Another Hobby Blog

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tuesday Stitchers import; CQI RR for Shelly

Wow! Is it nearly the middle of September already? I can almost feel the weather changing! Soon it will be cold and windy and wet here in the Pacific Northwest. I'd better soak up the last of the sun before it hides for the winter!

My SharonB "Roses" blocks have been on hold, along with my CQJP peacock and my BJP mandalas so that I can work on this:

This is Shelly's block from the Crazy Quilting International round robin swap. I'm the first person to work on this block, so it was naked when I got it. All embroidery and embellishment came out of my needle. Whee!
It's kinda hard to be the first person to work on someone else's block: I have to set the mood for the block and I need to remember to leave a fair amount of space for everyone else to work, but not slack on my own share in the doing so! There are three more people who will stitch on this block, so I'm just about done with my share, I think.
I wasn't entirely sure what to do with this block at first. I enjoy working with prints, so that wasn't the issue, but the color scheme is one that I don't work with very often, and I'm not entirely sure I understand the aesthetic of "Country French" which is what Shelly hopes for.

The first thing I stitched on the block, just to get it going, was the little blue line at the bottom left hand corner. The stitch I used reminds me of Fleur d'Lis, so I thought it would be a good choice!
By the time I'd finished the foundation of that first seam (it expanded with additional blue detatched chain and yellow detatched chain and French knots later), I knew that what I *really* wanted to do was enhance the vine pattern on the chicken print fabric.

Isn't it precious? I used a silk thread and a wrapped stem stitch to outline all the vine curls. It barely shows, and I like it *SO* much! I love the delicacy of it, and I love the subtle textural surprise for the carefully observant. I also like the way it adds a little shadowing in changing lighting conditions.
Then I added some bugs. For the chickens to eat, of course! There are ladybugs and little gnats and maybe a caterpillar or two. I thought about adding a snail too. -- maybe I still will if there is time before I send it to the next stitcher.

The rooster at the top of the patch, where it seams against the center pear patch, was chopped in half, so I embroidered a head for him, and a little caterpillar for him to snack on. :) I cannot even begin to describe how pleased I am with the way this chicken came out! He's stitched with a nice soft silk thread, too, so he is incredibly pettable! I just hope he doesn't get too dirty from all the touching!

Well, after stitching the bugs in the garden, I wanted to add a little spider and web! I think he turned out pretty nice, though he does steal the eye a bit-- partly because of his size and partly because he is so dark. I think that once the rest of the stitching on this block happens, though, that he will be just strong enough to hold his own. At least I hope so!

Shelly mentioned in her letter that she likes tatting,k and you know how I love to do it! so on the seam above the spder, I added a stripe of tatted trim that I tatted up just for this block. :)

She also mentioned that a sunflower might be nice, so I stitched a nice silk ribbon sunflower on the lower right of the block. It's my first significant attempt to work with silk ribbon, and I'm pleased with how it came out. I'm not sure it looks exactly like a sunflower-- it might also look like a daisy, but I like it anyway, and I hope she will too! The center of the sunflower is filled with French knots all in one color but of several different sizes (larger on the outside ring, smaller toward the center, like sunflower seeds). I think I've had my fill of French knots for awhile! ;)
To the right of the sunflower is the start of a bullion stitch bee! once I get that done, I might be ready to send the block on to the next stitcher! ...or maybe I'll get a chance to add that snail. hmm.

In between all of that stitching, I added some blue detached chain stitches and yellow detached chain stitches and yellow French knots to my Fleur d'Lis line, and the TAST sheaf stitch on the line above the chicken patch. :)

It sure was nice to take a short break from my CQJP peacock and my BJP mandalas and my Roses cq blocks! I feel re-energized and excited about stitching again! :) Maybe it was because I was working on a different colorway that pushed me outside of my norms, or maybe it was because I get to send this stitching away when I'm done with it and don't have to look at it again! ;)

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