Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chloe's block update

I've been slowing working on this block in between moving, unpacking and applying for jobs.

It's not the greatest picture... I think my camera is slowing dying, unfortunately.  Ah well, it will get replaced in good time.  Job first, camera second.  ;0)

Now for a couple of closeups.

Here's the center bit... the "C" is made of primarily vintage mother-of-pearl buttons with beads and faux pearls as fillers.  I really like how it came out.  I was a bit unsure how to get the shape just right until I glanced at a CD and realized that was just the right shape and size.  It worked well, I think.

Here's a closeup of the whipped fan in the corner, along with some nearby seam treatments.  These are vintage irridescent flower sequins I got on ebay years ago.  This needs another pass or two to fill it out but it's a good start.

I've added fluted flower beads to the curlicue "vines" on either side of the block.  Some kind of leaves will be next, although I'm not sure if they will be embroidered or leaf beads... have to think on that a bit.

I'm so out of practice that stitching this 18" block is taking me even longer than usual... but I'm enjoying it so!

Back in a few days with a sewing room update... "see" you then, ladies.  ;0) 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shall we have a bit more catch up???

So, ladies, there have been a few changes in the past few months.  I'm not one of those who can blog through thick and thin, unfortunately, so when it gets bad, I shut down.  It's pretty good now so I'll let you in on what's been happenin'!

My hubbie was laid off from his job at the hospital the first week of November last year.  To say it was a shock is an understatment.  It always sits in a little place at the back of your mind, y'know?  You just never expect it to happen.  We brought his resume up-to-date and started applying for jobs up and down the Rockies... through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.  I found most of the jobs and he applied for whatever I found.  He had interviews in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming but no takers.  After a couple of months we started applying anywhere we could find a position that matched his experience... Oregon, Texas and even as far east as South Carolina.  Finally, finally, he found a position at a hospital in Thornton, Colorado... what a great day that was!  It meant I had to leave a very good position but since he makes more money than me, the choice was a no-brainer.  ;0)  Besides, we were going back to Colorado... near the kids and grandkids... another no-brainer.

And now... now we are back living about 5 blocks from where we used to live in Longmont.  We are sharing a house with our middle son (and his 2 kids on the weekends) to keep expenses covered since I don't have a job yet.  A fairly modern arrangement, I guess, in this day and age.  I'm putting out lots of resumes for the senior admin assistant positions, but no takers so far.  Hopefully something shows up in the next month or so... I really don't want to have to dip into our retirement account... sigh.  Wish I could retire, but I've a few years to go yet. 

So, that's where we are now... I'm finally stitching again... slowly picking up the threads of my creative life, so to speak.  I'll bring you up to speed on that in the next post.

It's good to be back.  ;0)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm still stitching!

I decided before I embarked on a big new project, I should do some actual crazy quilting to get back in the swing of things.  So I got a block put together for Chloe, my second granddaughter.  I made a block for Sophia, my first granddaughter, some years ago (it's the background on my blog) so I figured I better get with it and do one for Miss Chloe.  Her room is purple and pink so I went with that as a color scheme.  Unusual for a girl I know, but...  ;0)  Anyway, when I was sorting buttons while organizing my sewing room I discovered I have a HUGE amount of white buttons so I'm going to use quite a few on this piece.  It's coming along well and I'm quite pleased.

I've been doing quite a bit of research on Medieval embroidery, textiles, images, themes and culture to prep for the Medieval CQ.  During my search I came upon a few blogs dealing with Medieval textile and embroidery, if you would like to take a peek.  She is doing an exhaustive examination of various embroidery stiches used during the medieval and later periods.  An embroidery, calligraphy and illumination blog.  She is especially interested in 16th and 17th century embroidery but the illumination comes from earlier periods.  This is a silkwork and passementerie blog out of the UK.    A group blog about textiles and costumes of the late middle ages and early modern times.  She is an embroiderer and pattern maker mostly interested in the Elizabethan and Renaissance eras. 

On a post in July on Baroque Embellishments Kimberly was all excited about discovering an online copy of a book, published in 1606, by ThomasTrevelyon (or Trevelian).It was pretty exciting to me, too!   It is on the Folger Shakespeare Library website and, beginning on page 7 (scroll down) there are quite a few pages of designs for blackwork embroidery.   A later edition (1616) is described  on Maggs Rare Books and contains a quite extensive history of Thomas and descriptions of his books.

It was in this book that I finally distilled the design I wanted on the focal piece.  On this design for a coif (cap) I found the perfect shape for the corners of the focal piece, with the added bonus that it incorporated a fleur-di-lis, an image I wanted to have on the final CQ banner.

I simplified the design for ease of transfer and then, primarily using the swirling vines from this image, I came up with this design for one quarter of the piece:

I traced the focal piece on to some graph paper and then transferred this design to all four corners of the outline on the graph paper.

It needed some adjusting but I played with it for awhile and this is where it stands now:

I like it!! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back in the Game

Hey, ladies... hope all is well with you, especially those in Irene's path. 

I've been working on finishing up my Midsummer quilt.

I've been going block by block around the edges, finishing up the beading on each seam where I stopped short to allow a seam allowance.  Lots of sparklies!  It took me a few tries to figure out the best way to start each beading thread, since I didn't take the quilt apart to do the final bits.  I finally settled on just slipping the unknotted thread under the top layers of fabric, taking a couple of stitches hidden in a seam and starting the beading.  It worked quite well once I got the hang of it.  

I've also worked some more on the foreground along the bottom... adding more leaves on a couple of the groupings, as well as lots more beads and buttons to fill in the ground areas.  It's now laid out on my dining room table, waiting for me to gather my courage and tackle the center.  There's alot more to do on it but everything is set up so I hope to get started on it this week.  I need to finish 'cause I've got another project in the wings!

My next quilt will be based around this painting, "Meeting on the Turret Stairs."

One of the better known works of  Frederic William Burton, this watercolor was painted in 1864.  I have always loved it and when I decided my next CQ would be a piece for our bedroom, this image came to mind.  We have always been rather fascinated by the medieval era so this was a natural fit.  First I tried to decide on a design for the overall piece.  Me being me, it couldn't be a normal CQ, y'know!  ;0)  Anyway, this is the first design I came up with:

It was nice but not the size or shape I wanted... this one was next:

Ah... here we go, this is the right shape for a medieval CQ!  A little big, but much better.  Then I went looking for some heavy lace or doilies to use as inspiration... and I found this...
At approximately 16" x 22", it worked to frame the focal painting and had the added advantage of having gothic type arched corners and a tudor style flower at each end.  Oh, yes!  Now I had to adjust the overall design to accomodate this piece, like so:

And then on to this one:

And finally to this one, the final design, for now anyway:

This one... this one, I like!  That's all for now, but I'll be back later this week... pinky swear!  :0)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Christmas in Colorado

So, let's try this again.  This ranch where we spent a few days was really fabulous... here's the kitchen, with a Wolf range no less... fun!!

And this is the living room...

Here we are all snuggled up in front of the fire... we even had Direct TV!

It pretty much snowed the whole time we were there, so the kids made snowmen... TA-DA!

We got stuck going in because the road hadn't been plowed (the neighbor got his dates mixed up) so he came later and cleared out the snow...

And here is the view looking back as we left... it had cleared up and we could see for miles and miles...

OK... now please let me know if you can see this images... if not, it's back to the drawing board!!  ;0)


Snow!, originally uploaded by Marty52.
We spent Christmas 2010 in Colorado. For a few days we were high up in the Never Summer Range... it was breathtaking!

I'm trying to get a catch-up post going, ladies, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to upload images from Flickr... Blogger has changed enough that I'm lost!  I used Flickr's blogging tool to upload and add info to the above photo but so far, that's as far as I've gotten.  I'll keep trying!

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!