10/30/2009

Blocks revisited - Encrusted RR - Cobi's

Only the truly committed encrusters signed up for this RR. This was no "do a motif and two seams" and quit deal. This was Cobi's block and I was the very first person to work on it. You can see that I tried to do 1/4 of the block....which I always try to do anyway. From me it went on to Leslie who did the upper right..

Everyone worked as a team and this ended up being an outstanding block... I love it every time I look at it... I know Maire was in this RR also and Ati who I have been in many RRs with and always admire her work.. All people who put their very best into every block they work on...

It's pretty pathetic....

I have a list of service people that I have a close personal relationship with.. My favorite is my plumber Bill. It tooks years and years to find a competent plumber and if I send for him I immediately start baking him something to take home along with salmon from the freezer. When you live in a 104 year old house a good plumber is a godsend...
Next on my list is AAA. I've been a member since I started driving and they've come to my aid sooooo many times... It's pretty pathetic when you shut the motor off but leave the ignition on ALL NIGHT! It's even more pathetic when you live way out in the country and the AAA man can find it because he's been there before for the same thing....

It's always when I'm loading or unloading my car that I do either this or else lock my keys in the car... I started carrying an extra key in my purse and then started to lock both my keys and my purse in the car...I even locked them both in the truck one time. I did try the magnetic key thingy but it keeps disappearing...


Anyway my AAA man (Tows to Go) went home yesterday chuckling and with a loaf of pumpkin bread with cream cheese filling...

Lace and Progress

I did lace in potassium permanganate yesterday. It's hanging all over the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to dry. Sometime odd-colored lace such as neon pink are transformed from something I would NEVER use to something I just love...

Sorry this photo is a bit out of focus but at this stage it matters not. The first fun part is gathering all the possible things you might use to embellish.. The second fun part is when you start narrowing that down. I'm at the second part now. I stitch a little, lay out pieces of trim, stitch a little more and lay out more trim and so on. I don't want to secure the laces until the fan sections are embellished.
The large prints continue to be challenging but that is why I tried them so no whinging allowed.... I do admit that they do add something tho. I have some old facets jet beads and old pearls to embellish the laces... I get so focused at this point I want to do it all at once.
HCWH* was supposed to play out of town in a bridge tournament and I was going to have the entire day and evening to make a huge mess making new blocks for winter projects. Unfortunately his partner has the flu so not only is husband home he has invited neighbors for dinner which, of course, means the only table in the house must be cleared of stash.. Both Saturday afternoon and Sunday we are both playing together in the tournament so will take some stitching along... and won't be posting.
* handsome, charming , witty husband

10/29/2009

Snow!!! Fan Stitching

I've kept track of the first real snowfall since 1986 and this is the earliest by about a week and the wind is blowing and howling. Lots of the trees have not even lost their leaves yet. I've decided to PP a bunch of lace and start on the end pieces of my featherweight cover.




A day or so ago I was checking my favorite blogs and even going to favorites of the other blogs. Somewhere I saw a neat treatment of a fan shape. Actually it was a fin on a fish but I started thinking about it during the night and thought it might work on my fans...but they are too narrow.. I still went looking for the blog and can't find it and am kicking myself for not bookmarking it... So I've tried to duplicate it on paper because I want to use it... As I said it was on a fin of a fish... If this rings a bell let me know as I'd like to give them credit and share the idea...











This poor little bird has it's head buried under it's wing and all it's feathers fluffed to keep warm.... I'm off to fluff my feathers and do some stitching...
p.s. when my pc was in the shop they disabled my internet history and I really miss it... will have to enable it again...

10/28/2009

Moulin Rouge Block

I know I've posted this block on the blog a couple times before but now it's mounted. I haven't attached tassels to this block yet because it really needs something a little more spectacular than just regular tassels and buttons ...definitely something beaded and opulent... I might even double mount this and bead all the way around it..... something to think about anyway.. BUT in the meantime I can use it "as is" if necessary... Hooray!

Robin Atkins asked me to bring something CQ for "show & tell" to Bellevue next month.. Now I can bring a few of these blocks.. one other nice thing about this mounting method is that they will be easy to pack to travel.....

10/27/2009

HCWH (handsome, charming, witty husband)

My DH always refers to himself as my HCWH (handsome, charming, witty husband) which he is most definitely.... What he NOT is my CHFH (clever, handy, fix-it husband) and he will be the first to admit it.

But it occurred to me today that he will quite willingly do chores that involves the creation of piles. In the spring I put ribbons on all things that needs to be pruned and he happily whacks away creating huge piles of "clean green" he can haul away in his little truck.

In the fall he rakes up leaves into piles the size of small mountains which he puts in the forest. Last week we had 1 1/2 cords of firewood dumped in the driveway and the last two days he has been diligently making tidy piles of it in the wood shed...

In the mean time I am still setting aside money for a HFHH ( Handy Fix-it Hired Hand) in the spring...

Polly and her "pup"cycle


This is another very old doll that was done on a whim and a dare when a friend and I found this cycle at a thrift store. What could be done with it...? The obvious thing was to fill the basket with flowers but I just couldn't resist a play on words... I have someone in mind that will receive it for Christmas as I continue to try to clear things out....











Queen of Hearts

This has to be my favorite theme... I added many, many hearts and the beaded crowns after it came home. I loved doing the queen of hearts cards in my photo editing program and if I ever get motivated to do a larger quilt or hanging this is will definitely be the theme...
I finished three more blocks last night that had a black border so I have nine done. So if the opportunity arises to display them they are all ready to go... But I've done no stitching this week and have no empty blocks for winter ready for my next projects so that is next on the list... I have my tiger tape and tons of new threads sooooooooooo....

10/24/2009

All That Glitters!!!

This block is from a beaded RR and is especially hard to photograph because it not only has shiny gold fabrics, it is covered with gold beads, sequins, trims, etc. All the seams are bead embroidery. It actually does glitter...

I used a gold bias suede to trim it with and added gold cording on the inside of the trim. I am especially happy with the tassels with loops and buttons. They fit the piece and are absolutely perfect for hanging the piece with some pearl-headed pins if necessary.. I will be making tassels for all the blocks. See below for steps in this process.....

Trimmed blocks that hang or sit on stand and travel!

This large tote has about a dozen finished blocks in it which can be taken with me anywhere and displayed easily.. I could easily get another six blocks in this bag... It stores away easily at home. The post is actually from a post I did a year ago which should be a tutorial ... I always have trouble explaining what I do so I hope this makes sense. It seems the easier things are the harder they are to explain... Any questions or input would be appreciated...

Using the heavy pellon was Jo Newsham's idea and she wrote about it in the CQMag online. To read her approach http://www.cqmagonline.com/vol07iss04/articles/848/index.shtml But I wanted mine to have trim around it and be able to travel, hang or sit on a stand so I made some modifications.


I measure the area of the block that I want to trim. I mark that on the heavy pellon and add 3/4" for the trim... Then I put the block face DOWN on a heavy blanket so the embellishments won't be crushed. I put the pellon adhesive side down on the block, lining up and pinning the corners. Then I cover it with a damp cloth and press slowly until the pellon is firmly adhered to the back of the block. I trim off any excess fabric up to the edge of the pellon. Then I sew a piece of 3" bias strip down each side. press it back and sew a 3" bias piece across the top and bottom.... And end up with what is above right...










Then I turn it over and put a strip of Heat & Bond on the backs of the bias strip. I pull the strips firmly against the edge of the heavy pellon and when I turn it over I have what you see on the right. I tuck under the corners and finish them by hand...

Then as finishing touches I added a strip of gold cording on the inside of the trim. I secured the tassels with loops with a button so if I have to hang the block it can be done with pearl-headed pins so it hangs nicely.. or I can just display it on a stand.


I found a bunch of these stands at the dollar store.. They are lightweight and fold easily...
I love having the block all ready to go and looking their best...






10/23/2009

Roses RR

This is the second block that I had already put trim around a year or so ago and wasn't happy with it...

I went ahead and put the heavy pellon on the back and turned the trim back... It's not nearly as neat as one that I put the pellon on first and then the trim...

I have pulled nine blocks to finish off and tried to pick some with different techniques and themes... It will be such a relief to have them done so I can look for somewhere to display them and find people who want to do CQ...

Of course I have never taught a crazy quilt class so will have to cross that bridge when I come to it and ask for help from anyone who has...

10/22/2009

Correction and comments

In my haste I had the wrong names on the Gypsy Rose.. I confused the two RRs I was in with Ati at the same time... It was Ati, Wendy, Meg and and Lisa Boni. It was Lisa that did the beautiful rose that inspired the name and Meg who put the trim with the coins on the block....all their work was lovely.... I apologize....

Also I may not have been as clear as I like because Colleen commented "Add an extra layer at the top of your block [on the back] maybe 2-3 inches. It would be sewn across the top and sides but the bottom would be left loose. You could slide a piece of cardboard or foam board cut to size under that loose flap."
But then the rest of the block would be hanging loose so to speak

The beauty of the heavy pellon is that it is as if the block were stretched and mounted. In fact I do stretch my blocks when they're finished on a cork board . Now I can keep that crisp shape with the pellon. Jo even suggested another layer of pellon for added stiffness which might be a good idea for the beaded RR which is very weighty indeed. I am busy cutting bias strips this evening...

Another mounted block

I already had the strip sewn around this block but not backed and have another the same way. I think it is going to be easier to add pellon and then the edging...

I cut enough backing last night for all the blocks I want to do but decided I would go to fabric store today to get material to make the bias binding... Like I really need more material... But the bias really looks and works up better. I will limit the colors though...maybe just black and green.

This is one piece that I really did a LOT of seams... and buttons, buttons everywhere! Sometimes it is fun to go back and look at an older block and see things in a different light. As I rule I wouldn't scatter buttons everywhere like I did here but I like it.

10/20/2009

Ms. Seena d' Crime

I ran across this photo while sorting stuff yesterday. I made this doll years ago and not sure what happened to her... I made her before I started sculpting heads so her head is cloth and flat!!! I painted her face on with acrylics. Sometimes people had to touch her face to make sure it was really flat...too funny! She's a mystery writer as you can tell by her name, Ms. Seena d' Crime.



The handle of her umbrella is a dagger and there's skeletons in her bag. Spiders, a magnifying glass, clues and other things appropriate to her trade are in and about her body. I can't remember what was tucked on her hat.. I must have given her to someone but for the life of me can't remember that either......I did love doing Victorian costuming...

Fusible Finishing

It was an article by Jo Newsham in CQ Magazine that showed her method of using fusible web. To read her approach http://www.cqmagonline.com/vol07iss04/articles/848/index.shtml Since I do want a border on mine I'm doing it a bit differently...

Displaying blocks

Problem: I want to display some of my blocks in hopes of getting others interested in CQ but the finishing techniques I have seen are daunting... Also I wanted to be able to both hang or put on a stand.
Solution: I remember Jo saying she used a very heavy fusible backing.. I was sure she said 2-sided fusible but no matter as all I could find was Peltex72F at a fabric store. Apparently it is used for purses and totes but only one fusible side. Well the stuff is amazing and when finished the block is very firm.

I added a small corded loop just over the buttons above the tassels which makes it easy to hang on a wall.
Since at the senior center the only place to display them is in glass cases they needed to stand alone... I bought these wire plate/frame holder at the dollar store years ago and used them in the nursery shop for signs but they are perfect for this...
Peltex is firm enough that the block sits nicely on the stand. I am going to do a few others and will photo the process for you..

10/18/2009

Funny image!


I finally am getting close to sorting all I brought back from the retreat, Among my treasures was a CD of images shared by Lauri. There are some fabulous ones and some really humorous ones but the one that gave me the giggles I'm sure was not meant to be funny but erotic...
In fact I'm sure it was taken by some photographer who had a fetish with underarm hair..or natural body odors. I can see this as an ad for deodorant but the poor girl is sooooooooooooooo thin... Just look at those arms... I MUST do some photo editing with this shot...

10/17/2009

Featherweight cover progress....

I'm at a good place to put the front and back parts aside while I work on the end pieces and then I can do the finishing touches on all at once before assembling. I am waiting for silk ribbon to dye to finish off branches and there are several areas that still need beading... but all in all I'm happy with the progress...BUT even tho the dark fabrics and prints do fit the spirit of the featherweight, I am tired of working on them and will welcome some comfort fabrics for a while...


Lead me to my comfort zone


I added "comfort zone" to my list of favorite word pairs. After all the intense jewel tones and then the dark colors and large prints I am definitely ready for several soothing comfort zone projects. Sorting through my mess I made before leaving for the retreat and the stuff I brought back, I found myself with 2 large piles of yummy soft creams, peaches, greens, rusts and golds... That dash of blue is paper that has a vintage motif attached to it and was sent to me by my friend Cathy K who sends me the NEATEST stuff....

I also sorted through my lace stash and pulled a large pile to PP and dye... It would be sooooooooooo much more fun to have someone to do it with....

"My Sweet Gypsy Rose"

I almost always continue working a RR block once it comes home. Mostly I just add more embellishments but I occasionally move things and on the rare occasion I will remove something. I did it all of the above on this block.. I had no strong connection to this block when it left home but the moment Lisa did the rose it became "My Sweet Gypsy Rose" block..

Some of the obvious changes included adding a leather tambourine and a crystal ball. I turned the spider web into a chart of the heavens and replaced the buttons with coins from around the world. I also added the hand on the lower left and have a matching butterfly to put on the lower right...
Less obvious additions were filling in around Ati's gorgeous roses and bringing them right over the edge of the silkie.

And I added a few pearls and other beads to these bright roses..

The unplanned surprise was the braid on this seam... Apparently Diane was not happy with it and beaded over it as you can see on the left. As I peered closely I could see paisleys under the beads so I decided to remove the beads. If I didn't like the paisleys I could always put the beads back. But since there were two other paisleys on the block I decided to look at least and when I uncovered the braid, I loved it....

Sometimes changes are very tiny indeed. The green vine on the purple seam was kinda lost so I used just one strand of a light green that matched the light green of the rose leaf and wove it in and along the vine to highlight it.

There is a butterfly on the lower right that still needs to be sewn on but I love this block and love everything my RR mates added to it... This would never be so special to me without all their efforts on it.... Thanks and big hugs to Diane, Diane, Ati and Lisa....

Crazy Quilt --- barely!



This was the only quilt listed as a "crazy quilt" at the show... It is pieced like a CQ and the fabrics are lovely but there were only a very few embellishments of any kind... a ribbon here, a few stitches there.. I was hoping for more... Surely as this metropolitan area of Spokane approaches 500,000 it must have more than just me as a crazy quilter...

Tie this one on!!!

Went to the Washington State Quilt show yesterday at the fairgrounds..It was all rather overwhelming but I just can't get all that excited over sane quilting....been there-done that in the 70's... But this quilt was all made of men's ties and I loved it... I saved all my "ugly tie" bits from the retreat and I'm hoping we can do something with old ties next year... a challenge or RR or something of the sort....

10/16/2009

Nicki's Face RR

I used my new Edmar threads, velour cording, and beads all purchased on the retreat. I added a beaded ribbon (aka: ribbon of beads)....one of my favorite things to do.. My computer is fixed and I have numerous photos to load and put up including the final finishing touches on my Gypsy Rose block..

10/12/2009

Happy man, happy dog....

Miss Molly has settled right in and loves being a farm dog. The only thing we have to work on is calming her when she gets overexcited. She starts her training classes in a couple weeks and DH is actually going to go too... I'm so glad because he needs training also...

Apron idea.....christmas coming...

I started making aprons from these overall shorts when I had the nursery. Potting soil with peat in it stains everything and it is impossible to get the stains out. So I would get these overall shorts at the thrift store, cut off the back and make instant tough aprons for the gals to wear while potting seedlings....

Then I started making them to sell and just used the bib and the back pockets...and they sold very well... NOW is the time of year to start collecting the bib overall shorts. Our Value Village has a specific color of tag for $1 on Monday and I always headed for the shorts rack in the winter... and the selection was much greater in the winter. I used to buy all of them on sale but now I just look for the larger sizes.. They are my favorite apron to wear....and make a great gift...

Glorious creating abounds


I stole this photo from Connie's site (http://cwkalina.blogspot.com/) as it is so typical of any given moment at the retreat. Crazy quilting requires soooooooooo much stuff...lace, fabric, bead, trims, ribbons, threads, etc. etc. etc. And lots of all of it. It was difficult to find a bare bit to walk through. Any place there was a spot to sit was surrounded with stash, laughter and sharing... Connie and I shared the bunk room with Debbie and Diane.. Debbie insisted we ALL snored but her..and she may be right....

10/10/2009

Love my featherweight!!!

All this work on my featherweight cover has me really focused on it and was delighted to find this repro tin with a featherweight on it... It is 5"x5"x7"....perfect for carrying my lunch to activities at the senior center...


Sheba the CQ dog



No one has posted a picture of our retreat mascot, Sheba... She's Leslie's dog and has diabetes and needs regular injections so she came with us and was a perfect CQ lady. She preferred the couch but if displaced by other stitchers she happily encounced herself in all the mess... oops I mean stash.... I did manage to get this photo of her working on a landscape block.... Go Sheba.....

Nicki's face block

I need a little break from the dark colors of the Singer cover and pulled out materials to work on Nicki's face block.... I used alcohol dyes to define the face a bit... I think I'd like either to do paisley or bead ribbons on it... Thinking very hard and looking at it....

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I am thinking I'll have a fire in the fireplace tonight. It got down to 19 degree F.
(-7 C) last night and is supposed to get to 13 degrees tonight. I'm so glad that I got all the pipe heaters, tank heaters, hoses coiled, etc etc. all done.... Even tho I love winter, I hate frozen pipes of any kind and we've had a few in this old house over the years.... I do love the clean bracing air in the winter tho and being outside is so invigorating.

Hosted a bridge round robin yesterday. One woman was a slight acquaintance and first time at my house. She was aghast we would drive 400 miles to get a "used" dog and obviously not a dog lover as she said she'd rather have 4 more kids than a dog.... I can't see she and I becoming close bosom buddies anytime soon!

This is a Christmas DYB block I did last year for Debbie S..
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