Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gerry's Visit

My dear friend Gerry K came to visit me last week for several days.  We've been stitching buddies for several years, having met on the Crazy Quilting International (Yahoo) list.  Over the years we've been secret sisters, penpals, Retreat planners and attendees, mutual support/cheerleaders and friends.  
So, for three days, we stitched, laughed, stitched, talked, stitched, shopped, stitched, shopped some more (well, we ARE after all, CQ'ers).  
Gerry is the goddess of creativity.  She won't like being called that, but it's true, as most of my readers already know.  Here she is (above) working on the now-famous stumpwork straw hat for her Ode to Daffodils block.  

Below is the table in my studio that we worked at, full of supplies and inspiration (a polite way of saying a MESS).  Like my studio.   I told her to use or take whatever she wanted, so she had fun (I believe) puttering through my stash over the three days.   I tried to get her to leave me the daffodil block, but she was too smart for that!  ;-)  You can see it on her blog here
And yes, I do miss her!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Another Wool Block

I was able to complete this 6" wool block for Marya.  We are in a Wool round robin together at CQI.  My friend Gerry K (olderrose) was visiting this week, and we got a lot of quality stitching time.  We also visited an antique mall, thrift stores, a home dec fabric store and a bead store.  But I'll save those pictures for my next post!!

Here's my work for Marya:

The flower is leftover dyed silk cocoon waste with a silk floss center.  I received a children's clothing catalog this week and in it noticed some cute flower stems that were just torn/wound fabric strips rolled over (I presume) cording. So that's how I did the stem and leaf of the big flower.  The dyed flower and button in the upper right corner were from my friend Donna Johnson, and that rattail cord echoes the twisty feel of the other flower stem.  The embroidery was all silk perle.  The flower vine on the left is made from leftover scraps of silk ribbon (1" or less) that were gathered and tacked on with thread.  The rest is pretty basic; the "leaves" of the bottom lavender flower are actually part of the same lace piece that the upper flower came from.   There are some seed beads in the floral vine for sparkle, but they aren't showing up in the picture.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Antiquing Treasures

Today was a semi-holiday from work for me.  I only had to go in for an hour to get a couple things done, and the Farm had modified business hours.  And poor DH had to work today.  So, I thought maybe I'd head over to the final day of an estate sale I'd gotten notice of.  Couldn't get into much trouble there, could I???  LOL.  Well, I didn't.  But I picked up a few goodies, and on the way home passed by an antique mall.   Since I was in a shopping mood, I stopped and did a bit more shopping to complete my morning.

So let me show you some of my treasures.  

Over at Crazy Quilting International, this month's Challenge (as I mentioned a couple posts ago) is Velvet. It was natural, then, that these vintage velvet fruits caught my eye.   I would estimate them to be from the forties or so, and they feel like silk velvet.  I don't know if they're supposed to be apples or what, but I love them!  And the collar is a fifties satin collar with goldwork.  Since our December Challenge will be goldwork, and I'll be joining in a goldwork round robin later this summer, I felt that $2 to purchase and study the goldwork on this collar was a good deal.  Both of these came from the estate sale.

The pierced-edge cherries plate (sooo fifties!) and the two cute berry bowls with gold trim were purchased at the antique mall.  Tonight we used the bowls to eat apricots (canned), since there's not a berry in the house in February!  I wish there had been more than two.  And the plate will sit up on the shelves in the kitchen where I display my cookie jars and other assorted pottery.  Someday I'll have to take pictures of that.....

The little rose vase had no chips, so I thought it would look cute in my frou-frou guest room.  The little jar on the right was actually something I picked up at a thrift store last month for $1.  I plan to make a pincushion in it.  The battenburg lace collar was "thrown in" at no cost from the estate sale dealers today (they're the ones I bought the Singer treadle sewing machine and vintage mirror from last summer).  

And you know me and vintage aprons..... I couldn't pass this vintage apron of pink tulle, silver rick rack and pink satin ribbons!   Obviously, this was a hostess/cocktail apron and not utilitarian!  It looks like something Glenda the Good Witch would wear.

More hankies, vintage baby booties, an embroidered pillowcase (a cutter) and some vintage crocheting.  The crocheting is done in four separate panels, sewn together.  I'm going to separate them and use the individual pieces in crazy quilting - those are just perfect pansy colors, don't you think?

The pink and black embroidered piece will look good incorporated into some vintage-inspired artsy apron.  The crocheted potholder is just something, like the baby booties in the previous picture and the vintage baby sweater in this one, that I'm apparently collecting.  I guess when I have at least a half dozen of something (why am I so fascinated with odd things like this?) it becomes a collection.  And the Vogart transfer.  I've been collecting vintage transfers thanks to the wayward influences (LOL) of my friend Pam Kellogg of Kitty and Me Designs.   Actually, I had three large envelopes of Italian transfers that I bought at a yard sale about ten years ago (and have used), but between Pam's influence and my love of embroidered linens (kitchen linens and pillowcases) from the thirties, forties and fifties, well, things just evolved.    

Some day I'll have to show you some of my collections.  Like my hankies; I swear, they multiply on their own when I close the drawers they're in, LOL.  Cookie jars, paperweights, vintage lace, vintage floral postcards.....  it's a good thing DH really loves me!   But then, you ought to see his crap collections of resistors, capacitors, wires, tools, etc. in his "la-BOR-atory".   We're definitely a match made in heaven!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day to You!!

Enjoy these vintage images

Valentines don't need to be pink, do they?

Love and hugs to my readers.  I truly appreciate you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Wool Block Completed

Today I finished my work on Leslie's block for our Wool RR.  Actually, it's a DYB "do your block", where everyone stitches one complete block that's been pieced by its owner.

Leslie requested no beads or SRE because this will go into a utility crazy quilt she's making.  Stitching on wool with perle cotton or silk perle is a dream, so I had fun doing seams and adding a few motifs.  I wanted to include the three friendship rings instead of a spiderweb as a traditional motif to let Leslie know I consider her a special friend.  We've worked on so many things together that it seemed appropriate.

The tatted butterfly was received as a gift somewhere along the line (wish I remembered when and who, LOL).  The "Breckenridge" label was a bit of serendipity.  I do save clothing labels, and this one just jumped out at me since both Leslie and I planned and attended a Retreat for CQI last September in Breckenridge. The leaves are left over from my November autumn block that was published in the 2002 Quilting Arts Calendar.

Until next time,

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Blog & Velvet Stamping Answers

My dear friend Debbie Q from Maine has finally - after years of nagging from several of us - started her own blog.  To kick it off, she is having a giveaway!

If you are a crazy quilter, collage artist, or just plain ol' love beautiful goodies, you'll want to drop by and say hello.  Debbie's blog is here  and I know she'd love for you to stop in.  Welcome to the Blogosphere, Debbie!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I'd like to briefly answer a few of the questions you had about embossing (stamping) velvet.  It is a simple process that is done basically with a dry iron, velvet, and a rubber stamp.  Rayon velvet is the best to use (yields the crispest image), but others work too.  Even velveteen can be stamped, although the pile is not as thick and results aren't as nice.   Also, it is preferable to use good rubber stamps with clear, deeply etched images.  The heat of the iron will melt foam stamps or plastic templates.

Basically, select your velvet and stamp.  Lay the rubber stamp so the rubber image portion is facing up.  Lightly mist the velvet, then place over the image, pile side down.  Press the dry iron on the back of the velvet and hold (do not rock) for 10 seconds (give or take a few - you'll get to where you can tell).  That's it!!

One of the best online sources is Hot Potatoes .  They sell everything from the stamps to the velvet, among other things.  There's a lot more information out there - just google "velvet stamping" and you'll find all sorts of fun things!!

Must get back to stitching.  I'm almost done with Leslie's wool block....


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Embossing Velvet

On Crazy Quilting International, our February Challenge is working with velvet.  Specifically, we've been working with stamping (embossing) velvet, making velvet flowers and sharing tips on working with velvet.  Below are some pieces I recently stamped.

The fleur de lis is a stamp I recently purchased.  Every time I purchase one now (for whatever reason), DH asks if I'm starting a new collection to give away!  LOL.   The lavender velvet on the right is to die for, but this was the last little scrap I had.

The above (teacup) and below (teapot) stamps are ones I'd given away.  Can you hear me kicking myself?

Below, some leaves and trees

Below are some leaves and patterns we stamped at our CQI retreat last September 

The paisley below was stamped (or embossed somehow) by my friend 
Donna J and given to me as a giftie last summer in Omaha

Next, I hope to do some experimentation with flowers in velvet.....