Red Amaryllis

Red Amaryllis 3, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The last bulb in my Christmas bulb basket is blooming! Until just a couple days before they bloomed, I thought they might be a pink variety. Then they turned into the brightest red blooms I've seen in a while! Amazingly, the bulb sent up three flower stalks and they are blooming in quick succession to one another! So gorgeous!

Red Amaryllis 1
The rich red of these blooms is stunning in my mostly white apartment! What a pleasant surprise to brighten the snowy mid-winter days!

Red Amaryllis 2
The blooms are so tactile that I can't help but touch them every time I walk by. I just love gifts like this that give so much joy over such a long time!


A Branch of Blossoms

The snow is falling steadily outside, but inside I've been thinking of spring as I stitched this branch of apple blossoms with a little bird! The branch was created by combining several threads of pearl cotton and linen thread, twisting them together a bit and couching them down with the same threads. The little bird was stitched on felt first and then appliqued down with a bit of additional felt in spots to add dimension. The beak and eye were stitched last.

Block 3 Complete!
The lace above the branch was in need of something extra, so I added some little mother of pearl elements that added the finishing touches! Now I'm on to finish up Block 4! I've been working on this project for 3 years now. I envy those who seem to be able to start and finish multiple large projects within the timeframe of a year, as it takes me ages just to finish a 12" square block! I'm so glad to see this one getting close though!

Allie Aller's Crazy Quilting Book
A few days ago, I received Allie Aller's Crazy Quilting book! What a gorgeous book! Now she's not only one of my very favorite blogger's but author as well! I love that she took a slightly different approach to it and didn't focus on embroidered seams, but gave us a look at her methods of piecing and embellishing blocks with as well as how she finishes the backing of her large (and small) pieces. She also included some beautiful and inspiring work by other crazy quilters. I know this will be a book I will return to again and again! Thank you Allie for publishing such a great book!


Afternoon Light

Afternoon Light, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

I cherish those moments in mid-afternoon when the sun moves around to my side of the building and light comes streaming in. I wanted to share with you a few of the things that delight me as they interact with the light, such as the little ivy candle ring on top of the china cabinet.

Light and Texture
Even my sweater draped across my sewing chair takes on new dimension as the light brings out the lovely textures of the knitting. This photo captures the atmosphere that I strive to create in my home ~ I love the light, the white and the warm touch of green.

It always amazes me how much color there is in what at first glance appears to be simply a green leaf. The afternoon sun brings it to life!

A Shining Moment
A lone African violet blossom catches a single ray of light for a shining moment. This miniature violet has been blooming it's heart out for the past 11 years! It takes a brief rest each winter and then begins to bloom anew each February just in time for Valentines!

Green Ribbon
I recently bought a pair of used lamps whose shades had been reduced to the wire structure. I'll cover the shades one day soon. How surprised I was to look down and discover that one of them had a little green ribbon tied onto it! Brought into view by the afternoon sun!

As I was sitting in my chair reading, I looked over and was intrigued by the play of light on the bubbles ringing the straw in my water class.

Old Shelf view
Looking up the other way, the afternoon light brings out the scrollwork and the aging quirks of my little old shelf. Despite how warped and worn it is, I love its age and imperfections.

Bursting Bloom
The last of the Christmas bulbs from my sister are bursting into bloom. There is such hope in a blossom! I love watching them transform day by day.

A Pensive Moment
The kitties enjoy the afternoon sun as much as I. Here, Miss Mollie is captured in a pensive moment as the light begins to fade.


Cream/White CQ - Making Progress!

Block 3 of my Cream/White CQ is nearly complete! I've been working on it in spare moments and love this stage when it's all coming together!

Block 3 - Lace Medallion
In the upper left corner, I added a crocheted medallion, created by the Aunt of my Uncle Jake, who was a missionary to Persia probably a hundred years ago. I added beads and a vintage pearl to it.

Block 3 - Fern
In the lower left corner, I added a fern frond and a "fiddlehead" in Palestrina Stitch. It's so easy to do and I love the effect!

Block 3 - Branch with Bird WIP
The lower right corner is the last area to finish. Here I'm adding a branch of apple blossoms and a little bird. The bird is stitched on felt a la Gerry Kreuger. I'll stitch the beak and eye once it is stitched down!

Cream/White CQ 9Feb2011
Here are all 4 blocks as they stand right now. I keep debating if I'm going to add a narrow border in-between the blocks or just stitch all 4 blocks directly together. When I look at it this way, I'm thinking the borders might detract from the blocks.

So happy to see this one getting so close to completion!


February Projects

Stitching Journal Entries, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
My Stitching Journal is where I jot down ideas and plans for projects as they come together in my mind. Usually, I work pretty spontaneously, with minimal planning, but every now and then, I need to put things down on paper to make sense of them. As I've been working on the Cream/White quilt, I wasn't sure where to go with it once the blocks were completed, but then I remembered that I have a very long length of filet crochet trim with roses in the design that would make a wonderful border! Suddenly the finishing all seemed to come together, so I captured it in my book so I wouldn't forget when the time comes!

Fairy Block
Another project I'm thinking about is this fairy block. I made it well over a year ago and it has been languishing in a box since then. what fun to get it out and start dreaming about possibilities! I've been collecting milky white flower beads for this and looking at silk ribbon flowers to make for this block. Can't wait to get started!

Hearts Wall Hanging
I've also been finishing up a few smaller projects, such as this little heart banner.

Hearts Detail
I love how the velvet takes on so much dimension when appliqued to the patchwork! And how the stitching adds yet more texture as well as adding a layer of pattern. There is something so satisfying about making the little patchwork backgrounds for these!