Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sweet Pea, Daffodil, and More Treadle Machine Embroidery

Sweet Pea designed by Jeana Kimball

For those of you that have been following the blog for a while, you know that I have been working on a project designed by Jeana Kimball named, A Cottage Garden.  Here are the latest two blocks from that project.  The Sweet Pea was the most difficult of the blocks so far because the only Sweet Pea I have ever seen is from the Popeye cartoon.  They don't like to grow in our subtropical climate.  I looked up photos on the Internet to determine which color fabrics to use.   Then I relied on my art background to try to create dimension and give the blossoms form.

Daffodil designed by Jeana Kimball

The Daffodil was also a little difficult but at least I have seen them in person. The challenge was to stitch petals that looked delicate.  Instead it turned out a little more bold than it would be in a natural setting.  But, then again, it matches my Tropical personality.

I hope you enjoy the blocks and they put a smile on your face!

Here are more of the Treadle Machine Embroidery pages.  Let me know when you get tired of seeing them!

Until next time....

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami

Monday, July 16, 2012

Applique Over Bulky Seams...and More Incredible Machine Embroidery

Buzzin' Around designed by Mary Sorenson
I finished the embroidery on my Mary Sorensen class project called Buzzin' Around; Advanced Hand Appliqué Techniques It was so much fun to do and it's another project that just makes me smile.  To see how I stitched the shimmery wings click HERE. I also want to share with you another very easy technique that really gives your applique a polished look and takes it to the next level. 

If you take a closer look at the cone flowers you will notice that the black and red polka dot fabric is covering lots of seam allowances. If I had just appliqued the fabric directly over the seams the polka dot fabric would has not looked nice and flat and rounded. Instead, I lined the shape with a low loft cotton batting.  
Bulky Seams

First, I pinned the cotton batting in place and then I basted from the back using the marked line as my guide.  Notice that I basted just inside the pencil line. 

I then trimmed the batting right up to the stitched line. 

I then pinned and basted the black polka dot fabric and appliqued as usual.  Notice that this time I basted directly on the pencil line.

And here is more unbelievable treadle machine embroidery....click HERE to read about the origins of these samples.

Until next time...
Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Blog in Pictures Only...Even More Fabulous Machine Embroidery on a Treadle Sewing Machine!

And even more fabulous machine embroidery done an a turn of the century treadle sewing machine!  I am only about half way through the album...stay tuned for more in coming blogs!

Click HERE to read about the origin of these samples.

Click HERE to see more of the samples.

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Fourth of July! And, Advanced Applique Technique

Patriotic Lopsided Log Cabin in progress
Happy Fourth of July to all my US readers!  Every Fourth I celebrate Independence Day with a backyard cookout and by working on a patriotic UFO.  Last year I finished cutting and attaching the sash to the centers for a Lopsided Log Cabin quilt.  In previous years I cut all the strips for the Log Cabin "walls".  This year I hope to get at least a few blocks put together.  It's a fun, scrappy, project that I really enjoy pulling out once a year.

My Dragonfly from Buzzin' Around design by Mary Sorensen
The last few weeks I have been taking a break from my Cottage Garden applique blocks to work on a wall hanging I started in a class with Mary Sorenson. The project/class is called Buzzin' Around; Advanced Hand Appliqué Techniques.  The project is adorable and includes a dragonfly and a bumblebee.  As I began to stitch I decided to grab my camera and record how I stitch the wings using polyester organza fabric to give a light and airy effect.

Like 99.9% of everything I applique, I accomplished this using Template Free preparation techniques, popularly called Back Basting.  Click HERE for a refresher on this technique.
Mark the pattern on the reverse side of the background fabric.

First, baste the White on White fabric.

Baste just inside the drawn line.

Trim as close as possible to the basting line.

Baste the Organza layer next.  This time, baste on the stitching line.

Trim Organza leaving a generous seam allowance.

Clip both sets of basting threads.  Begin needle turning and stitching as usual.
Be sure to sweep the Organza UNDER the White on White fabric.

The Dragonfly wings stitched in the same manner.

Once the wings are finished, stitch the remaining pieces as usual.
Don't forget to add a little embroidery for extra pizazz!

Until next time...

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami