I must say a big thank you to the people who offered suggestions on how to finish off the quilting on Elsa, it really was a help! Lifting the “ground” level brought everything together much better. And after doodling around a bit and trying a few of the suggestions (and screaming in frustration at my white rayon, which decided to HATE almost all my assorted needles for some reason – the “right” one turned out to be a microtex 80/12), I ended up with this:
It’s not at all what I thought I’d end up with, but I think it works. 🙂 I got a great tip from Carole Gold about using tracing paper to test and stitch FMQ designs, and although I wasn’t able to use it this time because it turns out we have nothing like that in the house (not-quite-moving house really sucks), it’s a great idea that I’m definitely going to try on other projects once I’ve grabbed myself a roll of baking paper to use. 🙂
Christmas is coming, they tell me. Thanks to the nature of crafting, it feels like I have to start thinking about Christmas presents in August to have a hope of finishing anything! But I’m off to a good start here (shhhh-I-know-it’s-October-already!), with themed cushions for my cousin John’s three children. Here are the first two.
The two boys are great fans of Minecraft, and the Minecraft characters make fantastic subjects for patchwork thanks to their pixelly designs. I chose the Creeper and the Blaze, partly because I wanted to use Bali Pops to make them and I happened to have a green set and red-orange-yellow set:
Figuring out which colours to use where was harder than I thought it would be, especially with the Blaze face; the Red Hots Bali Pop contained fewer dark browns than I remembered and they weren’t as dark as I remembered, either! But the Creeper came out very well; I added in a couple of greys and a black from the Licorice Bali Pop set as well.
I decided that I didn’t want the main designs of the cushions “disappearing” over the curve of the cushion pad, so I added complementary plain 2.5″ borders to bring the size up to 20.5″ square and frame the faces nicely.
For quilting, I couldn’t resist practicing a bit of my FMQ. I’ll freely admit right now that I’ve never played Minecraft (Terraria is my dig-it-craft-it-fight-it sandbox game of choice), and I’d always slightly assumed that Creepers were animated angry bushes! After a bit of research I now know that they’re not, but I couldn’t resist quilting my Creeper face with a “creeper” pattern of leaves!
This one is hiding in the bushes, clearly!
Before doing the FMQ, I outlined the eyes and “mouth” with black straight stitching and also quilted in the ditch all the way around the border. There’s some ends to tie off and bury and I quilted a few extra leaves into that gap in the middle at the bottom, too. A bit of a trim and an envelope back (I have two solid green fat quarters ready and waiting for that duty) and I can call him done!
I used plain calico to keep the back tidy and not shedding fluff everywhere, and I actually really like the look of the quilting on that side, too:
Almost a shame that it won’t be seen much!
For the Blaze, I decided that only a flame pattern would do – except that I’ve never quilted a flame in my life! However, I refused to let that put me off, threaded the Pfaff up with variegated orange thread and let rip.
….and apparently it worked. Mostly. They aren’t the most amazing flames ever (I had more than a few directionally challenged moments), but for a first go I’m very pleased with how they came out. Once again, I’d outlined the eyes and gone around the border first, then I quilted the flames in layers that were roughly 2 squares high, working my way back and forth up the face from the bottom.
Definitely more of a challenge than the leaves, but I like it and would do it again (on the right project!).
And here’s the back. Again, I’m almost sorry that it won’t be seen much. Ah well!
I hope I get a chance to finish these off soon; life is looking uncertain again and I’d like to actually finish something for a change! I also have a more girly cushion for my cousin’s little girl to share soon, it is very sparkly. 🙂