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Friday, July 29, 2005

A Few More Beads


Beads4
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Finally, some sparkle showing up on the scanner!

These are all Czech glass fire polished 6mm beads. Can't wait to use these on my CQ's!

I'm off to put some miles on my sewing machine!

Cat Nap


Lucy2
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
In my Garden Window! This is my Lucy. Scott rescued her in the Spring of 1999. She was only 8 months old then, filthy, matted and covered with burrs from being in the woods.

We have no idea where she came from but Scott took one look at her, she meowed at him and he picked her up and brought her in the house. I took her to vet right away. She was so matted, they had to shave her.

We named her Lucy after Lucy from the Peanuts comics. She's bold, vocal and fearless and despite weighing only 7 pounds, she can stand up to any one of the 3 boys!

As you can see, she's quite happy being inside now. She's taken over the Garden Window and claimed it as hers!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I Ordered Some Beads!


Beads1
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, on Saturday afternoon, I decided to order some new beads for my work from Fire Mountain Beads. It took me awhile to go though all the pages of the catalogs both online as well as the hard copies! But I had a lot of fun!

My order arrived yesterday minus my Swarovski crystals which are on back order.

These are Czech glass seed beads in orange, gold and silver. I wish the scanner would pick up the sparklies better! These will really add sparkle to my CQ's!

More later!

Glass Seed Beads


Beads2
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Purple, blue and green glass seed beads.

Glass Leaf Beads


Beads3
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
These come in all different colors but I only ordered the green ones. I might order some of the other colors next time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Harvest Peacock?


Autumn Block 1
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, this will be my next block. It'll probably be a few days before I start it. I want to do some iron-on transfer embroidery first. I just thought you'd like to see this one. I'm thinking, maybe another peacock in the series. Will have to stare at it for a few days before deciding.

I'm not quite sure what the orange fabric is. It may be a cotton lame' but I'm not 100% sure. It has a lovely gold shimmer to it. The brown is a cotton print with gold metallic outlining the design. The solid gold is a crushed lame'. Very cool looking but hard to sew. Last but not least, the leaf fabric is a sheer organza with metallic gold & copper embossed leaves on it. I put some plain gold lame' behind it. This stuff is tricky because the embossed leaves are not ironable! I pretty much had to finger press it to the best of my ability!

So stay tuned to see where I go with this one!

Crazy Quilt Eye Candy

I thought you might enjoy seeing some gorgeous Crazy Quilting! I could stare at these pieces all day and never get anything done around here!

Pat Winter

Lilla Le Vine

I must warn you though, if you're on dial-up, you'll want to go get a snack and something to drink. Both sites take about 3 or 4 minutes to load on dial-up but I promise you, these are well worth the wait!

Butterfly Block Completed!


Butterfly Block6
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, I enjoyed this block so much! I can't believe it's done. I had to force myself to stop stitching on it. Scott said there's too much junk on it. He said it's too crazy. I told him is a CQ, it's supposed to be that way!

When I was spending all my stitching time doing X stitch, all I could think of when I was stitching, was how fast could I get it done so I could get to the next project. Anyone else ever feel that way? I was never in the moment, always thinking of the next pattern.

But with CQing and transfer embroidery, I never feel that way. My focus is always on what I'm doing and I actually feel a little sad when I complete projects now because I enjoy them so much!

Ginas Baking Day Vintage Style Towel Challenge


Ginas Baking Day tea towel
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
The first towel in our "Vintage Style Towel Challenge" has come in and it's from Gina at Patra's Place!

Is this just too cute or what? I believe Gina used an Aunt Martha's Iron-On transfer. I'm awaiting her confirmation on that.

Gina, thank you so much for joining the challenge and for sharing your project with us! This little girl is very "vintage" looking and your stitching is perfect!

If you're interested in joining the "Vintage Style Towel Challenge", see my July 19th post for the criteria.

Chicken Scratch Leaflet

I have alot to share today so I'll do a little at a time throughout the day in between my design work.

The first order of business is to share this great Leisure Arts leaflet on Chicken Scratch! One of the girls at my X Stitch Chat Board found this at a garage sale and offered it to me. Wow! I love it!

This is the front cover:

CSBooklet1

My first project will be that apple! It's just too cute!

And this is the back cover:

CSBooklet2

I love the little fruit basket too! Now to find some more stitching time!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Vintage Stitched Aprons At Patra's Place

Ok, this will be my last post for today. I just wanted to take a moment to say that if you're into vintage aprons, you simply must visit Gina at Patra's Place. Oh my goodness! Gina has shared photos of some of her vintage stitched apron collection! I told Gina that I would be sending her the bill for a new keyboard because I'm drooling all over mine! These are gorgeous! Please take a peek! I'm off to stitch now.

CQ Magazine Online

CQ Magazine Online has just released their new issue! Click here for some great CQ reading! I haven't read any of the new articles yet but I promise, you're in for a treat. If you've never been there before, be sure to read the "back issues" as well!

Further Progress On Butterfly Block


Butterfly Block5
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
It's a shame that the scanner or camera can't pick up the sparklies!

I added alot of beads yesterday. Silver bugle beads to the silver braid, tiny delica beads here and there. I really wish you could see this in person!

I did some tatted flowers for the vine on the bottom right, added the fan stitch along the left side and added some beads to the vine at the top of the butterfly. Oh and then the bee!

The bee was a tack pin that I found a flea market earlier this Summer. It came in a little bag of misc. vintage pieces. My husband cut the pin off with some tool that he has and then ground the little stump from the pin off so it didn't catch on the fabric.

I still want to add some beads or crystals to the butterfly wings and I have two more seams to cover. I expect this block will be complete very soon!

Transfers At The Needle's Excellency

For those of you who are into vintage transfers, it looks like Laren has aquired some new ones. Be sure to check out her "Sally Perkins" Vogart transfer. I have never seen this one here in the US and I've never heard of Sally Perkins. If anyone out there can shed some light on this, I'd love to hear from you!

Birth Of A Hummingbird

Most of you know, I love birds! Especially the tiniest of all birds, the hummingbirds! Kathy, aka Mad Stitcher, sent me this link and I thought my readers here might enjoy it! Bird Of A Hummingbird is a series of baby hummingbird photos, from birth to leaving the nest. Be sure to see all 6 pages.

Monday, July 25, 2005

EZ Board Message For My Cross Stitchers

Just a quick note to let you know that the BB is up and running. The redirect from the old server to the new server is not working. (I'm so surprised!) You'll need the direct link to get in. Click here and then bookmark it and you shouldn't have anymore trouble.

Butterfly Block Update


Butterfly Block4
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
This is what I did Saturday. I didn't stitch at all on Sunday. It was very hot here. We had gone out in the morning to pick a few things up and although we have central a/c here at home, I just didn't feel right after being out in the heat so I did something I almost never do. I just sat and watched TV most of the day. Very unusual for me!

So, now I'll go and add some more stitching to this!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Butterfly Block Update


Butterfly Block3
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
I think I forgot to tell you what fabrics I used on this block. The dark blue is crushed velvet, the grey is taffeta, the pink and the light blue are silks and the print in the center is cotton.

I didn't have alot of stitching time yesterday. I added the silver braid and covered the seam to the bottom right of the butterfly. I used 3 strands of a Needle Necessity hand dyed floss for the feather stitching. The french knots are made using some DMC #3 Perle Cotton that I hand dyed myself. That #3 makes really nice french knots! The white lace is vintage. It was in a shoebox full of vintage lace and crocheted piecses that I found at a flea market back in May. The pink ribbon has metallic gold on it. I'll be sewing that down today.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Butterfly Block Day 1


Butterfly Block2
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
It doesn't look like much, but it took me about 3 1/2 hours to stitch the butterfly yesterday. I stitched her with 3 strands of DMC floss and 2 strands of Kreinik Blending Filament.

I decided instead of using tracing paper to apply the design to the fabric, I would try tissue paper instead. Is it Linda at Chloe's Place who uses tissue paper? I can't remember. The tissue paper worked quite well. It was much easier to get out from under the outline stitches than the tracing paper is. Once I had the butterfly all filled in, I traced it again onto another piece of tissue paper and then stitched the veins in the wings.

The sparklies don't show up well in the scan. This is really cool looking in person! She'll get some beads or crystals eventually but I'd like to get some of the seams covered first.

I'm off to add some more stitching to it!

Stash Additions

Well, I just told my husband last night, that I don't need anymore fabric. He of course, laughed at me and said, "Yeah, right!"

I was in WalMart today (I don't know if WalMart Stores are available outside the US or not. They're a discount chain store with a craft and fabric dept.) waiting for a prescription that should have been ready yesterday morning! While I was waiting, I found myself (what a surprise!) in the craft department and guess what? They just received some new fabrics!

I'm not sure what these are. They were marked 100% polyester. They are so beautiful! I bought a 1/2 yard of each color.

FabricStash1

I also thought I'd check the remnents bin and there I found what I thought was 2 pieces of cotton gingham.

FabricStash2

The blue one was only 15 cents and the aqua piece was 38 cents. It wasn't even marked as to how much was fabric was there. They were in clear plastic bags stapled shut.

Well, when I got them home and took them out of the bag, I was completely caught by surprise! These are not cotton, they feel and look more like silk! I'm hoping my mother will be able to tell what type of fabric they are. They have a lovely sheen to them. To top it off, the blue one is a 1/4 of a yard and the aqua one is a full yard! I couldn't believe it! So waiting for that prescription wasn't such a waste of time afterall!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Butterfly Block


Butterfly Block1
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, this is my next block. It won't be part of the Peacock series. It seems to need a butterfly on it! I wasn't sure what technique to do it with. At first I thought I'd use one of my own little butterfly x stitch designs but to be honest, I really don't care for the way x stitch looks on CQ's. So instead, I'll probably embroider one on. I'll have to sketch one up first than use tracing paper.

Anyway, if all goes well, I'll have some work on it to share with you tomorrow!

Every Day Apron


ApronEveryDay
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
The last of the aprons that I have to show you for now is an every day apron. I think my mom made this one as a gift for my Wedding Shower. I've used this one quite a bit as well, esp. when I bake cookies. The design on the bib is a goose done in counted cross stitch.

Christmas Apron


ApronChristmas
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, as promised, here is the Christmas Apron that my mom made for me. Sorry the photo is so blurry. The design on the bib is "Merry Christmas" worked in cross stitch. I have alway used this one during the holidays while I bake cookies, bread and make Chex Mix.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pam's Vintage Style Towel


Vintage Towel1
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Here's my towel! It's not original or unusual by any means but the unique thing about my towel project, is that this towel is vintage!

My sister found it in with some things from her mother in law. To quote my sister Kathi, "you're the one that likes all this moldy oldie stuff!" Ha, ha, ha! Yes, I just love old stuff!

Anyway, it had some stains on it but with some Spray & Wash and a good run through my washing machine, I was able to get most of it out.

The fruit design is from one of my vintage Vogart transfers. As you can see, it has the red lines down the sides. I couldn't get the whole thing on the scanner but it's enough for you to see.

For those you who are making your towels from scratch, if you can't decide on what size to make it, I cut mine 16 inches X 24 inches. I hope this helps.

I'm going to display this on top of my microwave with my Fire King Batter Bowl and a small collection of vintage kitty figurines. Next time I have the digi out, I'll try to remember to take a photo of it. Or maybe I can get Scott to take a photo of it for us! I can take great pictures of hummingbirds which are in constant motion but give me something standing still and I end up with a big blurry mess!

Crayon Tinting

I've mentioned Crayon Tinting several times in my blogging but I don't think I ever explained what it is.

Wax crayons were first manufactured in the late 1800's. Sometime in those early days, it was discovered that crayons don't wash out of fabric! The story I heard is that some mom somewhere found that her little one left a crayon in a pocket and we all know where this is going! I don't have children, but I'm sure many of you can relate to this!

Shortly thereafter, newspapers and women's magazines were suggesting color tinting as a quick and easy replacement for applique. And of course, needlework catalogs eventually began to offer pretinted linens. I've also read that due to hard economic times, crayon tinting became a good way to conserve embroidery thread.

Here's a beautiful example of crayon tinting. This piece was worked by Robin, one of the stitchers at my Ez Board. Robin was kind enough to allow me to share her photo with my readers. Robin's pattern is an Aunt Martha's Iron-On Transfer design.

Robin's Crayon Tinting Project

The technique for crayon tinting is quite easy. Simply apply your design to your fabric (I use muslin or quilter's cotton and it's suggested that you prewash to remove sizing) either by tracing your design with a washout blue pen or ironing on your transfer design.

Make a pad of several layers of fabric and lay your design piece on top of that. You won't want to color on a hard surface. To get the soft look you'll need the pad of fabric as a cushion. Using regular everyday old fashioned crayons (I use Crayola) color your design as if you were coloring on paper. When you're happy with how it looks, press it with your iron between two sheets of paper. The excess wax will come off on the paper rather than on your iron. Then stitch as desired.

It's very easy and quite charming! Thank you so much Robin, for allowing me to share your work with my readers!

A good book to start with is "Vintage Tinted Linens & Quilts" by Design Originals.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Vintage Style Kitchen Towel Challenge

So how would you all like another challenge? I know some of my readers are working on other projects but this one should be quick and hopefully, fun to do!

Towels are one of my favorite things to stitch! I hang them on the door of my Hoosier cabinet and change them with the holidays and seasons. And I make of them for gifts too!

Ok, here's the criteria:

Make a vintage style towel either from scratch or using a purchased dishtowel. I don't recommend terrycloth. I think cotton is easier to work with but I'll leave that up to you.

You can do embroidery, either by designing your own pattern or you can use an iron-on transfer design such as Aunt Martha's. You're welcome to use vintage patterns too like I do with my vintage Vogart collection!

If you prefer, you can do applique either by hand or machine. If you like crayon tinting, feel free to use that.

You're welcome to embellish it with vintage fabric, reproduction fabric, rick rack, crocheting, tatting or anything else vintage that you can think of.

The only thing I would prefer you not to use is counted cross stitch since counted work was not available in the 30's and 40's.

You're welcome to use any vintage patterns you may have like I did with my vintage style apron.

Here are a few photos of some of the towels I've made to give you an idea of what you can do and what vintage should look like:

Strawberry Towel

The strawberry towel is hand appliqued with blanket stitching and embroidery. The border is tatting.

Toweldog

This design is from one of my vintage Vogart patterns. The border is one of my reproduction 30's prints.

Towelfruit

Another of my vintage Vogart embroidery patterns bordered with gingham check and rickrack.

Towelpuppy

Last but not least, another vintage Vogart embroidery pattern bordered simply with some blue rickrack.

All of these towels are made from scratch using white quilters cotton fabric.

If you remember my Days Of The Week Rooster towels, those were worked on Martha Stewart Days Of The Week cotton towels available at KMart. The days are already on there.

I will have my towel ready to show you tomorrow. Yes, I got the idea last night while I was stitching on a towel. Mine towel is actually vintage!

Anyway, when you complete you project, email me a photo along with a brief description of what you did to accomplish your vintage look such as what items or techniques you used and I will post the photos and your descriptions here at the blog. If you use vintage patterns and want to scan the cover photo, I'll be happy to include that as well.

I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Enjoy everyone!

The Next 6 Aprons

Ok, I've finished up my design work for the day a little bit early so I thought I'd share the next 6 aprons with you.

July - The American flag is made of ribbons sewn onto a foundation and then appliqued down.

ApronJuly

August - This cute little sunshine is machine appliqued. My mom designed him. He reminds me of the sunshine on the Kellogg's Raisin Bran box. Maybe that's where she got the idea. I really like the fabric on the back!

ApronAugust

September - Again, the schoolhouse is machine appliqued and the "abc - 123" are machine embroidered.

ApronSeptember

October - More machine applique for this little pumpkin.

ApronOctober

November - This little harvest design is counted cross stitch. For my readers outside the US, our American Thanksgiving holiday is in November.

ApronNovember

December - Last but not least in this series, is the December apron. Mom decided that since I was born in December, that she would use my Zodiac sign which is Capricorn instead of doing a Christmas design. She did make me a Christmas apron but it's not part of this series. I'll share that one tomorrow. The Capricorn is counted cross stitch.

ApronCapricorn

That's all of the aprons in this series now. I have several more to share with you but I'll wait until tomorrow. I'm just about ready to stitch.

Speaking Of Aprons!

A few years after Scott and I got married, back when I still made an effort to actually cook interesting meals, my mother made me a set of aprons, one for each month of the year. My sister had just gotten married too so mom made us both a set.

Well, I thought they were so pretty, too pretty to use, so I decided to save them for awhile. I think she made them for us for Christmas 1990. Yikes! Up until now, I was still saving them. Well, with the current apron craze going on, I am now using them! I pulled them all out the other day and I photographed them to share with you. Remember, my photography is far from good!

Except for the cross-stitched ones, mom designed the patterns herself. Here they are:

January - the drink is cross-stitch and the streamers are ribbons that she couched down with the sewing machine.

ApronJanuary

February - the heart is eyelet fabric that mom appliqued.

ApronFebuary

March - the traditional Irish verse is counted cross stitch.

ApronMarch

April - this one is my favorite! The easter egg is done with strips of fabric pieced to a foundation.
Sorry the photo is a little blurry. It looked fine on the 1 inch camera screen! The flowers are little lace appliques and the grass is embroidered by hand.

ApronApril

May - The flowers are appliqued by machine and flower centers are buttons.

ApronMay

June - This one is fun! The strawberry is velour I think. It's fuzzy! I think mom had to hand applique that down.

ApronJune

The months are embroidered on all of them by hand. I folded the corners over on each one so you could see what mom put on the back. I didn't press any of them because most are kept folded in a drawer. I just thought you'd all enjoy seeing them.

I have to get some work done for now but I'll post more a little later.

The Long Awaited....

vintage Chicken Scratch Apron! I found this at a flea market a couple of weeks back for only $3.00! It's not in mint, there are a few stains that I couldn't get out but they're not too obvious. The sewing isn't perfect and the CS is coming out a little bit on the pocket but since it was the only CS I've seen at all the flea markets I've been too this year, and since it was only $3.00, I thought I would give it a good home. I'm going to try to fix the stitching on the pocket. It's not too bad.

ApronCS

And here's a closeup of the stitching at the bottom.

ApronCS2

I think if you click on the photos, it'll take you to a larger image.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Vogart Transfer Patterns

If you've enjoyed seeing some of my vintage Vogart iron-on transfer patterns, be sure to visit Laren's The Needle's Excellency blog to see her collection! I'll get some more of mine out in another week or so and scan the packets. I have alot of them and they're really neat! But Laren has 2 that I don't have so enjoy!

My Vintage Style Apron


MyVintageApron
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, here it is! My vintage style apron based on a vintage pattern from Simplicity from 1946 for sheets and pillowcases. I adapted the pattern to fit the bottom of the apron.

The green fabric is appliqued by hand and then embroidered. I loved making this and now want to make more. Just what I need, one more thing I enjoy making!

Anyway, I laid out a plate, cup and saucer from my collection of vintage Jadite Fire King dinnerware so you could see how nice they work together. The green on the apron is a little more blue than the dishes but it's still so 1940!

Scott and I have been collecting the green Fire King for years. It all started with a cup & saucer because I liked the color. Now, we have a whole cabinet full and we use them for our everyday dishes as well as for company.

In fact, the trim in my kitchen is the same color. I painted everything white and then took a saucer to the hardware store and matched it up for all the trim. Maybe I'll ask Scott to take a few photos of the kitchen so you can see that. His photos seem to come out better than mine do!

Bonnet Lady Pillowcases

Well, I was all excited about sharing some photos with you this week but photography isn't my medium! I should have taken everything outside and layed them out on the table on the deck because my outside photos are usually much better than my inside photos. I suppose I could have re-taken them but with so many things to stitch, I kind of think what came out is enough for you to see.

So, I'll start with this set of Bonnet Lady pillowcases that my mom made for me awhile back. The skirts are crocheted and the ladies are embroidered. I'm not sure if this is from a vintage pattern that mom has or maybe she purchased a reproduction pattern. Anyway, here is the photo:

BonnetLadyPillowcase

We don't use these to sleep on but rather, I display them on the bed as pillowshams. I only handwash them.

And here is a photo of them on the bed:

Bed

The bed is an antique from the late 1800's. I believe it's Walnut. I bought the silk floral garland and added the ribbon bows to it. My mother made both the quilt on the bed and the one at the foot of the bed. I stitched the bird pillow back in the 80's, long before I got married and only sewed it into a pillow a few years ago.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Quick Update

Well, I don't have any photos for you at the moment. I didn't quite finish my vintage style apron yet. I still have 1 more motif stitch and I'll do that this afternoon while watching my Cubs Baseball game.

I do have a nice visual treat for you this coming week! I had my digi camera out earlier and I've taken some photos of......well, I guess you'll all have to check back to find out what I have to share! For those of you who are into aprons, linens, embroidery, cross stitch.....like I said, you'll have to stay tuned!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Moonlit Peacock


BluePeacockBlock
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, while I was working on the Pink Peacock block, I started to feel as if the blue peacock block needed just a little more embellishing. While playing with my buttons for the pink one, I also layed a few buttons out on this block. The button I used just happened to land where it is now next to the peacock and instantly, it looked like the moon to me! It even has a "glow" to it! I knew then that my blue peacock was now enjoying a moonlit evening!

Also, I liked the way my tatted flowers looked on my pink peacock block so I did a few for this block as well.

My biggest challenge with these is to not cover my brocades too much. I love the brocades and I always and them to show up well. Anyway, I think the tatted flowers worked out well so look for more of them in upcoming blocks!

The Pink Peacock Is Now Complete!


Brown Block8
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, I'm actually a little sad that I've completed this block. I have so much enjoyed working on it. I trimmed the bottom right brown velvet patch with some metallic gold braid. It's sort of an antique gold. Very pretty. I embellished that a bit with some gold beads and some embroidery.

I went back to the top right patch and embellished the rose applique with some flower beads, then added some more flower beads to the seam above the feather.

I added a small filagree charm to the patch on the right of the peacock and that left me with white patch at the top left.

I tried various buttons and charms and nothing seemed to work. Then I had the idea to do a few little tatted flowers. Perfect! I worked those up, sewed them down, stitched a few leaves and added some seed beads and guess what? It's complete. I can't tell you how much I love this block! It sure looks different than it did before I started doesn't it?

Creative Finishing


JanetsSmokeyJoeFramed
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Many cross stitchers are not ready or willing to move beyond the grid. Some stitchers simply enjoy stitching from a chart and just don't care to try anything else and that's understandable. Cross stitch is easy to do and easy to take along and goodness knows there are so many wonderful charts available these days!

So how does one add their own personal touch of creativity to counted cross stitch? Through the finishing of course!

This is my Smokey Joe Mystery Stitch-Along project. I offered this stitch-along to my cross stitch followers earlier this year. I wanted to share this photo with you because I love how Janet and her husband finished it.

Janet's husband stitched this piece. I thought the addition of the silk ivy & floral garland along with the butterfly was a perfect example of creative finishing! It goes to show that anything can be embellished!

I'd like to thank Janet for not only sharing her photo with me, but also for graciously allowing me to share this photo with my readers. Thank you Janet!

Friday, July 15, 2005

The History Of Crazy Quilting

I know many of my readers are cross stitchers and I suspect that not everyone knows the history of Crazy Quilting. Except for maybe associating it with the Victorian era. And of course, the Victorian era was the time that Queen Victoria reigned, 1837 - 1901.

I'm rather facinated with CQ history myself although I must say, I find it a bit far fetched that CQing was possibly ignited by the "Japanese crazed ceramics" seen at the Centennial Exposition of 1876. To be honest, I wouldn't begin to presume where the idea came from. I mean, who knows what women were thinking back then? We don't even always know what we're thinking now!

But what I can see is how this artform became so popular so quickly! Victorian women were lucky in that economy was quite good and they therefore were able to afford housemaids, cooks and nannies for their children leaving them with plenty of leisure time. And what was the proper activity for a victorian lady to do in her leisure time? Fancywork!

Now I could sit here for a couple of hours, getting into all the historical details of Crazy Quilting but instead, I'll send you over to the site of The Caron Collection where there is an absolutely incredible article by Betty Pillsbury. Be sure to read both Part 1 and Part 2.

One last note on Queen Victoria. She is quoted as saying, "I take a bath once a month whether I need it or not!" Well, I'm certainly glad that Crazy Quilting came back into popularity but as for bathing, I think we should stick with a shower a day!

More Additions To The Pink Peacock Block


Brown Block7
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
I did stitch on this yesterday, honestly! The obvious addition is the rose vine in the patch next to the tatting. The roses are not done with the Bullion Stitch but rather are what I call "chunky french knots". The FN's are worked with 3 strands of Needle Necessities overdyed floss and wrapped 6 times. It makes for a very 3 dimensional looking flower. It takes some patience as it's challenging to get the knots to lay nicely but I really like the effect.

I also worked on my vintage style apron. Now I want to make more! But I must finish this one first!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

More Additions To The Pink Peacock Block


Brown Block6
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
As you can see, my Pink Peacock is coming along nicely! I added more beads, lots more! I covered the seam to the right of the peacock.

I also worked up my usual plain tatted edging for the bottom left seam and added some gold sequins to that. The tatting is worked in DMC varigated perle cotton #8. I don't know why I do the same tatted edge over and over. I have other patterns. I guess I do this one because I know it by heart and don't have to stop to follow the pattern.

Anyway, now when I look at my blue peacock block, it seems to me like it needs a little something more. When I finish this one, I may see what else I can do with the blue one. I will of course post photos of any more additions!

I also started the stitching on my apron yesterday. When I adapted the sheet & pillowcase border to fit the apron, I managed to get 4 of the repeats on it. So, I've just about stitched the first motif. I plan to make time for some stitching on that later today as well.

Garden Jewels Cross Stitch Mystery Part 1

One more quick note to my cross stitch followers, I've sent out Part 1 of Garden Jewels now. If you signed up for the project and didn't receive it, please drop me a quick email. I apologize for posting here but since my chat board is down again, I need to make sure that everyone has their chart.

EZ Board & Garden Jewels Mystery

Just a quick note to my cross stitch followers and those looking forward to starting on the Garden Jewels Mystery today, yes our EZ Board is down again. It appears to only be the server that our chat board is on.

Garden Jewels will begin today as scheduled. I have some chores to do first, like go outside and water plants since we've had almost no rain this Summer! Anyway, I expect to have Part 1 sent out by noon today (Central time).

You can always reach me via email if you have any questions. If Ez Board is not back by the time I send GJ out, I will post here to let you know that Part 1 is on it's way.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I've Been Bit!


SimplicitySheetsPattern
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, I was going to stitch on my peacock block yesterday, but first deciced to do the finishing on a few projects. Before putting my sewing things away, I took a look at Tie One On blog and guess what? I got bit! What bit me? The apron bug!

I suddenly had to make an apron! So, I pulled out some of my fabric stash to see what I had yardage of. Much of my stash consists of fat quarters. Anyway, I had a pretty white on white piece, more than enough for a 1/2 apron.

Then I remembered, this beautiful vintage applique and embroidery pattern from 1946 that I found back in February at an antique mall! The pattern was never used. Anyway, I had some of that lovely mint green fabric and decided I would adapt the pattern to fit the bottom of the apron.

Well, it kind of took me all day to do this. I've never made and apron before and I didn't use a pattern. I took measurements from my Chicken Scratch apron and worked from that.

The green border took awhile as I did needleturn applique by hand. Once I finished that, I completed the piecing. All I have left to do now is to handsew the waistband down on the backside and do the embroidery. I've already traced the pattern on.

Sometimes, I just don't know what possesses me! It's not like I don't have anything here to stitch on. I just get this bee in my bonnet and I have to drop what I'm doing and whip something up. Even if it does take me a whole day!

As soon as it's complete, I'll get out my digi camera and snap a photo so you can all see it. It's so pretty!

I showed my husband last night and he laughed at me. Asked me what in the world I was going to do with it! I reminded him that although I'm not one to cook big lavish meals, I do make salad, I do cut up fruit, I do make bread and cookies and heaven knows I'm the dishwasher around here!

If you'd like to see more vintage patterns, there are a ton of pretty vintage apron patterns here. They're expensive, but cool to look at! If you're on dial-up, go get some iced tea while the page loads. It'll take awhile!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

When Is A Block Done?

I was asked "how do I know when a block is done?". And it's funny that this question came up because I was thinking of posting about it.

When is a block done? Well, it's kind of a "feeling". After working on a block for so long, I'm sort of "connected" to it. I've noticed that after awhile, a block usually tells me what it needs. I'll be stitching along and suddenly I'll think of something in my stash that would look good on it. Something that I forgot I had. So I pull it out and try it and yes, it usually works great!

And as with stitching on it, it seems to tell me when it's done as well. I'll look at it and it'll appear to be balanced perfectly or there won't be room for anything else without it looking overdone.

The challenge for me is to balance it without completely covering up my fancy fabrics. That's not to say that I'm not attracted to extremely encrusted CQ blocks. I've seen some absolutely breathtaking blocks, almost completely covered with embroidery, SRE and beads and buttons and I love them! For me, the brocades that I use are just so beautiful, I don't want to cover them up with embellishments so I do try to use some plainer fabrics along with the fancy ones on the blocks. Things that I don't mind covering with embellishments.

It's really a "knowing". You get a "feel" for it. You'll just know when enough is enough.

The Pink Peacock - Another Day


Brown Block5
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, my current peacock, which suggested by Linda at Chloe's Place was probably once a white peacock but perhaps ate a bunch of red berries and turned pink, is coming along nicely!

As you can see, I added the peacock feather, using two strands of DMC floss and two strands of Kreinik Blending Filament in High Luster metallic gold.

I hand dyed the rose applique yesterday morning. That's now permanently attached and embellished with glass beads and a Swarovski crystal.

It's cloudy and drizzly here today, so instead of working on cross stitch design work, I think I'll take advantage of the grey day and continue on with this block.

Monday, July 11, 2005

More On The Pink Peacock Block


Brown Block4
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, it doesn't look like I did a lot on this yesterday, but crazy quilting, even on small blocks, doesn't go fast.

I added some beads along the lace trim at the top and then at the top of the fan border above the peacock. I also added beads to the feather stitching beneath the peacock.

I think I'll start stitching the feather later today. Oh, I also hand dyed a rose applique this morning so I plan to add that today as well.

More tomorrow...
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