Monday, March 2, 2009

Crazy Quilting in MB - Week 2 of 4

I've been stitching all week. One thing I realized, is that I didn't bring any of my plain color flosses. I went right away to the computer and started a shopping cart at Evening Star Designs, then I caught myself... was this just an excuse to order more beautiful threads, and I think it was. I stopped into the local Michaels, bought a few green DMC's skeins and I'm on my way.

So, this week, I've been stitching down seams on both socks. Now, I'm trying really hard to do some combinations. I'm looking at pictures of others work, browsing through my Carole Samples book, and some I'm making up as I go along. As I'm browsing pictures on the web, I'm deciding my next piece will be all whites and off whites much like this one and this one on Sharon Boggins Picassa. I love that look. I badly need a fresh set of threads and silk ribbons in whites, antique off whites and ecru. I keep getting off track.

Back to the 2 socks that I'm working on now. They are fairly neutral and light to medium in color. This week, I've concentrated on using threads and I'll do ribbons and beads and more threads in the coming weeks. I'm using many variegated threads by Sassa Lynne, Necessities, and Stef Francis. I think I like using size 8 Perle as my favorite. I didn't have a favorite when making my first CQ sock. I seem to be more relaxed about doing these socks and I find myself developing favorite stitches, colors etc.

First I'll show you some rows that I did that are now waiting for beading or ribbon which will come in late Week 3 or 4.

The photo was intended to be a bit of a diagonal stitch, but when I put the row on, the stitches fell into perfect vertical position even though the seam is slanted down. So these flowers will have pretty bead heads on them.

One of the other participants in the class I took last fall, shared bits of handmade lace with us. This is a very small bit - maybe 3 to 4 inches and I had a hard time to place it. But in an effort to had some curves to my piece, this bit of lace will define the heel of the sock. I can't wait to put some ribbon and beads to accent it.
I think this is when I fell in love with the Success Strips that I talked about in a blogpost I did last week. I also love this cranberry color Necessities Perle 8 thread that I got from Evening Star Designs.

Does this not look like a lawn mower chopped off the heads of these flowers. I haven't decided what to put on them, but I can't wait to try out some flower beads.

I saw this technique for making the wheel stitch online somewhere last year. I couldn't find it again to give them credit but here is a picture to show you. You cut out a perfect half circle and pin it down and use as a template. I labour over stupid things, "How am I going to cut out a perfect half circle, and out of what?" I look around for a day or 2, thinking half circle, half circle... "What am I going to use?" Then I spot the Trident gum pack sitting in my sewing basket. It already had a perfect half circle cut out... This is the perfect size. Lucky me!.

So this is my first set of wheels. I struggled a bit, but I really like them and I will definitely incorporate them into future works. Of course, these will have some beads applied.

And the last bit I have for you today is a bit of a picture tutorial on how to tea dye your embroidery bits - with leftover coffee. I got the idea to add bits of free standing lace embroidery from this block of Sharon Boggin's quilt, "I dropped the button box" and I've seen it on several other works as I browse the web. So since I have an embroidery machine, I set out to create some small fsl embroideries. I stitched these using Marathon polyester white thread. But the white seems too stark, don't you think? So I head to the coffee pot this morning and pour the 2 tablespoons of leftover coffee into a small container. I'm not sure if the polyester thread will stain. After a fe minutes, I realize it dyes beautifully I love how the color turned out. See the comparison below.

Here you can see the color difference between the dyed butterfly and the white ladybug. I like the softness of the off-white.

Here is the ladybug, soaking in coffee for about 5 minutes. Rinse off with water and lay flat to dry. If you want lighter color, reduce the soaking time.

And the rest of my little embroideries that I dyed this morning. I'll apply these to my socks this week. By the way, these embroideries came from the "Marie Osmond Lace up your Life Vol. 1 "collection. When you go to the link, click on the view designs link to see all the designs. I only stitched out the small ones in a single hooping.


Linda H said...

Gail, your stitching is beautiful!! I love all the seams you have done - the buttonhole wheels are especially nice! And like you, I find the white lace too stark- the coffee dyeing is perfect! Ok, you're inspiring me to get going on some CQing...
Freezing rain here tonight, yechhh! Sue and Joe are stuck in NYC, hoping to get out tomorrow....

Linda G said...

Just have to ditto Linda's comment. Thanks for sharing.