Little Bits of Everything

Block #17 showcases Grandma.  Actually my husband's grandmother, but she feels like mine.  She was always interested in my latest project and was also very religious.  When we were finally forced to put her in a nursing home for her last few months, she would bunch up her sheet and use it to pray the rosary.  No, we were not so mean as to not give her a rosary.  We just couldn't find one that she didn't break before she was forced into bedrest, and afterwards she kept losing them in the bed and resorting to the blanket or sheet.  When she passed, it was about 2:30 in the afternoon on Good Friday.  Still gives me goose bumps. 
This is the oldest picture we had of Grandma, in keeping with the other old photographs I've been using.  It had some issues and I had to cut someone else out, but I finally got it just the way I wanted it.  This is what the first try looked like, but it was awful and I ripped up the block: 

I finally printed her picture again in an oval with a printed background around it and I think it looks much better.  The flowers are mostly hand dyed silk ribbon, with a few simple flowers I tatted to give some more dimension. 

The fan next to Grandma's picture is my adaptation of one that appears on many of the older crazy quilts. 

The little black doo-dad is an engraved design I copied from my son's shotgun.  I think on the block it looks kind of like a bat off of a Scooby Doo cartoon or something.  The lace applique was also hand dyed. 
Check out the detail of the large piece of lace. It broke my heart to cut into that piece, so I just cut off one end and kept the width. I try not to use patches that big, but I love, love, love that lace!

This odd looking thing is a mockingbird nest.  There was no way I could embroider a mockingbird (the state bird of Texas, for those of you not from the Great State).  But a few years ago I took a picture of a nest and eggs in a tree in our yard and decided that was the perfect compromise.  The eggs are satin stitched in a light blue.  I then tried dropping brown dye on them, but it turned into lines instead of speckles.  I will probably try to fix that later on.  The nest is made of couched yarns from Roxann and leftover bits of brown velvet and silk ribbons.  The whole thing is super soft.


The Log Cabin

Once again, the newest block is my favorite.  This is my take on a log cabin block, albeit a tad off, in greens and cream/brown.  You can't really see the cream and brown for the lace, but you get the idea.  I tried to keep the seam embellishments simple on this one.  I know, that's not the Victorian way, but the colors of the log cabin were just too pretty to cover.

Where to start...the purple geometric design on the solid green satin to the right is from the design on my aesthetic bedside table.  I think it started life as a plant stand and was painted black, but I stripped and refinished it and use it for my lamp and stuff.  Ok, it mostly has needles, thread, scissors, and ribbon.  But when I clean it off it's really pretty, and I try to clean it every time I finish a block. 
The yellow thistle-like embroidery on the green velvet is taken from my great-great grandmother's amber Madrid depression glass that I inherited.  I traced it onto water soluble stabilizer, but this time I used the paper kind and it's really, really hard to soak off.  You can still see traces.  I will get them off during a really patient moment.  It may be a while.

The flower basket took a while, but was so much fun!  All of the ribbon and lace motifs are hand dyed, including the brown velvet that makes up the basket.  I really tried to layer things when I put them on, but they were all so pretty that I didn't want to cover anything up.  I cut the yellow flowers, leaves, and butterfly from different larger Venetian lace pieces.  I hope they all show well. 

I bought the peacock last year at the Victoria, Texas quilt show from the same lady that I bought my dyes from.  I have been afraid to dye it all this time because I was afraid to mess it up.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I used blue satin DMC floss to make french knots as "eyes" in the feathers, which made a nice accent.  After I have sewn this to another block, I will tack his head down and add an eyeball. The yellow velvet ribbon that the peacock has roosted on and the turquoise lace were also hand dyed. 


Church Window

Here I go again, not posting in a while.  Honestly, the thingie to download pictures from the camera was lost and I was too cheap to buy another.  I finally broke down and bought one.  It was the principle of the thing.  It's been in my camera case for years, but the husband and kids played with the camera when we went to the beach on Memorial Day weekend and it suddenly disappeared.  Of course, no one saw it or knows where it is. 

This block is supposed to look like a stained glass window.  I tatted the cross a few years ago with no real plan.  It was originally going to be a bookmark, but it ended up way bigger than I had envisioned.  The main window at our church has a Jesus on the cross statue with a purple cross behind him in stained glass, so I dyed some purple lace to go along with the black ribbon (leading) around the window.  The red background came with gold sequins sewn on, which seemed appropriate. 

The "L" is my initial, and the lilies of the valley my birth month flower.  They are made with the wider white silk ribbon.  Each is 3 petals with a bit of yellow hanging down.  I drew the little Victorian boot when I was bored one day and added it as an after thought because I couldn't come up with anything else to put in that spot. 
I am very, very proud of the Mexican dahlia.  I dyed the ribbon and just kept adding petals that naturally curled.  It's very thick and looks just like I imagined it.  That almost never happens. 
The whole thing is finished with hand dyed fans and velvet ribbons, and some vintage lace at the bottom.
I promise that the next post won't take so long, since I almost have that block finished and I can download the pictures now.