Fantastic Soutache Tutorial

Remember the soutache jewelry from the other day... Well I have a huge hug and thank you for Jocelyne Ausseil  who found this fantastic tutorial
which is also in French but has lots and lots of great photos.

In fact the photos are so great that I wanted to print it all to keep for future reference... BUT I can only get it to print pages 1 and 2 and then all the comments...  Problem solved!! Both Kerry and Karen sent it to me in PDF format...  Thank you!

Here are a couple pieces by French artist Anneta Valious, check out her site.  Here is another site with slide show of soutache jewelry by Dori Csengeri   I know that somewhere before long I want to adapt this in CQ... It just says PEACOCK to me...  Can't you just see a long tail of this braid and beads????

After weeks of occasional deliberation I finally picked my word for 2012... will post what and why in a couple days... 


My Gold Stash

I love using gold in crazy quilting...  a touch of gold just adds life to anything.   It is the rare piece of work in which I have not incorporated at least a little bit  of gold....

I see this round robin as a challenge to use gold in creative ways..... The perfect project to dispel winter blues.

First I have this wide (24") shallow drawer filled with gold lace, fabric, toule, rickrack, gimps, braids, and gold ribbons of all sort.  Wide wired gold Christmas ribbon make fabulous flower parts and insect parts. A motif worked on gold toule is breathtaking.

I have a smaller  shallow drawer just filled with cording. both gold and silver.... stretchy gold gift wrap cord being one of my very favorite.

And then there is the big bag of stuff that does not fit in the drawers. And this does not even start on the various gold beads.  None of this stash (and I repeat NONE) is expensive...  Some are thrift store finds after Christmas and the rest is mostly Christmas trim closeouts after Christmas.

Finally  for couching I use Sulky's gold thread available at any fabric shop. It is inexpensive but metallic.  I did buy some YLI gold candlelight in CT last spring but haven't used it yet.  These lovely gold braids and trims are ONLY available during the holidays and are marked down greatly after the season ends...that is when I stock up.

I think goldwork and crazy quilting are a match made in heaven and hope you all watch as this round robin progresses.


We're going for gold!!!!

We're going for that gold....fool's gold that is... First I was absolutely delighted to get so many interested in doing a Fool's Gold DYB RR when I blogged about it in October.. The last time  a goldwork RR   was posted it languished for months and never filled.. Enough of you responded to my plea on my blog that there are enough for TWO RRs and I will "mama" both of them...  I sent an email to the people who commented on the original post and through my emails and I sent an email to the following: Wendy, Janet, Kerry, Flora, Cathy L., Arlene, Karen, Maire, Deb, and Sue...  If I missed anyone let me know..

I would like this to start February 1st (mail out) which gives a bit more than a month to get blocks together,  Most importantly remember this is a faux gold RR emphasizing goldwork techniques using inexpensive "gold-like" materials..I did set up two Fool's Gold RR records in CQI gallery one http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crazyquiltinginternationalgalleryone/database?method=reportRows&tbl=34  with everyone's names.  Kerry is going to work on the guidelines and rotation.

Let me know if you are still interested and if so go to the DYB database and fill in the appropriate information (email, full name etc.)  If you are not interested at this time also let me know and I will search for someone to fill your spot...  I am still looking for an e-address for one other respondant..

I have been wanting to do this for a couple years and am so excited. Thank you all for showing an interest.  I hope you're finding lots of gold-like goodies in the after Christmas sales... Check out the wide gold Christmas ribbons and gold cords for wrapping presents....the stretchy stuff is FAB. and look for gold rickrack... It is pretty tacky plain but when you start dressing it up with gold beads it is WOW!


I can see possibilities....

I suppose "soutache jewelry" has been around a long time but I just really noticed it. After seeing some earrings in a thrift store and a brooch on the internet, I'm thinking this is something that could be incorporated into crazyquilting.  I can see it in paislies, birds, flowers etc. and I have a lot of those tiny cylindrical beads that I find difficult to use and they look great in here... Sometimes it incorporates lots of beads such as on the left here...but most times I've seen it with just the soutache braids with few or no beads in it.

I know it is hard to believe that's there something for which there is not a book, but I have not been able to find anything with instructions for this art form...  There are quite a few sites selling the jewelry though.  One source said it was an art form mostly found in France and Russia....

Isn't it just gorgeous.... I have a lot of cordings and soutache braids already.  Does anyone do this??? Does anyone know of a book with instructions..? I imagine it is similar to bead embroidery techniques.

P.S. Carol is right in her comment...  This site does have one good pictorial tutorial limited to one bracelet.. http://pivoineperles.canalblog.com/ Unfortunately even if you use Google translator it's all in French...I do have a friend who can translate it when she returns from vacation.  Be sure to check out her gallery if you visit this site..

 In response to Susie's comment...all the braid are stitched flat side to flat side..unlike goldwork which is mostly couching.. But the look has a similarity to both goldwork and bead embroidery..


Let sun shine on !!!

I knew what I wanted... a calendar that showed the light gain each day for my longitude and latitude...  I knew if I Googled I'd probably find it... and I did...  http://www.sunrisesunset.com/  Today I gain two whole minutes.... which doesn't seem like much, but in 10 days it will add up to 20 minutes and a really noticeable length in my daylight hours.

After living 14 years in Anchorage Alaska I can personally attest to the effects of SAD (Seasonal affective disorder)... I loved Alaska... the mountains, the weather, the winter and the summer, the country, the people... but I just couldn't face another winter of depressing darkness.....

At this website you  just enter your city or town and it will come up with the right statistics...  I've run off all the months through June... of course in June I go into denial...I have a zillion lights in my house, get outside every day and take lots of vitamin D but by Dec 20th I struggle to get out of bed.  I'll keep this new little calendar posted by my computer and rejoice every day in that extra light.  Having the calendar is so joyful and it adds a  happy face to every day. A true day brightener.....

p.s. Speaking of day brighteners I'm still  enjoying Pandora Internet radio immensely....  My favorite station for me is "the entertainer" which is totally ragtime piano with lots of Scott Joplin, Scott Boling, Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton etc.  


Fun, fun, fun

I just love whimsy so I'm going to have great fun with this project...(CQJ12) The plan at the moment, subject to change, is to line the blocks and attach them back to back so there is a big pocket... I will then attach the block "pockets"  in a long line so they will stand zigzag rather that open by pages... hope that makes sense...

I want to put the stories on laminated cards (with tabs) that fit into the pockets...  The titles will show on the tabs... "Morris and the Long Rug", Morris in the Skunk Trap", Morris and my Wonder Bra". etc.

I want to have motifs that "lift up" or "fold out" throughout the book and the picture of "wild eyed" Morris will be underneath...  You can see the kindergarten teacher creeping out here..  I want a paw path going from page to page  so I bought a puppy paw rubber stamp with a big enough image to embroider  so I don't have to draw them over and over... On the sad faced page where he chewed up Carole's template, I will have a pocket for the template.   He's just lucky Carole came to his rescue on that maneuver or he's still be in the dog house...
Also I do have a little recorder thing to sew in that I can record his bark. I may get another recorder as he makes a funny squeaky sound when he attacks DH's toes...  I also have a collection of squeaky devices which he has disemboweled from various toys which I will sew in the pages.... On the page with the picture of Morris in the skunk trap I will embroider a very happy and bemused skunk... 

I also have lots of pictures of him sleeping on his back (not so modestly) and I want to use those quite small in beds of flowers throughout... All the dogs we've had over the years, Morris is the only one who  consistently sleeps on his back...

I should do something clever with a leash but haven't decided what yet....maybe as a closure...  The nice thing about this project is the size... small enough to tote along anywhere.... and fun to think about while driving, vacuuming and walking in the forest with Morris which reminds me of the time the wild turkey chased him.... and.............


True confessions .....again

If you read Cathy's comment yesterday you saw she noticed that all my blocks were comprised of the same pieces... I've confessed to this several times on the blog...  Piecing is not my favorite thing and on a cold snowy day in January I will spend the day piecing LOTS of blocks... both 11" and 6"  They are usually in neutral colors so no matter what RR I sign up for during the year I will have blocks I can use....

So all the blocks (with a few exceptions like the suffrage quilt) that you have seen me do over all these years have been from the exact SAME two patterns. This is the 11" pattern and I have a similar one for 6" block.. It's so simple that it is mindless...combine all the As, all the Bs and all the Cs. and assemble.  I stack and whack and turn out a pile of blocks in no time at all.

Here is an example I used in a blog post a couple years ago.  Sometimes, as in the blocks I just did, I have to piece fabrics together first to get the right size...

I initially got this pattern off the Internet years and years ago and the site has been long gone.  I have tried others methods but for me this is the fastest and easiest way to get to the fun stuff....embellishing..

It was more evident in the Morris quilt blocks because I deliberately used the large check on the exact same piece on every block as it will be part of the continuity from block to block. 


Black and White and Rainbows

Yesterday DH was gone all day and evening with volunteer work which was a perfect day for me to make a huge mess.... so I did and got my blocks done for the CQJP2012.  

I owe huge hugs to Cathy LaBath.  She has been working on a B&W quilt project  which had strips...  She send me a box of her scraps... They were various lengths but only 2 1/2" wide so I ended up with lots of small patches perfect for TAST seams. There were over 3 dozen different prints....even puppy paw prints.   My blocks would have been very boring indeed without her generosity... 

I not only have a rainbow ribbon, I have ribbons in all the rainbow colors and lots and lots of hearts left from other projects...and a good selection  of black and white trims as well.  I'm using all cottons which is a first for me and a theme I adore. So I am ready... My rather vague plan at the moment is to somehow to make it into a book with pockets for Morris stories to be tucked into.....somehow


Embellishing the frames.....

The most important and most powerful elements on this quilt are the images.... and right after the images are the frames which enhance them... When I showed the quilt blocks to Allie she cautioned me on overembellishing the quilt which she felt would diminish the images.  And she's right of course...

But all the materials I had already selected for embellishing (beads, laces, and threads) are all the same tones as the fabrics... There will be very little contrasting work.  Even though tone-on-tone isn't very dramatic, it does add a lot of depth and richness...  The frames on the left are almost finished except for a tiny black braid which I can't find...  I might have to clean house again... I forgot to take a before picture...  that odd little off-white rayon braid was in a little baggie of stuff I found in a thrift store when Cathy K and I were searching for bargains... the one day I let her out of the barn...  There was about 18" of it and it is perfect for combining with old lace.

While I am waiting for the little black braid to jump up and hit me in the face, I'm starting on the next block with unembellished frames... Here's the before...

Since I am working on framing I did add a framing post to http://blocktakwithgerry.blogspot.com/  and also a link to back posts filled with ideas for framing images.

This is the first week in months that I feel I'm catching up and also have time to choose some activities that I want to do instead of what HAS to be done...  So I'm not only stitching, I'm going to paint and cut out fabric for the CQjournal project.

Only 2 more days until the days start getting longer....


A bird's eye view

I walked out to the edge of the bluff at the back of my forest by the tall dead tree occupied by my eagle.  Our property drops about 400 feet to a valley straight north of us... With a view like this can you blame the birds for coveting a perch on that tree?
I am standing facing due north, just a few hours drive to the Canadian border.

People usually make the assumption that all of Washington is like the wet coastal areas but the Cascade mountains keep all the moisture on the west side of the state and the rest of Washington is mostly arid and desert. 

Spokane is so unique because it is right on the dividing line of dramatic topographical change.... Directly to the south and west of us is dry land farming and desert.  Directly to the north and east are mountains and forest... We have the choice of either within an hour's drive.  Very few places have that kind of  diversity within a few miles... it is a magical place.

The photo on the left is just south of town in what is called the "palouse country."  Except for the forest I planted, our farm is in the dry land farming area...... wheat, wheat and more wheat...


It's so great when you have a camera at the right moment!!

At the back edge of my forest is a huge old dead tree about 40' tall and it overlooks the valley behind us...  It's a favorite with the ravens and hawks and at dusk I've seen the occasional great-horned owl there.  On  our morning walk  through the forest a couple days ago there was a different hunter...much to my delight and surprise..... and I had my camera in my pocket...

We are about 75 miles from the bald eagle's wintering ground...  They come for the Kokonee spawn on Lake Coeur 'd Alene in Idaho.  We often drive over during the winter and watch them catch fish...  And I occasionally see one flying over the farm, but this is the first time I've actually seen one in my forest... They have their favorite trees around the spawning area.  If you just walk along looking at the ground you can find them... You just look for  a big pile of fish scraps at the base of tree.

They are a magnificent bird. 

I tried to get a bit closer to the tree but it flew off...
This   tree has been standing dead at least 30 years.  Since it is the tallest vantage point around, it has an endless variety of  birds using it daily.. But mostly it's the  ravens squabbling over a perch on it...squawking and talking all the while.

Like my oldest apple tree, I will mourn for it when it finally falls.

And why was I carrying my camera you ask....?

Well the cougar is back in my neighborhood again.. A neighbor a couple miles east of us took this shot from his deck with the zoom on his camera... So I've been carrying my camera and watching intently hoping to sight her resting in or under a tree after a night's hunt.

Isn't she beautiful...? They figure she weighs about 125-130 lbs.  Of course the chances of seeing her during the daylight hours are sooooooo slim...but then again so were the chances of seeing an eagle in my tree.


Kudo's Part 3 and a Mini Tutorial

This is "Kudos for Comments" part 3 and the last for a while...  But I had wanted to thank not only #1000 and the longest reader but the reader who comments most often...  I didn't even have to go through the lists to know this person..  Susan Elliott..  In fact if Susan doesn't comment I worry about the blog post...  She was almost the longest also as she first commented on my 5th blog post...

Since she already has one of my pincushions, I painted her a Santa button and made it into an ornament for her...  Thank you Susan for your many many thoughtful comments over all this time!!!!

And here is how I did it.... First I put a 2 1/2" card stock circle on a 6" silk circle with a touch of glue to hold it in place.  Then I gathered it "yoyo" style..

Then I added some small lace around the Santa and a lace medallion to the silk.  I put it together adding a loop in the back and  some bells to the bottom.
This would be fun with any Christmas button and easy enough for youngsters to do..

And here is a close up of the Santa... which is about 1 1/2".   Merry Christmas everyone!


Happy Little Singer!!!

I did indeed use my "waiting" time on Sunday to do handwork and finished the trim on the singer cover and she also  has her own special coordinated tall pincushion!!!  Rather than a flower or brooch top, the pincushion is topped with a cluster of some of my favorite antique buttons...


Kudos for Comments - Part 2

When I reached the 1000th post I celebrated with "Kudos" to commenter #1000 but there were other options also that I wanted to choose from...  Today it is for the reader who commented on the very first post and, most importantly, still reads and comments.

So without further ado that person  receives a tall pin cushion and it is Kerry Leslie in Canada...  I've seen pictures of her beautiful home they remodeled from an old church and the wood and muted fabric of this cushion seem to fit it.... In the mail to you... I do have your address!!!  LOL

I did add another couple of pincushion kits to Etsy this morning... I love trying to put together the rich fabric and trims I associate with this era...


Favorite Site

One of my favorite sites is  http://parisrags.blogspot.com She is having a giveaway right now.  She does the most the most clever things with old clothes and old lace...  If I were younger and skinnier I would love to wear some of her tops, skirts etc.... but I could manage this hat..

When Madi was here I found a lovely purple crushed velvet jacket for $4.00 at a thrift store... It is at least two sizes too big.  I bought it to cut it up for the velvet but it would be  perfect decked out in old lace...  I rummaged through my lace stash for lace collars and found 3....all of which I had cut out great hunks for other projects... I'm sure I'll find something if I keep digging and even try the lace bins in the barn...  Don't you love the side thingy!!!


Remember my "Singer Cover" project?

Remember my project to make a cover for my beloved featherweight and then it morphed into a wall hanging.... Well before I changed directions I had already made the end pieces for it.. 

This Sunday our duplicate bridge unit is having its Christmas party and there will be a LOT of slack time...waiting for games to start, waiting for scores to be posted, waiting for dinner, waiting, waiting, waiting..

So I'm out of "traveling" projects and then I spied the long forgotten end pieces for the singer cover pinned to a board...  There were two of them and I played around a bit and basted them into one piece..

I added  velvet for the back and will use the plaid taffeta for a lining... The taffeta is a thrift store find and there was about 3 yards of it and I'll use it for the back of my suffrage quilt..  The colors are actually beige and black...not yellow.

This picture is out of focus and don't have time to shoot it again...but you get the idea...  Now I need to add chainette fringe, beaded fringe, lace and velvet ribbon around the bottom and it can all be done BY HAND.... One little corner upper right has a little gap but a a great spot for buttons... Not only that I will get to use an awkward piece of braid that I have been searching for the right spot for yearsssssssssssss///

Of course when I went to the barn to find some black fringe I discovered I had used it all up on the BoHo kits so will have to improvise... This has been sitting around a couple years and only took 2 (well maybe closer to 3) hours to put to together...  My featherweight is happy and I'm happy to have something to take Sunday to keep my hands busy while w  a  i  t  i  n  g!!!!


The Singing Mum

Years ago and again recently I read that there were 5 things to do each day to make you happier, healthier, and live longer...
1.  Pet an animal
2. Take a walk
3. Hug someone
4. Laugh out loud
5. Sing..........
Well the first four are never a problem and I do try to do them every day and know I feel better for it...  But the singing part was hopeless..  I cannot carry a tune, remember lyrics nor even own more than 4 or 5 CDs... The nicest thing about teaching 5 and 6-year-olds  years ago was they loved it when I sang...

But son was here over Thanksgiving and introduced me to Pandora Radio, a personalized internet radio site... (it's free).. DH is strictly Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach and maybe a little big band...  but on Pandora I get to make my own stations by entering the music I like.... traditional gospel, old-time bluegrass, folk music from the 60s, ragtime piano, Irish music and a little big band... It takes what you pick and adds similar artists and I'm just loving it...

But the real joy of the thing is that on most selections they show the lyrics...... So if I am anywhere near the computer and hear a favorite..... I can  sing ....albeit really badly but what I lack in virtuosity, I make up for  by singing with great gusto.....  a real singing mum....


What's next!!!

DH is gone with a tour and I am spending the weekend trying to catch up and get organized...I still have stuff to unpack from the September retreat and I have so many piles and bags of projects that it's overwhelming... I needed to stop and decide what to do next...

Of course there is the CQ journal project and since it is about Morris, it will be pure whimsy and only one small block a month.  I hadn't bought any cotton off a bolt since the early 70s when I quit sane quilting.  I was in JoAnns with my DIL and looked at some black and white  striped cotton prints...  I thought the quality was absolutely terrible..  Where does one find quality cotton with a good thread count..? I could practically see through their stuff... yuk!

Then there is the faux goldwork RRs I want to get going in January.  I was amazed and gratified at how many people showed an interest.  I am using the blocks I started in Allies piecing class in Wichita and just need to add a bit more to it and cut it into squares..  I did find some tick-tacky gold trims at JoAnns to use on this project and I have a HUGE bag of gold stuff gathered.  This has been a project in the works for a couple years anyways..  I'm thinking that I am going to ask for the RR stitchers to do Jacobean flowers on my blocks..

The last new project is special.... the Hoffman Challenge... Remember I said last January that this was going to be the year I entered.  The fabric hasn't arrived yet but should any day.. What I'm making is not large at all so will not take a lot of time but I want it to be very special... I have been gathering a bag of yummy pastel trims, laces, etc.  for some time to add to it and what is really special are a collection of silk threads I won from Daisy's Garden last spring which will be perfect for this.....
She is having a sale right now on her Dinky Dyes silk ribbons.   I am sooooooooooo hungry for pastels.  I bought several little charms from the Pink Bunny while in Wichita just for this project... It not only specializes in crazy quilting supplies, it sponsored the Victorian Stitchery Retreat I just attended...

So along with working with the suffrage quilt it looks to be a fun and varied stitching winter.. Also I am still looking for Ritva's block which has gotten in with something else.  When I find it, it will be #1 to get done.

Addendum: Using my husband's line "It's not lost, I just don't know where it is!"  Isn't it  amazing what one finds when you clean and organize.  Sure enough I just found Ritva's block in with the large blocks I took to CO so it on top of my list tomorrow... Whew!!!!!


CQ Journal Project....

I had signed up for the CQJournal Project 2012 and wanted something that would be easy to take to the nursing home when I got to that stage...  After discarding many options I decided I wanted to do Morris...so I could always remember him (as if I could ever forget)....  Since he is a black and white dog with a little tan..  The blocks will be black and white with a little tan...

I also wanted some color and will use pieces of this collection of 3/8" rainbow ribbons I found on ebay.

Then I had to see if I could come up with an image of Morris for each of the 12 months....  First I found the picture of Morris sleeping with my bra..............

Then another of Morris with his treasured hammer

Many of Morris mayhem

Morris in his comfort zone.   I finally decided that it wouldn't be difficult at all to find 12 suitable pictures of Morris.   It begins in January so I have time to finish up some UFOs before then..

When family was here he managed to chew up the heel on Madi's shoes, my son's sunglasses and steal my DIL's sandwich.  But at the end of the day when he crawls on a lap and snuggles, it is easy to overlook all his transgressions...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts