Small stitching on Sunday: a mug rug

I’ve been wanting to try a technique that I’ve admired for awhile: a combination of machine applique and embroidery.

009So today I pulled out my bins of fabric scraps and got busy. Luckily, I had a few scraps of Wrenly left over from a quilt I made last year. The Wrenly birds were perfect for fussy cutting the windows.007It’s called a mug rug, which is an unlovely name for such a lovely thing. Basically, a mug rug is an over-sized coaster. Something pretty to put your coffee cup on, great for personalizing your desk at work (or at home).

012This one is 6.5″ square…a good size for holding a cup.

006The pattern is from Jenny at Elefantz.She makes lovely things.

I’m very happy with this little project. I experimented with a couple of other mug rugs, here, but this one definitely shows improvement in my technique. Yay!

008Next time I’ll quilt the back ground before adding the applique. Stay tuned! Do you have a special mug rug or coaster that you love above all others?

The Friendship Garden Quilt

Warning: this post is photo intensive!

036Let me introduce you to The Friendship Garden Quilt!

017 It comes by its name honestly, because it started out life as a bee block!

018I am part of a Flickr group quilting bee with 5 other ladies. We call ourselves We Bee Canadian. We each make 2 blocks for the month’s Queen Bee.

031When it was my month to pick a block (a couple of years ago!), I asked everyone to please make me two bow tie blocks using garden-themed fabric.

008Because we were all pretty much beginners, nobody’s 1/4″ seams were very good and the blocks didn’t square up very well. There were an awful lot of mismatched seams.

007Then I had an idea!

025I decided to cover some of the wonky seams with English paper pieced rosettes. Perfect! Before you knew it, I had hand-appliqued a flower in every single blank square, wonky or not!

033Because a garden should be an absolute riot of colour, don’t you agree?

011I used a bed sheet on the back. I think it would qualify as a vintage sheet. I remember having sheets like this on my bed in the 70s.

027The quilt is hand quilted in circles.

034I don’t think I’ll try to do hand quilting through a bed sheet again. I actually bent needles and had to use pliers to pull the needle through the layers. Ouch!

035Mr. C. did a marvelous job behind the scenes, don’t you think?

022I used black for the binding to set off the colours. Oh, how I love this quilt! It is so cheerful and bright and sunny! A bit of summer in the depths of winter.

010I hope it will be as loved in its new home as it is in mine 🙂

029These photos were taken at the sweet little Notch Hill Community Hall and Church on the only sunny day in January.

041
Linking up with the binding blitz at Julie Quilts and Lets Bee Social at SewFreshQuilts.

catching up

I’ve written so many blog posts in my mind over the last several weeks. Sadly, none of them have made the (sometimes torturous) journey from my head to my fingertips and onto the keyboard.

So while I’m sorting it all out, and just to let you know that I’m still here, I’ll post a little update from the sewing room.

I finally finished The Friendship Garden quilt!

022All that’s left is sewing on the label.

006Goodness, I didn’t know if I would ever finish this quilt! It just kept demanding more and more. It was ridiculous! I’m only going to give you a brief glimpse here. This quilt has an interesting story but it hasn’t had it’s photo shoot yet. And you know me…a quilt isn’t truly finished until it’s had its picture properly taken, lol! So sorry…you’ll just have to wait for it.

011Last September I started taking a class at my local quilt shop (Threads & Paper in Salmon Arm). The class is called A Quilter’s Garden. It is a beginners machine applique class. Let me stress beginners! It’s perfect for me. Exactly what I need, considering that I am still learning how to use my new sewing machine with all its various stitches and features.

012Each block introduces a different skill, such as couching, and sewing on buttons with the button foot. Sadly, I cannot seem to master the button foot.  Consequently, I’ve been sewing on all the buttons by hand. sigh.

014And the couching. Well okay. I admit that my first try at couching was a complete and absolute bust. In fact, I was so nervous to try it that I didn’t even try!  that’s how much of a bust it was! Instead, I decided to totally redesign the block. Completely. This block (below) isn’t even close to the pattern that we were given.  But I love it!

016Did you notice the sweet little diamond buttons eyes? They make me so happy!

017Of course, I like to do things my own way, so haven’t exactly been following the patterns. I’ve kind of carried on doing my own thing..

018For instance, there aren’t any birds in any of the original patterns. None!  Now, I don’t know why, but I really wanted some birds in there! This quilt just begs for birds, don’t you think?

019They’re so tweet!

And yes, I finally did attempt the couching (above). 🙂