Thursday, May 28, 2015

Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2015, part 2

I am woefully behind on this project, but still plugging away. I originally pieced the first 3 blocks for January, February, and March at the same time, and thought I was so smart to be ahead of the game. So far I've only embellished 2 of them and part of the 3rd, but I'm happy with them.
I love the silkies I bought to use, and while the blocks may not all get a "saying" on them, I hope to do the little thread sketch for each. We'll see how that pans out.

Green thumb?

I'm the first to admit I don't have one. But the things in my yard that I mostly leave alone and just provide water do okay, like these red hot pokers. They are more plentiful and more intensely colored this year than ever. They always bloom around my birthday; a little early this year, but that's okay.
I'm not sure if the camera captured it or not, but the first of the moon flowers have had a distinctly lavender tinge to their outer edges.
These pansies seeded themselves from a hanging pot I had last fall. They bloomed into early December and started up again in February.
 More pansies. This year I bought orange and purple violas and an orange variety called "whiskers".
I have great hopes for these two tomato plants. One is a husky red and the other is husky cherry tomato. I've had good luck with the yellow pear tomatoes in the past, but my family doesn't think they're as flavorful as the red ones.
Zack, Corbin, and Dozer with the red hot pokers.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Some things....

....that I've been working on lately. The first two are examples of note cards I've been making for sale at Grand Valley Books. I've made a lot that haven't been photographed; they've gone straight to the store.
This is the first one I've added a spider to, and I was a little concerned it wouldn't sell, but it did.
This is what I made for my mother for Mothers' Day. She lives in a nursing home and neither wants nor has room for a lot of d├ęcor. I attached this to her bulletin board.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

One more crazy cat and a question

Here is my latest (and possibly last) crazy quilted cat. It was made on commission for a lady who purchased one of the two that I donated for a craft sale to benefit the local humane society. I don't plan to make any more for the bookstore, as they had their run there.
And here's the question: does anyone have experience using this type of fiber/thread? In a short google search, I found that it is used in Brazilian embroidery or stump work, but not how to use it, for instance, couch it, stitch it with a large needle?
Two skeins are color 81 and the one at the top is slightly lighter and marked 83. I think it might be 1950's vintage, but not sure. It says 100% poliamida, so not a natural fiber.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tutorial for stitching tiny pansies

Here is how I stitched the little pansies on the two pieces on the bottom.The drawing below illustrates the first steps and where to place the first three cast-on stitches in relation to the French knot.
First I stitched a line of stems to put the flowers on. The initial stitch is Cretan on top and chevron on the bottom, but you don't have to use this exact stitch. Just something with fairly even spacing is fine. Above the top of each stem, I stitched a French knot in yellow-green.


 Sorry this is out of focus, but here I have stitched the first petal (7 wrap cast-on stitch) on the left and have positioned the needle to take the wraps of the second one on the right.

This shows the needle positioned to take the 10 wraps that form the larger bottom petal.

After completing the row of flowers in the light yellow, I go back and add the petals that sit right behind the top two petals. I used a darker yellow for these petals, and they are also done with 7 wraps.
The finishing touch is just a touch from a fine point purple marker to make the darker "face" patches.
Here is another example, done as an insert for a notecard.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2015

Kathy Shaw is once again hosting the CQJP. Find her blog here. Finally this year I'm going to give it a go.
The focal patches for each of the twelve blocks (the goal is to complete one each month; I'm already behind!) will be a "silkie" or an image printed on fabric. Each of the ones I've chosen is of a child or children in Victorian times with a pet or pets. The pets are mostly dogs and cats, but also include rabbits and ducklings. There will be quotations stitched on some of the blocks, such as this first one,
"The smallest feline is a masterpiece." by Leonardo da Vinci
 And this one by Theophile Gautier: "Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes?"
 I'm not sure I'll put a quotation on this block. If I decide to do that, I'll probably have to replace the lower left patch, as I put that piece of silk in with deliberate pleats to echo the dress on the child.
I'm also finally getting around to working with a book of ribbon trim ideas that I've had for a year or more. It's Ribbon Trims by Nancy Nehring, and the instructions are not the best, but I've been able to work out a couple of them with some help from Youtube videos and just by trial and error.
These first blocks have their ribbon trim framing the silkies, but again, not all the blocks may include that type of frame. I've used a lot of moire taffeta in the blocks, which I'm finding is difficult to photograph. But it's my all-time favorite fancy fabric and looks beautiful in person.

Puzzle piece swap

On the yahoo site Crazy Quilting for Newbies, we are doing a swap for CQed puzzle pieces. This was originally done by Pat Winter, and Lesa (CQ4N's list mom) got her permission to use the template for the size and shape of the piece. My plan is to send in 3 of these and keep one, and then Lesa will send me back 3 that are made by other members of the group. Then I'll have a little grouping of 4 to display. Maybe in the future we'll do the swap again and I can collect a few more.
The shape presents several design challenges that you don't get with more regular-edged shapes. I found that one should be careful about having a seam go into either the outie or the innie, as it makes finishing the edge difficult. One also has to be careful where and what to stitch if it will end up too close to the edge. I ran the pansies a little too close on the two bottom ones. Areas of open, unembellished fabric seem to be more apparent, like on the upper right one, the area between the two innies, and on the lower left one in the middle. It's not as noticeable on the upper left one, where the unembellished part of the green fabric is brocade and has more detail to it. I personally like the fabric to stand on its own in spots on most blocks, as it gives the eye a place to rest, but it sort of bothers me on these. Who knows, doing a few more of these may move me into the encrusted embellishers' arena.