Thursday, February 26, 2009

Applique from "Back in the Day"

Well, let's hit the Bird Nest on the Ground "archives" again. I've been meaning to show this framed applique for a while and now, while I'm "recuperating" is a good time to bring it out. By the way, a heartfelt thank you to all who sent me good wishes and made comments while I was "under the weather." I really appreciate you all. I'm nearly "normal" now whatever that is and am proceeding cautiously as I have my First Thursday Art group meeting here in the Nest next Thursday and I want to feel great for that day!

Now, back to the applique! In 1990, I designed some projects for a leaflet for Leisure Arts, Inc. I call this a Wild Rose pattern, but the leaflet was named "Appliqued Rose Garden: A Collection of Linens and Accessories for the Bedroom." There are several items made with this simple design, shown in a bedroom setting. I still have them. Gee, these things are nearly twenty years old by now. My, how time does fly!

The first photo is of one of the blocks framed. I made it to remember making the book, never thinking the other things would last. I was wrong. One of my favorite things to do on quilts and other pieces of handwork is to write quotes or just my feelings about the item or the history of it. I love the quote I used on this piece:

"There's a rose looking in at the window, in every condition of life -
In days of content and enjoyment, in hours with bitterness rife.
Where there's the smile of a woman, as bright as a beam from above,
Tis the rose looking in at the window, and filling the dwelling with love."
Paul Mason James (1780-1854)

In the center, I wrote the name of this piece "The Wild Rose" then, "stitched in the year 1990 by Patricia Eaton" below the rose.
It's amazing to me it hasn't faded at all. I had this one professionally framed...maybe that's why it's held up so well. But, then again, my house is on the dark side, so that probably did a lot to preserve the color and the ink.

In one photo you see the cover of the Leisure Arts Leaflet #1302.....circa 1990 and now long out of print. There was a duvet cover, a tablecloth and topper, a heart pillow, shams and a wall quilt, plus the sheets and pillowcases you can see on the back cover.

If you are interested in seeing some of my applique, you can click on the flickr badge on the right sidebar of this blog and there are several of my appliqued quilts featured there. I like how you can see the quilts in a "slideshow" available there too. I do love that applique!

So, there you have it...something else from the Nest. I do hope you are all well and so appreciate you stopping by to visit!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Unfinished work in the Past Week

Well, tonight I couldn't let another minute go by with posting something on my blog! It's been a week since I last posted and I'm filled with guilt at not keeping up with my writing to you all. It's funny that I am always torn between thinking no one is reading my posts....and at the same time thinking important people are depending on me to write something. I tend to believe the latter, whoever is reading what I write is me anyway!!!

The truth of the matter is I haven't written because I have been sick with the "upper respiratory infection" from hell. There's no other way to put it. Couple that with a bout of diverticulitis and meds that knocked me for a loop and I hope you will understand why Bird Nest on the Ground was so quiet. I'm better, but not great yet, just had to step out into the Nest to thank you for your patience. Enough about that!

Because I think you need to "see" something as well as have me write a few words.....I'm going to show you some work that has been neglected for the last week also. I will show you the finished items in later posts, but maybe these little bits of work will entice you to hang around for other posts to come.

There is a basket with blue flowers and red French Knots....I call all my embroidered flowers "Fantasy Flowers" as they really don't look like real ones. These I thought might resemble a simple kind of way. The pot is painted on and the background is painted also.

There is a small basket with blue roses done in silk ribbon, more of my beloved French Knots and a vine surrounding the basket. Love doing this type of work, as you know.

Then, there is a basket with pink roses. More silk ribbon. With feather stitching in a circle....don't have clue how this one will be finished up...but, you'll see it later. This one is on a painted background also.

These little "bits" will be pincushions. If you remember a few weeks ago, I wrote that I was in my "pincushion mood." It won't be subsiding anytime soon, I'm sure.

So, there you have it. The past week was lousy. I've lots of unfinished work to do. A visit to the doctor on Wednesday, and catching up to the house and in the Nest. I hoping for a better week. Hope you have one too! Thanks for coming back for a short visit!!! Pat

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Valentine Quilt

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you all have a wonderful, peaceful, warm, safe, happy day!! For this post, I decided to show you a quilt I made for a Valentine Challenge 'way back in 1997. Since it's been in the quilt closet for years, it still looks pretty good. The color is somewhat deeper than is showing in these photos, so it hasn't faded over time. I love this little quilt. It is fifteen inches x fifteen inches. With lots of hearts.

The center is a "crazy-pieced" heart in a four inch square. I used someone's pattern for that heart, but I sure don't remember whose. It was a pattern for a paper-pieced heart. I HATE paper piecing! But, I did it anyway. I do like the result. Then, of course, I went "crazy" with the rest of the piecing....and the embroidery. Some of the hearts are done with metallic thread. Another thing I just don't like to do, but thought I should this once. There are some appliqued hearts. I love the two entwined ones on the lower left. I also got the bright idea of dangling two hearts from that large heart on the right. Now that tickled my fancy! I really enjoyed doing that part!

As always on my crazy quilts, there is only the rare solid color fabric. So, the crazy quilt block is all prints, but some of the appliqued hearts are solid colors. And, of course, my beloved DMC floss is always showing up in my embroidery. I used simple embroidery stitches to embellish this little quilt, and once again, they have not let me down. Love those simple, simple stitches.

Around the border is a scalloped gold design. I had this little quilt completely finished when I decided it needed "something" else. But what? I happened to have a bottle of gold puff paint that I had never used. So, I proceeded to paint the scallops freehand onto the quilt. I probably shouldn't have, but it was FUN and here all these years later, it still looks like it was just painted on today. Not such a disaster (but it could have been a small one!)

In the center square, I wrote the date, 1997, Happy Valentine's Day and To My Friends! Along the borders I decided to use some quotes pertaining to friends. I thought it added a special touch to a Valentine's quilt made to show my friends, so why not. Friends are very special. Here's what they say:

"If you want an accounting of your worth, count your friends." Merry Browne

"When friends meet...Hearts warm" A proverb

"No life is so strong, so complete, But it yearns for the smile of a friend." Wallace Bruce

and one of my favorites:

"The greatest gift we can give to one another is rapt attention to one another's existence." Sue Atchley Ebaugh

So, consider this my wish to you on Valentines Day.......with all your "hearts" around you, have a HAPPY one!!! Pat

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Heart from the Nest

As Valentine's Day is fast approaching, I thought I'd post about one of my hearts. There will always be posts about hearts at this blog. As I've said many times's one of my favorite design elements and I use it in many different ways. Several years ago you would have seen many appliqued hearts here, as at my best, I was a fairly good quiltmaker and applique was my specialty.

I say WAS, because I have changed. Quilting used to be the ultimate as far as I was concerned. Nothing made me happier than sitting for hours stitching on a handmade quilt. I've designed, appliqued, pieced, embroidered and beaded quilts since I learned how to make a simple Log Cabin block back in 1978. And, loved it! But, like I said, I have changed. How? Well, as I have gotten older time seems to be getting shorter and shorter. There are a million things I'd still like to try and do. Then, also, a quilt takes just about forever, or so it seems much of the time, whereas a little embroidery or beading on a small project "feels" faster. While I don't opt for speed in my you've heard me say...I like the tedious stuff, still, actually finishing a project in a shorter amount of time appeals to me. And, the most important aspect of the whole process is I'm actually having FUN!!!

Will I still make a quilt? Sure. But, fewer. And, hopefully, I'll actually finish up some of the UFO's in my stash. Meantime, I am loving making small pieces and using different techniques. Not to mention the fact that I am also trying to use up all the million or so "ingredients" that are stashed away here in the Nest. All those fabrics, beads, buttons, threads, ribbons. All that beautiful paint, the inks, the stamps. I could go on.

So, to celebrate Valentine's Day, here's one of my hearts! This one was made to hang from a china cabinet door or some such. I am showing it here hanging from the Nest door, I don't know why except I took this photo in the Nest very late one night last week and it didn't occur to me to photograph it in a "prettier spot."

This heart is one of my crazy quilted hearts. There are several different fabrics in it. It's stitched and embellished, just like my crazy quilts are. It's made of cotton fabrics, but the hanging loop is silk. A scrap leftover from something else. The same as my quilts would be. I have beaded the inside heart and the outside heart.....I LOVE doing this edging. I've said that before too. Remember? This "crazy" heart is featured in my etsy shop now.

Also pictured here is the place where this cool red heart was created....this is where I embroider and bead, with ideas galore running through my head.

So, this Saturday, February 14th, I'll be celebrating with my Valentine....and have since 1965. How cool is that? You have a great "CRAZY RED HEART" DAY too! Pat

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just Another Distraction...Crochet Edging

I don't know about you, but sometimes I am easily distracted from my "real work," whatever that is, by a pretty little piece of needlework made "sometime, somewhere long ago" and I won't rest until I have tried to make whatever it is. Such is the case with crocheted edgings and, truth be told, on a dull day in the Nest....any other thing that is not what I'm "supposed" to be doing! I guess I like taking little detours and when it comes to embroidering, beading, or thing leads to another, so you have to see where that detour might take you. It might be just the thing to add to your present project. And, if it isn't, well, a little diversion never hurts.

Many years ago, I taught myself to crochet from a little book purchased at what we lovingly called in those days "the dime store." Boy, whatever happened to those??? I think it was a Coats and Clark book which cost about twenty-five cents. I remember it was green. I think it had crochet, embroidery and knitting in it. I wish I still had it...for old time's sake.

Ever since then I have loved thread crochet. I made a crochet tablecloth when my kids were little. That is the most complicated thing I ever made from those big balls of thread we used to buy. One day I'll show it to you. I have crocheted lots of little things over the years, but my favorite of all, and what I have made the least of, is crocheted edgings. You know the ones....they are on vintage pillow cases, handerchiefs, clothing and so forth. I LOVE them.

Not long ago, my friend, Bibi, gave me a tiny piece of paper with instructions for making Mile a Minute edging. You see it here. Boy, do I love making it! It's easy to make, does go really fast, and looks very nice too. Old-fashioned. Just my cup of tea!

I have taken two vintage hankies and crocheted this edging onto them. Both using white DMC Cebelia size 20 thread. That thread is a dream to use and really looks nice on this handkerchief linen. I used a size 8 crochet hook on one and a size 7 on the other. Just because. Aren't they pretty? (Note the those and I would have bought this hankie no matter what letter it had on it.)

After crocheting the edging on the hankies, I decided to try it in different threads and had so much fun making the samples, I thought you should see them. As you can see, I've used ribbon, yarn, different size crochet cottons, and my favorite, but I must say the hardest....a spool of King Tut Quilting Thread. I couldn't resist trying this because I knew it would be difficult. It was. I could barely manage it as it was terribly difficult to see. I used a size 14 steel hook. So, this may be the only sample of edging that small that you see me do. (Well, I don't know....depends on what I would want to put it on..I have been known to be terribly compulsive when I want a "certain look" on something I'm making!)

I've included a photo comparing these thread and yarn samples with coins.......hopefully that will help you understand their sizes.

So, ok - distractions are good sometimes - aren't they? Makes you take a different look at what you are doing as you go from THERE back to HERE. What next, I wonder? Take care, pat

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Green Alley Treasures

Twice in the last week I have gone "out and about." When I am leaving the house to do the regular shopping, I always tell Richard that I am going to the grocery store, or wherever. When I leave the house to go on one of my hunting and gathering expeditions (meaning I am need of therapy!) I always say I'm going "out and about." At first he had no idea what I meant, and didn't really care. Now, he knows it means two things - 1) I need a break, and 2) I'll be "dragging something else home" as he calls it. He has grown accustomed to these little expeditions, in fact, I think he now EXPECTS me to go on them. How fun is that?

Anyway, twice in the last week I have hunted and gathered! There are not a lot of hunting and gathering places here. And, not being one to drive far distances....I tend to be quite happy when I can go to my favorite flea market...Green Alley. Sometimes I go to the Goodwill store, but not often, as it tends to be quite short on things I want to find. I did go there last week and found the linen blouse included here. It's pretty and you know I can use that linen fabric to embroider on!!!!

Everything else in these photos came from Green Alley. I have two friends working there...Jessica is my "main therapist" and when she can't work, Melanie takes over, which makes her my substitute therapist. I love going there, as I do get therapy and also find some wonderful things to play with when I get back home. So, everything you see here is to play with.....I am so lucky.

There are some wonderful necklaces. You know I don't wear these...they will reappear in a new life on some embroidered heirloom item one of these days! There is a bit of a crocheted flower...meant to be finished...but not quite yet. I'll take care of that. There is a beautiful vintage embroidered table you know, I collect vintage embroidered baskets and/or the patterns for them.

There is a wonderful old dictionary. I love these as they always have illustrations that are cool. And, they just "feel" good.
There is also a beautiful journal. I thought this was a box when I first saw it, but upon closer inspection was overjoyed to find a journal. The pages are edged in gold leaf, very pretty. (My little Thursday art group is doing journal pages this next week!!)

There is a little pottery heart I have had a long time, but this week I filled it with small "bits' that came out of a jewelry box that Melanie brought in, and when she had taken out the jewelry, lots of little beads and that type of thing were left in the bottom of the box. She put them in a bag and saved them for me, knowing I would be happy to have them. Wasn't that a nice thing to do?

There is a wonderful and quite old lace table runner (it has a yellow flower running through it). It's beautiful. There is a length of crocheted came off a pillow case. I can never turn that kind of thing's so pretty. A piece of cutwork embroidery is there pretty. I just love all these old things, as I know lots of you do.

I also found what I thought was a cross-stitched tablecloth, unfinished. I couldn't believe anyone would leave this unfinished after so much work was done on it...well, unless they died! But, I bought it anyway and brought it home. Melanie and I wondered about it aloud several times, but I felt it needed to be rescued. When I brought it home, I studied it and found that it was unfinished for a reason. The person making it had begun the stitching in the wrong place on the square and when he or she got to a certain point....the design had no where to go but off the fabric. After all that work! So, you know what they say about cutting wood....measure twice, cut once! Well, the same applies for needlework projects. However, it's beautiful and I will think of something to do with it....maybe I'll tell you when I do.

Last, but certainly not biggest purchase! As I've mentioned here house is really FULL. So, more furniture is really out of the question. But, I saw this buffet and I was a goner!!! The problem is, I have a perfectly beautiful buffet in the dining room. Where would this go? Not to worry, I also have a dining table in the living room (don't would take too long to explain!!). And, there IS room for it. AND, I love anything with drawers and doors!!! One day soon I may take a picture of it in place and show you. This is something I will use and really can see that it isn't in perfect condition. Nothing in my house is and that's the way I like things. It's important for me to know my "stuff" has lived somewhere before and had an interesting life. Yeah, I'm kind of odd.

Ok, you see the results of the latest therapeutic hunting/gathering expedition and I have enjoyed showing you. In addition to Jessica and Melanie being my "therapists".....maybe YOU are too! Take care. Pat

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.