I LOVE talking about blocks, studying blocks, and playing with them in Photoshop... I am always on a quest for great blocks and trying to figure out what makes them so great ... So I started this companion blog that will be devoted to this quest. But also check out my regular blog at http://olderrose.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Surface embroidery should be on your to-do list.....

I was so excited when I saw this block and even more excited when I realized that there might  be 11 more as part Laurie Burgesser's CQJP 2012.  You might have seen it on her blog or on facebook,  but even if you did see you might not realize how unique it was...  You need to file this piece this away, pin it on your wall or put it by your work area as a reminder...

Laurie description of this block was:. 
"All the  fabrics except the red/white stripe started out as solid color pieces. I liked the idea of the geometric surface embroidery juxtaposed with the curves of the patches and the seams"

The key words here are "surface embroidery"  This technique can be the answer to many of the problems stitchers have with a block...  I've always referred to it as "surface texture" but I like Laurie's phrase much better...   Last fall I was giving some advice to Flora to use this technique

November Post: I think the idea of a bird in a nest is a great idea because, as you mentioned,  it would complement the bird button.  But if you stuck it in the corner brown patch it would be corralled by that curved seam. and isolated from the block...  But if you perch the nest just above the patch on a branch..  it becomes a working element in the block and part of a path that moves your eye around the block...
Then you are still left with that brown patch and I'd recommend expanding your seam treatment right down into that patch to give it both texture and interest... "

Maybe a patch or area is in an odd position or you need to accentuate your focal point or you just need that "little something" extra or you want some technique that adds interest but is not overwhelming...  Well surface embroidery can solve all these problems...  When you run into one of these problems, remember Laurie's block..  Laurie chose to use contrasting colors but the technique is also effective in coordinating colors.

Laurie is one of my very favorite stitchers because she  has such a keen sense of humor which shows in her work and because she is so talented and creative. Her blog is http://dontcallmecrafty.blogspot.com/2012/01/cqjp-2012-january.html   Unfortunately she doesn't blog that often but I follow so I never miss one...


  1. Will have to add some surface embroidery to my next block. Laurie did a great job.

  2. Oh Nu Mom. Thank you !!!
    Yo gave me a great idea for the rest of my CQJP blocks. I am going to use exactly the same block for all 12 months. Maybe even make a few more. They will have the same piecing pattern but I will explore how diffferent fabrics change the look. Also I will explore texture, seam treatments , focal points...... all kinds of things
    Thank you for the inspiration help. I was stuck as to what to do next month :)

  3. What a coincidence! On my CQJournal challenge block I have made some surface stitching, which has been my passion lately.
    I used the new TAST stitches. Here is the link into my Flickr album to see the work I have done.