Tuesday, September 8, 2015

So much embroidery!

In my enthusiasm for quilting over the past few years, embroidery started to fall by the wayside. I started to get back into it about a year ago to make gifts for weddings and new babies. While I'd love to make everyone quilts, I just don't have that kind of time (or money!), and I think embroideries are nice, personalized gifts that can be equally cherished as heirlooms -- that's my hope at least! Here are a few of those projects.

Emily & Allen's Wedding
Emily is one of my closest friends from college, and she married a great guy last October. Emily, our friend Lauren, and I have proclaimed ourselves "feisty Irish broads," a term that was once used to (lovingly) describe my sassy, smart, and ambitious grandmother. It seemed fitting to make Em and Allen a claddagh, which represents friendship, love, and loyalty -- words to live by! The claddagh itself is a mixture of a few designs I found online, and the banner below is from Sublime Stitching. There are small faux pearls between the words in the banner, and I mounted the embroidery in a shadow box I found at Joann, which ended up giving the finished project just the right amount of polish.

(Time for a secret: This was my second attempt at this embroidery. The first was amazing--you'll have to take my word for it--but the fabric was too thin for the weight of the stitches and ended up tearing when I ironed it. So frustrating! It could not be saved. But my second attempt ended up being finished just in time for their wedding!)

Flowers for Leia
Baby Leia was born last fall to my friends Jim and Sylvia, who just moved to the U.S. from England. (Jim is an old friend of my pal Alex, who studied with me at Lehigh, and I've gotten to know him during my various trips to the UK. I'm very excited to have them nearby!) I wanted to make Leia something bright, cheery, and a little bit girly. I found the bird and flower pattern online, but made a few variations, including adding Leia's name to it. Sylvia said it was Leia's first personalized gift! I really like the color palette for this one. Leia's a little sweetheart, and I'm looking forward to some snuggles from her soon!

Bears for Benjamin
When I moved up to New Hampshire at the age of 6, Melinda was tasked with showing me around the school. We've been friends ever since! I was excited to hear that Melinda and her husband Mike were expecting, and Benjamin arrived in early 2015. I loved these two little bears from September House's baby animals series, and I used some shades of aqua and teal to match Ben's room. I hope I get to meet the little guy one of these days!


Elephants for Evelyn
When I moved back to Pennsylvania at the age of 11, Kate became one of my dearest friends. We hadn't been in touch in a few years, so I was shocked to hear that she had a little girl this summer! I made this embroidery for Evelyn, using the elephants from the same Baby Animals series as the bears above. After I sent this, Kate contacted me about getting together, and I got to meet baby Evy last week! She is beautiful, and it was wonderful to see Kate as a mom. I'm heading down to DC to visit them in October. See -- embroidery can bring people together!

Foxes for Jonathan
Last, but not least, my old friend Shauna welcomed baby #2 a few weeks ago. I made an embroidery of a mama and baby owl for his big brother, Adam, so it was only fair that I made one for him! Shauna and Brian kept the baby's gender a surprise, but I knew their nursery was in orange and green with a woodland theme, so I thought these foxes would be a safe bet. (And adorable, to boot! I really got a lot of mileage out of that Baby Animals pattern set!) I love the little mushrooms on this one.

With that epic post, I'm very close to being caught up! I have just a couple more quilts to write about, and one I'm about to cut fabric for. I've been working on a cute embroidery for myself, as well as some Liberty of London applique projects.

Last week, I reorganized all of my fabric and moved it to a new storage unit. I was a little overwhelmed by how much fabric I've accumulated, so I've decided that at some point, I want to make some charity quilts. If anyone knows of any reliable organizations that accept quilt donations (especially kids' quilts), please let me know!

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