Friday, June 29, 2007

Modified Design 2

Hokay... at Allie's suggestion, I played a bit with the second design last night, trying to put the painted fairy panel in the center. When I originally came up with Design 2, I used the dimensions of a Golden Rectangle to get a proportion that is very pleasing to the eye. I kept trying to get the same proportions with a center panel (also a golden rectangle) but just couldn't get it done without making the quilt too big. I need to keep the quilt to a manageable size so I can find room to hang it in my home!

Anywho... this is the design that I came up with:
Visual journal - design 4
(click to see the entire design)

How does this work for you lovely ladies?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Design for Midsummer Night's Dream

I thought I would share the creative process that has been going on behind the scenes as I have worked through the design of the Midsummer Night crazy quilt. When I first thought of this theme for a crazy quilt, I knew I would be making it encrusted... VERY encrusted. I love looking for and deciding on what types of embellishments will be used to enhance a seam or a bit of fabric! The fabrics would have to be of various values with fairly subdued colors to reflect the night.

First I listed the colors I would use and various embellishments to be added later. I also included a list of the visual sparks from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, as I read through the play. This quilt will reflect the sleeping Titania in the center panel, and the visuals from that "Midsummer Night" will surround her.
Visual journal - notes
My scanner couldn't read these for some reason so I had to take a picture and there is a shadow over the page. Oops!

In the play, as Titania lays down to sleep in Scene II. "Another part of the wood.", the fairies sing a song that makes sure that this list of critters:
Visual journal - notes 1
leaves her alone. In the final version of my design, these will be put on the outer edges of the quilt in the darker blocks, away from a sleeping Titania.

After the lists were made, I started playing with the design of the entire quilt. Here's version one:
Visual journal - design 1
I was going to get very ambitious with my extra embroidery and embellishments in this version. They would totally dominate the CQ blocks beneath them and I decided it was just too much.

The second design took the ideas from the first design and placed them on the wide border surrounding some regular CQ blocks.
Visual journal - design 2
But it didn't really have a focal point and I thought there needed to be one.

That's where the idea of a center panel of a sleeping Titania came in. Beginning with the center panel idea, I worked outward from that, coming up with the current design of the quilt [at first I typed "final design" and then I realized how foolish that thought was :0)].
Visual journal - design 3
The blank areas around the center section of blocks will be the darker fabrics forming a border.

[[Edited to add: I will be putting the same type of embroidery in this border as I would in the second design. It was just too late last night to keep drawing and I wanted to get this post up!]]

So, that's where I stand right now. Nat has received the box of paints and fabric I sent, so hopefully, he can work on the center panel this weekend. Meanwhile, I'll start working on fabric selection and placement. WooHoo!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Progress in another direction

The weekend plans fell to the wayside after a stop at a local estate sale Friday morning... the purchase of a lovely dresser/buffet at said estate sale... and the reshuffling of furniture that ensued. The new dresser went into our bedroom (it goes very well with the end tables I got a couple of months ago), and the old dresser from the bedroom went into my sewing room. Of course you see where this is going, don't you? Time to rearrange things in the sewing room!

So, I spent the weekend sorting and consolidating my various stashes. I present... the sewing room! The view from the door... that VERY pink little cabinet will probably be painted and repurposed somewhere...
Sewing room - Jun 07

Swinging to the left...
Sewing room  5 - Jun 07

And back to the doorway... where I still have lots of sorting and organizing to do.
Sewing room  3 - Jun 07

That will wait; however, until I have bound the Quilt of Valor and done some work on the design for my Midsummer Night's Dream quilt.

Let the sewing begin!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

French Knots and Laundry Rooms


In between buckets of TSP laden water and coats of paint, I have managed to get a few French knots done... but only a few.
French knots
So, I thought I'd put a couple of pictures of other times I have used French Knots. This little gecko was done for a Bags of Fun Challenge, also with Sharon B.
Small gecko

And these I did on Josh and Beth's ringbearer's pillow:
J for Josh B for Beth

Laundry Room:

After much futzing around and a couple of rather tart discussions, we are pretty much done with painting the laundry room. Once it cures a bit, we'll tape the top of the wall and touch up the ceiling where we have some oops spots, but otherwise, I'm happy with it!
After 3 After 2
It's to the point where we can do laundry again, thank heavens! We still have to move the electrical hookup for the dryer over next to the washer, as well as chisel a hole through the brick wall for the vent. Hopefully we can tackle that this weekend, 'cause, man, do we need to clean! The whole house is trashed with everything that came out of the laundry room and the usual cleaning bits haven't been done because we've been painting, etc. It's starting to give ME the willies, so you know it is bad! ;0)

We also need to take the old door off and change those nasty hinges. The hinges we will change this weekend; however, the door itself will have to wait until we are ready to tackle the kitchen. We'll be using the old kitchen door in this opening since it is a much nicer door. We're getting there!

Midsummer Night:
I sent off the paints and fabric to Nat today so I'm hoping he'll get some actual fabric painting done this weekend. Yay! I can't wait to see the fairy he comes up with.

I'll be back on Friday, see you then!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Quilt of Valor - quilted

Well, I certainly know why people like to have a longarm quilter do their quilts.... wowzers! Look... isn't this simply stunning quilting?
Quilting 1
Suzanne took the swirls from the horses tails and used that type of motif to quilt in a yellow thread that matches the golden yellow in the main panel.
Quilting 2

It's just simply lovely! It brings the quilt to a whole new level...
Quilting 3

I'll just show you the details now...
Quilting 4

I'll show you the whole quilt once it is bound. I hope to be able to get started on the binding on Sunday so I can send it off this month. :0)

On the Midsummer Night quilt front, I ordered 3 weights of silk, some paints and a book on Silk Painting from Dharma Trading Co. I'm going to read through the fabric preparation portion of the book so I can get the fabric ready for painting, then I'll forward everything to Nat to do the painting. He's almost finished with the color study so he'll be ready for it just about the time I get it there. I'm excited!

See you later, folks!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wheatear Stitch

Well, so much for planning. Hubbie was sick as a dog all weekend, I wasn't much better and to top it all off we got food poisoning yesterday (that's why I didn't post). Blecch! We'll try again on the laundry room this coming weekend.

I did; however, manage to get some stitching done on the Wheatear Stitch for Sharon Boggon's TAST. I really like this stitch... after a few stitches you really get into a nice rhythm and it just flows along.

This is the Wheatear Stitch with lazy daisy stitches tucked in between:
Wheat ear stitch 1

And here it is in a double formation:
Wheat ear stitch 2


Friday, June 08, 2007

Weekend plans

I want to make the center panel/block of my Midsummer quilt a picture of Titania, Queen of the Fairies. There are many depictions of her out there that are copywrite free that I could use, but I wanted something special, of course! I am not an artist and I was wracking my brain about how to do this and then that little light went on again... my oldest son is a fine amateur artist... ah, hah! So, I called him and he's going to do a painting on fabric of a sleeping Titania. Yay! I want to wait for the center panel before I do any of the piecing but depending on how long it takes him [procrastination runs in the family -- ;0)] I may have to forge ahead without it but, for now, I'll just gather fabrics, trims, and ideas.

I really won't have time this weekend for stitching, anyway. Last Sunday we pulled all the old cabinets out of the laundry room and this weekend we are going to be painting it so we can put other cabinets in and move the dryer. Right now the dryer is across the room from the washer and is VERY inconvenient. I can only assume that when the house was built, they didn't have a dryer, so they put in a big cabinet instead:
Before 1
That dark icky yellow color to the right of the washer is where the cabinet was. Here's the door to the outside:
Before 6
And here's the dryer across the room:
Before 2
Convenient, huh? So this weekend, like it or not, will be spent cleaning the walls with TSP, priming and painting. Not my idea of fun; however, it needs to be done so I guess we'll crank up the tunes and just do it!

I HAVE been doing some beading on my
Take a Stitch Tuesday block. Here's a picture of the Running Stitch and the Bonnet Stitch after they have been beaded.
Bonnet Stitch - beaded

That's all for now... see you on Monday!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Project Begins

I've had several ideas percolating around in my head for awhile now (which isn't hard to do cuz there's lots of holes in there). I tend to frequent estate sales and have gathered quite a few black, white, and grey pieces of fabric and clothing that gave me the itch to do a black and white crazy quilt. I mulled this over and played with names and themes; however, it just wasn't jelling. I was afraid I would get bored with such a constrained pallet. But, I had all these black, grey and white fabrics to use and I wanted to use them! So I started thinking about all the things that are black and grey and one that kept coming up was "night" (as in the opposite of day). Hmmmm... lots of possiblities there!

Here are some of the fabrics I had to work with:
Estate sale fabrics0001

Along with some pieces of vintage kimonos I picked up off of eBay a year or so ago (I have more):
Vintage kimonos0001
Sorry, the fabrics slipped when I put them on the scanner and I didn't have time to fix them!

I let that sit on the back burner for awhile and while perusing a good sale at I came upon these:
Myth & Magic Embroiderer's Year World of Embroidery
and I ordered them. I've seen them before but finally decided to get them because I need a jump start and wanted to do some detailed embroidered motifs on my first real crazy quilt. I was reading through them and pretty much drooling all over the place when I came upon a reference to Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and a huge, blinding, sparkling light went on over my head! Ohhhh.... night and fairies and flowers and love and critters and moonlight and stars and OOOOHHHHHH! Poifect! ;0)

So... the project is to be a crazy quilt depicting "a Midsummer Night's Dream." Not that I'm ambitious or getting in over my head or anything! ;0) I've watched the movie again (the one with Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci and Rupert Everett) (talk about eyecandy... whoosh) and read through the play a couple of times (Shakespeare takes a couple or ten times). I've made lists of all the visual eyecandy that the play mentions and will be incorporating as much as I can of those visuals into my quilt. The quilt is going to have a center panel of a sleeping Titania surrounded by flowers and woodland things, then crazy patch blocks around that and a wide, all black crazy patched border around that. I figure it will take me at least a year to finish and I'm so excited!!!!!!!! LOL... what a geek I am!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Back in the harness...

Morning... er... afternoon ladies!! I haven't been a very good blogger lately, have I? I guess I've had a bit of a creative block going on and it has taken me awhile to break down the block, find the reason, and get moving again. But I am moving again! I've discovered that I don't do well without a major goal in mind. Funnily enough, SharonB has blogged about goals in her "Time Management" post. If I don't have a goal, with a "theme" preferably, I don't do such a good job of following through and finishing.

It has taken a few weeks to come to this realization, and while I was working through that, I was working on my sewing room. I sorted all my beads by color and have them all tucked neatly away. I actually found the top of my work table (!) and cleaned off my cutting table (!!) and then, then I mentioned to a co-worker who does alot of sewing that I would take any bits of fabric and ribbons, etc. that she had laying around. Just the scraps and little bits of lace, y'know. Well, she came in to work with four (4!!!!) shopping bags stuffed with lace, beads, buttons and fabric. Boy, was I glad I asked!! ;0) Of course, then I had to use my newly cleared work areas to sort out the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Now if I was a good blogger, I'd have pictures of the haul for right here; however, since my camera isn't working (like I thought it was) I don't have a piccie to share. Suffice to say, I scored!! (And I'll try and get a memory card that actually works so I can show ya'!)

I'm also putting my self on a blogging schedule. I'll be blogging every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There... I figure if I actually put it on the blog, I'll do it. I'll introduce my theme on Wednesday, since I need to get that blasted memory card so I can take some pictures. Mostly I just wanted you to know that I'm here and I'm here to stay, dammit!!