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.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

CQJP 2014 - February's Block

This is my second block in the CQJP 2014 challenge which is  to finish one block or item a month for a year, and then make them into something.  

This is the naked block with a few pieces of lace added.  I'm trying to use more lace than I usually do.

Here it is finished.  The centre photo is of my parents at the beginning of their honeymoon on Jersey.  This was just two days before World War 2 began.  On their second day, my father was recalled to his RAF unit.  

 I'm doing a series of blocks that represents my grandparents, parents, siblings and my children and my grandchildren.  A total of 20 blocks.

Ribbon roses.   Above the roses you can see a piece of lace where I added a small piece of orange satin under the lace flower.

I added a lot of beads and stitching to the two rows of lace trim and I like the effect. The centre bead began as a small white glass flower and changed completely with some gold thread.

This was in my stash, and isn't it lovely.  A crochet flower with variegated thread gives a nice pattern.

A little patch of roses.

Friday, February 14, 2014

My sister Helena is here visiting again, and guess where she quickly landed....on the floor with the fabric!

Within a few days of her arrival, we were out shopping and one of the pieces we found was an exquisite child's top.  We couldn't bear to cut it up and after some discussion decided that it would make a lovely cushion to go with other beaded cushions on my couch.

Here it is with the shoulder straps turned under, laying on dark brown fabric.    Anyway, from this idea, my sister made the easy move to arranging fancy cushion fronts from my large selection of beautifully beaded, sequinned, embellished stash.  Click on the pictures for close ups.

Hot Pink, the first one completed 
All the pinks

Gorgeous green
A very beautiful brown and beige
This is a close up of the main sparkly piece in the brown/beige photo.   

Stunning orange


These will be going on e-bay next week.

So this is just the start of Helena's fabric explosion.  She's here for three more weeks!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

January's CQJP2014 block

I love it when I have a project that I don't want to put down.   January's block was like that, and is pretty well finished I think. 

There is an empty piece of pink satin at the bottom, but I may use that space to embroider the name of the person (me) there, maybe using waste canvas.  I haven't decided whether to put the names on the block, on the sashing pieces, or on the back.

SRE roses and leaves on the left, and some beading on a really nice piece of lace

Velvet ribbon flowers and lots of cast on stitches using one of the Colour Variation Perle 5 threads.

I found this lacy looking embroidery in "Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples" by Yasuko Endo.  I used a #10 crochet cotton.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


The annual Journal Project encourages me to tackle larger projects and finish them.  2011's quilt was the "Flower Quilt"

2012's was the "Fan Quilt"

2013's began, but I didn't finish it.  

2014 is going to be a family quilt with photos. Gerry Kruger gave me some excellent advice on her Blog "Block Talk", about adding lace, upon lace, upon lace to ultimate richness, and I'm doing my very best....

Naked Block

With some lace and embroidery added and having a bit of fun trying to be lavish!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Catching up again...

It's ages again since I posted, and it's not that I didn't have lots to post about.  

Mum passed away peacefully on July 24 at aged 97.  

May 5 1916 - July 24 2013
 At the family gathering we organized a week afterwards, six of her eight grandchildren and all eleven of the great grandchildren were present.  Trying to get a photo of eleven kids between the ages of one to  twelve was a feat in itself.         I was hoping to have a photo of the whole group, but so far no luck!

A few weeks later I accompanied my sister Helena back to her home in New York.  We had a good time discovering the Fashion District in Manhattan where we found some gorgeous trim and fabric.  I came back home with a suitcase full of goodies, many of which have found their way into my crazy quilt kits that I sell on E-Bay.

For the fourth year I travelled out west to the CQI Retreat in Colorado.  We all have a great time and get to see some wonderful work "in person", so much more exquisite in reality.   Next year's will be in Kansas City.

Here are some photos of our weather a week or so ago.   Just before Christmas we had a devastating freezing rain storm which created a coating of ice on everything, and especially the trees.  Many of the tree limbs fell off with the weight of the ice, landed on power lines and cut off electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes.  I was pretty lucky, only without electricity and heat for 13 hours, but on the other end was my daughter who's home had no electricity of 6 days.  There's no doubt that it was a beautiful sight, a sparkling wonderland, but as the last photo shows, hugely damaging to out lovely old trees. 

I try to bake the birthday cakes for my grandchildren, and since Lauren's in May, there has been Emily's 3rd in June, Elijah's 4th in October, Caleb's 7th and Brynn's 5th in November and Josh's 6th in December.  

Caleb & Brynn (below) are my two grandchildren from Quebec, a 3hour train ride (with cakes in tow).

Brynn asked for pink rosebud cake, there are rosebuds around the base, but the main event is the 6" open rose on the top.  Don't ask how many petals!

On the sewing front I found this cute pattern on Etsy and made another little smock for my great niece Hillary.  You can see the chicken scratch heart on the front.

Emily in the Matheson tartan.

OI found a cute pair of rainbow striped tights for Lauren and made a black velvet dress to go with it for Christmas.  

And made one to match in a deep violet for Emily.  I also sewed up a little apron for her.  

 On the other sewing front I've had a crazy quilt class at the local artsy quilt shop Art of Fabric. I had seven students in the last session, three were completely new to cq and they learned how to piece a block and do basic embroidery stitches.  In the four 3-hour sessions I also gave them a taste of silk ribbon embroidery and beading.  The remaining students had been to most of the previous classes and were happy to learn new techniques or get on with their projects.  I'm loving it, especially as I am finding some of them as excited as I was when I discovered CQ.

I'm looking forward to 2014 and wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!