We bonded two summers ago, first over a profound love of dogs, and cemented it with Pets On Quilts when she featured her daughter Kaitie's pibble mix. (Hey! That Pets on Quilts link shows you the new button for this year's show! Such fun!) I have done a couple of projects using Lara's exciting new method of appliqué, with another two in the works. Here is my second project:
Yes, when I went to take the photo of the finished pillow, there was Miss Bella, stationed at the ready for the photo shoot. I don't make this stuff up! I didn't stage that shot, other than plonk the cushion down on the bench in the front entry.
In my corner of QBL my fur kids make frequent appearances, I sometimes muse about various subjects not necessarily quilt-related, sewing doesn't always get done as quickly as I think it should, and I try to find a way to add a smile to your day, sometimes unintentionally, lol.
This is Lara's book; I know you've most likely seen it around QBL these past couple of weeks. It is available here on Amazon (no affiliation). HAPPY DANCE, it has sold out, but it will be available May 20 in the US, not sure about when in Canada. For a short while it was #1--I GRINNED when I saw the screenshot in this post of the #1 banner across her book. I know her!!! With the innovative method she's devised, the amount of care and attention to detail she's put into explaining the method and the amazing creativity she exhibits in the projects within the book, it is no wonder that it has sold out.
And, (insert shy red face), I am "in" the book! Somewhere after that fated Pets On Quilts 'meeting', she emailed me telling me she was writing a book, and asked if she could quote me in the introduction to her book! Pshaw! Really? Moi? And she did! So I am in print, hanging by a tube-turner-grabber-nabber, ha, to Lara's beautiful appliqué projects. I had written something about changing my feeling about 'aaack-pliqué' to 'ahhh-pliqué' in one of my blog posts about Fleurs. I can tell you right here, right now, she certainly has done that.
I showed you my first experiment with this method here when I made two potholders. I've been using them ever since, love them! I wanted to show you what happened when I washed them and then dried them in my dryer:
If you check that original post, you won't notice much, if any, difference! Maybe a slight puckering of the binding, and if you had feel-o-vision (kinda like smell-o-vision), you would notice the soft hand of these now.
Up close and personal:
|Look Ma! No frayed edges!!|
I had hoped to make a tree, inspired by Lara's The Walking Tree quilt in her book. There were two more common bonds: a love of books, especially fantasy, and a love of nature. I have long had a deep reverence for trees, so this project really appealed to me. My tree quilt will be forthcoming, I promise, and it excites me to no end what I am creating! That is what I really like and appreciate about this book: it has 7 appliqué projects in it, that you can either make exactly as shown, or use them as jumping off points to inspire your own creativity, as I have done with my tree quilt. Moreover, she gives extremely detailed explanations as to how to get the best results for her technique, all in a friendly tone with humour sprinkled amongst her wise advice and tips.
This cushion is actually a wallhanging, a pattern I bought some time ago because the saying just killed me, as it is so true. I thought it would be the perfect second project to try Lara's method, as it had more pieces, and a little layering of pieces so I could see how that worked out. Uh, fantastic?! I stitched around the appliqués with just a straight stitch, no zigzag or blanket stitch required; in fact, you can get away without stitching around them at all!
I backstitched by hand the words, and Bella's, er the cat's mouth. Rocco's, aka the dog's mouth was done on the machine as were the tufts in the cat's ears and the whiskers. I like to think of this as representing my blue-nose pibble, Rocco, and my diva, Bella.
I had fun with the quilting.
|Immediately after the bench photo, I took this one, and she was bound and determined to photobomb it as well!|
I used a variety of threads.
I like to bind my cushions, and thought black would frame it perfectly. This is RJR Handspray, a 5-yard cut from Craftsy bought at a recent sale. It's got fabulous depth. Thank you to Judy for putting me onto this stuff.
I had the perfect backing, a lovely gift from a blog reader who goes by Jake. She does wonderful work for and with animals, and sews all kinds of stuff for fundraisers, as well as quilts for animals going through major surgery, like for cancer, at a vet specialist near her. Along with bandanas for my three fur kids (you can read the post here), she sent me several other goodies, including this fanTAStic fabric, which I used for the backing of the cushion.
Wanna see it close up?
Preeti, to Jake, and now a piece to me. Full circle. Love that.
There is a cushion pattern in Lara's book, along with a few other 3D projects that made my mouth drop open in astonishment when I first saw them. My favourite is the little cottage that is a sewing machine cover for one of her Golden Girls, her vintage sewing machines: aka Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche! Yup, we each have a pretty good sense of humour, Lara's being the wittier.
I made my own pillow form to go inside the cushion.
I made a label using the same appliqué technique to adhere it to the backing. I didn't topstitch it but outlined it with the gel pen so it would pop a bit.
|Used the Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric that Preeti gave me to write and then to outline the pawprint|
There has been some ahhh-mazing projects shown on this blog hop for Lara's book. The schedule is here. Be sure to check it out.
I'm so glad I got this project from pattern in a drawer, to finished little pillow on my bench, and I am so honoured to have been asked to be part of Lara's hop.
Lara has generously provided a copy of her book for readers of my blog. AND!! She is this type of generous spirit: if you have already bought your copy of the book, have no fear; enter still! She will refund your money if you are chosen. I don't know, but that just makes my heart swell when I encounter such a giving nature in a person.
Duh, I decided on my walk just now, 4 hours after this post went live, (alone, sniff, as Rocco is on the DL for another 7 weeks), to have a second giveaway.
Brady: Nana, how come you always say that?
Me: Say what?
Brady: You always say 'duh!' ...
Me: I do? Oh, I guess I do! Well, because I often do stupid things.
Brady: intake of breath - You're not supposed to say that!
Me: Say what?
Brady: (whispers) that 's-t-u-' word.
Me: I'm sorry. You're right. Okay, because I always do silly things!
I'm going to give away the pattern for a second prize! It is open to anyone, anywhere; I will happily mail it to you.
One last look at the cushion:
Pattern: Dogs vs Cats by Bloomin Minds
Size: 13.75 X 16.25" after quilting
Fabric: From stash
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced with Gütermann; appliquéd with Sew Art International Invisible thread in Smoke; quilted with Isacord 4421 teal and ??15 grey, Aurifil2123, Sulky Blendables 733 4011 30 wt and Essential in magenta
The giveaway has now ended.
I'm linking up with creative Connie at Free Motion by the River and the lovely Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.