Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mystery in Cookie Land

These were done at a cookie decorating party for the neighbourhood children. Luckily, most of the mothers had a sense of humour or had read about the killer snowmen in the Calvin and Hobbes cartoons. Either way, here is the story the girls created.

It was a lovely day in Cookie Land.

But what is this, a MURDER! She's been shot!

Call the Detective Chief Inspector. He'll investigate.

Oh NO! Two more murders.

The Chief Inspector needs help. Ask Miss Marple, even though she is busy knitting, she has an idea.

And for good measure, ask Hercule Poirot for help too!

With their help, the murderer is apprehended! Hooray!

Now all is safe in Cookie Land again.

Except of course for the ones I ate.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Wrapping Hint

I've learned that you should not wrap presents with glittery paper in the same place you fold laundry and triage the ironing.
I happily wrapped up presents on the bed using some new glitter snowflake paper from Hallmark. What I didn't realize, until it was too late, was that the glitter was everywhere. My husband came in and told me that he could not wear the pants that were on the bed because they were too glittery. I refused to wash them again, so I told him he could head off the strange thoughts by just telling everyone what I did. I did use one of those sticky lint rollers to get some of the glitter off as I ironed - although I wondered if the heat might make the glitter permanant. Oh well. Feel free to learn from my mistake.
Today I cleaned off the island in the garage/craft room so we can now wrap presents there. At least the glitter incident got me to clean up the garage before my MIL arrives.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Holidays - Winter Solstice maybe?

Part of the reason I started blogging was to learn about social software to keep me in touch with what the students at the university use. Well today I saw a very funny Christmas song video on Mason-Dixon Knitting and decided it was worth learning how to embed a YouTube video to share it with more people. I admit that I do really love acappella music, being a Nylons fan from way back in Canada when I was a teenager. And the embedding was easy once I actually read the instructions!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

First Anniversary Musings

I realized recently that my first anniversary as a blogger came and went without me noticing. As well as blogging myself, I have been reading more blogs this year, as I discovered the wonderful online community of textile lovers. I have a bit of time to reflect on this past year and I thought I'd share my thoughts on how it has gone.

My original reason for starting a blog was to participate in the Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge set up by Sharon B. I can't tell you how much I am humbled by her energy, expertise and artistic talent. While I haven't finished all the weeks (I've reached 47 although I haven't blogged it yet), I have been pushed into many new things by the challenge and I will be eternally grateful to Sharon for setting it up.

Once I started participating in Sharon's challenge, I realized that there were many, many textile blogs out there. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent looking at all the wonderful things everyone out there is doing. I've added many inspired ideas to my visual journal thanks to my blog surfing.

At that point, I was working a couple of consulting jobs from home, but in March, I was able to start working more outside the home. Many years ago I 'retired' from full time work as a library director to stay home with my children. While I was able to fit in part-time work back in NY, when we moved there weren't enough hours between my morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times. With the change in grades I have a good stretch of time to get out now. It was great to get back into a library and work at a busy reference desk. I forgot how much I love a university atmosphere. Of course, it means less time for stitching and blogging but I usually do feel more energized and creative after a good day at work.

I have summers off for childcare, so I was able to catch up and try new things then. I wrote an article about the tapestry project I worked on with my daughter's art club (see the Dec. NeedleArts magazine). My biggest inspiration was going up to Plimoth Planation in MA to work on the reproduction jacket project. That has totally changed the direction I want to go with my embroidery.

I started back at the university again in September where I'm doing some things that I find professionally exciting (I know, you are wondering what is exciting about being a librarian, but really, it is fun) I was also asked to be on the EGA National Youth Program Committee and edit the Crayons to Threads column for NeedleArts. That was a great honour (plus I still do the chapter newsletter). And the Sampler Round Robin I am in seems to be moving again. At least I have finished one and have another to do, so that is good.

My blogging has been sporadic. I constantly question why I'm doing it and why anyone would care. But I am so inspired by others, maybe somebody will find what I do interesting as well. And since not many people blog stumpwork, I feel I need to keep going with that, just to encourage more people.

All in all, I am pleased with what I have accomplished in the last year. Especially since I have also been working at the barn one or two evenings a week for much of the year. I even took riding lessons for a while. Mind you, I can't be to complacent right now because the tree is only half decorated and there are still presents to buy.

I am looking forward to 2008. There are going to be some new work challenges, some column editing, and lots and lots of stitching. And I hope to do some work with the high school art guild in the coming year as well. I don't know if I'll participate in any more challenges though. I think I want to challenge myself to create the work that I've been planning since I first saw the 3-D embroidered gardens book. I'll keep you posted on that. I also want to explore some other ideas. Today Sharon b wrote about a new blog that has captured my interest, Red Thread Studio. Elaine Lipson writes about Slow Cloth, New Cloth and Art Cloth. I love doing hand sewing, so the idea of slow cloth really appeals to me. (One of my favourite places is the milliner's shop in Colonial Williamsburg) Elaine's third post mentions one of my favourite books Elizabeth Wayland Barber's Women's Work, The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times. There is a vague notion in my mind that somehow the ideas in Barber's book should combine with those in Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species by Sarah Hrdy to form an interesting take on why women feel and act as they do. I'm not sure what yet, but one day it will hit me.

I'm sure I've gone on long enough now, but I've at least interspersed my meanderings with some photos of current projects, and to end it all, some silk that I will be using to knit myself a lace scarf. If nothing else, over the last year I've learned that I can make something really special for myself, not just everyone else.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another book I must have

I have a great weakness for embroidery books. And I love natural looking techniques. So I was thrilled when a while back somebody mentioned Jane Hall (sorry I can't remember who) and I recently bought her book - which is a dream. I've told my husband the best thing he can give me for Christmas is permission to purchase lots and lots of silk and organza and silk dyes.

Today, I was looking for a seahorse Assisi pattern, which I found, but then I followed a photo to an Argentinian embroidery blog, and as I'm looking through I see the cover of a book that I know I must get by Gary Hall - here is his art gallery

This is why I don't web surf very often - too much of interest! Now I must get of the computer and go make brownies and cookies for a pot luck at work tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Everything except blogging

While you might think I've been quite for the last month, I really haven't been. I have been doing everything on my computer except blogging. I've been leaving comments on the blogs I enjoy reading and viewing. I've sent out another chapter newsletter, which includes a book review I've written. I've written a history and instructions and done stitch diagrams for the Assisi class I'm teaching tomorrow night (I'm going to have to think of a better way to do stitch diagrams in Photoshop). I've done several web pages and abstracts for work. And I've actually been doing some stitching.

Here are the Assisi horses from my last post fitted to the top of an Altoids box. I braided some leather from an old briefcase to act as a frame.

I used some store bought scrapbooking stickers to decorate the box inside and on the bottom. And then I made a biscornu paddock for a little horse charm. The perforated paper mini photo album is not quite finished but when I took the tin in to a chapter meeting, on of the members suggested horse hair for stitching when I finally had the photos ready and knew the size of the album.
The Band Robin I am in seems to be gaining steam again. I have received two in the mail, both of which started in Australia. This is the first I have worked on. The pattern is from a Hungarian pattern book and I used Color Play by Joen Wolfrom to help me with the colour scheme. The owner of this sampler (Christine) likes oranges and I agreed that the sampler needed some other colour.
Finally, this is for an ornament exchange. I may not be able to give it away, I'll have to think a bit and see if I can finish something else. We picked names and the slip of paper also had a few things the person liked. My recipient likes thistles, so this was what I made. I based the design on a scissor fob cross-stitch pattern. I find turkey work lots of fun although it is hard to keep the thistles looking neat. I used detached buttonhole for the flower bases just because I don't want to get out of practice in case I get the chance to go up to Plimoth Plantation again to work on the jacket!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Seduced by smalls

I must admit that until a few years ago I had a rather dull cross-stitched pincushion and a very hastily assembled pin keep made from vivid orange felt. What did I need with something fancy? Then I saw a lovely bargello pincushion being used by the milliner in Colonial Williamsburg and thought I'd like one of my own. So I made one and finally had a nice pincushion. Then, on a trip to England I purchased a couple of kits, a needlebook with a Tudor rose and a scissor fob with a thistle. I discovered that it is very nice to have pretty things in my sewing basket and I don't know how I did without the scissor fob - actually, I know, I regularly couldn't find my scissors. Of late I have taken to drooling over the photos on The World's Largest Collection of Smalls blog.
So when I thought about a present for my SIL and started making a sample for my November Assisi class, I made smalls.
The rabbit pattern used here is from : and the bird is from a Hungarian embroidery book I own. I used one skein of the DMC colour variations floss for all the stitching and finishing seen here. I only used cross stitch for this sample.

I also made a sample of three of the stitches used in Assisi work. The piece below is adapted from a Tokens and Trifles free chart designed by Tricia Wilson Nguyen. The fields are cross stitch. The mountains are 2-sided Italian cross stitch. And the sky is long arm cross stitch. This is sort of a modern interpretation of Assisi work. It will go on the top of a different sort of small - an Altoids tin that I'm making into a horse memory box for my daughter. I finished stitching the sky at a horse show on Sunday, just to make it more of a memory - the lingering smell of horse.

This is another pincushion and scissor fob set I did in silk for my SIL. I love the colour on this, it is In the Reds, Silk 'n Colors from the Thread Gatherer. The pattern is from a chart in the August 2007 Just CrossStitch, also by Tricia Wilson Nguyen. It was hard for me to use all the silk needed for the cord but it just had to be the correct colour, and after all, I can buy more. In the end, I think it looks great so I don't mind using so much silk.

Monday, September 17, 2007

TAST Catchup 34-37

While my body is not entirely adjusted to the early school year wake up time, it has been nice to get back into a routine that allows for more regular stitching time. I also had a birthday present and class demo to make up (I'll post more later) but then finally I had time to try out the latest TAST stitches. I really like the challenge of something new and everything but the rice stitch was new, so I concentrated on stitch mechanics rather than creating a picture. Especially with something the Shisha stitch, I really need to know how it works to feel comfortable using it. What you don't see are the numerous trials as I tried to tie down a sea shell - I'm still working on that one and thinking that a small hole would be easier than Shisha!

TAST 34 Portuguese stem stitch. While thick thread and closely packed stitching can make a rope, it seems to work nicely as a snowflake with just a couple of strands of floss and long stitches.

TAST 35 Shisha stitch. This one was completely new but I can see the use. I don't recommend trying it with a slippery bead the first time - upper right. I did finally get it down. The red at bottom is with nothing so I could get a better idea of the form of the stitch without having to keep something down. I think the thicker floss is better as well.

TAST 36 Cable Chain. First I tried to actually make cables - like a sweater - and I think with the right thickness of wool and size of stitch you could really get something neat. Then I tried with floss and metallic thread. The metallic thread looks like a chain and could be quite useful in future.

TAST 37 Rice and boss variation. I think you could work up a really neat pattern with these stitches.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Summer's End

Isn't it nice to know we never stop learning about ourselves?

This summer I learned that I should never make big plans when I think I'll have lots of time. I wanted to get so many things done while I didn't have to go in to work on a regular basis, but of course almost nothing got done. (I've learned this before so this is reinforcement.)

I've learned that it is important to seize the day. I had a fantastic time up at Plimoth Plantation working on the reproduction jacket. I didn't even know about the project at the beginning of May and yet early in August I was flying up to help (many thanks to DH for telling me to go).

I've learned that sometimes you don't have to keep every commitment you make to yourself. Sometimes more important things come first. I've missed the last couple of weeks of TAST because of travel and such, and as much as I was pleased that I was keeping up, now I'm relieved that I can let it go. Also, I've decided against continuing with the first step of the EGA mastercraftsman program in counted thread. I have so many things I want to do with stumpwork that counted thread isn't enjoyable. Plus the stress of perfect backs is making me miserable. Sometimes you have to let go.

I had an excellent end to the summer. My daughters and I visited SIL in WV. We painted a mural in her Tiki Room/garage, went tubing on the Cheat River and enjoyed the mountains (except when we were getting car sick on the winding roads). Since I always like to include photos, here are some of our trip.

My SIL is an excellent gardener. This is just one part of the amazing landscape she had carved out of the mountainside. Here is the mural. It is multimedia. We used wood cutouts and real nuts and dried starfish and stickers and bird feathers, etc. We all participated and had a great time.
This is the dog. She didn't help at all - just slept in the hammock!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

TAST 32 and 33 Crested Chain and Scroll

I've had fun this week working on quick little samples. Some weeks I can think of nothing to do other than just rows of stitches, and other weeks I get inspired, although this time some might say I've just gotten silly. Whatever the case, I've used only the stitch of the week in each piece. My stitch sample book is getting quite large and I think I might have to get a new and bigger book to hold everything? When you start adding cloth and thread, things get thick very quickly.
Hope you are all enjoying the challenge as much as I am.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lace questons

While I have always enjoyed the lace samples I have that were crocheted by my great grandmother, I never thought they would be of interest to others until I took them up to Plimoth Plantation for show and tell last week. It reminded me that I have promised my Stitching Sisters Christine and Jenny in Australia that I would put some photos up for them to see. At first I had thought everything was crocheted but when I saw the knotted lace on Jenny's blog and as I looked at things closely when deciding what to take, I realized that there were different types of lace in my pile.

So here are some things I could manage on the scanner since the camera is in use elsewhere. I think there is bobbin and needlelace here as well as crocheted lace. There is a needlelace tradition in Hungary (which is where my mother and her family are from) specifically in Kiskunhalas. I have two pieces framed.
I would love to hear from anyone who can tell me what's what.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Small fun stuff

As I've been contemplating other bigger projects and deciding where to start, I've been working on smaller things. I finished these two this week. Technically, the St. Paul's on the bottom isn't finished because I need to make it into an ornament, but the cross stitching is done. The top is the commemorative needlebook kit we received at Plimoth Plantation last week (see previous post). Isn't Wendy White's design lovely? And I really enjoyed working with the perforated paper card. I have an extra special bit on my needlebook. I saved the ends of the gold wrapped silk I was using on the jacket and made the top pink flower on each side with it.

Carol Ann had a question about the piece I was working on for the jacket project. I don't get to finish the underarm piece. All the pieces stay at Plimoth Plantation and get worked on there. Some in my group were there for a second go round. But others like me were there for the first time. There will be sessions every month until next year but I don't think I'll be able to go back so I won't be able to do more on the jacket. But it is nice knowing I've been a part of such an amazing project. Tricia Wilson Nguyen is working on a series of kits that will be available based on this piece though, for those who are interested - keep a look out.

Monday, August 13, 2007

trip to Plimoth Plantation

My trip to MA was fantastic! I arrived home late Friday night but company prevented me from blogging until today. I must start by thanking Dorothy on the EGA National Yahoo group who wrote about this project. When she told the group about the jacket project back in May I went to the website and was thrilled with the idea of recreating the jacket. I ordered the sample kit soon after and with my husband's blessings I started to plan for this trip.

We started Wednesday morning with warm up samples and then moved on to the actual jacket pieces. We all started with leaves or buds outlined with reverse chain and filled with detached buttonhole stitch. The filling is quite dense and looks beautiful done in the twisted silks. We were all lucky to be able to look at what the June group had stitched. Here is one part of the room as we started stitching.

All the pieces are stretched on frames and the larger pieces have stands. It was the first time using a floor stand for me and I actually like it - which is saying alot from a person who normally stitches in hand with no hoop if at all possible. For this stitch it is very important to be using a frame though. While we spent most of our time stitching, there were several exciting events planned for us as well. During our first lunch, we had a talk about Thanksgiving from Kathleen Curtain, the plantation food historian, which was very enjoyable and her book was included in our gift bags.
I was working on the left underarm piece of the jacket. It had not been worked on because they had only just acquired enough large frames to stretch all the pieces. It was nice to have a new piece because at the end of it all, I knew everything on the piece was done by my - not that there was much done, but it was still nice.
Our first evening program was a needlebook kit with a design by Wendy White on a Tokens and Trifles card with a customized back that commemorates our stitching session.. The pattern was special - based on one of the two samplers in the Plimoth Plantation collection that we were able to see in person the next day.

On Thursday, as well as having the chance to see a real stumpwork piece close up, we had a behind the scenes tour of the Plimoth Plantation collections department with Karin the curator in charge of the collections. She brought out a selection of needlework and clothing related items to show us, along with the two samplers. She also told us about a wonderful book, Findings: The Material Culture of Needlework and Sewing, by Mary C. Beaudry. I purchased the book and it is wonderful (more in another post). There was a large shelf of pieced together pottery that had been recovered from privy digs - a useful place to study the past.

We also had our show and tell time. It was wonderful to see everyone's work. I have so many ideas for things to make - as always I'll write them down or I will forget them before I ever get the chance to work on them.

Later in the day, Jill Hall took us to the wardrobe workshop and showed us where they clothe the 50-60 English settler interpreters at Plimoth Plantation. There is a separate wardrobe department for the Native People who wear Wampanoag dress.
So here is my completed underarm piece. As you can see, three days of stitching doesn't cover much ground when you are working with detached buttonhole and getting used to a floor frame. Mind you I did take breaks and had time off for meals and shopping. I imagine the women who made these jackets back in the 16th and 17th centuries didn't have so much time off and I know their meals weren't as nice as the ones we had.

I can't tell you how exciting it was to talk with Tricia Wilson Nguyen about the project. She is very excited by all the technical details and knowledgeable about the threads. It was fascinating to hear about how she researched the threads used and how she was able to get gold wrapped thread for the project. And the gold wrapped thread was great fun to work with. The two pink strawberries are done with the carnation colour.

Everyone at Plimoth Plantation was great. Jill and her staff in the Colonial Wardrobe Department (and Jill's two lovely daughters) did so much for us. And all the other stitchers were so nice and it was inspiring to hear about all their projects and the classes they had taken. I realized that despite my many years of stitching, I really am just a neophyte when it comes to real historical stitching. A few reproduction samplers is nothing compared to the work many of the other participants are doing. It was a real learning experience all around.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Historical needlework and beads

The day after tomorrow I leave for Plimoth Plantation in MA. I'll be working on the 1627 jacket project up there I'm very excited to be able to participate in a project like this. When I first got serious about embroidery I was into reproduction samplers and now I'm interested in stumpwork so the chance to learn more about historical embroidery fits right in with my interests. I'll have three days of stitching with a lecture and special project as well. Can you imagine, three days with nothing but embroidery! Thank goodness I have such an indulgent husband. He encouraged me to go and he is staying home from work to look after the kids while I go.

In order to ready myself for the stitching, I've spent the last few days working on the butterfly pattern that came with the stitching sample kit that was part of the process for participating. The body of the butterfly is trellis stitch, the red wings are buttonhole and the pink wings are buttonhole lace - the outline is couched down so afterwards you can lift off the wing and attach it where you want it. Just this butterfly and the samples have taught me so much, I can't imagine how much I will learn going to work on the jacket.

In the meantime, I went to a local bead store yesterday - which has an online storefront as well - and I was awestruck. Having only encountered the craft store bead aisles, this store was incredible. I love the crystals and pearls and glass beads, but the semiprecious stones that were available in all sorts of shapes were really inspiring. I could see garden paths and water and flowers and trees and all sorts of things I could embellish with those beads. I guess the variations in the stones fit with my love of overdyed threads. I didn't get anything for myself this trip - I bought quite a bit to encourage my daughter's new love of jewellery making - but I will get something on another trip because I will go in with some ideas!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

TAST 31 Cast On Stitch

This was so much fun! I started thinking I'd do a pink flower but the first petal reminded me of a worm so I went with it. In keeping with my personal challenge, the dirt, beak and bird feathers are also cast on stitch. The eye is a French knot.
I did notice with this stitch that I had to be careful of twists. If I cast on lots of stitches it was hard to keep things straight - although sometimes I let it twist, like the worm. I regularly let my thread hang to keep the twist out.

Monday, July 30, 2007

TAST 30 Buttonhole wheel

I did another sort of experimental (at least for me) sampler this time on a piece of felt I made recently. It was very interesting to see the way the different colours worked on the different backgrounds. This piece has the highest form of compliment - my daughters like it! And I had fun which is even better.

TAST 29 Arrowhead stitch and finished Dragon CQ pillow

I've had stitching time but not blogging time the last couple of weeks, but I finally have a chance to sit and write. I'm very excited because this morning I sent off an article and some photos on the VA tapestry project I did this year with my daughter's art club. It will be in the December issue of the EGA magazine, NeedleArts. That has been one of the things keeping me busy.

On the TAST front, I was so taken with some of the multiple arrowhead rows in Sharon's samples, I decided to use that stitch on my last Dragon CQ pillow seam. First, since I've learned how important testing is, I tried some arrowheads on a counted thread doodlecloth to get a feeling for even arrowheads. I decided I liked the triple blue one best, with all the arrowheads in the row starting from the same seam. By the way, the green mess represents Sting singing a John Dowland song on the album Songs from the Labyrinth. It is a contrapuntal sort of round and it was going through my head. I don't think I'm ready to illustrate Fantasia style yet.

So, after the practice I came up with this seam. This was the third try at the bugle bead row. The first time, I didn't have enough to do the whole row so I took it out and tried using some coloured half bugles I had lying around for every other arrowhead. It looked horrible so I took it out again and waited until I could get out and buy a new tube of beads. I'm very glad I did because I'm happy with this seam.

And here is the final pillow. My first CQ project is done! As well as having help from Sharon's TAST challenges, I had help and encouragement from ktj in pa who sent me patterns and encouraged me to try crazy quilting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Learning to ride at 45

My daughters have been riding horses for just over 4 years now and for the last two they have been particularly active helping get younger riders get ready for lessons, helping around the barn, and most recently, we have been feeding all the horses two evenings a week. Of course they are too young to get there alone or be at the barn alone, so I agreed to stay with them. At first I just sat and read, but it took them a long time and they argued about who was doing what. So I stepped in to delegate and took over the job of putting the grain in the buckets; the girls move horses in and out, and give water and hay. It has been a wonderful experience for all three of us and I have come to enjoy the horses very much. They all have such wonderful personalities, all very different. Well, I finally decided that it was time I learned as well. At first I didn't say anything and kept putting it off, but then I actually mentioned it, so I had to follow through. Today I had my third lesson (the photos below are from my first lesson a couple of weeks ago). I have discovered that getting off is much harder than getting on. Steering isn't too bad, but it is counter intuitive that the opposite leg from your turn is the one you need to squeeze with. And, I must admit that it is much, much harder than it looks. You have to think about body posture, and legs and heels and toes and hands and reins and then on top of it all you have to look where you are going! And when you trot, you have to bounce at the right time! But I have a fantastic instructor who is very patient with children and adults and I'm having a blast. And there are only a couple of muscles that are complaining at the end of the day.

I don't know how long or how far I'll go with this, but I'm pleased that I pushed myself to get out and do something active, it has been good to know I can do it, and I'm very happy I found the time. I highly recommend trying something new to everyone!

Monday, July 16, 2007

TAST 28 Sheaf stitch and Dragon CQ progress

I had limited stitching time last week because of work, so I did a very small sheaf stitch practice before using it on my CQ block. I was glad I did because I tested different spacing, both of the uprights in the single stitch, and the spaces between stitches. When I tested the beads with the stitch, I realized that I had to give extra space between stitches to make sure the beads had space. Once again, I've learned the value of testing on a doodle cloth before stitching on the actual piece. You'd think after all these years I'd have learned that but I've always had the mistaken belief it would waste time, when really the time waster is pulling out stitches that don't work because they haven't been practiced.

So here are the rest of the seams I've done. This is the feather chain and wheatear intersection. I added beads since the last time I posted this block, and purchased more of the pearl coloured Krenick to finish the wheatear seam.

I added blue beads to the gold Basque stitch and charms to the Chevron.

I'm still not sure about the light blue ribbon seam. I've added gold spacers in two different sizes but it still isn't right. I'm thinking of weaving some silver filament thread through the ribbon. We'll see.

I think this will end up being my favourite seam. It is the bullion braid I worked on during TAST 27 with different colours. I'm not quite done yet, but it looks good so far.
Here is the whole block as of last night. I'm not sure if you can tell, but I've padded the dragon to make it stand out. I'm thinking of the best way to ground him, since right now he is just floating there. We looked at crystals for him to have his front paw on, but there was some disagreement about the size yesterday, so next time we are at the craft store I'll take the block so we are sure of the size. The last seam is in the bottom left and so far no inspiration. Any suggestions are welcome!