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Pottery Makers' Marks-Tell Us a Story

 I love to look up and find out what information I can about the odd bits of vintage or contemporary dishware that I find. When shopping around, I usually look for Farmhouse or Cottage style items that would look well as a display in a hutch, plate rack or as a centerpiece. I know that decorator plates aren't fashionable at this time, but I just can't help myself.  I also find quite a few pieces of good quality dinnerware that one might need to replace a broken or lost item. I'm becoming quite a detective. There's so much info. to be found on the internet and it often becomes a history lesson. Two World Wars in Europe and the fall of the Soviet Union have taken their toll on many manufacturers. For example, if an item was made in Czechoslovakia, its definitely vintage as this country has been rearranged and is now known as the Czech Republic.  This is an antique 1890's Brown Transferware Cream Platter made by Johnson Bros. The pattern is called "Mignon" wh

Daisy-An Appliqué Cat-Fusible Web Appliqué

My sister, Lyn, has a lovely home in upper WI.  On my last visit we spent an afternoon at a quilt show in nearby Eagle River.  Trees for Tomorrow Park provided the perfect setting for the Cranberry Country Quilt Guild’s ‘Walk in the Woods’ Quilt Show. Beautiful quilts displayed informally outside on clotheslines between the trees. 

Along with the quilts were lots of vendors, such as Laura Krasinski, who was representing Bigfork Bay Cotton Co. 

She was also selling her first original pattern, Daisy, a raw-edge, appliqué cat pattern.

My sister bought the pattern and I promised to make it for her.  She wanted to have something made by me to hang in her office, she’s such a sweetie.

This pattern includes a layout guide and three sheets of fusible web with the pattern pieces already printed on them.  This is not a pattern for beginners, at least intermediate appliqué skills are needed.  The instructions are very general, leaving most decisions up to the quilter, and its designed to use up small scraps of favorite fabrics.  The original Daisy pattern was fused, raw-edge appliquéd and then simply quilted.  I decided to loosen up and see where the pattern would lead me.

First, I got out my rayon machine embroidery thread, and started matching fabrics with the threads.  I tried to choose a nice variety of colors, and since the pattern pieces where small, I stuck to mostly solid fabrics. 

First, I picked a light blue cotton for the background, sprayed it heavily with the spray starch and pressed it.  The pattern told me to start with the grass, so I ironed the grass pattern piece to the wrong side of the green grass fabric.  Then, I cut it out and fused it to the bottom of the blue background. 

Next, I started working on the cat.  I decided on a black & white cat, to match my kitty-‘Miss Cookie’.

I fused the cat pattern to the black cotton I’d picked out. Fusible web has a paper side & a sticky side. The pattern piece is traced on the paper side then the sticky side is pressed to the back of the fabric. The pattern piece is cut out; the paper is pulled off, leaving a sticky film on the back of the piece. I fused the sticky back to the blue background as shown on the guide.

I set-up my sewing machine with my black rayon thread, and used a tight zig-zag stitch to sew the cat’s body to the background.  Again, I positioned it as shown on the guide.  Now, the pattern directed me to draw on the cat’s face with a fine sharpie, but I decided to hand embroider the face. 

I traced the face on plain, white cotton.  Also, I decided to include the cat’s ears on the head rather than separately.

When I was happy with the face, I fused the web to the back, right over the stitching.  I cut it out and positioned the head as shown on the guide, and pressed it to  the background.  Then, I pinned a small piece of fabric stabilizer to the back of the background, to prevent puckering, as the piece was a bit small. 

I switched my machine to white thread, and again used a tight zig-zag stitch to sew it to the background.  I also added a small piece of black fabric to the  top of the head.

While I had the white thread in, I decided to put a heart-shaped patch on the body. Then, I started adding a few white flower shapes. Still zig-zagging, I added two flowers, then trimmed around the stabilizer.

Time to stop & see how things were shaping up.

Yikes! So boring. I needed to put a bit more thought into this. I showed it to my friend, Diana, and she started pulling different fabrics from her stash. When she pulled out the ‘Day Glow Daisy’ fabric, I knew we were on to something.

I got out my super sharp appliqué scissors, and cut the cat figure away from the blue background-careful not to cut into the outline stitching. Then, I stitched the kitty to the new background, added a few flowers & leaves.
Next, Diana, helped me do some simple, free motion quilting. Lastly, I finished it with the original light-blue fabric as binding.

I hope my sister likes it...!


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