Monday, January 16, 2012

CQJP 2012 - Block One Progress

This is an update on the progress of Block One. I've decided to tie it in with a series of paintings I am (supposed to be) working on called 'Keys to the Past'. I have painted skeleton keys as part of my watercolor series and I decided it would be fun to incorporate actual keys into my genealogy blocks which are also keys to my past.

This block will have an unusual key that was actually found at this farm! I love being able to give it a place of importance. The end of it is a flat head screwdriver, but the size and general shape is that of a key so in my book it qualifies. I imagine it could help open a door or two. We pulled a couple of old dirty bins out of the barn and when I was cleaning the 80-90 years of grime and dirt I found this 'key' hanging from a nail toward the back of one of the openings.

I added some buttons to help visually combine the blue flowers and the peacock feather. I found the little peacock pin with the blue stone in my stash of old jewelry. Isn't it perfect!

The history of the home and the photo of the home were stitched in place.

I tied a blue organza type ribbon to the key.

I created a blue seed bead butterfly using the brick stitch.

I stitched the blue flowers and green leaves with embroidery floss and added an amber bead to the centers of the flowers. I am still playing with placement of the buttons, key and butterfly a bit. I have to 'live with it' a few days before committing to the final details. Do you do that too?

I may try to find a sepia pen to deepen some of the details of the house, but I don't want to add much color or detail to it as it represents a memory from times gone by.

I am debating whether to (1) add some sort of greenery/leaves for the butterfly to rest on, (2) shorten the ribbon ends rather than having them fly off the borders, (3) add some stitched lacy pattern somewhere around the history paragraph, (4) add more greens extended off the image by the blue flowers, (5) bead (or stitch a design such as trailing leaves) on the frame around the house, or (6) ...??

Any suggestions or ideas come to mind when you look at it? Sometimes I look at things like this so much that I don't see the obvious.


Momma Bear said...

maybe because it is a key found in the present belonging to the past you should leave the trailing ribbon to extend into the other blocks that will go with the piece (if any)
don't mess with the picture it looks great the way it is if anything something around the story might be in order but any more might be too much.
I really like the block the way it is.
very wistful and dreamy.
great piece
Flora from Bothell

Suztats said...

This is so beautiful, Connie! Soft tones convey the time element, and relate to each item you've included. I think some lace around the history would be nice to softly blend it into the background, and maybe extending to the picture of the house.
Perhaps it's the photo itself, but I could not easily read the butterfly....I thought it was another bow. Since it's a darker shade of blue, it seems to take away from the light blue ribbon...but that is my impression.
I think this is just lovely!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Its beautiful!
xx, Carol

Robin said...

What a beautiful block; and I'm loving the concept of this whole quilt!

I can't resist giving my opinion on your debates...
1. don't feel need for greenery with butterfly ribbon tails making soft diagonal across block; time passing
3. top left might could use something so lacy pattern around history sounds OK to me, although maybe a little resting place for the eyes is a good thing. I'd be debating for a while on this one.
4. not really needed, especially if you leave the ribbon tails. I'd wait until you decide what goes in the block next to it.
5. Nope leave the house alone... no pen or paint enhancement either.

The butterfly is fabulous! The dark color is perfect for the piece.

In answer to you Q on the BJP blog, check out "Beadcreator" at I've never used it, but I have a friend who loves it!

Robin A.

MosaicMagpie said...

The composition of the block is perfect. It as though I am looking at a grouping of memories centered around the house. That is what you had intended. I do think the details of the house could be sharpened a bit. Pigma makes a sepia pen that is very fine tipped. Maybe just enough pen work to bring it in to focus a bit. I like you layout and stitching. But the amount of stitching is all up to how it looks to you. I like a cleaner not cluttered look. To me the block and what you have stitched is perfect.

Debra Spincic said...

Since you asked. . . .

when I first opened your blog, the first thing I saw was your butterfly. To me, it's too dark or needs to be moved away from the focal point--maybe to the upper left corner as an introduction to the block. I think the house needs a little shoring up--it's just a little too faint to see.

Also, when the piece is hanging, the key will hang vertically over the picture so are you planning to couch it down or (should I even say it?) glue it in its diagonal arrangement?

I think adding greenery is a great idea--it seems to go well with a farmhouse, after all.

Sorry you asked? *wink*

Marjolein said...

The flowers are lovely. They look so fresh.
I agree with Debra about the butterfly. It seems too heavy.
And I miss something in the upper left corner. Of course this is my humble opinion, but you asked for it ;) Hope it helps.

jenclair said...

Beautiful, Connie. I love the idea of this block!

Elizabeth Braun said...

Very nice indeed! I love the peacock feather. I'm doing one with couched threads so am hoping that 'couching stitch' comes up on TAST soon, so that I can get the motivation to finish the thing!!!=)

Hope you enjoyed the promised stumpwork flower tutes.=)

Renata's arts and crafts said...

All is absolutely amazing , I would not be able to say which detail is more beautiful, as for the house I think looks just right as it is .
You have golden hands in making of this thinks...

Nathalie L. said...

I discover your block an I see your CQJP 2012, I feel very very small, I have not startedmine, I hope not to be late. Your block is a wonder sublime and beautiful, really beautiful. Thank you, when I look, I learn. Thank for the share.

Susan said...

I love the way your block is developing. I wonder who hung that key-screwdriver on the hook, and what they used it for.

Terri's ThreadArt said...

Oh Connie this is beautiful and has inspired me! I am visiting my grandmother in SC right now,The one pictured in my block. I read your comment on my blog when I was at the airport and it meant quite a lot as this visit will probaly be my final good bye to her. She is very sick. God bless, I'm looking forward to seeing how the quilt progresses throughout the year.

Lorraine@creativedaily said...

What a wonderful theme for your CQJP. I will most definitely be looking forward to watching the progress.

Elizabeth Johnson said...

Your peacock feather is just beautiful! I miss having time to embroider. My goal is to MAKE time for it this year.

Cathy K said...

Wow, is your block ever beautiful!!! You are truly an inspiration! Hugs, Cathy

Pam Kellogg said...

Absolutely gorgeous Connie!