I’ve got my new doll patterns ready for a test run. This is my “Huggy Bunny” ready for some machine appliquéing. I am also going to try my hand at hand embroidery, a new craft for me, partly in honor of the Etsy for Animals January challenge, “New Year, New Craft” (although I’m not sure I can meet the January 1st deadline), and partly to tie in with a new idea I have for some embroidery designs. I was thinking a sort of “stitch-along” might be fun. I’m working on an original design to post on my website so that anyone who wants to join in, can learn along with me.
Over the weekend I took out a couple of projects that were in need of a small amount of work to be “finished”. I made this nursery quilt back in 2004, when we were having another hot August. It was entirely done by hand. I drew the illustration, traced it onto freezer paper, hand appliquéd the pieces on, and then hand stitched all the blocks and strips together. The one thing I stopped short of doing were the hand-embroidered eyes and nostrils on the cow, and my hand-embroidered signature. This is what I finished over the weekend. It is a glorious thing to behold really, so colorful and cheerful.
I made this set of mini art quilts mostly from cotton batiks, with an occasional cotton print thrown in. I started by paper piecing the backgrounds where I could. In a couple of places, like on the background for the sun, I made a pattern piece in a curved shape and cut it out from my paper-pieced section, then sewed it to another section.
I used Pigma pens, which are permanent ink markers, to draw the faces on my moons, sun, and flower.
Original designs, art quilts, and photos copyright Elizabeth Ruffing, all rights reserved.
This me, Elizabeth, in my favorite straw sun hat. I wear it when we go out walking. I have other straw hats that I use for gardening or for working in the yard. I love flowers and I’m making two floral art quilts, incorporating my love of gardening, painting, and sewing. One is based on a watercolor painting I did of an iris flower.
I brought many of my iris plants with me, when we moved from New York state to North Carolina. I kept them in containers on the balcony of our apartment, and then planted them behind our new house. Many of them are my grandma’s irises.
The second image I am using is printed from my watercolor painting of pansies. It has a light blue border, with decorative flowers.
This is the pile of cotton batik fabrics, waiting to be pre-washed, before I sew them into a quilt. I sewed a zig-zag stitch along the raw edges, to keep them from fraying in the washing machine. I like to wash my fabrics before I use them, to compensate for shrinkage, and because I find the smell of fabric sizing irritating.
I love fabric. I get excited about anything that is displayed in those rainbow, full-spectrum arrangements in the store. I lose track of time on the paint aisle of an art store, or a in a quilt shop, with the fabric bolts, lined up by color. I’m captivated by colorful things.