10/24/2014

One must sing while milking sheep!!

I finished the wool RR for Kathy Shaw and there's a back story.... She had asked for a lamb and some of you know how I loved my sheep. I used to milk them to make cheese...and although they were eager to get into the milking stand for the grain, they were not that crazy about being milked. Their udder would be tense and the teats like knots so I massaged their udder and softly sang to them...."Ewes are my sunshine, my only sunshine and ewes may be happy when skies are gray! etc." Oh how I miss them....
The lamb and wreath were work together on top and I'll do a tut on the process.  Getting two done catches me up for this month and I wanted it done before I left before I left for Houston Monday morning... I'll leave it packed for DH to mail next week.

10/22/2014

Third time's a charm

It has taken me ALL morning just to get the lace basted down... First it was too flat and then next time it was gathered too much.  I finally eased it as I went with my thumb.....about 1/8" every 1/4" stitch...  Now I have to be gone all afternoon and will finished the lace tonight...

Panic time yesterday... There is a black band around the front edge and went to find the crushed stretch velvet yesterday only to find that

 with Halloween next week that it was not that easy to find...  Finding odd bits to fix as I go along such as I forgot the top knot feather on the quail etc.

10/20/2014

?/applique and what size am I anyway?

I've started a lamb for Kathy Shaw's wool block and since this is completely backward from how I usually do these off-the-block critters, I will share the process with you...

I am sure there is a name for this procedure but I haven't a clue what to call it... Ordinarily  I embroider the critters and trim extremely close to them and applique it on the patch...  Here are a few BEFORE I trim them close


This time instead of trimming close I will leave the excess and dye it with alcohol ink.  I will put the whole thing on the block and work on top of it....
I can stitch on this now because the jacket is   under construction and I can tote Kathy's block with me.  I really want to get it done before I leave.












In my eagerness to start my jacket I neglected to make a sample of the pattern to make sure it fit...  I did that very thing today and luckily it does fit...  I wasn't even sure what size of pattern to buy.  Patterns used to run large but the the whole sizing for women has changed so much and it has been so many years since I've sewn from a pattern... To compound the problem I'm not even sure what size I am.  Over the last year I have gradually lost 35 pounds but still wear the same fat clothes.

 But since the sample did fit and I started in earnest today.  First I added another layer of the tricot knit interface.  When I did the patchwork I did it much larger that the pattern to allow for any shrinkage with all the stitching.  The backsides have a beauty of their own..







The left side was perfect but the right side was really cutting it close in a couple spots and I may have to add a patch in one spot.

Because I am under-tall, I shortened the garment a LOT...  The front edge is at an angle because it laps across.

I am still working out how I'll do the lace sleeves.  I can always use it as a vest if it doesn't work.. I always try to have a backup plan...  Much of my lift has been the backup plan......



10/16/2014

End in sight...sorta!

Nine days left.  After facing reality I accepted I couldn't get the last critters done in time so will spend the next few days adding eyes, beaks, spider webs, butterflies (more about them later) and fine tuning seams, etc.
 
Here are the motif embroideries... most birds still need eyes and beaks...the last touch.



Here's the front section...
 

 
 

10/13/2014

Charity Luncheon



Sixteen ladies enjoyed a lovely day of lunch and bridge at a Unit #448 Charity Event which raised almost $400 for the Union Gospel Mission….It was held at the home of Cristina and Max Gallotti

Cristina Gallotti (one of my dearest and most precious friends) and I were co-hostesses.  Max Gallotti was the sommelier and caddy.  Ron Krueger was his sometime assistant

 
 
 
 
 
The day began with appetizers which included mini peppers stuffed with Cristina’s homemade salmon antipasto, dried apricots stuffed with cheese and pecans and melon wrapped in prosciutto..  This was followed by a kale salad and chicken, prosciutto, spinach and feta baked in filo.   Dessert was Gerry’s decadent molten chocolate cakes with Cristina’s homemade gelato.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The lunch was followed by 30 boards of duplicate bridge with Brenda Simpson directing. Lynn Hayes and Karen Wilson tied for first and received prizes as well as points.  Everyone went home winners with special jars of plum jam made by Cristina  from plums on Gerry and Ron’s  trees.

10/09/2014

You never know until you try....

or alternately "not everything is a winner."  I always post all the things I've done that I'm happy with but this time my grand idea fell a bit flat....  The long overdue wool blocks finally arrived ...about 3 months late.  When I signed up for that RR I figured by the time fall farm chores started I'd be long done... Instead last week I received not one set but THREE...half of the entire RR is in my UFO basket. 

What I really wanted to do is to embroider a stumpwork cardinal in my usual manner... But since time is now a factor and the blocks  are wool, I decided to make the cardinal from felt.  Something I hadn't done before.

It took a bit to decide on the focal color and finally decided on the cranberry color because it is in three of the patches..  It might have worked better had I used wool felt and shrunk it until it was quite thick.. It just seemed the felt needed more body... I think though I will just stick to embroidered stumpwork birds from now on.... 

Luckily the weather has been lovely and I've been able to do outdoor work all week... I need a new U-bolt on my tractor tiller and waiting for it to arrive.  It will probably arrive  with the expected rains....  Beth has asked for no beads but this cardinal just needed a few...

10/08/2014

Jacket Progress. The back needed a good blocking before I went any further. I still need to finish a chipmunk, nuthatch and bunny to add. I have started filling in the detail embroidery for each critter starting with the owl... I absolutely need to be able start construction by the 18th and (crossing my fingers) I'll make it...as I fly on the 27th...

10/06/2014

Things come together like magic sometimes......

Earlier this summer I posted a bunch of fifty cent silk ties that blended nicely with dusky blues, tans, mauves.... 








Then on Quilt Diva this color palette from Color Seeds  appeared and the dusky blues, purples and mauves appealed to me.  I immediately thought some of the ties would work..   I know what I want as a theme for CQJP2015 and these colors would be perfect with LOTS of old lace.











Then I saw this fabric pack  on Siziqu which was just too yummy for words... And since it takes a lot of fabric for 12 blocks and trim, I hopped over to my favorite fabric site for packs where  my friend Cathy Kizerian   is a whiz at putting together fabrics....














And it was at Cathy's Crazy by Design that I found this selection..  
 
Between the ties, two fabric packs and what is in my stash already I should come up with some really elegant blocks to go with my vintage theme...










10/01/2014

I finished Annette's fairy block for an online round robin I'm in...  From me this block will travel to Rengin in Istanbul, Turkey.  I'll point out just a few design decisions....  First I wanted to "echo" the linear feel of the tatted lace and chose to do that with the linear seam treatment upper left.  I deliberately left the right seam treatment very monochromatic so it didn't compete with either the lace or the linear seam treatment.
 
I tried to integrate the image with the block by having her hair and wing come out of the image patch and some of the floral motif encroach on the image patch seams...  I echoed the swirly parts of the hair with swirl in the floral motif.
 
I also love to use ribbons to create a "stage" for seam treatments...  Here in the before photo you can see I'm adding FOUR ribbons on the seams... one each of grosgrain, organza, acetate, and velvet.
Just adding an extra four shades of purple adds interest but you can also see how well the ribbons work with and enhance seam treatments.
 



9/19/2014

Annette's Fairy Block

 
Annette's blocks arrived just in time and I'm frantically making decisions, gathering supplies and packing.  This is the block I chose...  I love the combination of the strong yellows, purples, and lime green.. so will add more of all of these three..

The strong turquoise pulls the eye away from the fairy which is the focal point .









So I will soften the turquoise with some very fine and delicate tatted lace.. You can see that once the turquoise is muted that your eye stays on the fairy... at least mine does.

 I'm excited to also use a piece of intense yellow lace I've been saving for the perfect spot.. and have pulled some great ribbons and threads...  I'm thinking daisies, violets and butterflies.  She has purple in her hair....how delicious is that??

This is not a piece for in-the-car stitching but I will find time for it otherwise..








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