Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beaded Applique

Someone on a blog asked the question "What is your favorite Christmas decoration."  I have so many that bring back special memories, but this one is my favorite. 

This is my mom's Christmas tree. When I was growing up, we would always go into the woods and select the perfect cedar tree for our Christmas tree, a task my oldest brother Michael seem to enjoy the most.  Then we would decorate it with lots of pretty ornaments that Momma and Daddy had collected and that we had made.  As the years went by, and we grew up, they switched to a huge artifical tree, that was beautiful with all our ornaments on it.  I would help Momma get it decorated each year.  I have pictures of my children looking in awe at Grandma's Christmas tree.  By the time the great grandkids had started arriving, the big Christmas tree and all the decorations were just too much for my parents.

Momma had this sweet "feather" tree that Daddy had made for her many years before and she put her special ornaments on it.  This was the only tree she used in the last 15 years or so of her life.  I would go down in the mornings and help her put the decorations on and it was so very special to me.  The angel on the top of the tree was "Me" according to my mom and of course I believed her :) at least I knew I was in her eyes. She had choir boy ornaments for my brothers - but I was always on top of the tree! The tree is at my house now, and I feel so very priviledged each year to put my Momma's tree up in my home.

Now for the beaded applique.  In my last post I mentioned a bed runner I was working on.  I am now doing the applique on the borders on each end.  I drew some ornaments and when I started putting them on they just looked like they needed a little bling.  Having taken a beading class at the Quilters of SC Piecable retreat in the Fall, I decided to try out some beading on my ornaments, but I  wanted to incorporate the beading with the back basting applique.

I started by adding a bead with each applique stitch, but the beads were laying on their side, not a very attactive look!

Then I remembered that in class, we took the thread  back through the beads, so I tried this and the beads all stood upright, like soldiers at attention.

What fun!  It takes longer to do than back basting without the bling, but I love the look.  Here is what the end border looks like with all the beads.  I added gold chains using DMC gold metalic  floss - not my favorite thing to work with, and a few stitches at the top of the ornaments to be the ornament hanger. I am having fun with this one!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas week and a joyous Christmas Day!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Designing Applique

I love to do applique, but have never tried to design my own applique patterns.  Well that is not quite right, I have tried and never could get it right.  I am hoping to do a class next year on a Fall table runner, with this applique that yes, I designed.  Its pretty simple, but its my first design.  I will use it to teach back basting applique and thus it needs to be a simple design, at least that's my story and I am sticking with it!


Here is a glimpse of the runner.  I don't have both sides appliqued yet and obviously it is not quilted yet - but this will give you an idea of the direction I am headed. 

I am having fun with this and am anxious to get it finished.

In addition to the table runner, I am working on a Christmas bed runner.  I just love the idea of a bed runner to cheer up (or holiday-up) a room.  The applique for this one is still tumbling around in my head but will have applique on each end that drops to the side of the bed - I am thinking Christmas ornaments on embroidered gold chains (chain stitch).

That's my Christmas Beauty quilt that I have it lying on. First year I have actuallly used this quilt at Christmas.  I don't see this runner being on something quite this busy, possibly a plain white spread would be better.

Well - so that is what I am up to.  I would like to say thank you  for all that follow my blog.  I see I have picked up a few new followers and that is encouraging.