Thursday, August 26, 2010

Crawling out from under...

Hello sweet ladies! I've been missing in action the last few months but I think I may have returned to the land of the bloggers. I'm feeling reenergized and ready to try and get some creative juices flowing again.

On June 4th I had reconstructive surgery on my left foot and the aftermath was rather... ummm... painful to say the least. I took short-term disability so I could stay home and recuperate because I wasn't allowed to put any weight on the foot for the next 10 weeks. I had expected to spend the whole time I was off doing lots of handwork... my Bead Journal Project specifically and then maybe some work on my Midsummer CQ. However, me being me, the stress of the surgery had my IBS flaring constantly so pretty much all I did was curl up in my recliner and feel like crawling in a hole and pulling the hole in after me. When I'm sick I can't create, all I can do is watch TV and maybe do some reading. It's so annoying!! ;0) I've seen a couple bloggers work while laid up at home and I'm so envious! Gah!

Anyway... here are some before and after xrays for your viewing pleasure:


I have high hopes of actually getting out this fall and walking through the neighborhood. I haven't been able to walk very far for quite some time. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Nothing creative to show you in this post... just wanted to let you know I didn't disappear into the ether. I've been reading your blogs but only commenting occasionally. There is so much happening out there... it's good to be back!

Thursday, May 06, 2010


I had no idea it had been so long since I had posted... my how time flies when you aren't having fun!

Long story short... slip in the shower resulting in a torn rotator cuff and a pinched sciatic nerve that took months to show up resulting in sleepless nights and pain (now slowly resolving); yearly physical resulting in biopsy (no cancer so no problem except the pulled off skin from the tape... ouch!); middle child going through divorce; and sudden, urgent, totally encompassing need to read anything and everything I could get my hands on have taken over my life and I'm just now coming out from under all this. I think the reading part was an escapist ploy on behalf of my mental health!

So, here I am, determined to find my creative self and nurture her back to life. I've visited your blogs and have commented sometimes but not all the time, trying to get to everyone to see what you are doing. Anyway, I hope I'm back. I'm determined to be back!

Anyway, I've managed to piece my February block... meet Blue!
Feb block pieced
This started out as a regular crazy quilt block but when I looked at the fabrics they went in such a nice gradation of values that I decided to do some different piecing and I appear to have made some kind of flower. I'll probably bead it as a flower, too, so that should be fun! I also had a center piece that was decidely off center so I did a little bit of "fake" piecing. Here is the area of the added piece:
Feb block closeup 1

Up close and personal:
Feb block closeup 2
I sewed it down on the upper left side, then folded it over and, with the help of a tiny bit of WonderUnder, I fused that little puppy down. Then I carefully trimmed it to match the seams. Once I have it beaded, I don't think it will even be noticed.

If I was doing this on a regular crazy quilt block, I would lay rick-rack and/or lace along these two seam lines and it would be completely covered up, since it really is a very small piece of fabric.
Feb block closeup 3

And, since I was actually getting some piecing done, I moved on to March and here she is... just a regular CQ block... meet Blue-Green:
Mar block pieced
I love this color!

So, I've started beading on February and hope to have a progress shot up this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mornin', ladies!

Hope all of you are well and stitching like crazy!

I joined the Bead Journal Project (BJP) this year, just to see what I can do with it. I wanted to keep it in the Crazy Quilt realm, since that is my favorite thing to do. First I needed to do the piecing on something a bit sturdier than just muslin in order to hold the beads well. I found a dress of Ultrasuede at Goodwill and decided it would be perfect for my needs. After cutting out the seams I had enough to make 12 8" squares for backing. When finished, each block should end up right at 6", which will make a nice size wall hanging.

Now that I had the backing and size determined, I needed a theme. I spent nearly the entire month of January coming up with and discarding various ideas. I've been wanting to do a rainbow or color wheel quilt for awhile, so that's where I finally ended up. The 12 months of the BJP will work perfectly with the 12 colors of the traditional color wheel. So, these are the 12 colors I'll be working with:
Color wheel

Taking a lead from others working the BJP, I printed out the color wheel, cut it in wedges and taped them on cards. I put them all in a box and blindly chose one for each of the 12 months. Here are the first 4 months of 2010:
Fabric Jan-Apr
January = Violet
February = Blue
March = Blue-green
April = Red

Another challenge I set myself was to use only stash items for both the fabric and the beads. I have since modifed that to allow myself to buy from Goodwill as long as the items are already discounted since my fabric stash was a little thin in an area or two.

Anyhoo, on to January. Here is the first pieced square, in Violet on light blue ultrasuede.
Jan block pieced
I love the center fabric! I decided I wanted to make it a fairly traditional block, so I did the seam treatments all in beads, here are some progress shots for your perusal:

Jan Beading begun
First seam treatments with sequins as a base for short stacks, a ruffled seam and a fan.

Jan block more beading
Next came some intertwining lines of beads, a not very successful bugle bead set, some beads treated as cabochons and the beginnings of a fringed seam in the top right corner.

And here is the finished block for January:
Jan block finished?
The finished fringe on the upper right, more intertwined bead lines on the left, another fan, a flower and the lower right beads increased to a "shield."

I'm not sure how successful this block is; however, I'm viewing these 12 blocks as a major learning experience so to me it doesn't need to be a full success in order for me to learn something from it. I want to learn Robin's techniques and adapt them to crazy quilting. I imagine that as the year goes on, each block will teach me more and become more fully rounded as a "bead embroidery."

Although you can get up close and personal by clicking to embiggen each photo, I thought I would include a couple of close-ups here in case you are tired of clicking. ;0)

Jan block detail 1

Jan block detail 2

Jan block detail 3

I'd appreciate your comments and thoughts on my first BJP piece.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Coming up for air...

Well, time sure flys when you are having fun, doesn't it?!?! Sheesh, I really need to spend more time here on my blog, don't I? I'll make that a belated New Year's resolution, howzat? ;0)

Anyhoo, further progress has been made. I want to give you some closeups of the bottom border... the woodland floor if you will. I'm really tickled at how it came out. My vision was pretty true on this portion of the quilt.

So, moving from left side to right side we have the following:
Forest floor 1

Forest floor 2

Forest floor 3

Forest floor 4

Here's a closer picture of the center portion of the bottom border:
Forest floor 3 closeup

Materials used to create the forest floor include:
- Crocheted leaves from thrifted doilies
- Butterfly and moth pins from antique stores & flea markets
- Beetles and tiny lizards from the interweb and garage sales
- Wood, shell and semi-precious beads from discarded necklaces and buttons from the stash
- A belt from a lace dress makes up the vine along with some chenille from SharonB

I had great fun putting all this together!

Now, for the center portion where we have a slightly off center Titania:
Titania with fairies
“Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night”


A fairy lantern:
Titania's lantern

Bead embroidery:
Flowers - bead embroidery

That's all the closeups I have at this point. The quilt "finished" in a marathon of stitching and embellishing. It was squared up, a border was put on, everything was tacked down nice and tight and a false back put on. "One Midsummer Night" is on hiatus and has gone on a small journey to an exciting place. This is what she looks like now:
Click on the image and you'll wind up at flicker where you can see lots of detail in the "original" size under "All sizes."

When she returns from her journey, there will be more embellishing done and I'll take many closeups before she graces the wall of our bedroom. This has been a two and a half year journey of learning so very much about crazy quilting. I highly recommend tackling a large project at some point in your life as a crazy quilter; however, it may be quite awhile before I do it again! :0)

In other news, I have joined the the Bead Journal Project for this year. I'm excited about it but still haven't settled on a format and it's getting close to the end of January already! Stay tuned for more info on this rapidly developing story. LOL!

Thanks for staying with me through this last year of almost no blogging, I'll do better in the future. Pinky swear! ;0)