Sunday, July 13, 2014

Rainy days.....

So far this summer has been rather wet weather wise and the garden is flourishing because of it. More than flourishing...it's going nuts...LOL

I thought I'd show you some pictures. 

We have a fairly long growing season here but we don't usually see this many tomatoes so early. 

Romas

Cherry

They look like bunches of grapes.
Beefsteak...they are all on one branch
This cherry tomato plant is as tall as me!! I'm 5 foot 5 inches.
Herbs...all newly planted this year from itty bitty plants.

Parsley and chives

Lemon basil and oregano. I thought for sure the oregano wouldn't survive. There is sage there too.
Lettuce and Swiss chard
The two stonecrop plants are enormous and are giving our green pepper plants a bit of a crowding but not to worry. I checked and there are peppers already:)

The poor St John's Wort is also huge this year and sadly took quite a beating from a heavy storm we had a few weeks ago. It's blooming profusely though. There are so many bees on it that you can't go near it. They are very possessive those bees.

The hanging baskets were put out overnight because it was raining yet again....I see I need to do a bit of dead heading.


Strawberries...you can't see them but they are in there:)
There used to be coneflowers in the space shown in the pic below but this weed...sorry native wild flower... has taken over. I'm not sure what it's called. You see it everywhere in established gardens. I call it a bluebell...not to be confused with English bluebells....but it probably has some fancy Latin name:)


I'm not the gardener by the way. That's my husband who is retired and loves his garden. His motto is a little bit here and a little bit there every day..... when it's not raining of course.

Take care:)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kathy Shaw CQ Classes

Once again Kathy is offering her free online Beginners Crazy Quilting class. If you are interested go here.

I took her class and ended up with this....

It's a fairly structured class which is good because everyone is working on the same thing. I really enjoyed the class and learned quite a lot about CQ.

She is also offering the second stage Intermediate Class free as well and of course I'm going to take that too. I'm really looking forward to trying my hand at crazy quilting again.

Take care:)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Redwork Embroidery....

So I'm finally starting a class in Redwork Embroidery at StitchMAP. My mentor is also doing the class for the first time so I have to be on my best behaviour and not give her any problems:)

I didn't realize that there was so much history around such a simple basic style of embroidery. If you're interested go....here.

I remember getting red embroidery thread and tea towels given to me when I was little by my mum. The tea towels already had a printed embroidery pattern on them. I was sat down and taught stem stitch, french knots and daisy stitch and the like. I vaguely remember manic dancing teacups.

Aha....I Googled....lol........

dancing teacup embroidery
Source


Maybe that's why I love vintage embroidery...so much fun:) Now a purist would have down this in all red, blue or green but I didn't.....ooops. Also, I didn't use the correct stitches.

I have since learned the error of my ways........:)

While I can't divulge everything from the class I can say that the beginning is really basic stuff about tools and fabric preparation. All good things to know and to be reminded about again. 

One thing is wrapping your embroidery hoop. This is something I have never done before so I'll have to see whether I'll stick with this idea. The big hoop is wrapped in bias tape and the small hoop in twill tape. I think I prefer the twill tape to be honest.

So that's what I'm up to in these lazy hazy days of summer.

I also making itty bitty fairies:)

Take care.




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Beautiful......

I love roses and this spring my husband bought a new rose bush called "Daybreaker".

Shades of yellow, peach and pink. It looks gorgeous and smells gorgeous......:) 





Saturday, May 10, 2014

Stitching fun....

At the end of her online Crazy Quilting class, Kathy suggested a Yahoo group that we might be interested in called StitchMAP.

The MAP in the name stands for Mentor Apprentice Program.  Since they are offering a further class in Crazy Quilting  I decided to join up. Not just for the CQ but because they offer so much more.

"Crazy Quilting, Hardanger, Redwork, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Surface Hand Embroidery, Brazilian Embroidery, Needlepoint, Quilting, Blackwork, Color Theory for Stitchers, Cross Stitch, and other Counted Thread techniques."

I think this group will give me the much needed push to learn new stitching techniques and keep me focused:) 



In order to be able to take the CQ class you first have to complete two initial programs...Colour Theory and Red Work Embroidery.  Since those classes are currently running and can't be joined mid way they offer quite a lot of fun stuff to do while you wait.

Such as "Fun Friday Tut".......to make an Origami Lotus Drawstring Bag.

You can find the how to's here......Exchanging Fire.

The challenge is to of course make the bag but to also add some embroidery. The area you have to work is very small so I decided to do a tutorial and motif that I saw on Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread.

Buttonhole Stitch Leaves.........find the tutorial  here

Be warned.......those leaves are so cute and so addictive....LOL

Here's my finished bag.



I didn't do too bad on the leaves but the flowers....hmmm. Too teeny tiny for me.

Take care:)




Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I won a giveaway.....

I won the cutest bunny ever from dollmaker, Blogger .....The Sassy Pack Rat.....and Facebook friend Jennifer.  She is the most amazing artist and she makes all of her dolls and figures primarily by hand.

Take a look at the stitching on this adorable little bunny....perfect! He's about 7 inches tall counting his ears and he is so darn cute:)

Thank you Jennifer:) I love him......





:)


Take care all and I hope you are all finally getting some spring weather. It was lovely and sunny today here. Not exactly warm but I live in hope that the warmer temps will happen soon :)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Finish....

Two good things I learned while doing my CQ sampler.

  1. Make sure your block has some kind of defined border that is nice and straight....not all over the place like mine was.
  2. Leave at least half an inch of clear space around the edge...no beads, no embroidery...nothing! 
Why?...because you are really not going to have a great time trying to finish it off nicely.

After cutting the edge very neatly.....I'm such a fibber:).....I had nothing to put a binding on so I sort of cheated. First I cut some heavy pellon about 1/2 inches larger that what I was left with and placed my block on that. I stared at it for awhile.

Then I roughly cut some backing material from a scrap I had.  I lay my pellon/block bit on top.

Not bad...I took off the block and folded the fabric over the pellon like I was wrapping a gift.


I then pinned it nicely and carefully basted it so that no stitches could be seen on the back. I closed the mitered edges with a invisible ladder stitch.


I found a small lace edging that matched the fabric and basted that on the raw edge of the block...voila.
 
Now all I need a some gimp edging to put over the outside edge of the lace and finish it off nicely.

Phew.....I have learned my lesson and will be careful when doing my CQ blocks in future :)

Take care. 




WIP........


More about my crazy quilting sampler on line class with Kathy Shaw.

I'm finding that the silk ribbon embroidery is not my forte.  It looks pretty though. Anyone who can master it rocks in my books...LOL I would say it takes lots of practice to get it right.

I found it was very difficult to keep the soft integrity of the silk ribbon while pulling it through the two layers of fabric. Pliers were needed when doing the vine. Bad planning on my part. A lot of my leaves are over areas where the seams meet and there are four layers of fabric. Ah well this is how you learn stuff...what not to do.....right?

We have now been introduced to Fly Stitch Roses and French Knot Wraps....eeeek !!

Thank goodness there are videos.

I'm posting the videos here so I can find them again. Also you might like to give SRE a try.

Fly Stitch Rose

French Knot Rose
 
Rosebud Made With French Knot and Beads

Twirled Ribbon Rose.....

Anyway, here is my effort. I think I may be done with this. I'll finish the edges and put it in my stitch diary book for further reference. I've learned quite a bit from this class and I'm considering taking Kathy's intermediate class when she offers it.


If you're interested in cloth doll making, I have also started a new class with Angela Jarecki called The Traveler: Anya and Baba. You can find out what I'm up to over here.

I'm joining up today with The Needle & Thread Network...come on over and see what my fellow Canadians are up to.

Take care:)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I was planning to show you further progress on my crazy quilt sampler today but things didn't go as planned. I need a certain width of green silk ribbon for the embroidery. I went to my favourite store and they had none in stock. I did buy some sequins and beads but alas no ribbon.

I also had to go to my dentist on Monday for my checkup :( All did not go well and I had to go back today for an extraction of a very BIG back tooth. While it was a painless procedure and only took about twenty minutes I think I will be feeling it once the freezing disappears. My dentist had one heck of a time getting it out.....I'm sure I heard a few mumbled swear words....LOL

I wasn't idle today though. I had this small piece of cotton that was part of a fat quarter bundle. It's very pretty but I really didn't think I could use it as it is.


I cut a small corner off the piece as I decided to fussy cute some of it just to see it I could use the motifs for anything. To add a little more body I used some Wonder-Under and fused a piece of plain fabric to the back. Then I mod podged the whole piece of fabric as well. I know.... pretty weird but it really changes the whole texture of the fabric. I then cut out the butterflies and dragonflies with small sharp scissors. 

The edges still frayed a bit because the cotton was very thin. Also, you can see in the picture below that the top left butterfly has a white edge that I didn't think was very attractive. As an experiment I used some Lumiere in Halo Violet Gold and slightly dabbed the paint on the edge of each butterfly. See the butterflies on the bottom and top right. Now the white edges can't be seen, there is no further fraying and there is a wee bit of glitter.


Now I have a bunch of kinky butterflies and dragonflies to use as embellishments :)

I managed to get some paint on the bodies of a few of the butterflies as I didn't realize I had some paint on my fingers....ooops. No harm done though:)



Tomorrow I'm going to another store that I do know has the right size of green silk ribbon I need. This time I called ahead. They have six shades of green so I'm spoiled for choice. It's a store for Cross Stitchers that has quite a selection of threads too:)

Take care.




Thursday, April 3, 2014

WIP

Well my sampler block for the online crazy quilting class I'm taking with Kathy Shaw is starting to fill up. I've done almost all the steps except the ribbon embroidery.
I remember doing silk ribbon embroidery years ago when Brazilian embroidery was a big fad. Silk ribbon is not easy to handle. It takes a light hand, patience and practice but the results are very pretty.

I really love the work of Di van Niekerk. She does such lovely work and she makes it look so easy. Kathy posted a link to Di's YouTube video on doing the iris stitch and I thought I'd share too.


Also here is her video on spiderweb roses...they are often used in crazy quilting....


Di van Niekerk has other videos if you are interested....here. 

Til next time.....

Take care:)

Added:
A great source for embroidery stitching how to's is Mary Corbet's videos which you came find ...here.




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