CQJP July Block

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tatting and Touches of the Heart

Autumn leaves in 'A Leaf Falls' inspired by the patterns of  To de Haan-van Beek in her book "New Dimensions in Tatting". 

Rather than using 2 needles as in her directions, I needle tatted each leaf in one round.

tatted in Lizbeth 'Falling Leaves' size 40
I like the look of the leaf skeleton, showing the leaf 'veins'.

I have discovered many wonderful and kind people in blogland-- people I probably would never have met without today's technology. Just recently, my heart was touched by their kindness.

New tatting thread from Anika. 
I can't wait to tat with these beauties!
I had hoped to purchase one of her colors, 'Purple-Magenta', in size 30 thread, but that size was not available.
Imagine my surprise and delight when my new thread order arrived and Anika had generously included a skein of the 'Purple-Magenta' in size 30!
She'd dyed it just for me! ( It's the second from the left. Isn't the color wonderful?) 
Now, that is just kindness and thoughtfulness in action!
Thank you so much!

Linda of Chalky's World blog sent me this surprise package all the way from the U.K.

Cute baby bibs she'd made.
We'd been chatting about grandbabies on the way. She'd shown a few pics of the bibs she'd made for her grandchild arriving in December, and I'd commented on how adorable they were. My DD is expecting a little girl next month, and I'd told Linda I was thinking of tatting edgings on some bibs.
 I was so moved to receive this unexpected surprise. Linda, you have touched my heart with your thoughtfulness. Thank you so much! The bibs are now on their way to DD in Australia. They should arrive at the same time as baby makes her appearance!

From 'gay Paree' to me....
Jillayne was in France for holiday, and, once home, sent me these lovely items!
a Giverny postcard, poppy bookmark, and French laces, with a very nice note.
I am spoiled! And I love it all!
Thank you Jillayne for thinking of me!

Last, a pic of Turtle Island rising through the fog on a September morning. It's a view that always touches my heart.

May you find kindness and caring hearts in your day.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Sunday Walk in Autumn

Happy Autumn!
The days are growing cooler, the sunshine weaker, and the nights carry frost's icy fingers.
My peonies are wearing their autumn colours

This maple turns a glorious orange

the small bushes are turning scarlet

the ferns browning

golden glow

 The driveway becomes full of colour

This thin maple was bowed by the ice storm two years ago, and has never recovered and becomes a golden arch each fall.

returning home, a shot of red and burgundy rests against the deep green of the conifers

 even at the lake, there are changes
 in the underbrush
 yellows and reds, gold and brown reflected in the water
all around the shore the forest is changing, preparing for the winter ahead.

Hope you've had a wonderful Sunday.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tatted Mock HairPin Lace

I offered to test tat a pattern for the Online Tatting Class using Ruth Perry's Tatted Mock Hair Pin Lace (TMHPL) technique.  Now, I am not an accomplished tatter, but I do enjoy learning new techniques, so I decided to try Saundra Hameed's Angel pattern. It's supposed to look like this:
Isn't it pretty?

The pattern calls for creating a TMHPL strip, cutting and tieing,  and then later attaching to the head.

I wanted to avoid an extra cut and tie, so I decided to begin the pattern with the head, then create the MTHPL piece and complete the rest of the pattern in one go.

And the changes I made worked, but my angel looks like this:

slightly wonky

Why? Because my picots are not long enough. Had I followed the pattern, I would have realized early on that my picots were too short.
Doing the pattern in one go, and beginning with the head as I had done meant that by the time I reached the second wing, and discovered that it pulled it out of shape, I was almost finished the pattern. 

I should have stopped then, and started a new one, but, there's that stubborn streak...............and I was running out of time........

The TMHPL  creates an up and down picot, which resembles the hairpin lace. Having several lacemakers remark that the fancy picot (FP) stitch I often use looks like hairpin lace, I decided to try an experiment. The FP creates an alternating up and down picot.
Realizing that the TMHPL uses 3 half-stitches per picot, and the FP uses only two half-stitches, I added in an extra ds/set to create the same length.
The usual FP stitch is written thusly if d= 1st half of ds  and s= 2nd half ds,  - = picot
1ds (-2d-2s)x  where x is the total number of FP sets desired
and adapted it to:
1ds (-2d-2s, 1ds)x  and this way strengthened the FP mock hairpin lace strip, as well as matched the length of the TMHPL strip. I decided to test my theory by tatting Saundra Hameed's "Round Center Motif in Tatting and Hairpin Lace" Here's a pic of her example:

 It's a wonderful pattern.

 My result:

not perfect, but I think the FP as an alternative method  for TMHPL has possibility. I still need to work on my tension, and not tat so tightly.
Because I like to use the FP, and do so frequently in my tatting, it was quicker for me to tat this larger motif with the FP, twice, rather than the angel with the TMHPL once.

On my first attempt at the above pattern, I made a joining error, and this happy accident occurred:

a cute fan motif that may just find itself on a future CQ block

I hope all your tatting accidents are happy ones!
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Shirl's birthday was coming up.

I had to add a wee bit of tatting for some flowers. It adds a little dimension.

Happy Birthday, my friend!

Cards in the Mailbox

From Createology came this delicious card, as she was "squeezing every drop of summer sunshine" and sharing with some of her followers.  It's blank inside so I can use it, if I wish, but I may just frame it and hang it in my kitchen. It's so cheery and I love it!

This hand-painted card arrived from my good friend and fellow artist, Betty D. Betty creates beautiful watercolors and barns are a favorite subject. Thanks Betty!

From halfway around the world, I received this hand-painted card from Penny of a pelican she'd seen on her walks. As a lovely surprise, she included one of her cute little dolls as well as

a wonderful little cross-stitch kit. I'll have lots of fun with this!
Thanks, Penny for thinking of me!

I hope your day has nice surprises in it.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zipper Flowers 2

I wanted to try a few different things with the zipper flowers.
here's a short, navy zipper with metal teeth and the short picot tatted chain

from the side it looks a little tight and tall

I opened up the tight zipper rounds by folding the bottom row back.

this sits nicely and has some dimension to it.
I like the soft tatted frills against the hard metal teeth

the second portion of the navy zipper with a doubled, singed organza frill creates a different flower look. I added a turquoise cracked glass bead to the center, topped with a small silver seed bead. The contrast of soft, frilly, and transparent organza against the solid navy zipper fabric and the hard, metal teeth appeal to me.

hmmm, maybe some more color?

or, some more tatting?

why not both?!


I'll be adding a pin back to create a lapel pin. I think I'll wear it to choir practice.
I wonder if anyone will notice.

I'm a member of  StitchMap, and some of our members have been affected by the fires raging in Texas. You can read all about how StitchMap is working to help, in a small way, those who have lost so much. Check it out here. Maybe you'll be able to help, too. Thank you.

Hope you have some fun, creative time today.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lift Lock Tour and a Surprise

Last month, I had a birthday, and DS and DDIL invited DH and I to Peterborough for the day. They took us on a Lift Lock Tour.

The day was sunny and warm.

Yup, that's me in the funky hat and the huge sunglasses.

Funny, we're all dressed in blue.

What's that in the water? 

Look at the texture and staining on this concrete wall! Part of one of the lift lock walls, it's just over 100 years old.

We saw Canada geese gathered on the bank as we cruised along the river. People picnic'd at wooden tables along the river, playing games with their little ones.

 We're returning to the tallest lift lock to drop down to the lower level.

Looking over the lift lock edge to the visitor's center below.

See how high up we are?

This is the lift lock wall. Over 100 years of water have left their mark.Now, if I could just wrap that in fabric....think of the rusty bits it would make!

The tour was two hours long, and an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
We went back to DS and DDIL's place for a delicious supper and dessert. We played a fun game of Quiddler, and I had a lovely day!

In the mail, though, a box appeared.

All wrapped in a bow and with this lovely hand-painted card

from my wonderful friend Shirley G.!

What was inside the pretty box?

CQ goodies! Lovely ribbons, and buttons, sequins, and lace, plus

a round marble box inlaid with a flower and leaf design. Isn't it lovely?

inside are the cutest little heart buttons!

I'll be having lots of fun with my CQ goodies. Thanks so much Shirl! What a wonderful surprise!

 In the forest, the 'Doll's Eyes' are full and watch me as I walk along the driveway. One has already been plucked.
Some of the plants are changing color. I love the green along the veins, and the golden-yellow-orange dots against the red.
 and the wild berries are turning red. Soon they'll disappear as forest creatures gather them. Are they stashing them for the winter?

I hope you've had a wonderful Saturday!
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz