CQJP 2015 - October Block (a little late!)

Working on the CQJP 2015 blocks once again!  This is "October's" block.  The further this project goes, the harder the blocks get; trying to balance with the previous blocks and not repeating seam treatments/motifs.  Before starting on this one, I had laid out all the blocks together and looked at block orientation and rick-rack placement of the previous blocks and aimed to have the last 3 blocks blend in well, and to have an even mix of orientation/color in the overall piece.  It was helpful to know where the top was going to be on this block!  

As always, I added the rick-rack first and then followed with the curvy herringbone seam above it.  I don't often mark seams, but I found it very helpful with the curves and for getting the herringbones placed evenly on this seam.  

In one corner I added this flowery treatment.  It's one of the earliest seams that I copied into my book of seams.  

Next I did this curvy chain stitch and added Fargo Roses with some variegated silk ribbon.  I also added a floral motif on a short seam.  

In the blank area on the yellow block, I stitched a double slanted buttonhole stitch with lazy daisies in a nice variegated thread.   

On another small corner, I couched some chenille down and added the larger lazy daisy/fly stitch motif.  I debated filling it in somewhat, but decided that I liked it the way it was.  

On the gold patch, I added a combination seam of herringbone and buttonhole stitch.  I thought it looked like baskets, so I added flowers to it! 

There was an empty space near the curvy herringbone seam that needed filling.  I stitched a curvy vine in back stitch in a light green.  Once the rest of the block was finished, it just got lost.  At first I thought that adding beads to the seam would help, but I didn't like it, so took them out.   Then I went back with a single strand of darker green embroidery floss and shadowed each stitch with it.  It made the whole thing much more vivid and helped to balance the block!  It's one of my favorite things on this block! 

For the center motif, I wanted to try something different with the little variegated Mokuba trim.  I'd seen carnations done with similar ribbon and so I gave it a try.  Pretty happy with how they turned out!  A little pink babies breath finishes off the motif! 

I've done a lot of herringbone seams on other work of mine and have collected so many variation.  It's such a fun stitch to embellish!  A little feather stitched seam helps fill in the rest of the patch.  

With two empty patches left to fill on the block, I wasn't sure what to try.  Sometimes sleeping on something overnight makes all the difference!  I woke with several ideas and decided on orange button wheel flowers and fly stitched leaves to fill the patch.  

The last seam stitched was another feather stitch variation.  Feather stitch remains my all time favorite stitch and most of the CQJP 2015 blocks have at least a couple of feather stitch seams on them!  

Definitely loving the little ribbon carnations!  So glad to have this block done.  Two more to go and then it's time to put this big project together!  Can't wait! 

I've noticed the kitties sitting in the dining room window quite a bit lately.  Today, I discovered the reason why!  Where the squirrels knock the seed out of the bird feeder that they don't like, the little mice have moved in and are quite happy with the bountiful offerings!  I suspect that they have a very safe home underneath the large barrel that I plant flowers in and there must be quite the array of mouse roadways underneath the ground cloth as I watched these and their buddies scampering off quickly once they realized I was watching!  I counted at least 4, and I've always figured that when you see one mouse, there are at least half a dozen others that you don't see.  They are cute, but I think it's time to get the traps out lest they start finding their way inside. .  


Butterfly Dreams

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on the Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant

Is there anything more joyful than a beautiful butterfly in the midst of winter?  What a delight it has been to stitch on this beauty during the cold dark days of the year!  

It began back in December with the piecing of a pincushion.  In hindsight, I wish I'd used all green fabrics, but it turned out lovely, none the less!  

Working the stump work butterfly was a joy.  As you may know if you have been reading my blog for long, orange is NOT my favorite color, but on a Monarch Butterfly, it is joyful and stunning!  

I added a ball of milkweed flowers to the block for the butterfly to perch on.  For the remainder of the block, I tried to imagine flowers that looked like they might attract a butterfly rather than relying on exact copies of real flowers.  

At last, after stitching for the last 3 months in tiny bits of stolen time amidst all the other busy things taking place in my life, the butterfly landed on the pincushion this past week!  

I love how the little bit of wire in the wings adds a bit of gentle shape and how the old flower stamens created the perfect antennas!  

A few little blue butterflies came to join the Monarch!  

So lovely!  


Sending you wishes for Peace and Love on this Valentine's Day!