Norma's Needleworkz

Monday, October 29, 2007

TAST and More

Well, I must say that I really had a most difficult time figuring out the week 42 TAST stitch Lace Border. I don't why it was so hard as I knew how to do both the Twisted Chain and the Scroll Stitch which are the components of the Lace Border. For this stitch I used 7ct Kloster linen and #3 DMC perle cotton. I need to spend some more time with this stitch but right now I'm anxious to work on the next two stitches, both of which are unknown to me as far as working. In studying Brazilian Embroidery the Drizzle Stitch (week 43) is often referred to ...... so if I can work it for TAST I can certainly work it for BE (Brazilian Embroidery). I'm really enjoying the stitches that Sharon of inaminuteago is presenting to us each week.

On my CQforNewbies group it is time to send our Season to Season Winter block and here you can see my half finished offering. That is all we are supposed to stitch - one half of the block. Much of what I've done doesn't show up as I often use a single strand of DMC floss or DMC rayon thread to enhance parts of the design. For instance in the center block I used a single strand of green rayon thread and outlined the veins in the holly leaves. I didn't have any red beads the size I needed for the holly berries nor did I have any red silk ribbon to use so taking what I had on hand - 1/4" double face satin ribbon I made Colonial Knots for the berries. I also used brown DMC floss and stitched Detached Fly Stitches for the base of the acorns.

In another of my groups I'm involved with a "Secret Santa" and these three beautiful pieces of lace were the first goodies I received.

My second "Secret Santa" goodies included this beautiful sparkly piece of pink fabric, some gorgeous ecru lace and a skein of Vikki Clayton's hand-dyed silk floss - color Robin Egg!!!! I've not used Vikki's threads before so am quite anxious to try them. These goodies will be part of my Spring block in the Season to Season swap.

Back in February of this year my mom showed me a bag full of hankies that she really didn't know what to do with. They belonged to her (she is 94) and my grandmother and included some WWII silk souvenir hankies from some of the areas where my uncles were stationed during the war. I had just bought Hanky-Panky Crazy Quilts by Cindy Brick as I had a collection of my own hankies I wanted to do something with. She asked if I could use them and boy did I grab them. I proceeded to make a hanky wall hanging for my mom for her birthday (May 8) and Mother's Day. She has the hanging and I don't have a photo. The photo here is my second attempt using some of the same hankies plus some others. The hankie at the top with the shaded orange tatting is the only one of mine that I used. And, yes, I did the tatting. This is basted and ready to add embroidery and tatted motifs but is on the schedule for next year. Too many pans in the fire right now!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tast and a Round Robin square

Although I still haven't completed my TAST week 41 sample for several reasons, I did stitch week 42 Twisted Satin and Twisted Satin with Bead Stitch. This stitch was a much, much easier one to work. My sample is worked on 20ct linen with #8 DMC perle cotton. The first vertical row on the left was just to show direction and also shows how easy this stitch would work as a border. For the middle vertical row I added beads on every other stitch which also would work well as a border or as an outline. Below I added beads randomly and I can see possibilities here. My last sample stitching is just random stitching. Since I am recovering from cataract surgery I didn't try to do too much.

I think I had mentioned in an earlier post that I was involved in my first round robin on CrazyQuiltingSisters where we are stitching a favorite Bible story or verses. This is the second block I've stitched on in this rr and I found the pinks very refreshing as pink is not one of my favorite colors.

This is my first attempt at a close-up and all my work is in this area. In the center of Jill's block is the lace corner of an old hankie that just called out for the dark pink satin ribbon rose I had received in a swap. Also in the lace edge I used #8 pink perle cotton and stitched my favorite Colonial Knots. In the pink rose print on the left I used a single strand of DMC green floss in outline, straight stitch and detatched lazy daisy stitches to highlight some of the greenery. I also added one of my hand dyed pink butterflies. In the bottom pink section I stitched a hand painted motif and added some clear crystal beads around the outer border. Two pink beads were stitched in the flower centers. For the feather stitch seam treatment between the print and pink sections I used what I would term a #5 silk thread ( a thread I received in a swap) that was just the right color. The pink lace seam treatment is a piece of lace that I had dyed and I added tiny pink pearl beads in each of the roses. I can't wait to see what the others in the group add to this very delicate square adorned with Bible verses.

Each year the Senior Center where I teach holds a bazzar and I am always asked to set up a table to "sell" my needlework. So this is one of the pieces I will display. It is the first machine applique with invisible thread that I have attempted. Although it does not show up in the sky, which BTW is a night-time blue instead of the brighter blue that shows up here, I have outline stitched O Holy Night in gold thread. It is just a small wall hanging with free form machine quilting but was fun to stitch.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

TAST Week 40 and a Quilt Auction

Tast week 40 was to stitch a Linked Double Chain. This was a new stitch for me and I really didn't experiment with it all that much as I was trying to complete a swap and a round robin which I've decided not to post here at this time. My Linked Double Chain is stitched on 18ct. Aida and I used #5 DMC perle cotton for both samples. I can see some wonderful possibilities for my cq stitchings.

Since I'm using quite a bit of 18ct. Aida for my TAST stitches and some other practice stitchings I thought I would experiment a bit with dyeing some of my small pieces of fabric. I used only ecru Aida as I haven't pulled out my small white pieces at this time and then too, most of my fabric dyeing has been with white pieces and I really wanted to see how colors would work on ecru. For the top piece I used some left-over blue and the dropper just splotching at random. Following that I used some left-over red in one of my spritzer bottles. I did wet the fabric before applying the dyes and then heat set them by zapping in the microwave.

For the second dyeing examples I used yellow with the ecru. I applied the dye on the top piece with the dropper. I dye some of my pieces using an old plastic turntable that at one time I had used for a spice rack. This "tool" holds water quite nicely so for the second of my yellow experimental pieces I just took the fabric and wiped up the yellow water with it. Both pieces were zapped in the microwave to heat set. As you can see the top piece has a very nice mottled look. The bottom piece doesn't show quite as well but dyed a very soft yellow and I am well pleased with the results. Now to decide what to stitch on these pieces. And to dye some more fabric!

On Saturday, October 6, My #1Son and I attended the 41st Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale Quilt Auction. There are hundreds of beautiful quilts auctioned with all the funds going to provide financial aid to disaster victims around the world. There are not just quilts being auctioned off but beautifully crafted pieces of furniture as well. We leave home early enough to have a very filling breakfast and time to preview all the items to be auctioned off. Although the auction officially begins on Friday night we are unable to get there for that portion. As it is we left my home before 5:30am and were eating breakfast just a little before 7:30am. These auctions take place in various parts of the country and are well worth attending. Did I buy anthing? Not any of the auctioned items but did make several small purchases that fit my budget. I do want to share some of the gorgeous quilts along with a couple of comments.

This first one I'm showing is "Bargello Heart", pieced with white, black, red, and grey is 83 x100 and sold for a small bid of $325. Way too low for this work of art.

This "Star Quilt" is piece and appliequed with navy, black, reds, and cream and measures 106 x 116 and sold for $750.

You can see I really liked the "star" quilts and they were among the most popular with the bidders as well. This "Mariners Star" quilt is made of blue, mauve, prints and beige fabrics and measures 106 x 108 and sold for $800.

This "Mariner's Compass" quilt is of plum, ssage, and off-white fabrics and measured 96 x 110 and sold for $2000.

I looked long and hard for anything that resembled crazy quilting and found only two pieces. This velvet wall hanging measured 17 x 38 and all seams were stitched only with the Feather Stitch or simple variations and sold for #225.

Prices for the quilts ran the gamut and this little quilt was the one that brought in the most money for this auction. It is a "Feed Sack Wall Hanging/Crib Quilt" and all the patterned fabric came from 1930-40's feed sacks. It measured 34 x 49 and sold for $6100. Yes, that figure is correct - $6100.

There were several "whole" cloth quilts, mostly whites, but one in ecru and this one in off-white. You really have to look to see the pattern on this one and it is one that if my budget had allowed, I would have placed a bid. This is called "Feathered Heart", measured 95 x 108 and sold for $1000.

This photo is of the other crazy quilt style. It is a tied "Comforter", made of woolen material and all the seams were embroidered. Here again, only with the Feather Stitch or variations. This piece measured 72 x 92 and sold for #350.

The last quilt photo is called "Rose of Sharon Quilt". It is appliqued navy and green on off-white and measured 104 x 104 and sold for $910. It was very difficult trying to decide which of the quilts to share and we are already planning to attend next year. The first auction I attended was with my hubby in 1980 and that is where we purchased my beautiful hand-made quilt frame. A very unique design ..... has wood rachets to make it easily adjustable and accommodates up to a king-size quilt. I attended a number of years after that until hubby's illness prevented me from attending. It was good to go and see all the beautiful quilts.