Dragonfly Applique

I posted the dragonfly applique embroidery earlier in the week. In the meantime, I spent more time working on the dragonfly and digitized a satin stitch version that I think you’ll like. There was little response to the one with the applique stitch. It definitely does not give the dragonfly the definition that the one with the satin stitch does. The offer still stands – follow me on networked blogs and join the Quilters of the Caribbean, and I’ll send you the file. One caveat – following the Quilters of the Caribbean will sign you up for email from HandiQuilter, Golden Threads, and Accuquilt. If you don’t want the email, you can certainly unsubscribe after you get the first email from them.

 
 

Embroidery for Accuquilt Dragonfly Die and Giveaway

Join the Quilters of the Caribbean giveaway for the possibility of $1100 in prizes. This is sponsored by Accuquilt, Golden Threads, and Handiquilter. And if you join that giveaway and subscribe to my blog through Networked Blogs on Facebook, I’ll email you the embroidery file for the dragonfly embroidery. Networked blogs on FB is a nice way to read blogs, as a short blurb shows up in your newsfeed with a link to the blog. It seems FB is getting to be the Village Square  and it is very neat and efficient.

Dragonfly Applique

Now, for the dragonfly – here are some photos showing step by step how I did the applique. The dragonfly has a nice honeycomb body. I like embroidery where there are minimal thread changes. Thus, this is a great opportunity to use thread and fabric to create the contrast without changing the thread on the machine.

I tweaked the yellow and green dragonfly just a bit and the result is the dragonfly at the end. But I loved the colors so much more on the yellow and green one that I just had to show you.

And I’d love to know what you think – whether you prefer the blanket stitch applique or whether you prefer the satin stitch applique. Do you like a wide satin stitch or a narrow one? These are the little questions that I always have when I’m working on a design, so I’d like to hear from you.

Dragonfly on Die

 

Dieline Stitched for Placement of Applique

 

Pressing applique onto dieline

 

Completed Dragonfly
 
 

Borders for Tilted Quilt Blocks Cut With the Strip Die

Have you used the Serendipity tool in Electric Quilt 7? It’s a lot of fun. I tried the tilted quilt block tool. With the serendipity tool, the corner of the block comes all the way to the edge of the tilt. I wanted the tilt to have some width at both ends of the triangle, so I used the tool twice and it worked perfectly.

I had gotten inspiration from a table runner that I saw on Facebook. I realized that the tilted blocks would be perfect for the screen printed animals that I have had for almost a year now. Haven’t I always said each quilt comes into being in its own time? Recently, I have really liked quilts with soft or bright colors and white sashing and white backgrounds – it just looks so clean and neat and happy. So here’s the project I worked on last week (besides quilting a couple of quilts).

The blocks are screen prints from Jody Cedzidlo at Flytrap Studios. She makes great t-shirts with her art and was generous to print fabric for me.

Tilted Blocks with Screen Print Animals

 

Tilted Block

 

Cutting Instructions for Block Borders
 
 

Pressing seams open or to the side

Interesting topic, one that many have commented on in the blogosphere recently, and I definitely have an opinion–based on my own experience. A recent post by another blogger promoting quilting seams pressed open inspired this little discourse. I have tried both ways and definitely do not like pressing seams open for any of my quilting work.

The primary reason that I don’t like pressing seams open is that it makes the seam intersections much harder to match. And if there’s one thing that really matters to me, it is having points with real points and seam intersections that intersect perfectly. When seams are pressed to the side and pressed in the correct direction, every seam alternates and there is no more bulk in the seam intersection than if the seam were pressed open. In addition, pressing to the side allows seam intersections that can be twirled and that twirl assures the reduced bulk as well as perfect intersections. My quilt tops are as pretty on the wrong side as on the front and that is because of the attention I give to pressing and twirling seam intersections. The nice thing about the wrong side is that there are so many tiny little pinwheels in the seam intersections.

Another reason for pressing seams to the side is that seams pressed open leaves the entire seam vulnerable to strength only from the stitches themselves. It’s very hard to repair a quilt with seams pressed open.

Seams pressed open also prohibit the detailed definition that stitch in the ditch quilting gives to beautiful custom quilting work. There can be no stitch in the ditch with seams pressed open. One can stitch to one side or another of the seam, but the stitches show and the thread must match perfectly as opposed to stitch in the ditch which is virtually invisible.

Here are a couple of examples of seams pressed to the side with intersections twirled. The orange and purple quilt was made in 2007 and the yellow and white is one in progress:

blue and purple - seams alternated and twirled
Pinwheel Back-seams twirled

 

Pinwheel Block - pressed

 

And here are some photos from the hospital after Ezri’s surgery. She has come through incredibly well and is now in that long and arduous healing process. It’s hard for a child as they don’t often sit still like adults do. Thus, we’re hoping she’ll sleep late in the mornings, take long naps in the afternoons, and fall asleep early at night. She’s going back to pre-school this morning for a short morning. She has been very excited to go back to school and see her friends. You can see that she and her sister are very attached – the first things they said to each other was how much they missed each other after Ezri’s full day of surgery and two days of sleeping afterward.

Post-surgery

 

In the healing gardens at St. Joseph's Hospital

 

And a couple of photos of the Grand Canyon – it’s so magnificent – Ted and I took a quick day trip up before flying home.

Grand Canyon 1

 

Grand Canyon 2

 

Grand Canyon 3
 
 

Ezri’s Surgery

Ezri is scheduled for surgery tomorrow, Friday-May 6, at 7am Pacific time. Please pray for her and for her doctors. You can keep up to date on her CaringBridge site:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ezri

We had a very good visit with her surgeon today – and hope to have good news tomorrow. He says the residual is in a very hard to reach place, and he would never risk damage just to get residual but will do his best.