Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Decisions, and quilts

Well, I've made a decision, and it wasn't easy. But it means that the altar frontal has been shelved indefinitely. Well, except for one of the flowers--actually the last one on the page, Mother's Rose, which is going to become a medieval bag for when I attend RennFest as it goes exceedingly well with the outfit I just got yesterday. More on that later. In any case, I have plenty of flowers ready to stitch if the frontal gets going again.

Meantime I will be concentrating on other projects, one of which is a long term cross stitch project with oriental flowers and vases. I had been acquiring a series of flowers put out by Madeira company and designed by Hanlyn. Sadly, after purchasing six of them (out of 12) they were discontinued :-(. About four years later, I saw an ad for a new website that was selling kits, and I totally recognized one of the kits. Yes! Happy, happy, joy, joy, they had re-released the flower kits. If you want a looksee, the flowers are at  http://www.choicesembroidery.co.uk/acatalog/Oriental_Collection.html and I have done four of the 12 so far, Tree Peony, Iris, Clematis and Wisteria.

I don't frame many of my stitched pieces, and you can mark that up to being cheap or thrifty. Well, to properly frame a piece, it can cost $100 or considerably more, depending on size and accoutrements. Whereas, if I make a wall hanging, I can use a mere $3-$5 worth of fabric and some felt for stiffening, get a nice tree branch for the hanger, add a couple of ribbons to hang it from the branch, and there you are. Well.

Actually to start with, I found a lovely kit--Vase Row, it was a kit put out ages ago, only instead of a row I am doing each of the six vases on a separate piece of fabric--aida, 18 count, as that way I could make it into a lap quilt. Only then I found the flowers, and they looked very nice next to the two vases I had finished at that point, so I started acquiring them. I found some very nice fabric to use as sashing (for those who don't quilt, sashing is the strips of fabric on a quilt that go between the bigger patches, in this case the cross stitched pieces. So, I had, when I started, six flowers and six vases. Then I bought the other six flowers, when I found they had been reissued. No problem, I figured I'd just make the sashing narrower, I could still do a lap quilt. Only then, just last Spring, the Mary Hickmott Magazine put out a trio of Oriental vases. So it was off to the fabric store for yet more ivory aida to match the stuff I already had, and realizing that the project has taken on a life of its own. I think I may be up to a twin size quilt, but hey...

Just did a quickie web crawl, and you can find Vase Row at http://www.abullrun.com/9269.html and I think I paid about that for the kit. If the same floss is in it that is in mine, it is actually not bad floss to use. I didn't use the fabric as A) it came with 14 count aida and B) since I was doing each one separately I needed a bigger piece.

 The Stole that started it all...
 I have this image as my desk top on my computer. It really looks better in person.

So here is the Rose of Love, so called because I used some "word confetti" that I got somewhere to put up the center of the outer ring of petals. I wanted something flourishy and red to run up the center, and these were, as Goldilocks said, "Just Right!" The center of the flower is stem stitched around with deep yellow Needlepoint Inc silk, and then I did beaded seed stitch with the yellow silk and pale pink red lined beads. The inner ring of petals is done with luster coated clear flat sequins held down with random dark and light pink beads. I used a pale pink/purple/yellow overdyed silk for that. The leaves were cut from a silk/rayon sari with little gold zari woven on it. The gold up the center of the leaves is the zari, which is as I learned, what they call the fancy woven in patterns--some are metal, some are silk.

The Rose of Hope, some of which was stitched while waiting in the emergency room with a friend, hoping all would be well. I used a dyed shell button for the center, with a small flower bead on top. The silk I stitched it on with is called Witches Familiar by Silk-n-Colors. I used the same silk on the leaflets. I did  trellis stitch with Caron's Tropic Seas overdye silk, held down with little gold metallic three cut beads on the crossings. The inner petals are a piece of purple silk from a sari, and I did beaded seed stitch with purple iris hex beads that I purchased from Fire Mountain Beads.
Rose of Joy, so called because I smile every time I look at it. the outer purple petals are the same fabric as in the last rose. I held down the outer edges with gold metallic floss and matte blue iris beads. Then orange petals are held down with quilting cotton in a pink/orange/lavender/yellow blend. The center of the flower is done with eyelash yarn couched down in a decreasing spiral. I finished the center with some of the pink beads I used in the center of Rose of Love.

Mother's Rose, so called because I used a mother of pearl button that was given to me by my mother in law. With all those mothers, well, it just had to be. This picture is supplies I have gathered to start out with.

This is the same rose, only now I have added the mother of pearl button, some baroque pearls to the inner ring of petals and stick pearls dyed bronze to the centers of the outer ring of petals.
Mother's Rose a bit further along. I did back stitch in curved lines on the outer petals in quilting cotton in a blue/purple/green/turquoise colorway. I surrounded the stick pearls with opaque blue AB size 6 seedbeads, and added vintage sequins held down by clear seedbeads.

And here she is complete. I used Delica Rose Gold seedbeads between the backstitched lines, and added some 60 year old vintage branch coral beads from a necklace that (yes, again) my mother in law gave me. I thought they looked a bit bare, so I added more of the Rose Gold Delicas twining over the coral. All in all, I think this one turned out very well. This is the rose I mentioned in the beginning, the one I am going to liberate to use on a medieval bag.

My Mother in Law died of breast cancer last February. She had it off and on for longer than the 18 years  I knew her, and I miss her every day. We both liked gardening, and cats, and embroidery, and fine silks and nice jewelry, and gabbing for hours about all of those. She would have liked all the roses, and she thought the stole was gorgeous.

THE Magpie

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