Sunday, April 26, 2009

Trip to Wonderland

So, seems like all I'm doing lately is making things for swaps. That's OK with me. What could be more fun?!

In the Cloth Dolls group on Stitchin' Fingers, we took a stroll through "Alice in Wonderland" and swapped characters from the story. As soon as I heard the theme, I knew what I wanted to make! Let me tell you, that doesn't happen all the time. LOL! Of course, knowing and doing are two different things. But I'm happy with how it came out.

I love the character (or characters) Tweedle Dee & Dum. They may have a fairly small role in the story, but they can sure walk away with the part. I wanted to make them cute and a bit goofy. Waddya think? Did I succeed?

P4010009 I used fusible web to applique the clothing on these guys, and then the heads are separate pieces. Some machine and hand embroidery, and penned in faces. Here is the back view:

P4010010Their hats are made from loosely gathered yo-yos with just a wisp of orange mohair sticking out. It seemed to be the perfect touch! I wish I'd made their legs a little wider - it's hard to tell that each boy has two legs - really! This doll is about 4" high, so I added a pin back and they are wearable.

But wait - there's more! Wait until you see what I got in return!!! Oh my goodness!!! The Queen of Hearts!! My second favorite character! (Gee, think there enough exclamation points in this paragraph?)

queen01 My partner, Jules, made a wonderful Queen. We decided that she is a kinder, gentler version than the one Alice meets. But don't be fooled by that sweet face. P4240015

I'm sure she can be pretty demanding. She may love her subjects, but she expects to be obeyed. And I'll bet after a few more years with those cards as gardeners, she won't be quite as patient. LOL! You know - Off with their Heads!

My thanks go to Jules for this wonderful doll. And thanks to Chris for coming up with the theme. Such fun!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Mail

Going to pick up the mail has certainly gotten interesting since I joined these on-line swap groups! I just never know what I'm going to get next!!!


from-RhonaLast week I got this postcard from Rhona. She was inspired by tidal pools at the shore and it really makes me think of walking along the beach. That has to be my favorite activity - other than stitching, that is!

pc-to-SueM This swap was not a one-for-one type, so I sent my postcard to Sue in the UK. I must confess I did not make one specifically for this swap (I know, for shame!**) but sent one I have had on hand.

Last fall I posted an explanation of how I like to make my postcards (see this post) and this one was one of the few not mailed from a set of six.


Here is what the original piece looked like before cutting. I had an old blackwork embroidery piece that was not being used - or enjoyed - anymore. I added a framework and bits and pieces, along with some machine stitching.


Then I cut it into six 4" x 6" pieces and did some further embellishment. Some of my readers may recognize a card they've received from me!

But wait! There's more!!!

Stitched mail art

Another swap I recently participated in was something called Mail Art. I had not heard of this type of swap, but it has been quite popular in some parts of the world. The concept is to embroider an envelope - including the addresses (smudged out in these pix) - and send it in regular mail.

My swap partner was AnnieB and I was excited because she does beautiful cross stitch. I was not disappointed!!


Isn't that a great picture of a house? And check out this lovely bird on the other side.

P4080015I had quite a time choosing what to stitch to send back to her. Planning out a Mail Art piece is somewhat more complicated. Not only do you need to plan how to make your envelope, but also where to place your stitching so everything comes out right side up!

I am quite pleased with the overall piece, although I know several things that I will change the next time I do a swap like this. . . assuming there is ever a next time!

fromLizFor one thing, I will make a much smaller envelope! This is about 6" by 7" and just barely fit into a 9x6 *envelope! And I think I will put some more thought into choosing my stitching motif. This one was from a larger kitchen scene and I pulled specific pieces out of the overall piece and sort of rearranged them. back-fromLiz

One thing I've learned a lot about through the internet is copyright concerns. I used to rearrange stitching patterns all the time, with no thought about what the designer might think about what I was doing. Nowadays I am much more aware so I will explain here that the original pattern was from a 20+ year old magazine which is no longer being published. If I knew the designer I would give them full credit here (I think the full piece is wonderful!), but if you recognize your own work here, I apologize. And please let me know who you are!

* Here is where another confession** is required. Both Annie and I opted to put our envelopes inside another - er, envelope! After all that thinking and planning and stitching, no way I was going to send this thing nekked through the postal service!

**Confession is supposed to be good for the soul. Is this going a bit overboard? I mean, who really cares about whether an envelope is an envelope? Or if I've made a brand new postcard just for this swap? Am I conceited to think anyone would notice? Paranoid, maybe???

This post got way longer than I intended. I hope you don't mind my ramblings. I've signed up for more swaps, so stay tuned for pictures!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beading Break

I was at a club meeting recently where we learned to do some beading.  I lo-o-o-ove to play with beads!!  Here is a shot of what greeted us when we arrived.  Oh goody!


The bad thing about me and beads is . . . I tend to get carried away!  I get so focused on making pretty bead things that I forget about doing anything else!   For quite a few days - or weeks!


This is the beginnings of the project.  Here is where I finished the basic spiral stitch and started adding some embellishments.  I'm following a pattern on this piece, but I can think of all kinds of other variations!  Saving those for next time!


Here you can see a few more variations of the embellishments.  These colors are fairly accurate, but a blue background really makes the beads shine their best!

spiralrope1  This is the finished piece - with really blah background and not nearly as pretty as real life!


And a shot that does something completely different to the colors!  Good grief!  You will just have to imagine more blue iridescence.   The core beads are a bright blue and they peek through the embellishments just the right amount.  I love wearing this lariat (what, you don't recognize me in the photo?).  Too bad I don't have more places to wear necklaces!  May have to work on that.  LOL!

I know, I know.  I said I would focus on quilts, dolls, and embroidery this year!  Back to work, Liz.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Block of the Month

For some reason I have always been intrigued by Block of the Month efforts.  Can't explain it.  Maybe it's the idea of a full year's commitment.  Or how the holidays and seasons lead us through year after year - the same yet different. 


I've been following several BOM blogs and have actually picked one to stitch along with.  This is Ellies Quilt Place and when you visit her blog you can see that she has a pretty wide following.  Some are doing all embroidery and some are doing a combination of applique and embroidery.  I chose the second option.


I like this particular BOM effort because they are both simple and attractive.  I love the designs and the freedom of choosing fabrics for applique, but I also love that I can get each month's completed fairly quickly!  LOL!


Here is what I have done so far.  I cut a large piece of background fabric and stitched a grid on it so there is a square for each month.  The patterns also have the month name stitched on each square, but I am going to wait on that.  I may decide to use these blocks without the month names.  If I wind up using the months, I can stitch them at any time.

Here is January . . .


and February . . .


and March.


I haven't quite started April yet.  Hey!  The month isn't over yet!!!

Here are some other BOM sites I've been following - just not stitching!

  • Faulengraben has some gorgeous flower embroideries, apparently inspired by the work of Theodor Storm.  Too bad I don't speak German!
  • A Christmas Wish by Gail Pan
  • Verandah Views from Willowberry Designs
  • Once Upon A Time (OUAT) at Capricorn Quilts.  You'll also want to check out last year's Quilters' Blessings.
  • A Tisket, A Tasket 12 Months of Baskets at
  • Bunny Hill Designs

I will never live long enough to stitch and sew all the patterns I already have!  Oh dear.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stitchin' and This 'n That

Whoa!  It's been awhile since I posted last.  Sorry about that.  I did not mean to stay away so long, but I've been stitchin'.  Unfortunately, a good portion of it has been for swaps and I can't post pictures yet.  Bummer!

I can show you my efforts for Stitch Explorer this month, though.  Sharon proposed a style of embroidery called Assisi.  When you visit her post, you will find several links to show you all about this type of stitching.   I found the pattern below on one of those sites.


It is a "void" style, which means the central motif is left blank and the background is stitched.  When you think about it that way, lots of possibilities occur!  Like this heart with star stitches as the background.


Or this piece I did last year as part of Sharon's Sumptuous Surfaces class.

Finished Feb 16

While I was working on one of the swap projects, I needed to stitch some lettering.  I found a really great book of alphabets that I forgot I had!  So I took some time out to enjoy all those ideas . . . I suspect they will be showing up here and there in the future!

P4100024Some of the lettering styles adapted to Assisi really well!  Wouldn't this make a great name tag?

Here is a longer view showing several "explorations."  (These photos seem pretty pale.  Huh!  I usually have the opposite problem!)

P4100023 As I go along, I am stitching these samplers into a long piece that will document 2009's embroidery.  So every once in awhile I add a date or such to  show where we are in the year.

Tomorrow is Easter.  A time of Faith, Hope, and Love.  Hope you have a happy day celebrating appropriately for your own beliefs.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Award!

I received this award from Ute.  Oh my goodness.  Isn't this exciting?

award_proximidade Most awards these days come with rules, but this one is easy.  I am to post the meaning of the award and then pass it on to eight other bloggers.

"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY -- nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these blogs!”


Choosing eight recipients was hard - or rather - choosing ONLY eight was hard!

I hope you have fun visiting these blogs.