29 January 2014

Crazy Quilt Week 4

 Straight From The Heart 
Crazy Quilt Week 4 

A 'broken' heart gets mended. 

A crochet flower with bullion stitch and French Knots.

Another crochet flower with French Knots.

Buttonhole wheels, French Knots, whipped chain stitch, and couched braid.

I am still searching for the perfect backing for these stitchery's.

22 January 2014

Needle Tatting Beginnings

Humble beginnings. 

My first attempts at Needle Tatting were a failure. I don't know what I did wrong, but the 'thing' just fell apart and I ended up with a piece of thread with knots in it.
In the ORT's bin it went. 
But, I'm not one to give up. I persisted, and eventually I got it.
My very first tatted ring. 
A bit uneven, but at least it's a start.

And, for an encore, I made another ring with 3 picots this time, but the photo I took of that one is too blurred to post, sorry.

 CQ Straight From The Heart 
update - week 3

The Monogram letter "L" is for Love (of course)

And for embellishment I added the two tatted rings, filled with red French Knots, and stitched meandering tendrils.


Just For Fun

Just thought I'd share this typical photo shot of Mojo.
He's always half-way down a hole.

Incidentally, did you notice his little white heart on the tip of his tail.

15 January 2014

2014 - Plans - Ideas - Goals - Dreams

Hi everyone, I'm back from my hols, and raring to stitch.

Plans, Ideas, Goals & Dreams

This year I am going to make another crazy quilt.
It will differ from my last one in a few ways; colour, style, theme, and process.

My colour scheme this year is going to be from 
purple through pinks, reds, oranges, yellows and golds 
and will probably include some black, white and neutrals too.

The style will be slightly traditional in its overall look but probably will not be labelled traditional, and may even be classed as contemporary. 
Perhaps "rustic" or "naive" might fit what I have in mind for it.
Those of you who know me well will know that Free Form Stitching will play a big part in the crazy quilt too.

As for the theme - it will be  Straight From The Heart 
with a hint of love, 
so hearts, flowers, birds, doves, music,
names, monograms, poems, quotes & symbols,
will be included in the embroidery and embellishing, hopefully without too much gush or frills.

THE PROCESS of creating the Crazy Quilt (bed quilt) 
will be a different way of working for me. 
I have thought, long and hard, about what other commitments I have this year, and how I am going to get my stitching fix when I am travelling back and forth to Hawkes Bay with the house moving process (which we anticipate will take us most of the year to sort out).
So I have planned a crazy quilt that I can create in small pieces each week (small enough to keep in my handbag) and then, hopefully once a month, attach each small piece to a bed-sized whole-cloth backing fabric.
Oh, a couple of other things about these small  STITCHERIES 
They will be of irregular shapes and sizes as befits a crazy quilt. 
The background fabric will have to fit into a 6" embroidery hoop. 
The motifs & symbols etc. will be stitched all over them before being attached to the backing, butting up against the straight edge of the next Stitchery. 
Straight running stitch will be used to attach the Stitcheries to the backing. 
Raw edges will be showing.

This is what I have managed so far over the last two weeks while we were in Hawkes Bay.

I started with a heart that I appliqued with blanket stitch to a dusky pink velvet base fabric, then hand stitched a meander over the heart, and added some raised circles in pink.

I crocheted a couple of flower shapes. 

Then added the heart outline, latticework, another crochet shape, buttons, beads and French Knots etc.
Week One complete. 

Week Two started with another heart, but a braid one this time.

Then came a swirly thing in pink and black, and another latticework pattern that was inspired and developed from the pattern on the fabric.

A random bit of crocheting created the appliqued purple piece.
Then came some Lazy Daisy flowers to fill the empty space on the right.

Both of these stitcheries are about 5 inches square. I will cut them in different shapes with 3, 4, 5, or 6 sides, depending on what shape is needed to fit all the Stitcheries onto my backing fabric.

I anticipate making at least one small Stitchery each week, sometimes more than one if I have time. This means that I will have something to show each week, hopefully.

And I will have a goal of attaching a months worth of Stitcheries to the backing for a 
 monthly reveal 
and to show how the quilt is progressing.

Other projects for the year include:

The annual challenge for a Freeform Fiberart work - theme this year is One Colour, 
Deadline = 1 May.

Edit and create the official book for the above challenge. 
Deadline = 1 June.

Learn how to tat.

Make crocheted garments and publish more patterns for my Etsy shop and Ravelry.

De-clutter the house to make it presentable to prospective purchasers.

I think I have a busy year ahead.

January 2014 - Happy Holiday Pics

Our holiday photos - January 2014

On holiday at our 'other' home. We have bought the land in Central Hawkes Bay, now all we need to do is build a house there. 
I have been calling it our Mountain Retreat, but as it is not actually in the mountains I think I'd better rename it "Mountain View".

Breakfast and/or dinners under the walnut tree on our building plot.

A bit of an unusual sight - a large plum tree has grown out of an old stump and up through a coil of fencing wire. 

The plum tree (yellow Christmas plums) is laden with fruit at the moment. 

A spectacular weather front heading our way as the sun sets over the mountains. 

The view from our back yard. 

Our beloved caravan has been with us for 30 years. Not only has it traveled all over England, Scotland and Wales, we got it sent out to New Zealand with us when we left England 13 years ago, and it has since journeyed from Cape Reinga at the top of North Island NZ, to Innvercargil at the bottom of South Island NZ, and many places in between. 
It's a rather unique caravan.

And the awning gives us double living space. 

Part of the forest that our land is adjacent to. 

The forest on the left is the one next to our property, and this road leads to the Ruahine Mountain Forest Park.

This gully is where a dam is going to be built over the next 5-10 years. 

You can just see the river at the bottom of the ravine. All this will eventually be under water. 

Most of this will be lost under water too. Such a shame. It's so beautiful here. 

And this is a better view of the actual river which will become the lake bottom. 

All this area will be lost too. So sad. 

Tony and friends on a search for a good fly-fishing spot. 

Had a day trip out to Dannevirke and took the Saddle road back which went over the mountain tracks to the wind farm.
On top of the world. 

This one was whirring away (video to follow soon). 

The (old) information board there said there were 56 wind turbines here, but I counted more than that in just this one area, and there was another 2 hills absolutely full with turbines further over too.
And, YES, it was very windy up there. 

Another day out, and we were sat outside the village shop enjoying a Magnum while waiting for the pub to open, haha.
Onga Onga is a lovely little village with historical buildings that attract the tourists (yes, like us), and the pub was recommended to us for it's fish and chip dinners.  

The village has a park area of these old Settler's buildings (shacks?). 

How twee is that..... but I would not like to live in it. 

And the dunney (long-drop).