Monday, June 30, 2008

May Take It Further Sneak Peek!

Here's a little sneak peek at the work I've done on my May Take It Further Challenge block. I have fallen behind on this challenge for a couple reasons but am now trying to catch up and hope to have this block done this week. I already have the June block pieced, so it's all about embellishments until I catch up and move on to the July challenge which Sharon will post on July 1st.
And here's a little bearded iris motif. This is one of the 4 designs included in the Summer Creativity Challenge on the Hand-embroidery list at yahoogroups. When I needed a motif for this iris-centered block (another hint there....) I copied the iris motif at 50% and it fit perfectly! It is done with one strand of silk floss and I back stitched it. I am less than happy with how the backstitching through tissue paper turned out. It was kind of an experiment. Next time I'll use outline stitch for sure.

Stay Tuned & Stich On!

Delta Crazy Stitchers 2008 Round Robin

Our local group decided some time ago that we'd like to do another round robin together. With the summer upon us, we could only get 5 stitchers interested though, so this will be a quick one!

I decided what I really NEED now is a cover for my sewing machine, which is just inside my new workroom AND one of the first things a visitor will see. I know, I know - I haven't posted pictures of the 2nd room in my 2 room studio-suite here. The problem is mostly that I can't seem to find a time when the room looks neat enough to take pictures. It's embarrassing, but I'm constantly working on the work table and now I"m in the midst of a total bead re-organization project that is gonna take me quite some time. I use those screw-together little towers for my beads and have used them for years, ever since made beaded skating dresses for my 2 girls and a couple others. Back then you could buy these towers in the drugstore where they were touted as pill containers.

Now, however, there appears to be at least 3 companies in China making them and, let me tell you folks, the little jars that screw together cannot be interchanged! So, as I've bought beads it's been a mess and now I have towers that are not just one color of beads nor even one type of bead. When I want yellow beads, for instance, I must go thru the whole cupboard of towers and most likely will find 6 or 7 towers with some yellow beads in them.

The idea of this project is to unscrew each little jar, store the beads in ziplock baggies and then re-store them in the towers by color. This was all brought about by my purchasing a couple expandable 3 tier things for inside my bead cupboard. Right away I found that some of my towers were too tall fpr the back shelf because I'd combined too many little jars. I return the tier thingees or do I re-organize my beads. G thinks I should do the reorganization and even volunteered to help me. Hmmmm, wonder how many beads will end up on the floor instead of in ziplock bags when he does this while watching television...............

So, back to the picture of my block.....I pieced this block to join in the round robin but I did it in a way completely different than I've ever done before. I actually determined the size I needed, drew the dimensions with a ruler on artist's newsprint paper. I then started drawing a crazyquilt block using a 5 sided piece in the middle. I did this because I knew what fabric I wanted to use as the theme. The faux cq print I have used in the center and all corners is the fabric that I will use for the front, top & sides of the new machine cover.

After I had drawn (and REdrawn) the block to my satisfaction, I laid a sheet of tissue over my drawing and traced it. I then cut up the tissue into patterns to be used on the fabrics that I had pulled to coordinate with the faux cq print. When I cut the fabrics out I added some seam allowance - usually about 1/2 inch in case I needed some ease one way or the other.

For construction I pieced everything but the corners and center first, then I fussy-cut the faux cq to fit. I love some of the curves I managed to get on this block and it will be interesting to see how the other stitches handle them. I may just have to apply this method of block construction again in the future!

Stitch on!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've beem tagged

I have been tagged by Lil of crazyseoulsister. I have never done anything like this before because most seemed to have included a logo that I couldn't figure out. So, Lil, I'll give this one a try, okay? I tried the copy and paste with Lil's post, but egads, I got her whole blog, so here I go to try to delete and reorganize this dealy bob:

This tag by Lil is really just a challenge to name 6 unimportant things about myself so here goes...

First the rules-

1. Link back to the person that tagged you. ( I did that above!)

2. Post the rules on your blog. (You are reading them!)

3. Share 6 unimportant things about yourself. (See below)

4. Tag 4 people at the end of your entry. (See note below)

My List:

1- I have really bad sweet tooth and crave fast food. I've had the sweet tooth all my life and it might have something to do with Mum's love of baking, but it's a struggle to stay away from candy, other sweets AND the fast food. When I was younger I could eat ANYthing and never gained any weight so I would have some boobs! In FACT I used to drink milk shakes and the occasional beer before bedtime in order to GAIN weight. It didn't work. I weighed 92 pounds when I got pregnant with my first daughter, 142 pounds the day I had her and, alas, 92 pounds the day I took her home from the hospital. 12 years later I had finally had made it to 105 pounds and after our 3rd daughter was born I never quite lost the last 10 pounds I had gained. That was just the beginning and now, despite going to the gym 3 times a week where I have actually gained pounds from lifting weights, I tickle the 150 pound mark!

2- I was once told by a mentor who was one of my college professors that I was a Renaissance Woman. I'm not sure exactly what he meant by that; at the time I wasn't doing any work with textiles or anything else except trying to finish another year of college. I'm a closet writer and from that time of my life I have a couple unfinished novels for young persons sitting in my file cabinet. And a whole lot of research notes that I'm thinking need to be shredded! I view myself as very scattered and easily distracted. I keep multiple projects going simultaneously and flit from one to the other. Does that scream Renaissance Woman to you? And then there's the writing which I wish I could be more dedicated to, but then I wouldn't have time for stitching or reading or..........

3- I have 23 fair size binders full of Redwork patterns that I have printed off over the past 10 years from the internet. I'm sure I won't be able to stitch all of them in my lifetime, but I view them as a valuable library for my and my student's use. I'm hoping soon to have the time to downsize the designs (pulling duplicates) in each category and move them all into a lateral file cabinet I just bought. Come to think of it, many of you might know this about me because I recently shared pictures of my new Fabric Aging Room where those binders live. If I can downsize those binders, I can buy more fabric, right? LOL

4-I LOVE ironing and at one time when my girls were young, I even considered taking ironing in to make a little extra money. Does anyone iron anymore or do they just pay a laundry to do it? Perhaps with the current downturn in our economy ironing your own clothing will have a rise in popularity?

5- I've recorded a record.....don't get too excited. It was a gift for family members only and to listen to it first you'd need a turntable and 2nd I would be leaving the room! LOL! When I was a kid I wanted to be the next Dinah Shore. I took all kinds of gymnastic, dance, voice and piano lessons thanks to my parents. But when it came to performing on my own, I had truly awful stage fright. In high school I actually performed in duos and groups and went on to college to pursue anything that would get me to Broadway or Hollywood. Remember I said I was easily distracted? Well, marriage and children put those ambitions on the back shelf where they've grown old and moldy!

6- Like Lil I kinda hate tags and if you blogtag me I will probably not answer. lol It mostly is because of a lack of time to learn enough about blogging in order to do things like that quickly. I usually ignore a tag but but this one seemed easy. However, I'm not tagging anyone individually.

If you are reading this and want to play, feel free to copy and paste my posting!

And Let Me Know!!!!

Stitch On!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CQ Stash Acquisition 6/14/08

On 6/14/08, Flag Day in the U.S., we traveled to Placerville, California to visit our eldest daughter and her 2 girls (17 & 19). On the way there while my dh, aka G, was driving, I noticed a new bead shop when we stopped at a Michael's in Folsom, California.

After lunch I asked my daughter if she had been to that bead shop yet and she said it was a really good one and I would like it because it has an amazing number of charms. She immediately turned & apologized to her father who had hoped to return straight home after our visit. LOL!

Since it was my turn to drive home, it's clear that we stopped, right? After 30 minutes and MUCH self-restraint and $30+ removed from my stash money, here is what I purchased.

I got the purple seed beads because I have always had a difficult time acquiring purple ones for my stash. I think it must be a difficult color to manufacture.

The snips are especially for beaders and are very similar to a pair of surgical steel thread snips that I bought years ago at a flea market. That is why, when I spied them hanging on the wall, I put them in my tray. I'm constantly losing the older pair, so now perhaps I can at least find one when I need to snip stuff. These say that they are good for thread AND thin wire!

I could not resist the mop leaves even though they were a bit pricey! I love anything that is mother-of-pearl.

The charms on the left are for my Mum's family quilt block. They are a set of measuring spoons, a cupcake pan and a rolling pin. She loved to bake, but as she got older she also loved to play games like yahtzee and pokeno, so I got the tiny little dice too. Now I just have to find a little deck of cards. She and I and my girls used to play a lot of cards. I'd venture to say my girls learned to play 500 rummy and poker before they learned to play children's games like Life and Monopoly!

The brass findings in the center are something that I just thought might somehow to be used to make fittings for victorian fans on future cq work.

The 3 very special rhinestone yellow flowers were made by hand by someone else and I bought them in order to include them on my "Yellow to othe Max" quilt in progress.

The strand of drop beads were in a sale area and I thought they looked a little like tiny chili peppers. They are red glass with a streak of yellow in them. Since my brother and his wife live in Arizona and we also hope to in the near future, I'm always on the lookout for things with a southwestern feel.

Playing a bit with these new things has sparked some interest in resuming stitching for me. I've been in a funk for about 3 weeks and am even way behind in the Take It Further Challenge.

In the next couple days (before Saturday at least) I have to piece something to take to our next local CQ stitchers meeting on 6/21. I measured my sewing machine today and I think what I will piece is a back of a sewing machine cover. I am still rearranging my workroom and it would be nice to have a pretty machine cover since the machine is right inside the door as you enter the room.

Smiles to you all!

Stitch On!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm honored!

Yesterday the blogger behind Feeling Stitchy featured my spider and web work! Was a big surprise and I am delighted someone else loves my spiders as much as I do. Check out her blog and Stitch On! I've been out of town all day and now must spend some time catching up on things around here so I can find some time to stich myself!