keskiviikko 9. huhtikuuta 2008

A very looooooong summer vacation....

There has been not much stitching lately and shall be even less as the spring progresses and the summer comes. My garden absorbs me totally, as every year. So, if somebody peaks here, don't wonder my absence. I'm safe and sound enjoying my new gardening projects LOL. We'll meet in the autumn, I hope!

tiistai 18. maaliskuuta 2008

TIFC March / Heart

For the March challenge Sharon presented a color scheme and a concept: little things that we notice. I decided to piece a heart in modified March colors for I did not find exactly matching colors in my stash. I had also the concept in mind: my 7 sweet little grandchildren!

I was not very focused stitching it... I am going to make a series of 3 hearts and this is how the 1st of them turned out.

perjantai 14. maaliskuuta 2008

Judyth's spring block

I am participating in a block swap in the CQforNewbies group. The title is spring and my swap partner is Judyth. She made a lovely challenging garden with a pathway and a big tree. I had no idea what Judyth had in mind but I tried to create a flowery spring garden with all sorts of spring flowers.

I did not use SRE for I think that Judyth does not like it. So I stitched and used some beads. On the block you can find alliums, tulips, crocus, anemones, muscaris, forget-me-nots, awakening ferns, bergenias... a kind of a picket fence...

In the upper left corner you can see alliums and pink tulips.

In the lower left corner there is a big container with pink roses and daisies. The container is made out of a print appliquée.

Under the tree there are ferns & anemones, along the pathway bergenias and muscaris.

Well, I got a bit carried away and it was hard to stop LOL. But I succeeded to stop at this point - and there is still something for Judyth to add: more rocks on the pathway, branches & leaves and possible flowers to the tree and maybe a bird bath on the empty patch...

It was very fun stitching this block, my 1st ever swap block. Good to have this to do for I have spent nearly a month without CQuing!

keskiviikko 13. helmikuuta 2008

Gifts from a CQ friend

It's so nice to have CQ friends all over the world! One of them is Helena, a Finn who lives in Germany. I 'won' this beautiful blue bookmark in her blog, only because I happened to say my comments in time. She posted also these beautiful laces and some silk ribbon dyed by her. I was very surprised and happy! Thank you once again Helena!

keskiviikko 6. helmikuuta 2008

TIFC / Childhood memories

I have stitched and stitched. .. I arranged a good lighting beside our dining table in the living room, so I can stitch while looking (or listening at) at movies. After several movies the little wallhanging is now ready.

It is very naive and primitive - but this is the stage I am LOL. No artistic work yet, maybe never... These blocks are like samplers: I have used all stitches I know so far, I think.

I am wondering what people make out of their blocks... It seems in a year I'll produce quite a pile, so any reasonable use would be appreciated.

sunnuntai 3. helmikuuta 2008

TIF Feb / Childhood memories

I've been thinking & working on our February challenge. I am going to follow both the concept and the colors. My TIF work is going to be a two (or three) blocks' CQ wallhanging. When thinking of things I am old enough to remember I want to emphasize also the ways these things have changed since my childhood.

1st block describes the change in attitudes
I was a child in the late 1950's and the early 1960's. Those were years of cold war and economic troubles. Most families were following the conventional family pattern: it was the husband who worked and brought home the money while the wife took care of the home and children. There were many conventional unwritten rules in the society - especially what a woman could do and what she shouldn't by no means do.

There has been a HUGE liberation in attitudes allover the society - and towards women especially: we have more freedom and less conventional restrictions due to our sex. I remember my grandmother wearing dresses that were so long they reached her ankles. She was very strict on her clothing, and mine as well. Walking barefoot in the summer was not decent! The housewife next door looked over 60 - although she was only 35! All this due to conventional clothing. In 1960's no woman over 45 wore a pair of jeans, they were the outfit of hippies, teenagers and rebellions.

As to education and careers there were many restrictions: this is appropriate for a female, that is not. No one could think at the time that Finland once would have a female president!

I have to mention my grandmother once again. She was a half orphan and the youngest of 8 children. At the age of 19 - in the year 1900 - she crossed half Finland in order to have a dairymaid profession. She was a 'working girl', which was very exceptional at her time. This is of course something that I do not remember but found out when doing genealogy research.

The 2st block describes technological progress
I lived in the outskirts of a small town and we had one or two cows. But I often went to buy milk with my girlfriend with a big milk pitcher. We didn't have TV until I was 10, nor a telephone until I was a teenager. At my teens my father bought his first car. Public transportation was poor, so we used a bike.

It is amazing how huge and rapid the technological development has been in many aereas. When looking now at my grandchildren I keep wondering... At the age of 5 or 6 they are professional internet users; they know how to switch between the numerous TV channels; they are used to DVDs; they are used to send e-mails or text messages on mobile phones; they know how to use micro wave ovens...

This all is amazing. So much has happened in such a short time - my lifetime.

This is all I intend to describe in my CQ blocks. I am after an antiqued, weathered and naive look. I'll try to keep the stitching simple, and not use any shiny pearls or beads, nor fancy threads or silk ribbons. We'll see how I succeed to interpret all this.

perjantai 1. helmikuuta 2008

The BIG recycling project

In the autumn I have sewed already a big pillow out of green dyed recycled tablecloths etc. My intention was to make a couch cover for the kitchen. But I have changed my mind: I'll sew pillows out of all of them, to be used here and there, and in the summertime in our terrace. The embroidering is quite careless, and you can see also unfitting machine sewn seams *embarassed*. Excuse is: I lost my patience!

Inches swap

I have participated in 2 inches swaps in the Finnish quilting group. One was titled autumn, the other blue. I put the inches in golden shadow box frames and now they decorate a narrow corridor wall. They look like little windows and I like them very much.

TIF - February

Sharon has presented us our February Challenge: some things we are old enough to remember, pondering how life has changed in our life time. The color choice is also interesting and rather unusual: different shades of blue + pale beige & strong earthy brown.

I have not made up my mind yet as to which concept to follow. It will be interesting to see what the others create. January Challenge produced hundreds of beautiful & inspiring works!

Victorian lady - finished

I added a very bold cluster of buttons. I mean very bold! And a few other things. I tried to press the block, but it sure was difficult. Could not use enough hot iron because I was afraid that those tiny pearls might melt.. I have bitter experience with my ATC...

When looking at the photo the 2 dark buttons don't look nice. In real life the other is much darker, so they do not look as ridiculous. The photo is always ruthless - so maybe I'll have to replace the left one and put a smaller button instead.

Now I have to figure out what to do with her. Maybe a lid for a treasures' box?

torstai 31. tammikuuta 2008

Victorian Lady

I have received the silk ribbons from Vikky Clayton. So I had to try. I pieced a rather romantic block using a siggie lady I got from Judyth. I am not a lace person So here I could use only one narrow little piece no matter how hard I intended LOL.

The block is not quite finished. I'm going to add a cluster of buttons & beads & do some embroidering.

keskiviikko 30. tammikuuta 2008

Seam embellishment of the week

I can't tell why ordinary buttonholes are so difficult for me. The result is always uneven. Because I do not like them, I've used them seldom. In my pink block I made small fans out of them adding beads.

I have neglected my block lately because I have had other things in my mind. We live in an old house and we have here a serious clutter issue. That is because my husband wants to keep everything and can't give up anything. Well I have spent 7 whole days now cleaning and sorting our stuff (mainly his). The house is less cluttered now, I am satisfyed. Maybe this situation calls some Zen mood, I hope LOL. - Still we have our carage untouched. It is meant for 2 cars, but now can't take even one. Decluttering the carage will be a BIG job when the weather warms up.

keskiviikko 16. tammikuuta 2008

Seam embellishment of the week

Now the stitches used are the chain stitch (or lazy daisy?) and the stem stitch. When embroidering my spring block I made a seam very similar to Lesa's - as if I had anticipated LOL. The stitches are not quite even because I measured by eye only. As to stem stitch, I love it! It is so useful in making waves and curves. On my spring block the tiny flower basket is sewn with stem stitch.

I have to stop embroidering my spring block, even if I don't want to! I have to leave some seams unbellished for my exchange partner as well.

sunnuntai 13. tammikuuta 2008

ATC series

In the past few days I have been concentrating in ATCs. I find them very interesting and quick to do. With tiny additions / embellishments they turn out great. And not much in advance planning is needed! I decided to turn the edges under while not being satisfied with buttonhole edges and sewed a piece of felt behind the ATCs.

torstai 10. tammikuuta 2008

Seam Embellishment of the Week

In the group CQfor Newbies there is going on 'Seam Embellishment of the week' by Lesa. This week using lazy daisy. I intend to participate also in the group's ATC swap in order to find some use for my scraps. I made this ATC using only lazy dasies & beads. I succeeded in spoiling the small beautifully shiny white pearls: - they melted under the hot iron! Must be more careful in the future. I am not happy with the edges. I have to sew them by hand because my sewing machine is so old.

tiistai 8. tammikuuta 2008

The cover is now ready

I have sewn the cover ready today. I used dyed hand crocheted lace to join the front and back together. Now my Stitch Diary is ready for use. I intend to make notes on good stitch combinations there, so that they are easily at hand.

sunnuntai 6. tammikuuta 2008

Some details

The half circles: Herringbone, stem stitch + SRE leaves + little beads.

The flowery border with feather stitch, SRE, lazy daisy, French knot & beads.

JAN TIF embellished

The Stitch Diary cover is nearly ready. I have loaded lots of stitching & beads. Also did some SRE, mut my stash of silk ribbons & lace is practically zero. Must do some shopping.

The result is not very elegant, but I do like some parts. I like the half circles on the upper right corner and the flowery border in the center. In Judyth's newbie baggie I got the butterfly and the sequin charm in the lower left corner. Now I'll remember her everyday! Thanks Judyth!

My greatest dilemma is that I do not plan in advance. I'll try to learn to plan more in my future works.

torstai 3. tammikuuta 2008

TIF Challenge January

When piecing the cover for my stitch diary there were many tiny left over pieces. So I made my first ever ATC out of them. I could not include quite all color scheme colors because ATC is so small. Well, it was fun doing it.

I have not yet dared to start stitching the cover... It is amazing and great to look at the profound planning of some participants. Planning is not my strenght. I usually get right into work. I hope I'll learn to be less hasty during the year LOL.

keskiviikko 2. tammikuuta 2008

TIF Challenge

I'm participating in Sharons TIF Challenge. For January we have got a color scheme and/or a concept of admiration. I decided to work on color scheme at first.

I got lovely fabrics from Judyth and think that these fabrics are close enough to January colors. I pieced a big block and intend to use it as a cover for my stitch journal.