Archive for July, 2009

Retail Therapy II

July 30, 2009

Today is silk ribbon picture day.  I purchased a package of YLI’s hand dyed silk ribbon for myself.  I wanted to compare it with the silk ribbon I’ve hand dyed for myself, and the gorgeous hand dyed silk ribbon I’ve seen hand dyed by Victoria Clayton of

Here’s what the YLI silk ribbon looks like:

YLI hand dyed 7mm silk ribbon
It is very pretty.  If you weren’t a hand dyer yourself, you’d think it was perfect.  As I do hand dye, I can see all the speckles on the ribbon where the dye powder didn’t dissolve in the water properly. 

Another thing that surprised me was the way the ribbon was wound on the plastic spools.  The ribbon was not wound flat. It was twisted and in places it looked 1/4 the width.  Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to purchase creased silk ribbon.  I had to wet it and iron it flat last night. 

A good thing about this ribbon – it did not run when I washed it.  The dye is colorfast.  That is a very good thing.  Maybe I’m too fussy, but this is an item I wouldn’t purchase again.  I do like the colors, and now my curiosity has been satisfied.  

The sun is shining, and I’m going to spend the day making some quilt blocks for a DYB round robin.  It’s called Faces and I’ll post pictures of the Cloisonne beads I purchased for this project tomorrow. 



Retail Therapy

July 29, 2009

Most of the time, I’ve been pretty chipper – considering I’ve been sidelined by first the knee surgery, and then the foot surgery since the last week of April,  but I’ve finally had enough.  Why?  Because I was happily recovering from the foot surgery, got the external stitches removed, and a few days later saw bumps and lumps on my foot.  Darn it if I didn’t have an allergic reaction to the sutures that are supposed to dissolve.  sigh

The doctor suggested I try a topical ointment first, and if that doesn’t work, then the darn bumps and lumps have to be opened and the stitches will be manually pulled out.  I am so fed up with all these health challenges.  Oh, I know I’ll recover, it’s just taking so darn long.

To console myself, I decide to do a little retail therapy.  There is nothing quite like surfing the net for textile goodies to cheer me up.  Here’s the first thing I purchased:

Oliver Twist Thread 

Yes, aren’t they just the prettiest colors you’ve ever seen?  There is nothing like buying some Oliver Twist 100% handdyed cotton thread.  It’s a 16/2 ply weight thread, so I plan on using it for tatting and crochet.  I purchased every color available and some are not exactly my colors, so if anyone is interested in getting one of these for themselves, please email me about them.  They retail for $14.50, but I’ll share them with you for $10 + shipping. 

More pictures will follow tomorrow.  I’m spreading out my purchases over the whole week, so I can blog about something happy every day.  It’s my way of distracting myself from the bumps and lumps on my foot.  Hey, it works for me, and that’s all that counts. 


More Embroidered Added to FFT Crazy Quilt Block

July 20, 2009

Another bit of embroidery was added to the Fabulous First Timers Crazy Quilt block. 

gold and trapunto birds

This time I highlighted the birds with some gold thread.  I used a heavier thread on the big bird and a thinner one for the small black birds.  The small black birds also have some fat batt behind them.  It’s hard to see in the photo, but when I use this block in a project, I’ll be sure to quilt around them so they will be 3 dimensional.  It’s a techinque called trapunto that I’ve used it in lots of other projects, and have taught the techinque in a local quilt store. 

Some red beads were added for the fruit and they are actually a medium shade of red.  The background fabric was so dark, it made the beads appear much darker. 

A little Asian charm was added to the center pink fabric, and I took a photo of the whole block so you could see everything in perspective. 

whole block after birds

I’m leaning more and more towards this being part of a jacket.  Nothing like taking almost a year to decide what to do with it. 😉  More embroidery will probably be added. 

It’s breaking my heart, but I’m going to have to remove the really cute bug in the upper right corner.  It wouldn’t hold up to hand washing, let alone the washing machine and if this is used for a jacket, the block has to be able to be laundered.  The bug will be saved for another project as it is so charming.  And anybody who knows me well, knows it takes a lot for me to say a bug is charming.  LOL 


My First Embroidered Tree

July 19, 2009

It is so good to get back to embroidering again.  Last year I participated in a Fabulous First Timers Crazy Quilt block exchange and I added a tree to it this past week.

tree - wool felt

This was quite a process.  It took a few days to decide what type of tree to add and to scale it to the block.  The background fabrics were 2 different colors,  and I wanted to make sure the tree would be visible, so I used felted wool for the leaves and embroidered the branches with rayon floss.

The trunk used 3 different shades of DMC cotton floss, plus some rayon floss and a nubby yarn.  It’s a combination of stemstitch, chain stitch, straight stitch, and French knots.  It’s the first trunk I’ve embroidered and while it’s not perfect, I’m happy with my first attempt.

Tonight I plan on embellishing the lower left corner of the block and will add another picture of that later this week.  It’s oh so good to work with textiles again.

Now for the medical update and it’s gross, so if you have a sensitive stomach, stop reading right here and do not look atthe picture after this message.

My stitches came out – yippee, yahoo, and I’d do a happy dance if it didn’t hurt so much to dance.  LOL 

I had 2 incisions on that little baby toe with stitches on the top and along the inside.  The toe was rotated,  a bone removed, and some bone was shaved off on the side.  The stitches went right through the toenail and all I can say is I hope this surgery works.  It’s the second one for this toe, and it’s no fun having to sit on a sofa for weeks at a time. 

Between the bad bone bruise and having to wear a knee brace, then the toe surgery, this left leg of mine has been getting way too much attention lately.

Now close your eyes and stop reading because here is a picture of what my toe looks like:

toe surgery
Wincing and hugs…