Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yesterday, Embellishments and Titania

Wasn't yesterday a proud day for the US? Democrat, Republican or Independent, you have to admit we have come a long way, baby!! ;0)

I've begun adding more embroidery to the bottom border. I took a deep breath and began a clump of grass in the center of the middle block. I decided on the grass because I wanted the center portion to be a little taller than I was getting with the bunches of leaves. I used Caron's Watercolours in two different shades of green. First was a darker green for the bottom layer of chain stitch. I liked the varigations that resulted but it looked flat. Now if I had my act together, here you would see a picture of just the chain stitch; however, I don't have my act together, so you get a picture of the grass bunch after a second layer was added. ;0) I worked a row of back stitch on top of the chain stitch using a lighter, yellower green to pop it out a bit.
Embellishments - Block 4
The second layer adds quite a bit of depth to it. Here's a closer look.
Embellishments - Block 4 Grass
I'll leave it here for now 'cause I don't want to overwork it. I can always add more later! That bottom row of red basting stitches you see is the final seam line and the row just under the grass bunch is the line I'll use to keep my embellishments on an even keel. I'd be really ticked off if I had to rip a bunch of stuff out because it was heading downhill!

Last weekend we made an unscheduled stop at the Flea Market and I found some goodies. In the last post I was bemoaning the fact that the crocheted leaves I had were such a light green. Well, guess what I found??
Doilies with leaves
Two different doilies with two different shades of green leaves on them! WooHoo! These will add some interest to the bunches of leaves.

I also tried my hand at printing on fabric. I bought some Bubble Jet Set and used a variation of Allie's instructions to print a picture of Titania. Because I didn't have any full-size label sheets, I tried it with freezer paper and it actually worked! See?
Titania Final on PFD Cotton
This is printed on cotton and I'm not too sure that it is as nice as it can be. The picture is crisp; however, the fabric is a little bit "fuzzy" (especially on the tree) and I think I may be able to get a better result on silk so I'm gonna give it a try this weekend. Of course, she isn't as big as I originally planned, so I had to revise the center design a bit. I think it will work out just fine whether I use the cotton or the silk.

So, that's where I am now. I'll be back in a few days with more. Take care and have a great week!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Border embellishment

Good afternoon ladies! I hope everyone has recovered from the holidays. ;0)

Sewing every day hasn't been happening; however, creating has! Getting started on the embellishments for the border was very hard. I don't know what the problem was, but I just couldn't get started. I think it was like when an artist stares at a blank canvas and is afraid to get started. It's been awhile since I embellished any of my CQ pieces so that probably had something to do with it!

It took me a a couple of days of staring and pulling fabrics and looking at books and looking at beautiful photos on flickr but I finally got started. The first thing I did was take Block 4 (the center block on the bottom) and change it from this (click to embiggen):
Block 4 - beaded
to this:
Block 4 - revised
Yup, I took out that strange row of french knots and beads. I liked it; however, it was in the wrong place and just took over that whole area. Now, of course I needed to find something that fit in that area. Since it is the center block, I thought a bunch of grass or leaves or something might work. I went through my hand-dyed fabrics (I didn't dye them, I just bought them) and pulled a really nice, olive green piece and cut out some nice leaves:
Leaves - olive grn
Hmmmm... nice design, nice fabric, not so nice in this application. Olive green is not the right color! So, let's try a nice blue-green:
Leaves - dark grn
Hmmmm... nice design, nice fabric, not so nice in this application, again. The color is right; however, the camera is picking up more contrast than is actually there, you can hardly see the green leaves in person. I also think it's too stark, although it would make a great agave for a southwestern block! ;0)

Finally, I tried these crocheted leaves that I got at an estate sale last summer:
Leaves - crocheted
I like these much better as far as shape and texture, but they may be a bit too light in color. I may try and make them a little darker with some fabric paints, we'll see. I'll let them sit awhile and move my focus down to the end of the row of blocks where I want to put some mushrooms. Here is a mockup of some mushrooms cut out of felt:
I really like the dimension the felt gives them, especially with two layers of felt. I decided I wanted to join the layers together off the fabric and then attach them to the block with beads or something. I used buttonhole stitches with perle cotton at first (bottom), but it seemed too heavy, so I went with 2 strands of silk floss (middle). Then I realized that they had more of a folk art look than I wanted. What I wanted was a design more suitable for the world of fairies, something soft and magical... so I came up with the swirls on the top mushroom:
Mushrooms - variety
I like the swirls much better, the folk mushrooms will get saved for something else! I'm not sure if the swirls are too close in color to the mushroom, so I may try a different color on some of them tonight. In any case, I did get started on the embellishments! ;0)

That's all for now, take good care of yourselves and I'll talk to you in a few days.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Midsummer Border

I have pieced the border together for the Midsummer CQ. The 5 blocks on each end are each a separate strip and so are the 5 blocks inbetween. I put it back up on the display wall so I could get a picture...
Border blocks pieced with seams done
It's a bit wonky but I was standing at a bit of an angle. I'm not too sure about the really white seam treatments on the black now, but I'll wait to do any changes until it's all together. Now I can start adding the embellishments to the border! Woot!

I also took Titania and played with her a bit. I flipped the picture so the light is coming from the same direction as the moon and then I cropped it a bit to bring it down in size. Once I have it printed on fabric I can get to work on the inner portion. Come on color!
Titania ready for sending
But first, I'll start some embellishing on the border. See you in a few days!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I wasn't going to make any "resolutions" this year; however, I have had second thoughts. So... I have resolved that:

** I will sew every day
** I will strive to get control of my IBS (so I can sew every day)

That's it... short, sweet and to the point, but I wanted it on here in black and white on January 1.

I hope you all have had a great first day of 2009, and that each and every day hereafter is a great day, too!