Monday, July 31, 2006

Last evening I put the finishing touches on two more prayer pouches and have them ready to be mailed out.

I also found three more that were in the final stages and hope this week to get them finished and posted as well.

While cleaning the sewing room and moving the office to the larger room there should be a lot of new ufo's popping out of containers.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I have on the drawing board three more prayer or friendship pouches as well as three crazy quilt blocks that I am embellishing. I will walk you through a basic prayer block on one of my future posts.

This coming month is finish up in the ufo section and I will share as they are done, as some will be gifts and some will be set for sale.

Enjoy the heat in July and August and if you are from our area of the world it means that soon it will be fall and we will be shovelling snow.........

This velvet angel very simplistic is very easy to make and makes a nice gift for those you love. I used the porcelaine hands and arms and a set of purchased wings.

I also used a thread cone ( large ) for a base and covered it with fabric in white. I made an underskirt by cutting a piece of fabric the height x circumference plus 6 inches. A hem of five inches in allowed in the bottom, and the top is gathered to fit around the cone using a casing.

Velvet is cut and gathered in the same way with the addition of very special lace. Arms are made using gathered lace and the bodice is highlighted with satin and silk ribbons as is the boquet she is holding.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A fairy pouch made from the pattern by Pat Winters. It was a gift from a friend and I have made this and sent it along to her as well as the sea pouch. These are very addictive, and I have gone on now to play with designs for small purses and pouches. They are so rewarding. Thanks Pat for the inspiration and directions.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I have chosen to share another prayer pouch that I made. This is completely made by hand, seams, lining and all and was the first time that I rusched the bottom of the pouch before I added the embellishments to the bottom and the lining so it was all done at once. A small hand beaded bracelet accompanied this little pouch.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Today I squared up two cq blocks for a quilt that I a working on and they turned out perfect. I then started to work on another block. I also chose to freehand sketch a pattern from Inspirations called " Rhapsody ", a purse pattern, after getting the scrolls in place as it is so difficult to get the flowers in the spots where they belong and I normally challenge and change a pattern but give credit to the designer. I am starting on this venture and will share as I go along.

I also started another crochet doily to keep the mind alert, and I am still working on the second christening gown. I am chosing to finish two at the same time, so that I can make the slips for the little dress, the thread gown, and the ecru thread gown all at the same time. This will be a fullfilling moment.

I am going to share a few chapters of a book on self discovey that I have been working on for a number of years in the hopes that it will force me to finish what I have started. It is nearing completion and my mind is still racing with more stories to put into place. I find this book very inspirational to me, and to know that I can look at the pages when I need to makes my heart feel great.

" Have a talen, share it with a someone today."

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

On Wednesday I wrote a nice little note and it went into cyberspace along with all of the good air quality in the little valley so I will try again.

On Tuesday evening and last night I worked as patience would allow on the block from the preprinted panel. I am pleased with how it is turning out. I also took pictures of the original quilt and it's inspirations, but I am still finding it hard to go every block different. I have gone to much brighter colours than what I would normally use, but the different blocks may be a challenge and I may rest with the bright blocks.

I hope to do some handquilting today and will share some quilts as well that I have since finished or are in progress. Kind of hot for sitting under a quilt, but we will see how cool the air conditioner keeps the room.

Shake hands with your neighbour, invite them over for a cup of tea or coffee, or just do something real special for them and who knows you may even make a friend.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Humidity being extremely high I found yesterday a hard day to do any needlework but found time to work in some crochet on the second chistening gown and later last evening worked on some hand embroidery for a full sized quilt that was put aside, for what I refer to as, too many choices.

When you start a project, in particular, with this one, it was on a pre-stamped square by a reputable company with both dmc and anchor colour numbers listed. They chose a colour scheme that they like and a pattern that goes with it and you then pick up the colours and start to stitch.

Well, if you have only ever used basics in colours and had never seen a quilt top like the one I am quilting for Sher and Ken, you would never realize the beauty when you stray from given colours and techniques. Ken's grandmother used every colour imaginable and evern combined blocks from different sets. She used metallics for ribbon bows and verigated threads for flowers and vines and leaves and it is truly gorgeous.

I like the way that no two blocks are the same. There are two distinct patterns, but she changed the colours of each block and that is where I am headed with the project that I had started to blog about.

I have twelve blocks. I have twelve baskets. I have tried at least ten different colour arrangements on each block to start with and now I feel I have reached a plateau where I have found the threads of choice, not because I am smart like Ken's grandmother and used what I thought looked beautiful, but because I have a variety of threads to chose from and found that mixing them gives me the pleasure that I truly enjoy. And to think, I have eleven more blocks to pick new colours for and to pull the old colours out that did not please me. Oh, the life of a self-proclaimed perfectionist.

I will post a picture of Ken's grandmother's quilt top in progress, as I have the honour of hand quilting this one. I will be so pleased when this is done so that I can let them take it to " Bessie " and have her picture taken with them and the quilt. A true labour of love is when you make a quilt from scratch., and that is embroidering, selecting colours, and then working each block, one at a time and setting them together. Now, it is honoured by being handquilted.

" Life life one day at a time, but make it a Masterpiece".

Today I would like to share with you an inspiratiion based on a half- doll project in Joan Watters book on silkribbon emrboidery. I started this project in the summer of 2005 and have just finished it this year. Yes, another ufo destined to be worked on when time permitted, and it appeared I was always searching for a half-doll

I used this fashion doll instead and was impressed with the tiara that she was already wearing, restyled her hair and decided to fit the dress rather than just drape it and drafted off patterns for the bodice, sleeves and joining the train to the dress. I used silk ribbons hand dyed by Eloise Gomez, and must admit they are like the pursest water running through your fingers when you chose to work with them. I also used beads from mill hill and threads from Thread Gatherer. The lace on the bottom of the train and skirt are from a piece of vintage lace sent to me by my friend " Carolyn ". I think it added dramatically to the dress.

I chose different colours and a lot more beadwork as my style is similar but not the same as that of the creator. She is an expert, I am a novice. The dress is lined and is made of silk, another piece gathered in a round robin of stash enhancements. I am so glad that I took the time to finish this little doll and now she sits proudly in my living room part of the month, and resting in my bedroom. I hope you will try to make a bridal beauty or prom queen from a half doll pattern.

Since creating this doll I have drafted a doll sized pattern of my daughter's wedding dress and want to re-create this in a doll form for a large shadow box for her. Her dress was handmade and I still have all of the trimmings, beads etc., but will have to work a smaller scale for her doll of life.

Have a great day and be creative so that a piece of you is always on line for inspiration.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Yesterday I picked up the tatting needle and tatted some small and large motifs to get me in the mood for working with different threads and textures again. The weather here is so hot and humid that this was the only activity that was cool enough to work on. I love working the little wreaths and small items as they fit so well into the embellishment of crazy quilting and silkribbon art. I have learned at lot and want to do some edgings for pillowcases, or perhaps just the ruffle on a series of fan blocks that I have been proctastinating about working.

I have one more boote to crochet on an heirloom christening gown and the slip to make to go under. I am so pleased and will hang this on my studio wall as it makes me feel good inside. In fact, I have already started another one in ecru this time and it is coming along well. I love vintage and heirloom clothing and may even have to dust off my pleater and get back into smocking again. My the needlearts that we teach and share.

Now that the housework is behind me I would like to work on something small, that would give me instant rewards when finished. I have a to do list and a box that is filled with items that would solve this problem, but then my heart is yearning to make another purse or at least a prayer pouch and paint some silk ribbon and threads.

I have been carefully following both Sharon B and her 100 stitches in 100 days and Pam Kellog in her 100 embellishments in 100 days and can hardly wait to start work on my blocks. I have two more small blocks that I want to finish first and then I will start and hopefully have a quilt of memories using each technique from each day.

Above is my Katrina block which I am proud to say went into Katrina Quilt # 3 and is now in the possession of a dear friend of mine who won it on a bid in ebay. I was pleased as what I had wanted to capture was the beauty and reality of what New Orleans meant to me before the devestation and Mardi Gras, beauty, music, jazz and all of that were captured in my work on this special block.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

This is a picture of a doily that I have designed for my mother-in-law for her birthday. I used a pattern in a challenge for one triangle and then added the edging. I went back in and used a three- dimensional butterfly, as well as some roses and Irish crochet scrolls. The little picture sitting ont he side was made with leftover fabrics and ribbons and I call it " Carnival", as the ribbon ties on the base of the flowers remind me of " Mardi Gras ". Hand-dyed ribbons on this piece were dyed by Victoria Clayton.

Now I am off to see what can be done with some tracings I made last night of a new purse design for myself. I also was fortunate when I was out this morning for a hair style that I stopped into the local fabric store and got enough camoflage fleece to do seat covers for dh's jeep. Last weekend I surprised him and myself with a lined waterproof wheelcover.......and all from just using the pattern of an older one.

I truly love to sew, be it whatever form. I love to read to enrich my mind, and if this blog in any way encourages you to do either, it has met my personal goal.

Have a great day and " keep on stitching, one stitch at a time and soon you too will have more and more " Labours of Love ."

When I started to create my blog, I wondered what to name it, and in a hesitating moment decided to call it " Labours of Love ", as when I look around, most of the items that I create are made with love by myself for someone else. And I truly love working on them and surprising people with little items when they least expect them.

I hand painted the ribbons on the front of this little prayer pouch and gathered them to make three small carnations. I added some hand painted leaves, ribbon, beads, laces, pearls etc. and a fluffy feather with beads attached with bead glue into the feathers as the lady this was designed for is a gentle elegant person and the feather seemed so fitting. I chose to finish the back as well and added some beads that you purchase on a reel under the seam and finished embellishing. I lined it with satin and an overlay of wide lace and included a prayer and a beaded chain and it has since been mailed and received.

This is a small 6.5" crazy quilt block that I made as part of an on-going project for a lady who is struggling to get back on her feet following a stroke. I truly enjoyed making this block. I have worked with her patterns in the past and have heard some many wonderful things about her. I added the maple leaf under the the flower and re-embroidered the veins. I also was out shopping and found the most wonderful map Canada/USA combined and knowing she is american and I am canadian it seemed to fit right in. I also did some vintage leaves and a vintage flower and attached some small beads. I worked a tatted heart floating.......I also did some feather stitchng and let a trail of red sequins float across the block. Her colours woul dhave been vibrant and as a result of this project it has made me realize that what is beauty in other's eyes can soon become beauty in our own if we allow ourselves to stray from the regularities of our own choices.

The above images are photos of work that sit on a padded bench at the end of my hallway. They remind me to keep stitching and to be creative and it brightens a rather dark spot. As you can see there is a fan cusion to the back right on the first picture. This was a kit of the month from as well as the needlecase in the lower right hand side of the picture with the large gorgeous green bow. These were wonderful to work on and very well explained.

In the foreground is a pin puff that I received as part of an exchange pin puff group on the original silkribbon embroidery group and I have cherished this. It is very large and has gorgeous shadown work on this as well as shadow applique. These techniques are wonderful to me and I have used them in the past, and I am so pleased to have this. The back has a pin back so that I can wear it, and there is a hanger for scissors on the bottom. I have yet to put a pin in this little jewel, but looking at it now, it sure is sparking my interest in shadown applique again. I need some new nightgowns and this would be perfect, let's see what happens in the next week or so.........Something simple can look oh so elegant when designed with just a touch of luxury.

The picture of the little pastel peach heart has a footprints pin in it and it reverses to a gorgeous oriental gold damask on the back. This is in memory of our son Nichoas Patrick whom we lost shortly after birth, but is still apart of our hearts and lives. It shows the purest of white roses and flowers and the footprints represent the steps that, we as a family, shared in the healing process. It really does work with needle and thread. The struggle to go on can sometimes be so great, but when we look at reality and realism within, it is very easy to be pleased with what one has than to grieve for the past, but we still also have the ability to make sure that the loss is never forgotten. When you stop hurting, you stop remembering, and " When this you see, remember me ". means a family cared and still cares.

To the left is a picture that I completed for my husband for his birthday this year. It is called Deepest Love and is by Mirabillia, it took very little hesitation to select the pattern, but it forced me to go one step further to finish and self-frame. I am pleased. This was my first time working beads into a project as well as with the blending filaments on a large project.

Friday, July 14, 2006

This is a very special picture of my mom. It was my first attempt at memory crazy quilting and I chose to use a lot of colours that reminded me of the gentle person she was. I have used some of her jewellery, and a print that my friend Peg had coloured in and printed off for me. The matting is also hand coloured and it hangs in my office.

This is a collage of about five carnations using Petals overdyed silk ribbon. I based this on a pattern that I had seen in one of Joan Watters books and just loved the way that the carnations were draped across a pillow. I have not decided how to finish this as yet. It is worked on black linen and I have extra linen left over for either a purse, or pillow or framing.

I made this gorgeous purse from a pattern in the Country Bumpkin publication Inspirations. I used my own colours of hand dyed threads for the background swirl and branches, and then added silkribbon rather than bullion roses and love the effect it gave. I lined the purse with linen in embossed linen, and made the purse so that it is now reversible. I have since mailed this purse to my cyber sister " Carolyn " in Oregon and she said the ladies at church just love it. I truly enjoyed making this purse and highly recommend mixing thread medias.

This is a picture of the side of one of the pieces of a purse that I have done some freehand embroidery and needlework on and is now touring in a round robin with some new found angel friends of mine. I am excited to see it come home. I based the pattern on the Leslie's free pattern at Caron Threads on line and enlarged the detail. I love the way that she has allowed us the freedom to piece and overlap, rather than starting from the centre and working out. I added some of my own hand marbled fabrics to this piece as well, and that was another time when I just had to try marblized fabric and fell in love with fabrics and dyes and anything that can be attached to them.

This is my Avon flame pillow. I made this in memory of my mom " Shirley Wilson-Moore ", who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 47. I let the heart encircle the flame, and used gorgeous hand dyed ribbons for the flowers. I added the pink ribbons and tacked them down with little beads. There is an angel and a heart to signify love and her love of life and faith. Mom's memory pillow has a double ruffle. Mom's pillow is dedicated to the beautiful girls she left behind. At the top there is a small heart with a cross on it and it contains six special beads that signify six beautiful daughters.
A journey into silkribbon work lead me to create this wedding pillow for the love our my life our beautiful daughter " Sher ". Sher is pictured in the middle of the heart. She is surrounded by silkribbon work that I learned logging onto a group when it first started. I also added lace and corsage holders. I must replaced the picture in the centre with her wedding picture as she is now married to a wonderful young man and they are stationed at CFB Gagetown.
My love for needlework began at a very early age. It began in a hospital setting during a polio epidemic in the early years. We were taught to work with our hands and heart to keep our mind off of the pain and constant struggles that we would endure to become a " normal " person in society.

My journey was a long one. I enjoyed every step taken, and those where I fell. I learned to walk again and to " never give up ", and today I am once again living with the past and bringing it into the present.

I am working with my hands doing needlework that I normally give away to people who have touched my life through this journey.

I hope that you enjoy your visit, and that you too will start a journey that may take you onto undiscovered paths, or in my case, fabrics, fiber, threads, embellishments, and any form of needleart that will leave my legacy in this world.

One of my major goals in life has been to privately learn each and every needlecraft technique and master this in one form or another and I have found that the beautiful art of crazy quilting leaves me the ability to at least try, and then decide if I want to invest more time in this span of my life.

Come on in, enjoy some of the pictures that will be loaded up soon, and ask questions, enjoy and be a part of someone else's life today.