Norma's Needleworkz

Monday, March 24, 2008

More Dyeing Fun and a new Round Robin

The first photo doesn't fit the dyeing bit nor the round robin but is something I'm doing with a couple of my cq friends. We're stitching a journal using Carole Samples' TREASURY OF CRAZY QUILT STITCHES and using her templates. We began with the basic straight stitch and all its variations. So for the past couple of months that is exactly what we did .... used the basic straight stitch with variations. Then we decided it was time to take a bit of a break and put those stitches to use. Thus we pieced a square and are to use what we've been learning on the seams of the square .... well, isn't that what crazy quilting is all about????? Different treatments on each seam???? Another time I may show some of my journal pages which are done on Aida cloth. I'm using some 14ct and mostly 18ct. I've also painted some of my Aida pieces. The photo is fuzzy and I really don't know how to correct it ..... maybe another time LOL At any rate since this square will go in a particular project I'm not limiting myself to seams alone. I have a silver spider web and my first beaded spider about in the center of the left side. On the row of uneven straight stitches I've used flower sequins and upside down heart shaped beads to represent "Spring in bloom!" I've also used beads in several other places. In one little space I've embroidered a flower (across the top) in the creamy looking triangle. I've used #8 and #5 perle cotton threads as well as Sassa Lynne threads .... no DMC floss at this time but I still have some stitching to do before this square is finished.

I really don't know why my photos are blurred because this Season to Season Spring block of Debbie's is absolutely gorgeous and I wish you could see it clearly. The Season to Season block is half stitched by the owner (Debbie) and the other half by a partner (me). I'm doing this with the crazyquilting4newbies group and I am having a blast learning with them. In the upper right corner is one of my dyed motifs that I felt carried out her Victorian Spring theme. On the opposite corner I added another of my dyed motifs as well as some of my tatting that was done using machine quilting thread in shaded purples. To develop the tatting as blooming flowers I stitched some greenery using #8 perle cotton and added a silver butterfly bead. You can't see them but there are beads on the tatting. On the left I stitched a "D" monogram using EdMar "Lola" in outline stitch and used the shaded purple machine quilting thread in chain stitch withing the monogram. The yellow flowers below the "D" were also stitched with "Lola" using detached daisy chain and silk ribbon french knot centers also in yellow.

A brand new round robin on another of my groups. This one is a Basket RR and I will make reference to this block a little later on. The first person that stitched on this block did a beautiful bouquet using silk ribbons and beads. She also stitched a silk ribbon bee which you can see at the top of her bouquet.

The week before Easter I decided to do some dyeing ...... but I didn't want to dye eggs LOL First of all I was experimenting with a portion of a tatting pattern sooooooooo I decided to dye a piece of that lace and since I was out of yellow silk ribbons (having just used all I had for Debbie's flower centers) I decided to start with yellow.

Now I got this pic out of order here but that is okay. Here are three flower baskets that I may use for the Basket RR .... well, at least one of them on the square mentioned above. These baskets were painted and they really do look nice in person.

Here is the result of my dyeing with yellow. The piece of tatting was dyed with all these at the same time. As you can see there are several degrees of yellow. The darkest being the silk ribbon. I hadn't really wanted my ribbon quite that dark ... the rest of the pieces I'm quite happy with. So, with the leftover yellow I will add a bit of water to soften the shade. In fact I may divide the leftover yellow and use water in one half and a bit of red in the other. Haven't decided completely at this time.

Okay, here I wanted some pink items and although it may not look like it all the items were dyed at the same time. Now, down in the right corner just below the dragonfly .... the teardrop was painted with a bit of yellow on the flower, but otherwise everything was done at one time. I did run one heart, several of the butterflies and one dragonfly through a second dye treatment just to see what I would get LOL I don't have a pink dye. It was a watered down red although I believe there was a drop of blue added in.

I really don't know what color this dragonfly and the silk ribbon are ..... hee, hee, I had a bit of leftover dye in a bottle and since I was just playing around decided to use it here. In real life it looks almost like a sofr greyish pink and at the moment I just might use it ... although it would be interesting to see what happens if I choose to change the color.

The last bit of dyeing for that particular day was blue! Again everything was dyed at the same time .... it really is interesting to see the difference in tone with some of the items. No extra dyeing ..... all at one time. When I first began my dyeing experiments it was suggested by the dye people as well as others to keep a notebook of what colors and porportions I used in case I wanted to repeat the color. Well, for awhile I did just that and then one time I forgot to write my "formula" down and decided to "go with the flow" and If I didn't like the results then over-dye or paint and see what happens! Who knows what I'll do when next the dyeing urge comes on!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tatting and Round Robins

My Bible story round robin has been framed! When my piece came back to me I thought seriously about what I wanted to add as I had sent it out nekkid. I had a shell necklace that had been given to me and I don't really wear necklaces so thought this would be a good one to take apart and use some of the shells. I added 5 shells at the "seaweed" in the lower right hand corner and I must say that trying to figure out how to add them posed a bit of a problem. As even my #12 quilting needle would not go through I decided to try some of my hubby's fishing line but couldn't remember where it was so I took a piece of my "SuperFloss" which worked beautifully. The only problem there was I had to unthread and rethread my needle each time I entered the fabric. Voila! Finished product and one happy camper!

Here is a piece of two-toned tatting that I've entered into my 25 motif challenge on my HBT group. I used #50 DMC Cordonet in both ecru (for the rings) and white (for the chains). Using these colors together gives a very rich look to the finished piece. This pattern is typically used for insertion but I plan on using it on my crazy quilting possibly as a seam embellishment but perhaps as a fabric enhancement instead. I'll play with it for a while before deciding.

One of my favorite butterfly patterns is shown two ways and is also entered in my 25 motif challenge. The original pattern calls for a bead or pearl for the center but I have made it also without the bead/pearl to show my beginner tatting students that a successful piece may be worked with as well as without beads. These butterflies were tatted with #30 crochet cotton.

My No.1 Son often comes across vintage threads as he shops for me on e-bay and the mauve butterfly was stitched with Belding Bros. & Co. Special Twist Tatting Silk ...... a dream of a thread to work with. The finished butterfly is about 3/4" minus antennae. It almost gets lost between the fingers.

A swap going on in my CQ4Newbies group is the Food Fight and my block - Grandma's Pumpkin Pie - is finished ready to be mailed this week. Some of the seam embellishments and fabric stitchings don't really show up here and you can barely see my tatted pumpkins but it does look nice "in the flesh". I used several ideas from Carole Samples' Treasury Of Crazy Quilt Stitches. I'm really getting into that book more and more.

I'm doing a round robin with a few special friends that are not into crazy quilting. It is a band sampler round robin. Although the exquisiteness (is that a word?) of the band doesn't really show here I found it pure pleasure to stitch my bit.

It is hard to tell exactly what I stitched but I started with a row of back stitch and then two rows of herringbone with a squared Palestrina Knot within the formed diamond area and finished the band with another row of backstitch. The middle row used a long arm insertion stitch which I reduced so that the star shape would be more pronounced and stitched this band with Wildflowers 'Sunset'. The top band is a modified version of one of the patterns found in Carole Samples book. I was having so much fun with this sampler that I didn't want to stop and hope my Aussie friend Christine likes what I added.

After finishing the Bible round robin I jumped right in onto another round robin with that group. This one is a basket rr and the owner put a crocheted basket in the center, so I added a couple of flowers figuring the rest of the group would like to add some to that basket. I also added a tatted basket of flowers on the gold fabric. For the black segment I buttonhole stitched around the imprinted flowers, added outline stems , some butterfly charms and sent it on its way.

The very first Yahoo group I joined was the Crazy Quilting Hearts group and I have not made hearts to swap for quite a few months ..... really not since my hubby's death .... but felt the urge to get back to that wonderfully supportive group. I don't usually post the hearts on my blog but because a couple of them included tatting I decided to share the photos. And also more of Carole Samples seam treatments.

My focus here, besides the tatting is a counted cross-stitch violet, buds and greenery. I also dyed the fan and used more of Carole's seam treatments.

Some more tatting here and the medallion is from Carole's book.