Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Naked Stumpwork Block

I think that this will be the final block I need to make for the CQI RRs beginning in the new year.  This one is for the Stumpwork RR which I'm looking forward to participating in.  Stumpwork is 3-dimensional and you will see all kinds of things popping up from this block and the others that are also in this round robin.  I've been practicing some of the techniques on an earlier trial block  here.   So I'm all ready to go with the Bees, Butterflies and Beetles, the Asian theme block, and the Stumpwork block.  Still waiting for two more CQers to join in the Brazillian Embroidery  rr.!    I used a piece of material from my Christmas cracker from Alice as my centre for this block. 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Cracker Swap

Just take a look at all this lovely stuff!  All these ribbons, threads, fabric, lace and silkies were stuffed into just a piece of paper towel roll and covered with a very pretty piece of crazy quilting, from Alice.  It was so much fun to open up.  And it'll be more fun to use! 

Just the bestest present!

Thank you to my children Neil & Lee-Ann, Suzie & John, Heather & Jason for this wonderful gift.  Installed and programmed by Jason for my trip home from their house on Boxing day, I even got to use it.  Gerry K brought a similar GPS with her and used in the rental car at the Retreat in Colorado.  It got us out of a few pickles and always put us back on the right road.   

Monday, December 21, 2009

More Crazy Blocks

My goodness I've been working hard on my naked RR blocks! This one is for the Bees, Bugs and Butterflies RR at CQI. I think this is my most favourite block that I have pieced together, ever! The centre fabric is just one motif from a FQ that I bought recently. There are also lovely pieces of heavy maroon lace and thick maroon silk. These are definitely my colours. I also tried to follow Gerry K's guidelines about eye movement and repetition of colour. I'm not sure if I succeeded here, but I did work on the left hand side to get the gold silk piece in, where originally I had the top and bottom maroon pieces meeting. Just that change made a difference to my eye movement.
This one is very plain by comparison. It's for the CQI 2010 monthly challenge which will need some space for additional fabric and techniques. I made the fan by the paper piecing technique and appliqued it on. but there must be a much easier way as this took me hours to do. I also didn't know how to finish it off at the bottom. I'm going to look for a small piece of metal jewellery to put over it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Busy, busy, busy....

How can it be 3 weeks since I blogged last! Time just slips away. I haven't done a lot of stitching, but I have managed to work on piecing some of the RR blocks that I have signed up for in the New Year. This is my naked block for the Asian #2 RR. The design is similar to part of a wall hanging that I liked and mentioned in a previous posting. The fan fabric only came in those vibrant (fluorescent!) colours, but I'm going to encourage my RR friends to bead/embroider/embellish over them to tone them down a bit!
This could either be for the Brazillian embroidery RR or the Stumpwork RR. I haven't decided yet.
And this is the design, on paper, for the CQI 2010 Challenge. The first few monthly challenges include curved piecing, fans, working with velvet, birds and 5-layer stitching. Stumpwork and Silk Ribbon embroidery are two more that I have signed up for and need to make blocks, but so far they are one or two short of being filled.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thank you for the music......

This was so much fun to do! My daughter's two friends were celebrating their 40th birthdays. Suzie designed and I executed. It's a 12" x 18" vanilla. Isn't it amazing how many music systems we've gone through in just 40 years!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Textile Museum, Toronto

Lynn, Sandy and I, all members of met this morning at the Textile Museum in downtown Toronto. Mr. & Mrs. Tannenbaum are the owners of a wonderful quilt collection which is on view at the Museum. Many of the quilts are crazy and are absolutely beautiful. We read that Mrs. Tannenbaum collected the quilts because they were art pieces. The crazy quilts on show were mostly made around 1880 and there were many that were made from tiny plain and patterned silk pieces which absolutely glowed. Much of the stitching was of shiny thread which added another glow! As you will see from the photos, there are some traditional quilting patterns, one in particular the log cabin, which almost became a crazy quilt with the rich fabric and some embroidery, here and there. I appreciate more so the work done by Miss Carole Samples in documenting hundreds of seams and motifs from old quilts in her book "Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches". The three of us decided that we would meet again in the New Year to share our talents, and of course if there any other in the GTA, Lynn said she could seat 10 comfortably! By the way, there was not a bead to be seen on any of the quilts! Lynn and Sandy standing beside a Kashmir shawl.
The embroidery on this was mostly chenile. Close ups of this one are below
Close up of the quilt above
This is stunning, and below it I have several close ups.
I think this was my favourite. There was just so much embroidery, and it was very colourful. I found that if you double click on the photos to enlarge them, then click on the elargement to get it even more magnified.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas Cracker Swap

This is the Christmas Cracker I made for the CQI swap. It was a great project and I used green, maroon and gold with only embroidery and embellishment on the seams, I had to restrain myself from filling in the empty spaces! Then a piece of a cardboard paper roll was pushed inside to give it shape and hold all the goodies that could be shoved in. When my cracker arrives from my swap buddy I am NOT to allowed to peek. It has to be saved until Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2009


My little grandson Joshua is nearly two and sits mesmerized with his daddy, watching these cute characters on TV each night before bed. His birthday is soon and during our Wednesday sugar session last week, my friend Verdie and I made these sugar folk for the top of his cake.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Monday Challenge - fourth week

I'm moving on well with my holiday block. Above is the Colorado section. I added more snow to the mountains and have put some snow covered trees on the section right below it. In Colorado the small patches of aspens in amongst the firs were brilliant and I've tried to duplicate the look of that here. Below is a closeup of the mountains.
I also worked on the wrought iron railings in the New Orleans section. This was tricky stitching!
These are two needle cases that I made on short notice for the Bazaar at St. Margaret's in the Pines Peacemakers craft group. Just one piece of fabric embellished with lace and beads. I think the monotone colour scheme worked out really pretty. This is one opened up to show the front side.
The front closeup.
The back closeup.
A second one with just one fold, this is the front.
This is the back.
Next week I have to get the waste canvas angel mastered, or it comes out and a nice piece of lace goes in it's place.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday Challenge - third week

I don't have much to show for the third week of this Challenge. I'm still trying to get the cross stitch angel on the waste canvas good enough to leave on the block. I've unpicked twice already. I'm making some wrought iron railings on the New Orleans part of my holiday block. I've also been shopping for snow tires and trying to use up 20lbs each of carrots, beets, onions and potatoes that I bought for $2 for 10 pounds! So even though I don't have stitching photos, I could take a picture of ten big jars of pickled beets, and lots of containers of carrot ginger soup, and Lesley's baked potato soup that are now in the freezer!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

ATC for my birthday

This birthday ATC arrived while I was on my vacation this past Fall. It's from CQI and was made by Hideko. I've always admired Hideko's wonderful stitching, so I'm extra pleased that I can see it up close.

Interesting stuff

I came across some little gems this week. This small piece of smocking is just pretty, I'm not sure what I will do with it!This is trim on the hem of a long tunic. There's also bands of it on the sleeves and around the neck. Masses of square mirrors that are kept in place by seed beads. It's quite heavy and very colourful. Part of a large embroidered section on a dress of pale blue cotton.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More fiddly beading...

I added this little daisy chain after I had already posted the piece below. The colours are not true, it's the most delicate pink and pale green. It would make a very pretty seam treatment.
It takes a lot of practice, a good magnifying glass and my Ott-lite. I did try a more complicated one and didn't have much luck with it, so I'm going to keep making the simplest shape until I know what I am doing! The multi-coloured star is pretty, but even more important, I could learn the pattern and check for errors easily by using the different coloured beads.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monday Challenge - second week

This past week I finished the tea cosy. I even managed to get the piping braid in neatly too!
I added a little face to the angel. She is ready to be mailed. Her wings are three layers of sparkly white organza ribbon. I drew the pattern on the ribbon, sewed small running stitches on the pattern line, then embroidered blanket stitched over the running stitches very close together and I trimmed very close to the stitching. The Florida part of my holiday wall hanging is finished. I redid the sunset reflection in the water and added a few grasses around the feet of the upper bird just so he doesn't look as if he is floating, but has his feet on the sand. I took out the cross stitch mesh, because my stitching on the cross stitch angel was very uneven and some of the crosses went the wrong way. So this needs to be taken out and redone. I might use a bigger mesh the next time.


I bought a new book...... and this is my first attempt at a beaded flower. I used 11/0 Delicas which the book recommended for uniformity. It only measures 5/8" across! I see mistakes in the photo, but I did it without using a magnifying glass, which I think will be necessary for me when I try more.
The book is full of wonderful designs - pansies, orchids, daffodils, lily of the valley, iris and ...... I want to do them all!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Crazyquilters-ca Monday Challenge

This challenge suggested by our Canadian group of Crazy Quilters may spur me on to finish some projects that have been on the back burner for ages. I have several that I need to complete before the end of the year. Two projects are well on their way - a cream tea cosy and a baby birth announcement block, and shouldn't take too long to finish. I also have a Christmas Cracker swap to prepare and a special Christmas tree decoration to make, both of which are due to be mailed out by the middle of November. The tea cosy embroidery is done, it needs batting and lining. The baby block needs the photo in the middle and the birth details for the baby. Right now there is a patch of paper in place of a photo. When I prepared the block I set my machine to the largest stitch so that the paper would be easy to remove later. On the Retreat I bought a roll of silk for printing photos from the computer so I'll be trying that out soon.