Monday, 8 May 2017

Early Creative Influences

Growing up I was surrounded by people who created. My mom sewed clothing and crocheted doilies, especially with fine thread. My sister and I both learned to sew, knit, crochet and embroider. My grandmother did tatting. My aunt had stacks of magazines that I loved looking through while visiting. None of my immediate family were quilters.
hand piecing hexagons
School trips were supervised by mothers who often brought along their own handwork while they waited for us to learn or do whatever it was that we were doing at the time. One mom in particular would bring her hand-stitched fabric hexagons that she turned into beautiful tea cozies for church bazaars or wedding shower gifts. Another mom made beautiful rag dolls. A neighbour I babysat for had a basket filled with quilting magazines that I would page through rather than watch TV.
Antique butterflies - personal collection
Stories about the wild west and life of the early settlers fired a desire in me for learning to quilt. My first quilt was made with my mom with clothing from my Oma. Just a plain charm square quilt filled with memories. I don't know what ever happened to that quilt - it likely ended up as a picnic blanket and used until it was thread bare.

Quilting took a backseat until I was married and expecting a baby. My first quilt made on my own was made from squares of embroidered animals alternating with solid red and blue squares. It was used for both my first and second sons and fell apart somewhere along the way from much use and washing.
Double wedding ring - personal collection
My next quilt was an ambitious double wedding ring quilt made from leftovers from my sewing basket and scraps I scavenged from my mom & sisters. This quilt was entirely sewn and quilted by hand. I learned that I needed to think about better sources of fabric if I wanted to keep quilting as the poly cotton pieces I used disintegrated rather quickly.


Saturday, 6 May 2017

Embroidered Tea Cozies
Embroidered Tea Cozy
These have been in the creative works for a while. How that works for me is first I'm inspired by something. For these tea cozies, it was a photo on Flickr from Patchwork Pottery of a red and white tea cozy with an embroidered saying around the bottom edge.
Inspiration from Patchwork Pottery
This tea cozy has been in my favorites for a few years and in the meantime, I've been collecting tea related quotes and sayings that might possibly work as part of a tea cozy.
Planning the embroidery
 Next was to bring on my best hand writing - not an easy task as I rarely write by hand and if I do, it's a mixture of printing and handwriting that changes from day to day and mood to mood.
 After tracing the handwriting onto a piece of plain cotton (this is just off-white), I start to embroider a simple back stitch. I have tons of embroidery floss left from my cross stitching days, so I won't run out any time soon!
Putting fabrics together
 Then I pick out fabrics for the patchwork above the stitching.
Finished Tea Cozy
Last, I quilt both sides and sew it all together.

Tell me what you think? Should I make more? What colors do you like?