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.


Bird and chain and left side finished.

 I wanted the little velvet bird from Susan to be an integral part of the story....thus the chain... Suffragettes used them a lot... In order to slow down their arrest and dispersal they chained themselves to fences, lamp posts, gates and doors. I have a few more chains for the piece but they will be added when the blocks are sewn togethers..

Except for the buttons the left side is done.

Here are the two sides together.  The middle sections are about 95% finished.  I am going to have to find someplace to hang them where I can see the whole effect before I start sewing them together..
Rest assured the colors and fabrics from right to left are all the same.  They were just photographed under different light.  I keep fiddling with the lighting because of all the black.. It's a headache.  The colors on the left are closer to the true colors... especially upper left... they are VERY rich.


And more suffrage progress

I have only the buttons left to do on the "bottom left" block and will do them along with "side left" block. The trim flower in this motif was made with a pleated trim/ Rather than gather the trim I did in a spiral.

The seams are done on "side left" and I've started the beading... There is too much black on the right side and I'll remove two pieces of black lace.  The center black trim can be incorporated into the buttons. The suffragettes were often jailed for demonstrating  and if they went on a hunger strike, they were force fed.  Vote ladies... they did it for you!!! The black velvet bird upper left was a gift from Susan Elliott and I have something special to add to it..

My granddaughter Madison is a whiz with a camera and does the most beautiful panoramic skies.  I was wishing she were here this morning to help me capture the sunrise which was fabulous and turned the whole sky shades of pink.. But without her  this is the best I could do.


Finally a bag system which will work for me!

How could we manage to CQ without ziplock bags but I had never found a way to keep them sorted AND handy and I've tried umpteen ways...I did it in tubes,boxes, baskets and drawers. The latest was to label a bag (ex. gallon) and put all like-size bags in that bag... But it just wasn't handy and I just didn't do it.  So having reached the final frustration level I went online...  I ran across  methods of storing them upright.   I liked that because the height instantly indicated the size.  I knew the tubes wouldn't work for me because I had too many bags but the other idea used a divided carton which I adapted.

 I just used a beverage carton.  I roll them up individually and easily slip them in and take them out.

I have it sitting on a tall (but small) plant stand  by the door to my storage room. The leftover used bags are still in the pantry when I need them.

If in my thrift store forays I found something like this to which I could add dividers  and hang on the end of the bookcase it would even be better.  I'll have to keep an eye out..

In my search I ran across this clever "instant drying setup"
She kept a quart jar of aquarium gravel under her kitchen sink and when she needed to dry something she stuck in a bunch of BBQ skewers.  Clever and cheap!!

Update:  I still love my stacking boxes for each project and just found another one cheap on e-bay..  With a tray each for my beads, kreinik threads, and ribbons and by thread ring hanging from my lamp I have everything at hand. Since I am mostly beading right now I can put that tray on top.
Equally it is all put important easily put away... Unfortunately since I work on the dining table I do occasionally have to clear it for company.  I will start putting doodads into the new stack of boxes for the hanky quilt which will probably be after the holidays...


Inspiration when you least expect it!

When I was looking at hanky panky CQ in Pinterest I saw  this  one that used a small fancy table cover as a backing... Now what a clever idea! I especially love the idea of repurposing this hardanger linen table cover which probably just was languishing in a drawer and not interesting enough  to hang by itself. A marriage made in heaven

 I have 3 (maybe 4) similar table covers about that size.. the largest about 45 and this one about 35.  The hand crocheted lace on all of them is in perfect condition  but the cotton or linen centers are either thin or disintegrating...  I now use them under my featherweight on its antique typing stand. This one (which need to be starched and ironed) would be perfect if I did the HPCQ in the interesting center shape.

I can hardly wait until my hanky stash arrives in the mail...  In the meantime I am back to the suffrage quilt tonight...

Putting the threads on hoops is the greatest "take-along" task and next week I will be somewhere every single day that I'm waiting on someone..  But I'm making progress slow but sure.

BUT everywhere I look there are bags, drawers, and even a box full of thread. This does not even include the perles on spools or the krieniks. I did not buy all this thread.  The bulk of it was from thrift stores, gifted to me by someone trying to find a home for it or from 60+ years of stitching.

You can believe that all the thread neatly wrapped on cards in that tidy box was a gift...NEVER would I sit and wrap all those little cards and label them by color.................... FOTFLOL.....

I am using many more colors just because they are accessible and it will be so nice to grab a few rings when I'm off to teach a class.


Chatelaine and my blonde mom!

Hopefully this will be the last chatelaine for a while..  This one is for the class  display at the quilt shop and the class has already been approved and January dates selected. Sign up doesn't start until next month. This one is finished except for the tools for the pocket upper left...  I tried to keep the embellishment simpler on this... Didn't want to scare people.

One of my stitchers always uses a thimble and is fashioning a lace pocket for her thimble on her chatelaine.  Another would like to have a pocket for her glasses which she wears while stitching.

One friend would love to make one but this would be too fussy for her... I have some lovely black toile in the barn.  It would be fun to make a chatelaine with it coordinated with black and white stripes, checks and polka dots.  A whole different look. Between the suffrage quilt and the Morris book, I have an endless supply of black trims and lace.

This morning to went to town to bathe my mom and color her hair blonde.  She's 94 years old and does not want to be buried with gray hair..She has been telling me for years that I wouldn't look so old if I'd color my hair..  I don't mind my gray hair but I can't fault her the burying issue as I have a few of those myself.  I have a long list of things I want to be buried with including  my tambourine and my red shoes.


Hanky Panky Quilts

I may never get the suffrage quilt done if I don't quit getting distracted with other inspirations. I have been trying to think ahead of projects that would interest my new stitchers and one of the stitchers herself gave me the best idea... Years ago she and I both bought Cindy Brick's "Hanky Panky CQ quilts" and had never gotten around to doing it.. She has an immense collection of hankies but I have very few by comparison...

I thought I'd browse Etsy and Ebay for cutter lots of vintage hankies and did quite well.  I am like a gambler with an addiction and when I go on such a quest I set a dollar limit before I start or I want it all..  I decided to get as many as I could for $20.  But I actually spent $30 but I got almost 60 hankies from 2 dealers..  Plenty enough for me and to share with others.

Ever since I had seen one of these quilts it has been on my list to to-do projects. Cindy's book was out of print for a long time but has gone into its 12th printing and is now available.. I encourage anyone looking for this book to buy it now.

Stopped at a thrift store today just to get some pots for amaryllis gifts and  found this pillow case ($2.99) which may find its way into my hanky quilt.  I have another similar lady with a crocheted skirt but it may be too large... if I can find it.  I also found a fabulous piece of black lace on a dress and believe I will have to go back and buy it....

This particular thrift store is just across the street from my post office... Far too convenient.


Sunday's "Intro to CQ" class

The class was Sunday and went really well.  It was a 4 hour class (one time class) and the timing worked out well. Everyone went home with a block laced and trimmed.. The room was large and had lovely light.  I will repeat this class next month for another group and then again after the first of the year.

Now everyone in this group has been invited to join our larger group at the house it they wish to continue.  In 2013 I will have had 39 CQ newbies in my classes..  As someone who has begging for years for a teaching venue, I am so happy!!  This format worked much better than the 3-session classes.

It looks like I will also  be teaching at least 1 three-session chatelaine class after the first of the year.

And there's been a change in the weather...
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