Friday, August 24, 2007

Needlepoint Crazy Quilt Block - Finished!!

I think it was Beau Brummel (Stewart Granger played the part back in my young, impressionable years, when he still had gray sideburns and a devastating smile) who said "Haste is the enemy of perfection." I was in haste this afternoon to show this piece I have labored over for so long - and haven't blocked it yet. It is quite crooked - but that will work out fine later.
The original block is part of the border of the beautiful creation now called"SummerMandala." (Allison Aller's quilt, of course) I had to take liberties with both fibers and stitches in trying to recreate the look of the fabrics - and also on the embellishment, as I am limited to what can be done with a chenille needle and my ability (or lack of it, as I am a beginner with some of these things) to embroider on top of finished needlepoint, which is thick and stiff. I did have the joy of dumping out my stash and using things long forgotten - or threads I hadn't been able to use yet - like the YLI Spark Organdy, which was used to make the little blue French knots on the lower right. I was rather pleased with myself in the execution of the stem stitch veins in the leaves - as it was done freehand, and I followed the original drawing I made without being able to make marks on the leaves themselves. Also new to my experience in stitching is chain stitch - so I am also liking the upper left green patch with the gold flowers, as it was used to join them. The flowers themselves were smyrna cross "bump" stitches incorporated into the stitching and not worked on top. It's late in the day now, and I am really tired, as I have been pushing a deadline to finish this - so I will avoid the customary and expected PPD by eating a huge bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup - and finding a good movie to watch. As Scarlett said, "tomorrow is another day."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Needlepoint "Floral 9-patch" block

There will only be one most post showing this block, but I wanted to show the great progress, after many pricked fingers and agonizing over stitches and fibers and all those French knots and stem stitches. I promise, the next time I do this, it will be finished, nicely blocked, and ready to photograph. Even that leaf that is barely begun. It's beginning to be no fun at all with a deadine pushing. The next picture is a close-up of the upper left corner of the piece - I had trouble deciding what to do on the seam, as Allie's treatment was a bit heavy for me to accomplish in needlepoint - but I loved the unexpected color, which this thing sorely needed. I like, in needlepoint, the way the same thread looks so different in value by using different stitches. The leaves and the patch with the little gold flowers are the same thread - one of the beautiful Soie Cristale silks by Caron Collection. The third shot is of the lower right corner - and shows the bead treatment in an attempt to get the "look" of that fabric on the original. I like the purple YLI ribbon floss on the corner - and intend to put a few more light blue/purple French knots there. Whew!! What an exercise in stem stitch, French knots, chain stitch, and buttonhole. I am hoping to have a Parson's table made for displaying this thing under glass - kind of shadow boxed like we used to do. I couldn't see framing or making a pillow with this one. I am seeing the fly stitch thing looking white - but it is a pale green silk ribbon. The light was a bit crazy this afternoon (or was it me?)


Thursday, August 02, 2007

This seems to be going a bit slowly - but I'm working on three at the same time, in addition to other projects - including babysitting my little buddy Jake, who ate too much chocolate Monday night and couldn't go to "school" for two days. We rather enjoyed the quality alone time, but by yesterday afternoon, I think we were stepping on each other's last nerve ending. He is a bit energetic for this pore old tired Granny. - BUT having the opportunity is good. Anyway, Allie is back now, and has embellished the Floral 9-patch border block I was attempting to duplicate in needlepoint - and here it is so far. I really l ike this one, as it has an unusual elegance about it - and the richness of the fabrics is a challenge. I especially like the leaf appliques, but will have to hone my skills at stem stitch to make all those veins freehand on top of the stitches. This is a detail of one corner: The block with the pretty colors has barely been started - not enough time by my deadline. I have changed my mind, anyway, about what I will do to it. It is very colorful, and I do look forward to working on it. The last one is going to be a floral thing - lots of color with silk ribbon flowers, beads and "stuff." Alternating between all that green and this one has been pleasant. My canvases look a bit "warpy" - but I have been working for nearly 40 years without a frame, and refuse to start using one now - These will block beautifully when my friend Vikki gets her hands on them, although she will grumble a bit. I just can't see the point in juggling a big, clumsy frame for stitching. (I do use one sometimes when doing the silk ribbon embroidery, as that requires both hands.)