Saturday, February 26, 2011

possibly paisley

As discussed with the others in my Sparkly Chickens Yahoo Group, Beth's choice of a paisley pattern for her Receiver's choice block was a bit of a puzzle for me, as I didn't really know where to start. I'm rarely lacking in creativity, but for some reason it took a while for me to get the right inspiration for this block. I couldn't use my normal battery of techniques, so decided to dig out one I'd learned from Penny Berens many years ago. You layer three to four different fabrics and then stitch out your design (Penny had us scribble with crayons first - no designing required!). The paisley outline was drawn on freezer paper, which was then ironed onto the stacked fabrics and free motion stitched. I then stitch sketched the designs on the inside of the shape. Next, the embroidery scissors and I snip, snip, snipped to reveal the different layers of fabric. Then out came the embroidery floss and three simple stitches, buttonhole, french knot and running. Time consuming, but oh so satisfying!

I suspect that Beth was looking for complicated and unusual and I'm happy to say I think I gave it to her.

This block is now happily living with Beth in South Africa. It took a month to get to her. Two weeks from Canada to the US and then two weeks to South Africa via diplomatic mail. Sheesh! That was a very long time to have to wait for a reaction....

By the way, don't forget to drop by Beth's blog to say hello! Her photography is amazing and she even sprinkles in a little bit of stitching......

Saturday, February 19, 2011

a rose is a rose is a rose

I'm involved in a "Receiver's Choice" block exchange with 9 members of my Sparkly Chickens Yahoo Group. At the end of 10 months, we will all have enough original blocks to make a very personal quilt. I chose a botanical theme in natures colours. This is my talented friend Candy's interpretation for the month of January. Raw edge machine applique with a lot of free motion stitching. Isn't it lovely? It arrived well before Valentine's Day, but I still think that it's something very special!! I love it!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

July, 2010 BJP AMD

It's been a long time coming, but now it's finished and I'm more than happy with the outcome. July and it's warmth is but a faint memory, so this BJP is more of an impression than a journal. It whispers to me of warm summer days, long walks, lying by the shore and visiting spectacular gardens. My thoughts turn to pink roses, sea shells, lush greenery, boardwalks and a riot of spectacular colour.

The first photo was taken upside down so that you could properly see the tiny pink apple that someone gave me. Isn't it sweet? Was it Deb? Or perhaps Marilyn & Rain?? Or perhaps I found it in some lonely basket or box tucked away at the back of the cupboard. Doesn't matter, because it's now been found and takes pride of place in the month of July.

The stone is a Yellow Turquoise that I purchased years ago, just because I liked it. I know, it doesn't really look yellow, but that's what the ticket said on the package. I peyote stitched a bezel around it in size 11 seed beads and the final row was done in 15's. A lovely, tidy finish for a simply delightful stone!

Did you notice the vintage button, lovingly nestled against the stone? That one, I'm pretty sure came from one of Marilyn & Rain's early forays into the wild and wonderful world of E-Bay.

At the very bottom of the photo, is a little brass finding that Kaite sent to me from Australia and a silver key from Marilyn & Rain.

The star is from one of Marilyn & Rain's trips to Seattle and the shells from a strand I picked up a couple of years ago. They had been pierced through the sides but I preferred to glue them to the substrate. I think they give a spirally, whimisical quality to the piece. What do you think? Did you notice the vintage jewellry piece at the top of the photo? Again, I think that was courtesy of Marilyn.

Another shot of the stone and the vintage button. Aren't they lovely?

The complete piece!! At the bottom, you will notice a little teeny map of Canada. Believe it or not, it was sent to me from Candy in Syracruse, NY. It came in a set of other Canadiana pieces that will more than likely show up in future months.

My original intent was to make a green and blue piece. But much to my surprise, the soft pink showed it's shy but persuasive little face. Another case of the piece having a mind of it's own. Or is that the muse? I was half way through peyote stitching around that great big focal, when I realized that I was doing it all in 15's and pale ones at that. What the heck was I thinking??? Shiny, tiny, pale beads are hard to works with, especially at night. Needless to say, I was saying very unkind things to myself all the while I worked on that part!

This BJP contains a selection of beads that include, but are not limited to seeds in size 15, 11, 8 and 6 (or were they 4's?). I also used bugles, drops, magtanamas (if that's the way it's spelled), pearls, cubes, bits and pieces of other beads, crystals and a broken pearl necklace (Did you spot it?). Of course, I also had to raid the button box!

My regular posse of bead stitches were used. Peyote, stacked, back, fringe and bocce/boucle.

The focal is one of my serendipity landscape, monoprinted with acrylic paints and then free motion stitched. It's fun to do and if you paint and stitch a larger piece, you have extras for the component box. In this case I have a postcard, an atc, a couple of twinchies and three or so inchies, all stitched and ready for finishing off. Of course, all I need to do is remember where I put them!!!!

I hope that you've enjoyed my little taste of the early days of summer!