Thursday, February 28, 2008

Beaded Grapes

Dear friend Judith mentioned my beaded grapes on her website recently and I'm so glad she is enjoying them as much as I have. It's one of my favorite embellishments. The above picture is one I included in an article in CQMagOnline. I am forever changing how I make something so I will share my latest method of making the grapes.

You can use any number of the tiny drop beads as long as it's an odd number. In the description below I've used 1 seed bead and 7 drop beads.

I use nymo thread to match the drop beads I'm using. Begin by coming up through your fabric at the appropriate place. String the one seed bead and 5 of the tiny drop beads. (See picture at right.)

Skip the 5th. bead and run your needle back up through the 4th. one. (See the picture on the left.)

Holding on to the 5th. bead, pull the thread taunt.

Add two additional drop beads. (Picture below)

Place your needle through the beginning seed bead and then down through the fabric. Pull taunt and attach securely, knotting thread.

The picture below shows the finished grape. I always stitch my vine before adding the grapes followed by leaves and sometimes a few tiny tendrils.

I've included several pictures below showing different ways I've used the grapes.

I've used the five drop beads on these pale green grapes and bullion stitch leaves.

These are made with 7 drop beads and attached to a gold braid.

In this final picture I've used 3 drop beads.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sharing My Love of SRE

Another flower I enjoy making is a tiny rose using RibbonRuffle or 7mm silk ribbon. The ones in the picture above are placed on a Mokuba trim. Making the tiny rosebud is a little tedious but very easy when you get the bud stitched into place. I hope you find the following directions easy to follow.

Cut a 3” piece of RibbonRuffle. Fold right end at 45 degree angle.

Pick up and tightly roll 3 times to form a bud. With a needle and thread, take several stitches to secure bud in place.

Snip off tail.

Stitch to fabric with bud standing upright. Bring needle up from bottom to top of fabric directly beside the bud.

Begin twisting the ribbon at the base.

Loop the twisted ribbon around the bud and stitch in several places to secure.

Twist at base a second time, circling the bud and tack into place.

Twist the remaining ribbon and tuck underneath the flower. Stitch this end securely in place.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The New Rose from Wallis

In an earlier post I mentioned the new rose I made at our retreat in Wallis. I thought I might share some basic instructions for creating these.

Begin by making 6 or 7 leaf stitches leaving a small circle in the middle. This one is made with 13mm silk ribbon.

Using the same 13mm silk ribbon, make a partial rolled rose. You will want a well-defined bud then gradually loosen the outside petals. Stitch the petals in place as you roll using a matching thread.

Attach this rolled rose onto the center of the leaf stitches. Place the rose at an angle, either pointing up or down. I didn't get the angle I wanted but some of the pictures below will show you what I'm referring to. Don't you just hate it when your example doesn't do what you want it to? as I say; not as I do!

The last step is to fill in around the rolled rose with two different stitches. One is a loop stitch and the other a variation of the loop stitch. On this second stitch loosely twist the ribbon several times and stitch down as you would the leaf stitch.
On the left is my "not so good" example but it will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. To the right is my Wallis rose. Notice the slant in the rolled rose center and fewer petals.

I've done three bullion-tipped lazy daisy stitches in 7mm green silk ribbon.

Below are several pictures I took at our stitching Bee on Tuesday. Some of the ladies wanted to do one of the roses and I've taken pictures of their results. It's a beautiful rose and worth the time it takes to master it.

The rose on the left was made by Linda. She has done some buds to the side and the bullion-tipped lazy daisy leaves.

The rose to the right was made by Lynnis. In nature, no two roses are alike... the same is true with silk ribbon embroidery but they are all beautiful.

I thought I had taken pictures of 3 other roses but they are not recorded on my camera. I'm really disappointed because all the roses were gorgeous!

I will end this post by adding a picture of dear friend and fellow crazy quilter and blogger, Julie (Jules) . She started her blog first and began to haunt us with her camera. Several months later I decided to join the blogging world. We now have dueling cameras and no one is safe. Caught in our line of fire is Chris on the left and Jan on the right. Jan is showing some of her beautifully hand-dyed ribbons.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

You Make My Day Award

I want to take the opportunity to thank those who have awarded me the "You Make My Day Award." Rengin and Jocelyn...thank you for this wonderful honor! I apologize for being so late in responding on my blog.

The Rules: Give the award to those whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on.

Jules (I call her Julie) is a dear friend and fellow crazy quilter. Her blog is filled with words of inspiration as well as her beautiful projects. Her stitching is beyond beautiful - she is a talented and creative artist! We live in the same area and attend our weekly CQ bee. I'm very blessed to have her as one of my dearest friends.

Judith has been a cyber friend for many years. We have worked on several projects together and her work is gorgeous. We've shared the good and bad times and it's a privilege to call her my friend.

Jocelyn is another cyber friend. I love to check her blog and see all her wonderful creations. She is another great friend.

Rengin is a great cyber friend as well. She has always been so generous in sharing her time and creativity in many group projects. She introduced me to the wonderful Turkish needleart flowers known as oyas.

I met Allie for the first time at the Houston Quilt Market. She is so active in the blogging world and one reason I decided to join in. She does some remarkable work and her blog is always filled with tips and great information.

Stephanie is another wonderful friend and extremely talented artist. Her dolls are beyond beautiful and her crazy quilting is wonderful. I have the distinct honor of having one of her dolls. She is so beautiful and I named her Dona Elizabeth after my grandmother. I'll have to post of picture of her. Stephanie gave me this beautiful doll when she joined us for the 2006 Quilt Market.

Thanks again for this special honor. It's my pleasure to pass it on to these wonderful and talented friends.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bittersweet Times

Last week was a combination of fun and sadness. Monday we began our four days of stitching at our retreat in Wallis. Eight of our members attended and it was a fabulous time.

We came home Thursday and I did laundry and packed for a weekend trip to Dallas. My brother was released from the hospital under Hospice Care on Friday and we spent the weekend visiting and reliving past times. It was bittersweet mixed with a lot of sadness. I do hate cancer and what it does to our loved ones.

Today I feel a little like my niece in this picture. It's one of our favorite pictures of my son strongly encouraging her to smile. There are definitely those times when smiling is a little more difficult.

I know that God has a plan for each one of us and our faith will see us through this difficult period.

Jason and his two cousins in this picture are grown now. The toddler on his lap has a beautiful daughter of her own.

Tomorrow I hope to take pictures and post some of the work I did at our retreat. I tried a new rose design and really loved how it looked. You know me and my roses!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

2008 Wall Hanging Blocks...almost finished

I've put the finishing touches to my first block by adding some seam embellishments. Since the right side of the butterfly is so busy, I've done some stacked embroidery stitches combined with some beads on the left side. This was a fun block and came together easily.

Many of my ideas come to me in the middle of the night. Sometimes I get up and jot the idea down or draw a quick sketch. One of those ideas came to me last week and I pieced another block based on my thoughts. It hasn't turned out exactly as I pictured it but I know what I need to do to change it.

In any case, I went ahead and embellished the block. It is based on curves like so many of my talented friends have done on their blocks. The entire block would have made a flower with the curved pieces being the petals. The second row of petals didn't turn out as I wanted them to but the block as a whole was okay. It's back to the drawing table to work out the petal arrangement on this flower block.

The beaded area in the center would have been the center of the large flower. My dear friend Julie suggested I put silk petals around it and that worked great. I still have a few things I would like to add but I'm almost finished.

Several friends found some antique trim that I fell in love with. I searched the internet and haunted the antique stores and only saw it one time. It was at the Houston Quilt Festival about 2 years ago. She had about 16 inches and it cost around $40 as I remember. I couldn't bring myself to pay that much for trim but decided I would try and make my own. It's the blue "buds and bows" type trim on the above block.

Here is a picture of the antique trim and a closeup of my attempt to reproduce it.

I'm looking forward to our upcoming stitching retreat beginning on Monday. Trying to decide what to take is the hardest part. We couldn't care less about the clothes, food and toiletries; in fact, I forgot all my clothes one time. We do worry about packing the things we will need to stitch with. I'm hoping to work on several projects including a needlecase for an upcoming exchange. I'll take lots of pictures to share.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Celebrating Springtime in February

What a joy it's been working on our 2008 wall hanging for breast cancer awareness. I love working with the wonderful colors Stephanie suggested and the butterfly theme. With the beading almost complete on my butterfly I decided to make silk roses.

I had to dye ribbon to the color I wanted and thought about some Hanah Shibori silk Rippins in my stash. It should be a crime to over-dye this beautiful silk but I have to confess to doing just that.

Another experiment was to try the Ranger dyes I used in my landscape project. Being a synthetic dye for use with man-made fibers, I wasn't sure how they would work on silk.

I diluted the dye in several strengths and brushed it onto the ribbon. Then I microwaved the ribbon until it was partially dry. I ironed it until the creases were out and then burned the edges to prevent fraying. I am really pleased with the results. Don't you just love it when you experiment with something new and it actually works!

The Hanah silk rippins have a beautiful sheen the picture doesn't convey. Although the shibori silk is very lightweight, it holds it's shape beautifully when the edges are burned.

I used a white silk satin and dyed my leaves seen in the photo to the right. They are cut out, burned and stitched on with a gold metallic feather stitch.

We have a Flickr site where we log the progress made on the twenty blocks which will make up our 2008 project. There are also several blogs where you can see some of the blocks in progress: Stephanie, Julie, Allie, Rengin , Linda & Judith

I will add other blogs as I'm aware of them. Check often and follow our wall hanging as it takes shape. What a rewarding experience to see my small block joined with others to make one beautiful creation. Little is much when we work together.