Thursday, March 31, 2011

Motifs for Swap! Estate Sale!

I signed up for the motif swap for the CQ Adventure and needed to complete 10 nice handmade motifs.  I kept trying and rejecting ideas, and after viewing the ones that (goddess) Shirlee Fassell made (drool over them here), it became apparent that only the very, very best materials and workmanship would do.  Not that I would knowingly settle for less, it’s just that with so much to do to get ready for the Adventure, they were not my highest priority. Until Shirlee’s post.  Then CQ supplies, and inventory and clothes (in that order) all dropped down a few notches.

What I finally ended up with is these millinery-style velvet flowers that I learned at a Helen Gibb workshop several years ago.  I love making them!

The stamens are all vintage, but the lush velvet ribbon for the roses and wired ribbon for the leaves are all new.

The velvet is tucked and gathered, then sewn onto crinoline.  The leaves and stamens were added next (or a leaf and a feather, as you can see on some), and then a backing was sewn or glued on.

I will leave it up to the recipients to decide if they want to use it as a CQ motif or if they would prefer to add a pin back.

I added one of these velvet roses to my “I Love Paris” purse last year.  (By the way, I have a pattern and kit in progress for this purse and hope to debut it this fall!)

The only rejected motif I will even show you is this one below. The rest ended up in the trash.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Last Saturday we had a sunny, beautiful morning in the 60’s.  Bruce and I went for our first 3-mile walk of the season.  I am on the e-mailing list of two local estate sale companies, but had just deleted their emails of the week before.  But as Bruce and I turned the corner back onto our street (a block away from our house), we saw an All in the Family Estate Sale sign.  Well, since I HAD to pass by it to get home, I just took a small detour through the house to check it out!

I really had to exercise restraint, because I’m saving my pennies for the CQ Adventure, but a couple things just happened to find their way into my possession (yes, I did pay for them, if that’s what you’re thinking...)

First I got a cute little vintage shell pin (minus most of the back closure).  It has a few broken shells here and there, but I think it will make a nice motif to add to CQ or something.  Thank goodness The Rules say that I don’t have to have a specific plan for it when I buy it.

And check out this cute vintage purse that I scored for $4.   It really needs a good soaking (sans handle, of course) and I think (hope?) most of the age spots will come out.  I’m guessing this purse is circa 1940’s, possibly 1950’s.

Check out that AWESOME plastic handle!!   

I am torn on this purse.  I would love to use that handle in a purse that I make on my own.  I’m thinking that if the bag part doesn’t clean up satisfactorily, I could just use the handle.  But then, I hate to plunder a great purse.  Maybe I should resell it?  Start a purse collection (again)?  What would YOU do??

Well, I still have half of my packing to do and possibly another CQ block or two to piece.  Tomorrow I will try to get my act together long enough to show you my CQ block for Hearts and Hands for Sendai before I pack it up.

Only 36 hours until I leave for Connecticut!  Gerry flies in here (Salt Lake) from Spokane and we’ll fly the rest of the way together.  Diane M. is meeting us at the airport to take us to the hotel.   What an Adventure, indeed!

Cathy maroon

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Tea Time Block Completed

In the Tea Time DYB round robin that I am in for Crazy Quilting International, I have been working on the block for Lorrie.  This was great fun, because Lorrie had pieced each of the blocks around a cross-stitched teacup and saucer.  Each block also had a hankie corner already pieced in, and Lorrie sent along another corner and challenged us to come up with a clever way to use it in the block.

So, above is the completed block.  At first I wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate the pink and yellow of the hankie with the violets on the cup, but I just made room for it all and it seemed to work out.    I’ve used that treatment below - the hand charm holding something -  before.  I like to attach it with gold beading thread, then add bead bracelets to further anchor it.

In the top right corner, I used Carole Samples templates to mark the lines to stitch, then added some of Grandma’s buttons with bead tails.  The flowers above it are a mix of vintage millinery,  crochet, organdy and a lace tidbit.  I love mixing it up!

The corner of the hankie below the teacup was given a silk ribbon rose and buds, plus beaded violets and a leafy vine.  The lace above is some venice lace that I dyed with potassium permanganate.

I have two blocks for the Birds RR here to do, but one is for March and one is for April, so I will start on  one of them in the next day or two.  Tomorrow I have to begin packing my fabric packs and basic stitching supplies for the CQ Adventure.  And I will probably make a cameo appearance at work, too, LOL.

Cathy maroon

Monday, March 21, 2011

CQ Adventure Prep and Discovering Fabric

I am happily busy getting ready for the Adventure in Crazy Quilting and the exciting classes and workshops I will be taking.  One of the classes I am really looking forward to is taught by Allison Aller and is called Frame it with Flowers.

In Allie’s class materials list, she encouraged us to prepare a background piece available to arrange the flowers we will be learning on.  At first I thought just a simple plain background fabric would be nice, but Allie did advise that it be something sturdy, and her own piece looked lovely with a lace overlay.  So I began looking through my home dec fabrics and found a lovely green jacquard.   To that, I added a fusible fleece to stabilize the back.  The plan is to add a backing later once I get home from the class to cover up all the “business”.

I also made a small rod pocket at the top and hemmed the sides. I liked the fringe on the bottom selvedge edge, but how to cover the white border? 

My gaze fell upon a piece of lovely shabby vintage lace (I can’t remember where it came from!) that was just about the same size as the jacquard. It is way too fragile to remain intact on its own, but as a layer on this project, it has real potential.  And, it is a floral print.  I think it was meant to be!  The lace covers up the green while still allowing the color to show through.

The lace allows green fringe at the bottom to show through, but not the white selvedge.

The picture below shows how shabby the lace is.  But can’t you just see it with some of Allie’s lovely flowers arranged and attached to it?  Oh, the possibilities!

After preparing the background piece, it was time to gather the flower supplies.  Luckily I had a HELPER!  Here is DGD London (18 months) “inspecting” the blooms.

What a lovely morning it was with my little helper.  Grammy is so tickled that London has “discovered” the yumminess of fabric!  Here’s how it went down...

Grammy has her fancy purples in the wrong place!

Everyone knows they go here with the green cottons!
I will just tuck them in here nicely...

A few more purples over here.  Are you watching, Grammy??
Oh, I pray I have a stash like this some day!

And then it was on to the next lesson:  London shows Grammy how the foot pedal works.....

 Between Allie and London, I am obviously in good hands....
Cathy maroon

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Autumn RR, Another Block Done

Amidst getting ready for the CQ Adventure in Connecticut in two weeks, I still have round robin commitments.  So I am trying to knock those out in the next few days.  And since I love the autumn theme so much, the Autumn RR block was more a matter of limiting ideas rather than trying to come up with some.

This is my work on Dee’s block.  I LOVED her colors and fabrics.  Leaves are one of my favorite, if not my very favorite fall motifs, so I tried to include a lot of them...

These are all four of the completed blocks so far.  The stitchers are:
Top:  L - Helina (Finland)  R - Cathy (Utah, US)
Bottom:  :  L -  Rita (Kansas, US)  R -  Lorrie (Canada)

I love the angular elements of the blocks in the total composition, and yet each block has swirls or curved leaves or spider webs to offset the straight lines.  Maybe I should “forget” to mail these?  LOL - just kidding!

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hearts and Hands for Sendai

I am participating (and I hope you will join me) in Crazy Quilting International`s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami relief project entitled “Hearts and Hands for Sendai”.  This project is  dedicated to helping those affected by the earthquake tsunami disaster in Japan. 

At Hideko Ishida's request, all quilts will become a part of an exhibit in Japan where money will be raised by viewing the quilts. Ultimately, these quilts may be auctioned and the proceeds given to a charity designated by Hideko Ishida, our Japanese CQ sister.  It’s just a bit early at this point to know all the final plans.  However, CQI will keep everyone informed as time progresses. 

This project is open to 
the quilting community at large! 

You may track details on the Crazy Quilting International blog,    or   
ICQA (International Crazy Quilt Ass’n) Facebook page 

Guidelines are as follows:

Theme:  Friendship and re-building of a country
Finished block size: 8 inches
Colors: Jewel Tones
Style: Traditional or crazy quilt blocks will be accepted

For traditional quilt blocks:
There are no pattern restrictions. The only requirements are the size and the colors. Finished size is to be 8 inches (20.32 cm). Please allow a half inch seam allowance. Colors are jewel tones. No restrictions on the type of fabric used.

For crazy quilt blocks:
_ Cut foundation at 9 inches (22.86 cm), piece the entire foundation.
_ Baste a line at 8 inches (20.32 cm) to stop embroidering
_ Do not add beads or charms past 7 ½ inches (19.05 cm)
_ Prefer all fabrics used be “fancies” (ie: silk, satin, taffeta, velvet) but if you have some kimono fabrics or other oriental themed fabrics in your stash you are welcome to use them.
_ All beading MUST be double stitched and knotted with BEADING THREAD!!!  NO exceptions!!! These items will be handled a great deal and beads, buttons, charms are among the first to begin to loosen. Embellishments – may be done by machine or by hand.
_ Lace and other motifs are acceptable and must be securely attached
_ Trims are acceptable and must be securely attached
_ Silk ribbon embroidery is acceptable
_ Tatting and crocheted butterflies and dragonflys, etc are acceptable and must be securely attached

For all blocks:
_ Zig zag edges to prevent edges from fraying.
_ Add your name and address on the back of the block.
_ Mark the block with “UP” to show which side is the top

_ Please sign the back of your block
_ Include entry fee of $10 for each block (more info below). This fee will be forwarded to Hideko Ishida, who will donate it to the Japan relief charity of her choosing.
Please refrain from using any reference to the rising sun as this has political connotations in Japan.

Entry fee
$10.00 (USD) can be sent via check, money order (payable to ICQA) when you submit your block, or  via Paypal, Please check “gift" for the donation.

If you have any questions, at any time, please just email Leslie . All completed projects must be mailed to Leslie no later than June 30, 2011.  Please contact Leslie for mailing address information.
We appreciate everyone’s participation and look forward to seeing all the fabulous creations!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan is in Our Thoughts

For the people of Japan,  March 11 will likely be remembered much as we in the United States remember 9/11 (September 11, 2001); a day in which unthinkable, horrific events took place.  Too many souls lost, too many more left suffering.

Japan’s recovery begins even amid continuing aftershocks.  Countries from all over the world are offering help.  Assistance, just a trickle in these early stages, will come pouring in over the next days, weeks, and months. The rebuilding of homes, infrastructures and lives will be a long, painful process.

Let us all keep the people of Japan in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts. But let us also rise up and show with our actions that we are one world community and that we do care!

Please give to relief efforts in any manner and to the extent that you are able, both physically and/or financially.  (Do you homework to make sure your choice of charity is a bona fide organization and not a scam!)

Our friends deserve no less than our full support!


Cathy maroon

Friday, March 4, 2011

Update: London

Just a quick post.  I tended DGD London on Tuesday, and snapped some pictures.  We spent most of the morning running errands, and she was good as gold.  And what a babbler!

London is even letting us put bows and pigtails in her hair now.

Her favorite new word:  kakk-kakk (cracker)

Here’s the bow, Gammy.  Enough is enough!

After work this morning and Weight Watchers this afternoon, I plan to (FINALLY) gather up a prize for my 300-post giveaway.  Will post about that this weekend.

Cathy maroon