New Look

February 28, 2010

Onions and Spring

It has been a very busy weekend for me.  I managed to get the usual suspects (laundry, checkbook, shopping, cleaning...blah de blah) done and got lots done on the quilt.  I also couldn't stand it any more and opened the onion stained silk.  It has been sitting in the Mason jar for over 4 weeks now and India's book said to leave as looooong as you could.  Well, I can forget the erosion package because I don't see it hanging in the Weeping Cherry outside.  But the jar....well, I walk by it several times a week.  So without further ado, 
These are three different pieces of silk.  The one on top is the onion skins wrapped in silk, sprayed with vinegar then stored in the Mason jar.  The middle silk was in the crockpot with oak galls and simmered for about 2 hours.  It was then put in the crockpot with onion skins that had already dyed the lowest piece of silk.  These are for drapes that will grace my livingroom in the future.  

This is the onion skins silk from the Mason jar.  The colors are subtle but rich.  I'm thrilled with these pieces. 
I'm not as excited with the next group.  But I do like the little pieces....I just haven't decided how or what I want to use them for. 

These were the little bundles of leaves, silk and felt that I steamed in the crockpot.  The colors are soft and earthy.  A different color than tea stained that I have done previously.  I will wait for inspiration.  
The quilt.  The quilt. The quilt.  
Each square has been revisited and as I develop technique each square develops.  How to choose colors, how to do soft corners, sharp corners, speed, curves and stops.  Each of these decisions is influenced by each individual square.  Each square reminds me of summers spent among flowers, meadows, mountains and bogs.  

Blue Dicks.  Shining in the tall grass.  

Tiny blue trumpet flowers waving gracefully. 

Snow Drops...on tumeric background....that needed some definition...

I can hardly wait for these Spring Lovelies to show up.  
The dog walk today revealed a defrosted swamp and mostly bare ground....but no swamp cabbage or snow drops.  No Christmas Rose or tulips poking their tips up and out into the overcast sky.  
But...there was very little snow.  Spring can't be too far away. 

February 21, 2010

Dogs and Roses

This weekend included Doggie Chores.  Beez needed a bath and a haircut.... and before you can do that he has to be combed.  Beez is a big boy who weighs in over 60# with a very thick coat.  It took several hours to comb him and then wet and bath him.  When that part was done I had this:
Mr. Clean but way shaggy for a poodle...almost sheepy looking.  
Multiple cookies and new clippers in hand I ended up with this:
So then we *had* to go on a walk....for he really was a good boy and held still for me for about 2 hours while I clipped and scissored until I was happy.  And *no* I don't felt his hair...and hair it is, not dog fur and it mats (read felts) but as I don't clip him looking to save his coat you can see it is very short bits.
I also managed to do a bit of sewing in the evening to work on the squares.  
I'm OK with the Prairie Clover but it is not as I visualized.  


The next is better...
The Bleeding Heart....the leaves were tricky but I was happy with the coloring.

I think the color is truer in the close up.  
And finally ... at least for favorite for this weekend...
The Beach Rose....or Rosa Rugosa.

The color is not as nice here as the real item....that is the felted item...

So, that was most of my weekend and although it is only 8:30pm here in Rhode Island....I'm headed to bed.  

February 15, 2010

Is It Spring Yet?

I'm seeing flowers flowers everywhere.  
I worked on three squares today and finished two.  
The first was another of my *not favorites*...I think because I'm still playing with the width of the stitch and contrast of colors and if I didn't like it, it could be a reject. This was Violets. 
The second is wild onion.  I can really tell the difference in the texture.  The violets was one of the first done and the onion was one of the last. I think The Quilt will be a progression of my nuno expertise.

The contrast of light and dark of the leaves is much better than it appears in the pictures.

I've already started another.  But I'll not show it until I'm done. 
The anniversary of my blog will be coming up.  I hadn't thought much about how long I'd do this....but I'm surprised it will be a year soon. 

February 14, 2010

The Next Step

After thinking and pondering and several trials I decided that machine embroidery is what needed to happen.  The squares needed detail and that needed to be done before they were joined.  So I first experimented.  I have at least four squares that I probably won't use in the quilt and tried different weight threads, different stitches, and different types of threads.  
Here is my first prototype.  
I wasn't thrilled with this...but it tell tell me that lighter colored thread on dark background and probably dark thread on light background.  The more contrast the better. So I started with my least favorite square.....the Water Lily.
The stitching helped this beyond what I had hoped.  I don't know if this was on an earlier post but it was a disappointment when I was done and I wasn't sure it would be included in the final...but it just got moved up to most probably.  
I have also been dyeing (of course!) and ground up some oakgalls in an old coffee grinder. Then I put them in the crockpot and cooked them.

I also tried a steam wrap of some oak, maple and poplar leaves.  These I wrapped tight with silk on one side and white felt on the other.  
I'm also waiting for the onion skin jar to see what happens.

I shall see what these bring over the next week.  But tomorrow.... I will be doing more machine embroidery to go forward with The Quilt. 

February 7, 2010

New Look

I think I like the New Look.  Tiny Bees ...Not done yet...I have some Felted and embroidered Bees...(are you surprized?) to add to the header....I hope to eventually figure out how to add my own designs to the side bars.  But for now, this will do.  Thanks to The Background Fairy for the design and to my Bloggy Friend Carolyn Saxby (whose blog always looks festive) for being my inspiration.

And now, because we all love eye candy...a little tiny piece I am working on...a needle case because my needles are always getting lost in this....Mom's hand quilted pin cushion.  With her white topped pins.
So I'll keep the pins in it but store the needles in an actual needle case.  It's kinda funky as I had never done hand applique previously....but it will work as the base is felt and heavy enough to hold needles but thin enough that they don't disappear.  A WIP... a learning piece...
I learned a bit while doing this...including silk frays!!! And my next applique practice piece is turn needle type ... the edges will probably hold on this if it is not punished too much.
This is obviously a Valentine Piece but inspired by a post here.  Heart of Gold has been running over and over in my head.  No felt so far thinking about lace around the edges.  Not sure what to do with this when done.  It will probably languish in a pile of samples....unless I trade it for something.  

So now it is back to washing and trimming a felted (read matted ... badly) poodle ... I do hope to get some felting done this weekend so only one poodle gets dunked and dematted this weekend.  I have some ideas about oak leaves and galls with silk, wool and felt that I want to try.  I had decided to start with the machine embroidery work on the quilt, too.  Soooo much to do....soooo little time.