Fan Blocks RR

These are the last fan blocks... This RR also ran into problems so I am finishing off two blocks for Lisa.  I had hoped to have them done this weekend but not quite...but very soon.. I wanted pink cording on the ribs but couldn't find it so added a lighter weight cord and don't like it...too wimpy.  Luckily I found the heavier cording when I was looking for rickrack and will be back on track.

For this block I wanted green rickrack (which I know I have) but can't find the right shade so I'm going to have to get some before I can finish this one... This one has another little problem.... I added a black metallic body to the butterfly but unless you're very close it doesn't show so I will try outlining it... If all else fail I will add a little gold and maybe Lisa won't notice...


About 3 1/2 months

I checked back in my posts and I started my critters in mid May so I have been working on them for about 3 1/2 months... 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.   They are all about 2 1/2" and it takes at least day to stitch one.   Motifs too large would overwhelm the piece and motifs too small would get lost...   I'm definitely ready to get back to seams, seams, seams...

Birds and cottages....

These are for the back of the jacket... My goal was to have 6 more done (besides these) by the end of the week.  I'm not going to make it but will be close enough that I can jump right back into doing seams knowing I will have enough birds...  The birds are so much fun to pop into my bag and go,,, I'm working on a chickadee and an owl right now....and a nuthatch and mourning dove will be next.. I still haven't found the house finch.
I have been busy painting buttons which is always hard to find time for.  My eyes can't be tired, I have to be calm and relaxed,  and I need an uninterrupted stretch time... Hard to get all three at once...but I did get cottages and haunted houses done and am working on some birds and Santas... Usually if I am calm and relaxed, I'm asleep.  It's not something I can do while jumping up to take care of other chores.


Roadrunner block

I usually do my seams the very first thing but on Fitzy's block I'm saving them until last because I have some special ones in mind with SW jewelry for inspiration. Notice I did bring the image down into the block with the sign supports and repeated the shape of the "inn" with the cactus... The roadrunner will get his feet once seams are done... I did add muslin to her block so I could put it on a hoop...

My CQ stitchers were here today and there were six of us...  It is sooo much fun to have this group.  I share the RRs blocks with them and tell them that RRs not only provide me with new challenges, I get to handle and learn from others...  I do try to join RRs and time them to fit with other obligations but this time many were so late that they have all piled up at once. This takes from some of the fun for me..

Although none of my CA group are strangers to needles, all are new to CQ and I try to have some kind of handout each time... today I gathered samples of paisleys.  I hadn't done one for while and hope to find an occasion to do one soon as they are fun. In Victorian times they were called Persian Pickles... I love that term...


Fitzy's blocks for the Diva RR arrived... They are an excellent example of why I love RRs... They force me to try and explore outside my comfort zone... She lives in Arizona and each of her blocks has an image of a vintage motel sign as the focus..  The sign "No-Tel Motel" appealed to my  sense of whimsy and had lots of risqué possibilities.

But in the end I chose the Tucson Motel.. I loved the colors and the lines in the sign....    
Fitzy specifically mentioned cactus and so include those....especially one in bloom... I will study some turquoise and coral vintage jewelry for inspiration for seam treatments... and of course a bird when possible.  Since Fitzy is a runner (even with a broken toe), what could be more perfect than a roadrunner... And of course a motel key.... Claudia included keys also and I thought that was a ideal icon to repeat through the blocks.

I will post the block on a bulletin board and think about it for several days before I actually start..  The thinking and making decisions is the most delicious part...


Progress, my plan and Morris

I can see the end of  critters in sight and hope to have the majority of them  done next week and I do have a plan...  All the critters are done with single thread DMC floss.  I always have two critters going at once.. I just love the woodpecker.    All get their feet and beaks when appliqued.  When I started using single threads it seemed like it would take forever but now I love it...  In fact when I use two threads for seams it feels so bulky...
Plan:  I will start in earnest on the seams on the beck panel..  and it has a LOT of seams and will probably take most of September to finish...  Then I will have most of October to do the beading, extra stitching, and assembly...  I will probably be stitching right up until I leave.
No matter where I'm working Morris is beside me...  He barely raises his head when I go to get coffee or food, but if I pick up my little jambox speaker (for Pandora) he hops right up because he knows we are changing work sites.  I adore my dog...


Two Useful Tips!!

I know I blogged earlier this summer about the Berol R-77 Ellipse Master but if you want to add a most useful and versatile tool to your arsenal of seam templates, this should be at the TOP of the list.  I started Lisa's blocks this morning and am using it.  It is so much fun. By combining different sizes ellipses and changing the direction, the possibilities are endless.  The cheapest place to find one is on E-Bay.

When I am stitching my little birds I like to outline their eyes with a white ring...  Now we are talking REALLY small.  The eye is the size of a #15 bead or about 1/16 of an inch.  Trying to use an outline stitch was impossible that tiny but I found if I stitched a thread at a time AND alternate  from side to side on the circle, I could get a very tidy tiny circle.... I love it when I find a solution for a irritating problem and this is one I'll use all the time...

DH is out of town for 3 days and this is the first time I've been alone that long since the shooting.  Since he is gone often I'll have to get used to it...  BUT I am locked in and except to go bathe my mother tomorrow I'm keeping it that way...

We are adding an alarm system but since we are so isolated  it is pretty much useless..and there only one patrol car for our whole part of the county...burglers realize that they can do whatever and be long gone before anyone can arrive.  But at least if the alarm is ringing when we come home, we won't go into the house.


Jacket and Aftermath Update

The two latest additions ready for this side of jacket are DH in disguise as a my prince charming and a delightful butterfly stitched by Lisa Boni from Colorado..

The butterfly is not only perfect in size and color but came when I needed a gift of caring most.  It will always be a remembrance of a longtime CQ friend.

DH is not too sure if he likes being represented as a toad...but glad to be that if it means he is on my jacket with all else I love.  I assure him that he is indeed my prince charming..

I still haven't found the missing house finch but hopefully it will turn up soon...it will go near the bottom where the turquoise stripes are..   I'm just about finished with a magpie....but I will start appliqueing what I have and finishing the seam treatments.

I have about 20 birds, etc drawn and ready to stitch for the back section..  Then I can start filling in the floral motifs which I will stitch directly on the jacket...

I am truly grateful for   the comments and concern from all of you who responded recently...  Although the house is back in order, we are both still reeling from the violence...  We have given it all much thought and have had lots of advice and are working on how we can better respond in such a situation which is more important that other precautions.  We can and will add extra alarms, lights, gate locks, etc. that would slow intruders down, but the bottom line is if someone is intent on invading your property or doing you harm, you are very vulnerable no matter what precautions you take....   Left is a photo of the knife he was also carrying..


Stash giveaway

I had said that I would draw Wednesday evening but as all that flew from my mind with all that happened Wednesday... but the winners are
Cindy Rogers
Roxanne Pelt
Ruth (Englishrose)

If you three would send  your address to me at olderrose@yahoo.com I will get your new stash off in the mail... 

I walked in the woods alone this morning for the first time since the shooting and was hyper  alert to everything but know that will pass.. Many asked about the dogs and they were okay but he must have had an issue with them as he had thrown their beds outside... They were also very anxious and quiet for a couple days...they are certainly not used to somebody yelling or being cross with them.
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