I feel like I should start this post with an explanation of why I have not posted in almost a year. The fact is, I just don't have a good explanation. Blogging did not make it to the top of my list of things to do. And the longer I went without posting, the harder it was to jump back in.
In an effort to become the person I know I can be, I have made a new commitment to post to this blog on a regular basis. My goal is for twice a week, even if it's something small. My reasons for blogging are the same as a year ago. I'm still not sure people will want to read what I write, but I'm doing it as much to have a record of my journey along the way as anything else.
With that said, on to the fun stuff!
When the AQS show came to Grand Rapids in August, I traveled across the state to take a class with someone whose work I've admired for a long time, Susan K. Cleveland. Here is her website http://www.piecesbewithyou.com/. I have most, if not all, of her books. Someone who can make prairie points interesting is definitely someone to be listened to!
The class I took was to make the pattern Octet, from her book Precision & Panache: Fine Workmanship, Fabulous Details, Outstanding Quilts. This book has some, well, fine workmanship, fabulous details and outstanding quilts .... along with the instructions to incorporate them into your quilting. Even if you don't make any of the projects included in the book, it has a lot to offer.
The pattern Octet features the aforementioned prairie points, but also incorporates the use of beads, using heavy threads for the top thread in your sewing machine, and piped binding. Mine finished to 16" x 10". Here is the finished project.
And here are a few close-ups, the first one showing the piped binding and the heavy thread used for quilting. I used Aurifil 12wt for the top thread in my machine and just a regular cotton piecing weight for the bobbin. You do have to use a larger needle and adjust your machine tension.
This close-up shows the prairie point with the bead attached. I have used the Aurifil thread again to embellish the prairie point. I was originally going to use a plain orange bead, but then I found these neat beads with flowers that really mimic the bubbles in the main fabric. (I have become a fan of the bead sections in both Joanne Fabrics and Michael's....now to find a way to use all of them!)
I am quite pleased with the finished project and can see myself incorporating these techniques in future quilts!
Check back as I introduce you to some old friends.....sometimes called UFOs.
'Til then, happy stitching!!