August CQJP Block (and Autumn in the Garden)
August's block is completed! Making steady progress and just 4 more blocks to go! Hoping to get 2 blocks completed both this month and next. In January, I hope to be able to compile the entire projects! It feels like the end is in sight at long last!
The central motif's starry blue flowers are the "star" of this block!
As usual, I started off with the rick-rack seam. Orange this time to bring the color into lighter areas of the block. From there, a flower garden grew of hyacinths and painted daisies!
Next seam to be completed was this golden patch filled with vining buttonhole leaves. I knew that at some point I wanted to incorporate them into one of the blocks as they have become a bit of a signature element for me. A nice variegated thread from Weeks Thread Works provided additional interest.
Each block has at least one or two feather stitched seams and this one is no exception. This is one of two seams that I had to play with on this block to help it have enough presence to work with the other blocks.
Right next to it is another feather stitched seam, but this time with silk ribbon flowers. This seam helps to balance the other, lighter one.
On a small patch I added a buttonhole stitched fan seam inspired by one that Gerry Kreuger did on a block that I had loved. As so often happens, it looks completely different.
Here's a look at the blue star flowers. So simple to make, though they look complex. They are all composed of lazy daisies. Using a heavier thread really helps them to stand out, as well as using little flower beads for the centers!
For that troublesome little corner, I added a little stem-stitched motif.
The other small, sometimes troublesome patch got a leafy treatment.
This block didn't have any really graphic type seams, so I added this seam in cretin stitch. This is the second seam that was a bit light and out of balance with the rest of the stitching. Adding some bright pink to the centers of the lazy daisy petals gave it a presence that it had been lacking.
The chain stitched seam was added somewhat early on, before I did the star flower motif. The leafy seam below it was the last seam added to the block.
This seam was the next to the last seam added. It needed some noticeable color to balance other parts of the block. In all, I'm pretty happy with how this block turned out, especially those star flowers a the center!
I also played some more with that troublesome "bulls eye" that was bothering me on the July block. Here you can see the progression from left to right. The first photo was as the block was originally completed. The middle photo shows the improvements I made to the vines to help keep that light patch from appearing too square. The bulls eye affect still bothered me though. So I removed the blue bead at the center and replaced it with a pink flower. That still wasn't enough, so I carried the dark green out into the outer rings and that made all the difference. SO much better now! I'm finally happy with it and will quit playing with it!
The garden has been amazing this autumn. Just when I think it's finally cold enough that the roses will quit blooming, they put out yet another flush of flowers! The white wave petunias and white alyssum have proven to be amazingly resilient and though everything is winding down, they provide a lovely misty foundation to the patio beds. A walk around the yard revealed that the Bishop's Cap or Spindle Tree shrub has put out it's annual late autumn display of brilliant pink flowers. Most of the year it is a nondescript large shrub tucked into a corner on the back of the house. But in late autumn, those brilliant pink seedpods appear, seemingly out of nowhere!