Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Frilly SugarTulip

Some of the visitors to my blog who came for the Gumpaste Tulip Tutorial have asked how to make a frilly tulip.  For the red tulip featured in my tutorial I used the cutter on the bottom left with the quarter inside (to show the size).  For this white tulip I used the smaller cutter on the top left.  After the paste was cut I used the scalloped cutter on the top of the petal and a little way down the sides.  Then I used the ball tool and frilled them well.  I followed the same steps as in the other tutorial, taping the centre stamens together, then the inside three smaller petals, and lastly the outside larger petals, one at a time to keep them in place.  Then it was dusted with pale green on the edges of the petals and at the base, and after that I steamed the flower.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My sister Helena

My sister Helena visited us this past weekend and I put her to work!  She was a very willing worker! She's a very artistic person, first a dancer and now an innovative yoga teacher, so I had no qualms about her working on one of my Asian blocks.  I gave her my favourite little book of seam instructions and seam marker strips, access to my millions of beads and threads and just let her go with her imagination.                       

I really like the seams that she added.  But I think we have the beginnings of another CQ addict.  After embellishing all evening she didn't want to go to bed!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Arlene's BB&B Block

I had a lot of fun doing these beetles.  All but the prety one on the left are authentic shapes and  colours. I just had to make an imaginary one too.   The butterfly is stumpwork, the wings are made first and attached afterwards. 

Butterfly on Arlene's BB&B Block

This is a step by step, while I was doing it, account of how I made the butterfly on Arlene's BB&B RR block.
I began by tracing a picture of a butterfly onto tracing paper.  I cut away the wings from the body and tacked one wing onto two layers of a silvery organza ribbon.  I think that the ribbon was actually a bit metallic. 

Next I used a piece of the wire that I took out from the edges of the organza ribbon.  At the point of the wing where it would join the butterfly body, I couched down the wire following the edge of the paper.  I left a tail of about 1 1/2" at the beginning.  On the first wing I used white thread to couch with, on the second wing I used pink thread which didn't show afterwards because I used pink embroidery thread. 
 I used a single strand of a shiny rayon thread which I ironed flat first, and buttonhole stitched around the whole wing removing the paper pattern as I went along.  The tails of wire were a big nuisance, and I tried taping them down with Scotch tape to save my thread from forever getting caught.
I completed the buttonhole stitch and then did a little bead embellishment.
I added a bullion body and poked the wires through the fabric to the back, where I anchored them firmly.  I will sew a little piece of ribbon over the area with the wires.  I added the felers and a bead for the head

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A reminder of Breckenridge

As soon as I saw this tray with the robins it reminded me of our lessons with Gerry K at the Retreat in Colorado.  Gerry showed Debbie Q and me how to embroider the robin with long and short stitch on felt, which would be appliqued later onto a block.  It also reminds me of our class, also with Gerry, where we amazed ourselves by painting birds on MOP buttons and the results being quite recognizable as little birds.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rita's Asian RR Block

Rita mentioned in her booklet that she sent with her block, that she used all Japanese kimono fabrics. They are quite bold designs, and mostly in navy blue and white. The exception is the lovely silkie.

The block came to me with Darlene's lovely work.  Her appliqued fan is beautiful and brought a splash of green which she echoed in a blue/green ricrac seam below the geisha. 

When I first began CQing a couple of years ago I picked up anything and everything that I thought I could use.  One of my first purchases was a bag of bamboo beads.  Tiny ones that work perfectly in my stand of bamboo at the top of the block. For the "knuckles" of the branch I used a very pale green variegated #5 Needle Necessities perle.  And for the leaves a light green 2mm silk ribbon.

Just down from the bamboo I made some bullion chrysanthimums using  Edmar Glory and for the leaves 4mm dark green silk ribbon.

The butterfly in the corner is the only one I made when I was teaching myself needle tatting, and i've sparkled it up with a few sequins and tiny crystal beads.

Now it is time to send it on. 

Your morning smile!

I'm not a bit prejudiced, of course,  but isn't he the cutest thing!  This is Elijah my three month old new grandson.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Debbie's new Blog and her big Give-away!

Debbie is celebrating the birth of her blog by holding a great give-away of goodies.  Here's the tiny so that you can go have a look and enter her draw.

Finished - the Holiday Block

          The inspiration for this piece came from my three part vacation last Fall.   It measures 22" wide by 12" high.   
          In September I flew to Denver, Colorado, met up a couple of days early with Gerry K, Leslie, Kerry and Debbie Q to get the shopping in for the September Shenanigans CQ Quilting Retreat in Breckenridge.  It was wonderful fun (and I'm signed up for this year too).   The left part represents the snowcapped mountains, the forests with the bright little patches of aspen, and the lakes.  The band that is running from top to bottom has a few small samples of what we learned.  There's velvet pansies, button painting, ribbon flowers and leaves, dying lace, using angelina fibres. At the top is a pin that Leslie made for me and all of us attending the Retreat.
          The next section is New Orleans.  From the bottom up, there's the wrought iron, above that the music, Carnival with the mask and beads, and the fancy lace on the side is a little touch of the saucier night life that is also present in the French Quarter.  What isn't very clear in the picture is a sparkling crystal, a piece from a chandellier that I found in a charity shop in the Quarter that was very damaged during Katrina.  The lady in the store said that the water had risen 8 feet up the wall.  
          On the right is Florida where I spent the last two weeks of my month's vacation.  I used needlelace for the bird's bodies and wings, collected most of the shells on Nokomis beach, and the piece of orange crab shell was once on my dinner plate!
          It's finished, but not framed.  The framing will happen in the summer when my handy friend visits.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Design challenges

This is a block for the Silk Ribbon Embroidery RR that I am participating in.   I used a silkie that I had printed out from my computer.  The photo is one that I took sometime in 1988 in a little village in Scotland.  There was a row of small houses with wonderful gardens, each a mass of colour with thousands of flowers.  The silkie was quite wide so I placed it at an angle.  For hours as I worked on the block I wasn't happy with it's look and I almost gave up and began again without using the photo in the middle. 

Then it hit me.  The picture would look so much better sitting straight on to the fabric.  So I cut another square of muslin and placed it so that I could make the block square with the photo parallel to the top and bottom edges.  Here it is with the second square of muslin poking out at the edges.

Now here it is straightened up waiting to be finished and I didn't have to unpick a thing!