Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chocolage Block #15 and What's Next!

Chocolage Block #15
Originally uploaded by lasassone
Well, block #15 for the Chocolage quilt is finished. There's only one more design and I was going to begin it tonight, but I must interrupt this project for something a tad more important. You know what it's like, I'm sure, when inspiration hits? In this case, I read a handy hint somewhere and, of course, I don't remember where....... Out of that has come Inspiration with a capital EYE!

I'm working on a project that will make my life easier as I move from one room to the next when I'm cutting fabric and making "kits" out of my UFO's......more on the UFO's soon. I've planned something for the next few weeks that will hopefully jump start my creativity AND get you all talking to me as well.

What I'm working on right this moment I will soon share in a sort of tutorial post as soon as I'm done, ok? I'm hoping it will turn out as I envision and that you all will love the idea as much as I do right now.

Stay tuned and STITCH ON!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chocolage Block #14

Chocolage Block #14
Originally uploaded by lasassone
Well, I'm sure glad that I have finished this block. I think it may have been the most challenging of the designs so far. It was almost all back stitching, but the itty-bitty words inside the Basic Food Group blocks I had to do with just one strand of DMC floss. Good thing I have that new Ott lamp in the front room! I've now moved on to block #15, but probably won't make much headway on it until perhaps Sunday night when the tv programs are good again.

Meanwhile I have my hands full getting ready to host our local CrazyQuilt stitchers group here tomorrow morning. I've cleared the tables and cleaned the bathroom, but the rest of the house isn't looking so hot. Still a lot of boxes to unpack and I've got to bake something for a snack to serve.

About those boxes.....you would think that now that I have TWO rooms instead of just ONE for my stuff that I would have no problem getting everything put away, wouldn't you? It's shocking to me that there are still so many things in boxes in the garage and sitting here and there in the house. I obviously kept too many things last year when I was packing to move. I kept things I was in doubt about because I thought I was going to have a whole basement for my things. Moving back in here to wait out this stupid housing crisis was not what I had in mind.

So, I have decided that I will have to do some more downsizing - especially in the fancy fabric department. I think I said before that I can't even close one of the fancy fabric storage drawers - the green one. Perhaps I can list a Friday ad on the yahoo crazyquiltING list when I get going. I really want to stay away from eBay - just don't wanna go there no more!

And cotton quilt backings! Wow, as soon as all is set up I am going to start putting together "quilt kits" complete with backings. What is left over is going OUT of here to the group I belong to that makes quilts for breast cancer chemo patients. I have SO much trouble letting go of fabric I love. I love it all or I wouldn't have bought it, right?

But meanwhile unpacking goes on with a lot of questionable things being repacked into boxes for re-consideration. Like-will I ever get back to rug hooking? Will I ever really DO that large needlepoint picture my daughter and I loved so much. And best of all for laughs: Will I ever finish the red sweater for G that I started maybe 10 yrs ago?

This morning G finished putting together the new oak desk for my workroom, so this coming Sunday will be spent moving this computer in there. I'm wondering how I can get away with moving it without disconnecting all the cables......I'm probably dreaming, but I SO don't look forward to figuring out where things go if I have to disconnect everything! Maybe I can put tags on the ends of the cables......

Stay tuned & STITCH ON!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chocolage Block #13

Chocolage Block #13
Originally uploaded by lasassone
I finished this block last evening while I watched this week's result show from Dancing with the Stars. About that: I had hoped that Priscilla Presley would last longer, but alas she is now gone. I liked that someone closer to my age was getting a chance to show that older women can learn new tricks, ya know?

Anyway, with this block done it leaves 3 more to do. Once I get started on them, they just zip along. By now I feel l've gotten pretty skilled at the back stitch, but on block #14 the printing is smaller and I see that I will have to switch to one strand of thread for it.

Looking at this photo I realize I didn't do the best pressing job on it. It's looking a little strange & wrinkly. I usually press the blocks from the front first and then turn them face down on terry towling. I then spray the back of the block with fabric finish, press with my fingers any little thread tails I see sticking where they aren't supposed to be and then steam the block really well. I think I was in a hurry or very sleepy last night when I did this one. It needs to be redone.

Today on my agenda are my Take it Further Challenge blocks for March and April. I need to finish the embellishing of the March block so I can get caught up with this challenge.

Stitch on!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Take it Further Challenge

Well, I've fallen behind again and haven't finished my March block, but today, looking for a little distraction, I pulled up the April palette and chose these DMC colors and fabrics.

The DMC colors are from the top 920, 3857, 890, 3078 and 814. 814 was used in March's colors for my block also. I found some of the colors in Sharon's April palette way darker than anything that DMC has available. But, I'm excited about the prospect of working with these fabrics I have chosen.

Two of the fabrics are the Judith Baker Montano fabrics from Robert Kaufman. The top one shown and the bottom one are the JBM ones. I do believe I'll be putting the top one in the center of my block.

But I must finish March's block first; I'm trying to be disciplined about this challenge. I get distracted with embroidery work that I can do in the evenings now that my favorite programs have come back on with new episodes. I find redwork type embroidery very relaxing and I now have a nice new Ott floor lamp next to my chair, so it's easier to see to stitch.

Over the past few weeks when we were making trips to and from the storage unit, I have finished one piece that is a gift for my brother. I've also recently gotten back to the Chocolage blocks. If you click on these pictures, you will not see a closeup with details because I didn't post them from Flickr, but they ARE in my Flickr photostream. And here they also are:

I can't seem to turn the cat's picture upright. So sorry if you get a crick in your neck. If you'd like to see a better picture, click on the first picture in this post of my April fabric palette and you can see both these last pictures in my Flickr photostream. I guess I'm still learning how to do all this and unless I do things everyday, these days I seem to have to relearn things over and over. Benefits of aging I do believe.

Back to unpacking! Stitch On!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008 Roomie block

2008 Roomie block
Originally uploaded by lasassone
I have been bad about blogging and I apologize. Did you miss me?

I've had a medical issue AND we have been busy bringing our things back into the house from storage over the past 3 weeks. In order to accomodate my stash and other things, we are making a lot of changes in the house. G has put together at least 7 bookshelves for the fabric and books and now he's building a cutting station for the center of the fabric storage room.

In the workroom yesterday we covered a 4' x 8' sheet of foam insulation board with beige flannel and installed it on the wall for the design board I've always wanted. I still don't have the computer in the workroom, but that's because I can't seem to find just the right desk. The one I have here in the office won't fit in there and actually I don't think I have the room arranged right yet either. A new fancy Polder ironing board from Costco was a total disaster and had to be returned to the store when we discovered that it wouldn't open/raise up because apparently the levers were installed incorrectly at the factory. I think I may, for now, keep my old odd-shaped-no-longer-made EuroPro board with the off-center point.

As soon as the 2 rooms are all set up, I'll take pictures for you all to see. I can't wait to get back to playing with fabric!

But, about this block I finished today.....

All golds and yellows with prints containing purple and green, this block was sent to me by Kate H. to embellish. Each of the gals who are my roommates at the CQ Society's annual retreat in July in Omaha are doing a different color block. Our blocks will be made into a wallhanging which will be auctioned off at the scholarship & breast cancer research auction event during the retreat. We did the same thing last year with many $$$$ made. Last year our blocks were all black and embellished with jewel-toned stitching. This year we each are embellishing a different color block that Kate pieced.

I was disappointed that the colors of this block didn't photograph very true. The fabric on the lower right is a pale yellow asian brocade. All the fabrics are either yellow or gold. I used mainly silk pearl threads and a little ribbon floss. You can't see them well, but along the edge of the purple and gold asian brocade up top, I added a few gold Swarovski flat lochrosen rhinestones. Now that you know, you can probably see them!

There also are a lot of beads, as is my usual final step on a cq block. And an itsy bitsy spidey for luck! I am unable to attend the Omaha retreat this year, but am glad they still considered me part of the roomie group!

I enjoyed stitching on this block. Most of the stitching was done before Easter Sunday. The evening before Easter I began having some vision problems which are still annoying me. I experienced a Vitreal Detachment in one eye - my good eye, wouldn't you know! I didn't lose any vision; doctor says these are common age-related happenings - doncha love it? This getting older is not for sissies! Given time I am told that my brain will learn to not see the dirty-contact-lens-like view I have been left with.

Since my father lost his vision to macular degeneration, I was very concerned and then relieved when the doctor found no other problems. He put me on a vitamin supplement especially for eye health and I'm thankful I can be back to stitching now.

I did the beading on this block yesterday and today. I think that tomorrow I can get back to working on Jo's round robin block I have here and get it sent on to Hideko in Japan shortly. I also have another little project I need to send to Kate when I send this block. More on that later.

Stitch On!