While my sewing machine is in the shop (thought it was broken, but it fixed itself by the time I arrived there, however since it's 61 years old and I've owned it 10 years without having it tuned up, I just left it for a good cleaning and tune-up anyway), I'll share a couple of hand projects I'm working on or recently finished.
I finished this yesterday - just in time for my friend's bridal shower. Yes, she is getting married on July 28, 2012. (My daughter really wanted to hold the hoop for me!)
I think it turned out pretty nice. I appliqued the birds, based on a pattern I drew (more on that in a second), and then embroidered the wing shapes and the lines. haven't really done much (any?) embroidery before, so it's certainly not perfect and I don't think I'd really even know what perfect looked like since I'm definitely not an expert!
I got the idea to cover the outside of the hoop with torn fabric from here, and learned about how to finish the back so it looks nice here (though I didn't use felt, just yellow fabric.)
What makes it a nicer gift (in my opinion!) is that I drew the design based off of their invitation:
(excuse the bad picture):
Here's a close up of the birds (you might be able to still see a bit of the grid I drew over the design so I could enlarge the birds onto freezer paper to make the templates):
And here's the final product again:
I decided not to put their names on it partly because it would have taken longer (did I mention I finished it a couple hours before the shower?) but mostly because I sort of envisioned them hanging it somewhere in their house, and I don't know, I guess I just figured they know their own names!