Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Fill Pattern

I've posted a new fill pattern: Waves.  Looks complicated, but really it's quite easy once you see the pattern.  It's ideal for quilt squares, embellishments and borders.

Check it out!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"No Measuring Required" Diamond Ornament

This is a wonderful and easy method for finishing your small blackwork designs.  The diamond ornament can be embellished all sorts of ways and makes a charming sachet.  There are several tutorials on the 'net, but I found most of them to be downright difficult.  Lots of measuring, mitering, and pressing.  I figured out a way to get my diamond the right size without rulers and without counting!  Come along; I'll show you how.

Find the side of the diamond.   Start at the outermost detail of one side of the diamond.  Stitch a running stitch in a diagonal line from that point to the topmost point of the pattern.

Continue all the way around the pattern.  Go all the way around, especially if you're using even weave fabric.
I was a half stitch off on a recent piece.  A running stitch all the way around the design will insure that your diamond is symmetrical.

NOTE: Use a light-colored thread for your measuring stitch.  You will remove the stitch later in the process and darker threads have been known to leave a stain.

Stitch a border.  Using a double-running stitch, create a border using the tips of the measuring stitch as a guide.

When completed, it should look like this:

Carefully remove the measuring stitch, wash, and press your design.

Trim excess fabric, creating a seam allowance of about 4 stitches.  Press seam allowances to the wrong side of the design.

Locate the center of the border.

Start stitching by running thread through the stitch just right of center.   Pinch the border in half, locate the  stitch just left of center and begin whip stitching the border. 

Whip stitch to the end, then secure thread by running it back under a few stitches.

Repeat on the opposite side.  With both sides completed, it should look like this: 

Pinch the finished sides together.

Stitch a third side.

After three sides are sewn, stuff with batting, making sure to work it into the corners.  Do not over-stuff.  Sew the fourth side closed using the whip stitch.

Secure the four sides in the center, weaving the thread in and out of the seams several times.

Add thread to one of the tips for a hanger.  Embellish as desired.

Your "No Measuring Required" diamond ornament is now complete!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Accent pillow

I'm not much of a seamstress.  Sewing machines, fabric, pins holding it all together--it's still rather intimidating.  But I'm very happy with my work today; an accent pillow featuring one of my new designs.  "Hannah" is stitched on fiddler's cloth, then set into denim, giving it a lovely, down-home feel.

You can find the finishing technique at

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Two New Designs

I've been studying mandalas and learning how to work with curves.  It's a fascinating process, and I'm having a blast!  Here are two new designs:

Snowflake Mandala


Monday, January 3, 2011

Through the eye of the lens

My good friend, Liz Fairchild, is a genius with the camera.  Her photos have an intimacy and vulnerability that few can capture.  Visit her site and see for yourself:

Last month, Liz and I met at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum  This place is a treasure trove of images, textures, and colors.

Liz handed me a camera, reminded me of the basics, then set me loose.  Here are a few of my favorite shots:

Ed is a volunteer at the museum.

All images copyright 2010 Jeanne Dansby.  All rights reserved.

Thanks, Liz.  I had a great day!