Sunday, January 29, 2012

CQ JOURNAL 2012

yep, another update...

newly stitched sections
...this is what I have done today - apart from melt with the heat... I am now way behind with my January block but none the less I can see an ending...

newly stitched sections in relation to the whole block
The new sections are the pink one in the left hand corner and the red one in the right hand corner - plus I have removed the 'lazy daisy' flowers and have just used a running stitch around that little striped left hand triangle... I'm not sure on the blanket stitch on the red block - but I will leave it until next weekend before I decide... Amazingly the little red motif took about 45 minutes as opposed to an afternoon like the yellow one... I guess was that I knew what I was doing this time around...

The next couple of sections will be the killers as they are both largish... I will give it a press and think about it again... I may even leave them and come back to them at a later date. I find if I sit there and stress about them it only adds to the brain drain... I have already got some ideas for some of the other blocks so I am spoilt for choice really...

Better go and rescue the washing as it has clouded over considerably in the last half an hour or so and I would hate it if it all got wet again...Not that it would take long time to dry with the weather we are having...

Until later, take care

Sharon x x

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crazy Quilt Update...

Doesn't look much for a weekend's stitching does it... I have only a few days until the deadline is upon me... Of course I won't get it finished in time... However while I may be failing at deadlines I am personally achieving...  I am learning to go with my gut feel about my stitching and pushing my need to be perfect aside... Apart from the little 'lazy daisy' flowers up in the left hand corner - which will be going - I am happy with the way my block is progressing...

The bottom yellow panel has just about driven me to distraction - but finally - I was triumphant... The problem with trying to copy a motif that you made up as you went a long (and taking no notes)  is trying to re-create it... After two failed attempts I finally succeed on the third try... The problem was not so much the motif - but its size... I had tried to do 'something arty' with it in the original size but it just seemed to lose the impact that the mauve one had... I tried different colours but it still looked wrong and then it hit me - it was too big... So I took a smaller button - my tracing shape - and two similar yellows and success!!!

The feather stitch in the variegated cotton just 'worked' and the green triangle overlaid with a lighter shade in cretan stitch was so simple the first time around that I sat back in disbelief that it had worked just like I had imagined it would...

I am not so sure about the fly stitch on the striped fabric but for the moment it can stay... The buttons on the one sided feather stitch I like and have plans to do some basic leaf shapes... What I do really like is the running stitch - it gives the block a handmade quality - a sense being created to last...Give it in it's not the straightest or most even but that too has a certain charm to it... Where did I get the idea to include it in my stitch repertoire.. I had actually hand pieced the block onto plain calico and when I looked at the back I liked the running stitches and how it defined the shapes... While I didn't intentionally think about using running stitch on the front of the block it just seemed to fit when I did...

So that's the update for this week... Have I thought about the Feb block yet??? Are you kidding me??? I like to live dangerously!!!! Stitch - by the seat of my pants - fly in the face of deadlines!!!  :-}

Until later, take care

Sharon x x

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Creative Sleeplessness


Messing around with this took me until 3am... Doesn't look much for all that lack of sleep does it... Yes, I can see that the motif isn't central to the triangular patch - that's what happens when you're trying to do three things at once. I did fret about it initially - then I thought about doing the running stitch down each side with the motif 'breaking through' as though it is 'living' and moving through the block. By doing this I thought it grounded the motif and gave it place. I may repeat a smaller version of the motif somewhere else on the block. The stitches I used were - chain stitch, french knots, feather stitch and of course, fly stitch... The top photo is where it is in relationship on the block... When I think what I was originally planning to do - which was a circle of flowers - it is so far removed from that that it bears no relationship to it at all... In fact the whole block is much different than I planned - it is so much more vibrant and alive...

Am I happy with it?

I was annoyed that I hadn't taken more notice that it was off centre - but I do like how it has evolved. I like the way I have used a combination of traditional stitches to create something a little different with their application - sort of like reinventing the wheel isn't it... I think that once I start 'dressing' the rest that it will balance out and I can always come back and 'tweak it' if necessary.


What it has done is given me a little more confidence to attempt to solve a problem rather than ripping all the stitching out and/or starting over. My self imposed striving for perfection doesn't allow for spontaneous  creativity. After all isn't this what this challenge is about - pushing ourselves to experiment and think outside the square. This first block is certainly leading the way and I am following - it will be interesting to see where it takes me..

Until later, take care

Sharon x x

Friday, January 13, 2012

CQJP 2012 - January "naked" Crazy Block

Finally!!! I have at last managed to get my January crazy block together... So without further ado here is the 'naked' block... As usual the idea I started off with is not what I ended up with...  The colour value is not quite true... The top left hand corner is more of a flesh and the top right hand corner is a clear red... And the bottom yellow is a more clear butter yellow and the smaller triangle is a deep forest green... However you get the general idea... A couple of seam lines showing through - they will be covered  so I am not too concerned. The dark block may need some tweaking too - at the moment it sort of 'hits' you in the eye.. Perhaps it needs to be toned down.. Hmmm - I guess I will sort it out as I go along... Now comes the fun part -  'dressing' the block with embroidery, buttons and bits...

For some 'eye candy' - have a look at the CQJP 2012 blog - amazing work from all over the world...

Until later, take care

Sharon x x

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

off topic but a very special occasion...


the last waltz...


video

(may take awhile to load)
...this is my 100 year old Dad dancing at his birthday bash yesterday - 10th January.. The residential aged care facility where he lives threw him a party to mark his BIG, BIG birthday... The organizers went to a lot of trouble to make it a memorable one for him... One of the surprises they had  was to have a couple come in from a local dance school to do a demonstration. Dad had taught and competed in ballroom dancing in his very early days so this was really special for him... At the end of their demonstration the young woman approached Dad and asked  if he would join in her in the last dance - a waltz... After an initial hesitation he managed a few steps... For a nanosecond it was as if his younger self 'stepped in' and his old body remembered its younger days... It was quite stirring to watch him as he moved with her across the floor... And as you can hear in the background there was lots of encouraging clapping and cheering..  A wonderful day was had by all but I think a very overwhelmed and tired 100 year man wouldn't have been too long out of bed last evening...

Here is a shot of my Dad and Mum dancing... Mum would have been about 18 or 19 and Dad would have been about 22 or 23... I don't think that they were married at this stage...

This was a glamour publicity shot... Little did these two young people know what was ahead of them as they stared off  into the distance....

Until later, take care

Sharon  x x

Sunday, January 8, 2012

...just a few more stitches...

... as the post title implies just a few more stitches... Where the word 'grow' is - that is the half way point of the design... I will do all this bottom section before I move on wards... I love the subtle colour changes... Although in the night light I have to be sure that I pick up the right thread as with a couple of them there is only a shade or so apart...

Until later, take care

Sharon x x

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012...


Life, I believe is like a river - it takes you on a journey... There are bends, twists and rapids that keep us alert and vigilant from sloth and complacency...It has calm and peaceful moments which offers us the stillness in which to rest, reflect and dream ... Life, like a river - has  forever changing scenery - are we constantly straining forward to see what's ahead not stopping to appreciate what is before us... Life, like a river gives us opportunities to explore, discover and grow both in strength and mind...

Where ever your 'river' takes you in 2012 may it be a journey, that it be abundant and prosperous and joyful...


Happy New Year !!