Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tea Time Block for Lorrie

I have just finished my work on Lorrie's tea time round robin block.  These blocks were absolutely gorgeous before anyone even stitched on them.  Lorrie used vintage linens and did the central cross stitch on each, added the hankie "tablecloth" and enclosed the other corners for us to use our imagination with, and even sent along a package of her grandmother's buttons and some tea cup charms for us to use on the blocks. It seemed like a shame to add anything to these blocks!

 (Bare block)

I had so much fun with this block, so be prepared for me to go into excruciating detail on this one!  lol  Or, you can just look at the photo at the top and forget the rest - your choice!

To start with, before I even saw the blocks, I knew I wanted to make a tea bag for Lorrie.  I found some shimmery translucent white ribbon and used it to construct a tea bag with beads added as the tea.  Since I used blue beads, maybe it is blueberry tea?  I parked the tea bag on one of the lovely pieces of vintage linens Lorrie used for her block.  I used my favourite silk thread to build a string of stem stitch from the tea bag to the cross stitch fairy.  The pink I used for the string did not show up enough to suit me though so I went back and wrapped the stem stitch with blue. At the end of the string is a stitched tag reading "Fairy Tyme Tea".  Kind of hokey but it was fun. 
I have huge respect for anyone who has the patience to do fancy hemstitching so I was not going to interfere or disguise that.  Instead I stitched a row of chain stitch on either side of the handwork to highlight it, rather than distract from it.  I used a lovely shade of Gloriana Princess Petite Perle silk thread called Fiesta.  The lovely fringed edging I left as is. 
Lorrie had requested a fairy on each block and rather than add a fairy charm I used waste canvas and some variegated cotton floss to cross stitch a fairy silhouette.

I wanted to point out the beautiful cross stitch teacup Lorrie used for the center of each of her blocks.  She also had the edged hankie in place and provided us with the other corners of the hankies to use in some way.  I decided that the hankie was the tablecloth under the teacup and the scrap would be a cloth napkin and I did some simple embroidery in green silk thread to coordinate the two further.

I have several of these squashed velvety flowers that came out of a bargain bin at my favourite fabric and trim store and I used one of these to build the pansy on the block.  I dismantled the flower and cut the pansy petals from the petals of the flower and buttonholed them in place.  For the bottom petal, I wanted it to be three dimensional so I cut two petal shapes and buttonhole stitched them wrong sides together and then just attached it to the rest of the flower at the top.  All that was left then was a few straight stitches in the center with yellow thread and it was done.

The tiniest little motif is the tea cup charm, one of the ones Lorrie provided with her block for us to use.  I added a tiny scrap of Nicki's hand dyed lace underneath to form a tablecloth or doily under the teacup and borrowed Cathy K's idea of using silk ribbon for steam above the cup.

It is pretty difficult to see how this looked before I added the seam treatment but it had a hemstitched edge of the linen and a strip of lace adjacent to each other with a small space between.  I took a piece of pink metallic trim and sewed it in the space, tucking it under the lace.  I stitched a couple of pearl beads on the lace to hold it in place.  Respecting the hemstitching again, I added a buttonhole stitch edge next to it with pink thread.   On the right side of the lace, I back stitched a row of pink beads in place along its length.  On the left side of the hemstitching I added some small green ric rac, stitched down with pink straight stitches.  It is my favourite seam on this block.  You can see it in the photo above.

On the right side of the block, under the fairy, I did a seam made up of two rows of herringbone stitch, one in pink and one in green.  On  the top and bottom of the herringbones, I alternated pearl beads and rosebuds made with a pink detached chain stitch and green straight stitches. 
On the piece of linen underneath, I duplicated the original hemstitching stitches  using variegated silk perle thread.  I added a pearl bead to the center of each cluster of bullion stitches that were already part of the linen.  Lastly I added a small bit of lace dyed with potassium permanganate.

Finally at the bottom I added a button cluster.  First I laid down a piece of vintage lace edged with pink french knots.  Then I added some of the buttons from Lorrie's collection, a heart charm, some small ribbon flowers and a few more pearl beads.

This was a wonderful block to work on and I enjoyed it thoroughly!


gocrazywithme said...

Your blocks are beautiful, and your work on Lorrie's is inspired! Great tea bag.

Quayceetatter said...

Very pretty!!!

Cathy K said...

I love all the little bits you added, and marvel that you were able to come up with yet another way to use that extra corner of the hankie. Your stitching is MAHvelous as always. Super block, Kerry! Lorrie is very lucky with this set of blocks! Hugs, Cathy