Friday, August 28, 2009

Crayon Painting and Machine Embroidery

Back in July, I began to work on the samples for this fall's classes. I wanted to do something different...mainly I just wanted to fool around with some things that have been floating in my head for a while. I've always liked crayon painting-I love giving it such a fancy name-(its really just coloring!) and wanted to do something a little more "serious" with the technique.

I got out a Mountain Mist pattern for embroidered blocks that I had used before for my big embroidered quilt...these floral blocks looked perfect for crayon painting.
The top is now sewn together but I'm not sure if I want to add a wide floral border outside the narrow green border or just, once its quilted, use the floral for the binding-sort of a narrow 1/2" border. For once, I do know what I will do with this small wallhanging-its going in the guest room! The walls there are crying out for decorating!
This blue block is just crayoned-not yet embroidered. Actually this block I hand embroidered. I want anyone interested in trying crayon painting to participate in the class and not not take it because of the machine embroidery...personally, I like hand embroidery and I'm not sure it takes that much longer to do on small blocks likes this. (If you enlarge the quilt top pix, you'll see the blocks with the embroidery)

Here's a close up of the first block I did-only one flower has been machine embroidered. I changed the MM pattern a bit-redesigning the basket and how the flowers go into it so that the basket could be appliqued rather than crayoned.

Here's the whole block...if you compare it to the block in the quilt top, you'll see I added some more leaves, etc. to make the block look more balanced.

This was as much fun as I expected...let the artist in you flow-try crayon painting!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Books

These two books were my Dad's and I remember them my whole life. As a kid, I thought for sure they were real leather...but no, just enough leather like to fascinate a kid and spur my love of books. First, lets look inside the red book-The Century Readings in English Literature from 1924-right away there's the wonderful inside papers-a map of London from 1616!

It starts, of course, with Beowulf but that is in modern English (cheating, really!) and then there is the entire Canterbury Tales in Middle English!! English as a foreign language! I loved reading this out loud-I thought I could understand it better (maybe a wee bit :)

There are all the important poets, from every period in England between the front leaf and the back leaf- a literary map of if you know where your favorite poet was from you could find it on the map!

The second book is the Complete Works of William Shakespeare...complete with his signature on the cover! Boy, my Dad knew how to buy books! (thought my very young self :)

A very typical (1920s) marblized paper for the front and back leaves.

And what I liked the best, the ribbon to hold my place...such elegance! Its opened here to Romeo and Juliet but I think one of my kids must have left the ribbon there...I was much more bloodthirsty and loved, in particular, Richard III!

Hope you enjoyed a look at two very important books from my childhood! Its good to be back and I can't wait to hop on over the Suzanne's and see all the wonderful vintage treasures!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Crazy Month

It has been a crazy month! Suddenly we had a house full of people-DS the younger came back from his trip and then DS the elder and his wife came for a nice long visit (he's in grad school at Harvard), plus other friends visiting for the summer...a regular B &B except I also wanted to join in the fun trips to the beach and swimming at the Sea of Galilee, etc.

Plus, I had a commission quilt to finish for a wedding...this was very interesting. I was really only the seamstress...the mother of the bride send out squares to friends and relatives for them to applique or embroider and she did a lot of squares herself. My job was to trim the squares to size, sew the top together according to her design and then quilt it simply so that the quilting didn't over power the squares (that's a quote!). I'm happy to say that I successfully fulfilled my mission and the quilt was picked up yesterday to the delight of all! I worked on it very early in the morning and late at night to finish it up so that I could spend time with the kids and other guests and still get it done. (Sorry, no pix)

The kids did bring me some goodies! -but I can't seem to upload any pictures today :( A wonderful cookbook from Denmark and a 50 yard bolt of Springs Bleached Muslin! Yeah! I have Bea to thank for this bolt of my very favorite background fabric for reproduction applique quilts. Last month, I complained about how I couldn't find this fabric anymore and that I had to buy Kona Cotton for my Poppies quilt. Bea sent me to a link where she thought I might find "my" wasn't there but that got me thinking. If a blogging friend was kind enough to look around for a link for me...maybe I should go back and try again. (I had tried but had given up...never give up!) I found it and with perfect timing-they only ship in the US but DS was coming and the bolt got there just in time for him to bring it! Thanks again Bea!

With the house so full, I don't think I could have gotten near the computer if I had had the I'm off to catch up on a month of all your interesting activities!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another Scrap Quilt Finished

Do you see it...the sandy shore, the grassy hills, the waves, the islands and all the ships about? Its a lap-sized wedding quilt for a couple that love to scuba dive! He even proposed under water ! The waves are machine quilted with blue thread, of course!
If I had more nerve, I'd have called it Islands in the Stream. :)