Monday, January 26, 2015

More crazy quilting

My favorite part of any project is pulling together the materials. It's fun to imagine and think about and plan. So this weekend I went "shopping" in my stash to find supplies for the online crazy quilting class I'm taking.

As I was digging in the stash, I found some crochet trim that will fit all around the block. A start on the finishing! It also helped to push my color choices more to pinks than I had been planning.
So here's the collected stash (weeded down a couple of times already).  Below: Beads, trims, lace, sequins.  I really like the faded blue crochet trim.  I'm not a huge fan of "shabby chic" but this block is seeming to fit that genre. I'm okay with that.
Perle cottons for embroidering the seams.
Silk ribbons for embellishments.
I found this box of tiny shells. They have holes for attachment and I like the pinky-red color.
Below are some of the embellishments laid out (on my bright violet notebook cover).  5mm sequins are at the top. The larger buttons are 1/4" for scale.  The "orange" buttons and larger beads are actually translucent amber--darkened by the notebook color.  I think the tatted motif is too big, but it fits my new "theme" nicely.  Along the bottom are some odd beads--leaves, flowers, butterflies.  The thing above the lace on the right is an earring with no partner. I thought I could take the Chinese character off and use it as a charm. 
This class was the focus of my weekend. I pieced the block, stash dove, and figured out how to use Blogger on the iPad. It won't let me spell check, so for me, I prefer the "real" computer.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New challenges

Today I figured out both hoe to post on the iPad and how to post photos I've taken with the iPad. Steep learning curve--Google it after a few hours of trying to figure it out on my own.  

I'm taking a new class. No, I haven't finished my previous one (Catherine Jordan).  The timing was right for this one so I went for it.  Kathy Shaw's Basic Crazy Quilt Class.  It's done on a blog, we have to post the assignments. Hence the learning curve today.  

This is task four, my pieced block, mounted in the hoop ready for embroidery.  The class is very structured, which is, I think, exactly what I need.  My crazy quilting has tended to be more "kitchen sink" than thoughtful.  

I didn't want to work in it until my late Christmas gifts were done. I'm done stitching and on to finishing, so I took a break this morning to piece the block. 

No, the pastels at not me...they were required for the course.  Like I said, very disciplined.  I've already learned a lot.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Looking at the Past

 Sorry for the absence.  Work has gotten very busy and I'm still working on a late Christmas gift. Above is a collage of the projects I completed in 2014. I've done one every year for the past few years and print and keep it as an overview. So many of my projects are gifts and gone, it's nice to have a remembrance.
 My family got together recently to go through old family files.  This is a selfie of me from probably 1973. Even then I was into fabric. I found an emulsion I could paint on fabric (and wood!) and I printed my photos on a variety of media. This is on a light gray linen-weave polyester.
 My dad's mother...
 and his father.
 My dad and his sister, ca. 1928.
 This pair is of my grandparents. I'd seen them before but until I began the scanning project, never realized they were taken at the same time and place!  They were married in 1919, so I'd say this was around then.  They kind of look like courting pictures. 
That's how I've been spending my free time these days.

Monday, January 12, 2015

First and Last Finishes

 On our play day in November, my sister and I made fused collages.  I took one of my pieces and traced large initials onto it and stitched around them for gift tags.  The wonky label shape was done freehand in a bit of empty space. I think they were fun.  Everyone got one.  (the M is mine)
 I took the other collage and cut it into four, backed it, and made fabric postcards.  These were my last finishes in 2014.
And, ta daa!, my first finish for 2015.  I had completed the embroidery, but I finally finish-finished it over the New Year's weekend.  I feel quite ahead of the game, ready for next year.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Family Christmas

 We had our family Christmas gathering on New Year's Eve day.  We missed Pat, who was under the weather, but everyone else made it.  I didn't take pretty pictures of the feast before we demolished it.  It was great, as usual.
 My sister's living room is sunny and bright.
 Getting things ready.
 Stockings come first.  It's out of focus, but things move fast once the gifts begin appearing.
 My sister gave me this lovely pendant. It goes perfectly with the navy dress that was my gift from everyone.
She also gave me this awesome quilled tiny tea set.  I'm in awe of the maker. 

I was the lucky recipient of a lot of cool things, including a hand-knit mobius cowl (which I haven't photographed yet because I've been wearing it), spices, and other goodies. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Post Holiday Shopping

I hope your holidays were as good as mine. I took a short break from work over New Year's and it was just wonderful. We had a great family gathering (more on that later) and I did lots of stitching.

Now that the New Year is here, Chicago is in the deep freeze. Brrrr! it's cold. Today is sunny, though, which helps when it's 0 out.  The Chicago weather pattern I grew up with (very cold + sunny bright or a bit warmer + snowy/gloomy) seems to be making a comeback. 
The big news from the family gathering is that I'm going to be a great aunt next summer. Woo-hoo!  

Since I had a day off work, I thought it was a good excuse to visit Country Cupboard. I haven't been able to visit there for years because they're up stairs, above an antiques shop in old Orland.  I found the kit on the left (on sale) to stitch up for the baby.  The bib on the right was also on sale, at Jo-Ann's. 

Check out their website--and if you haven't been there in a while, they have new hours.  They also have open stitch gatherings on Tuesdays (5 to 7:30 p.m.) and Wednesdays (10 a.m. to noon).
Country Cupboard is having some good sales right now. These two Shepherd's Bush kits were on sale. Now they're in my UFO pile.
Along with this one that I knew would appeal to hubby.  I got some silks to stitch with, but found fabric and more threads in my stash.
And a last add to the UFO pile.  I really loved this design and it was on sale.  Twist my arm.

I think I was overly ambitious with all the new projects, but I had a blast so I don't regret it. I'm still working on a holiday project that's taking me longer than I'd hoped.  I really like how it's coming out, but won't show it until it's been finished, sent, received, and opened.