Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mickey & Minnie Mouse for Eva

This was a big cake, 12" x 18" with buttercream filling and frosting.  Eva is my daughter's friends little girl and she's crazy for these two little characters.  The palm trees and lettering are gumpaste and Mickey and Minnie are in colourflow.  I've been decorating for heaven knows how many years and have never mastered those pokey parchment bags that you fold up yourself.  Well, with all those colours in the colourflow section,  I made myself work at folding until I got it to work. 
Eva has had two other cakes from me.  The first was when she was adopted to her wonderful new Mum and Dad.  I think this was a 12" x 18" too, fondant with colourflow lettering.  The Chinese characters represent her name "Eva" in Chinese.  The bottom corner has a large peony and sprigs of cherry blossom and a baby in the middle of the flower. 

For her second birthday (her first birthday in Canada) I gave her a bunch of playful monkeys with balloons.  The balloons were made with bent floral wire with a coloured mixture of gelatin.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Darlene's Asian RR

Here is Darlene's Nekid Asian RR block.  It is another of the Round Robins organized by CQI.  I am the first in the RR to work on this wonderful blue block inspired by a willow pattern plate.  I love blue so this was a delight for me to work on and I have a nice selection of blue threads and beads in my stash.  I began with a patch of Edmar Frost feather stitches and added a couple of lazy daisies to each stem.  Then I added two rows of herringbone with sequins and beads in the spaces.  After that, three fans in different shades of blue Edmar Frost, mostly lazy daisy and beadingNext came a white bullion chrysanthimum with clear bead leaves and navy stems.  And finally a row of buttonhole with a pearl in each space.  The final photo is a of all my work on Darlene's block.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cathy's Bees, Butterflies & Beetles RR Block

To finish my part of Cathy's Bees, Butterflies and Beetles block, I've added a beaded butterfly, a row of herringbone and straight stitches with beads, and a row of pistil stitches under the swarm of bees.  I used Sassa Lynne #5 Perle Flower Garden variegated for the pistil stitches. This thread works very well here because it changes colour so quickly.

I'm using mostly  Delica 11/0 beads which are the green ones in the row of herringbone, and the crystal on the bottom butterfly wings and Charlotte 13/0, the pink beads on the top wings in the butterfly. 

My stash of these tiny beads has grown since I found BeadFX in Toronto.  They have an amazing selection.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A treasure trove from Down-Under

I'm so excited!  For those of you who dabble in genealogy, trying to add to your family tree, finding third, fourth or fifth cousins is an achievement that makes you happy!  This past week I have actually made contact with two FIRST cousins, that is we share the same Grandfather!   We would call each other's parents Aunty and Uncle.  It's a very close relationship and it's absolutely amazing that it has happened.  This big branch of my family tree are on the other side of world, but with this wonderful computer age, we are in close contact by e-mail.  It's marvellous, and the nice thing is, I feel that they feel the same way!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The perfect bead!

What do you think?  Is this not the perfect bead for a beetle?  Now, if you want to see beetles, I almost made myself ill this afternoon looking through this array of beetledom! 
 From beetles to bees, much friendlier creatures.  To get my bee fluffy, I used the turkey knot for his body.   

Bees, Butterflies and Beetles RR

I'm the first person working on Cathy L's BB&B block with the CQI group. Her nakid block is below.   On the right is my first beetle, it's purely out of my head. I made a few bullion knots in Edmar Lola thread and I think it looks pretty real! I checked the web and there are so many beetles to choose from whatever I invented would probably exist somewhere. There's another one on the block, but his beady eyes slipped. I'll fix him before he shows up here. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sidetracked into the Sane world

I took part in my first Bee Night at my quilting guild the other evening and in one and a half hours I actually completed this placemat!  It was fun and the pattern was quite simple, just a "nine patch" with oblongs added to the sides and then the corners trimmed.  After that, the backing and filling, and it was done.  It was realy nice to have something to bring home that was a done deal and not another UFO to add to the big pile of UFOs!  Mind you, since I mentioned to one of the ladies that the plain pink side piece looked a bit bare and boring, she suggested that I do some fancy stitches.  So I will check my sewing machine manual and make an effort to learn a fancy stitch and add it to the placemat.  There were lots of lovely colour combinations made at the Bee Night and the object is to donate a bunch of them to Meals on Wheels and give one out to each new MonW customer.  

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fast fingers

Just listen to this guy playing Pachelbal's Canon.  Over 68 million people have watched him on YouTube. Click on this link:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Three Asian Blocks

Finally, here are the three Asian blocks.  The one on the left is my original one that I made a bit bolder.  The lighting isn't the best, but you can get the general idea.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Another Asian Block

I've been on a bit of a roll with block piecing with the round robins that are beginning soon and a block for the 2010 Challenges.  The Asian block that will be rr'ing is just one of three blocks in a wall hanging that I am planning to make.  The inspiration is from this book .  My hanging will be on a smaller scale, three diamonds wide.  So while I still had my Asian rr in the house, I thought I'd make the other two.  This is one that I have finished and I love it's brightness.  Only trouble is that the Asian rr one is now a bit too pale so I will have to jazz it up a bit before I send it off.  I remember at the Retreat that there was a mention of a finished cq quilt challenge due in 2011 - this will be my entry. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jack's block

This is my grandson Jack's birth announcement block.  Jack is six and when he was born I wasn't involved in CQ. 
At the Retreat in Colorado Kerry was doing a neat butterfly on waste canvas on her Making Memories block.  She very kindly provided me some 12 count canvas and the pattern for the angel.  I tried very hard to find the right hole to put the needle in, but even with my glasses, I found the 12 canvas too small.  So out came those stitches.  I tried with 10 canvas, but when I took photos of the angel, all the mistakes were so obvious I had to unpick that too.  Finally I used 8.5 canvas and with a magnifying glass I was more successful.  I still think my angel needs a little more hair and possibly some definition on her wings.  She's in a different location now as I unpicked so much that the original patch is in a bit of a mess.   I'll find a nice little lace motif for that.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Always game for a challenge I jumped right in on the New Year Postcard swap at CQI.  Postcards seem like they would be a breeze to do, simple, quick, easy.  Well, not for me.  First of all how many layers?  I tried one with a velvet top with felt inside and muslin as the back and bonded together with iron-on stiffener.  It was too solid to finish off the edges.  The second try showed that sequins cannot be ironed, even from the back, as they flatten out. I hand buttonhole stitched the edge, and it's passable.  The third try is this at the right.  The sequins are flattened again as i had to iron on the stiffener.  I made myself learn how to do this edging on my machine with some metallic gold thread which worked OK.   

Here are my practice pieces.  None are good enough to swap.  I'm going to try once more........

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!

How nice to start the year off with this!   My eldest grandson Jack's Christmas gift to me each year is a calendar that slips into a wooden frame.   Because they know I like this style of paintings, they choose the Lang Folk Art calender with paintings by Mary Singleton.  This picture is very appropriate to begin the New Year.  I have lots of CQ projects starting this month, and lots of good intentions to get some of the unfinished ones, completed.    (Does anyone know where the Spell Check went?)