CQJP July Block

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tatting, TAST & Treasures

As I've challenged myself to concentrate on my embroidery and CQing this year, I realize I've been missing  my tatting and painting.
I found a portion of a book ( pages 5-32) in the second -hand shop filled with edgings: crocheted, knitted, and tatted edgings. I tested this one in Lady Shuttlemaker's 'Victorian Valentine' thread, size 20.

Called edging A-648, it measures 1" deep.
I think it will be perfect for a seam treatment on a future CQ!
TAST this week is a catch-up week, so I stitched the whipped wheel I missed while I was sick.
I decided to have a bit of fun, and added stem stitch, french knots, and straight stitch to my whipped wheel garden.
I made some whipped wheel and reverse whipped wheel flowers.

Rachel, from The Piney Woods Tatter, sent me some treasures: 3 skeins of thread, pearls, an assortment of buttons, green beads, and a gorgeous pendant she tatted.
I know I'll have lots of fun using these! You know I love greens, so this package was perfect.
Thank you so much, Rachel!
You can see Rachel's tatting on her blog.
Hearing the small roar of falling water, I went for a walk up to the beaver pond.
Water has been trickling from the pond, over rocks and boulders, down the rocky hill, pooling in rock depressions, and gurgling over stones, twigs, and pebbles.
 It cascades downhill from the beaver pond, meandering here over the ground, and there beneath the clump of trees, around the rock hill, and down, down  to flow into the lake in the bay creating muddy splodges of colour.

Here, the ducks gather to feed on the grasses fed by the silt, the blue heron stands frozen, searching the waters below for a frog or two, and, the beavers emerge from the creek to patrol the lake.
The beaver pond shallows
the beaver pond, with the dam on the left.

I like the way the clouds and sky are reflected in the water.

I hope you're having blue skies today.

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Monday, March 26, 2012

In the Mail

Orsi  had a giveaway, and I won her gorgeous, hand-made 100% merino wool doll. I think it would be perfect for my granddaughter to play with when she comes to visit, hopefully this summer. Introducing, Kate:

She is so soft and huggable, I'm sure DGD will fall in love with her at first sight!

I love that big, blue heart!

In her note, Orsi included a beautiful tatted snowflake.
You'll probably see this appear on one of my CQJP 2012 Christmas blocks.
Isn't it pretty? I love the green beads she added.

Thank you so much, Orsi!

Also in the mail last week was this pretty purse from a stitchin fingers swap:

Made by Mona, it's very pretty, and has an unusual shape. It will expand to hold quite a lot, and I think it's the perfect size to become my tatting travel bag. It sure is more fashionable than what I've been using!
 There are two small pockets inside that will hold thread and a small pair of scissors.
Perfect colours for spring, don't you think?
I love it, Mona. Thank you.

The lake ice has now all melted. With the warm weather, it happened quite quickly, but I caught a few pics of the ice as it floated into the bay yesterday.

It looks very grey and cold with the ice floating on the surface.

I finished my TAST stitching for this week, and lesson 3 of my Chikan Embroidery. You can see my post on the Tuesday Stitchers here.
I hope you're enjoying a lovely day with sunshine.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mail Call and Chikan Embroidery

 During the last couple of weeks while I was ill with bronchitis, a few things appeared in the mailbox to make me feel a little better.
My book order arrived, and I spent several happy hours leafing through the pages.
The Chikankari book is filled with wonderful patterns, but no stitch instructions, so I'm glad I'm taking Anita's  Chikan Embroidery SAL
The book on needle -made laces is a replication of the work first published by "The Woman's Magazine Office" in 1938. It contains some stitches in various types of lacemaking, and even a chapter on tatting!

I'm looking forward to reading more on Schwalm and Mountmellick  embroidery.
 From Jillayne, I received a beautiful surprise-- a tag with a hand-stitched heart and a secret word stitched onto the back.
Thank you Jillayne. It certainly brightened my day!

And then came a thread parcel from a secret friend. Lots of wonderful colours to use in my embroidery and CQing!

 Hidden underneath the thread is a tatting shuttle. This is the third shuttle I've received as a gift this year!
Do you think someone is trying to tell me something? To tempt me from the needle to the shuttle?
Hmmmm....ya never know....wink

Thank you so much, Secret Friend! This will supply many happy hours........
 I've completed the first 2 lessons of the Chikan SAL that Anita is teaching.

Stitched with a hand-dyed variegated embroidery floss in 'pink grapefruit' on white muslin.
I'm having fun learning some new techniques. Anita's lessons are very well written, and there has been so much interest, she's decided to start a second SAL with the help of her Mother, so, there may still be an opportunity to join in.
Lesson 3 has been posted. I wonder what I'll learn this week?

We've had such beautiful weather the last few days, with lots of sunshine, and temperatures around 20C. 
The lake is still mostly covered with  ice, and each morning, there are layers of mist rising above its surface.

Such an eerie atmosphere!
Turtle island appears through the mist, then is gone a moment later as the layers swirl, lift and dance with the slightest breeze
The ice has melted along the shore, and open areas of water are appearing here and there on the lake

Spring has arrived! Yay!

I hope you are enjoying wonderful weather wherever you are.

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chikan Embroidery

I signed up to join in the SAL with Anita, who is teaching us a different style of embroidery.  Chikan embroidery often decorates clothing, and the stitches used create a shadow effect on the fabric.
 The first stitch we learned appears like a straight stitch on the fabric surface, but creates a herringbone design on the reverse. If the fabric is translucent or transparent, the design shows through to add dimension and interest.

I began with a piece of muslin, and stitched a small practice bit.

As I held the embroidery up to the window, I could see the herringbone design from behind.
Hmmm, I wondered if another fabric might show it better?

I have this piece of almost burgundy fabric. It's light and almost sheer.
You can see it has a pattern of its own, but I thought I would try it anyway and see what happened. Experiment a little.

I tried two strands of white embroidery floss, but I felt the colour difference was too much, and it looked chunky on the sheer fabric. I was hoping for a more subtle effect.

So I tried 1 strand of floss. The shadow shows through nicely, but it was too white against the dark fabric, for me.
 Next, I tried pink tatting thread size 80. The shadow shows through nicely, but I wasn't fond of how the pink looked.

Hard to please, aren't I? lol
Then I tried red sewing thread, two strands.

This was too subtle!

It's a little difficult to see.

Not wishing to give up too easily, (what do you mean, stubborn? lol) I tried the pink thread a second time.

I still didn't like the colour, even though it shows up a lot better than the red.
 But the shadow work didn't quite show up as well as the two floss strands......

Back to square 1!

I'm using a light variegated, hand-dyed embroidery floss, called Pink Grapefruit. As you can see, the colour variations are subtle.

 Holding the fabric up to the window, I see my stitches look more even.

Maybe all that practicing really wasn't a waste of time!

And, for now, I've satisfied my curiosity.

You can see the colour variations more easily with the light shining through the muslin.

Now, I'm almost finished lesson 1.
Which is a good thing, because lesson 2 has been posted!

Thanks Anita.

I'm off to do some more stitching!

Hope you're having fun doing something you enjoy.

Thanks for visiting.

Hugs from Suz

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pebble #2: Finished!

I've finished Pebble #2! Yay!
Have a look:

This turned out quite a bit bigger (8") than my first pebble at 4.5 inches. But I do like the result.
It's really encrusted, isn't it?  I'm going to hold off on creating more pebbles for a little while.
Now I can begin on the Chikan Embroidery Class.
Hope you're having a lovely weekend. We woke up to another 6" of snow. groan. Where's spring?
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

TAST and a Pebble-in-Progress

This week, TAST is the running stitch: a very simple stitch which can be used in many ways.
Here's my sampler:

I've scrolled, rolled, knotted and woven, layered and played with the running stitch. What fun.
Pebble #2 is still in progress. This is a larger one, so it has taken a bit more time to stitch.

There's a large shell under the net that DD brought home from one of her travels.....I have some more shells, too, somewhere.......I'll have to search for them.
Some of the other pebble stitchers have added shells, and they look fantastic.

This is a slightly different angle......and shot in the sunshine streaming through the window.

I think 1 or 2 more items to tack down, some beads, some french knots, and this pebble will be ready for finishing.

I plan to do that this evening.

Hope you're having fun creating today.

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Friday, March 2, 2012


Hi everyone! Today my computer connection is working (yay!) so I thought I would take advantage and show you what I've been doing.
TAST for week 9 is the Couching stitch. I chose this week to combine TAST with my CQJP.

 I've couched down a rope of clear beads, some white rick-rack, and a sparkly green and gold rope

some gathered lace with a beaded center

I added a noel ribbon and some chain stitch

This is a beautiful tat from my friend, Fox. I added a crystal in the center and on the first round, to showcase the wonderful tatting. It looks like a green snowflake

My March CQJP  in progress

You can see I've couched a pretty green ribbon along the seam in the lower right

Isn't that snowman just so cute?

I began a second pebble......

then my hoop broke. Oh no!

Luckily, I had a larger hoop I could use, so I attached the pebble beginning to a larger backing material

I wanted this one to have a larger net, so I began there

The large lid I used created the perfect spot to add layers of colour

My progress so far........lots more lovely encrusting to do!

Last week I discovered these booklets in the second-hand shop, so I grabbed them!
They have several tatting patterns in them that I'm looking forward to trying   
the Workbasket is from June 1954
the Edgings is from 1963

Out in the yard, it looks like a winter wonderland since we've had several more days of snow

I think I've had enough white stuff for a while
will someone please turn off the tap?

There's more snow in the forecast..........sigh.

Hope your days are sunny and warm. Will you please send some my way? Thanks.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz