Thursday, October 9, 2014

Small Things

I want to keep a record of some of my quilting and embroidery pieces. Here's the first one I've chosen, Small Things.

  • Wall hanging
  • 17x17
  • Completed 2013
  • Hand embroidery in center; double circles in center attached by hand
  • Machine pieced and quilted
  • Many fabric pieces come from a mystery box donated to the Greenville Quilt Guild after the previous owner passed away. There's also some Moda (not sure of the designer) and Denyse Schmidt for JoAnn Fabrics. The background fabric used to be a body pillowcase.
  • Currently this lives with me, hanging above my sewing table.

  • Practice embroidery and using tissue paper to transfer patterns onto dark fabric
  • Practice sewing curves
  • Make a Dresden Plate block, a traditional block inspired by the colorful Dresden porcelain plates produced during the 19th century when Dresden, Germany was a center of the romanticism art movement. The origins of the block are in the late 1800s, and it was also very popular during the 1920s and 30s.
  • Use patterned fabric with rich, vibrant colors that don't match but also don't clash
  • Make something pretty!
All goals were met, at least in my opinion!


I used the (free) embroidery pattern from Amy Sinibaldi [Nana Company], and the (free) tutorial from Elizabeth Hartman [Oh Fransson] posted on Sew Mama Sew (free is a theme with me). Color inspiration came from the deep, complex, and vibrant esthetic of Holly DeGroot [Bijoux Lovely]. I followed Amy's pattern pretty much exactly, but used satin stitch to fill in the leaves.

Oh Fransson via Sew Mama Sew

Nana Company

Bijoux Lovely

In Progress...

The quote is from Mother Theresa.

The fabric pull was pretty easy and came together rapidly. I cut two of each fabric and placed them on opposite sides of the circle; and also tried to space out similar colored fabrics. For example, the two grey fabrics are spaced at 12 and 6 o'clock (dark grey) and 3 and 9 o'clock (light gray). Many of the fabrics were fussy-cut to feature particular images (the little bee!) or to frame the image within the spoke. I chose the background fabric several weeks after the rest of the fabric - it's not a neutral, which I love.
 Things I Learned
  •  Always read the directions carefully. Twice. Maybe three times. 
  • When you cut something too small, you can always slap on a white circle to cover the gap between the grey circle and the plate, and pretend that you planned it that way from the beginning.
  • When embroidering in public, people may ask what you are "knitting". Close?

And the Final Product...

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