Thursday, November 24, 2016

FMQ a Poinsettia

    My current project is a large quilt from a Missouri Star pattern called Quatrefoil.  It calls for a layer cake and I used Barbara Brackman's Richmond Reds collection.  It is predominately reds and greens, but doesn't really scream Christmas.  The biggest decision I make when machine quilting is deciding on a design.  Once that hurdle is overcome, I enjoy the process.  I browsed my reference book of quilting designs and decided on an adaption of a poinsettia design, adapted to my limited skills in the machine quilting department.  I think it could be used for most block designs, especially anything that is basically a 9-patch type.

The first step is to mark a circle in the center.

Here is the template set that I use.

Begin stitching at the top of the circle, stitching a pointed petal shape to the outer margins of the design, returning to the circle.  Stitch on the circle to the next petal location.  There will be gaps in the stitching line along the circle, but we will pick them up later.  Continue around the circle until you have stitched 8 evenly spaced petals.

To stitch the shorter bracts, follow the previous stitching line about halfway up the petal, then stitch another pointed shape, meeting the stitching line on the next petal, and following it back to the center circle.  Stitch along the circle until you reach the next petal and repeat the process.  This will fill in the rest of the circle stitching.

After all of the bracts are completed, move into the center of your circle (without lifting your needle) and stitch pebbles to fill the center.  I stitched one row around the perimeter of the circle, then stitched the center ones.  This seemed to push the fullness toward the center, making the pebbles stand out against the stitching.  I backstitched on the last pebble and cut my threads.  

Here is a completed one against all reds.  I think it shows up a little better. 
    My quilt has 30 blocks, so I have stitched a lot of poinsettias.  I'm ready for the Christmas season.
    Hope your Thanksgiving Day includes a little stitching.

Monday, November 14, 2016

November Activities

    Since the first day of November, I have been moving piles of fabric around the sewing room trying to decide on my choices for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery.  Currently, these are my choices.  That burgundy is well aged, so I especially would like to use it for my constant.

     I seldom use Bonnie's exact colors because brights just don't do much for my antiques and primitive decor.  I saw a Civil War fabric selection that was really pretty, so won't settle on anything until I pull some of those to look at first.  
     Our guild meeting was last week and it was the collection day for the quilts we are donating to the Baby Grace program.   You may remember that I have been making crib quilts from the monthly Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors.  Here is the selection that I took to the meeting.  

I kept two of my favorites for any baby gifts I might need and gave my neighbor a choice for a grandchild she has coming in December.  The parents never want to know the gender ahead of time, so she took a boy quilt and the only girl quilt I made.  (Just couldn't resist the pink and green month.)
Here is the pile of quilts that the Baby Grace representative took with her.  I think there were a few added after I took this pic.

As I remember, there were 41 donated.  This program is sponsored by the Methodist Church, so they plan to hang them in the church for awhile before they are distributed.  As you can imagine, I'm very proud of our members.  We plan to continue supporting this program next year, so I will probably be making more, although I don't think I will attempt one a month next year.  I have some UFO's that I should have finished this year, but they got pushed aside to make room for finishing the crib quilts.  
I'm going to dig one of those out this week and see what I need to do to finish.  
PS.  Hooking up today with SoScrappySaturday on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.