Friday, June 26, 2009

CQ'ed Tin Swap

At Crazy Quilting International, we are in the midst of a tin swap. The idea is to convert a plain ol' tin (we're keeping it approximately 6" or under) and make it beautiful. Most everyone has selected an Altoids mint tin, and I'm no exception. This was my first attempt at doing a tin. Luckily, the practice of doing the small "puzzle pieces" for Pat Winter's Pieces of Friendship swap had given me some experience in working in a tiny scale. I'm proud to say that I still have my eyesight.
This is the top (obviously). The woman I will be sending this to (who cannot be named here because it's a secret!) likes soft, muted colors of green, ivory and pink. That **IS** pink there, but it's a peachy pink, which works with the vintage silk rose trim I used around the sides (see below).
Yeppers, those are little "feet" that the tin stands on. They're just beads. Lovely ones, too, I might add. No, it's not my idea. I can copy good ideas with the best of them! :-) And then there's felt on the bottom, too. I wanted to cover all the surfaces inside and out so it wouldn't be so, um, "tinny".
And below is the inside, covered in a sage dupioni silk. The bottom half is padded and trimmed, and will be the perfect spot to include some little Treasures for my recipient.

It was a fun project, and I'm going to do another one for myself in yellow and greens. Happy colors for me...... But first, I'll be spending the weekend cutting fancy fabrics and preparing goodies for the Omaha CQ Retreat! Less than two weeks away!!!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fun Mail Day

Today the mail brought a wonderful little package from Pat Winter . We recently completed a Pieces of Friendship swap, which you may have seen pictures of here and there as people completed their 4" puzzle pieces. Mine were posted here and here.

I received three pieces back last week with an "IOU" from Pat saying she'd send the fourth one, from her, soon. Today it arrived, and WOW was it worth the wait. Pat always does such lovely work, and this darling puzzle piece (above) was no exception! The little girl print, the yummy lace and of course all the wonderful stitching. Thanks so much, Pat. I LOVE it!

And along with the puzzle piece was a delightful selection of vintage laces "from one lace lover to another". How cool is that? I'd sent her some laces with my puzzle pieces (a giftie for our "Swap Mom") so I guess she felt the need to repay me (Pat, sweetie, it was CERTAINLY not necessary, although it was greatly appreciated!)

I didn't post a picture of the puzzle pieces before, so here are all four together. Aren't they great??
LOL .... not everyone measured their pieces correctly, LOL, but really, who cares? They are all so lovely and the concept is great. I think Pat may do this again in the fall. I'm THERE!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer has Finally Arrived

This is just a post of some garden pictures, so if you're not interested, just move on (you won't hurt my feelings, LOL). For weeks - or months, even - I've salivated over others' pictures of their gardens while here in Salt Lake City we've endured week after week of nearly unending rain.

When my irises, poppies, lilacs, snowball bush and roses (first bloom) were at the their peaks, it was dark and dreary and rainy outside. So I have precious few pictures. Finally, I uploaded everything to my albums (does anyone else keep garden pictures by year?) and was able to glean out a few worthy of sharing. Humor me!! :-)

Of all my lovely irises that bloomed, some of which were local hybrids or really stunning combinations, this relatively common color combo (and I'd have to look up the name...) is all I got a picture of. In August, I'll be attending two events in which I'll be able to buy some more rhizomes and in colors to round out the variety (pinks and oranges).

The first bloom of my Double Delight rose tree was incredible. The tree looks short here because it is leaning toward the camera. Poor thing, like me, was craving sunshine!! In the fall, we are going to move it to the front of that planting area. That big daylily (which is supposed to be a "dwarf", LOL) will be moved, too.

Above and below: aren't these roses lovely. The roses above are really a reddish purple, but this picture doesn't show true color. I have the tag with the name of the bush, but it's still on the rose itself. So of course, I don't remember it. (note to self: cut off the D*** tags and put them in your rose file!) Same with the little apricot-colored rose bush below.

I think you can see how overcast it is in these pictures. They were taken between storms!

Finally, above: a corner of the backyard. The grass looks like it didn't get any water. HA! Actually, this was taken in early May when things were greening up but the grass hadn't been de-thatched. It's lovely and green now, though, although the roses are nakey.....

Our vegetable garden is coming out of its stupor from the last six weeks of clouds and rain. Most of the gardens around the area are waaaaay behind schedule. But today marks the third straight day of 70-80 degree dry weather. DH & I are even planning to go sit out on the back patio, in the shade of the grape arbor, and read for awhile!!

Unfortunately, the weather forecast is calling for (such a stupid expression; why "calling for"??? I wouldn't call for it!) more thundershowers in the next 2-3 days. Hopefully, they'll just materialize in the late afternoon and last a short while. I REFUSE TO RETREAT INDOORS!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hearts Round Robin - Last Block

I've been in a hearts-themed round robin at Crazy Quilting International since February, and this block, belonging to my friend Debbie ("short stuff") Q in Maine, was the last one for me to stitch on. There were a few little spots here and there, (no open seams) so I just tucked in some motifs, and added a bit more embellishment to the beautiful central motif. Debbie herself had added the silkie with the 3 little girls (she loves pictures of little Victorian girls) and surrounded it with beautifully-dyed lace. It set a wonderful tone for the block.
This is the completed block, and I think it turned out lovely. Of course, now that I see it on the screen, I think I could've/should've added something more in the lower left (I did add that yellow butterfly)....
Above is a little pearl heart that I added to the lower right side. It is freshwater pearls (spaced with small faux pearls) and filled with a Kreinik gold braid hatching.

This is the rest of the work I did on Debbie's block; the feather stitch heart in the upper left and the addition of a blue butterfly to the central motif, as well as adding silk ribbon roses to the girl's arms and along the outside of the central heart.

After stitching the pink rose vine on the upper right, a little spider came along and asked to add something to the block. So she spun a web for Debbie, and included a heart in the center of the web. I was delighted, and I hope Debbie will be too! She was too shy to stick around, so you won't see here in the picture below, LOL.

And now it returns home to Debbie, and I'm busy working on a couple CQ'ed Altoid tins for our Tin Swap. Then I've got several blocks to piece for our Flower Fairies round robin. I'm so excited about this. Will share more of those things later this week. Thanks for dropping by!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blogaversary & Rain

Here's a great CQ blog to check out if you don't already know of it. Wendy is about to celebrate her blogaversary on her Stitchdutchess Crazy & Sane Quilting blog. I've known Wendy through the Crazy Quilting International group at Yahoo, and we'll be starting a Flower Fairies round robin together in a couple weeks. Wendy is an accomplished stitcher; very talented and so versatile. Check out her site - you'll see what I mean!

I wanted to post some garden pictures, but hail has really "hammered" our roses. We've had rain every day except one since well before Memorial Day. I'm still sleeping in my winter flannel pj's and the A/C has only been on ONCE this year. I AM SO READY TO HEAD TO OMAHA IN 3 WEEKS FOR THE CRAZY QUILTING RETREAT!!!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Purse Contest Results

Yes, it's been a long time since I posted. You would not believe some of the things that have been going on in the last two weeks in my life. Things at work - that I can't even talk about for myriad reasons (legal, to say nothing of emotional), major crappy rainy weather, and just about anything else you can think of, good (like family) and bad (car problems). LOL. But I will survive! I am woman!! whatever... LOL

So, I've got a lot of catching up to do, which will give me fodder for posting this week!! I'm going to start with this morning's announcement on the Crazy Quilting International list. We had our annual CQ Purse Contest (there was also a category for non-CQ entries. There were only two of those, and they were very lovely). However, competition was more stiff in the CQ category. You may remember that last year I won first place - see story here. This year I won SECOND PLACE, and for some crazy (no pun intended) reason, I'm just as happy!!

Above: Entire Purse Below: Front Close-up

Below: The back of the purse. The fabric was an upholstery sample given to me by a local specialty furnishings store. It was the inspiration for the colors and feel of the design. There was also no question from the beginning (I actually started gathering things for this purse a year ago) that I wanted to use vintage laces exclusively. I had some heavy crocheted laces that were originally my intent to use, but they tended to overpower everything, so I'll have to find something else for them....

There is some tatted trim that I may add around the back, however. The cord handles may also be replaced in favor of leather ones - I planned this as a personal-use bag.

Above is my favorite area of the purse. This is where I experimented with beads. It's pretty simple stuff, really, I had just never done it. The round "flower" is a beaded spiral with a picot edge; above that are bugle beads surrounded by seed beads, and above that are seed beads as shaped petals. The green is ruched ribbon floss with matching sequins for sparkle.

Above: Spider on web, and a cabochon and dyed lace layered on an antique piece of metallic lace that is shabbily chic.
Below: A modern venice trim (right) overstitched with metallic threads and a vintage trim (left) decorated with beads and stitching.

Below: A silk ribbon motif and a vintage lace flower adorned with purple bead soup.

The center motif is an organza rose, folded flower, dyed lace, a vintage millinery leaf, a button and hand painted vintage mother-of-pearl bead.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures. This was a departure, color-wise, for me and I really enjoyed it. Next year's purse is already designed and the fabrics gathered. I plan to work on it here and there between other projects. Maybe I can have it all pieced, with backings and linings cut out before the end of summer. That's my goal.

For now, it's back to stitching on another round robin block (almost done, then I'll post pictures), and putting together packages of fabrics and vintage laces to sell in Omaha at the annual Crazy Quilting Retreat in a month........

Thanks for stopping by!