Redwork, Quilts, Beads, and a Tree of Life Pendant

I’ve been busy making things. I let my website go because I had been ghettoized in interminably slow free hosting and it’s much easier to discuss projects and my work here at WordPress.

I am currently doing up two final redwork blocks for the red sampler quilt I have been working on for 14 years. I can feel it coming to completion, I just have to fit disparate sizes of blocks together with strips and then it will be done.

This is a nice vase I found in an online free colouring book source. It is working up beautifully in a ten inch block.

The final redwork block has been traced out on fabric. I got permission from one of my favourite artists to use a section of her artwork, much modified for stitching purposes, in this block, so I will unveil that at a later date. I was happy she gave me permission; artists are so generous if you only write and tell them what you hope to do, and then ask.

I laid the completed blocks out to get an idea on how many blocks I still needed to do and was surprised that I don’t need any more. This will finish up around 65 x 80 inches and the quilt is to go with a red Adirondack chair that my brother refurbished for me. The chair was my Mom’s and she sat in it when she was pregnant with me 55 years ago.

The Honey Bee block on the right in the middle section was hand sewn and traded to me by a pen pal of mine from California whom I’ve recently been back in touch with. She’s a wonderful quilter and just talking to her got me fired up again about finishing this quilt.

While talking to her about a name change on her part, I got browsing tartans and made some beads for a necklace using the Wallace tartan as impetus. I used the botanical prints I made for another necklace in black and white, and changed the background to red, and then I generated some great looking patterns in Gliftex to complement the whole thing. I LOVE that program, it comes up with the most gorgeous patterns. The two black patterns and the two red patterns in the lower tier are Gliftex designs. After painting and varnishing the beads, 20 hours later they are done.

And then we come to the fun part: I needed a pendant for these beads and could not find anything suitable in my budget range of $8 and under. So I was browsing around the Internet and saw some stunning examples of a wirework pendant so I took the plunge and made a prototype. I didn’t have a wire that was dark enough to get the contrast I wanted, but I got a nice necklace out of it and used some older beads I’d made several years ago that picked up the colours of the beads in the tree. I also made matching earrings, and the gemstone chips are tree agate and malachite, which look well as tree leaves I think.

I’ve ordered some black and burgundy wire in a fine 26 gauge to make more of these. The gauge I had on hand for this one was 28 gauge and it worked but is a smidge too fine for good definition and the gnarly look I want on the trunk of the tree. So, more plans ahead for these!

And lastly, I made 10 earrings for my neighbour as a thank you gift and that got me fired up again about making jewellery. I have lots of supplies and don’t want to waste them even though I don’t have things up for sale at the minute. I love the variety in these. I took a box of things over to her house and we sat on her back porch creating designs so she would get exactly what she wanted. It was a lot of fun, another spontaneous project that just fell together for some happy creativity.

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