Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chocolate and Pink

Here is a quilt I designed in EQ7. The block comes from the Quilters Cache and is called Octagon and Twist. It is a 12 inch block which is made up of four 6 inch blocks, really two different blocks. The Octagon is more familiar as the Snowball block. The "Twist" makes up the rings. I got the idea to look for a block Eleanor Burns demonstrated on The Quilt Show. She calls her quilt "Fabric Frenzy" and it is made with the center square and partial seams. She said it was a traditional block, but I don't know what her block is. In looking for a similar block I found this one on Marcia Hohn's quilt block website.

My quilt measures 60 x 72 including the 6 inch borders. I have some lovely brown fabric that I won at our quilt chapter auction that I had in mind for this quilt. Now to search for the perfect pinks. I've found in
playing with colors for this quilt in EQ7 that I like a good contrast in colors to emphasize the interlocking rings.

I'm not sure that this quilt will ever get made, but I had fun designing it and wanted to share it with you. My quilt group will be meeting soon and I will have to see what is planned for the coming months. I may want to put my limited time into one of the projects in our line up.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

On the first day of Christmas...

Look what my DH gave me for Christmas! The Art of Elegant Hand Embroidery, Embellishment and Applique by Janice Vaine. Published by Landauer in 2011. What a gorgeous book! Kudos to my DH for bravely going into our local Joann's to find this book for me. He talked to a male employee (I think it really was an angel because I have NEVER seen a male employee at our Joann's) who showed him where to find the books. 

The book includes how to do needleturn applique, embellishment techniqes including embroidery stitches, fabric techniques, ribbonwork, and stumpwork. The book includes a DVD which lets you print the patterns for the many 4 inch blocks, the 8 inch blocks, and the 16 inch block and a swag used in one of the quilts. The quilts include one done in redwork. Excellent photos and drawings showing the stitches and techniques. 

Here is the chickadee block I worked on Christmas afternoon. The branches are Encroaching Stem Stitch. The berries are beads. The leaves (using variegated embroidery floss) are done in Fishbone Stitch. The Chickadee is outlined first in split stitch and then filled in with long and short stitches. The eye is a black bead. He's pretty cute, don't you think? I love the Fishbone stitch, very effective for the leaves. 

So, now I'm enjoying my day off and am going upstairs to stitch and listen to an audiobook from Audible. I'm listening to Time and Again by Jack Finney.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Tangerine Tango

Tangerine Tango, the color of the year!
Wow, 2012 is going to shake things up! 

Monday, December 12, 2011


I've signed up for TAST! TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday. Sharon Boggon of PinTangle is hosting this year-long event again this year. Every Tuesday she will post a new stitch and participants will have a week to learn and play with variations and threads. If you have never looked at Sharon's "For the Love of Stitching" band sampler, currently 74.8 feet long, then take a look. Want to sign up? TAST begins January 3, 2012. It's free and if you don't have time one week, well just hop back in when you are free. That's what I like, no pressure, just some fun. 

So, in preparation for TAST I made this strip. The center strip is 7 inches. That will be the width of my sampler. The side pieces are also 7 inches and will give me room to put my work in an embroidery hoop. At some point I may fold those sides in for a backing. The very bottom center stip is a piece of cotton print. Next up is a 6 inch x 7 inch piece of Aida cloth. Then a little checkerboard strip made up of 1 inch squares. Above that is a piece of linen, another fabric strip, more Aida cloth, and finally another fabric strip.

This is enough to get me started and I hope it works so I can keep adding fabrics and Aida cloth as the year progresses. 

Here's a sweet little heart I made today. I saw the inspiration for this heart on Stitchin Fingers. A whole lotta  darling hearts done Crazy Quilt style! Mine has silk ribbon French knot flowers, lace threaded with silk ribbon, embroidery with "Wildflowers" thread embellished with beads. What fun!

Sunday ramble

Here's a Christmas ornament I made recently. The embroidery pattern comes from an old Erica Wilson book from the library. Amazon has used copies for sale, wow you really can find everything on the internet.
Embroidered with cotton floss on a delicate polka dot fabric. Felt frame and backing. I machine embroidered the felt to the red backing and then used a wavy blade in a rotary cutter to finish the edge.
Another ornament, same method but this is a motif from Christmas fabric. 

Sunday, Bill and I went for a hike. We left Tonks and Weasley lazing in the December sunshine. 

Bill at Morse Mountain beside a cliff in the woods.

View of the estuary and out to sea

See those holes and all that pitch? I suspect a pileated woodpecker did that. 

Old saltwater farm. 
This old house is on the path to the ocean. 

Shadows on the wall.

A view of the sea.

Shutters closed for the winter.

This metal pipe is growing right through this branch. The pipe goes all the way to the ground and must be 10 feet long.
If only that tree could talk.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Quilt Show!

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These slides show some of the quilts I have made over the years, some finished, some not. These are pieces that have been stored away in a trunk. I think you will enjoy looking at them, some will be familiar, some not. I quickly took these pictures so my DD can choose which one or ones she would like me to send to her for her new apartment in North Carolina.

The last two slides show what I have been playing with lately, silk ribbon embroidery and regular hand embroidery with cotton floss. I made the base, meaning the solid fabrics with the rubber stamped images, a number of years ago when I did a lot of hand dyes. That little hanging has been sitting and stewing all this time! I'm just having fun with it now. 

I've been working on some other pieces, too, but those are stealth projects. Christmas is coming!

I hope you enjoy the show, lumpy quilts and all. :-)  Do you have a favorite?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's A Beautiful Day

I watched this on LuAnn's May Your Bobbin Always Be Full blog and just had to share it with you. It is the season of love and it all begins with loving yourself, doesn't it? When we open our hearts with gratitude, we shine with love. Enjoy....