Norma's Needleworkz

Monday, December 29, 2008

Final 2008 post

Many people like to use the end of the year as a summary of what they have accomplished during the past year but I won't do that. It is just not me. I would like to share a couple of photos of some items that have a special meaning to me.

On one of my cq groups (Carole's Crazy Stitchers) we did a Secret Santa .... yes, I know that several of the groups do Secret Santas, but this one works a bit different. Over a 10 week period and alternating weeks, ending with the first week in December we send our secret person a small cq giftee. Then for December we reveal ourselves and send something we have made that is cq related. With each giftee I received there was a very special handmade card and personal note which are treasures within themselves. When my Secret Santa revealed herself to me she included a Crab-apple Hill pattern that really utilizes crazy quilting ideas to the utmost. The handmade portion was a machine embroidered redwork stocking square. This was such a true delight as I have been gathering patterns and background fabrics for several years to make a redwork quilt. Now my first square is waiting patiently for its companions to reveal themselves. So, actually beginning my redwork quilt is one of my goals for the new year .... even if only one additional square is completed.

I did receive two special gifts this year that I wanted to share. The first was THE BEADER'S HANDBOOK. A gift from a very special family at church. Although it is mainly geared to beaded jewelry there is much information there that will help me with beading decisions not only with my cq but tatting and knitting .... yes, I do beaded knitting also. Many times I'm frustrated with sizing beads ..... especially in tatting and this book will greatly help there. In cq the sizing of beads is just what looks good where I want to put them LOL I'm finding this book very helpful.

My #1 Son is always on the lookout for needlework tools and threads that he thinks I would like. So for Christmas he gave me an antique German Silver shuttle (1870-1890) and several spools of vintage silk buttonhole twist by Belding Corticelli. During the year he has given me waxed silk thread, pure linen thread made in Northern Ireland, other Belding Corticelli threads and packages of vintage 18 count gold eye embroidery needles. I'm one lucky mom!

I really tried to post a larger pic of the shuttle to show off the beautiful engraving. It is truly a beautiful shuttle and does have German Silver engraved on the other side which is also beautifully engraved. The thread on the shuttle, which is half full, looks to be a size 70-80 tatting thread. Will try tatting with this shuttle soon, but just had to show it off here first.

May everyone in blogland have a Healthy and Happy New Year 2009!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Stitching Progress

Oh, my, what a blurry picture! How I wish it was clearer so everyone could see how beautiful my "home at last" basket block really looks. Hand crocheted baskets, a beautifully embroidered basket overflowing with SRE and beaded flowers .... a button basket of apples sitting under a SRE apple tree .... I could go on and on with all the lovely stitching. Even a gold basket charm filled with flowers hanging just above a lovely flower beaded seam! There is even a bit of space for me to add some more goodies if I so choose. This completes the second round robin I've participated in on my Crazy Quilting Sisters group. I do enjoy round robins as those who participate live all over the globe.

Another round robin I'm participating in also spans the globe. It has been awhile since mention of an embroidered band sampler has appeared here, but I wanted to complete at least part of the band I'm working on before letting anyone see what was happening there. We've had a couple of the girls drop out due to life interfering, but the remainder of us are intent on completion. This sampler belongs to Mandy of the UK, who began with a blackwork pattern. The second section is incomplete but the design and threads to complete are being passed along to her for when her sampler finally returns home. I'm working on the third section and although it is worked completely in cross-stitch it does have a blackwork "look". The top (brown) row is back stitch worked with Stef Francis 100% silk thread and the carnation section is worked with Ginny Thompson Flower Thread (100% cotton). I haven't quite made up my mind how the bottom of the section will be worked ..... I really have a hard time making design decisions. Maybe if I did more decision making the designs would be easier .... or would they? I really like the spontaneity as I enjoy the "freedom" that that brings. BTW I'll show what I finish this band with before mailing it on to the next stitcher.

Oh, about a year ago (more or less) a group of us ordered some hand-made laces from India and this last week they finally arrived. They are bobbin lace and they were ordered before I made the inital contact to begin learning this lace technique myself. I can't tell you much about the laces except that the second from the top is a piece of insertion and it shouldn't be a difficult one for me to master. The top piece is almost identical to the piece I'm learning right now. The piece I'm doing is half again wider and is worked in a square so I have to learn how to turn corners. I've made it to the outside of the first corner but need to get back with my teacher to help me make the inside "turn". The outside turn wasn't too difficult as it involves a curve which in my opinion is so much easier than straight edge corners.

Since tomorrow morning I'll be leaving with a group from the senior center to go to Myrtle Beach to see the Christmas shows and I also have a couple of day trips coming up I don't know how much of my Bobbin lace I'll get done before Christmas .... hoping I'll have a lesson next week after I return home. I'm hoping to complete my lace piece in January 2009. This may well be my last post of this year so I want to take a moment and wish all my cyber space friends around the world
A very, very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!