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I've been looking at those Bead Journal Project pieces I made in 2010, making plans to turn more of them into wall-hangings. I've been folding some fabrics for the dark green one, and I think I've found a layout that I like. The original beaded piece is 5.5" (though of course you're seeing the seam allowance here as well, go for where the white dotted line is), and if I follow the sketch I've just drawn up, the total wall hanging would be 10.75" square. Here's what I've thrown together so far. Assuming the black will be a solid throughout, and following the sketch for current proposed accurate sizes, does this look well-proportioned and generally nicely-balanced to you? And should the border pieces be longer at the sides, as they are in the sketch, or longer at the top and bottom instead?

The obligatory pictures )
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The Crazy Women project is finally over, all except the card and accompanying note which will go with it to the charity it's going to. I picked Forward UK because I wanted to focus on something connected to female sexuality, a theme we all explored in this project. They do fantastic work in an area many people do not want to think about. It was challenging and inspiring to work on this project, and I am honoured to have worked with the women of the LJ Birthday Block swap group who contributed, as well as my blog readers and friends who helped with advice and even an impromptu photo shoot in a nearby park.

Photos! )
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The main question is: how much more bling does it need, and where? It's hard to give a good idea of beading in a photo, but here it is anyway. I've now added the final border, a 1/4" strip of fabric which is almost entirely gold metallic, and which is in lieu of a binding (and which I now wish I'd made 1/2" wide, but what the hell).

The obligatory photo )
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I'm now working on the Crazy Women wall hanging, and have done a certain amount of embroidery and beading. Any suggestions as to where I take it from here? And does the beaded gold spiral look well-balanced?

Pictures, including a photo of the Crazy Women quilt outdoors in the sunlight )
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I finished binding the Crazy Women quilt the other day, and am now working on the cushion cover that will go with. It's a single 12" block, made from three very similar fabrics in deep pink, and it will have plain red fabric on the back of the cushion cover and the same light pink batik for binding that was used on the quilt. I have come up with a nice design for it, involving the expected shape with six rows of stitching. The third shape in turns into a little spiral at one end (towards the top left). I had originally planned to use six different threads for this, shading from the darkest in the centre to the lightest at the outside. The colours are off-white, pale pink, deep pink, red, dark red, and purple. I've done four out of six, and the snag is that you just can't see the two middle ones, which includes the little spiral detail. My options at this point are

a) unpick most or all of it and do the whole thing in a single colour, probably either dark red, off-white or pale pink. I'd lean towards pale pink, which would pick up the binding;
b) unpick most of it and use two alternating colours, say dark red and one of the light colours, or alternatively alternate either light pink with off-white or dark red with purple for a more subtle effect;
c) continue as planned, and then turn the whole thing into whipped running stitch, using the same thread (probably off-white) for the whipping. I'm not sure this would actually look all that good, but it may preserve the effect of the shaded set of threads in some way, and would save me the unpicking. Although it's only about 40 min's worth of sewing to unpick.

Photo of how it looks so far )
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I am finally making progress again with the sewing, although at a slow and stately pace. Yesterday I finished the quilting for the Crazy Women quilt, and hope to get it bound this week. I am also considering what to do with the matching cushion that will go with the quilt when it's raffled off, and the wall hanging which will go to the charity for their own use.

Photos, a bit on the not-safe-for-work side in a very stylised way )
lobsterdesigns: (Waterlily quilt)
I have eventually realised that due to forces beyond my control (OK, buggering up my arms with RSI for months on end was sort of my fault, but you get my drift), I really am not going to finish the 2011 Bead Journal Project. I had fun, I learned some more about beading, and I completed seven nice little pieces. The time has now come to finish them off, and I've decided to make them into little individual wall hangings and give them to assorted friends. They're all 5" on the dotted basting line at the moment, apart from the bottom one where I miscalculated and made it 1/2" bigger. Does anyone have any particular suggestions as to how I should frame them? I think the January grey tree needs an unbeaded border, probably in a darker grey batik with a gentle pattern, while the turquoise round spiral could work with something more elaborate, perhaps even several borders.

Bead Journal Project 2011

In other news, my hands are finally improving, possibly because I've been in an ME crash lately which has made me rest properly, and I'm starting to sew again a bit at a time. Right now I'm finishing off the quilting on the Crazy Women quilt.
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There were two leftover blocks that didn't make it into the quilt. The first is a crazy block using three very similar fabrics, so there wasn't enough contrast for it to sit well with the others. I plan to make a matching cushion with it, as it is fine as a stand-alone piece, and to have fun with embroidery.

The second has a photo below. This was quite an interesting slant on the original brief, with a pixelated design instead of a crazy quilt block. So again it didn't sit well with the others as a quilt, but I think it could make a very effective wall hanging. I was a little unsure about the pixelated look, it's not my usual approach to things, but it's nicer than I thought once I stepped back a bit, and hey, challenges are good for me!

Photo - not terribly work-safe - and thoughts on borders )
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