Only 4 days late, I finished my July block for Sharon's Take It Further Challenge last night. Again this month I have used cottons from my stash even though I now have access to my fancy fabric stash. Matching the colors Sharon posts each month to my DMC floss stash has become something I look forward to along with taking the 5 floss choices into my fabric room and pulling the fabrics from my quilting cotton stash.
I am not too sure how I ended up with the cottage garden print when I was pulling fabrics. I think I was looking for something that would make that lime green color fit in with the other colors. I do remember that I tried hard to find one of JBM's Ornamentation fabrics that would fit into this block, but I couldn't find one.
When I found the gold print that looks like stone, I know that I would continue the cottage's pathway down onto the stone so as to look like a patio. This suddenly seemed very appropriate as during the month of July we were involved in trying to mentally move ourselves back into Hydrangea House while physically cleaning up the yard and patios. Since we sold most of our patio furniture last year during our 4 pre-move garage sales, we even found ourselves cozying up the areas with a new table & chair set with an umbrella and a couple of Adirondack chairs with a small table for enjoying the cool summer & fall evenings when they happen.
I digress....back to the block. I used some outline stitch to continue the cottage walkway onto the patio and then to soften the line between the cottage fabric and the purple and green, I did some feather stitching with assorted colors of detached chain stitch additions.
I have never been very good at the buttonhole wheels, but I recently saw some on an old crazyquilt block that were made to look like fans, so I tried them on the seam between the lime and purple. See the handles are a double row of seed beads. Not sure I would do them that way again, but the way I put the beads on was a tad sloppy and that may be why I don't like them.
Up in that same corner is the summer sun again - we had that here in No. California the whole month despite some periods of smoke filtered sunshine from the fires. Then in honor of the 4th of July holiday, I did some fireworks in gold with the same thread I used for my spider web in the center. At lower right in the name of the month and a little flag for the 4th of July as well.
For the seam between the patio and the lime center patch I did a double run of cretan stitch with the two blue floss colors in July's challenge. The flowers are actually sequins shaped like flowers and anchored with blue seed beads. The rest of the seed beads on the cretan stitches are copper colored.
On the seam on lower right along the blue "fairy frost" fabric, I actually did a couple vintage seam combos from my book of stitches copied from vintage crazy quilts. The base stitches were done with this month's floss colors and then I added to the seams with additional silk pearl thread stitches and seed beads.
On the patio, the cat named Peanuts, who thinks he lives here, sits waiting for G to come work in the garden. He follows G around like a dog and sometimes is too much help like when G was digging holes to plant seeds in. After digging for a few feet, G turned around and Peanuts was covering over the holes as he followed along!
During the month I broke down and actually bought a new beautiful hydrangea bush, but, still holding out hope that we will be moving, I put it in a pot instead of into the ground. I stitched the flowers of my little potted hydrangea on my block's patio with blue and purple colonial knots. I did the leaves with two widths (4mm & 7mm) of green silk ribbon. You all KNOW how I love to do SRE, right? This is as good as it's gonna get!
Now I'm going to try to put in the 4 close up pictures below. Wish me luck......... It worked! Below are the close ups of the July block!
Lower Right corner:
Upper Right Corner: