Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wishing you a Happy Hallowe'en!

Hugs,
Kerry

Cathy's Art Nouveau DYB Block

I think this Art Nouveau theme DYB Round Robin is going to be the end of me yet!  It simply isn't my choice for a theme and every block has been a struggle.  Apparently, my muse is not a fan of Art Nouveau either!  However, I have managed to complete Cathy's block and I hope that it is all right.  I simply have no confidence in my choices with this theme.  But, it's done!   And challenges are what makes us grow, right?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Eye Candy from Retreat

One of the absolute best things at retreat was the "Show and Share" the first evening.  Almost everyone brought something they had made to show and the work was spectacular!  I can't remember who made all of these pieces so I am not going to state who made any of them.  They are all the work of the talented group of ladies who make up Crazy Quilting International.  Get yourself a drool rag and enjoy...
































 Pretty darn spectalular, wasn't it?  Now imagine the sensory overload I experienced holding each item and seeing it in person! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ritva's Art Nouveau Block


I am really struggling with the Art Nouveau theme of this round robin.  I think I just am not familiar enough with Art Nouveau.  I am doing my best though and have just finished my work on Ritva's block.  This is the fuschia I stitched for her.  The design came from a Dover book on Art Nouveau.

This is the block in its entirety after I was done working on it.  I hope Ritva likes it - the blocks are all on their way to the next stitcher now.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More About the Retreat

First of all, this is the gorgeous "cabin" we used for the retreat at beautiful Estes Park, Colorado.  It was a wonderful facility with lots of room for stitching and spreading out our supplies. 

The scenery was breathtaking and there was lots of wildlife to enjoy, including elk who made themselves at home among the cabins.

We had wonderful weather throughout the retreat and couldn't have asked for a better place to hold it.  Many thanks to Leslie for putting this together and to everyone else who helped out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pincushion from Jacque

Well, I'm finally getting around to blogging about the retreat in Colorado!  Each year part of the fun at retreat is an auction with a twist.  Everyone participating brings a wrapped gift and then we draw numbers to see what order we go in.  The first person picks the gift of their choice and unwraps it.  The second person can either pick a gift and unwrap it or take the one already unwrapped from the first person.  It carries on like that until everyone has something.  There are limits - a gift can only be stolen three times - the third person to get their hands on it gets to keep it.  There were some beautiful items in the auction this year but my favourite is this rocking chair pincushion that I lucked into, made by Jacque.  Isn't it adorable?  There are spaces for spools of thread and a slot in the back that holds a pair of embroidery scissors perfectly.  I have been lusting after one of these pincushions for awhile now so it was just perfect!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Another Block Pieced

I was killing two birds with one stone at last week`s class.  As I was piecing a block to demonstrate the technique to my students, I was using bridal fabrics so the block could serve as my contribution to the quilt being made at CQI to benefit breast cancer.  If you look closely, you`ll even see a couple curves!    I don`t usually do curves but wanted to show the atudents  how, so here they are.  I glitzed the block up a bit more once I got it home, adding lots of lace and such.  I`ll continue on with it tonight at class, using it to demonstrate seam treatment stitches.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hankies, Hankies, Hankies!

What tickles your fancy on a thrift store treasure hunt?  The other day, for me, it was a treasure trove of vintage ladies' hankies! 

These are the ones that managed to follow me home.  Among them I had a couple favourites.

Firstly, there is this lovely handpainted pansy one from Toronto.

My absolute favourite is this vintage souvineer of Canada, featuring the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).  Back in the Canada's pioneer days the Mounties, as they are affectionately called, were reputed to always get their man!  I love this hankie - it brings to mind old stories of the Mounties hunting The Mad Trapper through the bush for years until they finally caught up with him.  I can see an entire quilt being inspired by this one hankie!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

BAS - Week 60 - Woven Cross Stitch

The stitch I have chosen to feature for this 60th week of the BAS (Build a Seam) Challenge is the Woven Cross Stitch, also known as Cross Stitch Flower or Diagonally Woven Cross Stitch.  There is a tutorial for this stitch in my last post,  as well as a link to another you can refer to as well. 


It is a very pretty stitch when completed.  I hope you will try it - can't wait to see what you do with it.  Have fun!

Woven Cross Stitch - Tutorial

Woven Cross Stitch is a very pretty stitch and well worth the effort it takes to learn it - not as complicated as it looks either.  The photos below also show you a good example of the way I use Tiger Tape to space my stitches and keep them neater than I can by just eyeing it up.  By laying two parallel lines of Tiger Tape on either side of my seamline, I am able to use the preprinted marks on the tape as a quide to keep the stitches even.
 Begin by making a regular cross stitch.  For the first leg of the stitch, bring your needle up at the bottom right and going down in the top left. 


The second leg of the cross stitch will come up at the bottom left and go down at the right top.


Now add a third leg, this time from bottom right to left top again.  You note the first bottom right to top left legs you made is under the second leg of the original cross stitch- this this one will go above it. This starts the woven effect.

Now make a second bottom left to top right leg weaving it between the two legs in the other direction.


Continue on in this manner adding legs in one direction and then the other, weaving your needle under and over the legs of the other direction so that it is woven alternately to the last one.  I think the photo is clearer than my words, as usual.  The effect soon becomes clear.

You can make three or more legs in either direction on your finished stitch.  In this case I have made four in each direction.  You can see the pretty woven section in the center in this photo. 

This stitch is suggested in one of Judith Baker Montano's books and referred to as Cross Stitch - Flower.

You can find another tutorial for this stitch, referred to as Diagonally Woven Cross Stitch on Hand Embroidery from Sadalas - she has lettered her stitches which may be more helpful for you.