Shawkl’s ICQC 103 Embroidered M

The lessons for this segment of the intermediate crazy quilt course (ICQC) involve working monograms in a few different styles. The first task is using embroidery. I wanted to challenge myself, of course, so I didn’t just use basic stitches. There is nothing fancy here, but it was a good practice for techniques I have only barely tried before.

To make the letter, I used some twine/cord and couched it using the satin stitch. The other rarely-used-by-me technique I employed was putting a felt disk underneath the large flower to pop it up a bit.

If you are wondering why “M”, well, once I saw this style (Kathy calls it Sun Daisy), the M looked like it had little cat ears so I immediately thought of Maya. Because of the cord and my skill level, mine doesn’t have the pointy look of ears as much, but I still like how it turned out!

And I can’t do one cat without the other, so you’ll definitely see an S coming up ?

Shawkl’s ICQC 103 Wisteria

The title of this post claims you’ll see wisteria, but in truth, I converted this task to a grapevine because I’ve never seen wisteria in person (though it is all over my dream house grounds!) but my gramma and grampa had a small vineyard. The premise is still the same: use an unconventional fiber as the main trunk and go from there.

I chose some twine, and only after the fact did I feel like I should have dyed it darker to stand out better against this fabric. Live and learn! I used a silver cord to replicate the wire that stabilized the grapevine. My gramma gave me a roll of starched fabric – I am not sure if it is meant to be binding or meant to be ties; it tears easily and she uses it all the time and I am sure it was used on the grapes so I cut little strips from it to tie up the grapes and tacked them down with a little stitch. Beads stand in as grape clusters, and I used the stumpwork wire technique for their leaves. I used some wire also for shaping some vines – a technique I wanted to try (probably inspired mostly by Salley Mavor) and I must say, it went so much faster than I expected it would! I stitched some leaves and vines to add more greenery (and it could probably use much more). It is all grounded by some rock beads and stitching (again, needs more). I think when I add more embellishments, the ground will come together more.

Because this motif takes over the whole block, I think I will have to place it centrally on the entire quilt. Time will tell – can’t wait to see it continue to develop! :D 

Shawkl’s ICQC 103 Mixed Media

I am part of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America (EGA) through a local chapter, and I recently came across a little hedgehog-on-a-log piece that Terry Vanderslice designed as an introduction to raised embroidery (also known as stumpwork). I knew I wanted to try it for two reasons: 1) practice with bullion knots and 2) how to turn a bead into an apple! I was all set to try it out, but I wanted to see other variations just for ideas; I came across Margaret’s version over at The Sharp Needler. After studying it, I had the courage to change up this design, too. So instead of a hedgehog, which I have never seen out in the wild, I attempted a possum (or, for you people that are sticklers for mainstream spelling, an opossum). Practice on bullion knots will just have to wait another day.

When I was a teenager, my cousin and I found a baby possum and I nursed it back to health. Its mother had been hit by a car and she and the other babies were all dead. My little guy/gal was so teeny that its eyes weren’t even open yet. Back then, the humane society and the local zoo were the only consultants for wild animal rescue, and neither had any advice on what to do. My mom knew someone who had rescued a possum using honey water, so I fed it with an eye dropper. Eventually it opened its eyes and grew enough strength to actually hang from my finger with its tail! My dog let it hang on to him as he walked around, too. It slept in my popple, in a birdcage when I had school to attend. Until one day I came home and it had passed away :( Rest in peace, Baby Speedbump. (And rest in peace, Marbles, the best dog I could ever have had.)

Anyway, as far as this motif, I think I will change it a little more before the end. For one, I don’t like how the eyes turned out. I also need to lighten the coat up a bit, and add more ground maybe to really settle it all together (Margaret’s just looks stunning!). But the bead apple? Super easy. And I got back into using wire to shape leaves (which warmed me up to a more ambitious piece to be seen next time!).