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.