Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reclaiming a Piece of Christmas Cross Stitch

I don't know about you, but every year as I put out my Christmas decorations and then put them away again, there are always items that need attention.  Some are an easy fix of glue or new hangers..... others require some more thought and effort.  Such is the case here...... 

 I stitched this piece probably 25 years ago and framed it with a piece of plain cardboard and no batting....big mistake.  Don't do this as the acid from the cardboard migrates to the fabric and discolors it.  So this piece has been lanquishing about in one of my storage tubs....not quite knowing what to do about it.

So Plan A.....I know I will tea dye it.....that should cover up the damage......

Steeping, steeping.....I used several tablespoons to hold it below the water and dye it evenly.

I rinsed it and laid it out to dry and wha-la.....the spots are NOT covered and the background is darker.

Plan B.....I will cross stitch snow flake and star shapes randomly over the discolored spots....
then that wasn't quite then the beading stash exploded all over my work table.

Plan C included the crystal antique looking beads and here is the final outcome.
Project reclaimed and all ready to display for next year.  YEA!!!
BTW,  like the crochet background?  A tablecloth that my Great-grandma Weaver is stunning. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Valentine Button Heart

It is snowing here in the frozen tundra of Ioway today!!!  Been snowing ALL a great day to work on a little valentine project.

Since this little sweet heart is going on my Valentine tree, I like to finish it on both sides.  So to come up with my heart shape I used a vintage Valentine fabric and cut it out 1/4" larger than the design.  But you could use any fun heart print that you had or liked.

To make it symmetrical, I cut half of it and then folded it in half and cut the other side.

Place your print fabric on a white piece of wool or felt, right sides together and stitch around the outside edge with an 1/8" seam leaving no opening.

Cut out the wool using your print fabric as you guide.  Clip carefully at the top "V" of the heart, not cutting through the seam allowance.  You don't need to trim the seam, since it is narrow.

Pull the fabrics apart and cut a small slit in the center of the wool fabric, being careful not to cut through to the other side.

Turn right side out through the slit opening and stuff tightly to make a nice heart shape.

Using a single strand of pearl cotton or  a couple strands of embroidery floss, feather stitch around the outside seam.

Then hand stitch the opening close leaving the wool nice and flat.....tack a loop of ribbon to this side as shown.

Then using red pearl cotton cover the wool side with buttons...filling is as necessary.

I added a ribbon rose to the top on the other side.  A fun two sided valentine for a special valentine.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentine Pillowcases

An easy bedroom change-up is new pillowcases.  I like to do seasonal ones, but you can do a more decorative look just to update your room, or your kids rooms in about an hour.  It takes one yard for each pillow case.

When using one fabric fold 4 1/2" inches across the width of the fabric at one end.  Then open out the fold you just pressed out and fold again along the fabric's folded edge, only right sides together.  Then stitch across the opposite end from the creased fold and along the side.

Then on the remaining open end with the fold line......fold the fabric along the creased fold line to make the pillowcase hem.  Stitch the hem, sewing close to the hem edge.  Turn the pillowcase right side out and press.

Check out the link below for my complete tutorial on making pillowcases with a lot more details and photos. It tells how to add a contrasting band to your pillowcase.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Civil War Commemoration Quilt

I belong to several quilt lists and one of them is a group that enjoys Kathleen Tracy and her small doll quilt designs.
But from that also comes other websites, projects, etc. that come around and peek our interest......such was the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge by Temecula Quilt Co.  If you scroll down you will see the whole project.  There is also a kit available.  

I told myself, I was not going to get sucked into a new project......pathetically weak....what can I say.  But I saw the premise of it.....which was Day 1....1 piece, Day 2.....2 pieces, Day 3.....3 pieces etc.  Kinda clever and simple enough, then it dawned on me, I had some great civil war commemorative fabric with images.  I had bought yardage of several of these.....I would love to make my hubby a special piece at some point.  But this piece was so small, I thought I could raid some of it without ruining my chance to do a bigger piece for him later.  At least I hope so.
Can you imagine going off to war with your husband and children?  There was more of that than you might imagine.

I had been asked a while back about a quilt I had done with vintage blocks in the style of a soldier's cot quilt.  If it could be used at the upcoming Civil War Quilt Exhibit at the Grout Museum.  So as I am looking at these blocks and fabrics.....I am thinking my friend, Robin might want this piece too.  And the directions would be available for anyone to make using their blog at Temecula Quilt Co......which would be kinda cool.

I look at this young sailor and see my grandson, who is 15, many of them went off to war at this age and younger, so heart wrenching.

So last week, when I had 11 of the blocks done, I took my other quilt to her and showed her the blocks and she loved them and wanted this piece for the exhibit that meant I had to get it finished this week. fingers are sore and not much extra happened around here.

A famous picture of Abraham Lincoln at Antietam.  We spent a day walking this battlefield where unbelievably, thousands of men lost their lives for this struggle and what they believed in.

You can see all the different patches I fussy cut.....that really make the piece. IMHO  I also hand quilted this piece, which I haven't done in quite awhile, but felt I needed to finish it in this way.

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.
Little Round Top at Gettysburg, which is a gripping story that features one of my favorite characters from that day, Joshua Chamberlain.  The Silver Fox and I spent a fair amount of time on this rocky hill in August 2011.

If you are not familiar with the story of Little Round Top and Joshua Chamberlain, it would be worth a read!!!

You can go and count all the pieces in each block to find each one.....No. 1-12.
The blocks are finished at 3", so they are quite small.

My plan was to use a contrasting fabric as cornerstones between all the sashing strips.  I am going to place my pins from all the civil war sites we have visited in those cornerstones.  And when I laid them out, several of them covered that area, so I decided not to bother with that.  Then as per my usual, I forgot to put the pins on it as the final step and I already took the quilt to the museum, so will have to remedy that the next time I go to town.

Here is the information regarding this exhibit at the Grout Museum in Waterloo, Iowa.  FYI  If your spouse has an interest in the military.  The Iowan Veterans Museum is also a part of it and I would highly recommend a "come, look, see."   It is a beautiful and quality museum and worth your time if you are in this area.