Archive for September, 2007

This was a really fun project because it reminded me of making a “silk purse from a sow’s ear”. The “sow’s ear” would be the plastic, dollar store step stool that is hidden beneath the “silk purse”, a lovely cottage floral fabric with tassels and beaded trim. This was a “no sew” project and required fabric, trim, scissors, polyfil, hot glue and of course, the step stool. I saw one similar in my friend’s sewing store and figured I’d try it.

If I can make this “no sew” stool, you can too! If you’d like directions, email me at the Empty Nest, I’ll be happy to oblige. emptynestfabrics@gmail.com

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When I went to my local sewing supply store a few years ago, they were hosting a Pfaff truck, which was filled with all the Pfaff sewing and embroidery machines and…. THIS quilt. The folks at Pfaff were kind enough to send me this image of the exact quilt that was on display. (Click on the image to view it larger). The photo doesn’t do it justice, though. I literally stood there for at least 20 minutes just staring at it. Then I came back to stare some more. If you clicked on it to see it even closer, you probably understand why!
Here’s another version. Up until the moment I saw this quilt, I had no idea what machine embroidery was. I had never quilted, never created much more than clothing and accessories. This is Now Voyager, designed by Jenny Haskins (http://www.jennyhaskins.com/) and let me tell you, it is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen. Little did I know, this was the tip of the Jenny iceberg…her creations are undoubtedly the utmost in machine embroidery and design. This quilt, Now Voyager, is the reason I purchased my Pfaff. I haven’t created my dream quilt yet, as I have spent the last couple of years honing my machine embroidery skills. One day though… one day!

I did not take the 2nd version photo above, by the way, and there is no photo credit to reference.

Here’s Now Voyager in a different color palette. This image is from Unique by Design Quilting. Isn’t it lucious! I am so thankful for people like Jenny who realize their blessings from God and share them with others!

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I like the back as much as the front. The back of this pillow closes with reproduction Vintage metal buttons. Inside is the pillow that can be removed.

There was no pattern for this, just a free motion piecing and quilting with a coordinating ruffle around the edge. This is a great pillow to take on trips in Mr. Empty Nester’s truck. It’s big and fluffy and nice to snuggle on.

Note two things here: the top stitching along the button placket (Pfaff’s standard stitches on the Creative 2134) and the little appliqued rose in the corner. The rose was the very first thing we successfully embroidered after getting our new Pfaff. We used some very heavy water soluble stabilizer, stitched it out, soaked it, dried for a day or so on the countertop and poof! We had an applique. It laid in the sewing box for a year or so before I found a project worthy of showcasing our first embroidered piece. Since the fabrics in this pillow have such great memories (see next paragraph), I decided the rose just had to go on it.

This quilted pillow was my first attempt at free motion quilting. I figured I totally blew it because my stitches are quite long, but then I read that there are no “rules” hence “free motion”, so I decided I was happy with it after all. I have since learned the technique and have much better results with free motion quilting.

The pillow is a favorite thing here at the Empty Nest, as it is one of two items I created from a wonderful trip with a friend to visit quilt shops from Savannah to Charleston, S.C.. My friend Angela McRae and I left Savannah early on a January morning and found our way through Bluffton, Beaufort, Charleston and ended up in Summerville, S.C. (People Places and Quilts! OH WOW!) We visited every single independent fabric shop we could find, scooping up fat quarters, patterns, threads and more. Finding all those goodies was a lot of fun, but nothing can compare with the quality time these two friends got to spend together. The pillow and a matching lap quilt (will feature that later) are like a tangible memory of that trip. I think of Angela and our fun weekend every single time I see them.

Here’s a closeup of the corner detail with tatted lace.

By the way, next time you see Angela, ask her about the bookstore. It’s a hoot.

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So my friend Ruth, upon hearing that I had a new Pfaff embroidery machine, called and asked if I would embroider a piece for her crazy quilt. Of course I said yes, but it was one of the very first things I did and I was concerned that I might not do it well. Pfaff thought otherwise! It was really simple. I just lined it up properly in the hoop, changed thread when the machine said to, and poof! A wonderful, heirloom result. Okay, it wasn’t really THAT simple, but machine embroidery isn’t that difficult either! Ruth sent all the pieces and all I had to do was the embroidery. Note the tatted lace border… what a beautiful accent!

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So I was checking out my Pfaff Creative 2134 and realized, hey, why not do a sampler of all the decorative stitches? So I dug through my fat quarter stash, put together some pieces and voila! I didn’t get anywhere near all the stitches in, but here’s the result. This bag is great for my Bible study supplies. It holds large paperback books, like instructional manuals, craft books and magazines really well.

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This is some of the most beautiful fabric we’ve seen (besides our very fave floral celedon at the top of the blog!). The fabric has a sheen to it, polished cotton, I believe. Here’s a companion piece:

Can’t you just see this on a Vera Bradley – like bag? You can even quilt it to make it look even more authentic!
Here’s a bag I made here at the Nest. It might just give you some ideas! I quilted the fabric, added an inside pocket (just the right size for my cellphone) with a little zipper pocket on the outside of it for all of the Mr. & Mrs. Empty Nester aches and pain pills!
There’s a third pocket on the outside back, also good for the cellphone. Because it is quilted, the purse holds its shape and sits up, even when empty. There were no forms used, just batting and fabulous fabric!

This is a wash and dry bag… After using it all spring, I’ve already run it through the washer but I did hang it up to dry. It looks brand new! I’m now back in my Junk Drawers (see post below) and still getting sweet comments on it!

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When Christmas comes to the Empty Nest, everyone expects embroidered sheets! This set was for our daughter and her husband. They are 400 count Egyptian cotton, super soft and especially beautiful with the added embroidery.

This set was a wedding gift for my mom in law and her husband. Also 400 count, 100% Egyptian cotton.
We use a Pfaff Creative 2134 for all our sewing and embroidery. This is an incredible machine, priced in the middle to high range. Pfaff has just come out with the bombdiggity sewing / embroidery machine that surpasses all others. They seem to have thought of everything with the Pfaff Creative Vision! This model is a bit pricey for your Empty Nest friends, but hey, we can always dream! check it out at http://www.pfaff.com/

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