Fancy fans

Here are the last four fans.  I had problems with both paddle fans keeping their shape but I can adjust that when I attach them to the quilt.

And here are all twelve together

And here's the list of tips:
1.  Use a double thread as it attaches the beads more securely.
2. After you attach a row of seed beads  run your thread back and forth through it a couple times to aline the beads.
3. When adding a row of irregular beads such as flowers, sequins, spacers etc., start in the center and work to either side. (See example on left)  That way if it doesn't quite come out even you have the same odd space on each end to fiddle with.
4. Insert you initial knot about 1/2" toward the center and weave your thread to the edge.  It is easy to snip a knot near the edge when cutting you fan out.
5. Every few beads secure on the back side with a knot. The more often you knot, the more even and secure your bead design will be...
6. Size 15 beads are the best for filling in difficult areas.

Morris really prefers 5 pillows and one blanket.  Friday will be moving day for my mother... from the nursing facility back to assisted living.  I'm holding my breath that she can handle it... I will probably spend the nights with her  to help with the transition.  Lots of stitching time.


I'm hopeless

I promised myself resolutely, irrevocably, that I would not start another project OR even think about another project, until the suffrage quilt was done.  But alas I have failed again and am a wimp of major proportion (literally).

 Last Saturday my CQ stitchers met here and brought their collections of hankies which were amazing.  I had wanted to save mine until after the suffrage quilt and use that fabulous table cover which is good sized... But then I thought "maybe just a little piece".............. but then again how many hanky quilt will I do.  I had better do the table cover to begin with... Sooooooooooo  I got it out, pressed it, and added the fusible tricot to the back of the linen...

I placed hoop there to get a feel for the size of center motif I want to do... This is really an incredible piece of vintage linen and I love being able to get it out of the bin.

Last spring I painted some buttons for Valentine's Day which had a heart of forget-me-knots.  At the time I thought would be fun to do something similar in embroidery and ribbon work.  It would make a great focal point for the hankies and wouldn't take long... And of course I have been wanting to do bluebirds and I can do them off block and add after my suffrage quilt is really done.... Cathy K posted some ribbon bluebirds on Pinterest that made me want to do them.  In fact I may add 4-5 bluebirds

When I sorted my hankies I had a LOT of hearts and roses.  I don't really want a Valentine quilt but I do want to aim for romantic.

So since a central focal point will be on a vintage damask napkin, it will be easy to tote about and the actually attaching the hankies can wait until after the suffrage quilt.

This piece of counted cross-stitch which I stitched almost 40 years ago will definitely be my inspiration.  And I'm off and running AGAIN!!!

Most dogs would  be grateful just to be allowed on the couch... But Morris has to rearrange all the pillows and blankets on the couch every time he wants to nap there.


Here are the second batch of fans (still untrimmed)

And here are all eight together

And I have the bases attached for the final four..  Remember when I erroneously said I was going to keep the embellishment understated.... LOL these fans will put it over the top..

Today is the Audubon Society's annual Christmas bird count.  DH and countless other are wandering about the countryside siting birds for the count.  I am home counting the ones at the feeders... Here are a few this morning patiently waiting for the feckless fellow who fetches the seed!


Beaded Fans

Four are  done enough to stop until I am ready to apply them.  At that time I will again secure all the bead around the edge and cut away the felt.  Little bumps etc. can be corrected during application and I usually add some more decorative beads across the top.  I will also add dangles to the handles at that time.

These are fun because I can use odd beads and pieces.. The amber beads across lower left fan were too irregular to use on a seam but work nicely here.

1.  Use a double thread as it attaches the beads more securely.
2. After you attach a row of seed beads  run your thread back and forth through it a couple times to aline the beads.
3. When adding a row of irregular beads such as flowers, sequins, spacers etc., start in the center and work to either side. (See example on left)  That way if it doesn't quite come out even you have the same odd space on each end to fiddle with.
4. Insert you initial knot about 1/2" toward the center and weave your thread to the edge.  It is easy to snip a knot near the edge when cutting you fan out.
5. Every few beads secure on the back side with a knot. The more often you knot, the more even and secure your bead design will be...

I have another set of bases glued and ready to go.  I will make 12 in all but probably not use them all on this project.  But I like to have enough to have a choice.


Beaded Fans and Ribbon Pansies

I love making the beaded fans.  I do them on felt off-block and the first step for me is to glue down the base or handle.  I did it last night so it would be well secured when I start to bead.  Since marking on black felt is next to impossible, I basted in a basic fan shape for each base to use as a guide.

The bases are all parts of earrings.  The nice thing about fans is that I can often use beads that are just a tad too large or the wrong shape for other bead work.

Here's an example from one years back.

Then there were the pansies and the main problem was not having the appropriate ribbon... I have lots of narrow silk ribbon to embroider with and often find good buys on the internet. But the wider wired-silk is  never a thrift store or bargain find and I didn't have any.
I had some finer rayon wired ribbon in the right size and weight but the wrong color (the iridescent purple) but what I could dye was a polyester which was too heavy but I used it anyway. I preferred the back side to the shiny front.  I wanted a "pressed flower look" so I steamed the sections and pounded them with a mallet.

There are several tutorials but the one I tried was at Sunshine designs and it was excellent...

I painted a dark blue around the center before I added the yellow ribbon center.. I definitely want to try pansies again but will keep an eye out for the right ribbon...


Renewed focus and energy....

The fun stuff is starting now with all the goodies I've been hoarding for years for this project.  I started searching and sorting them this morning... Here are a few of the possibles.  I'm using black alcohol ink to "antique" anything that is too shiny or brassy.  The precious (but tattered) piece of petit point is from an old compact.  Like the trim "flowers" I will be making a lot of beaded fans now.

Back to work on the final stage of the suffrage blocks.  It is with much renewed energy and focus for several reasons....
  1.  The CQJP2013  blocks  are done and the deadline was met. Now I just have to think about assembly
  2.  My new series of CQ classes start the first week in January and I am totally prepared.  The supply lists, handouts, and samples are done and the pattern has been printed and ready to pass out.
  3.  And best of all, SUSIE WOLFE IS COMING the first week in February and I want the quilt ready for assembly when she arrives.  She will be my sounding board plus going over all the blocks with her eagle eye to see if I've missed anything.  She used Sharon Boggin's method to assemble her blocks for her tree skirt so I'll pick her brain on that also.  She's bringing her tree skirt and latest project which I can hardly wait  to see in person..  We had so much fun on her last visit working as a team on the boho bags. We started the first thing in the morning and stitched until midnight every day.  Her last visit was during a heat wave in the summer so living in the LA area the snow will be a novelty for her..


If I were "really" clever...................

From the initial concept I had planned to make the cottage series into 2 keepsake books....  one for each of my oldest granddaughters AND I still want to do that but it would be fun to have them all together first.  So there must be  some really clever way that I can finish each block as a separate unit and combine them with lace and buttons into a single unit which then be taken apart EASILY and then made into books.

Remember this silk wedding dress I got last spring with a zillion covered silk buttons down the back.  Wouldn't those buttons be perfect for just such a project????

Well this is something for me to think about as I am driving back and forth to see my mother.

You can see all the blocks together on Flickr and there are some days I am more clever than others....


Last CQJP2013 finished

The pansy cottage block is finished and now all are done.  Will write this weekend on pansy process.
Now I can focus on the suffrage blocks.

Now I can focus on finishing the suffrage quilt.  Here are the final 4 block for CQJP2013


2013 cqjp Lace Arbor Done & Dragonfly redo

I was able to complete the beading and finish this block and we came in 1st at the duplicate bridge.  My DH is very competitive and loves seeing our names at the top of the list.

Also last summer when I did the lace cart I did a large dragonfly upper right.  Well the lace cart is the drama queen on this block and those minty green faceted beads on the dragonfly just didn't work... So I replaced them with some lovely elegant soft green crystals and couched the lace some... NOW I'm happy!!!  Sometimes I'm not happy with something but after it sits a bit it grows on me but not the minty beads.  Only the pansy block left...


The end is in sight!

All I have to do is the beading on this lace arbor block (block #12) and I'm taking it with me today to play bridge.  I can always get a lot done between rounds and during the lunch hour.  The color on this block is more intense than than the others but I really wanted to use that lace... 

The pansy block is done except for the pansies and I dyed some ribbon this morning.  It is just cheap polysatin ribbon but will work fine.....hopefully.  I used the alcohol inks to dye it.  They will dye ANYTHING!!  
And the last trip to thrift store I found this pillow sham which looks to have been washed a hundred times.  It is lovely and will use it as borders and page backs for the cottage books.  I wish there had been two of them.


Mind Wanderings

DH will be out of town this weekend and I'm looking forward to some catch-up time and some house cleaning... As I'm finishing the CQJP blocks I am definitely tired of pastels... Whatever I do for 2014 will have to allow for some color variety..  After 3 years of the dark suffrage colors, a year of Morris black and white, and then a whole year of pastels I'm hungry for a real blast of color.

My granddaughter Madison took this picture in Morocco a while back and I absolutely fell in love with it.

I actually pieced a block to use with it... I tried Martha Greene's crumb method of piecing but wasn't happy with it at all and it went into the UFO basket... Maybe this spring I'll try another block.  What makes this photo great is all the repetitions of squares and rectangles and then that spot of blue... Something to think about and look forward to.  I have wanted to do this for her ever since she took the picture.


CQJP2013 #11 - Lace Wishing Well

The lace wishing well is finished and I'm well into the pansy block which will be the 12th block.  But I had really wanted to do a lace arbor also so may end up with 13 blocks.  All of the blocks have webs but no spiders.  When they are all done I'll take a day and just do spiders.


Gathering supplies for a big wait..

Usually it is my mother I am waiting on but tomorrow I will be in a waiting room with DH for 4-5 hours....nothing life threatening but necessary none the less.  So I'm packing my stitching and my little TV table is in the car as always.

The lace wishing-well block is ready for final touches and beads....

The pansy block is ready for seam treatments and I have some options sketched. I will take along some ribbon and my Candace Kling book to practice making various ribbon pansies.
And I have my handy dandy ring of threads for these blocks all ready to put in my bag.  I am going to bring in my little wooden TV table from the car and drill a 1/2" hole to hang my thread ring with a clip.....I just have to pop on my chatelaine and go.... with maybe a stop at Starbucks for a white chocolate mocha.... In fact while I am making improvements to my little table I should cut a hole to hold a cup... Why haven't I thought of that before...???


CQJP2013 block

Another block done and even if I don't finish on time, it will be close..



The lower right patch was too pink and I wanted to soften it so put a layer of fine lace over it...  It also would have been easy to change the patch also to a soft green...

Two things which often look unnatural and awkward in CQ are trees and spiderwebs...  I do like this method of doing the trees which Judith Montano demonstrated..  An assortment of threads are wound together for the trunk with threads hanging loose.  After the trunk is attached I was able to manipulate the "branches" with my left thumb while couching with my right hand.  I was able to achieve a nice fluid look and was happy with the technique.

Now what to do for foliage...? I want to use ribbon but not sure how at this point.  And I also want my tree blooming... After all it is a spring tree.. And I have some MOP birds for the tree... They are left from a tree I did for Lauri B. But the problem that I am trying to think through this am is the the lower right.  There will be something floral.... probably a trug of flowers but I also wanted to include a toy or toys to represent a child in the garden... I've considered a wagon, a trike, a doll, or a ball  but have not been inspired  by any of them... But then inspiration hit me.... Since I have the lady in bloomers gardening on one of the earlier blocks, I'll have a sunbonnet sue type child with a watering can... I want to use lots of my flower beads and this would be the perfect spot to do it....


CQJP progress

My goal with the last 4 blocks is twofold.  First to always have something ready for handwork which I can throw in my bag and run.  Second I am focusing less on a seam treatments on these blocks and more on a new technique or idea.  On the left below I am doing a tree in the method Judith Montano demonstrated in the last  minutes of our workshop last summer.  On the other block I want to experiment with the several kinds of ribbon pansies  in my ribbon books....

On these two blocks it is stumpwork with some very unique lace I've had forever...  I think the wishing well will be my favorite when finished.

One of my stitchers is finishing a CQ stocking.  She was in one of my very first classes last winter.  Although she is new to CQ she was already a very skilled embroiderer.  Check out these seam treatments!!!  We all met yesterday and everyone is anxious to start a hanky quilt in January.


cqjp 2013 and thrift store find.....

I still had 4 blocks to go to finish the CQJP13 series and needed something portable so started to gather them last night.  The theme for these two will be pansies and roses...  The other two will be a spring tree with swing and a wishing well..  Both the arbor and wishing well will be constructed of lace.  I keep a lightweight folding TV tray in the back of the car to use when I am stitching in odd places.  I have spent hours and hours with my mother in doctor's offices, hospitals, and rehab centers and that little TV table has been worth its weight in gold.  

I dropped off several bags of donations at my favorite thrift store on my way home today and since I was there already....why not? Since early summer I had been looking for more 2-sided bulletin boards to no avail.  When none had been showing up at the thrift store I made the rounds of office supply stores.  Lots of one -sided ones with the plastic for markers on the other side.  I like to keep anything in progress stretched and blocked when I'm not working on it... Today I not only found one but TWO extra large 2-sided boards...  With 9 suffrage blocks I really needed extra boards and was delighted to find them... even better they were only $3 each.


Overall preview and mother frustrations

Here is a rough overall preview of all nine block.. the buttons and lots of fine tuning remain but I'm taking a break to work on smaller projects while I sit with my mother and.................

that's why there have been so few posts... My relationship with my mother has always been trying.  If I had to pick three adjectives to describe her they would be negative, stubborn, and critical..and that's at the best of times.  Now she is 94.  She hears what she wants to hear when she's at a doctor's office and if she doesn't like what she hears, she goes to a different doctor.  Consequently her doctors are reduced to those who just give her lots of pills and out the door. She dislikes drinking fluids and hates water.  So it is a revolving door to the hospital with dehydration and kidney and bladder problems.  Then they send her to a rehab facility who insist on physical therapy which she hates and refuses to do.. So they send her back to assisted living even worse for wear and it all starts again.


Hummers vs. swallows..and my beloved sheep.

I love it when I have a lonnnnnnnnnng anticipatory period before I start a new project and can play with lots of options.  This hankie project is just one of those projects.  Since it was last spring when I did birds I want birds...

First I wanted to do swallows... mainly because I've never stitched them and also because they mate for life and are symbolic of fidelity... But I also wanted lots of ribbon and stumpwork flowers so I have settled on hummingbirds... swallows are insect eaters and hummers just go with flowers.  You can find lots of hummers I have stitched but all except one have gone out to others on round robins.  These were for Diane in a stumpwork RR.

I did this one for Ritva in Finland and always wanted to do it again for myself and this might be the perfect project.

My hankies have arrived and they are indeed cutters and all have a stain or two... BUT all are lovely and lots have tatted or finely crocheted edgings.

This last couple weeks I have found myself in situations with folks I haven't seen for  years and invariably they ask if I still have sheep...Everyone knew how much I loved them.. So I have been thinking about them a lot...especially since Susan E. did the lovely post on Scotland which links to a 13 minutes video about a shepherdess. Any woman who can shear sheep wearing a skirt could easily be my very best friend.  The sloe-eyed girl in the middle is Ruby and to the right is Topaz..my fabulous beauty.  It was Ruby who had twins the last year and I gave one to Pitiful Pearl whose lamb was stillborn.. The ewes were the most gentle loving animals.

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