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Good morning!  It’s cold out there… we have 3 above with a wind…brrrrr! Here is a project that I hope… will  warm your heart! “Bird in the Velvet” — Pattern and inspiration courtesy of Sue Spargo, a designer whose specializes in folk art and wool, and more… I just love her design play, colors and textures; they just completely pull me in!  Check out her website (link above). This was a free pattern she did for a magazine article… but it was for a pillow, which was quite charming… but me n pillows just don’t hit it off right now.  (If you’re interested in the pattern, just leave me a comment, and I’ll go and look it up – I mean dig for it, in my studio!)  This piece is for SALE at GALLERY 16.
I’m always loving pillows, but decided instead a wall hanging suited some of the creative touches I wished to add….like…
  • a little folded edge just for dimension, and because I have a thing for polka dots!
  • Ahhh… Kaffe Fasset fabric!  “It’s in there!”  Binding, and it ties in with the velvet birdie (detail pic below), and with the leaves
  • adding a hand-dyed orange colored yarn in the border for that “framed” look
  • it makes me happy! 

Just look at the possibilities you can do, to add your own personality to a published pattern…

  • what about that triple straight stitch that is almost always underused on most machines?!  I love how it looks on the petals….but only on the solid ones!  And … those solid petals are of flannel!  Another texture… I dig that!
  • velvet… yes, a bit high-maintenance.. but oh so worth it!  I love it!  Fuse them.. ever so gently!  Each one is free motioned with a stitch on the outside edge of the circle. 
  • notice the petals are couched with a variegated hand-dyed yarn… and again, couching on the inside yellow oval also, and I let my couching bunch up just a tad… so it created a deliberately wavy line that I really dig!
  • Velvet… my love!  Love the brown cotton velvet in the pod on the flower… edged with a dark brown yarn too.  Green cotton velvet in the stem… again surrounded by a light turquoise chenille… and my free motion applique in sweet little swirls… (I teach this in my Beyond Free Motion Class!)

and more!  Ohhhhh I love chenille… especially when it’s so purty!!  Kaffe Fasset again… pulling together a bit of a theme in pattern… notice the quilting background is subtle… in a pastel thread that compliments the leaves, but doesn’t overwhelm them… and so they stand out! I have to say that the little circles I quilted on the petals were fun to do… but don’t overdo it.. they just don’t really show up on such a busy fabric, and I knew that, but wanted to add a little ‘somethin – somethin’!

And… I’m probably sounding like a broken record… but I fell in love with this velvet rick rack, available at The Quilt Away quilt shop!  Lovely colors… and this brown was just the ticket to give a little visual interest and another piece of texture on the bottom of the quilt… overlaid with a bit chenille of course!

Chenille, velvet, rick rack, flannel, rayon yarns… silver metallic threads, tril-lobal polyesters…. “these are a few of my favorite things!”  I like that song!

As you know by now, my adoration of velvet never goes away… and this luscious silk rayon velvet, hand-dyed is no exception.  I had so much fun playing with Kaffe Fasset  fabric for the wings, auditioning until I got just what I wanted for whimsy and pattern, and that “stand out and take a look” quality  that attracts me.

It also made for a creative eye on him, too.  Sweet!

The top white portion of the quilt is done in silver metallic by Yenmet brand thread, in a diagonal pattern.  I really like the movement of the quilting… and I had no hesitation to add the red thread, (crossing all those lines!) in a beautiful  variegated polyester tri-lobal from Superior Threads “Rainbows.”  Here’s the quick recap:

  • I chose three different background fabrics, but neutrals.. all play well together, but the white adds that “crisp” factor, while the beiges help the other components of this little quilt stand out.
  • Three different quilting motifs… done in three different threads, but all accent each other without overwhelming
  • color…. texture… and unexpected touches of free motion couching on the outside binding and around the flower petals
  • USE that triple straight stitch… WOW those petals look magnificent in that yellow/orange/coral variegated polyester tri-lobal thread!  

HAVE FUN!  Explore!  Mix it up a little.  And whatever… you….do…. do it with all your might!

Comments 1

  1. I would love to know which magazine that Sue Spargo pattern was in. I was searching for it online and found your blog post.

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