Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings that you will enjoy and appreciate. Come and join in the fun with Susie, a Home Economist, and savor a little rest from your hectic day...and yes, it's a Degree she uses every day!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Out of the Box

It's a good feeling to finish a project from the UFO that had apparently been in the making for...goodness....10 years. It was buried at the bottom, patterns, fabric, some partially completed, and most not done at all. This week I worked and worked and completed the whole thing (or what I thought was the whole thing). It's based on the Blue Work Quilt design from my great grandmother's Blue Work Quilt. But I did this one in color...a lot of color!

Here's the Tea Cozy. The back fabric is beautiful cherry clusters. The binding on the bottom is a deep green with black outlines of fruits.
I used seven different stranded cotton floss colors using two strands each time for the outline and stem stitch. I had a lot of "orts", those left over bits and pieces of thread that get on everything.
The napkins had to be hemmed on the machine. Then I decided to make placemats out of the lovely cherry fabric and bound the edges with the dark green fabric. Those are machine quilted, too. The table topper has smaller cherry motifs in each corner along with the big one in the center. The edges are also bound with the dark green fabric. 
Anyone for tea and cookies?

Monday, February 5, 2018

That UFO Box

I got my UFO box out and dug through it a few days ago. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's lots of Unfinished Objects. Those kits, classes and sewing projects that for some reason or other, get pushed aside for another day.

In digging through the box I unearthed Fabric at the very bottom (you can stop laughing now). Yup, YARDS of quilting fabric. With it was a piece of already-embroidered white muslin. Then another piece of cream colored (Kona?) cloth with the very same design transferred to it right square in the middle. Hmmmm... What was I thinking about 10 years ago? After a search of my design idea notebooks, quilt books, etc., I finally realized I had the design stored in the file cabinet. Eureka! It's from one of the motifs on my antique Blue Work Quilt that my great-grandmother embroidered. Blue Work and Red Work Quilts are so interesting: the embroidery is all line designs done in stem or outline stitch. Fruits, flowers, pets, animals, fairy tale characters, famous people and other motifs are featured on these quilts. They were sometimes used to teach little children their alphabet and words. They're simple, honest and delightful quilts and designs.

Here's a photo of the design I copied from my quilt.
This is what I embroidered changing "Mama" to "Tea Time".  I turned the blue and white one into a tea cozy using some stash fabric.
And here's another version on the cream fabric done in colors to match one of the quilting fabrics that was at the bottom of the UFO box. It's going to become a table topper with other accessories.
It's so much fun to "re-discover" an old project!!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

That Quilt

It's time to start the design for my quilt using the linen Williamsburg Reproductions 1959 Bonny Bonny Charley square (one of those 2018 projects).
I pulled quilting books from my reference library to get to surround Charley, what successive pieced blocks to fill out the quilt, and border ideas. A couple things peaked my interest, and I found out the type of quilt I want to make is a Medallion Quilt. Hmm...makes sense. So where else can I search for ideas, inspiration? Pinterest is the PERFECT way to see different Medallion Quilts. I started a Board entitled "Medallion Quilt Ideas"...real original title but it works.

I knew I wanted to frame the toile square with strips (sashing) and blocks at the corners. But something unique opened up: the toile square was wider than tall. So much so I could use the selvage sides with printing for sashing strips! Great way to save the textile information and add some interest to the medallion.
I had to 'match' the selvage strips with a like linen fabric and found some to match in the stash. But it was too white. Yesterday's used tea bags came in very handy, along with hot water and a little white vinegar to dye the linen strips so they blend in better. Toned down the pure white of the fabric. I chose a large red floral for the long sashing strips between Bonny Charley and the selvage sides.
I put pieced blocks at the corners to start working in some of the colors of the other fabrics. Here's the result.
It's a good beginning for the quilt top. Now all I have to do is figure out the rest of it. A little at a time....