Christmas basket — a set of hand warmers that could be heated in a microwave or on top of a wood stove, paired with muscle salve I made earlier in the year.



The hand warmers were so easy to make that I thought I would share the process with all of you.

  1. Trace a hand outline approximately 2 inches wider and higher that the actual hand onto a piece of freezer paper or directly onto the piece of fabric that will be used for the hand warmer.
  2. If freezer paper was used iron the paper onto the fabric to be used and the cut 8 pieces of frantic using the template.
  3. Put the cut fabric pieces in pairs with the back sides of the fabric facing each other. On the top piece of each side draw 2 channel line from the top to the bottom (about 2.5 inches from each side works for most adult size hands).
  4. Sew each set of fabric pieces together along the channel line – any type of stitch will work.
  5. Stack two sets on top of each other and then sew a 1/2 inch seam around the outside of each set. Next, turn the sets right side out. 47212C2D-28F3-426E-9DA0-7C35F8BD4986
  6. Mix rice (buckwheat hulls also work well) and dried herbs of your choice (I used rosemary and eucalyptus) together and then fill the channels in the mitts with the rice mixture, filling each channel 1/2 to 3/4 full.B48FE213-2F5E-4A91-AD2E-33EF972A79BA4F1CC8CB-EFF0-423A-883E-C7C8B2002461
  7. Sew the openings of the mitts shut.E9E2D9B3-1EBD-41E4-89A0-4549D7B76F67
  8. Cut cuffs for the mitts (5 inches by 14-16 inches works for most adult sizes. Press a 1/2 hem over on one of the short sides of each cuff, then press the long side in half.F065613E-E0FB-4CDB-8078-E5AAF09DC494
  9. Pin the cuffs to the inside of each mitt, placing the raw edge of the cuffs inside of the seamed edge, and the sew the cuffs in place.12E66D81-4646-4B43-B258-37854A47CB84
  10. Pull the cuffs up, fold over the seam and tack in place.

Christmas Elf Quilt

Finished up the quilt top for my little Christmas elf. Used some holiday fabrics that I have collected over the past 15 years to make the postage stamp blocks. Now to just get off to my favorite longarm lady for quilting.


Quilt-as-you-go project update

I finally finished all of the paper pieced blocks for the quilt-as-you-go project I started at the beginning of the summer. It is the first time that I worked with solid kona cotton fabrics and love the way that the blocks turned out. I think the solids will work their way into a few more projects in the near future.


2014 quilt as you go blocks

When I started the project I had planned to create 20 unique blocks, but then I feel in love with two of the patterns and just had to create two of each of them…. so much for best laid plans. Now I just need to get the blocks quilted and decide on a border or two to finish the top…. Any ideas for borders?

Technicolor Weave

Just finished another quilt top that I have named technicolor weave. This 72 inch square top used 140 different fabrics. Thank goodness for charm packs and border prints. I had a great time putting it together.


Technicolor weave


Another UFO has made it back onto the sewing table. I started this paper pieced snowflake quilt about five years ago, after a few units I decided to move on to another project, or two, three or more… About a week ago I took it out and set a goal to finish it by mid-spring.

snowflake quilt unitsI am close to the halfway point on the units….we will see if I keep up the momentum or find another project to turn my attentions towards….

Lilies on the Pond – Update 1

This weekend with the help of Amanda I finished folding the butterflies that that will float on the borders of the Lilies of the Pond quilt.

fabric folded butterflies

Some of the border butterflies for the “Lilies on the Pond” quilt

Now I just need to finish the border and background beading work before these little accessories an be added.

Lilies on the Pond

I love lily pads, the flowers they produce and the insects that they attract. So much so, that last year I started designing a quilt that reflected my love of pond and toad lilies. This summer I finished the folded blocks and piecing, and about a week ago the machine quilting was done. I used a dense but simple quilting pattern on the top so that the flowers and origami butterflies would stand out on the piece.

lily pond quilt

The picture shows the machine quilting. I am in the process of sewing down the flower petals, once this is done the butterflies and beaded embellishments will be added.


Procrastination Can Be Productive


At our October quilt guild meeting the theme for the Christmas gift exchange was announced. This year we are to make cookie and tea quilts (mug rugs) for exchange at the December pot luck dinner. I groaned a bit under my breath at the meeting, but then an idea came to me. With all of the other items that I am creating for the holiday season I couldn’t see where I was going to find the time to work on project. Then preparing the yard, and the vegetable and flower beds for the winter came up on the to-do list. Yesterday we spent the entire day out in the yard pulling/cutting plants, fertilizing and caging young items to keep the deer and wild turkeys on their best behavior.  We were going to do more yard work today, but my friend procrastination came for a visit and the yard will now wait until next weekend and my sewing machine spent the day working. I am happy to say that I finished the little cookie and tea quilt and will shortly be moving on to a quilting project that has been on my large machine for the past two months.


So I guess the moral of this story is that procrastination can make you productive in unplanned ways…

Quilting Time Again

I missed working at my sewing machine so much, that I put aside my to-do list and pulled out one of my quilt projects. It feels so good to working with fabric again. This four heart wall hanging is one of the Christmas gift that I have on my cut table.

All marked and ready for quilting...

All marked and ready for quilting…

Driftwood Garden

Driftwood buttons were used in the flowers and stone beads and bone buttons were used in the quilt header

Driftwood buttons were used in the flowers and stone & wooden beads and bone buttons were used in the quilt header


button garden

I just finished a hand pieced and quilted wall hanging based on Grandmothers Garden done with paper piecing. The technique that I employed folded the batting into the origami folded units, which allowed me to quilt as I went.

button -grandmothers garden

Driftwood buttons were placed in the center of each unit to add some additional dimension.

button garden closeup

This project was great to work on during car trips waiting for appointments.

Fathers and Daughters


FandD quilt

Won Judges Choice at the 2013 Vermont Quilt Festival

The design for this quilt was inspired by the complex relationships between fathers and their daughters. I started working on this project in February 2012  when I received word of my father’s brain cancer. The complexity of the piece helped  me to deal with news and to work through my feelings about our relationship. Many of the colors represented in the piece were among his favorites — especially the reds and greens. Unfortunately, I was not able to finish it before his passing, but the work on the project provided me with an opportunity to “sew in” a lot of the things that we talked about during hospital visits and design considerations gave much to ponder on the frequent long drives from New Hampshire to the hospital in New Jersey.

All of the block were created by folding fabric and layering the folded pieces on top of each other to create a 3D design and then set into the quilt on the point. The wall hanging was machine pieced and quilted by both hand and machine.


 The joining squares were hand quilted and have a bead in the center of each of the units. The sashing strips and top of the wall hanging were quilted by machine.


Over 300 Beads have been hand sewn into the border pleats, and hearts representing many of the conversations that I had with my father were hand quilted around the edges.

New project started…

I started a new quilting project, or should I say pulled one off of the UFO shelf to continue to work on. One of my goals is to make a quilt for each bed in the house. The problem is I have a tendency to choose really complex patterns. The one that I am working on at the moment is more than 3,000 pieces and contains 800 flying geese in the top.

flying geese units

Units for the sashing between blocks

I cut most of the pieces of a year ago and started to work on some of the flying geese units, than got tired of all the little pieces so the project got moved to shelf and others took its place. As I was sorting through and re-arranging my sewing room I ran across the project again and desired to start working on it.

flying geese strips

Strip units for blocks

The blocks assembly are not for those who are afraid of working in the bias, but the effort is well worth the time that it takes to put the units together.

geese block starts

portion of block units

I have managed to finish all of the center and corner blocks.

12 Center and 4 corner blocks

12 Center and 4 corner blocks

And started on the dozen edge blocks.

Start of the 12 edge blocks

Start of the 12 edge blocks

Once the edge blocks are done I need to work on the sashing and all of the y-seams that will be required to attach the sashing and block together…. hopefully I will not get overwhelmed with the assembly and move the project back to the UFO shelf.

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