Since March of 2008, I've been working on the four blocks of my Cream & White Crazy Quilt. At times, it seemed as though they would never be complete, but this weekend, I finished block 4 at last! Allow me to take you on a tour of the details!
One of the things I tried to do on all of the blocks is to try new stitches. I've always had trouble with the bullion stitch before, but finally seem to have gotten the hang of it! The leaf in the lower left is a variation of buttonhole stitch. I love the effect! The little leaf clusters are variations on the Fishbone Stitch.
The last motif I added was this spray of Lilies of the Valley. It took me a long time to decide what to do here. After spending much time going through books, sketching ideas and browsing Flickr for vintage embroidery motifs, I settled on this one with stems embroidered in a lovely silk peril and flowers in SRE. I think it is my favorite part of the block now!
This embroidery motif was modified from a vintage pattern found online. It didn't quite fill the area, so I extended it a bit more with some feathery foliage, in keeping with the original design.
Each block has mother of pearl button flowers with stems and leaves stitched in rayon. What fun it has been to go through my button box (which includes buttons from my grandmother and others), as well as my mother's button box and to search out more beautiful buttons on my antiquing forays! The bone bird bead is from a local bead shop, which caters primarily to the Navaho and Hopi in the area.
Another "new to me" stitch were these cast-on flowers. They ended up being much more dimensional than any of the other embroidery on the blocks.
In this corner of the block, I used another spider web SRE rose, embroidered a Victorian era butterfly, and appliqued a small needlelace medallion that came from a distant great great aunt who was a missionary to Persia. In my subsequent research, I've discovered that it's related to the Turkish Oya flowers. The bit of crocheted lace is a sample piece made by my Aunt Lois. There is a piece of her lace on each block!
And at last, all four blocks together! In real life, the taupe velvet doesn't stand out quite so much, but the camera lens picks up a greater contrast than the human eye. I stretched the blocks last night and noticed a couple of tiny things to fix on the blocks before I sew them together. Then I'll stitch the seams with some feather stitching to make the blocks flow together a bit more.
What a great feeling to have this big project finally within reach of finishing!