Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wetlands Walk

We recently went to a local wetland area, a boardwalk in a backwater of the Little Calumet River along the expressway in Hammond (just east of Kennedy, just south of I-80).  It seemed unpromising at first. The expressway is very loud, even with the sound barrier. Once we got into the woods a bit we could let the noise fade to the back of our minds and hear the birds. 
 We saw this Great Blue Heron looking for lunch.
 Taking our time and looking a bit closer, we spotted a second Great Blue (on the right in the water).
Then we found two Black Crowned Night Herons. I hadn't seen them so clearly before.

Along our walk we saw some turtles sunning themselves and signs of beaver and muskrat. It's not a long walk. Some people were having family picnics, others were fishing. We took the shorter trail that led to the Little Cal. There was a deck you could fish from and also a dock where you could put a boat into the water.  

It was a nice interlude in a couple of busy weeks.

I also taught a class on color last weekend. A great review of it is posted here--the author did a great job.  Thanks!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Back to Int'l Quilt Festival

Some followup on this event last month.  First, in a baggie of random silk fragments that I got (I get one each time I go to this event just for the fun of it), I found a fragment of Japanese embroidery.
I think it's pretty cool.  That cord in the upper left is something I will learn in a future phase.

I also completed the books from Belinda Spiwak's monoprinting class. I added pages to both and brushed printed pages with some gesso to allow me to write on them. 
I liked my cover so much, I made a title page on the first page of the book.The picture of the sleigh determined that the book would be bound at the top instad of the side. 
This is the back of my booklet.  The front and back covers of the tag book are pretty much the same. I made them very different on the booklet. Hubby picked which cover would be front. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Giveaway Winners

First, the news. I printed out the comments, cut them into individual strips, folded them and tossed them in the air at my keyboard until one fell to the floor. It was the comment by bubbygigi, who won the acorn pattern. Then I repeated the tossing activity and the second strip to fall to the floor was Jane S. Congratulations! The packages will be on their way once I have your addresses. 

 I haven't been stitching much. More (endless) bunnies. I've been organizing instructions for a workshop I'm leading this weekend. We'll be meeting at House of Stitches so stash enhancement and a class! 

 The older generation in my family gathered on Easter for barbecue burgers and conversation.  Here's an overview (look at the gorgeous quilt on the wall--my sister's work).  My sister-in-law is knitting away on a new project.
Here's another view of the quilt and the quilter.  That's my brother in the background.
And my sister-in-law shows off her newest finish. This is before it was blocked, so the lace isn't showing at its best. It is very pink.  I love these circular/spiral vests (this isn't the first she's knit!).
And me, I sat on the couch and made bunnies. More and more bunnies.  I think I'm at three dozen. (for some reason three dozen sounds like a lot more than 36!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Kind of appropriate given spring and all, but I've been stitching bunnies. Dozens of bunnies (so far just two, but more are in the works).  The bunnies will be decorations for my niece's baby shower coming up in a few weeks.

That's pretty much all the stitching I've done lately. 
I did, however, spend a wonderful day at the International Quilt Festival with my sister. This is the sight that greeted you at the entry--glorious RED quilts.
They were in celebration of the show's 40th anniversary.
I took a few photos of the quilts that inspired me.
It was inspiration overload.
This is us at the show--they have a photo booth setup and a person on hand to take photos...pretty cool!
This is a project I did in a miniclass by Belinda Spiwak.  The class was on using gelli plates for monoprinting.  I made two journal covers and a page of fun printing to cut up for pages for the journals.
Here it is again, those red quilts.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Post 987

This is my nine hundred and eighty seventh post.  That's the last number in the Fibonacci series before 1,000. The next number in the series is 1,597--a long way off.  So, I've decided to hold a giveaway to celebrate. 

You can learn more about the Fibonacci series here. You can learn more about the golden ratio, golden rectangle, and other geeky fun things here and here.

I know that a few readers aren't embroiderers, so I have two giveaway items--one you can enjoy and one you can make. 

The first is a patchwork chicken pincushion. I didn't make it, but thought it was really cute and bought it at a quilt show.
 The second is a pattern and partial kit. I bought this project originally because my mom had stitched it and I wanted to make one, too. I've since inherited mom's.

The project is a dimensional (stumpwork) acorn with a beaded cap and beaded edge designed by Liz Turner Diehl. Mom made hers as a door hanger with a tassel.
I just purchased the instructions and then gathered my own materials.Linen fabric, some over dyed threads and three tubes of beads in two sizes (11 and 14). 
If you're interested in winning either item, please leave a comment on this post. I will ship anywhere. Please make sure you include a way for me to get in touch with you (e-mail, your blog link, etc.) Please comment by tax day April 15 and will choose winners randomly on April 16. 

Good Luck.

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.