Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sewing and Sunflowers

Sewing/quilting time in my studio has been almost completely absent in the last month...and I have been itching to fire up my machine! The great news is, I am feeling much better...the problem is, the puppy has taken over most, if not all, of my sewing time (right now she is Puppy 2.0). When my husband is home, I try to sneak away and get in a little studio time...and over the last several weeks, I managed to create several handmade birthday gifts. Thank goodness I was thinking ahead while I was in California and picked up a bag full of stitching gifts from Elegant Stitch...so my handmade gifts didn't need to be nearly as labor-intensive.

For my fabulous friend Robin, I made a small table topper/candle mat...it is the "Crossing Ohio" block...I had fun working with some patriotic cotton quilting fabrics (Quilts of Valor by Minick & Simpson for Moda Fabrics)...and this interesting traditional block is always fun! It measures 12" square...and although this is not the best photo, it did turn out as I envisioned!

I also worked on a couple fun pieces for my dear friend Terri's birthday. I had no idea she was a sunflower fan, I was just in a sunflower mood when I started working on her project...turns out she adores sunflowers, so it worked out wonderfully. The first piece I made was a small applique wall hanging/runner...I had a kit from Country Traditions in Fremont, NE (they have a whole collection of Skinny Mini Wall Hanging Quilt Kits)....but in true Belinda fashion, I had to make it my own and change it up a bit. I wanted the appliqued sunflower to match the sunflowers in the border fabric, so I cut out a completely different flower and leaves...and I was thrilled with the result! I also played around with the quilting - I had seen a video where you adjust the tension when you "quilt as you go" (when the applique stitching is also the quilting), so you can see your top color thread/applique stitches on the back of your quilt, giving it an artistic look...this was my first time trying this technique and it turned out rather well!

While I was putting together the wall hanging, I thought about a machine embroidered sunflower pincushion I made a couple years ago...I knew it would match perfectly. I was so pleased when I pulled out the machine embroidery pattern (Pin Cushions by Smith Street Designs) to find I had kitted fabric with it from when I made my first one, so I had everything I needed already gathered...that was a happy moment, as time is so limited right now!

I can't wait until life gets back to normal and I can get back in my studio...I have so many projects in the works and on my to-do list. The next project is to finally finish something very special for my California friend...she has been very patient, as I have been working on it for quite some time...hopefully it will be worth the wait...

I'll be back tomorrow with details and photos of my class project design for the New England Stitcher's Retreat...I am very excited to share it with you!


  1. Great gifts.
    Love the Sunflower!
    Can't wait to see the retreat piece.

  2. i just love the pin cushion!! Denise

  3. Well bless your little heart...making these gifts for friends!
    Love your designs!

  4. The sunflower skinny wall hanging (and pincushion) turned out super, Belinda! Thank you again for my Crossing Ohio mini quilt table topper! Love the pattern, love the fabrc!


  5. All the quilts and wall hangings are beautiful! I love them all!

  6. Simply adorable-makes for a happy gift to your friend.