Sunday, July 30, 2006


Helens natural block

Didn't realise I hadn't posted progress of Helens other block , so here's pics. I really liked this block and was hesitant to do to much.... I added the wooden bead, faux pearls and the herringbone and detached chain (on the curve) in a chocolate brown silk .


Helens blocks

Here are some piccies of how Helens blocks are looking . I hadn't worked on Helens seahorse block, but as I was putting it in the envelope to post, I was inspired, so thats what I've been doing this afternoon. I added some fly stitch seaweed in gold thread (looks like feather stitch, but it's not!) and the stone chips down the bottom left. In amongst the rocks is nestled some coral done in 'drizzle stitch'. This is a lovely looking block. Sharons seahorse is beautiful and sets the tone for the whole block.
All the blocks I have are packed up and ready to go off to pinup.


Friday, July 28, 2006


Rajmahal threads


Jacqui was asking for some tips on handling Rajmahal the words of a TV ad of a few years back;
Slippery little suckers

While I was still drafting a reply,Viv Garforth over on CQfriends came up with a fairly concise explanation:

Anyway, back to Rajmahal.
First thing, never just open the skein and try to
pull out a thread or you will end up with a humungous knot
Always wrap the
thread around either a floss card or a plastic "bow" first. I usually
stretch the skein over the knobs of two chairs place exactly the right
distance apart and they become like my Dad's hands when Mum used to use Dad
to wind a skein of wool into balls in the 1950s. Then, unwrap the length of
thread that you require and only cut off one or two threads from the 6
thread skein and re-wrap the others back around the holder.
I use my threads about 15 - 16 inches long.
I have never run them through beeswax,
that's predominantly for metal goldwork threads I think -
but if the rayon is too springy you can dampen it and then iron it before using it.
Personally, I got used to using it just as it came and a couple of years ago
Louise changed the actual thead which is now much silkier than the old stuff
and is much more user friendly.

It is beautiful when worked with just a single thread.
When using two threads, one thread sometimes works itself
shorter than the other and you have to keep pulling it separately through
the eye of the needle to match the longer one.
I have never used three or more threads as I like the 'needle-painting' effect you get by using just one or two. Satin Stitch looks gorgeous when worked over a few rows of stem
stitch padding and the Rajmahal art silk thread has a beautiful sheen.

Anyway, I love using it but I agree that a lot of people give up first
go.......I wholeheartedly agree that it is well
worth persevering with and practicing with because once you get used to it,
it is hard to go back to ordinary stranded cotton.

Saturday, July 22, 2006



Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.
And here is how she looks on the whole block.

I should just mention that the chart for this came from Pam Kellog who has been posting 100 charts in 100 days as part of the series sparked by an idea from Sharon Boggon. Thanks to Belle who pointed me in the direction of these blackwork charts. I thought this one was just the 'thing' I needed.

Now I have a pause while I wait for the next blocks to arrive :o) and once again I promise myself I will get started quicker next time so i don't end up rushing (sigh!)



Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.
Hah! Got there in the end. Hope you like it Margaret :o)

Friday, July 21, 2006


Dreamer's cq

hi all :)

I have finished my work on dreamer's cq. I added a large blackwork butterfly but don't worry it isn't black! Dreamer's block is so femine and delicate I decided that black would be too overpowering so I used my new rajmahal silk in pink and purple - i am pleased with how it turned out but can't find the digi camera (kids!) and the scanner is bust due to having eaten a wax crayon (kids!) so I am delaying posting until after the afore mentioned kids return from school as I really want a piccie before I post this off.

just wanted to let you know I am still here as I have been a bit quiet lately - most unlike me! :o)

I would welcome some advice on working with rajmahal Maureen, also how do you store them and get them off the skein successfully? They are so lovely but a tad slippery ;o)

Sunday, July 16, 2006



...J's block is finished and ready to be on its way again... Unfortunately the photo doesn't show it upat all well... Bur here it is J - dandelions and a butterfly... I have loosely tacked down the wings with a coloured cotton until they reach home... J will be able to untack the 'restraints' and 'shush them' to make them stand up a bit...

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Sharons other block

Here is the work I have done on Sharons second block. I have done the 'heavily embellished'( to within an inch of it's life) piece to the right. Is this what you meant Sharon??

Monday, July 10, 2006


Jo's blocks


So, I have had a play with Jo's rectangular block:
First I stitched a cretan stitch with two strands of purple Rayon thread;then I laced an orange silk ribbon through the stitches and added purple seed beads to tips of cretan stitches.
I used a silver and pearl Shisha as a flower and back stitched stems with shell as leaves.

I also added a fine braid around the top of the fan and anchored it with purple seed beads in the centre of the braid.

Another two blocks ready to head off top Becky! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 09, 2006


NOT the good scissors!


Jo must have been trying to stir me with the query about using her dressmaking scissors for cutting up CDs for Shishas!

Talk about sacrilege!

Go wash your mouth out ,girl!

What you do,is con your half handy-man into attacking old CDs with a (cutting) die....or metal punch.
Of course you make certain he/she is wearing safety glasses first...just in case!

Then I remembered an earlier post where I said:
But one DS did a wonderfully neat job with a hole saw on CDs
Being a technical man AND a neat freak he did a marvellous job and I ended up with 12 and 19 mm discs to play with.

You can manage with old (but sharp) scissors: Mark out circles with a permanent felt pen or similar then 'hack ' your way around the markings.

This method can be a bit "hard" on your thumb knuckle,I found,
so I prefer to con my son into using his tools!

Not exactly perfect,but as you add a frame of stitches to hold the mirror in position,the rough edges don't show up in your work.

Then again,Lincraft have the mirrors with their Rajmahal products,for a fairly reasonable price these days.

OR a substitute would be to use those LARGE gold sequins.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Jo's square block

On the seam above the silk flower garden I stitched a curved chain stitch in a violet rayon thread.Over this I used amethyst seed beads around beaded pearl centred flowers with SRE leaves and a gold flower became the focal point Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 03, 2006


Jellyfish for Hope

Hope asked how I did the Jellyfish. I picked a button first. Buttons are slightly rounded (usually), so the flatter the button the better, or one of those lovely MOP discs would be perfect, and you could pick a gorgeous colour. I used the shisha stitch to attach it, at this piont I will link to Annies Crazy World, who has just done a great tut on this. The stitch that goes around the shisha is basically just buttonhole. When I have done rounded ones before, that I felt neede a bit more security, I keep adding rows of detached buttonhole to the previous row, until I'm sure that the button/disc/whatever won't fall out.
Here is a piccie of a 'cats eye' that I did. I finished it off on the top and bottom with chain stitch. Once it's attached, you can pretty much dress it up any way you like. I didn't do anything fancy with the jelly fish, just straight buttonhole.

Right, when you've done that, I stitched the tentacles, which is just a staight stitch, with beads added for a bit of extra sparkle.
The smaller one is three bullion wraps in the centre and chain stitch around the outside.
Bet that's as clear as mud. If you need more guidance, I'll do my best.


J's block...

I have nearly completed jam_mam's block... I must admit it was harder than I thought it would be - trying to create interest visually with 'white on white' was more of a challenge that I thought it would be. I wanted to create dandelions as a symbol of both time and distance that I felt that the block represented for me... I wanted to create the feeling of movement with in the block - the dandelion, the butterfly and the seam treatment... After consulting many pictures of dandelions and in desperation going and finding growing in the garden I have come somewhere close I hope... I wanted to try convey both the structure and texture of the head of the dandelion. The butterfly was pure inspiration - made from cutting into a piece of lace and using the the pattern within its structure to create both the wings and body. I still have to tweak the block a little more but after some delays will be in the post towards the end of the week... Sorry to everyone that I have yet again fallen behind... Becky's block has arrived and I have been considering what I shall create for it...


For Jo......!

So she doesn't feel neglected: here's Jo's needle case block as it arrived from Margaret Posted by Picasa

Roz' block

Roz' block is ready to head off to Becky.
I chose towork on two adjoining seams because there was a fabric gap where they meet..under the pearl shell bird.
It was to be a Dove of peace,but the Olive branch looked a bit scrappy,so I incorporated the spray of mallow blooms around it. Posted by Picasa

Sharons Block

Here is what I have done on Sharons earth to sea block. . I did have big plans, but I thought they would be to ambitious, and I didn't want it to all go horribly wrong, so you a couple of jellyfish. I hope you like it Sharon.
In am very pleased to see 'a' piccie of my blocks. I think you are teasing me Maureen by saying you could on photo one...

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Jo's blocks


When Round Robin blocks land in my letter box,I like to photograph them before I start work on them myself.
Jo's two blocks were no exception;
I was having a camera session yesterday.....
some "sun printing" for Kenmaurs Corner
followed by Roz block,and then Jo's two blocks...the square above,and a rectangular one.

Unfortunately,as I started photographing Jo's second block a rectangle,my camera suffered a terminal disease and died!

I'll try scanning the block,but I know I wont get as good results as I do with the camera......
As I use my camera at least five of every seven days,I'm feeling withdrawal symptoms already......
so for a time the only pics you'll be getting from me will be from my archives,or via the scanner. Posted by Picasa

Block for Roz


The pic is of Roz's (aka Rozheart) block: It shows the work done by Jo,Evie,Diane and Margaret.......I'm still playing! Posted by Picasa

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