Wool RR ready to mail

This RR will be a new experience as I've never worked with a wool CQ project.  Of course if I'm making wool blocks you know where my heart is....   I have sooooooooooooo many pictures of my sheep that it was hard to choose.

I was inspired to join in this RR because I fell in love with this CQ sheep quilt..  I'm hoping my images will return home festoon and framed with flowers also.


Sometimes I do something REALLY right!!!

Even though I adore my "Treasury of Quilt Stitches" , the real treasure is Miss Carole Samples herself.  I am ever so grateful that she has documented all this needlework... I used it on so many seams on my suffrage quilt... There was a certain "rightness" using seams documented from quilts of that era on my quilt about the women of that era.

I love sitting down with my graph notebook (a gift from Susie Wolfe) and my Miss Carole "Treasury"  and working out seams.. I had a sheet Carole sent in yesterday's mail and before I went to bed I had worked the seam circled (1885). Every time I work one of these vintage seams I feel a kinship with the women of that long ago time...  In my graph notebook I break the seam down into steps and make a note of where and when I used it.

And what I did that was REALLY right was my organization of Carole's templates.  It has make them a dream to use.  Having all the shapes on one sheet was inspired and the color coding has worked beautifully for quickly finding the appropriate template.
Since this was in 2011 and you might have missed or forgotten this, here are the links to that project.  If you have the templates you will love this...


Sometimes events happen in your life and you don't realize until later how pivotal they were and the effect they had.  Taking the class from Carole Samples several years ago was just such an pivotal event for me. Besides being an unparalleled resource on crazy-quilt history and seam history, she was sharing, gracious and witty.. and I loved her!! She talked almost nonstop for 6 hours both days and never digressed from what she wanted us to learn about her book and templates. 



Remember the beaded fans?

Whether it is a large or small project it brings a cohesive quality to a design if it has repeated (echoed) elements......whether it is shape, color, image etc.  On the suffrage quilt I used a variety of beaded fans  along with lace and metal fans... 

On this jacket repeated elements will be insects..... ants, bees, dragonflies, spiders, and especially butterflies.   Hopefully the birds will be the big drama but the bugs will fill in
the awkward spots.

I did this "flower" butterfly as a test and I like it...

So I sketched a bunch on a piece of muslin backed with fusible tricot interfacing trying to get as many different shapes as I can...

When I'm at a thread shop I fall in love with every skein of variegated thread and have bought a lot ... But I seldom use it as  most times the length of the color change is so long that it is ineffective... But all those unused skeins will be perfect for these butterflies.  AND by having them all on one hoop I will not have to change thread so often...

And the new sweatshirt dog bed is a big hit... The stuffed sleeves make a great pillow for Morris to rest his head... He thinks it is only civilized to have a pillow and takes mine every chance he gets...  I throw a treat to the foot of the bed and while he is fetching it, I claim my pillows.  This bed is right by my computer and he is patiently waiting for me to finish so we can take a proper nap (with cuddle)......!!!!!


Motif cutouts and sweatshirt dog bed.

All the motifs are birds, critters, bugs and flowers in my garden and I wanted them to be in harmony with the size of the patches.  Motifs too large would overwhelm the piece and motifs too small would get lost...  Since I am doing these "off-piece"  I figured I couldn't go wrong using a 4" hoop.  I traced the 4" on my foundations and sketched a few motifs.  Just to double check
 I traced them onto paper, cut them out and tested them on the patches.

I know this is a repeat because those who follow know I use paper cutouts a lot to test for size and placement... I prepared 20 little foundations from cotton hankerchiefs backed with fusible knit tricot interfacing...    I may change my mind about using beads because I find I want to add them to every seam..... heard it said it is great to be flexible...  LOL

Also I had seen dog/cat beds made from XXL sweatshirt and since we could use a couple more I decided to try it...

I found a super large men's sweatshirt at the thrift store and it only took a couple seams.

Mine is not as neat and I just pinned the bottom hem so I could pull out the batting and wash the sweatshirt ...  Molly does not adjust easily to changes in her environment  so I put in a piece of her "blankie" folded neatly.  That was her  cue to completely rearrange it and she settled in.

Since I need an extra bed in the barn I will make another one and maybe one to take to travel...quick and easy


Jacket Progress

I'm about half done with the seams on the right front of the jacket.  Imagine the seams done and it covered with embroidered birds, bugs, flowers and maybe a sheep, rabbit and/or chicken... On the jacket body I am using NO lace, beads, trims, rickrack etc.  This is definitely a personal homage to embroidery alone.

(Please note Janet....the "blurred seam" by the red stripe.  Thanks)

BUT I have a spectacular vision for the facing.

This antique quilt has been my inspiration and, like it, my motifs will not be bounded or constrained by the shape of the patch.. but mine will be more animal than floral and they will all be done off block...

I'm waiting for the next block in the RR so have some extra time plus had some minor surgery on left foot and needing to baby it. ..all boils down to more stitching time.


Polly and her pups left home.

Polly and her pupcycle left home recently...  I made dolls for years and years.  Most often a doll  came about because of a theme or concept, but occasionally a doll was inspired by a "prop" and Polly was such a doll. 

I saw this metal tricycle planter at a thrift store and I could just envision the basket fill with pups......thus
becoming a "pup"cycle.

I have a dear friend who loves dogs as much as I do and she   lost a beloved dog early this year and when her birthday came about recently I couldn't think of a better home for Polly and her pups...

I hadn't made a doll for about 8/10 years now.  Not that I didn't enjoy it or ran out of ideas but you can only have and store so many dolls so one day I just quit.

But I think I have to make one final doll...  and I  had her started years ago... 

The first step is to sculpt the head  and then (like CQ) gather materials for costuming and accessories. So here she is....the head for my garden's goddess.

I sculpted this head  from clay years ago and she has been on this dowel waiting ever since.  Most images you see of garden goddesses and garden angels are lovely and ethereal but my garden is tough and survives severe winters, summer droughts, and is besieged  by deer, gophers and rabbits so my garden goddess definitely had to be of stern resolve.  I have a large bag of fabulous fabrics and materials ready to go.. So one day....... 


I knew there was a reason! ..... and a surprise!!!

When I posted about adding the black patches I received suggestions about adding black decorative seams and black lace.  I knew that was not what I wanted but I couldn't put the reason into words.  Then after I had chatted with Janet Popish it came to me...... adding blacks seams and black lace would give the piece the look of stained glass..  Not that stained glass is bad, it is just not what I was seeing in my vision..  Using all the same colors of the patches would add depth and texture.

I mentioned that I couldn't recall seeing an antique crazy quilt with black seams and Janet sent this comment which I thought was interesting: "When I was doing CQ restoration work, black embroidery thread was rarely needed. I didn't even have any in my stash of silk threads  for the first few years. Probably only needed it on 2 or 3 quilts the whole 6 years I did that work."

Remember when I was lamenting how incongruous this little turquoise stool was with my antique typing table and old Singer featherweight?  I thought I would eventually cover the stool with something but finally decided, since they are among my most beloved possessions, that I really needed to do them justice... 

So I started looking for an antique piano stool that was within my budget.  It took some time but finally found one.  Then the plastic Ott light had to go.  Luckily I had this vintage swing lamp on one of my sewing machines in the barn...perfect.  From now until I die, no  matter where I live, these pieces will be with me.

Also remember last year at this time I was deep into my "rainbow door" conspiracy? Well it has brought me great joy ever since.  Every night at dark I go out and lock up the chicken coop against the racoons.  When I return to the house this is what I see and I smile.

I'm not sure it is normal or even healthy to get so attached to "things" but I sure do!


Picking the threads for seams..........

I took parts of the jacket outside this morning to get a truer photo of the colors...  As you can see I added black patches.....no lace.  It is all basted and ready for embellishing.... I will do most of the motifs off block so I can tote them with me and the seams at home where I have space to lay the sections on a table.

I have collected lots of pictures of antique quilts I like and have Penny McMorris's book and I went through a lot of the material... I didn't find any that used black thread for the seam treatments...  If there were, they didn't grab my attention...  Most used a beige/ecru thread or multi colored threads... The ones I really liked were multi-colored seams and the colors were a bit "off" from the quilt.. This quilt especially took my fancy.
I started laying the rings across the patches and pulling thread.  I am going with these slightly darker "smokey" colors many of which I used on Thearica's RR block..


Out of my comfort zone

This jacket project is WAY out of my comfort zone but I need to go there occasionally and sometimes it changes how I stitch..

In 2009 Lauri Burgessor challenged CQers to do two pieces... one out of their comfort zone and one in their comfort zone.

For me out of my comfort zone was using NO lace plus use intense colors, fancy seams and curved piecing...

And this is the result...  The colors made me edgy and I haven't willingly used intense color since. I used to do as few fancy seams as I could get away with but luckily I have since learned to love them... I'm still not comfortable with curves.

And guess what was my comfort zone??


All set to tie one on!!!

I have a bin of ties and use them often in projects.  In fact I used a lot of them in my suffrage quilt and have used many in this jacket project.  Up until now the very best find on silk ties was in Salt Lake City at a thrift store run by the Mormons.  All their ties were only $1 apiece.  But Friday we stopped at a thrift store here in Spokane and they had a huge supply of ties for 49 cents apiece... almost  all silk.  I found several for the jacket and started picking out others and these colors started coordinating...  No project comes to mind but sure it will eventually.. very quiet and soothing combo.
Maybe they appealed to me because I'm in the midst of all these VIBRANT colors now.



Doing the patches in bunches has gone so well and so fast...  I will have all the clumps done today...  Now do I want to include black.  I'm really on the fence with this decision and it has to be done now.

I spent time looking at a lot of antique quilts and most all of the ones I loved incorporated black with the bright jewel tones..  This color palette is so alien to me that I'm having a hard time getting a feel for it.

I know that the black makes the colors really pop so I will go for it.

But do I want to add the black as patches or as lace  or both? I'm still thinking on this..

And if I add the black as patches do I want to add ecru laces?   I would love to use the triangular pieces as they are antique handmade from Italy.  They were made years ago by a friend's relative to use on napkins and I've been saving them for something really special and this may be it..  They are absolute gorgeous and would suit this project well. 

I stacked materials and cut the patches in threes by just randomly grabbing fabric... I made no attempt to coordinate colors at all.. 

After I had them all cut I kept them organized in baggies pinned to the master sheet.  This has all gone so smoothly and I'm really grateful to Marilyn for suggesting it...


Absolutely yummy, fabulous, delicious day...

DH is out of town for two days, it is stormy outside, and I don't have to be anywhere today... I may not even get dressed today...

 I set up a card table and dumped all my jacket fabric on it.  Then I kept tossing and shuffling it to see if there were any pieces that didn't belong.

I now have it reduced to this.  And I can start cutting...

I'm following Marilyn Nepper suggestion of paper piecing the patches in clumps... I made up three clump patterns, labeled them, color coded the adjacent edges, ran off copies on card stock so I have paper pieces AND the master sheet.  I'm making this up as I go along so hopefully it will all worked as planned.... LOL

Now I wish I had used my JoAnn's coupons to buy new blades for my rotary cutter.  Mine have been sharpened so many times they need to be replaced...



Finished Fan Block #3

I finished Teresa's fan block and used the colors from the stitchers before me... I couldn't resist adding the little red-eyed tree frog.  Her rain-forest theme now has the frog in addition to a parrot, spiders and a butterfly.
Actually red-eyed tree frogs are much skinnier but I was influenced by my tiny garden frogs I guess.

The day I stitched the frog it must have gone out as an invitation.  We had a wild storm that night with lightening in every direction... We left the slider open as we watched the skies from the deck.  Returning to the house we found this tiny critter in the chair....with a heavy heart we had to take it back out into the storm..  All our critters want to live in the house with us...
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