CQJP July Block

Saturday, July 31, 2010

1:1 Round Robin CQ Square (long and pic heavy)

I finally finished my 1:1 RR CQ square! Yay!
But first, another picture of my favourite garden rose. ( I'm sure you're tired of it, but I had to share anyway. Last one, I promise! )       
The frills, the colours, the shadows, the glow.....I just loved the whole composition.

And my hydrangea is in flower.

I had shown you this tease a couple posts ago, and promised to show you more when I had finished. The clusters of flowers were tatted with Josephine knots : the leaves with Josephine chain (for lack of a better term), and the trunk with layers of twisted thread woven over and through a straight stitch base. The threads used were: Caron's Wildflowers in 'Tropic Seas' and 'Blue Lagoon' , DMC cotton perle 5 in a light turquoise, dark turquoise metallic thread.
This is a Round Robin CQ Square that I've been doing for NickiLee of NickiLee's Raviolee Dreams ( http://cqnickilee.blogspot.com/ ) who has a wonderful blog and creates the most beautiful hand-dyed laces. Her CQ squares are outstanding! I met her when I joined CQ International, and we made a swap: my tattings for her laces. She sent me her CQ square at the end of May. Talk about being in over my head!

I was so excited, I started working on it before I remembered to take a pic. Aren't the colours and the materials just gorgeous?  My favourite is the mottled blue/green/pink triangle on the left. I've always liked turquoise, in fact my little Honda is turquoise, but after working on this square, I think I love turquoise. I used my hand-cut stamps to mark some designs on the fabric, and decided to work with the circles and curves in the existing patterns. The theme NickiLee chose was 'Winged Garden Visitors'. I loved it.
I felt, though, that the cream material was such a contrast to the blues and greens, and wondered how to make it more harmonious with the other colours. I liked the touch of pink, but decided the ugly avocado greens in the busy pattern just clashed.
So, work with the theme, and circles, my stamps, incorporate cream elsewhere, and tone down that green. And, I wanted to try not to create a pictorial square, but rather have my embellishments all around. Hunh! Where to start? I began creating a sun, and a large allium.        I won't take you through each step. I'll show some close-ups of embellishments, and the completed square.                                 Here's a  dragonfly tatted  with Caron's  Wildflowers 'Tropic Seas', and beaded with turquoise crystals in the tail.
Picking up the soft pink and working with the creams and circles, I embroidered the leaf spray, added clusters of Josephine knot flowers in Yarnplayers HDT 'peace' in size 40. Then beads were added in groups and sprays, and a pink, glittery ladybug was perched among the flowers.
This butterfly was embroidered on another fabric, stitched onto the square and stuffed with fiberfill. Is that called trapunto? This allowed me to carry some yellow into the other materials. The antennae are tatted with a double strand of black floss, and are flexible, attached only at the black crystal bead head.
This is another close-up of the 'tree of life' in front of the circle sun motif, and also shows a button spray in all the main colours of the square, sitting on the cream seam.
The last two photos are different shots of the completed square. I am pleased with the individual motifs and embellishments I added. Visually, the eye does tend to follow the elements around the square, but I am not sure that harmony of the colours was attained. What do you think?     I did cover up some of that avocado green with a gathered turquoise ribbon, formed into a flower. The centre is a  translucent,'sugar', domed button.
I added the following winged garden visitors: 3 bumblebees, 2 butterflies, 1 dragonfly, 1 hoverfly, 2 ladybugs. As a fan of pictorial squares (I think that's the term used when there is a definite top and bottom to the square, but, I could be wrong) I am a little disappointed with my design, and think the elements might have worked better as a whole had they been placed differently. Do you agree? 
Well, all in all, as this is only my third CQ square, I don't absolutely love it. I don't hate it either. Both good and bad points are obvious, and made more so by seeing the completed square on the screen. I do hope, though, that NickiLee will like it, in spite of all its flaws. 
Here's hoping you all have a safe and happy long holiday weekend.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Friday, July 30, 2010

ATC Received

Val Thomas of Val's Musings (http://homeleightigger.blogspot.com/ )  is a marvelous fiber artist. In June, we swapped ATC's. We had so much fun, we decided to do it again!  Val sent me this:

Isn't this gorgeous? Called 'Neptune's Daughter' and sporting a 3-d face, and beaded, fiber hair, my 'sea maiden' sits on a background of turquoise and greens. She even has her own  dolphin to ride!     Val's stitching has captured the colours and the motion of the sea waves.                                                                        Thanks so much, Val! I love it!
I can't show you what I sent to Val: she hasn't received it yet. But once she does, I'll post a pic.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just a Little Peek

I have been working on a 1:1 crazy quilt square with a special theme. I can't show you the whole square because:
a) I'm not yet finished
b) I don't know if my CQ partner reads my blog and I don't want to spoil the surprise if she does happen to check it out
So, I decided to tease you with a little sneak peek. And, yes, there is tatting!

 Several threads have been used : perle cotton size 5 medium turquoise, Caron Wildflowers, two similar colourways, one of which is Blue Lagoon,  metallic thread in dark turquoise.
I am pleased with how it has turned out so far.
There is a little bit of symbolism in my embellishments, as well as the use of some of my hand-carved stamps to create some patterns.

I shall post photos once it has been completed, and received. Sorry to be such a tease.

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Pictures to Share

This is a painting of the view taken through the porch windows at the old cottage. They had been fashioned from an assortment of second-hand, unloved windows someone had discarded. ( watercolour)

Poinsettias painted on a hot summer's day were later made into Christmas cards for family and friends. (Watercolour)

A waterlily in the bay. I love the petal's reflection in the water.

Interesting sky over the lake.

Yum! Time for lunch!
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Garden, The Lake, and Tatting

This lovely rose was a purchase made in error, but I have come to love it's colours, from deep orange buds to blooms with glowing yellows, touches of pinks, and gold.  It grows beneath a purple clematis.

This makes both flowers pop.
These black-eyed susans appeared on their own, but looked so nice against the shrubs and pink granite, I thought I'd keep them.

Last evening I sat on the dock, watching the loons diving for their supper, and coming closer and closer. I hoped to capture them on film, but the beaver appeared and charged towards them. They turned to flee, and swam towards the far shore. So I took these shots of the shadows and reflections in the water instead.

I have been tatting, although there's not much to show right now...just these bits and test tats and doodles. I'm working on some swaps and my 4 other 5zies, and I'll have to wait until later to post them.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tat Days Quilt!

It's all put together.

Isn't it gorgeous? A king-sized quilt embellished with tatting, ribbon, beads, and more tatting! And you could win it in a draw.

Donations will be accepted that will go directly into the Tat Days Scholarship Fund and will only be used for Tat Days Scholarships. For each $5 donation, you will be entered into the drawing 1 time. There will be 2 drawings from the same bucket of names for 1 of 2 GORGEOUS, LOVINGLY, HANDMADE Quilts. One quilt will be 56 squares. The other one will be a wall hanging of 6 squares. For Example: $20 enters your name 4 times into the bucket for the drawings.
Anybody can make a donation, and get a free ticket.
Don't you want that quilt? I do!

The deadline for online donations is Tuesday, August 24th, 2010. Donations will be accepted at Tat Days.
You can find out more information and see a few more pictures at this addy: http://www.tatdaysscholarship.info/index.shtml

Thanks for visiting.

Hugs from Suz

Monday, July 19, 2010

First 5zie Square Completed

I'm in a swap with a group of talented artists, and we're creating 5, 5" squares on a Winter or Christmas Theme. It's being hosted by Jillayne of "A Fine Seam".  Check out her blog :  http://quiltingfabrications.blogspot.com/

I've finished my first square!

It's a little bit shabby,
I hope a bit chic,
A little bit Christmas
and a little bit pink.

There's a wee touch of ribbon,
A small dab of bling,
I do hope that you'll think
This is "Just the Thing!"

So, pull on the ribbon
And undo the bow,
There's two doors to open.
What will it show?

A little Surprise
You can hang on your tree.
An original snowflake
For you, from me!

I'm excited to see all the other entries!
Here's hoping your day holds wonderful surprises!
Thanks for visiting
Hugs from Suz

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Found Bargain

I was in one of the second-hand shops in town, searching for some tatting thread, when I came across the following bargains.
This is a cross-stitch kit of 4 placemats, with directions, and lots of floss, a package of sewing needles in a variety of sizes, plus a package of beading needles. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the price on the kit........$1.00 !! Wow!!  I grabbed it fast. Even if I decide not to make the placemats, the floss and needles were worth the price many times over! Then I searched for more bargains.

I discovered this lovely lace at the bottom of a box. The price tag read ..... 50 cents!  I snatched it up and continued my hunt, finding the small gold heart pin for the same small price.  It's just perfect for a CQ I'm planning.  Making my way up to the cash, and digging out my 2 dollars and marvelling at my good fortune, I noticed a sign sitting on the counter.

It read:  ......... Half Price Sale............ 
Was I lucky, or what?  All those goodies for 1 dollar!! Wow!!
I shall certainly be returning to search for more bargains.
Have you found any marvellous bargains at your local second hand shop??

Hope you find treasures wherever you may be searching.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ATC Swap

Val Thomas of Val's Musings and I swapped ATC's. This is what I sent her:

Swags of josephine knots attached to tatted limbs created "Pink Wisteria", made with Yarnplayer's "Peace" in size 40.
I'm so happy Val liked it!

This is what Val sent me! Isn't it gorgeous? Felt, fabrics, and techniques such as burning, freemotion machine sewing, and layers of metallic thread were molded in Val's hands to create this textured, beautiful art. The picture only hints at the shimmer of the material and thread. I envision gold flowers and long grasses dancing in the breeze against a changing blue sky. I love it! Thanks so much, Val.

If you haven't seen Val's phenomenal work, please check out her blog:

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

The Lake and The Garden

As promised, here are some shots of the lake and of our garden. Hope you enjoy the views.

The neighbour's dock

Shadows and reflections

Along the shore
I dug this hole to transplant a shrub.
This is what I got out of the hole! Rocks!

I am blessed to live here. I hope you have a blessed day.
Thanks for visiting. Hugs from Suz

Friday, July 9, 2010

Octo 2

Last night, I finished tatting Octopus#2!

This is more like the octopus I had pictured in my head...a little more substantial, more dimensional- at least the arms look a wee bit more realistic to  me. I think the shape of the head is better, too.

Here's the pattern:

R= ring    OR= onion ring   Ch= chain    ds= double stitch    
d= 1st half of ds    s= 2nd half of ds   +=j= join    clr= close ring    fp= false picot

R1= 1ds, (2d,2s)6- (2d,2s)6, 1ds  cl r
OR2= 1ds,(2d,2s)6- (2d,2s)6+ [ j to picot R1] (2d,2s)6- (2d,2s)6  clr
OR3= 1ds, (2d,2s)9+ [j to 1st picot OR2] (2d,2s)9- (2d,2s)9+ [j to 2nd picot OR2] (2d,2s)9, 1ds  clr
OR4= fp,1ds, (2d,2s)12- (2d,2s)12+ [j to picot OR3] (2d,2s)12- (2d,2s)12, 1ds  j to fp to close
OR5= 1ds, (-2d-2s)2, (2d,2s)15+ [j to 1st picot OR4] (2d,2s)40 +[j to 2nd picot OR4] (2d,2s)15, (-2d-2s)2, 1ds  clr
take the thread through the nearest picot of OR5 and knot. Then begin the arms.

Ch1= (2d,2s)- (2d,2s)25- (2d,2s)25- (2d,2s)5
Ch2 = (2d,2s)5+ (2d,2s)25+ (2d,2s)25+ (2d,2s) +
Ch2 travels back up Ch1, joining to each corresponding picot of Ch1, then joining into the same picot of OR5. Once knotted, the thread is then taken through the next closest picot of OR5  and knotted before beginning  the next arm. Repeat for all 8 arms.

Once OR2 was completed, I found it simpler to create the following ORs as though they were chains, rather than rings, as it made it much easier to fit the subsequent rings properly into the picots. I would make the chains up to each join, and, once joined, continue the chain until completed, and then tighten, joining to the base of OR1, or to the false picot created in OR4.
I created Ch2 in stages, pulling the chain section through the needle and joining into the appropriate picot, then continuing along the chain, tightening slightly as I went.
Knotting at the beginning of each arm helps to prevent stretching of the picots on OR5.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding my pattern, or if you should find any errors. Thanks.
I am having problems with my connection due to the heavy rains, so I shall close, and share some garden pictures next time.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And The Heat Goes On...On...On...On....

Hot! Hot! Hot! With the humidex it's like it's in the low 40'sC!! Melting. Okay, enough crabbing about the weather. In 6 months I'll be complaining that it's too cold!

As promised, here is a pic of my sad little octopus.
He's sad because one of his arms broke....well, the thread broke, so his arm's shorter than the rest. It's the 1st arm on the right.               This was a test tat for a friend who CQ's, and, as such, this pattern would work as a motif for a sea-themed CQ.   But I'm thinking that it needs more.....a more solid head, and double arms so the octopus is more substantial. I think the arms need to be a bit longer, too. I'm thinking of an onion ring head, or a multi-onion ring head. What do you think?  I'll go and try a bigger, better octopus. If it turns out, I'll post the pattern.

So, instead, here's a lacy edging pattern. It, too, is quite simple, but can easily be adapted to make a more complex pattern, if so desired, with multiple rows of the same pattern, or inserting a different pattern between two rows of the edging. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's a Heat Wave!!

Sweltering in the heat for the fourth day in a row! Yesterday's high was a humid 32C! Since we have no air conditioning, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. What better way to cool off than to tat a snowflake?
This little snowflake was tatted with a found Coats crochet thread in size 40. It measures 1.5 inches in diameter.
I think I do need to perfect my tension as some of the 'arms' look a bit fatter than the rest.

As for the 3-d blossom, well, let's just say that my test tat looked more like a poodle pom-pom gone mad. I haven't totally given up on the idea, but it certainly needs more thought.
I am making headway with the little octopus, and should have it completed for next time, along with the pattern for anyone who may be interested. Until then, keep cool! I think I'll head to the lake.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Another ATC

Just a pic of an ATC I sent to a special lady as a thank you. The flowers are tatted with the fancy picot stitch. I think it makes wonderful petals, and you can create layers upon layers for a full bloom effect. Hmmmm, I'm wondering if I gradually decreased the size of the picot, and continued round in multi layers, if I could create a 3-D flower. I'm off to test tat!

Thanks for visiting. Hugs from Suz.