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February 2022

Valentine Stitchery

I am so so excited to post about this project.  I actually finished it last year, but I didn't have it framed until March, and I didn't end up posting about because Valentine's Day had already passed.  This piece was from a class at a wonderful little wool shop in New Hampshire, called Badger Brook Farm.   What was nice about the class was that you could just gather the materials that you wanted to use, and then you just worked the piece however you wanted.  I am trying to get out of that approach where I just copy exactly what the designer did, and have that be my project.  I often like what the designer created, because that's what drew me to the project, so I have trouble to deviate from that.  So this was a good challenge for me!  

I started by attaching a piece of wool batting that was very thin to the back.  The piece of wool helped to stabilize the antique napkin.  I think that the fabric was a napkin, but it is hard to tell, but the fabric is thicker than a handkerchief.  Also, I did put a piece of fabric in the bottom left corner because of the eyelets on the fabric, so I did want there to be a background fabric behind it in case it could be seen.  I did use pieces of the fabric on the piece also to pull it all together.  

Basically, the remainder of the project was using different types of fibers and also little bits that I could use to embellish and decorate.  I tried to stay in the color scheme of pinks, mauves, and different shades of white/tan.  I am so pleased with how it turned out, and am especially happy with the framing.  I had it framed at a local frame shop.  I would love to maybe try to complete a similar project like this, but maybe using a different color scheme. 

Valentine_embroidery_2 Valentine_embroidery_3









Valentine_embroidery_4 Valentine_embroidery_5

A quilt story

In seventh grade we had to pick a topic in American history that we would have to write a research paper about.  There was a long list of possible topics to choose from, and there could be no duplicates.  I immediately picked the topic of quilting, and was on edge as other students were picking there topics as to whether someone else would also want to do the same topic.  This began my love affair with quilts.  I had always enjoyed embroidery at this point, and also did quite a bit of stamped cross-stitch and plastic canvas projects.  But with quilting, I just loved the fabric and the colors, and when you looked at a quilt, you could become lost in it.  I knew that I wanted to make one, and I wanted to desperately.  I eventually was able to buy some pre-cut squares at Ben Franklin Crafts (The store eventually became Michael's.) to start sewing together by hand.  It was the nineties, and the squares were all different colored calicos.  Sewing them was addicting, and I had no idea what I was doing!  I eventually finished a quilt top with uneven seams, poor color distribution, and a really odd rectangular shape. :)  I was so proud that I had finished it, but had no idea what to do after that.  I'm not sure what happened to that quilt top.  I think it was put away somewhere in an attic or something, and never appeared again.  I've often thought about those squares and all the time I spent on it, and all the daydreaming I did as I sewed along.   

I was at a long-arm quilting business today to quilt a top.  They had a donation area where a woman's stash had been donated.  For a monetary donation that went to a charity, you could "shop the stash".  My eyes went immediately to a bag of random pre-cut squares.  When I looked closer, they were like the nineties calicos I had before.  When I saw them, my mind immediately went back to that first quilt, and I knew that I would like to purchase them.  On my drive home with the quilt squares, I thought that I'd like to reproduce that same project.  A lot has happened in the last couple of months that has been just really hard- particularly my childhood home being sold and my parents moving across the country.  The squares reminded me of the house that I lived in well into adulthood, and also of our summer house on Cape Cod.  I think that it will be therapeutic to hand stitch this calico quilt again.  I am excited to see where this project takes me- I don't think that I will hand quilt it, but you never know!  I'm going to work on it as part of a morning routine where I sew a few squares a day.  I want to set up the project so that it is easily accessible and so that I can just pick it up and begin.  I'm excited to start!  I counted, and have 300 pre-cut squares.  The quilt will be 20 rows of 15 squares.  I'll keep posting progress updates as I go along.