Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crazy Quilt Block No. 44 Completed


My 44th Block has now been completed in this series which began as a CQJP (Crazy Quilt Journal Project) 2013.  At the beginning of this project back in January of 2013 I was sure I would get bored using the same fabric colors and thread color with no lace, beads or other embellishments.  The colors are also not colors I am normally drawn to.  I love soft colors like pastels, lots of lace, lots of beads and all kinds of textures and embellishments.  My focus has been on stitch combinations as seen on many of the vintage/antique quilts.  I have stitched intuitively and have actually found it quite meditative.  I have done no pre-planning and often what I see in my mind ends up going a different direction altogether.  

I have four more blocks in this series that are pieced.  They are small and easy to take on trips.  I did much of this block during a trip last week to Colorado.  This upcoming week is the beginning of Ragbrai (the largest organized bicycle ride that goes across Iowa from the Missouri to the Mississippi).  I will be taking these along with me but doubtful I will be getting much stitch time in.  If I do I will post when I return.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Visit from a Wren

I just had to share this.  Every year I have Boston Fern hanging near the front door.  This year we had a storm and afterwards I found a clump of grasses and pulled it out.  It then reappeared and I realized a little wren had decided to make a family home there.


If I get too close she gets really nervous, but I was able to take a few quick pics before she chased me away.




I've heard the baby/babies but have only seen one tiny head peak out.  A friend told me the males will build the nests in order to attract a mate.  God's little creatures are so interesting.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Collections - Perfume Bottle Love


One of my favorite things to collect is perfume bottles.  Any color, any size, any style and I am hooked.  I thought I would get away from the CQ blocks for a minute and share my collection.  Some are gifts from special people, some are mementos from trips, and some are just bottles I couldn't resist.


Above I have one from China that is painted inside and also a small perfume bottle from the World's Fair in Germany which we attended I believe in 2001/2002.


This set is Vaseline glass.  One of the stoppers (on the right) is damaged but I still think it is a beautiful set.  Maybe one day I can have a glass blower friend try to fix it.


I love the color of the tall one on the right.


I tend to be drawn to glass bottles on decorative metal bases also, like the two above.


I have several clear glass perfume bottles, some antique and some new.  I just purchased a dresser set with two perfume bottles, a vanity jar and a tray.  I will be picking it up after Ragbrai.  Then to find a place for it...


I couldn't resist this little set even though the lid was missing.


My son was married in the Bahamas and I had to pick up this sea shell shaped set while there as a memento of the occasion.  I also have a similar set from a trip to Cancun.


More of my clear set.  Love the large decorative stoppers.


Had to have this trinket box with hidden bottle.



Some of the small bottle collections I couldn't resist along with a long-stemmed single rose perfume bottle.


And, of course, what would any perfume bottle collection be without a couple of iridescent pink bottles.

These are a few of my favorite things.  Anyone else out there collect perfume bottles?  What is your favorite collectible?


Monday, June 30, 2014

Another 6" Block


I am continuing on with a few more blocks following the CQJP 2013 blocks.  I enjoy working in this size, working with the same color thread with the focus and experimentation on stitch variety, and really enjoy working on the poly satin fabric.  Lots of stitch combinations on here.

I will be leaving on a road trip soon and have about four more blocks ready to stitch on.  We will have our granddaughters with us so I'm not planning on getting a lot done, but I'll be ready when the opportunity comes.  I thought I would be really tired of doing these by now but oddly I'm not.  I did create another block recently and will share that with you later on.  I've also been doing a little bead work so it isn't like I do nothing else.

This is truly a learning experience as I am creating the combinations as I go, working intuitively.  I am hoping to offer a booklet soon to share how I've created all the combinations as a handy reference for those interested.  I just need to get to work on it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CQJP2013 Blocks Completed

I've had most of my blocks for the CQJP 2013 finished for quite some time.  It just seems like a lot has been going on.  As they say, life happens.  My blocks were only 3" square the first part of the year, so I did four blocks each month to match the 6" square minimum requirement.  My last 8 blocks were 6" square each.

All together I created 42 blocks.  I still have some naked blocks I will work on from time to time between projects but have not determined what I want to do with them.  Below are the ones I haven't yet shared.  There are still two I haven't got photos of that I must have used on the mini quilt.  They are all so similar in size and color that I was going crazy trying to figure which ones were missing from my photos.  Maybe that will happen another day.














We just celebrated my mom's 90th birthday with a big semi-surprise party.  We told her about 3 hours beforehand.



I have also been trying to get back in bicycle-riding shape in prep for Ragbrai.  I will probably do maybe a day or two at the most this year.  It is in northern Iowa which is mostly flat.  This year is the 3rd flattest and 2nd shortest ride (or something like that) so it should be a lot of fun.  I will be driving this year and staying at hotels or homes.  I'm done putting up and taking down a damp tent or sleeping in basements - getting too old...and wise.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vacation Stitch Results - 1 1/2 Blocks

I didn't make as much progress as I had hoped on vacation, but I did get some stitch time in and had a wonderful time visiting with family and seeing the sights of Oklahoma, and over to Arizona and back to Iowa.  The changes in the terrain always amazes me in its diversity.

The two blocks I worked on are shown here.  I tried to correct the colors which are the same I have been using for all my blocks to date.  Now that they are uploaded they don't look right.  It is difficult to get color perfect when there are so many.  The stitching is the main thing and it does show.



I really enjoy working on these blocks.  They are small and easy to stitch and using one color of floss makes it even easier to take along on trips.  If you click on the block you should be able to get a closer look.

I will post some photos from my vacation soon.