Thursday, August 30, 2007

Manipulating satin cords

LĂ©onie's Square for the 2007 Art Bra Quilt

There has been a discussion on the Crazy Quilt Embellishers list regarding the use of satin cord ( commonly called rat tail) as an embellishment in crazy quilting. Victoria Adams Brown, a dear friend and Grand Mistress Poohbah of the Art Bra calendars and A Way to Women's Wellness Foundation has kindly asked me if I would post a picture of the square I did for this year's Art Bra quilt ( see above).
You will see in the upper right hand corner, I have manipulated the chartreuse satin cord into a shape that I thought complimented the brass buttons - almost a Celtic type of design. The holes in the buttons were large enough that I could carefully draw the cord through them, which helped in stitching them more securely to the fabric. I also made a loose knot with the cord at the bottom centre of the design and then added a cloisonne bead and a couple of shell star beads to offset it. On the upper left side, I made a snake like design back and forth across the seam line with the purple cord and then simply couched it down with a lighter shade of thread. Round metallic chartreuse beads set into the loops created the finishing touch. Now, Vic has taken this technique and run with it - twisting and knotting it and adding wonderful vintage button clusters her crazy quilt vests . Ooh I LOVE the overall effect and that lavender with the vintage buttons is to die for! Allie Aller, another talented art bra designer and stitcher extraordinaire, has a tutorial on her blog showing us how to attach satin cording to a quilt border . It really offsets the borders and adds a touch of class to her already exquisite work. There should be enough inspiration here to get you all going!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thanks for your support!

I'd like to acknowledge those of you who have made comments on my blog and also those who have sent private emails, supporting me in my new venture in blogland! Thanks so much for all your encouragement and support! It is greatly appreciated!
It was a bit daunting at first but I am slowly catching on and after a month of on and off frustration, finally managed to post a pic in my profile. I had a charming one of myself when I was much younger, but decided who the hell was I kidding, so went ahead with a more recent one - scary but a little more realistic! Ha!
I thought with my guys away, I had this week to myself but I've spent a few days with my Mum and it's been very rewarding. I am so lucky to still have her in my life and try never to be too busy that I can't enjoy her company for a while. Today we went shoe shopping and saw some amazing filigree leather shoes from Brazil that would knock your socks off. But, having toyed with the killer winkle pickers in my youth, alas, I could only admire them! I digress, but the experience reminded me of a book I am reading by Nora Ephron, called " I Feel Bad About My Neck". It is a light read but a hilarious accounting of women dealing with getting older. I love her line" Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini and don't take it off until you're thirty four." Ah yes, great thought in retrospect Nora!
But back to the shoe foray today, it reminded me of the Shoe Challenge Barb at Joggles is hosting. It is going to be so much fun and I for one, have taken Barb up on her quest for altered shoes! For further info, check it out at:
And while I'm at it, congratulations Barb on your four year anniversary of starting the Joggles company. You've done an amazing job in the time frame. My best wishes go to you for your continued success in the future!
( And P.S. I'll be teaching the online Intermediate Bead Embroidery class with Joggles starting in January - so watch my blog and Barb's web site and newsletters for information on Joggles mid Winter classes!)

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Queens' Wedding Dress

Today there is a wonderful article in the London ( UK) Telegraph about a then 18 year old Betty Foster, a seamstress in the workrooms of the designer Norman Hartnell and her recollections of working on the wedding dress of Queen Elizabeth 11 of England. This year the Queen celebrates her 60th wedding anniversary and the dress has been on display in a special exhibit open to the public at Buckingham Palace. The story is quite delightful.

Here's the link to the article:

There is also an online site about the collection and pictures via this link:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sharon's on the move......

Sharon Boggon in Australia, affectionately known to the stitching community as sharonb, has been beset with frustrations regarding her blog inaminuteago. As a result, she is in the process of moving her site to:

If you know anything about Sharon, you will appreciate that's a lot of material to move! Sharon is a natural communicator and has generously contributed so much to the online stitching community. Her online stitch dictionary alone is worth it's weight in gold Please take time to drop in on Sharon's new blog and offer her your thanks and support! A new addition to Sharon's blog is a lovely photo of herself so you can now put a face to the generous spirit!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rolling Broccoli !

Today I have something which is bead/textile related in that I had wonderful service from Jessica and Susan Partain of Inedible Jewelery. Jessica acknowledged my purchase of some broccoli cufflinks and notified me they had been sent. In the course of our conversation, I gave a short explanation of " why broccoli". Jessica asked if she could use the information in a written communication and in return, Jessica also agreed that I could quote her in my blog.

"One of our lovely customers purchased a pair of these broccoli cuff links recently. We always send a thank you email, confirming the purchase and letting people know when their goodies will ship. Virtually no one ever responds to this email. In this instance, however, she replied and gave us the story behind her purchase- a rare treat for us! Turns out she wanted these broccoli cuff links for her husband, who happens to be an avid motorcyclist (strictly BMWs, which sounds really familiar, Mr. Inedible being a vintage BMW addict rider himself.)What on earth, you might ask, does broccoli have to do with BMW motorcycling? Well, everything it turns out! Her husband is a member of a group of motorcycle enthusiasts (emphatically not a motorcycle gang) that call themselves The International Order of Rolling Broccoli Riders. It is certainly the best broccoli-themed association ever invented! So, when you're traveling through Canada or some of the more northerly parts of the US, be on the lookout for some really friendly guys on BMWs. You'll know it's the Broccoli Riders if they all have green thumbnails. (Or if they're wearing broccoli cuff links!) "

PS - Just to explain the green thumbnails, whenever the Broccoli Boys sponsor a rally, instead of stamping hands to get back into the grounds, they use green nailpolish on thumbs!

Both Jessica and her sister Susan design and make the jewelery AND some wonderful foodie charms which many of you beaders and crazy quilters out there might LOVE for your creations. Check out their Etsy site too. I have no affiliation - just had great service! Thanks Ladies!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

" Girl Crazy"

Rough scan of the mock up for the" Girl Crazy" print

I guess what has been uppermost in my mind lately has been the ongoing interest and success of " Girl Crazy", a crazy quilted corset donated by " The Hartley Girls" to " The Quilt" a breast cancer support project, based in Stratford, Ontario. The Hartley Girls are comprised of myself, who does all the physical stitching and design layout and my darling Mum Joan, who is my #1 design consultant. She is also a twelve year breast cancer survivor.

Joan - my Design Consultant at the Artists' Preview - May/07

" Girl Crazy" seems to have taken on a life of it's own with The Quilt issuing a signed numbered limited edition print, beautiful totes and shoe /wine bags, and it's image is displayed on all the marketing materials for The Quilt including corporate invitations, auction tickets and programmes. Whew! Who knew that a piece of vintage lingerie would inspire us so and our creation would become such an ambassador for the cause?

The DA checking out the merchandise at" The Quilt" gift shop

The actual crazy quilted corset has travelled across Canada and has been exhibited at auction sites throughout the year. This Thursday it travels to Halifax, Nova Scotia, the heart of the Maritimes provinces, to be on show during the auction there. It then returns home to the Stratford exhibit until mid September and then it will begin it's final journey. The corset will spend four weeks at the luxurious Casa Loma venue, a majestic " medieval" castle in the heart of Toronto and then will move to The Distillery District , a national historic site and an extraordinary artistic community. On October 23rd, it will go on the auction block with several other beautiful donated quilts. We couldn't be more delighted with it's success but ultimately, we are thrilled with the funds it has raised for this most worthwhile effort.
Joan and I would especially like to thank and acknowledge the wonderfully creative minds at Red Rhino for their innovative ideas and the tasteful way in which they've handled our work. Thanks folks!
I'll be posting more info and pics closer to the auction date.

First Foray into Cyber Space

At long last, I've joined the world of blogging! Friends and students have often suggested I start a blog to share ideas, news, inspiration and to give them updates on what I am doing. It's taken a while but I've jumped in with both feet and I'll let the chips fall where they may!
Special thanks go to my two " tekkies", my son, affectionately known as The DA, and my friend Kevin in Wales, for their sage advice and patience in " teaching an old dog, new tricks".