Thursday, March 26, 2015

quilt progress

I'm piecing blocks now for the last lesson in the intermediate crazy quilting class--putting all the lessons into practice.
This is a hexagon for a quilt-as-you go style hexagon. I was inspired, I think, by Spring and St. Patrick's day.
This is a block using one of the provided silkie designs and lovely fancy fabrics given to me by World Embroideries. The fabrics were wonderful to use but very reflective and the colors didn't photograph well--most are darker/brighter/color shifted.
And this is the "whole cloth" crazy quilt. I showed it with the "seam lines" basted on in my previous post.  I've not stitched all of the base stitches for the seam treatments and have removed the basting lines. Now for the fun of embellishing these bases.  It will be a pincushion.
 I'm working on a couple more quilts squares. This one has a silkie of a friend's mother. I'm going for an art deco effect. I'm not committed to this design--it's about the fifth iteration I've done and I like it better than the others so far.  I may use more of World Embroideries' fancy fabrics for this, but I also have cottons in the perfect colors, so more decisions are coming.
This is a variation on crazy quilting with curved piecing. I want to do it all white and have tone-on-tone white and off-white cottons for it. I plan to use freezer paper patterns to press the curves. Right now I'm thinking about how to avoid the seam allowances and the back of the stitching showing through the pale fabrics--perhaps a thin layer of batting. I suspect interfacing it will make it harder to stitch. And do I put it on a white background, a pale background, or a dark background?  Color tint the pieces with crayons to hint at color or leave it white?  Still more decisions.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

not much news

I finished this washcloth from my wip bag.  I didn't block it although the lace would show off more if I did, but--it's a washcloth.  I had already knit two others from this pattern with the same yarn, but this time I ran out of yarn.  I feel I was creative in making the most of the yarn I had and the narrow section isn't too noticeable. 
 
On Monday night we went to see Kodo, a Taiko performance group from Japan. We've been fans since first seeing them in the 1980s, but it had been about twenty years since we'd last seen them live. They were wonderful, as usual. j
For the final lesson of  the Crazy Quilting intermediate class, we piece some blocks. Instead of starting on that, I began this first. This is the start of a "whole quilt" crazy quilt pincushion, to have an old CD as a base. In a whole cloth CQ, you draw (or, as in this case, baste) the "seams" and then embroider seam treatments over them. I transferred the design lines by stitching through the design traced onto tracing paper. Once the basting was done, I tore the paper off.  

I've started some of the base stitches. The little pink line on the left is too small--I'm going to rip it out and make it bigger.  I'm using crewel wools on thick fulled wool. It will be fairly subtle, but I want a working pincushion.  I'm going to use some pieces of felt for flowers and embellishments--no beads and charms. We'll see how it comes out.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Holiday Finish

I stitched these pieces over the holidays and throughout January and into February, but they've finally been opened by the recipients so I can show them here.
 I made this for my friends--it's their four grandchildren based on photos taken last summer.
 I also made them into separate ornaments for my friends' children's families to enjoy.
 A bit late for this holiday season but hopefully they'll be enjoyed for future holidays (if you look closely, the ground fabric has a holly pattern).
Set one is "the babies." The twins they just turned one year old!
And the boys in set two are brothers.

They are stitched using one strand of very dark green DMC floss and back stitch, outline stitch, and split stitch. I used TransferEase from Wooly Thread to transfer my scanned drawings to the fabric.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Felt Wee Folk book and goodies

I splurged recently and advance ordered this book from the author, Sally Mavor. It came with a treasure trove of goodies.
 Here's the book with the decorated mailing box (I just kept the decorated part), bookmark, flowers to get me going on the project. (If you're doing the color study with me, you'll note that one set is complementary and the other is analogous.) There's an inscribe postcard and a note card for me to use. The book is also inscribed.  

The book itself is wonderful, full of detail. I have the original book and made a lot of really cool dolls, all of which have been given away by now. I expect another doll fit coming on. You don't need many materials and they're pretty easy to find.

Mary Corbet did a lovely review of the book (and has a giveaway) as part of the book launch blog hop. You can find more on the blog hop on Sally Mavor's page.
The goody package was topped off by this wintry poster. Maybe I'll post it again when we're all complaining about the summer heat in a few months.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Taking Classes

I signed up for this year's EGA challenge. 
I have absolutely no idea what I'll do. Right now I have way too many ideas swirling.  I need to keep stirring the pot until something pops out.

I'm also taking the 101 Introductory class on Crazy Quilting from Kathy Shaw.  It is about selecting fabrics and colors and designing crazy quilt blocks and quilts.
One of the first lessons was printing your own silkies. Which is when I learned my ink jet printer is out of ink. I hand colored my silkies with fabric markers, colored pencils, and pastels.  I kind of like the effect.  The one on the left is a good friend's grandmother. The one on the right was part of the class handout. Specific images were selected so that lessons could be taught in later classes.
This is my triadic color scheme with neutrals. I think I will use these colors with the butterfly girl.
I haven't quite placed this color scheme on the color wheel, but I like it. The yellow is complementary to the purple and the orange to the blue, and the green balances it.  For neutrals, I like the white but think the yellowish muslin is too yellow. Perhaps more of a beige, which I haven't found yet in my piles.

Taking photos is very helpful in doing this task. Seeing things through the lens changes my perceptions of them.  Plus, I can desaturate the image and check the range of values. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Still Winter Here

I have hopes of Spring.  I saw a robin this morning. In the snow, but a real robin. Yesterday on our morning walk we heard birds twittering. Both good signs. Not so good was the really nasty ice this morning. My walking partner fell (I was freaked; she said she was fine). rain followed by cold...very slick.

I finished this last week. Designs like this will be in a new book by SJ Designs. Even back in the 60s I didn't embrace orange, but I am now. Ever since I learned in Thai birth colors, based on the day of the week you were born, my color is orange. This is very orange.  I used floche on linen.
 Last weekend we visited the Oak Park Conservatory for a bit of sunshine and spring flowers. It's a small conservatory (doable even when I coudn't walk). This year's springtime display was lovely.
 I love the colors but the zig-zag just takes my breath away.
 I think this tree was invented by Dr. Seuss. It had to be.  It's very silly. A Who tree.
We've been studying color in my EGA chapter and I kept seeing red-green complements.
 In addition to a number of absolutely huge koi in the pond, there was a new group of babies darting around, too.  (and blue-orange complements)
 Another Dr. Seuss plant.  If you look close, it has yellow thingys coming out of the top.
 Hubby looking at the lemons (Ponderosa lemons--yes, they really are that big).
 
 With light shining through it you see all sorts of swirly textures.
 With the light in front of it, the leaf (same leaf) looks like velvet.
I love this window in the succulent's room.  I'd like a window like this in my house.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Finished Objects

I've finally gotten back into working on the tiny forest pendants I began last fall. (here, here, and here)  They're a bit fiddly, because they're so small, but I really have been having fun stitching them.  I completed fall and winter this past weekend.
 They're very dimensional and two sided.  This is fall, above and below.
You can see the scale from my fingers holding up the pendant. Tiny.
  And here are the two sides of the winter forest.  I may go in and add some darker specks to the birches.  This was insipred by an early winter visit to Pilcher Park in Joliet...there was snow on the ground and yellow leaves floating everywhere. The sunlight was particularly golden in the late afternoon.
 For a bit of fun on Sunday I stitched up this Dimensions kit bib for my new great-nephew, who should make his appearance in about four months.