Windy City #6 (9″ x 12″) by Laura Wasilowski
A few days ago I asked if you could estimate how many hours it took me to make this small quilt, Windy City #6. And, as an experiment, I tried to keep track of the time to complete it. But honestly, my skills at time keeping stink! It seems I go into a zone when making a quilt and lose track of time.
Below are the stages of creating the art work and an estimate of the number of hours to complete each stage. Let’s see how close you were in guessing the total time.
- Hand-dyeing the fabrics- .5 hours
- Fusing the fabrics- .5 hours
- Designing the quilt- 1 hour
- Adding hand embroidery- 6.5 hours
- Machine quilting and binding- 1 hour
- Photographing and documenting the quilt- .5 hours
Windy City #6 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
The total is about 10 hours from start to finish with most of time spent on hand embroidery. Now, what you don’t see in this list is the hours of enjoyment I got from making the art work. That’s really hard to measure.
What’s the most frequently asked question you receive when you show your art work? I bet its “How long did it take you to make it?” We’ve all heard this many times. My cheeky response has always been “A life time.”
Windy City #6 by Laura Wasilowski
But not any more. I decided to actually keep track of my time when making Windy City #6. It measures about 9″ x 12″, is made with fused fabric scraps, hand embroidered, and machine quilted. Can you guess the total time it took to create this quilt from design to the final stitch? Give me a few answers and I’ll let you know in a few days.
Lately I’ve been exploring a variation on the Chain Stitch that I’d like to share with you. It’s sort of a chain with a little bite to it; a combination of the Chain Stitch and Blanket Stitch.
It probably has a name (and please let me know if it does) but I’m calling it the Spiky Chain. It starts out with the straight line of a Chain Stitch then veers off the path and then returns to the path. Here are the directions for the Spiky Chain. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!
Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Herringbone Stitch. I must admit that I seldom use this stitch. (Sorry for my lack of enthusiasm but the good old Herringbone Stitch is rather ignored in my embroidery life.)
Unless I’m trying to spice up a straight piece of fabric like the green tree trunk above. Then I’m all about the Herringbone. What better way to add zip to a skinny piece of fabric? (Please note that tree trunk is a design detail from my new pattern, The Nut House.)
And then there is the ability of the Herringbone Stitch to stretch out or compress to make shapes like this forest of trees on the lake shore. (You have to use your imagination.) OK, maybe the good old Herringbone Stitch deserves another look. Here are the directions. Please let me know how you use the Herringbone Stitch.
A favorite method of stitching a fabric cut with a pinking blade is to use the Fly Stitch. It gives a neat finish to the fabric and makes a bold zigzag line around a fabric shape.
In this image you see 3 variations of the Fly Stitch. There is the trusty traditional Fly in the center in blue thread. The elongated version of the Fly surrounds the top purple fabric in orange thread. And below is the latest and greatest version in blue thread around the purple square featuring the French Knot.
I don’t know what this stitch is really called so I’m calling it the French Fly.
Here’s how to make the French Fly. Start with the thread exiting the fabric at the tip or peak of the pinked edge.
Insert the tip of the needle at the top of the next peak of the pinked edge.
Skim the needle under the fabric to the valley between the two peaks. Trap the thread coming out of the first peak under the tip if the needle. Draw the needle and thread through the fabric.
Make a French Knot inserting the needle into the fabric on the other side of the thread in the valley. This stitch over the thread holds it in the valley making a V shape that follows the pinked fabric edge adding decorative French Knot at the same time.Thus the term French Fly.
Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the famous Fly Stitch. The Fly Stitch is aptly named. Doesn’t it look like a flock of flying fowl? Use this easy embroidery stitch as a single decorative element, grouped together as a textural filling stitch, or with other stitches to make shapes.
Here you see the Fly Stitch making sunny yellow flower petals surrounding French Knots. It’s stitched with a Size 8 pearl cotton thread in the Sunflowers colorway on a silk fabric.
I like to extend the base of the stitch to make a Y shape for tree branches. This is stitched with a Size 12 pearl cotton thread in the Rainbow Rich colorway.
Or use it to trim fabric cut with a pinking blade like the pink shape above. The Fly Stitch follows that pink pinked edge perfectly. Here are directions for making the Fly Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!