❀️ Day 4: Mirror-Image Hearts

No time to sew? No problem! This Valentine project is a super-fast one… 3 charm squares, some MistyFuse, a 5″ square of batting and a spool of gorgeous thread and you’re off and stitching!

First, bisect one square…a half square triangle to complement the square! Fold the triangle in half…

…and cut a half ❀️…the easiest way to ensure symmetry.

Unfold and carefully position on top of the square:

Layer with batting and backing and quilt by stitching a blanket stitch around the contrasting edges…zigzag around the edges and you’re done!

πŸ’œDay 3: β€œLove Letter”

Hearts a-flutter for your Valentine? Create a love “note” from fabric, in which little hearts appear to float up out of the envelope!

Supplies:

  • 4 fabrics (layer cake cuts are fine)- background, envelope, envelope lining and hearts! Here I used Windham Fabrics’ Bedrock line for vivid color and just enough surface interest. (Lining was a scrap of batik that sung nicely…)
  • Coordinating thread: if you do this color scheme, I love 3 shades of Aurifil 50wt in bright white, purple and a very vivid deep pink (2024, 4020 and 4225)
  • MistyFuse!
  • Heavyweight double-sided fusible such as Peltex- an 9″ x 11″ piece (this will give you a little design leeway, the project will finish at 8″ x 10″)
  • Sharp fabric scissors (for cutting those hearts)
  • Hearts πŸ’•:

    MistyFuse the dark pink fabric, and slice into 1 1/2″ squares. Cut each square in half…begin to cut at bottom…and curve around to create top. You might want to trace a line the first few times, but you’ll quickly find that you can free-cut very easily. One of my favorite shapes!

    Envelope:

    Cut an 8″ square of the white fabric, and press into the shape of an envelope-

    Add a “lining” by fusing a 5″ square to a corner of the wrong side of the white fabric-

    Then apply a piece of MistyFuse to the back of the “envelope” (this will be the right side of the fabric):

    Putting it all together:

    1. Fuse purple fabric to fusible (use your pressing sheet underneath, remember the back of the heavyweight fusible is, umm, fusible too ;))
    2. Fuse the body (not the flap) of your envelope to the background –

    3. Arrange hearts and shape flap so that it curls a bit to one side (use tiny scraps of MistyFuse to anchor the placement of the flap)-

    Time to stitch! I simply followed the lines of the envelope and the hearts, then stitched simple radiating lines in the background.

    Now, press a piece of fabric to the back of the fusible (perhaps a light fabric so you can write a πŸ“:)). Trim and finish by zig-zagging your piece, then add piping with a second line of zigzag to give the valentine a more finished look:

    A note on finishing with piping: after many experiments, I’ve decided I prefer to handle the final corner by crossing the ends at a right angle and stitching through the intersection with a VERY small straight stitch, then trimming.

    Have a great day and see you back here tomorrow for a fun reverse-image technique! πŸ’œ

    πŸ’œ Day Idea 2: Get Organized

    Unless you are incredibly organized, art quilt supplies have a way of, umm, mingling πŸ˜‚. So, before your Valentine-making session (some of my friends have parties to do just this- why leave all of the fun to the kids?)…corral everything in ❀️ colors in one spot.

    Aurifil thread boxes are a great start…I’ve pulled red, pink, white and purple in different weights and fibers. Fabric: find blenders that will play nicely with novelty ❀️-themed fabrics. Cording to finish small art quilts is a must. Any Angelina in the right shade? (Mine has migrated to the bottom of one of my art supply drawers, which is the studio equivalent of going into the witness protection program…)

    Did you discover any new elements in Houston? Those little spools of purple and red are actually tubular metallic ribbon…my discovery this last year.

    As you do this, you’ll likely keep thinking of other bits to keep handy…I just remembered a handful of red silk threads from a silk dupioni project! And, make sure you have enough of the essentials such as MistyFuse on hand!

    See you tomorrow…πŸ’ž

    πŸ’œ Day Idea #1: Heart-Shaped Bowl

    Bowls are one of my favorite non-quilt projects! One year I decided to try a heart-shaped bowl for my Sweetie in a high-impact red/black combination.

    Supplies:

    -black poly cord from your local home improvement store

    -heavy (12wt) Aurifil thread in red

    -100 Topstitch needles from Superior Threads

    Step 1– (by far the most challenging!) form a heart by coiling the rope in a circle for one side, then fold to form bottom point, then sort-of-coil the other round side of heart. Whew. Easier to look at picture than to explain!

    Step 2– as with round bowls, simply stitch long end of cord into ever-larger outlines of the heart. When you are satisfied with size of bowl bottom, tip to the side and continue stitching to form sides of bowl. Finish at bottom (point)…backstitch to reinforce…and cut cord.

    Step 3– if you have a glue gun, use the tiny heating point and GENTLY stroke the raw edge until it is melted into a smooth finish. (Note: Don’t ever try to stitch through the melted end! Ask me how I know πŸ™„…)

    And…you’re done! Fill with treats for your Sweetie 😁.

    Connect!

    Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to learn that I test on the “extrovert” side of the spectrum πŸ˜‰. In fact, in a recent test at work, one of my strongest characteristics that came through was “connector.”

    How does this relate to our fiber world? For me, it means that I simply cannot help but reach out when I love someone’s books, magazine, quilt, wearable art. I’ve never been shy about making the first call/email/invite… and some magical friendships have resulted ✨!

    As creatives, we all share a strong common bond that can be the basis for all sorts of cool projects. The example on my mind today is a wearable fiber artist I met a few years ago in the Grand Central holiday market- Danielle Gori-Montanelli. If you need a dose of incredible color, check out her website: http://www.studiodgm.com/

    When I saw Danielle on Facebook, of course I had to connect. And when she posted this photo of her killer-cute feline Cargo on her page:

    I HAD to ask her if I could use this photo in my work ;). Danielle graciously agreed and I adapted Cargo for my just-completed pattern project:

    A perfect grey cat set off by Pantone’s color of the year 😁. (I must admit that coral is growing on me….)

    So…the next time you think, gee, I’d love to be able to chat with that amazing artist- just take the first step and connect. You never know what might happen next!

    Family Photo Album πŸΎπŸΎπŸ˜‰

    When presented with an incredible rainbow of fabrics and asked to design some kit patterns…well, I simply could not help myself. Like the character in “The Sixth Sense” who sees ghosts, I apparently see felines everywhere! (Much better company, I might add..)

    My goal was to create relatively simple designs, avoiding my customary (obsessive?) thread painting and use of fabric ink. If someone is going to create a pet portrait for the first time, they might not have a drawerful of bottles and pens. So, these are all created with fabric (Windham’s fabulous “Bedrock”), MistyFuse (of course) and Aurifil thread (ditto of course ;)).

    First up: our silver and black beauty…referring to a photo as I always do, this:

    …became this:

    Thread choices: a light and a darker red…medium and light grey (the stitching on the white portions uses that very light grey, much more interesting than white)…two shades of green for the eyes…and true white for eye highlights and whiskers. Create texture in the background and “pillows” with different stitch fill patterns.

    Next up, Jackson (of course ;))! My first photo of him, when he wandered into our backyard, is one of my favorites.

    I like to interpret this one in a more stylized version. It goes very quickly if you free-cut the leaves (2 of which of course become the eyes)…and cutting thin on-the-bias strips gives you the “vines.”

    Streamlined thread choices here! Black (50wt for cat, 12wt for his whiskers), green and a glorious light purple (2520) for the background.

    Third, the new star of our family 🧑. Having only about a gazillion photos of Loki already, I chose this one:

    Note how well he complements that quilt made from Janine’s first Uppercase collection! As my aim was simple, I opted for a marvelous blue as the background and an easy-to-construct prop (a knitting project):

    To avoid the need for lots of thread, I endeavored to add kitten fur by making his jawline fluffy (in contrast to the smooth profiles of his siblings). This piece is admittedly more complex and so used more shades of Aurifil!

    I hope that quilters will have as much fun making these kitties as I did! 🐾🐾

    Create an Icicle for Your πŸŽ„

    A fast fun idea for your tree, or perhaps for an ornament exchange with friends!

    Supplies:

    -a long narrow piece of moldable fusible

    -metallic fabric such as lame (or, ooh, Cheryl Sleboda’s Power Shine)

    -silver metallic thread

    -optional but fun: heavyweight sparkly thread such as Superior’s Razzle Dazzle in silver or iridescent silver (wind in a bobbin SLOWLY)

    -recommended if you use the heavier thread: an extra bobbin case for your machine, whose tension is permanently set a bit looser for ribbon, thick thread, or any other kind of bobbin thread

    Ok, fuse your silver fabric to both sides of your moldable fusible. Let cool, then trim into a very long narrow triangle as seen above.

    Begin at one of the corners and leave a long tail of threads. Zigzag stitch all sides (if using the bobbin thread, use silver metallic thread on top)…cut, again leaving a long tail. Tie these together near the end and you will have a hanging loop!

    Press until very warm, then quickly wind on a slant around a dowel rod or very thick pencil, and hold until it cools (it will only take 10-15 seconds). If you are not pleased with the first shape, press flat then re-shape.

    Merry merry! πŸŽ„