Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kreativ Blogger Award!

Well, I'm excited! Hideko ( gave me the Kreativ Blogger Award! I'm excited because my blog has never received an award before and because Hideko is a stitcher whose work I admire so much - it means that much more! Thank you, Hideko!

Here are the rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award:

1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.

2. Put a link to the person you received the award from.

3. Nominate 5 blogs.

4. Put links to the blogs.

5. Leave a message for your nominees.

Here are my nominees:

1. Leslie -

2. Judy -

3. Simona -

4. Cathy K -

5. Gerry K. -

There are a lot of great blogs I enjoy but when I had to narrow it down to five these are the ones I came up with as the ones that inspire me!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On the Seamy Side RR - Candi's block

It was an exciting day at the post office today with Candi's delightful block arriving for me to stitch on in the CQI On The Seamy Side Sampler Round Robin. I love this block - it reminds me of an ice cream social with it's gorgeous soft colours and the lady in the silky. Can't you just see her ordering an egg cream or a parfait at the ice cream shop?

Clairee was first to stitch on this block and did some beautiful seam treatments and motifs, all in herringbone and detached chain stitches. Gorgeous stuff! Now I will try to rise to the challenge and add my part using the prescribed stitches for this go-around, being fly stitch and spider web rose. The photo above is Candi's block after Clairee has stitched on it. I will post another after I do my part.

Very exciting also were the lovely threads and ribbons that Candi included. Each participant in the round robin can choose one each of the threads and ribbons! Thank you for your generousity Candi! The colours of these ribbons are so beautiful and I was really impressed to see that Candi dyes them herself and sells then in her Etsy shop! Now, how to choose one colour?! lol - guess I'll have to do some shopping over at Etsy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Scissor Fob

Postscript: Jackie has received her scissor fob and likes it! Bonus - she took a better picture than me which shows off that filigree type metal bead so I have added it here as well.

Well, I had great fun tonight! It is pouring rain and that made for a great stitching evening.

I am in a scissor fob exchange and decided to get on that tonight. I am out at the camper at the lake with limited stash and no shopping opportunities and putting this together was a real hoot.

First off, the swap specified that the fob be on a lobster clasp. None in stash so my keys are now jingling around loose in my pocket - lol. Next, no beading needles and beading thread. What do you have lots of camping though? Fishing line! Managed to get the fishing line through a milliner's needle and put it together with the beads and my favourite little gold spacers in between. That went okay but on the return trip through the needle wouldn't go through the spacers a second time. Drat! They really did look pretty in there. So, I took them out and restrung the beads without the spacers. Had a large hollow filigree ball that I liked so I put that on the end. Didn't think until after mailing might be a problem - I can just imagine that little ball arriving flat! Guess it will have to go in a box. Then I decided to put on a little beaded fringe but no way could I get a needle through the smaller beads. Aha! Forget the needle - fishing line can be thread through the beads as is. I'm puttering away on that and after a few minutes the penny dropped. I could have done the same thing with the spacer beads! Too late though - no more fishing line - so just carried on.

Well, it is done and will be in the mail tomorrow and it was great fun. I love a good learning experience!!

Finished my part on Clairee's RR block

I finished up my seams and motifs on Clairee's round robin block. Next to the lace I added some of my very favourite ribbon. It blends with the colours of the block quite well. It is an organza ribbon with beaded and sequined roses on it - found it at my favourite trim and lace store in Calgary! I just attached it by clear beads here and there.
Well, this was my attempt at a herringbone motif. I attempted an embroidered paisley using all herringbone stitches. It looks a bit better in person than in the picture. The good news is it should frog out fairly easily if Clairee doesn't like it. If nothing else it was a learning experience. It was inspired by some of the TAST herringbone samplers.

I did a fairly simple mauve seam with lazy daisy (detached chain) stitch. In the little patch left between that and "monster seam" I sewed an oya on a bed of feather stitch greenery.
The lace motif I hand dyed to try to get a good colour combination for the block. I attached it with gold sequins and beads. Not really as happy as I could be with that but the mailing deadline is upon me so it stays.

Lastly, here is the block in its entirety after I stitched. There are three more to stitch after me in this round robin and it is heading out in the mail tomorrow to Meg. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone adds as the block goes around and how it ends up when it is finished. I'm also looking forward to the next block and being able to do something besides detached chain and herringbone! lol

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Tender Moment

I know - animals two times in a row! Don't I do any stitching? Tomorrow, I promise! But in the meantime, I couldn't resist posting this picture I took yesterday of a tender moment between DD, Katie, and her friend, Obiwan. Obiwan seemed very interested in the pool and even more interested in Katie!

Porch Dog

I have been distracted the last couple of days with excitement at home. DD, Katie, has bought and brought home a new puppy. He is about three months old and she has named him Duke. (Anyone else flashing back to Jed Clampett's old hounddog on The Beverly Hillbillies?) I don't actually have a picure of him yet - this is one I took of a littermate of his, the inspiration for this sudden desire for a bloodhound! Katie has been avidly studying everything she can find on bloodhounds on the internet and telling me as much as she thinks I can handle - lol! I drove home yesterday to be there when she brought the puppy home. He was tired from his four hour car ride and a bit dehydrated from the heat so was somewhat subdued but he is definitely a charmer!! I immediately wished he wouldn't be leaving with Katie when she goes off to university.

So, are you wondering why I titled this piece Porch Puppy? My husband's "big project" for this summer is to put a porch on the house. My contribution so far has been to buy porch furniture. I can't see these dogs though without thinking of one sleeping on the front porch - just seems the right place for a dog to get comfy and have a nap!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More on Clairee's Sampler Stitch Block

Today I did a little more on Clairee's block. I had a piece of dyed lace I wanted to add since it seemed a good colour for the block. So, I did that and then added gold ric rac which I attached with herringbone stitch. I also added beads to attach the ricrac as well. I'm not sure if I am done with this seam or not but will give it a day or so and then look at it again and decide. In the meantime, back to stitching!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Herringbone and Detached Chain Stitch Seam

I am working on Clairee's block in a Sampler Round Robin at CQI. In these round robins each time you work on a block you are concentrating on certain stitches. On Clairee's block I am to be working with herringbone stitch and detached chain stitch. This is the first seam I have done. I started with two rows of herringbone stitch and in the spaces between the rows I made little eight petaled flowers using detached chain stitch (aka lazy daisy stitch).I put a gold bead in the center of each little blue flower. I am very fond of the little gold flower shaped spacer beads and added them on each side, attaching each with a bead. Lastly I added the pink detached chain stitches on the outside edges.

The idea of using these stitches is to get some practice on them. After 346 lazy daisy stitches (yes, I counted! lol) I feel like I got a bit of practice. I know this seam is a little "over the top" but Leslie pointed out to me that you could encrust a seam and I guess I felt like she had thrown down the gauntlet! What to do next though??

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Oyas have become a passion of mine ever since I discovered them while learning more about crazy quilting. I give a big thank you to Rengin for introducing me to them! They are popular motifs in crazy quilting even if not common because of being fairly difficult to find.

So, what are oyas? These delicate yet sturdy flowers are a tradional form of needlelace created in Turkey. The making of Oyas can be dated as far back to 2000 BC. They are made as a trim to adorn scarves and other pieces of clothing, as seen below. Smaller than a dime, these three dimensional blossoms are made by hand using a sewing needle or pin and thread. There are many varieties but sewing needle oyas were usually done with silk thread. The variety of flower represented by the oya edging on scarves, etc. conveyed different meanings. In looking at different oyas, I originally thought that the ones of red peppers were an indication of just how far the "southwestern" look had travelled. However, in my reading I discovered a young wife wearing these oyas was indicating her relationship with her husband was hot and spicy!

Oyas are a uniquely Anatolian handicraft so the word "oya" has no translation in other languages. It is commonly known as "Turkish lace" in Europe. Hopefully this is a form of needlework that will not disappear.

I hope at one point to be able to learn to make oyas. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More Details on the Dragonflies

As promised, here are some more details of the dragonflies on my beaded round robin block. This first one was tucked down in the right hand corner of the block and is constructed cleverly of leaf beads for the wings and a turquoise bead and two different flower beads for the head and body and mint green pearlized beads for the tail. The gold rose bead in the body matches the ones in the adjoining seam treatment as do the seed beads in the tail.

Here are #2 and #3. The magnificent turqoise dragonfly is housed in a perfectly beaded circle of four rows of beads. He has a beautifully beaded stem of flowers keeping him company. The body of the dragonfly is made up of larger blue beads separated by gold spacer beads. His wings are a light fabric appliqued down and then outlined around the edge by couched down gold. The veins on the wings appear to be stitched with gold blending filament or some other very delicate metallic thread.

Did you miss dragonfly number 3? He is a gold coloured charm dangling from the circle.

I wish my photo had been clearer of dragonflies 4, 5 and 6. The first is a little charm who is perched on the stem of Clairee's flowers.

The antique gold dragonfly is a real work of art - I have never seen anything quite like it! Here Gerry worked this patch all in golds and it really brings up the richness of the fabric. The wings on this dragonfly keep drawing me back. They are some kind of filigree jewelry findings, two for each wing. It is the combination of the two on each wing that makes it so perfect.

The mauve dragonfly appears to be flying downward. Perhaps he has sighted a mosquito and is moving in for a snack? His beautiful wings appear to be pieces of hand dyed lace appliqued down and then outlined in copper beads. The wings are beautifully textured with the veins of the lace showing through amid lines of more copper beads and almost transparent pale mauvey pink beads. Larger beads ranging from mauve to purple make up the body together with gold spacers.

What can I say about the seventh dragonfly? I am honoured to have received one of Gerry's delightful hand painted buttons! Isn't it amazing the tiny works of art she creates on these mother of pearl buttons? We were blessed at CQI to have received tutorials from Gerry on how to paint the buttons with roses, etc. Some of the members had nice success with it.

Numbers 8 and 9 are a pair of dragonflies - or is it a dragonfly and a damselfly? Rising out of the lovely beaded plant growth, this pair have the most interesting wings! I have to admit I have no idea how they are done but I know I love them!

The last dragonfly is nestled among Clairee's gorgeous purple flowers (why can I never find lovely beads like this in purple?) . The photo doesn't do justice to the sparkle of this one. I think it must have been a piece of jewelry at one time and it sparkles with rhinestones on the wings and of course the tail.

So, there you have it - ten beautiful dragonflies on one block! I know I showed off the whole block in my last post but I couldn't resist going into more detail. Hope you find it as interesting as I do.

I have decided to frame this block to hang in my home. It will take all my strength and willpower to walk into the framing shop and leave without it! Do you think my framer would mind if I just camped out in her parking lot til she is done with it? lol

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Beaded Round Robin #2 - CQI

I just received my block back from the beaded round robin I was in at CQI. Can you beieve how gorgeous this is?! My thanks go out to the ladies who stitched on it: Rebecca, Clairee, Gerry K, and Simona. I had hinted rather broadly to Gerry that I would like one of her gorgeous dragonflies - she gave me NINE!! I may just have to show off each one separately in the coming days...