Friday, April 30, 2010

Nicki Lee's CQI Asian RR heading home

Well, this block was such a pleasure to work on.  It came so beautifully embellished from  Meg, Rita and Darlene, the whole time I was doing my bit on it, I was analysing and enjoying theirs. 

The fan was printed on to the patch which was a great start, and each section of the fan turned into a mini patch, so much fun!

I added a flower bead and feather stitch to another seam and wove  through it red and metallic thread.  On the patch below it I outlined a gold design.  

I filled in the geisha's underskirt with yellow stitching, did the seam to the right of the fan, and also the one above the geisha's head, then carried down to the next seam with the lazy daisy stitches filled with black tiny beads.   And just below that I added a dragon charm. 

This RR has produced some stunning blocks, and pushed me to do new techniques. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Little treasures

                                                                                                                                         One thing I find about being a crazy quilter is I am on the receiving end of some lovely bits and pieces.  Because we only use scraps and fragments of trim or embelishments, a little piece of lace 6" long or a pretty button, is really something worth giving (and receiving!)  This wonderful assortment of bits and pieces came to me at my quilt guild meeting last Tuesday evening from one of the members that I had only met briefly several weeks before.  This is one of the most interesting ways to increase the stash and I'm so grateful when someone takes the trouble to assemble all these little treasures in one place to give to me. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Candji's Silk Ribbon Embroidery RR #1 block

Candji's first nakid block went missing in action, so she quickly put together another for the CQI round robin.  This is a 16" x 16" block and here it is after I finished my additions to it.  I am the first stitcher to work on it and I started on the peach patch with a rose tree, some foxgloves, iris and little filler flowers.   The pink ribbon roses are quite tricky to do properly.  I used 13mm ribbon which gets pulled to the right side and then twisted many times.  Put the needle through to the back of the work very close to the place the ribbon came up, and fold the ribbon over at the half-way point, hold it and let it twist on itself. Gently pull the needle on the wrong side and this pulls the twists flat into folds which really look like roses.  The trick is to keep the shape of the folds without it unfolding all over the place.  I have many small stitches holding the petals in place.  I loved the look of the strip of green velvet and added big pansies in 13mm ribbon.  I kept the seam treatments small and quiet so as not to intrude on the SR embroidery. Note:  I changed the photos from centred to left alligned and somehow that changed their order around.   Sometimes I just don't understand Blogger's internal workings!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

East End Cake Decorators - April 2010 Meeting

We had a full program at our East End Cake Decorators' meeting on Sunday 18th April.  Shaon led a fun workshop where we learned how to make realistic teddy bears and elephants.  The first photo is our instructor, Shaon with her two little critters, and the next photo is a grouping of all of our pretty acceptable and recognizable animals.  Thanks Shaon!Next on the agenda, Glenys demonstrated her new airbrush, and then we all had a chance to try it out. 

Our next meeting is May 16th.   Shaon has offered to demonstrate gumpaste roses and I will demonstrate the gumpaste tulip.

Paper pieced quilt....continued

After this morning's work on our quilt at St. Margaaret's in the Pines, we finished joining the individual squares into strips, and pressed it all.  What a difference it made when we lined it all up properly.  In the photo are Joyce, Dorothy, Susan and Cynthia, some of our ladies who have helped with cutting, piecing, pinning, ironing and sewing (and unpicking on occasion). 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Meg's BB&B Block

This is Meg's Bees, Butterflies and Beetles RR block after Arlene, Cathy and I have worked on it.  Nicki Lee gets it next for her stitching and then it will go home to Meg.

I added the stumpwork turquoise beaded silk butterfly and the seam it's sitting on.  The seam is made up of two rows of chevron stitch, with two fly stitches below and alternating lazy daisy and pistil stitch on top.  I added some beads in the lazy daisies and used Edmar Frost thread

On the seam above the pink lace butterfly at the top I stitched four rows of fly stitch, also with Edmar Frost and added tiny gold beads.  The butterfly in the next photo was printed on the fabric already.  I outlined it in the same tiny gold beads (#13/0) and added lazy daisy stitches and green beads on the wings.

The final patch is very pretty purple and turquoise flowers.  I attached a purple jewelled butterfly right in the middle with dark green whirly stitching and freshwater pearls.  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Paper pieced quilt

                                                                                                 The craft group I belong to at St. Margaret's in the Pines usually make a quilt every couple of years for a raffle. We bagan this one last year.  This star design uses pieces of paper marked in triangles with cutting lines and sewing lines.  This is Susan, our fearless leader who knows all about quilts, quilting, sewing machines, and is a great resource for the rest of us who only have a very limited knowledge of all of the above.

The fabric for this quilt came from the stash of one of our dear friends who passed away and left a wonderful assortment of colourful cottons.  So, as well as being an interesting, vibrant quilt to work on, it is a joy to make.

We began this last year and have diligently sewn block by block, week by week (with a few weeks time out to make Easter eggs), and now finally, we have enough blocks to put it together.   For a non-sane-quilter (as opposed to a crazy quilter), it was very uncomplicated to do.  Susan divided the fabrics first into colours, then within the colours were "lights", "mediums" and "darks".    She cut the fabric into strips and then placed two different right sides together and pinned thm to the paper for us to sew.  It seemed like magic the way it worked, but of course it's not.  The paper pieces are called "Thangles" ( ) and would inspire me to tackle a quilt with so many points to match, without a second thought.

The first photo shows one finished block sewn together, and one just stuck to a piece of flannelette before sewing. 

The next photo is the blocks all laid out on our working table to get the same design from the pattern we used.

And the third photo is one finished block to show all the different patterned pieces and how the dark triangles make up the star.

This past week I sewed together the first row of blocks.  I'm sure next week we will have sewn it all together ready for the border.  More photos next week!

Monday, April 12, 2010

This year's egg

I am invited each year to my friend Sonja's family's traditional Ukranian egg decorating marathon!  It's so much fun!  This is my third year doing the eggs, and I can say that my hand isn't getting any less shakey, but the end result sure looks nice nestled in their thrift store brass egg cups, sitting on my cabinet. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More on Meg's Asian RR block.....

Honestly, I had Meg's block wrapped up, sealed, addressed and in my bag to take to the post office and I just couldn't do it.  The Mandella was bugging me because the beads didn't really lay the way I wanted to, and this block is exquisite and my bit of beading stuck out like a sore thumb!  I had used delicas which are a size 11/0 but for the new mandella, I went to a smaller size 13/0 Charlottes which made a much neater job.  I had to take some liberty with the design, but it is now ready to mail.

The next photo is the bottom part of the block with my stuff.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Meg's Asian block ready to move on!

Ohhhh.....I've been battling for an hour this morning to get these photos to go in the right order, but there seems to be no logic to loading pictures.   I can't waste any more time on this, it is what it is.  When Meg's Asian block arrived I was in awe of the stitching already completed by Rita and Darlene.  To start with Meg puts together beautifully pieced blocks with lovely material.  Her theme for the block was Arabian.  I searched the web for some inspiration and came up with a carpet, a mandella and a tile design. Above is the carpet on the block, and the inspiration carpet on the left. 

Next is an Arabian tile design which I duplicated on squared paper using one of Carole Samples templates.  The paper was great to keep the pattern straight.   The design is embroidered with gold thread and is quite delicate. 

The fabric next to the silky was covered in ferns printed in gold on the fabric I went over it in fly stitch with gold thread.   The mandella was also taken from an Arabian design which I did mostly in beads.  Next the block moves on to Nicki Lee who will work her magic!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More stitching from my sister

A few weeks ago while my sister was visiting she started work on one of my Asian blocks.  Apart from seeing my CQ work, she had never worked on CQ blocks and hardly ever embroidered in her life before.  But she is very creative and has a good eye for design and colour.  So, while I was away in Florida she spent some time with Mum and picked up the CQ block again.  This is what she accomplished during her visit.  I left out Judit Baker Montanna's Elegant Stitches as a reference for stitch instruction.  Thanks Helena!