Monday, December 29, 2008

Cottage CQ...Buttonhole Leaves

...and more leaves and more leaves!
I took a day off from the CottageCQ thinking I needed a break...but decided instead to bear down on my focus and just go for it. I don't even want to come up for air until this central section is embroidered, and that could easily be another week or two because the pace is s-l-o-w.

I know I've mentioned before that I think of these long term crazy quilt projects as my "novels". And as I stitch away, more often than not in silence, some wonderful thoughts and ideas bubble on through my mind. I'm not sure if this could happen for me if I worked in any other way.
When my attitude is right this kind of work is swiftly transformed from being boring to contemplative.
In fact, those rich inner experiences are really the goal...the stitched project is actually a by-product. (But a nice byproduct.)

I got the idea for the buttonhole leaves from Jo in New Zealand and Lisa in Arizona. Both have used them beautifully in their work.

The darker leaves are single strand silk floss and the lighter ones are double strand silk floss, both from Vicki Clayton's Hand-Dyed Fibers.

I still have about half again as many of these leaves to do, but you can begin to see their effect.

I finished up the rooflines, too.

And now it is back to the buttonholes... ;-)

29 comments :

Patricia said...

Alli, I have never seen that technique for the leaves. I like it, it looks beautiful. You must have the patience of a saint!

Pat
www.patriciarose-apotpourriof.blogspot.com

Vicki W said...

...and what a spectacular effect it is!

Marty52 said...

The two tones of the leaves really bring out the depth of the tree... you almost expect them to shiver in the wind!

Debra said...

Isn't that a clever way to express leaves?

Kay said...

I agree with Marty. This adds beautiful depth.

Jean said...

I have to agree with Patricia... patience of Job is what I was thinking! Good job... it will be soo wonderful when it's all done! I can hardly wait to see it all finished.
So glad to hear that you are all right and that your sweet neighbor pulled out your car. Hopefully it will melt and warm up just enough to at least melt on the roads. We have been getting hit with it too. But, I'm still thinking that you have much more of the white stuff than us.

Plays with Needles said...

This is looking really great! And there are millions of leaves to go, I know, but your journey sounds wonderful...

Cat said...

The leaves really bring out the 3D effect! Looks so good!!!

Judy S. said...

The leaves look great, Allie, and so nice and green in contrast to our recent crazy weather. I took the car out today for the first time in 2 weeks! Thankfully DH is willing to tackle the hills here. Wishing you a Happy (and warmer) New Year! And all the best in 2009!

piney cq said...

really awesome Ali! I love this! Its nice to know someone else can sit for hours stitching in "silence" too! VBG! I also use the time to let thoughts wander or coalesce....

CrazyKwilter said...

I so know what you mean about handwork being a time of contemplation. Like enjoying the journey and not just the destination.

I'm so in awe of how you must see this project in your mind's eye. Not that it doesn't adapt along the way!

I am loving the evolution of this "novel"!

Suzanne said...

What a great technique for the leaves....it looks beautiful!

rianammerman said...

It's kind of like a meditation, isn't it. Lovely leaves. They really add dimension to the piece.

Deb H said...

Wow, great dimension! I don't think I've ever seen the button hole leaves before. Thanks for showing them!

Lindsay Jean said...

These are unbelievable! I can't believe that's just a buttonhole stitch. The photo background behind all your embroidery is turning out beautifully.

Robin said...

Thanks, Allie... I've just spent the most lovely half hour reading back through all of your visible posts. Your Cottage CQ is taking on a wonderful personality full of memories of summers long ago... all the things that happen in a cottage are there... maybe each stitch, especially each buttonhole leaf, is a memory. I don't know, but the nostalgia is there... I think of my grandmother and of our summers when I was a child.

I mostly work in silence too, and yes, it does seem to allow otherwise boring work to become contemplative. I love it when that happens! It will be such a pleasure to watch as your work on this progresses.

Happy new year! Robin A.

JoWynn Johns said...

Who woulda thunk--buttonhole for leaves??? And it works beautifully.

When people comment that I must have a lot of patience, I think, they just don't know the pleasure of a contemplative mind or the motivation of wanting to see how it looks when finished. It's not about patience; it's about doing what I love.

Doing what YOU love gives so many of us great pleasure.

Barbara C said...

What a wonderful observation that the project is a by-product of the meditative experience. That's a wonderful insight.

Happy New Year!

Esther Gregory said...

I think it's amazing how much embroidery makes the image pop. Although the image is much more vibrant in real life.

I like what you said about the contemplative nature of stitching. I was thinking about it, and it seems for me that I have to have the bigger picture in my head before I can ease into that meditative state. Otherwise I'm too impatient to have results.

Nicki Lee said...

Allie, I can't begin to thank you for allowing us to follow you along on your journey to completing this beautiful project. I keep checking in to see your progress and every time I drop my jaw - absolutely gorgeous!

I too love using the buttonhole stitch and have just recently started playing with it - amazing the depth it can bring to piece of work. I can just imagine all the wonderful thoughts and memories you've had while stitching up these leaves.... such a peaceful place for your mind to be.

Happy New Year!

Judy S. said...

Hi Again,

I, too, have been thinking about your thoughts on the contemplative nature of creating....you put it into words so well. Whenever I stitch or knit, my mind turns to thoughts about the person I'm knitting for or things I've been puzzling over or just thinking about....don't know if you'd call this de-stressing or just what, but I enjoy the time for thinking as much as the creating. Hope you're having a good first day of 2009!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Those buttonhole leaves are fantastic and add so much leaf texture. How fortunate we are to be able to see a piece like this take form. Thanks for sharing.
Granny Fran

Anonymous said...

Wow! Those buttonhole leaves are fantastic and add so much leaf texture. How fortunate we are to be able to see a piece like this take form. Thanks for sharing.
Granny Fran

Wow Gold said...

fantastic blog.

Wow Gold said...

what a blog ! .

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