This blog should be called "The Adventures of a Fabric Junkie!". I am passionate about fabric, threads, colours and textures. I can record my crazy quilting, sane quilting, embroidery and everything else that I consider important in my life.

Photo shows my block for the Hurricane Katrina fund-raising quilt "All That Jazz".

Monday, March 28, 2005

Catherine's completed DYB6 block

Here is the completed block for Catherine's DYB6 swap. Because Catherine included lots of 3D ruched and gathered fabrics in her blocks, I've tried to make most of my additions also 3D. Catherine liked the waterlily and dragonfly charm so I've left them in the centre of the smocked "pond", then added a pink blossom tree branch livened up with a few pale pink Swarvoski crystal beads from Czech Republic and a row of ribbon flowers and stems which also have glass beads in the shape of leaves, also from Czech. I was lucky enough to have a very good friend go to Czech over Christmas and New Year on holiday and she brought me back lots of little bags of beads. I didn't know what to do with the large green lace flower so last night while watching Miss Marple solve yet another murder, I sewed the turquoise glass beads with hot pink centres into the centre of the flower. Because one line of lace to be beaded is right on the seamline, I have left that empty until Catherine has joined these odd shaped pieces into a cushion and have sewn a little worm of beads off the blocks for Catherine to sew on later. I hope you like your block, Catherine!!
DYB6  block for Catherine

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Randomly smocked patch on Catherine's DYB6 block

Catherine sent her six blocks for her DBY swap with 3 dimensional gathered, pleated and ruched patches included among the flat ones. This piece was a fairly large expanse of sheer green organza type material, gathered at both the top and the bottom. I used Anchor variegated green stranded cotton to randomly smock the gathers and added green glass beads as I did the smocking. When it was finished, it reminded me of a Lily Pond so I added the ribbon embroidered Water Lily and gold Dragonfly charm. I covered the black machine stitching line with dark green ribbon in split stitch. Isn't it funny how things look different in a photo than they do in the flesh. I think I might get rid of that "enormous" Dragonfly and replace it with a tiny little gold frog.
Random smocked block on Catherine's DYB6 block.

Flowering Cherry Trees in Anlaby Road, Hull, Yorkshire

We called our house "Anlaby" because my husband originally comes from Hull in Yorkshire, England and spent his childhood in a house just off Anlaby Road which runs from the centre of Hull to the village of Anlaby which sadly has now been swallowed up by suburbia, although it still keeps it's village characteristics. Anlaby Road has these gorgeous pink flowering Cherry trees growing on both sides of the road and down the middle of the duel carriageway. In the Spring they are a mass of blossoms but no leaves and would lend themselves perfectly to crazy quilted seams as sprays or to the centre of patches as pink trees with almost black trunks and stems but not a smidgeon of green leaves.
Flowering Cherry Trees in Anlaby Road

Monday, March 14, 2005

Blanket Stitched Flowers

This is another page from my Visual Journal where I have drawn different flowers all using Blanket or Buttonhole stitch. I've taken care to draw the direction of the stitches so that they best represent each flower or leaf. These drawings are to remind me of simple, quick and easy, floral designs to include on crazy quilt blocks, especially when they are part of a Doing Your Own Block swap. I love using simple Blanket Stitches close together to form a solid mass or else separated by tiny spaces to give a more representational view of a petal or leaf. This form of stitchery was very popular in the early 1900s even if sometimes the colours were a bit bright and off-putting. There is no need to strictly adhere to the colours of nature with crazy quilting so it's a great way to be really creative.

Blanket Stitched Flowers

Old fashioned Motifs using Bullion stitch Roses

This a new page from my Visual Journal where I have drawn various sized motifs all using Bullion stitch Roses along with other simple stitches such as Stem stitch, satin stitch and French or Colonial knots. The drawings are designed to be a reference for when I am doing crazy quilt blocks, especially for other people when I'm in a Round Robin. I've included corners, circles, long lengths designed to cover seams and individual Roses. The Roses have been highlighted with a bright pink pen. Some of these motifs were taken from sources such as original transfers, pictures of 1920s - 1940s baby clothes while others are my own ideas. The page can be printed out and glued into other VJs as a reference sheet so I hope someone else can find a use for them too.

Old fashioned Motifs using Bullion stitch Roses

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Antique Glass German Beaded Fringing.

Sometimes it pays to be cheeky!! A local antique shop had some gorgeous beaded fringing about 3 metres long decorating one of the cabinets. I always admired it but it was not for sale, however, I told the man who owned the shop that if he ever wanted to sell it, to let me know first. Last time I went in, it was gone - sold - sold to someone who came in and offered an instant price-he-couldn't-refuse. I was really disappointed as it was never a negotiable sale whenever I went in and let him know how I felt, ie. hopping mad! Suddenly the guy remembered promising me first offer and felt really bad. So bad, in fact, that he dived under his counter and GAVE me for FREE these two ancient German glass salesman's samples of beaded fringing. I'm going to try and reproduce the one with the continuous border first but will have to work out the design using graph paper. I thought they were really beautiful, although it is a pity that I can't see the actual floral pattern on the garland fringe and seeing as it didn't cost me anything, all was begrudgingly forgiven. They will look gorgeous around two bedside lamps, one of each design. My challenge for the month!!

Old German Beaded Fringing

Old German Beaded Fringing no. 2

Centre of my crazy quilted Ningaloo Reef picture.

This is the very centre of my underwater coral reef picture showing the embroidered coral surrounded by lighter sea green fabrics at the top and darker sea green fabrics at the bottom. I am trying to keep the stitchery embellishing the same colour as the fabric pieces so that the coral in the middle is the focus of attention. Lots of suitable doo-dads such as a turtle, anchor trapped in 3D seaweed, a tropical fish, seahorses and a shell. When it is finished I will frame it in a square wooden frame which is also covered in matching crazy quilted fabrics and stitchery so that it looks like the view from a glass bottomed boat.
Centre of Ningaloo Reef picture