Wednesday WISPs and WIPs

Well it is time to get back into the swing of my weekly report on the state of my WISPs (Works in Slow Progress). As regular readers will know this year I am attempting to work through a pile of pieced blocks as part of Sandie’s UFO and WISP challenge.

The last time I spoke about this block was here . As you can see I have done the beading on it and I thought you might like to see the eye candy.

These blocks are part of the diamond block quilt I am working on. It is inspired – or the shape of the blocks were inspired by a quilt made by Martha Bingley in 1883.

The small image at the top is how the blocks will be set. They are pieced and simply laid out on the floor so I could see how the quilt will read.

Here is another two details of this latest crazy quilt block.

This is a detail of floral spray section.

The other block I was working on this week is 8 inch block that was also ready to have beading and buttons. Now it is done too!

This is another that has been beaded. It is a section of a long strip like a band sampler and that is really what it is – a crazy quilt sampler.

Well that is it for my Wednesday work in progress report! (I think my energy levels are returning to normal)

Wednesday Wisp Reduction Report

On the sewing front this week has been a bit on the frustrating side as the house in total chaos. It is still the summer holiday period here in OZ and while Jerry is on leave he has been building bookcases in our dining room. Our dining area is going to become our lounge area and lounge area is becoming our dining room. Plans for the future are to knock out a wall between the kitchen and the new dining area. So a big reshuffle is going on and we have a huge accumulation of books that lines the walls of both rooms – or will do.

As regular readers will have sensed I am very much a person of routine. I establish a pattern and then plod through what ever it is I need to do. The combination of holidays and building projects means as yet I have not settled into the year . Nevertheless apart from the TAST Challenge samples I did get a little stitching done.

As regular readers will know this year I am attempting to work through the pile as part of Sandie’s UFO and WISP challenge.

These diamond shaped blocks are in that pile and are part of the diamond block quilt I am working on. I finished the beading on this crazy quilt block which photographed looks a bit dull as I want it to read as dark tone when I set the quilt. I decided to feature some of the details on this block as it is not as uninteresting when you are close to it and can observe the embellishments.

As you can see from my stitch explorations yesterday for the TAST challenge I am becoming quite involved with these little ‘spots’ or circular shaped motifs that are made by repeating a stitch and further embellishing in some way such as sprinkling with beads.

All of the patterned and textured fabrics in this quilt are paisleys of one sort or another so the paisley motif seemed appropriate. The Martha Bingley quilt also has a paisley motif.

This is another seam embellishment which features some silk ribbon roses, lace and beading.

If you enjoy crazy quilting you might be interested in taking one of my online classes Encrusted Crazy Quilting which starts February 9, 2007. Bookings are open now. All my classes have an emphasis on design but this one in particular covers how to compose, construct and embellish a crazy quilt block. The link leads you to further details about the class.

A Diamond Crazy quilt block

Back in January I pieced the diamond shaped blocks for another crazy quilt. This is an update on some rather slow progress of this project.

As you can see I have a block almost complete. I have yet to add some buttons and plan to when I lay out three of these diamonds together in a baby block formation.

The butterfly is a design I worked up after reading Helen Stevens Embroidered Butterflies I read this beautifully illustrated book from cover to cover enjoying the eye candy then put it to one side and worked on the butterfly. So it can be said that the butterfly is influenced by her technique but not followed in a slavish manner. By the way, if you enjoy thread painting this inexpensive book is well worth the money as it includes full instructions on how to create butterflies in silk thread. I did not use silk. I used DMC stranded cottons. I sketched out my own simple butterfly and used colours that sat well in the block. Stitching this area I realised I need new glasses as there was a little too much eye strain involved to be comfortable. Thread painting is also time consuming but very satisfying.

The other area of the block which may be of interest is a further experiment with a needle lace technique. The seam treatment is a combination of double drizzle stitch and the little pockets have been made from Detached buttonhole stitch.

I experimented with this technique on a fabric postcard in February after discovering this technique accidentally. I had been reading about Turkish Oya needle lace and decided the idea had potential so explored detached buttonhole a little more. This seam treatment is another exploration. As you can see I tucked small beads into the pockets.

I can’t quite believe the year is slipping by so quickly the start of the year was taken up the lessons for the online class which ran over at and ever since I have been working on a series of lessons which concentrates on stitching alone. I am feeling a bit dissatisfied at the rate of progress but there is only so much I can do after work so I should not be too harsh on myself.

Anyway I am off to do my usual Saturday morning tasks around the house.

The diamond block quilt inspired by Martha Bingley

Well its looks a tiny result for a couple of weeks work doesn’t it? But when they are laid out it looks like this.

As I said in my post the other week this crazy quilt is going to be my big project for 2006 . It is inspired – or the shape of the blocks were inspired by a quilt made by Martha Bingley in 1883.

I chatter on about this quilt in my previous post about this new project for 2006 so I won’t repeat myself here except to say that I will set the quilt in the baby block or (depending where you hail from) tumbling block quilt pattern. If you look at this quilt there are braids and ribbons on it but very little lace. Normally I incorporate a good range of laces on a crazy quilt but this time I have not done so.

Every block has one or two paisley prints in it, which I hope will blend with the curved seams I have incorporated in the blocks. The Martha Bingley quilt has curved seams and I think it is the combination of straight lines and curved seams that attracts me to it. I have used a technique Allison Aller described in her blog.

Another extremely attractive feature of Martha Bingley’s quilt is the expert embroidery it displays. The hand embroidery is just delightful so I have been trawling through my vintage patterns and patterns online looking for suitable motifs to embroider.

On the Martha Bingley quilt Victorian motifs abound. Items such as fans, horseshoes, butterflies, floral motifs, dragonflies, wheat, birds, tea cups, Kate Greenway figures and the traditional spider web for good luck are all to be found beautifully embroidered. An unusual aspect of this quilt is that many of these motifs instead of being slap in the middle of a patch slide over the seams.

On another note Allison Aller has also started a large crazy quilt project for this year. Do check it out as it’s going to be a great quilt. It had me wondering who else is starting a large project such as a quilt?