Poppycock I Say! Poppies and Peacocks and Projects Aplenty.

        I've been busy busy busy! This past week I started and finished... and made some progress of several different projects, all of which I am really proud of. For the past month or so I've had two of them out on table and ready to go. I took my short break during sew expo but got back on the horse.

        During sew expo I was reminded of a project that I wanted to try involving lots of, you guessed it, Y-seams. Have I mentioned how much I love Y-seams? They are so much fun! and yet some people don't seem to enjoy them :( How sad. Anyways, this project involves all manner of shapes and fits together like a puzzle.

        Check out my tidy stack of hexagons, squares and triangles! I originally started out with 4 different colors, but then that didn't seem like quite enough so I pulled a few more from my stash. Then I just kept pulling and pulling until I had 12 colors. I love how they look together, so bright and fun! I cut my shapes and started putting together my puzzle. I ended up with something like this:

        It's was fun to figure out how to complete each circle without repeating a color, almost like an easy Sudoku. I just sat on the floor surrounded by little squares until I found an arrangement I liked. It's pretty time consuming to piece all those Y-seams but I still find it meditative and super rewarding. However, I only ended up working of this for a few days before I was drawn away by a sudden inspiration! (I will be getting back to it tomorrow I think...)

        I had been putting off completing my peacock/dahlia because I wasn't sure how to create the head of the peacock and have it look halfway decent. While piecing one of the multitude of y-seams I had a sudden desire to tackle my dilemma . I packed my previous project away and started drawing out a pattern for the head that I could create using applique, though I still wasn't sure if it would be raw edge or needle turn. Partway through the drawing I realized that I didn't need fabric, I could instead paint with thread. I'd done it before with my phoenix wholecloth although that was using a complete quilt sandwich. I'd never tired to embroider anything on my sewing machine but I figured it couldn't be too hard. I found a small embroidery hoop and set to work on a blue scrap on which I had drawn the outline of my head. In hindsight I probably should have used some sort of stabilizer but I think it turned out pretty well for a first time!

        It's not perfect but I am very proud! I ended up piecing the peacock in three parts: the body, the head, and the head feathers. Both the head and the feathers were embroidered separately. You can see a little bit of scrunching because I failed to use stabilizer but I don't think it's too noticeable.

        Here is a shot of the finished piece. I love the stubby legs even though I was a little skeptical at first. Now I have to decide on borders and I've hit a wall. I don't know if I want to piece or applique a complicated border or just do something simple with the fabric that I have on hand and embellish it with quilting. I just can't decide what will compliment it best. I think it will stay in sight while I think about how to finish it.

        And so I moved on to finish up my next project, one that had been in progress for almost a year now. This same time last year I started working on a quilt for a friend on mine, this one actually. I brought it into the shop to have it quilted and another friend of mine fell in love with it. She jokingly asked if I would make her one and I of course said yes, much to her surprise. I just love sewing and if I don't have to purchase the fabric, it's all the more fun for me! So I pieced my second lone star and ended up with enough scraps between the two to piece a third one... almost. So I purchased the additional fabric I would need and set it aside. Now it is finally piece together and this time I added something extra.

        I love how it turned out although it might benefit from some leaves. I love appliqueing on the vines. That has to be my favorite type of applique to stitch, although it might have been a bit boring if I just left it at that. Again I will likely embellish with some intricate quilting in the negative space. I can't wait to get started.

        For my final note of the evening I would like to share the start of my next wholecloth. I love ships, and the sea, anything nautical really I've always wanted to be a pirate...) so I am incredibly excited about my newest idea. I was inspired partially by the designs of Tula Pink and partially by the ship hats of Eiko Ishioka from Mirror Mirror. I love those ship hats! I think they create the most interesting silhouettes. I can't wait to get started.

        Until next time! Happy crafting!


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