Norma's Needleworkz

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Final Seasonal Square and CQ WISP

SUMMER - the final square in the CQ4Newbies Season To Season share squares. This is the "nekkid" version and I have to embellish half before swapping. Some of the stitchers may think bright hot colors but my thoughts turned to the June bride and roses. I've used mostly silks with two cotton prints. The pink in the lower right hand corner is a piece of hand dyed vintage petticoat with moire underneath to emphasize where lace may be woven in the eyelet spaces. I did use a piece of counted cross-stitch on ecru ribband for one seam .... roses of course. Will try to do some seam stitching this week.

I think its time to share some of my stitching samples that I'm doing for my journal using Carole Samples Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches as I plan to use some of them on a cq wallhanging to be. The stitches were worked with #20 Anchor Cordonnet crochet thread on 18ct Aida and the fabric measures 4 x 6 inches.

I love working with big bold chintzes and they are really not that hard to stitch through. About three or four years ago a box of these beautiful fabrics came my way ..... many of them English chintzes selling up to $60 per yd. FREE fabrics ..... a case of being in the right place at the right time. But I digress ..... big prints call for big size squares. I can definately use an embroidery hoop here.

They are 18" squares and will be set in a traditional nine patch pattern. In other words a pieced square will be in each corner and one in the middle with alternating solid squares. These squares were pieced before I found online cq groups and so the embellishments are not worked in the proper order ..... seams first.... but then there are really no rules for cq and I'm just doing my own thing. This first square has a piece of my paternal grandmother's white crochet and a piece of my pink tatting. I'm mostly using #3 DMC perle cotton for seam treatments. Since beginning the stitching I've learned you should begin in the center and work out in doing the seams. Here again the "NO RULES" rule applies and I will probably continue "just doing my thing" LOL In the beige rectangle I've used EdMar Brazillian Embroidery threads in a free form design.

The white crocheted pansy in the middle here is another of my paternal grandmother's pieces. Some work on some seams but lots to do on this square.

For the tulip band here I used an iron-on transfer and some of the seams have been stitched using multiple strands of DMC floss. When I complete these squares I anticipate seeing great improvement in my seam treatments as well as anything else I choose to add to them.

As you can see, more than half of this square is one piece of fabric and I'm using my threads to highlight portions of the design. It is such a beautiful piece of fabric I just couldn't cut it up!

Although it really doesn't show up well on some parts I took a very old crocheted collar and just swirled it around and sewed it down. The collar had a break at one edge so I used a button flower to hide the break. The blue tulle button flower was received in a motif swap several years ago when I first found crazy quilting on quiltropolis. It was through the swaps there that I was introduced to ChainsOfHearts the first Yahoo group I joined and then I joined another group and from there I started exploring and have found the most wonderful and encouraging groups of crazy stitchers and embroiderers. There is so much to learn and the eye candy is mind boggling. Can't wait to see what I do next!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Back in the Dye Pots

For some unknown reason this past week was one where I wanted to play with my dyes and of course since I mixed colors, not really paying attention to what I mixed, I'm just naming the results the way I see them LOL I started off the first pic with wrapping some of my DMC #30 white Cordonnet around an empty toilet paper roll and after soaking it I used the droppers with bright red and goldenrod dyes for a "new" butterfly tatting thread color. Now I have to wind the thread onto the plastic DMC floss holders. After I set that aside to dry I used the combination of bright red and golden rod for the rest of the pieces. I did use some olive to paint a bit on the basket and added more of the bright red with the paint brush. I'm not too happy with this basket and it does look better in "real" life. The fans look more peachy and I wish I had dyed some silk ribbon that color (sigh).

For this "roll" of crochet thread I used goldenrod and brown and I've started winding this on the floss holders. It dried to a beautiful honey color. Although the silk ribbon looks yellow here it is really a very light honey color. All of these items were white but as you can see they did not all dye with the same intensity. That is one of the things that amazes me when I play with the dyes. How can they all go in the same and come out different?????

I'm going to have to stop using so much red on the flower baskets LOL With the exception of the second lace from the top all of these items were white. The lace exception was ecru cluny cotton and the cluny laces take the dyes so differently from the other cotton laces. The flower on the bottom right was also painted with the goldenrod for an additional effect. With the exception of the two pieces in the bottom of this group I'm calling this color - sandy peach! It is a very lucious color!

Boy, did I have fun with this next group! First of all the top piece of lace went through multiple dye baths and I just wasn't happy with any of them so as a last resort I put it in with these pieces. It started out as an ecru lace, went through a green, a bluegreen, and another (forgot which one next) dye bath .... it is now a soft mauve and I've decided to leave it. Some things just don't work LOL The second lace is a nylon lace because it didn't want to take the dye at all but finally accepted enough to give a tint of color. Everything else did just fine. For the angel I did paint a touch of blue on her dress just so she wouldn't be a "plain jane".

In my last post I mentioned that some of the pieces that came out in the mint coloration I wasn't too happy with ..... well this next group were those pieces. With the exception of the peacock I added some olive to the green and redid them with very happy results. The peacock I left alone and just painted it.

I just can't seem to get away from green (sigh). All of these pieces went through the same dye bath but as you can see with varying results. Susan do you recognize these lace pieces? I am very, very happy with these results. Some of the pieces in these groups will definitely find their way onto my Season to Season Summer swap for the CQ4Newbies square for which I'm auditioning fabrics.

AHA! another piece of fabric thrown to the dye pots! Originally ecru Aida, it went through the lime green dye bath and then I painted some bright red and goldenrod for a tie-dyed concept. Not sure how I'm going to use this ..... probably some more stitches for my cq journal.

This completed square is a "homework" assignment. Not really, but that is what I'll call it. With the exception of the ribbon in the upper right corner, ALL the seam treatments are some of the "results" of my stitch journal and were taken fully from Carole Samples' Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches. I'm looking forward to learning more to add to other pieced squares.

Usually I begin my posts with tatting but this time I'll close with some more tatted butterflies. The thread I used here isPearl Crown Rayon from YLI and is a machine embroidery thread. It is really a tricky thread for tatting but the primary colors were what I was looking for. I purchased several different varigated color spools and have plans to use these threads also for embroidery on my cq squares.

I can't believe I posted two weeks running! Don't expect anything next week .... tat's all folks!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another Dyeing Day, etc.

Before I go into my newest dyeing experience I think I'll share my latest tatting piece for my 25 motif Challenge for my HBT (Here-Be-Tatters) group. This isn't a doily that I particularly wished to make but my needle tatting student wanted to do this and as often is the case I generally work the pattern to help her understand the simplicity or complexity of the piece and also to see if there are any errors. This doily, known as Cherub Doily was designed by Ann Wilson who submitted two versions .... a Novice and a No Ends! I stitched mine with #20 Anchor crochet cotton in an antique rose color and used my shuttle instead of the needle.

Here are the results of my mauve coloration. The really lacy piece is nylon lace and quite frequently nylon laces do not take well to the dye baths but this piece is the softest mauve imaginable and is really luscious. On all my colorations I still have to smooth out and fold my silk ribbons.

Here in this blue bath one of the pieces is a flower basket that before it dried I did some painting. I like to do that quite often ..... add painting to some of my dyed pieces. This shade of blue reminds me of robin's eggs.

Because I have signed up to do the Season To Season - Summer block on my CQ4Newbies group I wanted some really bright light colored silk ribbons. So here is a beautiful bright light blue. Definately a lighter, brighter color than the previous blue. The almost white looking piece at the top is a piece of white Aida cloth that although it doesn't look it, is a really pretty bright blue. I will use it to embroider some "new" stitches as a practice piece for my Carole Samples stitching journal. One of these days I will blog my progress on that journal.

This is an aqua dye bath and you can see another "painted" and dyed basket of flowers here. Some of these flower basket motifs will be added to some of the flower basket blocks for the round robin on another of my groups (CrazyQuiltingSisters). Believe it or not all of the pieces were dyed at the same time even though the one piece of lace looks quite a bit darker. That is part of the fun of dyeing .... you never know how the pieces will turn out.

These pieces are a combination of blue and green .... I just kept adding blue to the green and this is what came out! The top piece of fabric was a natural color linen and the bottom piece was a natural color piece of Aida. Both (after pressing of course) will be used somewhere in my cq. The Aida for more "new" stitches or combinations of stitches for my journal.

AHA! The left half of this group was dyed first .... bright Spring green! From the peacock to the right side pieces were dyed in a watered down version. The peacock was then "painted" before it had a chance to dry. The right side pieces are the softest mint green you could possibly imagine. I think I have some lovely ribbon colorations for my STS Summer block.

These six four inch cq squares will be made into pincushions for the seniors bazzar sale in October. Although the way they are here they would make a nice sashed cq wall hanging don't you think?

I have some more tatting, dyeing and completed cq work but that will have to wait until next time.