Sunday, July 20, 2014


stretch(ing, ed, es)
any one of the above could be my theme for this month

i started a piece of white lace, paper and cloth
stitching the layers, creating openings

i did as much of the machine work as i could with my smallest hoop but had to finish by simply stretching it taut with my hands as the fabric was just too small

 love how it turned out, so different in colour from the first effort, yet the same technique for both

 once all the stitching was done i damp-stretched it

such a difference it makes - the most amazing transformation

from unruly, rumpled cloth to something so pristine it takes my breath away

i'm hoping tonight to sit down and begin the hand embroidery on this piece

but i'm stretched a little thin, what with my long to do list...
if not tonight, then tomorrow

 i stretched the green one from my previous post as well
and promptly noticed how one opening reminds me somewhat of a heart

 this week the tart cherries ripened and thursday i got out the ladder and started picking
it wasn't long before i had picked all the ripe cherries from the lower branches and began to set my sights on the higher up ones
beautiful, bright red, perfectly smooth and tantalizingly out of reach, no matter how far i stretched
tapping my fingers on the ladder, i pondered what to do
the extension ladder was out front in the trailer, but it's cumbersome and not easy to manage on my own

i reached up and grabbed the end of a branch; pulling it down toward me allowed me to reach a few of the cherries - close, but not quite...

so i got out the pruning shears and decided to kill two birds with one stone

i cut off a few branches and carried them down to the grass, laying them carefully under the tree

i would sit on a bench, in the sun, with the branch on my lap and pick cherries 'til the cows come home

 the mr. came outside and saw what i was up to

"it's much easier this way" i said

easy pickin's and the tree gets pruned at the same time
methinks i should be an efficiency expert...

nodding in agreement, he got out the saw and the next thing i knew half the tree was on the grass beside me!

i've picked and sorted my way through endless pails and pans of cherries and in the end, i've pitted and packed away upwards of 125 cups of cherries
the freezer is full

my fingers are red with cherry juice
{i pit them by hand so i can certify them worm-free!}

 beautiful, plump, organic cherries
i think there's going to be a great deal of jam and pie in my future...


Wendy said...

Oh my, this is stunning and I know your hand stitching will be so beautiful on this piece...just amazing how Karen can teach us such wonderful things her her classes...I need to do the layering process as my paper has finally arrived...yours has given me inspiration...

Marj Talbot said...

I can't believe the difference the stretching makes. I'd be tempted to leave it like that, but then again I know what lovely stitching you do so I'll look forward to seeing it all stitched up. The cherries look scrumptious-what a lot of work to get them all picked and frozen. It will be worth the effort when eating the pies/jams.

karen said...

be still my beating heart.....your white piece has given me palpitations and then you go and show us all your fresh cherries!!! You're living the dream, love cherries...

deanna7trees said...

your stitched pieces are just stunning. sometimes i securely baste a plain piece of cloth on the edges of a piece that is too small so i can fit it in the hoop.
those cherries are amazing. how wonderful that you can pick them right off of the tree.

Createology said...

With your Cherry Red Fingers you won't be stitching on that Pristine White Blissful Cloth you have created...will you? I am in awe of your stitchings and only see your "stretched" as in your fabric pieces. You are always busy doing so many things. Lovely sweet cherries. Pruning and picking in one fell swoop...hmmm

Mosaic Magpie said...

Genius idea to pick the cherries! I shall use it with my crab apple tree. The stitching is lovely, keep those cherries away from it!

Suztats said...

Your fabrics are so gorgeous--absolutely love the white one! I look forward to seeing the hand-stitched transformation. Those cherries look so mouth-watering good!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Stunning pieces Jillayne, what an amazing technique! And your pruning/picking solution to your cherry dilemma was brilliant, enjoy all your lovely fruit :O)

karen said...

I should have said, oops!! You could have tacked plain cotton on all four sides of this to make it bigger to get it in the hoop....sorry!!