The Next Chapter

I believe we are at number 18.  This one features my mother-in-law in her wedding portrait.  I tried to make a veil for her, but I just couldn't get it right so I picked out her pearls with french knots and her bouquet with satin roses. 

The paisleys are free hand with variegated thread and a silk ribbon rose.  I love paisleys.  A lot.  More than I probably should.  But they're just so cool and free while still being contained.

This is Noel.  She is my favorite dog (which is saying a lot because I love dogs and have had many, many favorites).  My husband rescued her from the local shelter at Christmas several years ago because I adore bassets.  She never completely fattened up, but she always made me laugh.  Have you ever watched a basset run?  It's more of a rocking motion and is adorable.  Noel died last July and I still miss her.  Anyway, I sort of copied a drawing from the internet and used the water soluble stabilizer trick to embroider her.

I went to an estate sale last week and found a pile of nice fabrics for crazy quilting.  The light blue, purple, and burgundy were all from that sale.  At fifty cents for a couple of yards, I felt that I could finally experiment with burn-out velvet on the burgundy.  It turned out pretty well, until I cut it off when sewing it on the block.  Oh, well.  Only God is perfect. 

I collect hats. I have downsized quite a bit in the last 10 years, but I still have quite an affinity for them. Nano bought my first one, a black velvet that molds to the back of my head and reigns from the late 1800s, at a festival (Tuleta Days) in a neighboring community. I think I was about 12. The embroidered one doesn't look like anything I own, but I thought it looked Victorian. The fuzzy brown stuff is supposed to look like ostrich feathers or some such. Not sure if it does, but it works for me.

My aunt visited this week and brought a large bag full of lace bits and yards.  First I found the little off white loop thing that was the perfect length for the area above the blue butterfly.  I had left the embroidery off that area with the intention of putting in a piece of lace or trim and shazam!  There was the perfect piece.  After I embroidered the hat, I decided a lace parasol would be cute.  Back to the bag where I found this soft polyester that wasn't what I had in mind, but was too pretty to pass up.  It wasn't stiff enough to applique an open parasol, but I think it turned out very nicely.

I am planning to stop at 20 blocks, but I'm still not sure.  I had originally wanted the last two to really be one.  I have an awesome piece of organza with a large peacock machine embroidered onto it that I wanted to mount to the block, but the way it was cut when I bought it is awkward and I don't think it will work just right.  Still thinking about it, though.


Revisiting An Old Friend

Oops.  It's been two weeks since I've posted and I told myself I wouldn't do that.  In my defense, I was working on a quilt for a customer.  I was so excited to finish it that I didn't take good pictures, so I probably won't post them here.
I did, however, rework block #3.  This is the before:

And this is after:

I am particularly proud of my bassoon.  Ignore the funny shadow-type marks.  Still haven't been able to get the washable ink out.  I also added another of Laura's flowers to the doily and silk ribbon flower arrangement. 
The bassoon is hand drawn and satin stitched.  The keys and mouthpiece were made with real sterling silver thread.  The keys are not accurate, but there are a lot of them on a real bassoon and the thread is hard to work with.  Call it artistic license. 
I was the odd one as a child who played something obscure.  I was always a little different.
My Trojan mascot (Go, Beeville!) was kind of traced and kind of hand drawn on the water soluble stabilizer that I used before.  This time I did not use a ballpoint pen to transfer.  There was originally a lace motif in this triangular space, but I never did like how it looked. 
The last thing I did was add a green squiggle and an orange star to the opposite side.  It was unbalanced before, but I think it is much better now.  When I sew this block to the next one, I may add some more embroidery in that corner.  Right now I'm more concerned about the blocks all fitting together.
It has just dawned on me that, except for the doily, there is no lace on the block.  How odd!


#11 Embellishment

I have re-embellished block eleven.  Added embellishment?  Whatever.  Before:

And after:
And after some more:

Honestly, I'm still not in love with the the block.  I added some a velvet ribbon flower and leaves that I had made for my daughter, who didn't like them.  I embroidered leaf details and couched long-haired yarn for the center.  I also wove purple silk ribbon into the green lace.

I put a dyed crocheted flower (no, I didn't make it,  I can't crochet) and couched yarn across the lace on one corner.  That still didn't look right:
So I dyed a vintage doily green and added it behind the flower:

Does anyone have any suggestions for this block?  It is sad, because the lace and satin behind the rose is from my wedding dress.  I've been saving it for 21 years to put on a crazy quilt, and it still doesn't seem right. 
I am currently working on adding to another block that wasn't quite right.