Archive for March, 2013

Cute Visitor

March 30, 2013

I’m lucky to live in a beautiful area of Upstate New York, and am constantly entertained by the parade of animals who meander through our property. We’ve lived here for 38 years, and even though we pay the taxes, the animals really own the land.

We’ve put up fences to protect our garden, and planted deer resistant perennials, but the deer are thriving. They leap over any and all fences we’ve tried, and feast on our supposedly deer resistant plantings. Our expensive Asian lilies have been their dessert. We’ve learned to plant day lilies. They leave them alone.

The year I planted hyacinths was equivalent to putting up a welcome sign to the squirrels and voles. Tulips? They went the way of the hyacinths. Daffodils do well, especially the 100 year old double daffodils we got from the foundation around my husband’s grandmother’s home in PA.

But one visitor who has been visiting for the last 4 years doesn’t do any damage, and he is oh so beautiful:
fox face really good

Now isn’t he a handsome fellow? We know it’s the same fox as something happened to his tail. It’s compressed down the length, then fluffs out at the end. No, he doesn’t have mange.

This fellow found a girlfriend a couple of years ago, and we had the joy of seeing his kits play in our back field. We’re hoping he finds another one this year.

No textile talk this post. It is time to reflect upon nature, and enjoy the sun. It is the first day this entire month that we will have a full day of sun.



Sparkly Wheels and CQ Wool Christmas Ornaments

March 29, 2013

Last Thursday was the Ogden Art Group meeting, and we made Sparkly Wheel buttons. It was a pattern in Interweave’s Beadwork July 2010 magazine, and we had so much fun selecting colors. The directions were easy to follow – even for us beginner beaders – and the results were gratifying.

This is the bead I made:

My sparkly wheel

You might recognize it as the bead I used on Joyce’s round robin Stem block. Her block must have been in my subconscious when I selected the colors.

And here are a few more:
sparkly wheels

Jan Karen sparkly wheels

Janet didn’t want to bead, but brought along another project, her crazy quilted wool Christmas ornaments:
Janets Christmas Ornaments

I do so love those ornaments, and have purchased some for myself, and my daughter.


Joyce’s BAS Blocks

March 28, 2013

Joyce’s blocks were mailed to Pam today for the last round of stitching.

This the Chain stitch block:
Chain Joyce

This block was pretty full, and I wanted to leave enough room for Pam to do something so I outlined the goldfish with 2 strands of metallic DMC thread, straight stitched around each scale, and added French knot eyes in the center block, then added a little whimsy with a back stitched snail on the bottom left.

And here is the Feather stitch block:

Feather Joyce

It was a lot of fun adding the beaded feather stitch on the right, along with knotted center stem stitch roses with a grey 10/2. The grey was used to tie in with the grey fabric used in the block.

Next is the Fly stitch block:
Fly Joyce

I embroidered a fly stitch anchored with chain stitch instead of a straight stitch using light green Jeans stitch, then spent hours, and I mean hours, weaving some silk ribbon on the left. The ribbon was threaded under a fly stitch, then I raised the ribbon with a blunt needle to form a loop, and anchored it in place with a glass seed bead. Stitch by stitch, loop by loop, bead by bead, up one side of the seam and down the other I went. I do hope you like this seam treatment, Joyce. I like it so much, I’m thinking about using it as a trim on another project.

And now for the Herringbone block with a twisted herringbone lattice stitch in the bottom left corner:

Herringbone Joyce

I thought I was spacing the rows properly, but it got a little wider towards the bottom. The fabric was too fragile to take it out and redo that section, so I’m going to say it was a deliberate attempt to create persepective by going from a narrower to a wider lattice. That’s my story, and I sticking with it. LOL

Stem stitch:

Stem Joyce

Portuguese knotted stem stitch around the center bead – which I made. I’ll post more about that later this week.

And last but not least the Straight stitch block:
Straight Joyce

Raised chain stitch with my snow dyed #5 perle cotton, whipped stitch on lower left, and scattered bugle and seed beads for the straight stitch.

I’m sorry I forgot to take a picture of the Anything Goes Block, but I added a beaded daisy chain stitch to that one.

Whew, that’s a lot of pictures. Don’t forget to click on them so they will enlarge for you. I do so hope Joyce will like what I added to her blocks.


Curved or Square?

March 26, 2013

I signed up for Katie Pasquini Masopust’s online course a couple of weeks ago, and our first assignment is due tomorrow. As usual, I can’t decide on which version to send. That duality gene I possess is acting up again. I’d love to hear from my blog readers which version you like best.

Here is #1

And here is #2

Guess what? I just looked at this post in preview mode, and decided I really like the second version the best, and will send that to Katie. The curved design in the center looks so much better with the curve being repeated in the border.

What do you all think?


Organization is Good

March 25, 2013

Yes, organization is good. In an earlier post this year, I mentioned I was still destashing, but was going to focus on organization. Here is the first project I tackled:

Floss organized

That is all the solid colored 6 strand floss I own. Everything contained in that neat little plastic storage box was in a plastic bag, and I had to rummage through it every time I needed to use floss. While it was fun going through all the colors, it was also frustrating. I wanted to get down to the actual fun part of using embroidery floss – embroidering. Plus, I realized I was wasting time.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was fun watching the colors spill through my fingers, but I’m aging, and I only have so much time left. Plus I have that duality thing going on in my head constantly. Should I be carefree and merrily keep my supplies wherever, or should I be organized and get to the creativity?

Is this a left brain-right brain conflict? I love taking those tests, and end up pretty much in the middle most of the time. Yup, even my brain is sitting on the fence, so it’s no wonder I always see both sides of a problem. Let me tell you, it makes it much harder to ever come to a decision. Just ask my husband. LOL

For now, organization is winning the debate, and I will be showing more completed projects throughout the year.


Joyce’s BAS RR Blocks – Blanket and Chevron

March 1, 2013

Joyce’s blocks arrived in the mail this week, and I started working on the them immediately.

Here is a picture of her Blanket Block:
blanket joyce

This block had very few colors in it, so I got the hex color of the blue section I wanted to embroider, then used the green that is a split complimentary of it for the crossed buttonhole stitch, the small straight stitch stem, and the little detached chain stitch for a leaf. The “flowers” were made with turquoise sequins held in place with little seed beads.

Then to add a bit more of the green to the block, I stitched some French Knots on one of the previously stitched seams.

The second block I finished was her Chevron block:
Chevron Joyce

I added some metallic rick-rack trim couched in place with the chevron stitch. Then I added to the seam treatment on the left by added a white straight stitch inside a detached chain stitch to match the one on the other side. Next was a detached chain stitch around that with DMC Precious Metals. It gave a nice padded effect to the original detached chain.

To finish off that seam, I sewed some small seed beads down the center. That seam had a lot of steps to it before I added mine, and now it is really complex. If this RR taught me anything, it’s that the more passes and techniques used on a seam, the more I like it.

The bottom corner was blank and Joyce said she likes butterflies, so I painted a small butterfly motif I had, and beaded that. It nicely fills in that bottom corner.

I hope you like what I added to your first two blocks, Joyce. Two down, seven more to go.