Friday, April 08, 2011

What I hadn't yet done

flowerise

I love Friday mornings. Faced with thoughts about what I need to get done in just one day is so much more peaceful than the thoughts I have on Monday mornings about what I need to get done in five days. This morning I am enjoying this. In playing around with these beautiful Pearl Cottons, I realized that in all my experiences with embroidery and hand quilting, there was one venture I had yet to try.

stitchy.stack

And that was drawing onto solid cloth free form (with a water soluble fabric pen), and then hand quilting the artwork. I most often do this sort of thing with embroidery, but I thought it would be interesting to quilt the art instead of embroider it. Using a range of colors kept my interest and felt a little bit more like my embroidery experiences than my hand quilting ones. When I hand quilt, I am almost always, yes definitely always in fact, following the lines of the piece work, rather than using any sort free form stitch style, or template stitch pattern.

landscape

A pillow is a great place to practice your hand quilting stitches. Creating the pillow front is exactly like creating a quilt top, but because the back side of the stitches will be hidden inside the pillow, you can feel a little less freaked out about your quilt back results as you go. You may remember I gave some tips about the stitch here and here. I am no expert, I just love it a lot. Can you imagine a whole single cloth quilt like this? Gorgeous. I am an inspired girl right now. The stitching takes a while, and you certainly wouldn't have to do it as densely as I've done this (I get carried away when I doodle). But doing a single cloth quilt would save you lots of cutting and piecing time. For this little pillow top (about 14x20") I hand basted the top, batting, and backing together pretty densely, and because it wasn't a giant, heavy quilt, I did the hand quilting without a hoop or frame entirely, which felt really comfortable. In that process though, I continually smooth out the surface, and hold it out flat with my open under hand as I stitch with my upper hand. Hard to describe unless you're next to me on the couch. Perhaps a little video one day soon.

stitched.pods

There you go. Overcast, cool Friday morning. Pillows. Stitches. The weekend to look forward to. Oh, and the underside of that pillow is peeking out a tiny preview of a little print from my next fabric collection, Loulouthi. Lots to look forward to!

xoxo, Anna

ps. thank you so much for all the "white room" housewarming comments- I appreciate them so much, and feel so entirely blessed to have the space and your encouragement!

69 comments:

  1. It looks beautiful, and gratifying. Can you tell me more about Pearl Cottons, please? More substantial than quilting thread, right? Do you usually hand quilt with Pearl Cotton? How does it compare with embroidery floss? Thank you. And *happy Friday!*

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  2. Good morning Natalie! I used Anchor's Pearl Cotton size 8 for this project, and its what I always use for hand quilting (though sometimes I use a thicker one like size 5). Pearl cottons are a 2ply, softly twisted lustrous thread that sits on top of the fabric surface a little more, so that more depth is created than with a fine stapled quilting thread. I am not sure it is stronger, but visually it is a more substantial thread. I will be offering some in my shop hopefully by next month!! :) have a great weekend, Anna

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  3. New fabric collection! Squee! Can't wait!

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  4. Oooh ooh ooh! Too many things to be excited about.

    1. I need to do some stitching like yours - it looks amazing!

    2. New fabric collection - bring it on!! I was late to the party with Good Folks, but am determined to get my hands on your new collection when it hits the stores.

    3. Its the weekend! Whoop!

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  5. Even more excited for new fabric!!! Yay!! The pillow is so beautiful and inspiring(as is the white room). I hope you have a wonderful weekend Anna
    xoxo
    Raven :)

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  6. I'd rather come sit next to you on the couch!

    And, if I figure out a way to crash Quilt Market next month without getting tossed in jail, look out for a crazy redhead who will hug the stuffing out of you!

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  7. The pillow is rockin'! And new fabric collection-- WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!

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  8. I have recently found my way back to hand quilting, and with perle cotton this time rather than traditional hand quilting. I love it. It is satisfying. Your pillow top is gorgeous. And a new line? SO excited!!

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  9. Gorgeous! Looking forward to thread and the new fab!!! I also love your new header!

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  10. I've been wanting to try the same thing for a while. I'm just waiting on finishing some other projects first that have been lingering.

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  11. This is absolutely stunning! What a beautiful work of art!

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  12. What a beautiful pillow - I'm not sure how I would approach it since I'm not much of a doodler! And that print on the back looks so fun! Can't wait to see the line. Loved your white room photos - that is going to be so much fun to fill up.

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  13. those stitches are beautiful! I don't know how you find the time to create so much (and on top of that, it being totally amazing and inspiring). I love the little peak of the new fabric!! yay!

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  14. I would LOVE to learn how to hand quilt, but I'm completely clueless. Any resources you'd recommend to get started?

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  15. What a beautiful project! That looks like fun!

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  16. I love the quilting. I especially love that you used several different colors.
    And I can't wait to see the new collection!

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  17. Wow...such beautiful doodles! I love it! xoxo Beth

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  18. Pretty, pretty pillow. Love this idea. And new fabric collection! Hello!

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  19. I love the way this complements everything else. As a pillow amongst quilted or crocheted items, it gives the right amount of visual relief while still introducing that wonderful free form element of the doodle. Excellent idea. Thanks!

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  20. Love pearl cotton and I use it for everything I make. I like that it's not shiny like embroidery thread. Can't wait to see your new collection! How do you do all of this? I only have a teeny Etsy shop and can't seem to find time with four kids! I'm alway amazed at all you create:)

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  21. that is beautiful! looks like a fun technique to try, too. :)

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  22. Oh, please post a video! That would help us novice hand quilters!

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  23. OH MY GOODNESS, that is SO gorgeous, and SO inspiring. Lovely lovely. Happy Weekend!

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  24. You have a great talent for even, beautiful stitches.

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  25. Oh I wish I was sitting on the couch next to you...this cushion cover is absolutely adorable. I love the contrast stitching and as a hand quilter I am wondering how you get your stitching so even. I better look at your here and here but a tutorial would be fab. Very inspiring...have a wonderful weekend.

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  26. so funny, I've been mulling for the last few weeks a whole cloth quilt of just colored quilting stitches--pretty much exactly what you've done but with a very different pattern in mind. Must be something in the ether. I was going to start this weekend after I finish my knitting project--thanks for the inspiration.

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  27. I love it! I am soooo gonna' have to try this! My new bedroom quilt is gonna' need a new throw pillow anyway. :) Thanks for the idea!

    Can't wait to see your new fabrics!

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  28. Anonymous2:58 PM

    I have been working on a project very similar to this! I love the idea of combining embroidery and quilting. It's turning out just as I imagined.

    Yours is beautiful!

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  29. THat is amazing! Please post a tutorial for us that have NO idea how to do that :) I know my girls would love to try this.
    Mechelle

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  30. Gorgeous AND inspiring! Thanks for all the great pictures!

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  31. Very lovely and the sneak peek is so much fun! Can't wait to see more Lou;)

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  32. Gorgeous stitching and gorgeous design. And you are such a tease! I want to flip that pillow over and get a better look!

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  33. Gorgeous! You are unbelievably talented. I love coming here to see what you're up to.

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  34. Okay- that stitching is seriously amazing- I think I would loose my mind real fast at such an undertaking- clearly a beautiful labor of love! and it would be quite gorgeous as a full quilt

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  35. Okay, there are so many things I would like to say to you right now, and I would probably attack you with a bear hug because you are so awesome. Seriously. That pillow is so gorgeous, I could cry. I'm so trying it now. Thank you for the inspiration. And next, your new fabric line?! WooT! I want to scream of joy right now. I'm not even over how much I love innocent crush and now this? AM, you have overwhelmed me. Please accept my comment hug. You are a superwoman, and I want to meet you one day.

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  36. This is so amazing AND inspiring! Definitely going to give this a try!

    Can't wait to see those new fabrics!

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  37. FANTASTIC!! I can't wait to try this!

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  38. Oh wow! This is beautiful and inspiring. I think this is going on my "Try this SOON" list!

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  39. This is so beautiful! I'm going to pin it onto my crafting board right now...

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  40. Hi Anna, Your work is amazing and so is your new studio...it inspired me to 'clean' mine this weekend :) anyway...just a quick question - what size and brand of needle do you use for hand stitching when using the pearl cotton? Thank you, janae'

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  41. loulouthi aka Λουλούδι? in Greek?
    I admire you, I constantly read your Blog, I have bought your fabrics, several times although I wasn't sewing before, I think you are a touching Mother aka Μαμά, I'm proud that you are half Greek!
    A Greek who leaves in UK the last two years and you have been a great company those two difficult years!
    Φιλιά-Kisses
    Marianna aka Anna-Maria

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  42. Hi Marianna, Philakia to you and Kala Pascha!! Yes Loulouthi as in flower :)
    xoxoxo, Anna

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  43. What a small peek at Loulouthi... you're a stinker for sure for teasing us :)
    I am sure it will be amazing, so sure I have it ordered sight unseen! Can't wait!!!!
    And your pillow, GORGEOUS!

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  44. This looks amazing! I definitely want to try this someday!

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  45. Perle cotton is one of those under-rated threads that few use but it really dazzles when it's used right. I love what you've done. I'd love to recreate and I'm not a quilter. I'm wondering this could be done free form on a sewing machine using invisible thread in the bobbin? Would be faster and just as authentic. Drop feed dogs, use a darning foot and go at it!

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  46. Hey MB@yarnU,

    Pearl Cotton size 8, can be hand wound onto a machine bobbin for use! I am trying that next! :) xo, Anna

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  47. Love that idea, I'll give it a go "one day"!

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  48. It's beautiful! Great idea, I'll try that one day, too ... I also loved your renovation documentation and how your space has turned out! Stunning! I'm excited about your new line! Thanks for the sneak peek! Love the xoxo! :-)

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  49. Thank you for the photos full of beautiful inspiration and excellent instructions, too. Guess that I will have to add this technique to my listing of possible projects!

    I've made note of this post for a return visit.

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  50. Hi Anna!
    Oh, I'm counting the days till more Loulouthi....
    xxx Achaia

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  51. I just love hand embroidery! I grew up with my mom an avid cross-stitcher, grandmother and aunt crewelers, and having a larger stash of floss than fabric around the house! Mind you the fabric stash was quite large too. I'm happy to see it popular again. Stitches complement quilting and other sewing projects so well.
    Oh plus I'm jealous of the white room too. My sm apt just doesn't cut it for a craft space.

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  52. I've seen whole quilts like these are ABC home... They are truly beautiful..and pricy! Love you creative stitching. lovely!

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  53. wow! That's beautiful

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  58. This is simply amazing not only because the work itself but also because of the design you got with this, actually I'm gonna stop to buy my pillows ans I'm gonna begin to make my owns.

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  62. I love this look. Thank you for sharing. I may give it a try on my next quilt.

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