Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday Stitching

It is that time of the year when I start gathering my things for our annual one week retreat to Maine. The ladies in my family have been doing this for at least 20 years. This year Mom, my sister Lorraine and I are heading south for the beautiful ocean beaches of Maine. For me it is one week of relaxation where I read, sketch and muse on some designs I would like to do. Along the way we seriously indulge in good food (anything fish - the most amazing donuts and anything else we can find that is yummy), talk and laughter. We treasure these times and appreciate them for what they are.

Needless to say I have to have my handwork ready to go. This year I am bringing my next release for Island Cottage - I am working, for the second time,with Crescent Colours Belle Soie silk. I used it for the first time on my design May Flowers (release date May 15th) so cannot show you a picture. I loved the feel of it and the richness of the colour. I found it has more of a similarity to my wool than cotton does. I guess it is the softness and the texture. I always thought silk would be cost prohibitive but you get 12 strands vs 6 in cotton. It is still twice the price of cotton but so worth it. I am using a 35 ct spring green called Guacamole from Weeks Dye Works.. I just love the names people use for their colours! My contribution is my hand dyed wool called Tantramar Marsh (this is a marsh that runs between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) Peter's grandmother lived here most of her life and painted the old barns on the marsh. It is one of my favourite places.

I am excited to get this one started and done - and of course our trip will include jaunts to Halcyon Yarns, Dorr MillsKing Arthur Flour and any other interesting/crafty place we come across. Just hope we have the time to pack it all in! Bon Voyage....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why do Cats?

c. Joni Black 2011

This is a new project I have on my board - I selected some beautiful spring colours - robin egg blue - a soft green and some posey pinks. Thought I would lay them out in a semicircle and there will be a hooked piece that will get set in the middle. Have to get this finished so that it is available in Pfatt Marketplace for the 10th.  

I just sort of got inspired and the ideas flowed and the fingers flew and I am happy with this look. I have been wanting to do some wool applique for awhile. I just love black as a background! The colours just seem to pop. I started glueing the pieces down but the glue did not seem to want to hold it well - so I went to my tried and true method of basting everything down. I know it takes longer but I am constantly starting and stopping and putting down that I like the security of the basting. I do not use any interfacing - I like the softness and flexabilty of the fabric. But some people do like to use it and that is ok. Whatever works for you!

I decided to use a whipstitch to secure the pieces to the background. I love the look of this stitch - just seems to add to the primitive look I want. The thread I am using is the new Valdani Twisted Tweed #12 Perle Cotton. It is wonderful to work with and I have also used it in my punch needle pieces.

Curious Kitty
 So you ask "Why Do Cats?"....
well what happens when you put down something new on a table? I thought I heard Mr. Mischief jump down from around my work area. What do you know - put something new down and it is inevitable that they will find it - no matter what. Our Noogs is a very curious and nosey little bugger. Tonight I have to remember to cover it... hence the cat hair in the picture.