Monday, February 27, 2006

Am I on the path yet?

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Thank you all for your support during my wobbly half hour. It was wonderful to receive such a generous chorus of "don't fret, Pet" and boy, did I need it? I even shed a few tears over being such a dunce *shock horror* What a silly woman, you may say, and you may be right :) But I guess it just goes to show how much this cq course means to me. Alternatively, it might just mean I hate being 'wrong'. VBG

Anyway, after my little tantrum, I went off with my printout of the block - I did one in black and white too to see if that was any help - it wasn't - and ...

I started by drawing some circles on the areas of the block which drew my attention.

Then I linked these areas in what seemed a logical sequence, making little notes to myself as I went in the margins.

I also added some ideas about a 'theme' for the block and how it might be expanded.

The seam treatments I have drawn in are not difinitive, and will probably change as I stitch - these ones were from memory and I will be getting my books out to find inspiration for the real thing.

Lastly I added Linda's 'triangles' - and these made much more sense than the path I was searching for.

In the stitching things will, I am sure, become a lot clearer and there are still several weeks of the course to go. But I have already learnt a great deal from the forum too.

One thing I learnt was that the paths are not the seams! Doh! I was looking for a way for the seams to draw mw around the block. Some kind soul posted a picture of her drawing of paths on her block on the forum and it was a light bulb moment.

I had already seen serveral similar drawings but not realised that the circles and ovals are actually in the blocks or across the seams not on the seams themselves and the paths do not follow the seams but lead from one motif or focal point to another. Eureka!

All of which didn't actually help me to 'see' anything in my block but did make me feel better that I might actually be looking in the right place - eventually *rolls eyes*.

So enough yabbering - and thank you once again for the encouraging words and for helping me to not loose heart - time to go sew :) I think I will make my February 6X4 lives sampler a record of my seam embellishments for this block. Maybe this will be fun again, after all.

PS Of course SharonB's response to my post on the forum made me feel much better too, but I didn't read that until this morning :) *waves to Sharon* Thanks teach. Promise to stop being a silly moo, but will probably be asking obvious/silly questions again ... okay ... will definately be asking obvious/silly questions again. VBG

Sunday, February 26, 2006

CQ blues :(

I am taking part in the joggles class Encrusted Crazy Quilting with Sharon Boggon and I am just not seeing any 'paths' round my block. I have been looking at it so long now I am seeing little people going for a walk on it but they are all walking on the grass - not a path in sight!
I printed out a copy of my block to see if that made things easier and so I could start a plan for the embellishment. I haven't done many blocks before - infact other than the ALL That Jazz block I have only done my part in a RR - and I have never designed anything on paper before starting to sew apart from the mind map I did for All That Jazz and the work I sketched for my Bags of Fun Bag.

Before I came to CQ I was a cross stitcher who followed other people's patterns to the letter and boy, am I struggling today. I have no design or art training, I am not a visual thinker, and I am stuck in "I can't" mode :( Feeling very sorry for myself and very inadequate.

Printing out a picture didn't help. When I look at it my eyes don't have a 'path' around the block they dart all over it and stop at the deadends where one seam is intersected by another. So, I am off to read the lesson AGAIN and to draw scribbles on my pictures and then I shall give up and get my threads out and choose some colours and start sewing ... randomly... as I usually do and see what happens. Or maybe I will just go to bed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

jaywalker2 again

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

here's the photo for a better idea of the true colour. Enjoyed the second sock as i had the pattern in my head but it was much better than the first and i feel I should knit the first one again really to make them a proper pair! However, as they are for me to keep and not to enter into a competition or for critical scrutiny they are near enough and near enough is (all together now) ... good enough! S Hope they don't shrink the first time I wash them as they only just fit! This fact does save them from DD's cluthes - she tried to nick them as they came off the needle but as she has a high instep (like her dear old Dad) she couldn't get them on, hehehehe, they're mine mine mine. She has put her order in tho' so my next pair will be purple stripey socks :)


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Finally finished the second sock - this photo is a little bleached out - see other one above for a better idea of the colour - if it were a better picture i would be blushing at the number of errors but as it is a little blurred :) I am just happy to move on to my next project and to have nice warm toes.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

small creatures wrapped in love

The journey of the maidens wrap continues.

The next wise woman to work on the wrap was troubled and excited by the possibilities before her. She searched within herself for the spark of creation that is all out heritage and after much careful consideration, and the encouragement of her fellow stitchers, she began.

This stitcher was nervous of the responsibilities she had undertaken. She was halting and unsure of her skill. She sewed and removed many tryings. But she was one of the wise, and her talents led her to places she did not know she could go to until the neddle brought her there.

The beauty is once again in the intention and the spirit in which such an undertaking is performed as well as in the outcome which is indeed beauty.

This is the magic of the wrap working it's spell.

For as well as the designs chosen by the wise women and the skills they have learnt over many years of quiet study, there is a lustre to the stitches wrought by the joy engaged in their formation. In the choosing of materials for the creation, the feelings of the stitcher are captured and they permeate the fabric of the wrap and surround the craftwork thereon.

This stitchers addition brings joy, peace and a lighthearted sparkeling beauty to the wrapping as it goes on it's way for the next in the group of ladies to embellish. It is truely and purely pretty as befits a treasure for a young maiden. It reminds the mother (when she views it trough the portal of this medium) of days long passed for her. Days which were unfettered by the cares of the world and the trials of motherhood which are yet to encroach on the maiden, her daughter. Days when a pretty thing was all and itself, unspoiled by responsibilites and worries and when the world, as seen through her eyes, was less jaded. And wonder of wonders, this is the first time this special member of the chosen has worked such a creation! Perhaps one of the secrets of the wrap is the transformations it performs and the seeds it plants along it's way!

Now our treasure is parcelled, and, protected by our good wishes, it is entrusted to the carriers of the air as it continues over sea and land to it's next craftswoman. What will be added at this stopping place? How will the whole be enhanced and perfected? We will have to wait.

Meanwhile another wrapping sent out at the same time by our mother and maiden is also being made beautiful and is being considered and regarded with affection, as well as by the occasional perplexed brow, as more magic is performed on it's surface - but that is another story for another day :)

If you would like more information on the work Sharon did please visit her blog

Better photos on the scanner :)

I wasn't happy that my previous photo showed the colours of the block accurately so i did this scan of it as well and this is much better :) If you combine the two - colours from this one and lovely centre fabric design on the other you get an even better idea of what the block really looks like - maybe you will all have to come over for a cup of tea one afternoon. Then you can bring yours to show me and we can have a good old crafty get together :) Off to bed now to dream of ribbon, sequins and lace.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Starting to 'Encrust'

Sounds like some sort of failed medical procedure! Yesterday I got downloaded the first lesson in Encrusted crazy Quilting with Sharon Boggon - wonderful to finally begin this Christmas present to myself :) One of the exercises Sharon talks about in the first lesson is to help us develop out ability to use colour effectively. For me I think there is a long way to go! Firstly I do know some of the colour wheel stuff but I find it really difficult to retain the information - shades, tones, hues erg! What? I have, so far, just gone to my stash and picked fabrics out at random. Another difficulty is the idea of planning the block before you start and taking into account how the eye of the viewer will move around the piece. What, again? I just throw it on the foundation and desperately try to cover the gaps that inevitable occur VBG

Anyway , here is a photo of my journal entry for the first exercise. The left hand column are squares cut from a magazine. This idea (cutting up a magazine) nearly stopped me before I had begun! Shock horror - cut up a MAGAZINE a sacred holly magazine - with sissors! NO! But yes, I bought a crochet magazine today which was rubbish and I wish I had never bothered - but aha serendipity puts a use for it in my path and voila it is cut up - before today I would have kept it neatly anyway even though I don't like it will never look at it again and wont make anything from it- how silly is that? But you don't understand - it is a magazine. That is nearly a book, you know, you can't cut them up - but yes you can - and I did! The second row are threads and fabrics and lace to match the colours from the mag snippets and the final row are fabrics

then on to making our first block for the course. Having been traumatised (only kidding) by the previous exercise I decided to play safe and stick to complementary colours. Not my usual fabric colour choice but I learnt today that I have a limited range of colours to choose from in my stash. No yellows to speak of, very few blues (that surprised me - I thought I had loads) and only 2 oranges. Loads of cream and gold but I don't even know where they fit on a colour wheel anyway. Oh my, there's a lot to learn :)

But lots achieved today - journal finally looks like it belongs to an artist (!?) and not just a scribbler - I do resent letting these little square of fabric go out of my stash tho - what is that about? But hey, I need more stash anyway, right? Block made and I like the colours but I have no idea what colours to use to emboider on them so that will be fun. And sorting out my stash into colour families was great - and very revealing - off to fill the gaps - look out oxfam here I come :)

On the secret front - no more clues just yet, or you'll guess before I am ready to reveal all * taps side of nose knowningly* and belle, you be quiet now :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

And here's another one - really MUST get some time for me soon - I want to sew! ISBNs for those who might be interested - this Anchor one - 0-7153-1929-9 and for the Lesley Wilkins one 0-85532-937-8.

You will notice - oh observant one, that this is also greenwork, redwork and bluework. I don't really like it in multi colour, i confess but apparently it is historically acurate *opens eyes wide in surprise* and we can use any colours we like. But I still like black best! *sets forehead in stubbern furrow* Blackwork was known in Henry the V111s England as Spanish work after his spanish wife Catherine of Aragon, who liked it especially (good woman). However after her divorce from Henry (blah!) it became known as blackwork, as all things spanish fell from favour.

All of this is conected to my secret - can anyone work out what it is? I am busting to share, can you tell? VBG


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

look! Yumy yummy blackwork - I have a little secret - all will become clear but not yet .... i tease you, my dears, I tease! But tjis is the closest i have gotten to any sewing this week - buying books about it :)

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

One down one to go - can't knit well with a cold I discovered! Lost the ability to count and the 4 ply plain yarn is not as unforgiving as the self patterning opal, however, pleased to get it finished and to be back in the world of the blogging :) on to the next one now - hopefully with less frogging and fewer mistakes (mostly on the other side but don't look too closely at this one either :) this pair are for me so it wont matter that they are a little wonky - makes them unique!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Look what I got in the post this morning :) i am delighted that my CQ RR block has finally come home - yippee. Very good isn't it? Eespecially as we were all beginners, I think you can safely say we are hooked now tho'. Full of cold tonight so i will blog this properly tomorrow, just wanted to share my treasure now :)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Noro blossom

Noro blossom
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

This is my impulse but on eBay - lovely seller who swapped the Noro book I also bought for another hank of the Blossom yarn when I realised i already had the book! Doh! But all's well that ends well :) Now all I need to do is think what to make it into - maybe this will be my Clapotis, I feel a shawl coming on - might get it finised before the winter weather ends, would be lovely on the beach in the evening and no sewing up required! I could become very fond of shawls ;)

Raspberry sock wool

Raspberry sock wool
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

The yarn for my red hot sizzling socks arrived and I think i am going to try the jaywalker pattern, or maybe a lace one - oh dear decisions decisions. Love this rasperry colour and these socks are for ME!

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Here's the finished sampler postcard for the 6 x 4 lives (actually I think this is 4 x 6 VBG), added the red for a bit of a lift and I like the effect. The stitching is straight , the photo isn't :) Tried a couple of variations with the number of threads and think on this scale I prefer the single strand,I guess it is largely down to what fabric you are stitching on. Useful exercise tho, discovered holbine stitch is neater than backstitch, and that I like both the very geometric rows link the celtic feel chain 3rd down and the pictoral ones like the leaves (2) and the 'floral' or 'acorns' (6 + 9).

Decided I will assemble these postcards nto a long strip sampler but make them so they can fold up concertina style too.

Looking forward to february's one now - just need to wait and see what preoccupies me this month

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I have started my 6 x 4 piece for a href=""> 6 x 4 lives. Yes, I know today is the first of feb, but hey, better late than never :)

I am making a band sampler in blackwork on white felt. I started with 2 strands at the top and used 1 at the bottom. Tomorrow evening should be enough to finish this piece. I want each months piece to be a record of that month's preoccupation. This month is very straight forward and traditional later months will hopefully see some experimentation, fingers crossed LOL