One of my new year’s resolutions was to make a journal quilt each month. I had intended a different theme altogether for January – but somehow, this is what emerged – and is probably a good record of how I spent my spare time this month – organising my stash and marvelling at how much I have accumulated – Where did all this stuff come from, indeed!
I have started organising my patchwork fabrics and have been slicing most up into 2 1/2 inch strips so I can turn out a variety of interesting scrap quilts for charity, and also just because scrap quilts are my favourite – why only use half a dozen fabrics when you can use hundreds? I love scrap quilts.
Anyway – all this slicing and dicing produced a pile of selvedge edges and combined with my musings while I was working – voila – January’s journal quilt. I now have to make a little companian piece – part of my resolution was to make a postcard size piece to send to my good friend Gay in North Carolina, so she didn’t just see what I had done on the net, but also had a little piece to hold as well – so that is tomorrow’s project – except I have to go back to work tomorrow, after a four day weekend! Still, a postcard won’t take long, and I still have a lot of those selvedge edges left. Unfortuntely, I don’t have another one of those cute miniature rotary cutter pins – damn, I’ll have to think of something else special to include – I think I have an idea – watch this space!
My friend Gay in North Carolina remonstrated with me (by email) that I didn’t post often enough, so I will try and do better and manage a mid-week post or two – trouble is I don’t have much time to create mid-week because of work. Oh well, I’ll just have to try harder.
Here are a couple of ATCs I did on the embellisher. Base of commercial felt, topped with fabric, yarns, scraps etc, topped off with tulle. The blue one has a little machine work on it, the red one has no additional stitching – yet – maybe I can use that as a base for this week’s TAST challenge.
Typical – I don’t post for a week, then have three in one day! Oh well – I wanted to share this with you. My mother stitched this just before she was married, which was in June 1939, just before the start of WWII. This is one of a set of three embroideries on linen. She said that she wrote away to a magazine for them – I think she said they were free, you just had to write in and ask, and they came with embroidery threads. The designs are printed on in blue – you might be able to just see the outline of the cloud – click on the picture for a bigger size view, it will be quite clear then. If you look closely, you will also see the faint outline of a third dove directly below the one in her hand – I don’t know if Mum forgot to embroider that one, or decided it was a bit too busy, so left it out.
She has used buttonhole for the orangey flowers in the lower right hand corner, and for the lace down the back of the girl’s dress and on the sleeves. The rest of the stitches are detatched chain, french knots, straight and stem.
The other two in the set are a fishing village scene with boats bobbing in the harbour – looks like Cornwall; and a typical thatched cottage set in a cottage garden with a path leading to the front door. I am glad there are three of them, as I have three daughters, so will leave one to each as a memento of their grandmother, Yvonne Messervy Barrett, 1919-2000.
Here is a photo of her and my father on their wedding day.
And here is the last photo I took of her, six months before she died, on New Year’s Eve, 2000.
She was always sewing, embroidering, knitting, crocheting – Thanks Mum.
Here is my little piece for week 2. Pre-felts embellished onto some upholstery fabric, blanket stitched with three strands of Wildflowers variegated silk thread. I had an offline discussion with Sharon B about the difference between buttonhole and blanket stitch. According to some traditions there isn’t any, but to others, there is. This link illustrates it quite well.
Right at the end of the post it mentions Hedebo embroidery. For more info on that, check here
I think I took a lesson in this once – it is very precise (read, tedious!), so naturally, I didn’t get very far with it. But a friend of mine was interested in the potential of those little rings, so my husband, who is a woodworker, made her a ring stick like the one illustrated and she made beautiful little 3-D flowers using the end of the stick to fashion little ‘cups’ which became daffodils – unfortunately she doesn’t have a blog (in fact, she does’t have a computer!), so I can’t show you.
I hope to get a couple of other pieces done later today, but at least I have done something!
BTW I have found upholstery samples to be a good source of backgrounds to embellish on, using my Janome Xpressions – I can pick up big bags of samples from the local furnishings store for a couple of dollars. This one is that sort of faux velvet stuff used in upholstery – the sample pack had a whole range of colours, sort of like a colour wheel, with at least six different shades of green and the pieces are about A4 size, so quite useful.
My husband cooked dinner tonight, so I found time to do that bit of shadow work I wanted – except at the last minute, I decided to do it a bit differently – cut the leaf shape out of silk organza using a fine tipped soldering iron, then backed the fabric with Romeo water soluble and stitched across that. There is a piece of greeny silk behind as backing.
Well, I dutifully started off by doing a piece on a counted thread base in the traditional sampler format, and nearly DIED of boredom. Now I remember why I don’t do cross-stitch – oh, the tedium, put the needle in this hole, bring it out in that one, count how many in between – aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!
As you can see, by the last row, I was really starting to lose it and thought, bugger it, I’ll put that needle in and bring it out wherever I damn well want to – so there.
So I think that will be the last of my attempts at the traditional sampler approach.
My next attempt was using herringbone to embellish a watercolour felted background landscape – much preferred this approach. I also wanted to do a piece using herringbone on sheers a la shadow embroidery – but got caught up in preparing a welcome home dinner for the prodigal daughter who just returned from six weeks in the USA – so didn’t get to it, but I think I still will.
I wonder what next Tuesday will bring??