Monday, September 8, 2014

CQJP 2014 August's Naked Block

CQJP 2014: August - Helena
I'm stretching the truth a lot when I say this is a naked block.  It's actually full of wonderful Indian bead, sequins,  and gold work embroidery.  

Helena is my younger sister.  We didn't grow up as good friends possibly because of the few year's age difference and probably because I was a bit of a bossy big sister.  

Last year when we spent seven months together looking after our mum, we had an amazing time, mainly messing around with all the ethnic fabrics that abound in Toronto.

Helena discovered my stash of saris and other well embellished garments, and set about creating wonderful fabric montages, all of which she named.  I think the total number was a bit over 200.

So to celebrate our sisterly friendship I created a bejewelled block.  I'll still add more to it, and especially to the lacey pieces as I am still mindful of Gerry K's lesson in using lace and embellishments to the max!

I am off the the CQ Retreat in Kansas City on Wednesday and this block will be the one I work on during "stitching time". 

Friday, August 15, 2014

This summer has sped by!  Here we know that it is nearly over when our CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) is only days away.  It ends on Labour Day and then school starts.  

It's a few weeks since I posted last, and I have a bit of making up to do for sure.  

My son, Neil and family made the annual trip to Toronto on the weekend that a surprise birthday party was planned for his sister, Heather.  It was great fun, with 24 of us sitting at two huge round tables, selecting various delicious Chinese dishes spinning around the lazy susan in the middle.    Of course I made a cake.


  



 We arranged to meet the next day at the Ferry Docks for a trip to Centre Island, one of a series of small islands in Lake Ontario about one kilometre south of Toronto.  It has become one of the favourites of the kids because of "Centreville" an area of smaller rides.  An all-day family pass is reasonable and allows everyone unlimited rides, and we always take snacks and a lunch picnic.  


Heather & Lauren on the Teacup ride.


Suzie, Jack and Emily on the train ride

Heather and Lauren on the train
Josh, Caleb and Elijah

All 8 grandchildren: Josh, Brynn, Emily, Lauren, Elijah (standing) Jack with baby Samuel and Caleb!

Neil, Lee Ann and nephew Samuel
The day always ends with ice cream for all the cousins!

It was a wonderful to have my three kids, their partners and all the children together at the same time.  

My little seahorse

I'm very easily side-tracked, and my latest detour has been a little beaded seahorse.  



I wrote instructions as I went along and after three or four tries with different beads and sequins, this is the final little guy.  

If you are interested, check him out on e-bay.




Monday, June 30, 2014

Cakes and more cakes



My friend Verdie and I worked on display cakes for a friend who was launching his catering business.





  This one is very tall, covered in pearlized rose petals, with a sparkling broach on the top tier and a garland of crystals around the bottom.

Close up of crystals.

Bottom tier of this cake is covered with hydrangea blossoms.  I think we made 18 dozen flowers.  The top tier has a large peony on the side.

Close up of blossoms

Close up of peony on top tier

When you run out of brown colour paste, this is the shade you get.  It's a soft dusty pink.  Verdie had already made the calla lilies.  


Topsy turvey cake with three large roses on the top

Topper

My friend Verdie and I 





Saturday, June 14, 2014

Emily's 3rd Birthday

A third birthday for my granddaughter Emily.  At that age it seems that all little girls are into pink, lilac and princesses.  My daughter, Suzie helped with the design of this cake and also provided the pretty model of Princess Sophia.  It's all very well to model bubble guppies or lego men, but getting princess's faces and fingers looking just right is important, and Suzie understood.  

The cake was really pretty, mainly due to the backdrop of the castle, which is a story in itself.  Through my cake club, CSSA in Toronto, we were very lucky to attend a cake decorating workshop by Ruth Rickey from the USA.    

Here we are, my friend and cake partner Verdie, Ruth, and me with our class samples.


Ruth's class was called Japanese Kimono Embroidery.  The technique lent itself perfectly for the castle on the birthday cake.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Birth Day and Birthday

This little sweetie arrived on May 30th, a bit ahead of schedule.  He is Samuel Stephen and is my daughter and husband's new baby.  He has two big brothers, Josh and Elijah, 4 and 6, and a sister, Lauren, 2.



Just a couple of week's before Samuel arrived we celebrated Lauren's second birthday.  Lauren's favourites are the Bubble Guppies, so Verdie and I made the little characters to order.

Good to the last crumb.

My nephew's friend Alison made this neat baby stroller for a  family get-together to welcome my new great nephew James. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Emily's CQJP2014 block finished


I was lucky to have a lovely crochet doily in variegated lilacs that I cut in half for this block.  I am making good progress on this year's journal project.  This is the sixth block finished out of 20 for the project.  I need to do almost two blocks a month to finish by the end of the year.    

This is Josh, my next block to work on.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

CQJP 2014 Next Naked Block

This is Emily, Suzie and John's daughter and Jack's younger sister, and one of my three grand daughters.  The block is mainly lilacs and already there are a couple of areas that were already embroidered:  the pansies are from the corner of a hankie, and the bottom left fabric is a sheer net embroidered with lilac flowers.

I still have more than a week left of my vacation and I'm hoping to finish this block and one more.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

CQJP 2014 May's Block finished

This was such a lot of fun to work on.  Because the photo and frame took quite a bit of room on the block, each seam and area of fabric patch was short and small.   So I was continually changing stitches and threads.

This little spray was a surprise to me.  I'm not good at drawing or designing this type of thing.  But this one began with just one big cross drawn on the fabric.  The centre button stands out and then, as you can see, I added some bits and pieces, embroidered some leaves, and it looks pretty. 

Here's some of the Kiko flowers that Sharon B. taught us in Connecticut a few years ago.  

The hankie formed the frame for the picture, and because it was so delicate, I didn't want to overly embellish it.  I left it to the very last and in the end used every single fresh water pearl I had in my "brought to Florida" stash and it looked just right.


I do have my next block pieced together and photographed, but I have a Mac laptop now and my photo is on it, but I haven't figured out how to get it to this screen.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

April's Block but really only February's

Moving right along with the blocks for the 2014 CQ Journal Project.  

The finished quilt will have 20 blocks and I'm hoping to have it finished in the 12 months of 2014, which means I need to do 1 2/3 blocks per month.  

That is a daunting thought!  So far I have finished  4 blocks (4 x 3/3 is 12 thirds) and that is the equivalent of January and February (5/3 + 5/3 = 10/3) and 2/3 of this block to go towards March's block.  

Maybe that's altogether too much math.

This is my daughter Suzie as a baby.  The block is a bit wild, but it does go with her red dress!

The next block is Heather, my younger daughter.  I had this wonderful old fine lawn hankie edged with tiny rosebuds.  I didn't want to cut it up, so I laid the photo on top and folded the hankie around to make a frame.  I am without sewing machine while on holiday, and these blocks are all hand sewn, so they all look a little bubbly. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CQJP 2014 March block finished

This is March's block and these are my grandparents on my mother's side.  The block turned out rather fancy, but I don't think that my grandmother had many beaded or sequinned clothes, they were very much from the working class.  She worked very hard to giver her four daughters a decent education and a chance for the future.


April's naked block.
This is Suzie, my eldest daughter at about 10 months old.  I remember making her the red dress for Christmas.  


Friday, March 21, 2014

Wedding Cake

As much as I don't like moths or butterflies, I think this cake looks very pretty.  The bride provided them and added them to the finished cake herself.

It was a real surprise to the guests when the cake was cut.   
Each colour strip was about 2" high.

Friday, March 7, 2014

March's CQJP Block

This is my mother's parents.  I met my Grampa many times, but my Grandmother died tragically when my mum was about 11 years old. 


I've also been working on other projects to do with my Crazy Quilt class running at the local quilt store.  I made this small drawstring bag as an end product sample from two small blocks.  
The pink side, with pretty simple stitches.  The basic block construction from the middle out.

Under the Sea side which is a bit more challenging and is put together as a scenic block.


I've had the class for over a year now.  It runs in 4-month sessions, and I have a couple of students who are now on their 5th session.  

I've been making a fabric book of samples of the things I teach and as more inspiration.  The "pages" are 12' X 7" and fold in half.  I wanted to be able to add stitching to the pages at any time, but wanted to hide the back also.

Some fool's gold work

Folded and gathered flowers and different kinds of leaves

This page is mostly simple silk ribbon

One of the stitch pages - feather and cretan

Silk ribbon flowers.  

I've added metal eyelet holes.  I'll use two rings to hold everything together.   I have 12 pages made so far and I'm finding it really useful.  I'm also working on an instruction book to go along with each fabric page.