Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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
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
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
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.
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!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Saturday, July 07, 2007
I used my TAST stitch book to decide on seam treatments - I think it will be a great resource and with 27 stitches in it now, quite full. As I look at this block, I realize it needs more so I'm going to add beads or sequins to the seams. I'm also thinking the dragon's front feet need some sort of crystal to rest on, and I think I've seen just what I need in the beading and jewellery aisle at Michael's. I'll wait for the next coupon though.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
This has been a great learning experience for me. I won't offer to make a picture with beads chosen by somebody else; I found it impossible to use all the beads and sizes my SIL had picked out in the same picture.
I've also learned that I need to have a better work area to do beads. I sit in a very comfortable chair under a light and I would rest the bead container on the arm as I worked. Of course I knocked it over more than once and had to dig beads out of the chair - and I'm sure some are still there.
I really enjoyed doing the completely beaded lily pad and the water around the lily pads. I like that densely beaded look. But at the same time, I like the purple pickerel week flowers and the beaded cattail. Just a few beaded highlights are nice as well.
I think I'll eventually try another beaded picture but I will have to gradually enhance my stash before doing so - this took lots more beads than I realized for such a small piece - and I'll plan very carefully.
I've included this photo of the picture framed along with the unframed piece as well. I always find it interesting how much of a difference the frame makes. The frame colour is greener in real life so it does go with the picture.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Anyway, it is much harder to get things looking good than I expected. Not that I expected it to be easy, because I can see how much work goes into the pieces on people's blogs. But I just don't seem to be able to get the beads I have to fit in with the design I've started. Maybe I just need a different selection of bead colours and sizes than I have right now, at least for this type of piece.
I embroidered the background plants last night and added the brown beads for cattails and the tiny purple and gold beads on the other plants. So far so good I thought, but then I tried to sort of fill in with various beads and discovered they all just looked to big and bulky for this picture. I had rock like beads for the pond's edge and again, too bulky. The small flower shaped beads seem fine, and I do like the glass butterflies, but most of the other beads don't work. So I think for the pond I'll stick to some small bead highlights so I don't detract from the turtle.
This piece is only 4x6 because I found this neat picture frame that actually has 1/2" depth built in which would allow for the beads. I'm thinking I'll get another in a different colour and try a modern design in beads, maybe working in a different style will allow me to develop the bead dense look I would like to try. Or maybe, after I finish a piece I have due at the end of the summer, I'll look into taking Sharon B's sumptuous surfaces course - her beaded shell design is just the sort of thing I'd like to work on. There is no way I can manage it for the July 11 course, but I think it is in my future.