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Showing posts from June, 2011

BAS - Week 71 - Another Laced Stitch

This week`s Build a Seam (BAS) Challenge stitch is this laced stitch.  I used this on my little quilt from the last post and I am loving working with these bright colours.  It is pretty simple, consisting of three or more rows of running stitch and then threading another thread up and down through the running stitches. I used four rows of running stitch because I had four colours of silk thread I wanted to use.  I also used silk for the thread I wove up and down but I did it twice because I didn`t get enough of the colours from the variegation showing on only one run through.  This is a quick, fun seam treatment - enjoy!

A Little Quilt - My Process

 I thought it might be interesting to explain the process of how I built this little quilt.  Not a quilt actually, only 9" X 12", so really only a very small wall hanging.  This one started with this cross stitch picture I came across at the thrift store.  I felt compelled to "rescue" it because it really is nice handwork, very well stitched on linen.  So, I brought it home and took it out of the frame and washed and pressed it.  I was very happy to find a nice allowance of fabric all the way around - sign of a good framer! - so I was able to use the linen around the outside as a backing for a crazy quilted border. I wanted this to be a cheerful piece that would be nice for a baby or child's wall, so I chose quilting cotton batiks in bright colours for the crazy quilt patches.  I had a friend visiting while I was putting the crazy patch together and didn't want to drag out the sewing machine so instead I basted all the patches on by hand.  I wasn't to

Build a Seam (BAS) Challenge - Week 70

Here is another new Build a Seam (BAS) Challenge for you - the Chained Fly Stitch.  I hope you like this one!  There is a tutorial in the next post on how to do it, and it is listed in the tutorials in the sidebar.  Have fun!

Tutorial - Chained Fly Stitch

Chained Fly is an interesting stitch, or perhaps more accurately a stitch combination.   Begin by making a row of fly stitch such as I have done along this seam.  Add a second row, back to back with the first, situated so that the rails of the two rows of fly stitch create a series of close bars. Lastly, add a row of chain stitches done over each of the bars.  I have done the chain stitch in a different colour here so that they are easy to see.  Enjoy!

Reviewing my Goals for 2011!

For the last few years, I make a list of goals (I refuse to call them resolutions because that just begs for them to be broken! lol) . I only make goals related to stitching as well since they are the only ones I am likely to work at. Periodically I stop and see how I am doing on them but I have really been neglecting that this year so far. So, since the year is half over, a review is well past due! Here goes... 1. This year I am going to continue with teaching crazy quilting that I started last year. I will make as many opportunities for myself as I can to do this. I am also going to build a workshop or class around a specific project that I'll design and submit an application to teach it wherever the opportunity presents itself. This was more of the same as last year - just stretching further with it. I submitted classes proposals in the spring but none of them got sufficient registration to run – very disappointing! However, I shook myself off and set to re-tooling the class

Beaded Wine Glass Charms & Other Thoughts

When it has been raining for a straight week, you need something quick and easy to put together and these wine glass charms were just the thing!   They are from Annie’s Attic Simply Beading monthly kits and were just about what I was looking for to add to some wine glasses for a Christmas gift I had in mind to make.   Basically the kit consisted of springs, glass beads, charms, t-pins and crystals.   The crystal was threaded onto the t-pin and then a simple loop was made in the t-pin.   Next I stretched out the spring so the rings were approximately ¼ inch apart.   I formed another simple loop at one end of the spring, attaching the crystal before I closed it.   It was simply a matter of threading on the beads then and when the spring was full, making one last simple loop at that end of the spring and attaching the little hand painted charms.   I quite like the end results – the colours of the beads really appealed to me, especially the blue/green mix which I thought resembled se

Windfall for AAQI! Thank you Island Batik!

Moira and Adam Dewar of Island Batiks Hold onto your hats! Moira and Adam Dewar of Island Batik, Inc. have donated $25,386.00 to the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative! This is the largest donation to date. As in EVER! Moira and Adam have been proud supporters of the AAQI through the Rose of Sharon project and have donated fabric for “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope.” But this! OH MY GOODNESS!!! Adam said, “We are very happy to give this money to the AAQI. We think they are doing fantastic work.” AAQI is ecstatic! Jump-up-and-down happy! Over the moon! THANK YOU! There are an estimated 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s. One in eight people age 65 has the disease. Right now. If you are a Baby Boomer, your age cohort is turning 65 at the rate of between 7,000 and 10,000 people a day. Chances are high that you will spend your retirement years either struggling with this vile disease yourself or taking care of someone who is. Let Island Batik’s commitment t

More Summer Reading...

I have to thank Janet for reading one of my posts on my summer reading and sending me a list of book recommendations!  I have read a couple of them so far and enjoyed them thoroughly: True Grit, written by Charles Portis:  If you like the movies, you'll love the books.  Much better exploration and understanding of the character of Maddie and a better ending! My Name is Mary Sutter, written by Robin Oliviera:  a good Civil War novel! If you have any suggestions, I`d love to hear them too!  If it doesn`t stop raining here, I am going to get a LOT of reading done this summer!

Lace Books Gift from Ilys

My friend, Ilys, came across a book sale at one of the local guilds where they were getting rid of books for $1 each.  Knowing my obsession with lace, she picked these ones up for me.  The Technique of Branscombe Lace by Lillie D. Trivett  Bobbin Lacemaking by Doris Southhard  and an autographed copy, no less!  Carrickmacross Lace by Mary R. Doyle and Wilma Firpo and last, but not least, An Introduction to Lace by Gabrielle Pond. I am tickled pink with these books and very thankful to Ilys, but it saddens me that the guild felt they had to pare down their library so much that they got rid of these great reference books. 

Two More Quilts for AAQI

These are the two latest art quilts I have made for The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative . They are entitled "Distress I" and "Distress 2".  One of my favourite things about making these little quilts for AAQI is that the small format gives me the opportunity to experiment with different techniques and materials.  These two are the result of my playing around with Tyvek.  Yes, if you are not familar with it, Tyvek is that plastic material that some mailing envelopes are made of! It is also used in ways I learned at the Fabric Manipulation class I took at EAC Seminar this year.  For each quilt, I took half a sheet of Tyvek and painted it on both sides with three colours of metallic acrylic paint.  I then cut random shapes out of the Tyvek.  For Distress I, I used triangle shapes and for Distress II, I cut organic, plant-like shapes.  I sandwiched the quilt together with a beautifully slubbed, grey Italian silk on the front and the back and a thin batting between

Sendai block complete - at last!

Done at last!  Well, actually, I don't think this block will ever be done in my eyes so I have decided to just declare it done! lol  I still see where a couple birds would be nice in the sky above the pagoda... a spider on the turned over leaf on the lace... and so on and so on.  BUT if I don't want this block to turn into my life's work, I have to stop somewhere so last night I decided this was it.  It is going off in the mail before I change my mind!  The plans I had for the block changed along the way.  I extended the geometric design further than I had thought too originally.  The plan for the tree and the Sendai skyline went by the wayside along the way.  The fan was added at the last minute - inspired by the beautiful vintage fan designs in Ms. Carole Samples' books.  So, for better or worse, here it is!  Ta-dah!  Hopefully I will now get back to posting some stitching of different things rather than the same block over and over...  Thanks to all for your patien

Bits & Bobs

I definitely need to make some progress on my UFOs so I have signed up for the Friday Night Sew In (FNSI) for next week on June 17th.  Pull up a chair, put your feet up and join me in some qualaity stitching time!  Signups here . The June  AAQI auction is over - hats off to everyone who made a quilt or bought a quilt this month!  My little Asian Dreams quilt raised $110.00 for AAQI to be directed to research into Alzheimer's Disease.  I am thrilled!

Notes from the Lake - Southwest

It stopped raining for a day and a half so it was nice to be able to get out and get some mowing done.  I had to quit though since I broke the mower.... again!  Just goes to show I am not good with machinery and I should be stitching instead.  This little guy sneaking a snack from Oreo's dog dish is a Striped Ground Squirrel, what we call a gopher here.  The stripes are unusual though - usually we have Richardson's Ground Squirrels, which are tan all over without the stripes.  This guy is really cute and looks quite like a chipmunk.  We have christened him Southwest since he reminds us of the patterns you see in the southwest style of decorating. I had been wondering why Oreo had been ignoring his dog food and then running and eating Bear's as soon as he came inside.  I had put it down to being perverse but now I think I know what he is up to.  Oreo has, well, shall we say, a taste for gophers and now I think he is using his dog food as bait.  Southwest has been hanging ar

Slow Progress

I don't have a lot of stitching to share since I am still working on my Sendai block, making s-l-o-w progress. I have finished the extension of the geometric pattern from the corner patch to the surrounding area and have added a couple silk ribbon flowers to mirror those on the original kimono fabric.  In the other bottom corner of the block I have now added two buttons, one large vintage brass one and a heart shaped one and strings of metallic beads between the two to counter the metallic trim I added around the central kimono fabric. Under the buttons and beads I sewed down a meandering strip of kimono trim.  I finished off my silk ribbon and bead lanterns by adding a second section of beading lower down on each.  I thought about trying to paint florals on the silk ribbons but then gave my head a shake on that one.  Too tiny and complex - would likely end up a recipe for disaster. I have added one seam treatment of buttonhole fan shapes, in Glorianna Princess Petite Pearl silk th

Asian Dreams - 10 Day Auction Half Over

This is the little quilt, Asian Dreams, that I made for the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI).  The 10 day auction for June will reach the halfway point tomorrow.  If you check out the auction page for this item , there have been two bids so far and the price is currently sitting at $45.00, with 86 viewings of the page.  I am embarrassed to admit though that way over half those viewings are likely me, checking to see how my little quilt is doing and how much it is raising for Alzheimer's research! There are some really wonderful quilts in this month's auction and the bidding on some of them is still low so have a peek! If your blood pressure can't take the excitement of bidding and waiting to see if you will win out or not, why not have a look at AAQI's quilts for sale ?  There is a big collection available right now and it is never too early to start thinking about Christmas, is it?  So, here is a question for you...If you were going to give a Priority: Alzheimer&

Bored at the Lake

It is so boring today!  All the campers but one have left and they are serious fishermen who I never see except when they are putting their boat in the water or taking it out.  It is cold and grey and the predicted thunderstorms are threatening to start.  Soooo bored I can't even read!  I finished a good one yesterday though. Rockwood, written by Frank Parker Day in 1928, was a CBC Canada Reads winner in 2005, which is a high recommendation in my books.  Also, since we had visited the south shore of Nova Scotia while on holidays in April, I was doubly intrigued when I saw the book at the local library.  I enjoyed the book very much, including the "down home" dialect.  Good read! I took some photos at Peggy's Cove on the south shore while we were there.  I really think it must be one of the most photographed and painted places in Canada - certainly one of the most picturesque. Here are a couple of the ones I took: According to legend, Peggys` Cove was named afte


Regular readers may remember Bear, the puppy I got last summer.  Well, she was a very funny looking puppy indeed but she has now pretty well grown into herself and is a pretty little thing.  This is her habitual seat on the top of the sofa in the trailer.  She loves being back at the lake and doesn't want to go back home again!

Sendai Block - Work in Progress

My block for Hearts and Hands for Sendai has turned into what Sharon B likes to call "slow cloth".  I have a good idea of where I am going on it - it is just taking me a long time to get there. This is where I am so far - thought it might be interesting to explain how my ideas progress.  The guidelines for the block were that it was to be 8", in jewel tones.  I took that pretty literally and went for sapphire, ruby, amber, amethyst. emerald and gold.  The two prints are precious little kimono fabric scraps, well at least precious to me!  lol  I chose these two because the geometric design is mirrored in both.  On the central piece, I was trying to make a tiny piece of fabric go too far and as a result the edges started fraying. I had to add a trim around it, going with gold and silver and I'll have to tie that in further along.  On the center piece of kimono fabric I stitched over the lines of the geometric design with Gloriana Princess Petite Perle silk thread i