Ok, so it wasn’t so quickly that I posted the pics to go with my last post, but it is edited and they are in there now. Sorry for the delay!!
What have we been up to? Well, I had to get a minor procedure done, I am fine, thank you. Consequently, though I was not feeling like sewing or blogging for about a week. I have also been kicking around the idea of picking up embroidery. I did it a little when I was a kid (the requisite dish towels with the ironed on patterns), I didn’t like it all that much. I did some cross stitching when I got out of college, and realized that I liked collecting and organizing the embroidery floss better than I liked the actual cross-stitching. I am also very against hand sewing. I put buttons on my husband’s shirts with the sewing machine (thanks, Mom for that trick!).
So why would I ever pick up embroidery? Well, I need something that is a little more portable than quilting. I would like to take something with us on vacation AND I learned a great technique for quilt tags that involves being at least proficient in embroidery that I want to get better at (tutorial will follow on that soon, btw). I am not one for using patterns, I would much rather make my own OR go improv, SO I was thinking how could I do something small to give this a try?
My husband and I are Geocachers, we don’t do it ALL the time, only about 100 finds a year, but we love it when we can do it. We love the creativity, we like the exercise, and we like to get other people involved. We take Pixel, the quilter and GeoPit when we can, we have taken my Mom, and our oldest niece (she’s 13, so she hates EVERYTHING), LOVES to go with us.
For vacation, we decided that we would get our niece her own Travel Bug. That is a little metal tag that you can attach to anything, and geocachers move it around the country and around the world from geocache to geocache. I didn’t just get her one, though, I got one for each of us.
We are each going to attach something hand-made to our travel bugs, and I (obviously) wanted to attach a mini quilt. But of course, I HATE tiny triangles and do the thought of doing that made me not want to do it. What could I do? One big square would be boring… LIGHTBULB, try embroidery again, it will be a small piece that should be pretty quick. I decided to do a little pit bull (I found a cute line drawing on-line that I traced onto some plain muslin with a marker that disappears when you get it wet), I then of course decided to not just outline the pittie, but to fill it in, and of course, to fill it in to look like Pixel. So I went to work…
It only took me a couple of hours and I LOVED it. It looks pretty folk arty, but for going freehand (no pattern, just the outline), and for a first attempt, I thought she turned out pretty darned cute.
Then came the harder part, and that was the quilting. This is obviously no show-piece, so I used scraps of fabric that I had constructed Pixel’s bed out of. Just put a border around the outside of my embroidery muslin, and then backed it with a durable polycotton backing (this is going to be exposed to the elements), and used a scrap of poly batting. I also tried basting spray for the first time. It certainly worked, I didn’t have any puckering or gathering, but I must have been to impatient, and not let it dry, because it made everything sticky. If I were to let it dry, would that help? Anyone have experience with the stuff?
I am most disappointed with the binding, it is too big and I tried to attach it on the machine with the blanket stitch, it didn’t work very well, but again, that was a first attempt, I would think it might get better with practice.
To complete my travel bug, I put a grommet in it, to attach the aluminum travel bug tag, and she’s ready to be dropped in a cache. If you’re interested in more information about the TB, you can visit her page, here.