The Berry Patch

Trim, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Yesterday, we took a day off from downsizing my folks. I made a trip to Niwot, Colorado to one of my favorite stores, the Berry Patch! Not only do they have a lovely array of gifts, soaps and ornaments of all kinds, but about 1/3rd of the store is devoted to fancy ribbons and trims!


Ribbons and Trims Galore!
The whole back wall is lined with shelf upon shelf of beautiful silk ribbons of all varieties. There are racks of exquisite trims and lace, some tiny and narrow, other's large and wide, both new and old, all beautiful and some very old (and very expensive!).

There are boxes of buttons in wonderful variety!

Lovely trims
Each time I visit, I come home with a handful of treasures to use in crazy quilting! This time, I choose lovely bits in shades of green and rose.

Silk stash
I also was able to fill in the gaps of my silk ribbon embroidery stash with colors I'd used up. I also added some lovely silk threads and some new variegated rayon threads to try. A stop at the fabric store added some pieces of silk dupioni to my stash as well!

Now I just need to find some time to do some stitching!


Morning Flowers

Hollyhocks, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The light was lovely in the garden this morning! I love these tissue papery looking hollyhocks!

The Larkspur are blooming beautifully. With their little rabbit head shaped centers, these are among my favorite garden flowers!

Yellow Tea Rose
This golden tea rose has wonderful large blossoms.

Zuchinni Blossoms
Even the zuchinni blossoms are gorgeous in the morning light!


Busy in Boulder!

Sunset over Boulder, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Today ended with a lovely sunset! One of the things I will miss the most once my parents move from this house is the glorious view and the spectacular sunsets.

No stitching projects to share as my sister and I have been working hard, helping to downsize our folks, cleaning and refreshing things in preparation for a huge garage sale and to help them prepare to sell the house. The first room we tackled was the den with a lifetime accumulation of books, geneology research and more.

Den before
This is the west end of the room before.

Den before
The library end of the room before.

Den after
After going through everything, setting aside items for sale, things to save (in storage for now) and leaving out just what's needed including the birdwatching books that get used regularly, the library end of the room has a completely different look!

Den after
The west end of the room looks just as different! This room got a fresh coat of paint and new flooring as well as a slightly different rearrangement of furniture. New blinds will go up soon! After all this refreshing, the folks may never want to leave!


Mom's Flowers

Mom's Flowers, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Greetings from Colorado! My sister and I are here visiting the folks and my kids for the week. Thought I'd share some photos of my Mom's flowers with you today!

Pink Hollyhock
The Hollyhocks are in full bloom right now.

White Hollyhock

Violas and pansies
All around the house, my mom has pots of flowers. I love this one in shades of yellow, lavender and apricot! So cheerful!


Lyn's Block

Lyn block 18Jul09, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
This is Lyn's block ~ the last of the round robin blocks in the Under the Sea DYB round robin. That means I've completed my portion on all the round robins that I've been involved in the past few months. I'll miss having these blocks to work on, but I'm also looking forward to working on a few of my own projects for a while!

For Lyn's block, I used a vintage embroidery pattern for the fish. A couple of the other blocks also used a bit of this golden yellow color and so I was looking to do something that coordinated. I tried to bring in some bright pink too, but it just didn't go! Most of the blocks also had a some bright green sea-weed, though it doesn't show up terribly well in the picture below, so I added some in eyelash yarn as well as some created from wool roving. The little blue clusters at the bottom leftof my block are bits of trim received in a swap from Quatar!
Lyn's blocks
Seeing all the blocks together may help you to see why I worked the way I did. Two of the blocks (the beaded dolphin by Lauri and the beaded fancy fish by Peggy) have strong large motifs. The blocks by Pam and Karrin have smaller patterns of work throughout the blocks. To help balance the group, I tried to fill my block to pair well with Pam's block (lower left). Now Lyn can finish the last block to pair with Karrin's block (upper left ~ I apologize for getting it sideways in the picture!) and the set will be nicely balanced!


Fans and Sakura

Rita's block, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
Rita's DYB blocks are beautifully pieced and each feature a lovely goldfish! She asked for an Oriental theme, so I chose to do fans and sakura (cherry blossoms). The other blocks completed so far were done in a monochromatic theme to match the block, so I worked that way as well, using mostly pink but also a bit of yellow and gold.

Rita block detail 2
The fans were inspired by the work of Hideko, which you can see on her blog, Wind from the East. Scattered around the block are silk ribbon embroidered sakura as well as a few sakura beads.

Rita block detail 1
The seam treatments on this block are simple and unadorned as I wanted the focus to be on the fans and sakura.

Rita block detail 5
This is the last of the blocks for this Anything Goes Do Your Block round robin. It has been fun to see the different variations that everyone came up with and a challenge to try to new directions in my stitching! Soon, I hope to see my flower fairy themed blocks return and can't wait to see what everyone has done on them!


More Round Robin Blocks

Pam's UTS block, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
Pam's Under the Sea DYB block was a joy to work on! For each of her blocks, she choose a theme and added bits of lace and embroidery. How nice that the one I would have choosen was still available to work on! This block had the themes "sandy rock pool" and "sea floor". Pam had already added the tatted lace that gave the spit of sand so much wonderful texture as well as some delicately embroidered fronds of greenery on the sea floor.

Pam's block detail
For the sandy rock pool, I added sea urchins, lots of shells and "sand" as well as a starfish. Along the water's edge, there are lots of little irredescent beads to given the appearance of water.

Pam's block gull
I struggled at first with how to embellish the top half of the block, eventually deciding to add a flying gull (inspired by the gulls on the print fabric) so that it gave the appearance of a "bird's eye view" to the block. A bit of irredescent Balger cord added a glimmering water surface that unfortunately doesn't show up in the photos very well. Of all the round robins I've done, I think this is my favorite block so far!

Laura's DYB block
I also finished a block for Laura. She hopes to use her blocks in a "Project Linus" quilt, so asked for no beads, buttons or things that might come off and endager a small child. For inspiration, I perused through some vintage embroidery patterns. The central fabric of this block is bright and the contrasts on it so strong that it was a challenge to do embroidery work that would show up. Using bright pearl cottons in a size 5 helped!


Time to buy a Lottery Ticket!

My Bunny block, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
Todays mail brought lovely surprises! My Anything Goes round robin block returned today! I'd seen pictures of it on Gerry's blog, but as so often happens, pictures don't do justice to it! I absolutely love and adore all the bunnies and flowers on this block! A huge thankyou to each of the ladies (Meg, Wendy, Ati and Gerry) who worked on this block!

ATG Trad RR nkd block
When I sent this "naked' block out, I'd asked for everyone to "think spring". I'd also sent along a few crocheted flowers made by my Aunt Lois for someone to add on the block.

bunnies 1
Gerry thought the block needed to be filled up, so she embroidered all these wonderful bunnies and even painted a bunny button to go on the block!

bunnies 2
All these bunnies make me happy! Or is that hoppy?! (sorry ~ couldn't resist!)

bunnies 3
I especially adore the little one on the right ~ so sweet!

from Jill P
The mail also brought another delightful treasure! The third altoid tin arrived today, this one from Jill P who included a trove of lovely fabrics and number of lovely silkies to use in my work. There are number of them tiny enough to be used for inchies! Won't that be fun to try!

Tin from Jill
It's a lovely tin ~ Jill does beautiful work!

Between receiving my wonderful bunny block and the three gorgeous Altoid tin's this week, I feel like I won the jackpot! With all this bounty coming my way, maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket!

Little Pincushions

09Jul09, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

I finished up a couple more small pincushions from the unfinished project basket. Pieced from silk dupioni, these are more "art objects" rather than functional pincushions, though they would display a nice brooch very well!

Blue white Jul09
The blue and white pincushion is fairly simple. It needs a millinary flower on that large white triangle, but I'll have to find one in white or blue first!

rose cream green Jul09
This rosy pincushion has lots of stitching and beads plus a silk ribbon rose. I used a few of my favorite vintage rosy sequins on it. I love their patina.

Seams 01
I thought you might like to see a couple pages from the "Stitch Book" that fits in the pocket on the back of the Hussif. I sketch stitch patterns in it whenever I see things that I like. It makes such a handy reference to keep nearby!

Winter pages
The ideas for the stitches and seam treatments come from many places ~ round robin blocks, books, blogs of crazy quilters, my own designs and most often from my favorite resource ~ Flickr! There are thousands of photos of crazy quilting in endless variety to provide plenty of inspiration! Simply do a search on "crazy quilting", "crazy quilt", or embroidery and plan to spend a good part of the day browsing!


Linen Hussif

Front of Hussif, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

In between round robin projects, I've been trying to complete a few of my own unfinished items. The latest is a Hussif that I started last autumn. This was one of those projects that started out great, but as I went to assemble it, realized it had some problems that I couldn't figure out how to resolve at the time. Discouraged, it ended up in the bottom of my "to do" basket. When I looked at it a few days ago, a solution presented itself and last night I was able to finish it in a couple of hours! I'm so glad because the embroidery and ribbon rose on the front of this has to be one of my favorite bits of handwork that I've ever done!

Back of Hussif
On the back, a little pocket holds a small altered Moleskine cahir that I use to sketch out seam treatments and embroidery ideas. To close the hussif, I added ribbon ties of the same ribbon used on the outer petals of the rose. To keep the ribbon from raveling with use, the end of each tie received a rolled hem.

Inside a
Originally, I wanted these two flaps on the inside to be in the opposite positions to help keep the scissors more secure. When stitching, I mixed up how each side folded to the inside and got them backwards! It also meant that the innermost pockets wouldn't end up where I had planned.

Inner inside a
Another problem on this was that when I measured, I neglected to add extra room in the folds to allow for filled pockets. So rather than the large pleated pockets I had wanted, I created a simple flat pocket using the front and inside front. It's just the right size to slip in a folded crazy quilt block. The middle section has old celluloid rings to hold a selection of ribbons and threads. On the right side I added another flat pocket to hold bobbins of thread, packets of beads and other trifles to embellish a crazy quilt block with. At the center top, I added an emory strawberry and a crocheted thimble pouch.

In the end, despite the problems that occured along the way, I'm really happy with the way it turned out! I'm so glad I let it rest awhile and was able to look at it with fresh eyes to see it through to completion!


Tins Received!

Front of Leslie's tins
I've received two of the swaps for the Crazy Quilted Altoid Tin swap on CQI! Do I ever feel like the cat who got the cream! These are SO gorgeous!

These first ones came from Leslie who included not only the regular Altoid tin ~ made into a delightful little purse with crazy quilting on BOTH sides, but also included a mini Altoid tin that is so sweet!

Back of Leslie's Tin
Leslie's embroidery is gorgeous! I love the colors!

Tins from Leslie
The insides are as delightful as the outside! So beautiful! She included a lovely beaded bracelet with these tins!

Tin from Cathy K
The second tin came from Cathy K! The embroidered ribbon trim around this is so beautiful! The whole tin is just lovely!

Inside of Cathy K's tin
Like Leslie's tins, the inside of Cathy's tin is beautifully finished! She included some lovely little goodies that will be delightful to use!

Leslie and Cathy ~ Thank you so much for these beautiful tins! I will treasure them!