Sunday, February 26, 2012

Flora's fool's gold finished

Just for fun, I photographed the finished block both with and without the flash. This is without:

And this is with:

Funny how different details show better in each method.
This doesn't officially have to be off to Gerry until March 15th, but since I'm done with it, I'll probably send it off this week sometime.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Squirder? Spiderell?

Whatever you call it, I want one.

Fool's Gold round robin

This is the block I'm going to work on for Flora.

I started with some gold netting that has gold glitter on it. Then I chain stitched around the shape with a thin gold braid. On the outside of the chain stitch, I couched a gold cord and sectioned off the "petals" inside the flower shape.
The gold leaves are just pinned on, as an audition.

Photo albums, done

I was asked to make 3 Christmas albums for some friends.

And a couple of baby albums for another friend.

Isn't that Christmas star print fabric cute? It has metallic gold accents.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

More hearts and thrift finds

I enjoyed the 2 previous hearts so much that I just had to piece a couple more, this time in shades of white, grey, black. These take such a small amount of time to embellish: almost instant gratification!

Here's an interesting thing I found at Salvation Army. Not sure exactly what technique was used (if anyone has an idea, please leave a comment), but they are so charming, even as wrinkled as they are. There's a man figure with a "snowflake" or wheel shaped design.

And a lady....

Two of each on each square, and there are two squares. They were sewn together when I bought them, but I've separated them.

This adorable little fellow was framed and very dusty. I took it out of the frame and gave it a gentle bath, which really brightened up the fabric and the stitchery, which is done in wool. It will end up in some CQ project, someday soon.


Allison Aller's CQ playing cards

Are these fun or what? I saw them on Facebook and promptly ordered them from Amazon.

I love everything CQ, but it also feels good to support a very nice person.

Of course, she's kind of a joker, too....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Heart swap

On CQ for Newbies, we're having a heart swap. These are two that I've made for the swap. I used "fancy" fabrics for these two, but I think they are lovely made in cottons too.
The lace in this one is dyed with potassium permanganate. It gives lace a wonderful non-metallic gold color. I bought this motif from Cathy K .

This one has 5 different vintage metal buttons and some schiffili lace that I dyed myself with alcohol inks.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Outlandish round robin: Leslie's block

This is the round robin where the blocks represent the books in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Leslie pieced her blocks with various wools and pieces of a vintage dresser scarf. I sketched in the emblem from the cover of The Fiery Cross, which is the 5th book in the series. Then I painted it using acrylic paints.

In order to make sure I don't get paint anywhere else on the block, I have this card stock "window" that I use.

And here is how I finished it off. I repeated the coral color of the flower in the vintage embroidery in the buttons, and the green in the glass leaves.

Patchwork, c 1884

My employer at the bookstore gave me a lovely surprise today; this little booklet of CQ stitches. The date on the front says 1884, and it was priced at 15 cents, which was probably a fair amount to spend on such frivolity in 1884.

As far as being "instructions", I'd have to say they leave a lot to the stitcher's previous experience. There are drawings of stitches, but few "how-to"s.

Here's the text on the first page:
It is very popular to make Tidies, Mats, Sofa Pillows, Afghans, Bed Spreads, etc., of small pieces of Silk and Satin.

Take a piece of some firm goods the size you want the article. Upon this baste the silk and satin pieces in all sorts of irregular shapes, turning in the raw edges. Then work the edges of each piece with different designs of the POINT RUSSE stitches. In working these stitches, use embroidery silk. That called "waste" embroidery silk, that comes (mixed colors) in short lengths, is the best and cheapest to use.

The Silk and Satin pieces are much prettier with snow flake stitches, sprays of flowers and outline deigns of children's heads, bugs, etc., worked on them. Work the designs before joining to the other pieces.

We think the illustrations, in this book, of Crazy Patchwork, Point Russe and Snow Flake stitches will give you a better idea of the work than any explanations we can write.

It is quite a little treasure!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Piecing a small CQ heart.....I do it my way

We are having a heart swap on CQ for Newbies, and because we have some very new members, I offered to post this tutorial on piecing. I'm hoping our newbies will see how easy this is and jump right in. There's nothing quite like holding another stitcher's work in your hands; such inspiration!

There is definitely more than one way to do this; this is how I do it. I also do square and other shaped blocks like this most of the time. I have done some piecing by machine, but this is my favorite way.

I printed out the template for the heart shape from the CQ for Newbies site. Then I taped it to the window, and taped my muslin foundation over it.

I trace over the line, using a regular old ball point pen. I've found that the ink doesn't run if it gets wet, and it will become the stitching line, so it won't be visible in the finished product, whatever that may be. After tracing the first side, I flip it over and trace the same line on the other side; I want to be able to see that line from both the front and the back of the foundation. I need to see it from the front when piecing, to know how far the fabric needs to extend (at least 1/2" beyond the line). I also need to see it from the back to get the shape cut out correctly.

Choose fabrics and position them on the foundation, turning under 1/4" where one fabric overlaps the other and pinning it down. I did two hearts, one pink and white, and one blue, white, and gold.

Thread a needle with a contrasting color sewing thread. Hand-baste along the seam line with a running stitch about 1/4" from the edge. This thread will be pulled out as each seam is embellished or embroidered.

Then flip the heart over to the back side and hand-baste 1/4" outside the ink line. This will not need to be pulled out, as it will end up in the seam of the finished product. It holds all the fabric layers together while you're embellishing. Give it a good pressing from the back with an iron.

Two hearts ready to be embellished. I'll post some more photos after they're done.