Friday, September 28, 2007

Garden fairies or not fairies at all?

This is some fabric I'm planning to use for a block. The little ladies in it are tiny and fairy-like, but they don't have wings.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Needle book? Hussif?

I actually was wrong yesterday when I posted that I hadn't finished anything lately. I forgot about this thing which started out to be a needle book, but is quite a bit larger than I think a needle book would be. I bought the wallet-like thing at a yard sale. It was hand-made and probably intended to be a coin purse/wallet. It's made of brown and cream print quilted calico, and has several pockets and a zippered compartment inside. I cut a muslin foundation by drawing around the unfolded wallet, and added a bit to the straight-cut end so it would cover part of the inside, too.

I pieced the foundation with some of my favorite fancies, with no color theme at all. And then I embellished it with just embroidery stitches since it will get handled a lot.

After it was embellished, I hand stitched it to the wallet, and voila, or voilett, I have a place to keep needles, scissors, etc., for traveling about.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Antique CQ blocks and fabric

I haven't finished anything in the last few days, so I thought I'd show you a couple of the antique blocks I've purchased on Ebay over the years. The first one is a nicely done single block, about 10" square.

This block is the very first one I ever bought. I'd been looking at antique crazy quilts and blocks on Ebay (as well as restoring them for some time through Rocky Mountain Quilts) and when I saw this single block for a reasonable price, I just had to have it. It was slightly unfinished; the space just around the little girl's patch was not done. Actually, it had been done at one time, judging from the stitch holes on the back, but someone, somewhere along the line, had taken it apart and not refinished it. I was able to finish it out, and now it awaits my further consideration. I fell in love with the chubby little girl with her tricky cat, and have seen this same motif on another quilt since I bought this piece. She might have been an embroidery motif that was printed in a magazine, or possibly a Kate Greenaway girl.

This fabric was also bought on Ebay. I've called it the world's most expensive fat quarter, though that may not be true. It's certainly the most expensive one I've ever purchased. It is cheater cloth; printed to look like a crazy quilt, right down to the spider and web (one of which includes a trapped fly). Sometime after I bought this, I finally got to buy Penny McMorris's book titled Crazy Quilts. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered, on page 24, a picture of this very fabric! It was made in 1886, according to the book. My piece was on the back of a quilt at one time; presumably on a crazy quilt, though I don't know that for sure. It does have tiny holes in it that are obviously tie-holes. I have since seen a whole cloth quilt for sale on Ebay that was done in this fabric. How I would have loved to see that in person!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Victorian boot completed....

The more Christmas-y colored side includes two types of braid, and therefore less embroidery, and a button cluster. I'm really loving my recent haul of great clearance priced buttons!

The side I like the best has more elaborate emboidery. I used a lot of the Sassa Lynn threads that I bought from Susan Nixon, and also some beads that I got from her. Just a touch of silk ribbon embroidery, and voila! a very Victorian lady's boot.
This will be for a swap which will take place closer to Christmas. I'm not usually this early in getting things done, but I've got a lot to do before Christmas, and wanted this finished so I can concentrate on other things.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Christmas is coming.....

On the CQ for Newbies group list, we are doing a swap with Victorian shaped boots in place of traditional Christmas stockings. Each boot is to be CQed at least on one side and will include 4 squishies. Squishies are bags of goodies, usually fabric, buttons, threads, charms, ribbons, lace, etc.; anything a CQer might use in embellishment. I pieced one side of my boot last night. I should know better than to try to piece something after dark; I just can't see color anymore after the sun goes down. I didn't like my first attempt very much, but recognizing that someone else might like it, I opted to simply cq the other side of the boot as well, and leave it up to the recipient which side she would use. I went ahead and pieced the other side last night, too, and wouldn't you know, the light of day has me liking the first side best anyway. Oh well, it'll still give the receiver a choice or a change from year to year. By the way, the side on the left is the first one I did.

This is a more traditional shaped stocking I've made for a great-niece who will celebrate her first Christmas this year. My sister Gayle, who is little Kiera's grandma, chose the colors, and asked for a lot of embellishment. I'm not an encruster, so this is stretching it for me. I've done another button "clutter" and the meandering braid is a first for me. I really like it. I hope Santa fills it well for Miss Kiera on her first Christmas morning.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Vintage peacocks

Here are the peacock doilies that I found at Salvation Army recently. I'm not really a peacock person, but these are just so lovely. Someone who was a peacock person obviously put a lot of time and energy into these, and I think they deserve to be in a loving home again.
The first one is smaller than the other, and the tail is done in a varigated thread of spring, or Easter colors.

The second one is done in more neutral colors on the body, with the tail in ecru. It is the same pattern as the smaller one, but the thread used is larger (thicker). The body is the same size in both.

I think either of these would be extraordinary as the focal point of a peacock crazy quilt, perhaps stitched down on a velvet center block, with beads and embroidery enhancing the crocheted "eyes" of the tail, and with cq blocks with peacock colors and motifs all around them. I might even be tempted to part with one of them, if someone comes up with a great project idea they want to do.

Egypt revisited.

Okay, so I've never visited Egypt, so I shouldn't say REvisited, but this is only one of the Egyptian styled cq blocks I've done recently, so just go with me here.

This is the wall hanging I made from a block that I did in the Ethnic round robin earlier this year. I pieced it, then it was worked on by 5 other ladies in the US and Italy. When I got it home, it still had some embellishment work to be done on it, but the other ladies did some fine work. Simona in Italy added a little metal cartouche that she'd bought on a trip to Cairo, so it even has a true bit of Egypt
on it. I still need to add a way to hang it, and I think I'll make a pocket on the back to hold the little booklet that traveled around with it and has the comments from all the ladies who stitched on it. The buttons in the corners are some that I found in a container of buttons that I bought at a yard sale last summer. They are gold-tone and have Nefertiti's head on them. They may have been the first inspiration for doing this block....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Halloween block; finished....almost!

This is the Halloween block I've been working on. I've finished it into a small wall hanging, about 14" square. The buttons are just sitting on it at this point. I'm still not sure where I want to put them; corners or centers of the black triangles. I also need to add a sleeve or some means to hang it. Maybe just some long ribbons at the top to tie to a rail of some type.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Two blocks for swapping....

These two blocks are for one on one swaps with two nice ladies; Lindy in Australia and Jenny in Iowa. Lindy is a crazy quilter and is sending me a cq block in return, but Jenny stumbled onto my blog when I posted about the moon flowers. She is a gardener who enjoys looking at crazy quilting. I'm hoping to inspire her to give it a try, and eventually to assimilate her into the Crazy Quilt Collective (motto: You have been assimilated; resistance is futile!)

This is the third fall block I've done so far. I'll probably do a few more before the urge to stitch Christmasy things hits me. I really like the button cluster on here. I almost typed "button clutter" which might be the truer term! But it was fun to do and I got to use a few of my Great Button Buy purchases.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Red rick rack roses...

I tried the tutorial from Janet Stauffacher (of Vintage Vogue fame) on her blog:
to do these roses. I didn't have any rick rack at home, and Walmart's selection left much to be desired, but I finally bought the red metallic. It didn't turn out too bad. The largest rose is done using about 36" of rick rack, and the two smaller ones used lesser amounts. The smallest was done with about 12", just to give you an idea of how you can manipulate the size. You can also make them smaller by using smaller rick rack; this was "jumbo", but I think medium would work also. Janet S. says you can use the baby size, too, but that sounds really tricky to me.

This is a closer shot to show the detail, hopefully!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Flora's CYOT blocks

Flora's theme for her blocks is pineapples and palm trees, with a Hawaiian print focus fabric. The first picture is her sample block.

This block was done by Lauri, and has some real shells and tiny starfish on it.

My block came out a bit darker than Flora's original, and I didn't manage to put any pineapples in it, but it does have palm trees both in fabric form and in buttons. Once I got started on it, it came together so quickly that it is done nearly a month before it's due.

My favorite part of my block is the beach and ocean scene. The fabric palm trees are growing out of a sand dune, and there's a pair of lime green flip-flops you can slip on to go looking for shells on the beach. Just under the waves is a very unusual tropical fish, blowing shiny silver bubbles.

A wedding in western Colorado

This is the view from the windshield as we left Grand Junction yesterday for the wedding of (our nephew) Travis and Bridget. Mount Garfield is the prominent point of the Bookcliffs, the mountain range to the north of GJ.

The wedding itself was held in the back country, on some property that belongs to the bride's family. Guests were invited to come just for the day, or to bring a camper or tent and stay for the long weekend. They had fashioned an aisle and "altar" by using strategically placed canopy tents, with the congregation and wedding party facing an incredibly beautiful landscape of green hills and blue sky with an occasional puffy cloud floating by.
In true western Colorado tradition, the groom and his attendants wore black Wrangler jeans and black cowboy hats with their white shirts. The bridesmaids wore brown sundresses and carried bouquets of what looked like wildflowers in every color. The ring bearer had a vest made of hunting camouflage, and the tiny flower girls wore dresses of camo with white collars. The bride wore a more traditional gown of white satin with beaded lace accents and a train. It was a beautiful wedding in a beautiful setting. May Travis and Bridget have a long a happy life together!