Sunday, December 30, 2007

Counting Down...

Only a little while longer and Sharon B's Take it a Step Further Challenge will be starting up! I am pretty excited about this one for a number of reasons. It promises to be a great opportunity to stretch and grow a bit, to play round with design, and to test the limits. I believe that sign-up is closed but even if you didn't get in on it (and I could be wrong about the sign-up), it would still be fun to play along and there should be lots and lots of eye candy to eat up as people post what they have done. Yum - I can't wait!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Little Teacup Block

Can you believe I actually made something between Christmas and New Years? I can't! This was the source of my little "sanity breaks" during the hectic moments of the holidays.

My local guild has started making little six inch teacup themed blocks, mostly pieced since the guild is predominantly "sane" quilters. These are put together like a nine patch to make small wall hangings that are given to guild members when they move away and have to leave the group. So, of course, mine had to be cq.

The centre motif is a cross stitch teacup full of lilacs. I added a spider web and spider in the corner for luck and a largish silver flower for sparkle. The seams are all pretty simple: herringbone, cretan and feather stitch. I played around with beads and jewelry findings added to give it some more sparkle. Just a small little project but I am happy to think it will end up on a friend's wall in a new home as part of a reminder of friendship from "the girls".

Friday, December 28, 2007

Seasons Greetings!

Well, I hope everyone reading this is getting more stitching time in than me over the holidays! lol It seems like it is all cooking and cleaning, visiting and eating. A very enjoyable way to spend time with family and friends, of course, but I am anxious now for things to get back to normal and get a bit of stitching in.

It was a lovely Christmas - cooked a thirty pound turkey with 20 cups of sausage stuffing in it. I had always wanted to cook a really big turkey so this was my chance. Now I am getting ready for New Years Eve since husband and daughter have been inviting people over left and right to celebrate with us. After that things should settle back to normal.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying themselves immensely. Hope you got lots of lovely gifts and had way too much to eat! I received lots of presents including a nice sized stash of my favourite Body Shop soap, chocolates, a new journal, pretty trinkets and, the one I am most anxious to try - a parafin bath for my hands. I am hoping that it will help to get these work-worn hands in shape so I can work with some pretty silk threads!

So, all the best to everyone in the new year and may 2008 be your best yet!

Hugs,
Kerry

Monday, December 17, 2007

Gift from Irene

This little wall hanging was the gift I received from Irene at the High River & District Handicrafts Guild Christmas party gift exchange. This guild is mostly made up of "sane quilters" but you'll notice that from the trees and the snowflakes - I think embellishing is contagious! When she gave it to me, Irene gave me her blessing to keep going on the embellishments if I would like to. Right now I think it looks perfect the way it is but maybe before I put it away after Christmas, might add a star as Irene suggested or...? lol I think the crazy quilter's motto should be: Too much is still not enough!

If you take a close look at the snowman Irene made you will see it is made up of three yo-yo's of different sizes. To me the center on the top one looks like the snowman's mouth - I think he must be singing!

So, just wanted to show this off and say a big "thank you!" to Irene. I love it!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jill's Blocks - Little CQ Bag




Now, these are better pictures, right? From the files at CQI I have copied the original pictures from these two DYB blocks Jill completed. I am much happier with these pictures, because they are very clear and allow you to see all Jill's stitching and ingenuity. They don't quite do justice to the sparkle etc. but you can't have it all! lol
The little purse was constructed very simply. Basically two 6" DYB blocks sewn together on three sides and a lining inside made the same way. I added two beaded fringes to the bottom of the bag and a metallic cord strap. It went together quickly and easily and it makes me happy to know the blocks are out of my stash and out having a happy life somewhere!

Little CQ Bag



We had a little gift exchange at my local guild last Friday, as I mentioned before. I decided to construct a small cq purse or pouch and used two DYB round robin block for the front and back. These particular blocks were both made for me by Jill Phillips so they related to each other nicely. The lady who received the bag seemed thrilled. I wish I had managed to get better pictures but these were taken on the way to the party/gift exchange in front of the ice machine at the gas bar! lol

Friday, December 14, 2007

Little Watercolour Chistmas Card


Today was the Christmas party at my local guild, The High River & District Handicrafts Guild. We had a gift exchange and the theme was "snowmen" this year. So, to stay in the theme of things I included this little Christmas card I painted with my gift. It was my first little experiment with watercolours and has me wanting to try some more! It was a great little bit of fun and is a very user friendly medium.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An Artist Trading Card (ATC) from Hideko!



What a wonderful surprise was waiting for me in my mailbox - an ATC from Hideko in Japan! Isn't it lovely?

Hideko has the most wonderful talents - her stitching always blows me away with it's beauty and delicacy! Even on a tiny piece like an ATC the details are just wonderful!

Thank you so much, Hideko! I am thrilled with this wonderful gift! You are too kind!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Dragonfly


I had so much fun last night stitching this little dragonfly for a block I am working on. I got to use my favourite things - sparkly threads, furry threads and shiny beads! lol I received a lot of Rainbow Gallery specialty threads recently and this was the first time I got them out to see what I could do with them.
The tail of the dragonfly is made of four bugle beads - I would have used five but four of that colour was all my bead soup would yield. The eyes were two larger beads. His body was just done in satin stitch with Artic Rays Wispy Fringe and the wings were Frosty Rays simply couched down. The finishing touches were his legs in simple straight stitches of one strand of good old DMC. I really love this little guy and the threads were fun to experiment with. I can't wait to see what else I can do with the others!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Swap Package from Judyth




Arriving in the mail yesterday was a parcel from Judyth in the swap on her group. This is the mother of all baggies! I will certainly never be stuck looking for a certain colour of silk ever again! I wish this picture was good enough that you could see all the brilliant hues represented but I hope it will at least show the scope of the various colours! Besides the fabrics - enough for a king size crazy quilt if I were to put them all together - there is a glorious selection of ribbon floss, Edmar, hand-dyed threads, buttons, lace trim and motifs and so much more.


Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Judyth. I think I know now where you got the nickname "Crazy Judyth"!!! lol

Thrift Store Jewelry Box



Well, here is another transformation in the making. Although, at this point I have to admit nothing has been done except finding this jewelry box at the thrift store and parting with a dollar of my hard earned cash in order to bring it home!


The wood is all in good condition, the knob is loose and the top has an inserted velour picture.


The inside of the top is an ugly gold velour paper with a mirror glued on well enough to survive the end of the earth. The box has a ring tray inside of matching gold velvet and a lining of the same gold velour paper.


I hope no one has one of these sitting in a place of honour on their dresser cause I don't want to hurt any feelings when I say I think it is hideous! lol


What it does have though, as far as my initial inspecion shows, is a deconstructability that will enable me to make something else of it - something more pleasing to my eye even if the world at large may not agree! So, stay tuned - I will update this piece as I go along.


Birth Sampler



I just finished this project last night in time to head away for Christmas. My niece, Terry, was considerate enough to have her baby on Boxing Day last year so I had 364 days to finish this off and still it be a Christmas gift this year!


I found the picture originally in - of course - my local thrift store and admired the stitching as well as the lovely framing - especially the cute mat with it's balloon cutouts. So, after an investment of a dollar or two I bought it home and took it apart. I graphed out the information on little Jade's name, date of birth, weight and length, and backstitched them onto the balloons. As soon as I saw this picture I knew this was what I wanted to do!


Now, after cleaning the piece and reframing it, it is ready to give and I am quite happy with the way it turned out.

Ties That Bind

I have been enjoying the pictures and talk at CQI about what several of the members are doing with men's ties. I knew I had seen a picture somewhere in an old issue of Country Woman magazine of another example. Finally found it and wanted to provide a little additional inspiration! It makes you look at these ties a whole new way! My compliments to Gerry Jenicke, the artist on this one for creating a meaningful memory as well as giving this piece a real "art quilt" look!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Take it Further Challenge

Sharon B over at In a Minute Ago has just come up with another challenge! Check it out at:

http://sharonb.wordpress.com/take-it-further-challenge/#comment-16090

I am going to try this one. I hope that it will help me in a couple areas where I am lacking - both colour and design. Keeping my fingers crossed that practice will make perfect!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Work in Progress

My apologies for the terrible picture - it is a scan and the cabachon face creates bad shadows.

This is what I am currently working on. It seems to be slow going but I hope to finish it soon. I have three more seam treatments to go as well as adding some sort of flower to the ribbon stem and leaf seam. Then a couple more motifs and it should be ready to use.

In spite of it being slow going, I am happy with the way each element has worked up, especially the lower two seam treatments. I am using tiger tape with these and it really seems to help with the consistency of the stitch sizing.

The cabachon face I made with Fimo - it doesn't seem to want to stay put so more work needed there.

The little button cluster has two dyed mother of pearl flower shaped buttons as well as a very pretty irridescent glass button in the center that doesn't want to show itself off in the scan. I think I will still add some beads to this for a bit more sparkle.

The stem stitch stork scissor motif if done with one strand of DMC and a bead for the sye. I have used this motif before, it is one of my favourites.

Thanks for looking .... back to stitching....

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Second Bit of Lace


This is the second piece of lace I bought the other day at the thrift store. I have removed her from her frame and will use her in stitching as well. She is a bit larger than the basket of flowers - about 6 inches tall (15 cm) and 2-1/2 inches wide (6 cm). She also appears to be handmade and worked on linen. It is very fine work and the flowers in the center are similar to those in the first piece. She has a linen band for her main structure which is bit different. So, I am wondering - is she the same type of lace as the basket of flowers and, if so, I am still wondering what type of lace this is??
I love her Madonna like qualities and will have to find a special project to use her on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What is It?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to haunt the thrift stores and second hand stores looking for treasures to use in my crazy quilting. Sometimes I think it is half the fun!

Last week I bought a framed bit of lace. After liberating it from the frame this is what I have. The question, though, is what is it? Does anyone know what technique this is?

From the top of the handle to the bottom of the basket is about 3-1/4 inches (9 cm) and at its widest part it is about 2-1/2 inches (7 cm). The thread is consistent with the thickness of regular sewing thread.

Thanks for any help you can give me!