Thursday, November 29, 2018

Wait For Me Girls

Wait For Me Girls Completed

I just finished the "Wait for me" girls motif from the Manual of Fancywork, by New York publisher A.L. Burt.  Only 7 more to go.  The completed needlework is prepped and ready for English Paper Piecing and will start once all the designs are done.

In the upper corner is the pattern used - sized to the block shape, then transferred to the 'back side' of the fabric using a pencil and light box.  I have chosen to use the 'back side' of the fabrics in most cases since it looks more worn, and has a less jarring effect (ie more muted effect) if there is a printed design on the front of the fabric.  You can see what I mean in the Front and Back photos of the motif.

You can see the original 1885-1886 piece and design sources at

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Are You Crazy? Don't Splash

Are You Crazy?  Don't Splash

I am currently working on my submission to the 2018-2019 QCNYS Quilt Challenge:  Still Crazy After All These Years.  It is based on an 1885-1886 splasher I found and purchased earlier this year.  As I am stitching the motifs, I am researching the design sources.  It has (and still is) a great project to work on.  You can see the original piece and the information I have found at

The plan is to English Paper Piecing the motifs together and then embellish the seams with various crazy quilt stitch designs.  12 weight Sulky cotton thread (red and blue) and 12 weight crochet cotton (black) is being used for the embroidery.

More information regarding the challenge can be found at

Home for the Holidays at the Roberson, Binghamton, NY

2018 Home for the Holidays at the Roberson, Binghamton, NY

New this year a trio silk owls.  In the past 9-10 years, I have been making ornaments to decorate the Stepping Stones Quilt Guild tree for the Roberson's annual Home for the Holidays event, November 14, 2018 to January 7, 2019.  (more information can be found at: )

There are quilt batting snowmen, yo-yo angels, folded fabric stars, yo-yo trees, gingerbread men, a pennant flag garland and many more.

Also new this year is a tree decorated by the fiber arts group Lamb-to-Loom.  There are some wonderful needle felted ornaments, tablet woven garlands, and so much more. 

If you are in the area, stop by and see some wonderful hand-made decorations by local needlework and fiber enthusiasts.

Completed Love Birds

Love Birds - Embroidered Applique
Well here it is - the final piece.  It was gifted to the bride an groom at their wedding.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Embroidered Applique – Love Birds

Embroidered Applique - Love Birds
I have been asked by several people to teach my method of Embroidered Applique Art, but as I work 2 jobs already – one FT, the other PT, there is just not enough of me to go around.  I am currently working on my larger pieces as a wedding gift for my niece.  I usually just free-form cut my applique figures from fabric scraps, but I wanted this to be more defined.  I had the idea of what I wanted to use as the design starting point – more on that later -  but I wanted to ensure the design would fit a standard frame and mat size.  This really cuts down on the expense and frustration when completing a piece.  I settled on a gray frame with a charcoal mat, so I did the background ‘blank’ in grays and silvers.

Step 1:  Cut a piece of craft felt 1-2 inches larger on each side that the finished size.

Step 2:  Arrange scraps of fabric  on the felt  in any desired fashion, making sure none of the felt backing shows through – I overlap a quarter to half inch on the pieces.

Step 3:  You can either pin in place or use a glue stick to hold the fabric in place.  I should mention, this is a raw edge technique, without any fuse medium to hold the fabric  down,  You could use a fuse or spray basting, but  I makes the hand embroidery harder to do.

Step 4:  Randomly stitch the fabric in place using several colors of coordinating thread.  In this case, I used 2 shades of gray, an off-white, and some silver metallic.  For a piece this size, 12 x 16, I used about 4 bobbins – 1 per color to stitch the base.

Step 5:  Determine the boundaries of your design by setting your mat over the base and pin-mark the size.  This is important.  For example, an 8x10 mat, for a 5x7 photo will have an opening  this is only 4.5 x 6.5!  So that is your design area and plan accordingly.  Live in learn from my mistakes!

Step 6:  Start auditioning colors for your project and cut out the shapes.

Step 7:  Pin in place, keeping in mind the mat size opening.

Step 8:  Pick out your floss colors and start stitching!

Design Inspiration for the Love Birds
My first thought was to make the project using  the bird design from an 1860-ish Red & Green Appliqué Quilt having Pomegranate Plants, with a Bird Border.  The original quilt was made by the family of Pat Birchall, of Endicott, NY.  She inherited it from her mother-in-law.  The quilt was part of the New York Quilt Project 1988-89, an effort organized by the American Folk Art Museum in which more than six thousand quilts made before 1940 were documented. Forty-five “quilt days” were held throughout the state over a twenty-one month period.  This quilt was documented on 9/21/1989, with the notation OWE-84.  Pat lent the quilt for a vintage quilts exhibit I curated for the 23rd annual Binghamton Sertoma Million Dollar Antique Show held in 2005 at the Binghamton University Event Center.

In doing some design source research for a small 1885-86 redwork crazy patchwork piece in my collection, I came across a Tidy in Crochet in Peterson’s September 1876 Magazine .   The design concept is more what I had in mind as the wedding gift. 

I ended up using the bird from Pat’s quilt and the arrangement from the tidy.  My floss is picked out, and I am ready to start stitching!

Their names and wedding date will be embroidered on the branch the birds will be resting on.  I am also making one for myself to celebrate my marriage, back in 1995, to my husband Kris.  The finished pieces will be posted once  they are complete.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Artfully Squared - Orange Crested Blue Bird

ARTfully Squared - Orange Crested Blue Bird
Here is my submission to the 2018 Artfully Squared collaborative art exhibition supporting the Tioga County Council of Arts in Owego, NY.  The opening is First Friday, April 6, 2018 - come see all the art, and for $20 this or others could be yours!  
Originally posted 3/31/18, then on April 1st - known as Aprils Fool's Day - is when I noticed an error in my ways...I put a single letter in each of the tiled squares (ie spell check would not catch any spelling errors)...Squared is not spelled correctly!  Oh well, such is life - it happens when you are under a time limit!  Cheers anyway, Louise

Friday, October 13, 2017

Wool Fiber Dying, Visitors and Drying

Wool Fiber Dying with the Southern Tier Lamb to Loom Fiber Arts Guild
This past summer my fiber arts guild met at one of the member's farm to do some fiber dying.  I am not a spinner, but I like to do needle felting.  I wanted lots of colors - but didn't need vast quantities of any one color.  I chose to do a rainbow in some of my mom's old canning jars.  While watching my pot simmer (not boil), I thought I was alone in the barn, much to my surprise I heard noises from behind and saw that I had a visitor!  A couple of furry ladies also peeked in to see what I was up to.  After waiting 24 hours and some gentle rinsing, I hung out my roving to dry on my front trees.