UFOs and Dorset Buttons

Three ufos have come back from the longarm quilter.

This quilt was made a few years back in a class at the Vermont Quilt Festival. It had been hanging in my closet waiting for me to quilt it. That wasn’t to be and I sent it to my longarm quilter who did a marvelous job with the quilting. I usually name my quilts but this one has not been named.

I didn’t make this quilt. The blocks were inherited from a friend who was a wonderful quilter.

The Shadow Quilt was made at the first and only quilt retreat that I ever attended. I had bought a layer cake of Easy Spirit fabric at Mardens. The layer cakes were cut in half and the sashing was cut before I attended the retreat. I could just sew. The top was finished there and was waiting for the long arm quilting.

I still have a lot of small tops waiting to be quilted. Maybe, I should go through them and send some out to be quilted.

In the meantime, I have been hand quilting the Amish Thistle. It is almost finished. One of the Dear Jane border blocks is pieced. It seems as if I never finish much in the sewing room. There are just a lot of starts.

I’ve been asked to design another Mystery Quilt for the Guild. I’ve finally decided what the pattern should be and have been making the quilt to see if I could divide it into pieces. The quilt will have 25 blocks. Twelve of the blocks are the same. The remaining 13 can be divided up into months. It is a simple 16 patch block which consists of squares and half square triangles. It’s very easy to make. All my sample blocks are made. I’ll put them together this weekend to see if I really like the quilt. Then comes the hard work of making the instructions. More on this later.

I saw a show on TV where Dorset buttons were made. They looked interesting. I sent away for an instruction book. The book came from England by Royal Post in four days. That was impressive. The procedure looked easy. The book said that one could be made in 1/2 hour. After a whole day, my first one was made and it was awful. I was very low on the learning curve. Four buttons later, I made one that was passible. Not good, but passible.

The next few were better. I’m finally understanding how to make them. Still on the learning curve.

Variegated thread makes a pretty button.

I made a bouquet of flowers.

A spiral button.

A rainbow button.

Making Dorset buttons is becoming fun. I haven’t made the half hour, but they can be finished in an evening. It’s instant gratification. I have a file in the computer with pictures of buttons that I might like to make in the future. There are angels, Christmas trees. flowered wreaths, lace edges, beads, and many different beautiful ways of making a button. I have so much to learn. Now, I have to figure out a way of displaying the buttons. I may even add the first few to show how far I’ve come.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

More Art Class Fun

Years ago, I could hardly wait to retire so that I could join the machine embroidery class. I had seen the projects that my friends had made. It looked exciting. On the first day, I was given a silk screen piece of fabric that had leaves. I was horrified that I had to take the presser foot off the machine, drop the feed dogs, and sew with a bare needle. Fortunately, I had a great, patient teacher. I was able to sew without sewing my fingers. The others were ahead of me with this project and their embroidery was wonderful. It was my first experience with metal thread. I sewed with gold, copper, and silver. When I finished the piece, I had it framed.

The piece is behind glass so the flash reflects.

Another project was the little girl. She is in a shadow box in my bathroom. A fabric picture of the little girl was free motion stitched over the print. She has 3D clothes. She even has a “diamond” earing.

Another project was “The Tapestry”. I call the technique back door quilting. Each block was completed before it was put together. We used different techniques in each block. After all the blocks were finished, we laid them out several different ways until we liked what we saw. Then the blocks were sewn together and a backing put on the whole piece.

This block was made with an embroidery in the hoop. The background was quilted in loops.
Another hooped embroidery with scribbles in the background.
A lace overlay. Beading. Jewelry was added in different places.
I had some antique buttons that fit over the circled fabric. They were paired with antique lace..

Neckties were added, along with lace and beads.

A piece of flowered fabric was added and embellished. Pink beads are in the center of the pink flowers.
3D objects were added to a hooped embroidery.
Another antique button in middle of lace doily.
In the hoop embroidery with stippling.
Free motion self standing embroideries attached to fabric.

We had so much fun making this Tapestry. Each one was different, but they all had the same look. Looking at it again, makes me think about making another one with scraps. In the meantime, UFOs are calling.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Art Class Fun

I went to an art show last week. The artist is a dear friend that I have known for years. She does awesome watercolors and fabric art. Several of us went to her house twice a month for years for machine embroidery lessons. The best benefit of going to learn new techniques was not learning the techniques, but having the friendship of the women in the group. We were a family. As in all families, as time went by, some moved away, some became sick and passed away, and some had to stay at home because of other commitments. Soon, there were just two of us and the group disbanded. This was a wonderful part of my life.

Several of the items that were shown at the art show were things that we had made in class. It’s amazing how many things I still have around the house to remind me of those days.

We made a lot of different pillows. I only have a few left. Most were given away as gifts.

Annie Louise’s pocketbook. It is 1 1/2″ X 3″.

A four sided under water scene bag. Each side was different. I’m only showing two sides.

We made many pocketbooks. This is a two sided pocketbook.

We made small dolls. The faces were free motion embroidered. The arms were make of wire that was wrapped around a pencil. Then we added scraps of cloth, beads, yarn and other things to give them life. We never knew if they were male or female until we started dressing them.

This is the only one with a name, She is Ruth Ann. One of my students, whose name was Ruth Ann, had a wonderful piece of aqua and purple fabric. She gave me a piece to dress this happy doll.

We sewed on paper, plastic, lace, ribbons, and everything we could find. Nothing was out of range for us. These flowers were made from crepe paper.

A few other things.

A gray sweatshirt was cut apart and embellished.


A pocketbook was made to go with the sweatshirt jacket.

There was so much more that we learned. We made books, pictures, clothes, wall hangings, and many other things. Most of all, we made memories.

Have a great day and happy quilting.