Thursday, May 22, 2008

Block 9... only partially done :0(

Well, I've been trying for several days to finish this block so I could show it to you; however, such is life that I present it to you only partially done.
Block 9 - seams partially done
There are a couple of pretty nice seams on this block. This one is the lock stitch, brought to my attention by Elizabeth at Quieter Moments. On this seam the threads used are #12 perle cotton for the straight stitches (that you'll have to embiggen to see) and a varigated Watercolours 3-ply pima cotton from Caron. It's lovely stuff!!
Block 9 - lock stitch
I think the varigations really worked well across this seam.

Here is another closeup for you... this is simply buttonhole with lazy daisy stitches in between, but I like the way it turned out.
Block 9 - buttonhole & lazy daisy stitches
The fabric is not flat along the seam, unfortunately, but at least its even enough it will look OK in the end. I used the perle cotton again for the buttonhole stitches, and then 4 strand silk floss for the lazy daisy stitches. It's simple but rather effective.

Other news:
Our air conditioning has been down and out... right through the recent record high temps here in Phoenix of 110°F/43°C. Wowzers! Heat and I don't get along very well... it got up to 88°F/31°C in the house and even with the fans blowing, I hardly slept. Blech! Anyway, it's fixed now so we are much more comfortable and sleep is once again my friend.

At least it was until yesterday when I had to go get new glasses. OMG! The prices are so high I almost had a heart attack. It's been several years since I bought glasses (I put it off as long as possible!) and needless to say, I was rather surprised when I started looking at frames. Gah... not nice at all. But, I finally managed to find a frame for my regular glasses, a frame for my computer glasses, and a frame for sunglasses. Up till now I either didn't get sunglasses or got the kind of glasses with magnets that hold the sunglasses on so they don't have to be prescription. But this time I wanted something a bit more stylish so I bit the bullet and ordered prescription sunglasses, too. Then I promptly went home and imploded. I think I need to find a cheaper way of getting my glasses. There are lots of places on the interwebs that sell glasses, but I'm rather leary of them. Have any of you had any experiences with online eyeglass sellers??

And now one last thing... I have found the inspiration for my next quilt. It probably won't be a crazy quilt, but it will be very colorful!!

Inspiration yarn from Cabin Cove
Isn't it gawgeous? It's Cotton Candy Handspun from the magical spinning fingers of
Dave of Cabin Cove. It's 38 yards of hand spun merino wool and I love it! I'll use it as embellishment on a quilt of some kind... I'll have to wait for the muse to speak to me about it.

Later, Ladies!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Block 8 and a Travel Bag for Embroidery

Hey Ladies!

Surprise... I actually finished another block this weekend! I treated myself and stitched for quite a few hours, happily finishing off Block 8.
Block 8 - seams done
This one went pretty fast, the seams just kind of fell together. Here's a closeup for you of two of the better treatments.
Block 8 - closeup
This is the last dark block on the left side, so now I'm moving on into the light, moonlit sky blocks... cool!

I also put together a travel bag that will hold everything I need to work on the sky blocks for this quilt, at least the embroidery part. I picked it up at TJ Maxx the other day, it just struck me as the perfect bag for carrying supplies.

Here it is closed up - not the greatest picture, but you get the idea:
Travel bag

Then it opens up to this - the booklet lays perfectly on the top:
Travel bag 1

And here it is completely opened up, with plenty of room in the bottom for folded CQ blocks:
Travel bag 2

See that booklet laying there? I have had that booklet, in one iteration or another, since the sixties. Here are the three of them:
booklets - 100 stitches

Upper left is the 1964 edition, upper right is the 1975 version, and bottom is the 1979 version, bought just a few years ago when I couldn't find the other ones. The funny thing is, they all have exactly the same stitches in them (I checked)! They have a good, rounded set of stitches, with both the basics and enough more advanced stitches to keep things interesting. I like them because they are thin and flexible, fitting almost anywhere. The most recent one is easiest on these aging eyes, so that's the one I'll carry with me, just in case the aging memory needs help. ;0)

Later, Ladies!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hello World!

I wish to introduce any remaining readers to the newest edition to the clan... Miss Chloe Ann, born May 2nd and weighing in at 7lbs 1oz and 20 3/4" long.
Hello world!
Her little eyes are soooo slanty; however, she does come by it naturally... see?
The whole family
They are very happy, albeit very tired. It looks like Chloe will be a blonde, too and I don't think there is any way she can escape being "blessed" with massively curly hair. Both Ma and Pa have wondrous curls, she's gonna be a doll!

Mom was here for two weeks and, other than forgetting that I was related to her the first day she was here, she did OK. I stayed home on Monday and Tuesday, to help her get acclimated to a different house, but I was very nervous when I left her alone to go to work on Wednesday. She managed to feed herself, though, so that is always a plus. I think she spent a lot of time out on the patio. It is beautiful in the spring, with the sun coming down through the leaves, the doves cooing and the breezes tickling the wind chimes. On her last day here, she even said it had been a very nice two weeks, something she has never said to me before. I truly didn't know what to say I was so surprised. It was nice to hear it though. I think quite a bit of her bitterness has slipped away from her, along with her short term memory, so there is a silver lining there.

I have been doing some stitching, but not much. I have finished Block 18 now, but here it is with a couple of seams to go:
Block 18 - seams partially done
and here is my favorite seam on this block. It's a raised chain stitch done in #12 perle cotton.
Block 18 - raised chain stitch
I really like this stitch variation; however, next time, I'll run one side or the other down the seam instead of straddling it. It will make for a cleaner line I think, as well as showing off the stitch a bit better.

The next block on the right is the top corner block, so I have switched back over to the other side and am working on Block 8 (I think). My plan is to get all the blocks that have any black fabric on them done before we leave for Colorado in June. Hopefully I'll be able to work on the sky blocks while we are up there, as they are going to be super simple seams in only a couple of colors and some metallics. They should go quickly because I'm not going to try and make each seam unique. I'll probably just use various stem, straight, chain and feather stitches on them. I am so looking forward to finishing them up so I can move on to the next phase. Nat has promised that the center panel of a most voluptuous Titania will be ready for me when we get to Colorado. I can't wait!

I think that's all for now. This coming weekend is a "drag all the junk to the alley for pickup" weekend so I don't know if I'll have anything to show you or not... at least in the way of stitching. I may have a clean concrete slab though... WOOHOO!

Later, Ladies!!