I loved hearing from each of you about your color preferences. And many of you sound just like me, you love one combo and another and another….It’s so hard to choose! Color is often what draws me to create a project – specifically, a quilting project. But since traditional quilting is enormously time-consuming, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed simplifying the process with my new Stipple! technique. And it seems like the Stipple! bug has caught on at our office. For many years at the magazine, I have been the only staff member who embroiders. Really. It’s been a solo journey in many ways. Until now! Our Managing Editor, Denise Holguin (a Designs magazine veteran for almost 9 years) has been bitten by the Stipple! bug – bad! And then she passed it down the hall to Designs’ newest employee, Amanda Griffin, our Web Czar.
They are both amazed by the simplicity of the technique and the outstanding results they have achieved. And get this, Denise started by stitching Stipple! designs on paper because she’s a scrapbooker at heart.
So I’m going to let Denise and Amanda share their experience with you. And when they’re done, I’d love to hear about a technique that really lit a spark in you. Leaving a comment will enter you into this weeks giveaway!
How I discovered my inner designer with Stipple!
Versatility & Design as You Go!
I set out on my Stipple journey with a modest goal. I’ll just see if I can stitch a few blocks. Then once I had a stack of blocks my hopes for a completed project soared. I’ll keep it simple—something square—like a pillow.
I looked around the office for a square pillow form but got distracted with a bolster pillow form that was calling my name. Even though it was intimidating with its cylindrical shape—something I’ve never even dreamed of attempting to make—I thought—today I conquer bolster pillow construction!
You Can Attempt this at Home Kids!
My bolster pillow consists of Stipple! Seashell blocks pieced together. I was drawn to bright, happy colors mainly because I wanted to incorporate some fun trim. I am all about details—and trim is the cherry on top for a project.
Once my Stipple blocks were pieced together I sized it to the bolster pillow form. I tend to work backwards—an experienced sewer would have determined what size fabric is needed to cover the pillow form before beginning. Clearly, that’s not my style. When I realized I was coming short all the way around with my bolster pillow form— I heard Tim Gunn in my head saying “make it work!”
I was also facing a fabric shortage because I started my Stipple journey with just a few leftover pieces of fabric. I like a good challenge. I rummaged through the scraps and determined that I had just enough to add two inch strips of fabric all the way around to create a border. I tested the fabric on the pillow form and voila! A great fit.
Bolster pillows remind me of candy—Tootsie Rolls, Brach’s Royals Caramel Rolls, Smarties, etc. With sugar on my mind I was drawn to some fun pink rick rack for the edge of the fabric and also as ties on each of the ends of the pillow. The end result is a fun pillow that evolved from just a simple goal of stitching a couple Stipple blocks!
Imagine what you can do!
Tips for unleashing your inner designer:
Forget the rules and have fun. Stitch a few blocks and see where the Stipple journey takes you! Not all creative geniuses meticulously plan their work before they begin. You might find the experience liberating and yes, you are a creative genius!
Add the details! Try adding hot fix crystals, trim, buttons etc.
Be the designer. Make block variations by not laying down the appliqué fabric for an entirely different look. Choose to stitch one block in multiple different ways just by switching the fabrics and thread colors.
I love crafts…I love to create things and share those creations with those around me. I sew, I knit, I am a soap maker…but embroidery was very intimidating to me. Here at Designs in Machine Embroidery everyone has been catching a bug. I’ve been here for three months now – it was inevitable that I would catch this bug also. I knew it was pointless to struggle or try to evade coming down with it. Is it a nasty stomach virus, mumps, chickenpox…is it swine flu? No…it’s Stipple! Yesterday (with Denise’s help) I jumped on an embroidery machine, put together a quilt sandwich and started stitching out some quaint little quilt blocks! And I can’t stop!
I brought my fabric stash to work so I can start planning and plotting my next Stipple! project…
Should I do a pillow, a wall hanging, a quilt, a garment…I can’t decide! I’m thinking a table runner…
For those of you that don’t know what Stipple! is…
Stipple! is a simple way to make quilt blocks using bold appliqués surrounded by gorgeous stippling. You embroider through all three layers of your quilt block and then put it together using Eileen’s reversible piecing technique. This technique is outlined in all of the Stipple! products. So above you can see my designs stitched and then you can see that I cut out the blocks leaving a 1/2” border around the design. Super easy!
We call them quilt blocks, but really you can turn them into anything. Here’s an example of the process from the website that Eileen had done with Stipple! Butterflies.
Visit our website to learn more and see all of our amazing Stipple! products.
I look forward to hearing how a unique technique really sparked your creativity. Post a comment explaining your engine-revving experience and you’ll get a chance to win a Stipple! Seashell collection.
You can find out more about the product by visiting our website!
The winner of last weeks giveaway for the one-year subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine is…
on May 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm | theagedpage
My favorite colors are Browns with what I call Pooh (Winnie) Green and turquoise. I also love the green and turquoise with a nice sharp black. But all in all I must say by pattern comes down to the Pooh Green – I even had a spa room painted that color – Love it.
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