East Dakota Quilter


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Riley Blake Challenge – Trivet

At my first-ever meeting of the D.C. Modern Quilt Guild, I received some free fabric as part of the Riley Blake Challenge. The challenge rules are pretty broad: create anything from the fabric in the bundle, using any additional solids or Riley Blake fabrics you’d like, and post your project in the forum by February 17, 2014.

I decided to use the fabric to make something I was lacking: a trivet large enough for my roaster, which matches my [late] great grandma’s.

Roaster by EastDakotaQuilter edited in Waterlogue

I adore the Marcelle Medallion design, and I decided to use it for my trivet. I tried paper piecing it this time. It was one of my first forrays into paper piecing, and it worked out pretty well, I think.

paper piecing by EastDakotaQuilter

(I finished all but the binding of this project well before I started the Sew Kitschy paper piecing BOM. Check out my blocks here and here.)

Marcelle Medallion Trivet by EastDakotaQuilter

My trivet includes a layer of Insul-Bright, which is a a heat-resistant batting. I would essentially have a mini quilt if I hadn’t used Insul-Bright. I later saw the Riley Blake blog has a free oven mitt tutorial using the same product, designed by Sew at Home Mummy. I even used the tutorial once before but didn’t manage to get a photo before I gave the oven mitt as a gift.

Another first for me on this project was hand quilting. I love the way it looks but was afraid to commit to doing a whole quilt. The trivet was a perfect size. I used Anna Maria Horner’s tutorial and size 5 purl cotton thread.

IMG_5130

I scrounged my ever-growing stash for some backing fabric and was pleasantly surprised to discover I had many Riley Blake prints left over from my original Marcelle Medallion quilt. I picked this one in blue, and I love the star quilting from the front.

trivet back by EastDakotaQuilter

 

I can’t wait to see what others made!


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Book Review: The Stitch Bible by Kate Haxell

Since the new projects I’m working on aren’t quite ready to be revealed, I thought it might be fun to do a book review this week.

Background: I decided to do my first embroidery project in September 2012. I found a pattern I liked and completed it as the first square of my sampler quilt. I did stem stitch for the entire thing since instructions came with the pattern, and I used all 6 strands of my embroidery floss. Since then, I’ve been poking around on Pinterest and finding many new projects that would require enhanced skills. (Check out my Embroidery board on Pinterest!) I’ve read about different techniques and how most embroidery experts use fewer strands of floss. When I found The Stitch Bible by Kate Haxell, I was really excited. I admired it online for months before deciding to buy myself a copy. A major reason for the hesitation was that, due to copyrights, the only photos I could find were of the cover; I wasn’t sure what to expect inside. I didn’t see it at my local stores, although I have to admit I didn’t look especially hard.

Stitch Bible

Pros: There were some things this book did really well. First, it had really detailed stitching tips. The stitches themselves appeared in the usual A-B-C format graphically, but there was plenty of supporting commentary. Not only did the book cover each stitch extensively, but it also included a wide range of stitches. Finally, the book did a good job of laying out the more basic aspects of embroidery, such as selecting the correct fabric, which needles to use, how the different threads/yarns compare, history of each type of embroidery, etc. Some of the tips were things I’d already read, but many were new.

Neutral: I thought this book would cover many filling stitches for traditional embroidery. Instead, the book split its time among freestyle, hardanger, blackwork, crewelwork, goldwork, pulled thread, canvaswork, and drawn thread–in addition to the basic overviews I’ve already described. I personally would have preferred less of the canvaswork, for example, and more of the blackwork section (featured on the cover). But I do understand this is a matter of personal preference.

Cons: The book covered a limited number of projects: one for each topic. Each project might incorporate a few of the different stitches in that genre, but the photos were so pretty and the stitches so well-described that I found myself wishing for more project ideas. (Internal dialogue: Now that I know how to do the stitching, where would I use this technique?) The other disappointment for me was the lack of photos. Most of the book was comprised of stitch diagrams with just a few photos to show the technique. The photo on the front is a good example. It shows various filling stitches and a fade-out effect and represents almost the entire blackwork section. The photos were so pretty, and I really would have loved to see a photo of each stitch next to the diagram. (Once I have followed the directions, I want to know: Did I do it right?!)

Conclusion: This is the only sewing, craft, or embroidery-related book I have purchased, and I don’t regret my purchase. I find that, combined with the internet, it will be very useful. The book names the stitches and diagrams how to create them. I can supplement with the internet to see what the finished products might look like and how the stitches have been used in other projects.