Lace cottage tutorial continued....part 3

Step 1.. I embroidered  the chimneys and the little roof section over the door with a long and short satin stitch. .  The roof section I just embroidered right over the cut edge of the house lace.

I also found this cute little edging that I wanted to use.

Step 2:  I split it lengthwise and used part of it across the ridge of the roof.  People often had a ridge decoration to keep birds off the thatch roof.  I used the other section for trim along the eaves which I may or may not keep as it keep shifting..

Step 3:  Then I attached the lace I had dyed for the roof.  I ran it about 1/2" beyond the edge of the roof.

Then from the back I ran a basting line so I knew where I wanted to cut for the roof. 

But before I trimmed the excess I used a matching thread and all along the inside of the edge (see arrow) I made tiny stitches securing all the lace about 1/4" in and then I could cut it without it raveling.

Now I can start on the windows and door and the roof trim.

While looking through my journal laces I found a quite large table runner that I had been saving for a large journal cover.  It would be perfect for the fence and since it had a damaged section right in the center I would have had to remove a section anyway, I will have enough to use for the fence...

To answer Cindy's question.... I am using a piece of cotton.  I love using good quality used sheets from the thrift store.  They have a good thread count and after repeated washings all the sizing is washed out and they needle beautifully.  This one was a treasure.  It was a king sized Ralph Lauren that was a soft white.  It will last me a while but I do use up quite a bit for projects for my students.


Another "Gerry Day" and a support for Bill....

One of my blog readers emailed me that she had had a "Gerry Day"  My immediate thought was "Oh you poor dear!"  And sure enough she had a bad fall and did serious injury to several body parts.  I also had  another "Gerry Day" today.  I was trying to wire these wheels together and went running into the house to get my pliers.  I managed to fall UP the porch stairs, cracked my knee cap on the edge of a step and rammed my elbow into the porch rail... I am limping and sore tonight... DH says just about anybody can fall down the stairs, but it takes a special skill to fall up the stairs...aren't I the lucky one to have that skill.

I was trying to wire these three wheels together to make a support for my new clematis "Bill Mackenzie" so it could ramble over and through these wheels and hide that ugly stump.  I used to put a large brass container of flowers on the stump but always forgot to water them.  This will be much better.

The largest wheel in front is 5' and is way too heavy to lift.  In fact I could hardly keep it upright to roll it along.  My original plan was to put a post on either side to support it.  I quickly learned that digging post holes by that old stump was not going to happen.  So I dragged two smaller wheels (about 40lbs a piece) from the barn and plan B was to wire them in a triangle and I think that is going to work. And dear "Bill" is planted and ready to ramble.

Years ago in the back of the garden I put an even larger wheel between two posts and planted a pink macropetala clematis at the base of each post and they eventually covered the structure which was about 8' tall. It was stunning in bloom and  I loved it.

Today's new wheel support is a much smaller endeavor but should be great when in bloom and it is just feet from the front porch where I will get to enjoy it...

"Bill" has huge nodding bright-yellow flowers, with darker red centers. The flowers appear during  summer and are followed by attractive wispy seed heads into fall.  It is an aggressive grower and I might let it ramble over and up the clothesline pole.

Lace cottage tutorial continued....part 2.

Second Stage:

Step 1:
At this point I use a black sharpie pen to darken the windows  Very little of it shows when finished but it makes the sashing on the windows pop.

Step 2:  Once you decide on your lace, put a large enough piece to cover with excess on the top of the cottage.  Depending on the size of the cottage, baste or pin in place.  My cottage is quite small so I just pinned it down.

Step 3:  Turn your needlework over and from the back, baste just around the wall area.  With my particular lace I could have seen  through the lace to baste from the top but it is neater and works better doing from the back.

Step 4:  Turn the needlework right side up and trim leaving at least 1/4" outside the basting line.  Now the fun begins..

I can guarantee that if you trim the lace to exactly fit that it will pull loose.  I work with lace a lot and the biggest problem  is stabilizing a cut edge.  I have a few tricks I use that I will share as I go along.

Step 5:  Choosing laces for roof and trim is fun because as long as it is in scale, the possibilities are endless.

On the left is a 1/2" piece of crocheted lace that I have dyed and antiqued for the roof.  On the right is an assortment of very narrow braid, soutache, cording, and rat tail.  I will antique small pieces of these for trim around the doors, windows and the edge of the roof.

Before I start on the roof I will satin stitch the chimneys and the tiny roof over the door.  I'm hoping to find time to do that this evening.


What do you do when you can't stitch?

When I was first married in 1956 I always did my kitchen floor on my knees with paste wax and ironed my sheets and my house sparkled..  By the time I had three kids and was teaching full time, my priorities had changed...a lot!

Over the years cleaning house was relegated down the to-do list.  But when I'm frustrated and can't stitch I find doing something physical helps.... I sometimes cook but there's only two of us and there's a limit....if it is nice outside working in the garden is my second choice and the garden is showing the extra care... but if all else fails I have been cleaning and much to my surprise, enjoying it.  It has actually been therapeutic and last week I was even excited about going to Walmart to buy a new mop...and couldn't wait to use it.  Can't say the house sparkles yet but it is improving.

And speaking of the garden..... I had been so happy that my purple beans had been unmolested and were about 18" high but yesterday I went out and this is what I found.  Earlier this spring we added extra wire to every inch of the already in place deer fencing and I just can't believe the rabbits can still get in.  That leaves the quail but these beans were tall.  I may have to put up a cot and sleep in the garden.  Does anyone else have quail that destroy their garden?

Yesterday I bought some forms used to dry baseball caps and am using them to protect my squash plants.

The perennial geraniums naturalized over the years and are blooming in drifts all over the garden.... and in and out among the old rugosas..


The actual beginning.... part 1

This is my rough drawing for my new lace cottage.  I will make a simplified one later that you can download, but this is what I usually work with... pretty rough and as a rule I make a lot of modifications as I go along. 

I mainly am concerned with the general placement of things, not details at this point.
I do not like to make any marks of any kind on the front of my work...ever.  well almost ever.
STEP ONE: The very first thing I do is make a "reverse image" of this drawing.  I do it in my photo editing program but you can do it with most printers also if you check under options.  I do this because I will be putting the image on the back side of my block. 

SECOND STEP: Apply fusible tricot knit interfacing to the back of fabric.  Do not skip this step.
THIRD STEP:  Using a light source (light box or window) lay your fabric front side down on the reverse image and trace the outline onto the back of the fabric.  Since it is on the back of the fabric on the interfacing I can use a fine permanent marker such as a pentel micron fine liner.

You only need the basic outlines.. Note that I marked the corner of the outside of the block as a guide for now as I may adjust the outer edge as I go along.
FOURTH STEP: Then using a single strand of thread I do a fairly small running stitch over all these lines.  This basting will be the   guide as to where to place the laces
When I turn the fabric right side up I have my guide and no marks on my fabric.  I can remove the basting stitches as the work progresses.

I use this method of marking on the back and basting to the front so often and love it.  I use it over and over and over again.  It is by far my favorite method of getting a design on fabric.

FIFTH STEP:  I don't intend to stitch in the sky so at this point I apply a light wash of blue in the general area of the sky..  It doesn't matter if it bleeds into the area of the house as it will be covered with laces.  Start with a VERY light wash and test where it won't show.  You can always add more color but it isn't easy to take it out if it gets too dark in the beginning.
I went through my laces and picked a few I might use. It is fairly easy to find narrow laces for the roof but much harder to find lace for the walls.  This is the type of lace I look for....an small overall pattern.  It matters not to be if it is machine lace (as on the bottom) or hand made as on the top.  I prefer the top lace because the stitching is denser but it may be too thick... I will just have to test them..  It is difficult to find this type of lace... large enough and the right density..
For the fences I'm always collecting laces with a grid pattern such as these.  They work well for so many things....but especially fences.
 The top machine lace will probably work the best because of scale but I'll see.
This grid is especially nice for fences because it works as a guide for stitching in every other column to make the slats for the fence... clever huh?


Another lace cottage..

 I will be soon starting on my second cottage book.  I made the original lace cottage block for the cover when I was only going to make one large book with the 12 CQJP cottage block pages ... Now that I'm making two books I need another cover and thought I would do a simpler lace cottage and do it step-by-step tutorial with a pattern.

I worked on this one for 2 years.  Except for the cottage, the garden   is ALL tiny French knots.  I plan to use lots of ribbon embroidery on this next one..it will go faster.

So I'm looking for inspiration and I find these images in my picture file..  First here is a garden in ribbon embroidery.  I just love the picket fence and all the flowers peeking through.

I want a simpler roof line this time.  I really struggled with the roof on the first cottage...and I do like the double chimneys but not crazy about the stone wall. In fact I really like the lines of this cottage though...

Here is a simple roof and a picket fence but I'd like a little different angle to allow a climber on a side wall.  It also has a stucco finish similar to lace.  And the detail on the front entry would lend itself very well to lace.

Now this one has a simple roof,  two chimneys, a side wall and a picket fence....but it is two stories.  I love the bird houses.  Since I had a lace bird house  on my first cover I need at least one lace bird house on this new cover.

So this evening I will sit down and draw my own pattern for my new lace cottage but these images have given me lots of ideas and direction.....  I hope you  follow along on this new project.


And where have I been....

Pinterest is always sending pins that I might want to see.  I used to look at all the CQ ones.  But all of us who CQ tend to collect all the same images and our pin sites are very similar and you see the same needlework   over and over.

But today this image popped up on a site.  I was first drawn in by the striped borders with the buttons irregularly placed and the more I studied it the more I was fascinated.  I will never look at buttons the same again..   This work was done by internationally recognized artist, Nancy Smeltzer but I had never seen her work. 

I have to admit to being a button snob and never give kitschy plastic buttons a second look but just look at them here.

I had to immediately google her work and here are some more images...  Enjoy as I'm off to dig through my boxes of buttons..  


Two types of clematis...

There are two types of clematis.... large flowered (blooms 4"-7"+) and small flowered.  I have a passion for the small flowered clematis for several reasons.. There are varieties that bloom in April all the way through to varieties that bloom late summer into fall.  Also the blooms of the small flowered varieties vary greatly in shapes and colors.  I've had a lot throughout the garden and some I tried to move and lost because they had gotten so big.  One I lost was my very favorite... Duchess of Albany. 

The only down side to these type of clematis is that they are hard to find... at least here in Spokane. So I heard a clematis vendor from Oregon was going to be at  our big garden event last Saturday.  It opened at nine and I was there ready at 8:30am.

 Although I have plenty of space I am trying to discipline myself to keep  the garden area a size I can manage.  It is so tempting to keep extending the flower beds.  One way to increase the impact of the garden without making it larger is to go vertical with vines. 

I was literally holding my breath that the vendor would have Duchess of Albany and they did...  I also found several others and had to quit because my rolling cart would hold no more... They were nice 2 year plants in gallon pots and a reasonable price.   I was out this morning in the rain planting them... Here is what I got

Duchess of Albany
 Polish Spirit

Prince Charles
Alba Luxurians

Graveta Beauty  - this type has twisted petals

Julia Correvon

Bill Mackenzie  - I was particularly happy to get this one because it is a fall bloomer  followed by delightful seed heads which the birds love.  I have to be careful where I plant this one as it gets huge....really huge...

like my clematis paniculata which grows over the garage roof....about 30'.  It will take a couple years for the new ones to establish themselves but they are very hardy (zone 4) and not the least bit fussy about growing conditions....

Last year I found this clematis roogushi and it should bloom this year.  If you haven't seen the small blooming clematis you should consider trying them...  You really get a lot of bang for your buck!!!

On a scale of 10, this is a 12!

This spectacular piece of crazy quilting was done by Jo in NZ in a round robin some years back.  Without a doubt Jo is the best stitcher  I have ever seen.  I have saved it for something special. 
Something that would really showcase it and this velvet bag/tote is my choice.  I have been working on it for a while and it is ready for the lining and handle.

 The back side of the bag is much plainer but the wide black lace shows up better in this shot. There is still more lace and embellishment to be added but it is coming along.

It is large....more of a tote.  I don't change my purses.  Once I have a purse that I like I use it until it wears out.  But I love totes and use them all the time...This is an especially nice pattern that I bought at the Houston quilt show a couple years ago.  I love the outside pockets.. I think it suits itself very well to CQ and will use it again.
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