My big adventure and cause for celebration..

Almost two years ago Holly Van Kleeck and I were chatting at a retreat and she asked if I would be interested in attending a  Judith Baker Montano workshop with her.  And it is finally happening.. Holly lives in Denver and will pick me up at the airport on Friday.  We will be staying in Judith's guesthouse and the workshop we are taking is "Cottages Galore" which fits right in with my year's exploration of everything cottage.. I am packing threads, material and beads etc., - but no ribbons.  I plan on splurging on lots of Judith's lovely hand dyed ribbons which you see hanging behind her.

After a long year of my health problems and my mother's health problems, the thought of totally immersing myself in stitching surrounded by stitchers for 5 days is my idea of heaven,

And I will be leaving on a celebratory note. About 3 months ago we were notified by the county assessor's office that the forest acreage needed to be reclassified due to a change in country regulations.  I have no  problem with this.... But the fees and requirements to do so were going to be nearly $2000 for what amounts to a little paperwork. So I went into battle and have spent hours and hours and  have two files stuffed with forms, regulations and letters. I have met and corresponded with multiple persons in the assessor's office, the county planning office and with the state assessor's representative. It has nothing to do really with the forest nor the land but is about money.  What it ensures is that when the forest is eventually harvested (after I'm dead and gone) that the state will get a bigger tax bite of any profits.  For weeks it was like banging my head against a stone wall but to my great relief I found out on Friday that I won and the costs for the reclassification are being waived.


What Next ? Fat Magnolia Pearl?

I know others of you have UFO projects which aren't quite to the completed vision stage... And while I was painting on my door I was going over this one once again and think maybe its time has come. You all have seen this vest posted before.  I made it from embroidered linens and DH wore it in our booth when we did flower shows.....

This one was the top to a denim jumper I wore in the booth.  I always wanted to repurpose these two pieces into garments or totes or SOMETHING!!

Our booth was absolutely dripping with lace decor...curtains, tableclothes, doilies....but stuff too large for CQ... I have a couple bins of it left in the barn. which I would love to use.

Well I just LOVE Magnolia Pearl's stuff made from linens and old lace but it's really for the young and tiny...

Most vests frankly do not look well on a woman of girth.. but I did see this piece that  I liked.. a vest with a little sleeve.

What I really like is the irregular bottom edge..

Then I saw this and this I LOVED... the irregular edge would do well on me...but of course there was no pattern for sale... just the garment.  But in the years I did sew a lot for myself I was ALWAYS combining and altering patterns.  This would work with the CQ pieces and some of my leftover lace..

Now the big question is whether I would look clever and chic in it or like a fat chick wearing a tablecloth???



 We hung the door tonite and I couldn't be happier... I still have 6 more pieces to add to the frame, fill some nail holes and it is done... DH says "well it is certainly colorful"

I used an antiquing glaze and a little sanding for "wear" and it looks truly old..
Boring door no more.

The white Xs are where more trim goes...


Chatelaine good enough to travel!

Well it's done enough to use... I still have to do my name  and a new pincushion...  But the pincushion requires me to paint a new button of Morris and I don't see that happening before I leave so the old pincushion will do until then.

I ran into a few hurdles and changes in directions but will tell about that in another post..  One pocket is trimmed with the ruched velvet ribbon and the other ended up being trimmed with some cool pleated trim  I salvaged from a dress years ago.

I have a bead or two I might add and have room for some new keepsakes and a spider web.

And I do have pockets....

You can see the pleated trim on the left pocket better in this photo.


Last minute checklist

Now that I'm going to actually assemble it I am making a final check with all the tools in their pockets...making sure I haven't missed anything and that everything fits... It will be hard to make changes once it is assembled.... I learned that tidbit from experience.  I'll assemble it in two sections and have decided I want to add the "name tag" after it is assembled.

Never found the needle case yet so I'll use the long one I used for doll needles until the other shows up..

     I was considering this lace around one of the pockets but know this would be disastrous... not only would it snag on everything, it would quickly soil and look tattered and yucky..

I do have this lovely ruched velvet ribbon trim that would work around the red pocket and give a scalloped look.  It would wear well.

But it doesn't look as good around the black pocket.

But I do have some very dark dense lace that I could combine with it and stitch the lace to the ribbon so it wouldn't snag...

Now I'm anxious to finish and actually use it...


Chatelaine progress - end in sight

  This evening I finished the motifs on the front pockets. You'll notice I used some of the daisies from my expensive vintage daisy trim... I will have to use it often to justify the cost... Good thing I still love it...

All the trims and seam work has been added to the front pieces and the pocket have been added to the back of the tool openings.  I can sew the lining to the front at this point..

I put my sterling silver needle case somewhere safe until the chatelaine was finished and of course I can't remember that safe place...

Lining for chatelaine

The lining has two parts.  Sew together with a long stitch---6-8 to an inch.  This is because one the chatelaine is assembled this seam will be removed and become the pocket opening.  Press open and top stitch on both sides of the seam.

Last time I didn't take the time to embellish the lining but will do so on this one... I added a small lace just below where the opening will be...and then added this lovely venice lace rose...

The roses were salvaged from a thrift store teddy....a passionate purple satin just dripping with wonderful back lace of high quality... The sales clerk looks askance at an old frumpy lady buying this very naughty garment..

The lining pockets need their own lining so I cut this striped material just to fit behind the pockets.

Then I stitched across the tops of the bottom pockets and across both the top and bottom of the zipper pocket.  The sides will be secured when the project is assembled.

I'm hoping to have this project and the door finished by this weekend..


Princely Soutache and morning surprise!

A while back I tried to post a picture of Marilyn's soutache brooch using one of my buttons... It was a project in the works then and the picture wouldn't load at that time... BUT she has finished it now and isn't it absolutely gorgeous.  Soutache really seems to lend itself well to buttons.. AND isn't he a handsome devil indeed!
I'm so grateful to Marilyn for sending me this photo... It's fun seeing what happens to the buttons once they leave here.

Everyone knows the clematis vines with the huge (gaudy) flowers. They are much too flamboyant for me... Fewer gardeners are familiar with the clematis I do love.  The species   with small flowers and there are a wide variety of  them....blooming from early spring until fall.  I have them throughout the garden.

But it is the rare gardener  familiar with bush clematis....clematis integrifolia.  They do NOT vine.  The form a bushy clump about 24" tall covered with flowers.  I had two (one blue and one white) at the back of the garden.  I lost the white one but I moved the blue one up by the house last year and it survived and is blooming now.. I had forgotten where I had planted it but found it this morning.... Hooray.

I had planned  to spend the entire day working on the door but the morning is already gone with cleaning chicken coop and arranging water system to DH's corn patch.  I'll have a bite to eat and spend the afternoon working on the door...


Chatelaine - more patterns and planning

 I made the pattern for the back side of the chatelaine.  It has two sections which I had added to my current chatelaine and I love for non-sewing items... I keep my MP3 player in one and business cards in the other.   I plan to add a small zippered pocket also on one side for my needle threaders.

I also made patterns for the outside front pocket and the needle pad.  And I did a template of the actual size of the front pocket to use as a guide for the motifs.

I used the template as a guide to baste the outline of the pocket on a 10" square of fabric I could put on a hoop...

Then I started auditioning bit of lace to use as a base for a fan.  It's an awkward shape to put a fan on but there will be a fancy button on the left which pivots the needle pad and I can  add a charm or two on the other corner.

I will do the motif BEFORE  I assemble the pocket to allow me room for error.
There will be a floral motif on this pocket and I'm choosing a piece of lace to act as a base... My favorite is the filigree  upper left but it's too fragile.


Chatelaine - Adding Trims

This fabric has a pretty loose weave and I was afraid I was going to regret choosing to use it...  But once I backed it with fusible tricot interfacing it was just fine,  It was Allie Aller who introduced me to this type of interfacing and I love it so much I always buy it by the BOLT...   It is so perfect for crazy quilting.

So first I  backed the pieces which I had already cut out...  Notice that my ironing surface is a towel on the kitchen counter.... One of the nice things about CQ is that it is adaptable to small spaces.  Then I cut the openings for the tool pockets and finished them with black fabric. I could have just as easily finished them with a tidy buttonhole stitch.

Then late into the night I selected trims and laces and basted them all securely.
Now it is "dressed" and "good to travel" and I can do the fancy stitching anywhere over the next couple weeks...

As I lay in bed this morning giving Morris his morning cuddle (very similar to the popular nap cuddle), I remembered Shirlee's suggestion to add my name to the piece....NOW is the time to make a decision on where or how.

So I'm experimenting with font and size.  I've decided on Sloop Two because it is reminiscent of calling cards left by ladies in this era.  I've been waiting for a project to tut how I apply script to felt and this is perfect.  I downloaded this font from the internet and there are three versions.... Sloop One, Sloop Two and Sloop Three. Each version is progressively more embellished with flourishes.  

The front pockets on my current chatelaine are both of the same pink twill...  How boring is that???  This new version will have each pocket of a different fabric with a different motif.

Wasn't home long enough yesterday to work on the door yesterday and when I was home it was raining buckets, cold, and thundering so stayed inside with the dogs. I just have a quilt hanging over the door since the door is in the garage... a bit chilly in the house yesterday.


A bird and a break

Here's my August CQJP 2013 and I'll take a break from this project until fall. There are so many things that need attention on the farm and I want to finish my chatelaine.

This block is my  "Ode to a Wren" and will be a favorite because this tiny,rather plain, brown bird (1/3 of  an ounce) brings me great joy with its lovely song.


Door update

Just a quick post as unfortunately my mother is having kidney stone problems again and I am off to spend the night at the assisted living center again.  Just dashed home to put dogs in barn and get night clothes...
Monday was Day One--- Base coat and priming... I did also get the frame around the door....not embellished yet.

Tuesday ,,,Day Two ...Started the colors and loving it.  I want a folk artsy look (not tole) and as soon as the painting is done I will put an antique glaze one it...

Not that happy with the quality of paint..

Not sure about tomorrow.  I'm sure by the end of the day my mother will be back in the hospital again.
I was hoping to paint the butterflies tomorrow.

Remember the boring old white door?


Special Gift and thread shop news

Every once in awhile I receive a gift so precious that I can't believe my luck.  Today was such a day.

My Italian friend Cristina just returned from Italy and gave me some handmade Italian lace belonging to her grandmother...

There are 12 pieces like the triangle in the center and it is called Pizzo di Cantù
 There are several YOUtube videos showing it being made and they are all in foreign languages... The triangle pieces were made for napkin corners.

The square is an entirely different type of lace and also handmade.  It must be for a handkerchief.....incredibly delicate.  It will have to go on something extra special.  She also gave me some handmade black lace.

My little thread shop where I taught classes this spring is up for sale.  It has only been in business for eight months... I'm so glad I was able to teach there and find the stitchers for our new crazy quilt group... The best case scenario would be for someone to buy it and remain in the same location...


Chatelaine - first pattern part

I did get a pattern drawn on some freezer paper and the gals can trace it when they come... I'm trying to give everything extra thought as I just hate it when I finish something and realize I missed a step that is not redoable....  The material is very soft and not a very tight weave which could be a problem in the future so I will interface it with the knit tricot. My current one is a very tight weave...almost a twill and very durable obviously since I've use it about 20 years and toted it around the world.  Also instead of making separate pockets for skinny tools like I have on my current chatelaine, I am making one sectioned pocket like on a carpenter's apron.. The overall length is 42" and it is only 4" at the widest point.

At the thrift store on Wednesday (senior day) I found a full length skirt in a nice suede-like fabric that will be the perfect backing for this chatelaine....it seems like quite often I find just what I need at just the right time.....OR ELSE I am so flexible that I make anything I find seem like the perfect thing... LOL  whatever...  I love the skirt fabric.

The pattern for the lining is slightly different because of how I do the pockets..  So when I get it done and the pattern for pockets and the needle pad I will try to put it all  on a grid in case anyone wants to reproduce it.


Tools and their own pockets....Planning

Antique chatelaines had the tools on little chains which were attached usually to a fancy brooch and pinned to your lapel...  You then had all these bits and bobs swinging about and getting in the way.  Not realizing that this was a mistake,  I used this same approach on my very first chatelaine and had all the tools just hanging on it...  I hated it.

So on my second chatelaine I made a pocket for EVERY tool and loved it.  Things were  accessible if I needed them and out of the way  when not in use.
No bits and bobs swinging here and there.

But ideally the pockets should be made BEFORE the embellishing and this requires decisions and planning.
Since this will probably be the last one I make for myself I needed to reevaluate what I had on my current chatelaine and see if I wanted to add or delete any tools..

So I laid out all the MOST necessary tools (1) a tiny pair of hemostats which I did not have on my current chatelaine but will definitely be on my new one.
(2) my favorite scissors.
(3) An awl. Mostly for making holes for button shanks but also a very useful tool  for teasing ribbon work as well. Had it before and will have again..
(4) This is a new tool for me...a needle threader intended for needlepoint... larger yarns and needles.  But I find it fabulous for threading Kreinik threads which separate like crazy.. It's so tiny that I think I will make a special pocket for it on the lining of the chatelaine.
(5) The is a seam ripper in a fancy, faux-silver case.   I had it on my first chatelaine, left it off my second, and thinking I may put it back on this new chatelaine.
(6) The is a genuine antique, sterling silver needle case which I've had about 50 years and treasure. It is especially nice because the cap is on a hinge and can't get lost...  I mostly use large-eyed  embroidery or quilter's needle and they will be on the needle pad (shown later) but I do like to have some ribbon needles, milliner needles, and some needles just for Kreinik threads.   These will be in the silver case as I do not use them as often.
(7) The little brass needle threader has just never worked well.  I'm going to rethink the whole needle-threader thing,
(8) Finally my pin cushion is so perfect it should be patented.. The problem with lapel and wrist pin cushions is the pins are protruding and getting in the way... By inserting them from the side   everything is  flat..When I make a new one I will show how to do it step-by-step.... BUT the little tassel hanging from it was cute but not necessary...

You may notice I do not use a thimble...  If you use one you will want to plan a pocket for it....maybe a stumpwork ladybug pocket...

The game is afoot. Not a word! Let the fun begin..

On Saturday I had access to the truck without raising suspicion so I was able to get to the lumber store for supplies and get them into the barn before DH got home.

For an inexpensive endeavor, I seem to be spending a lot of money... Some of this is for the frame on the entry which I had hoped to have done before he left but will be done now in conjunction with the rainbow door.  I'm thinking I might have been a little over ambitious thinking I could do the commode chair at the same time.

I started priming all the raw wood boards and trims in the barn yesterday and will do some each day.. I want all my prep work done so when DH starts down the drive Monday I can immediately move the radial arm saw into the garage and start. I have pretty much cleared the week as much as possible..

I mentioned last winter that I knew I had another angel buried under a gazebo which collapsed the year we had 9 feet of snow...  I could see part of it during the winter but really had to search for it with everything leafed out..  It is about 24" across and has bits of moss growing on it and had lots of mud on the back... I'll let it dry and gently brush the mud off as I like the patina..When I set it on the gravel to dry, Morris promptly peed on it....adding much esthetic value I'm sure.

While I was back there I wrestled this iron piece up to the house and will attach it to the garage to support one of several clematis I relocated. It weighs a ton and will not be easy to attach.... I moved three of my favorite clematis from the back of the garden so I will get to enjoy them.  It will take a few years for them to recover... They were so huge they were climbing into surrounding trees.  I had to gather all my resolve to cut them back and dig them up...

I have another similar iron piece that needs to be moved also.  Thirty years ago I used to find old iron work cheap everywhere.  Now I never see it anymore except in upscale antique stores..

I'm also delighted to report that the gaura lindheimeri which I searched the entire country for last year has survived. Last year I also searched  for eriophyllum and found nary a plant for sale and found it this spring and expect it any day now.


Chatelaine - Choices

When I made my first chatelaine I pieced the front but all the patches were so small and the seams were hard to work over...and when embellished the patches disappeared altogether.. So when I made the one on the left (which I'm using now) I didn't piece.  I used a lightweight tapestry fabric with an all-over print and then just embellished it.  It worked just fine and so that was my plan when I went to the barn to search for fabric for my new one.

At first I decided on this lightweight paisley upholstery fabric and it would just work perfectly with its irregular pattern. But..................

But it was part of a collection  of remnants I've been compiling to make a new slipcover for my favorite work stool..  Somehow when I removed it from the bag I wasn't happy.  It was the fabric that pulled all the other pieces together.

So I continued my search and found this thrift store mini skirt I bought to use for a BoHo bag.  It is a quite lightweight tapestry and pliable and   would work very well. It is quite small (probably a size 2) but I can make it work... It has an aged look and has probably been laundered.

The more I looked at it, the more I loved it and started to see it embellished with black laces, vintage trims, and backed with black velvet.  Now I'm eager to start on it...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts