Norma's Needleworkz

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Ugly" Quilt Blocks and Bobbin Lace Update

A recent newbie to the CQ4Newbies Yahoo group commented that her first attempts at piecing cq squares were "ugly". Lesa, the list mom commented that one of the other members had purchased some really "ugly" blocks at a yard sale. These blocks were farmed out and when the blocks were finished with embellishment and returned they were set together and made a definitely not ugly wall hanging.

The top photo is also using "ugly" pieced squares that were picked up at a yard sale and given to me. When I first saw them I thought "what on earth can I do with these?" I laid them out on a white bedspread, spacing them as if they had sashing between and the result was garish. Then I placed them on a blue bedspread, again, as if sashed and the tone was a bit subdued but still not the color choice for setting them together. Next I laid them out on the plaid fabric that looked like it had been pieced. Voila! I liked the result .... the "ugly" squares were definitely toned down but still exciting in their own right. This is a full size quilt and will be traditionally quilted as I'm sure that was what the maker had intended. In looking at the squares it seems to me the fabrics are post depression .... say, 30's to early 40's.

Here is a close-up of one of the squares. I haven't quite been able to place the pattern. In fact, I think it was photographed upside down LOL I'm thinking the blue is a flower in a yellow flowerpot. What I'm trying to say is that what may look ugly to begin with can change into something quite pleasing after a bit of attention.

I won't be quilting this anytime soon as I have quite a few WISPs to take care of first, second, third, etc., etc.

Now I had not planned to show my bobbin lace progress until my first actual piece of lace was completed but I couldn't wait. Since this photo was taken, I've turned the second corner and am almost halfway through the design. It will go in my sample book.

Here is a close-up of my work in progress. There are a couple of errors, but then, this is a learning piece. My teacher is well pleased with my work and has noted a big improvement in my tension .... Yeah!

Right now I'm using borrowed equipment but I am acquiring unspangled bobbins of my own. A Christmas gift from the husband of my teacher are the four handmade wood bobbins on the left of the pencil. I put the pencil in to show a comparison dimension. The dozen wood bobbins on the right are ones that I purchased. Half are totally plain and half have carving on the end. I bought two packages of those. When these are spangled (weight added to the bottom) I will have 14 pair which is not quite enough for my next lesson. So I ordered another dozen, but this time some plastic bobbins (which I'm currently using) to do a comparison test to see which fiber of bobbins I prefer working with. There is no way I will ever acquire the number of bobbins my teacher has (several thousand) .... after all she has been doing this type of lace for more than 20 years. One of her current projects uses 144 pairs .... you always use pairs of bobbins in this type of lace making.

It has taken me about 20 years to actually get up enough nerve to try making this type of lace. The first type of lace I did was crochet, then tatting, knitting and finally bobbin. I love lace making and enjoy seeing all types even if I don't know how to do all the different ones such as needle lace. I probably won't try needle lace, I just want to get good at bobbin lace.

17 Comments:

At 1/27/2009 12:30:00 PM, Blogger Guzzisue said...

this is looking good, I agree, one can never have too many bobbins :-)

 
At 1/27/2009 01:38:00 PM, Blogger Miss 376 said...

I can't believe how far you have come in such a short time with your lace making. It is beautiful

 
At 1/27/2009 02:32:00 PM, Blogger NormaH said...

Thank you! I'm feeling more secure.

 
At 1/28/2009 07:43:00 PM, Blogger Thelma said...

It's looking great Norma,,you go girl,,,geez I would get lost with all those bobbins. lol

 
At 1/29/2009 04:49:00 AM, Blogger NormaH said...

Hee, hee, Thelma, you should see the bobbins my teacher has going on one of her projects.

 
At 1/29/2009 07:48:00 AM, Blogger Sarah E. said...

Norma, the quilt turned out so beautifully with that sashing! And, your lace is so lovely...I'm really glad you couldn't wait to share with us!!

 
At 1/29/2009 08:39:00 AM, Blogger NormaH said...

Thank you Sarah for your encouragement!

 
At 1/31/2009 06:57:00 AM, Blogger Ruby said...

Norma, I saw your post over on stashbusters. Logged in to see your quilt. Looks like a butterfly block to me but not familar with this one. I always say I'm going to do scrappy but find it hard. I'm always matching stuff. Great job on the quilt.
The lace is coming along too. Bobbin lace is on my list of things I want to learn. Ruby in NC

 
At 1/31/2009 04:42:00 PM, Blogger Marianne said...

Norma, enjoyed visiting your blog, the lace is exquisite, really lovely; thanks for sharing. I enjoyed looking at all of your lovely work. Marianne in NJ

 
At 1/31/2009 05:44:00 PM, Blogger NormaH said...

Thanks Marianne, I appreciate your comments.

 
At 2/03/2009 08:23:00 AM, Blogger Candi said...

WOW! Your bobbin lace is just gorgeous!!! You have such patience to do all the things you do.
hugz:)

 
At 2/03/2009 01:32:00 PM, Blogger NormaH said...

That is high praise coming from you Candi for which I humbly thank you. If you only knew the times I've had to retrolace (take out and do over).

 
At 2/06/2009 05:12:00 AM, Blogger Thelma said...

Wow Norma,,you have been practicing on your bobbin lace,,looks so great!!
144 pairs of bobbins,,oh my I would be so lost I wouldn't know what to do next. lol

 
At 2/08/2009 07:45:00 PM, Blogger laura_rose said...

Hi Norma,
I started bobbin lacing 2 years ago...last summer I had 49 pairs. In just one year I have tripled that! It is adictive and lots of fun so I wish you all the very best

 
At 2/26/2009 08:37:00 PM, Blogger dolace said...

Norma, I think your stitching, lacemaking, and knitting is beautiful. I would never have the where-with-all to have a blog! By the way your bobbin lace is coming right along and improving with every cross and twist. For others, I'm her teacher, and take full responsibility for her talent... LOL
Betty Ann

 
At 2/27/2009 04:27:00 AM, Blogger NormaH said...

Thanks Betty Ann, with such a wonderfully patient teacher I can't help but improve! And I'm having a blast!

 
At 3/01/2009 10:29:00 PM, Blogger Susan said...

That's so interesting to see that you saw a flower in a pot. I saw a butterfly! LOL!

 

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