Friday, January 25, 2013

Flutterby Dreams

Well, what can I say, it's been a while! We might just skip over all the Seasons Greetings stuff (hoping everyone had a good one) as we are way past that now, and just get on with the creativity.

I have been creating, ( those that know me well know that I create something with textiles every day !), I have just been creating things that I couldn't show here for a while. Most of what I am creating at the moment are for the new little people arriving in the family.

This quilt was created for a new little girl that arrived in the family late last year. I knew she was arriving, but it still took me by surprise when I got a phone call to say she was due "next week". That sent me in a spin, what do I do? In the same phone call I was informed of another little person arriving later this year! I might add here that this phone call was the night before I was going on holidays, how could I think? My mind was in a spin. The phone call was from the mother of the baby expected later this year, so at least I could ask her what she wanted. Mmmmm..........anything. What colour? Mmmmm...........whatever you feel. I was after inspiration,  so I had to look elsewhere for that, and I was going on holiday, no time to look through my patterns and books! For the whole trip in the car ( I was passenger) my mind was thinking, I could do this, or that, no, little fingers get caught in the holes, this would be better. What design? My books are at home! Then I remembered about the two creative shops in the little town I was going to. One of these shops is a patchwork shop, selling a great range of fabrics, patterns and general sewing stuff. My kind of store! I would just have to go for a visit to see what inspiration I could pick up there.So visit I did, and came out with a bag full of fabric that said "baby". Then it was onto the other store for more inspiration, but there will be more about that in a later post.

OK, so I had fabric, now to a design. I would worry about that when I got home (or so I thought),. I had other stitching with me to do.

While we were away the message came about L____'s arrival. A little girl! Mmmmm....... I had lots of pink fabric............... and white................ mmmmmm...........enough for a quilt? There were lots of other colours in the bag too but this was a little girl, she needed pink and white. So the paper came out,  the designing started, then the calculations. Mmmmm.......... I would just have to go back to that lovely shop to buy more pink fabric!

The quilt needed to be done as fast as possible, after all, L_______ was already here. So just quick squares were the answer, but it was looking to plain, how to jazz it up to give it some oomph! Some machine embroidery! Butterflies for a little girl! That would be good.......and quick! Well relatively, considering Christmas was around the corner. But it would all have to wait till I got home.

Upon arriving home I set out to see what butterfly designs  I already had , after all it is the digitizing process that takes all the time. I found a few, but only one I thought was anywhere near suitable. The shape was nice, but the heavy stitching wasn't, it needed to be light and delicate. So I set about changing it. I took all the heavy stitching away from the wings and inserted a filling stitch, placed at an angle to give more interest. Then I set about changing all the start and end points of each component of the design. If they are in the wrong place, the stitch out will have nasty looking jump stitches that cause problems. As any digitizer will tell you, this may sound simple but in reality takes time, then it all has to be tested to make sure it works.

The butterfly above is what I came up with.

Once the design was tested, I then had to think about how to execute it to fabric. I could cut out all my squares ready for embroidery, but they wouldn't fit in my embroidery hoop, and would need calico stitched on all four sides to make them fit. Mmmmmm........................time consuming. So then I thought about marking the squares onto the fabric, and  positioning the embroidery design in the hoop to fit within each square before the fabric was cut. Much better, less sewing, less time. So all 33 butterflies were stitched onto the fabric before it was cut.

Once the butterflies were done, the cutting and piecing were quick. Then I just had to think about the quilting and that was a no brainer. I had set the design off center to add more interest, and added the quilting lines to reflect it. Just straight line quilting, nothing fancy, pink thread on pink fabric, white thread on white fabric. Quick and easy, followed by the binding.

The quilt is now being cuddled by it's new owner, hopefully for many years to come.