Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vintage Hummingbird Quilt 74 Year Old WIP

For those of you that are new to the Hollow, the story behind these Hummingbird's can be found here.  They were a project that I knew would have to wait for my knowledge of quilting to expand. 
During the fall of last year, I took a day to try and figure out the geometric measurements of the octagon that would be needed to put these little guys together.  Seems easy right?  It nearly drove me nuts.  I remember being completely frazzed, walking away, and vowing to make the little Hummers into plain square blocks.  But after having a cup of tea and clearing my head, I threw common sense out the window, along with my ruler, and began sketching the pieces with transfer paper.  The ruler was used as a straight edge to clean up the design and in the final stages to make everything square.  My pattern was designed with hand stitching in mind, keeping with the style my Great Grandma ended with on July 4th of 1940. 
Below are the final sketches that I found in a binder last weekend.  Let me add that they were untested sketches.  No fibs here dear friends... It took me a minute or 20 :(  to reacquaint my mind on how I thought this pattern would work.  During the trial run of assembly, there were quite a few stitches ripped out trying to understand the order of construction.  My frustration was eased by imagining how different the world must have been when Great Grandma was constructing her pieces to this quilt... A quilt unknown to her that a Great Grand daughter would be destined to try and finish.  I couldn't help to also think of my Grandma, and how blessed I am that she kept these little pieces of cloth safe over the years. 
Have I ever told you how much I love to hand sew?
I truly do...
I am so proud to show you a peek at my progress!  It is as if my hands are being guided by generations. 

There is a long way to go, but I am so ready for this challenge.  A little hand stitching here and there calms my soul.  The timing feels right for me to venture into this quilt.  I intend to work on this one a few hours a week and take my time enjoying the process...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sweet Meadow Farm's Prim Easter Bunny Finished!

I hope that everyone had a Merry Pi Day on 3/14!  We celebrated the mathematical constant at our house with a slice of cherry.  After telling my co workers about the dessert planned for my family, my branch manager pulled out a huge apple pie that she had stored in our break room freezer.  Instead of pulling a 10 hour shift, I went home for a few hours and did some baking! LOL  So... my team at work got to celebrate with a slice of  heavenly apple pie! (For her generosity, I brought my manager a piece of cherry back, since that is her favorite! ;) )   We were talking about next year's plans, since the date will be 3/14/15 and that will account for the first 5 digits of Pi.  I am thinking that we should all bring a different pie and spend the day sampling!  LOL
I finished my darling little bunny from the Sweet Meadow Farm's pattern.  She is every bit as cute as I imagined.  Thank the heavens that she is prim, since my skill level is perfect for that style! ;)  ** Oops... the remnants of the Pi celebration are in the background! :)

She is complete with genuine feed sack bloomers.   It would be fun to do a bunny with all feed sack clothes.  For this little girl, the dress fabric was dipped in coffee, and it gave the wee outfit a wonderful vintage look.  One lesson that I learned was not to fold the fabric over a hanger to dry after dipping.  The coffee settles on the cloth that is resting on the hanger and leaves a dark line.  But if you dip the affected pieces again, squeeze them a few times while in the coffee and finish by hanging them with clothes pins; the lines will go away... Lucky for me!

Her colors go well with my living room walls.   I would like to make her a dark little boy playmate and some wool Easter toys.  It would give her arms something to do.  Now, I am off to look for another project that needs completion!

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! :) 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sweet Meadow Farm's Prim Bunny

A few years ago, I picked up the "Simply Bunnies" pattern from Maureen Mills of Sweet Meadows Farm. (Maureen was the designer of the gingerbread girl doll that I purchased for Christmas 2011, during an online craft show (here). )   My desire was to purchase more of her finished dolls.  But since my searches came up empty handed, I decided to check out her patterns.   Yikes!  You should see her sweet little dolls.  I left her site with three patterns ordered.  :)  Quite the big dreams here, since my experience in doll sewing is ZERO.  After receiving the patterns, I really enjoyed looking, reading and filing them away in my "to do" drawer.  Sound familiar? ;)
The bunny pattern was calling to me last summer, so I broke out some muslin hidden in my "hope that its needed someday" stash and created some bunny body parts.  Unfortunately... not long after completion, the parts were put in a tub and forgotten about.  :(
As you can see below, this little darling was rediscovered last weekend... just in time for Easter.  What had I been afraid of?  Time to break out and have a little fun.  I made some stain from instant coffee  (It was pretty light... Makes me wonder if brewed coffee would stain a bunny darker?)  and began wiping the body down with a soaked sponge.  It took a few coats to get to the final shade.

Painting the eyes was reminiscent of my ceramic days... sigh... with my  paint caddy getting to see a little action! LOL  Then, I was surprised to find that Maureen uses my favorite colored pencils for the detail work... Prismacolors.  They are another item that hasn't seen a whole lot of daylight in the past year.  The whole process is so addictive!  My mind was buzzing with possible dye methods and assorted shades of pencils to use on future bunnies. :)

Below is how she sits right now.  Tonight, the assembling will begin.  Then, my Easter fabric will get a once over for an outfit.  The coffee stain will come in handy to give the fabric an antique feel to it.   This whole project has been amazingly fun.  I love the excitement of tackling something new, and Maureen's designs are definitely newbie friendly...  Trust me!

The eyelashes are very prominent on this little one, so a dress will be constructed.  My mind is already imagining a dark little boy playmate.  I think that I'd better start experimenting with some natural dyes!  :)