Monday, July 29, 2013

Notes from the Lake

Finally some photos from the lake!  I couldn't resist when I saw someone had built three inuksuit along the shoreline.  Inuksuit is the plural of inuksuk.
 The words are Inuit and these can be found in the far north from Alaska to Greenland.  There is an inuksuk on the flag of Canada's newest territory,  Nunavut.

 As the world seems to get smaller, these are not just seen in the far north now.  People build them anywhere they find rocks to do it with and they are now even used as garden and yard ornaments.

 The original purpose for inuksuit has been debated.  It is thought that they might have marked food caches, hunting grounds or travel routes.  In the tundra there are few natural landmarks so they were surely a guide of some sort.
Finding these at the lake put a smile on my face.  Besides their natural charm they feel distinctly Canadian to me so I always enjoy seeing them, wherever I might find them.I hope you enjoy seeing them too.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Remember Me - AAQI Quilt

I have done a couple posts here and here about a lonely little 12 inch round robin block I have decided to make into two small wall quilts for AAQI.  I have the stitching on the first half done now so one little quilt is ready for binding and finishing off (the boring part!  lol
Here is what I did on this one.  In the top left corner I used a small piece of lace trim I dyed in a class.  I used trios of small straight stitches and buttonhole stitches in the Sparkles gold to attach it, added an extra scallop of lace on the top and then a dark crystal heart charm.  I wanted to bring some dark colour in to balance out the odd fabric patch near the center of the block.

I left the original seam work on the next seam, the detached chain stitches, and added flower beads, attached with gold french knots.  I added a bit more stitching and beads to the original silk ribbon motif to enlarge it. Below that, I added the phrase `Remember Me` in stem stitch.  The silk ribbon bow is done with two pieces of silk ribbon and stitched down with small couching stitches here and there, leaving it with lots of dimension.  The bow helped to fill the space between the two words.
I have already blogged about the step or ladder stitch seam I did with the last BAS Challenge. I added a scissor charm - I love charms and really have to rein myself back in using them, especially sewing ones.  I beaded a little fob for the scissors.
The short seam under the scissors is a simple combination of herringbone stitch and cretan stitch done in two shades of Sparkle.
There is a really tiny seam of ric rac held done with detached chain stitches and little straight stitch groupings.

The highly embellished seam running across the top of the dark fabric was copied directly from one my friend Ritva did with one of the BAS Challenge stitches.  Ritva's work always inspires me and I especially love this seam treatment - so much I am "borrowing" it for the second little quilt too!  Thanks Ritva!  It is constructed of Chevron Stitch with a trio of detached chain stitches on the top platforms of the stitch and three pearl beads under that.  In the hollows of the stitch are two straight stitches and more trios of detached chain under the bottom platforms.

The button motif was inspired by Brian Haggard's second book, as were the burgundy seam treatment of chevron stitch with detached chain stitches and the tiny seam of cretan stitches with the little straight stitch crosses on the top.
So, there is this one in excruciating detail for you!  I like it now and am satisfied enough to go on to the next one.  Will keep you posted on that one...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A New (for me at least!) Metallic Thread

I am in love with these metallic threads I picked up at Seminar from The Stitcher's Muse out of Nanaimo, BC.  No affiliation, etc. - just a happy customer.  These are a thicker thread, nonstrandable and similar to Kreinik braids in weight.  They are so easy to stitch with!  I have been using them on seamwork on the little AAQI quilts and they are great to work with - very little fraying and no tangling.  I've used them for french knots and think they would work fine for bullions too since they handle so nicely.
I couldn't figure out the name of the thread to tell you but I finally clued in and looked on The Stitcher's Muse website and it is called Sparkle.

BAS - Week 84 - Ladder or Step Stitch

Well, what a surprise!  After quite awhile, here is another BAS (Build a Seam) Stitch Challenge.  This one is the Ladder or Step Stitch.
To construct this stitch, begin with two parallel lines of chain stitch.You then join these chain stitch rows with a long single straight stitch between every other chain stitch, or you can diversify and use every chain stitch as I have above.
I also changed colours between the chain and straight stitches and skipped every fourth rung on the ladder to give myself more space for an embellishment in that spot.  There are lots of options available.
So, this is what I ended up with for my seam treatment.  I added 4 detached chain stitches in green thread radiating from the center of the larger spaces in the steps.  I added a flower bead in the center, securing it with a french knot.  If you look closely, there are straight stitches radiating up and down from the sets of three rungs but it is done in silver so doesn't show up much.
This seam is on the AAQI quilt and replaced an almost invisible row of plain white cross stitch.


Step-by-Step - A Little Progress

I have started working on the two small AAQI quilts I am constructing from a spare block.  I decided to take it one step at a time since the block wasn't "speaking to me" at all.  I began working on the left hand side at the bottom. The row of ribbon detached chain stitch wasn't working for me so I took it out.
Once I took out the row of stitching and the seam line was revealed, I could see that the fabric was frayed and the seam compromised.
I don't have my stash of fabrics out here at the summer job, or even a braid to use to fix this, so the alternative was to find a way to cover it up and prevent further damage.  So,,, LACE!  aka the great cover-up.  I auditioned the small amount of ones I had here and decided a piece of tatting would go best with the feel I am starting to get from this piece.
The white tatting was too stark, but a cup of instant coffee toned it down.  I used a metallic thread to attach it with french knots through the picots and small straight stitches over the joins,  I'm pleased with the start I've made.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

High River Flood

 The recent flooding in Alberta, Canada, struck pretty close to home.  The town of High River was hardest hit, as you can see from the photo above.  At my house, when we say we are going to the city, we mean Calgary but when we are going to town, we mean High River.  It is where my kids went to school, where we do our banking, grocery shopping, see the doctor, dentist, optomotrist, etc.

Now the town is devastated by the widespread flooding.and I can`t imagine where people are getting the strength to go back and start over - in point of fact half of them aren`t going back.

 The water came hard and fast and people had only minutes to evacuate.  My friend, Ilys, saw the water in her basement go from none to up to the ceiling in only 20 minutes.

Now the cleanup begins but honestly where do you start?  My heart goes out to these folks!

New Project from an Old One

I have been puzzling over this block every time I see it in my sewing room.  Where did it come from?  I think it must have been one of those round robin blocks that comes home and gets put aside because there is so little done on it.  Either that or perhaps it was a sample I made during a class I taught.  That would explain the very basic seam work.
In either case, it refuses to speak to me and explain it's existence, so I have decided to make a couple of AAQI quilrs from it.  If you look closely you can see the basting threads now dividing it into two acceptable sizes for AAQI, so this will be my next small project.  Since it is raining out here at the campground I hope to be able to start stitching today!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Amazing Miniature Crazy Quilt!

Just a heads up to run over to Viv's blog and see her amazing miniature crazy quilt!

The whole quilt measures 8-1/4 X 7 inches.  Check out the other photo on Viv's blog that shows details of some of the seams and motifs!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Out at the Lake

2nd long weekend of the season ended yesterday.


tents, trailers,etc.

Work days starting at

 and ending when it gets too dark to see at

truckloads of trash to haul to the dump this afternoon

Today....


TOTAL EXHAUSTION!!!