Friday, May 29, 2015

Under the Sea Block Step 8: The Final Details

This is the final post in a series explaining how I embellished Sandra T.'s block in the CQI UTS Round Robin we are in together. Links to previous posts in this series are below.
Step 1: Planning the Seams
Step 2: Planning Motifs
Step 3: Embellishing the Seams

The photo above shows how the block looked after adding the elements I originally sketched out for this block (with a few minor changes along the way.) As you can see, there are still some fairly bare areas that could use more embellishments. (You may click on any image for a larger view.)

I still needed to add beads to one seam, so I did that first. I individually secured Mill Hill petite glass seed beads to the tops of the button hole seam. (I passed the needle and thread through each bead 3 times with a single strand of matching floss and then secured the bead with 3 knots in the back so the knot would not pull through to the front of the fabric. One thing I like about Mill Hill beads is that they offer a conversion chart letting you know which DMC flosses match their beads.)

Next, I added more "seaweed" along the ocean floor using feather stitches.  One thing Sandra mentioned she would like on her block was glitter. So, I added a single strand of white DMC metallic floss to a couple strands of Waterlilies by Caron silk floss. (This was #207 Bermuda Reef - the same color used for the chain-stitched seam on the block.) I used this combination of flosses to fill in the far left side of the block with some seaweed. This extends the picture off of the block. I also added a section of this seaweed between the red and purple coral.

To me, it felt like the clear beads on the red seaweed in the lower-left corner looked... heavy for lack of a better word. I felt like I needed to add more beads on the right to balance out the block.  So, I used a size 5 DMC variegated purple floss to make another feather stitched section of seaweed coming in from the right of the block. I was careful to leave the "v" sections of the stitches at least one-fourth-inch away from the side of the block, so I could add purple seed beads without having them too close to the seam lines.

I also added 3 clear seed beads in front of the seahorse in a pattern resembling tiny air bubbles.

The remaining spaces were filled with more tiny fish. Some were made with the same variegated floss used for the fish seam in Step 3 of this series.

To add a bit more sparkle, I also created some of these fish using 2 strands of a blue-gray shade of DMC metallic floss.

Most of the variegated orange fish are swimming from the left side of the block to the right side. Most of the metallic fish are swimming from the right to the left. And a few of the fish are distracted by the "vegetation" within the block.

And that is how I transformed Sandra's lovely bare block (pictured above) into the scene pictured below.

There are so many ways to create an under the sea block. I must confess, I frequently second-guess the design elements of blocks I complete. But, I also look for elements I am happy with. On this block, I love the seahorse and am happy that I did manage to pull more of the orange and purple from the fabrics into the embellishments in a way that makes me feel the colors on the block are fairly well balanced.

Above is a photo of the blocks Kathy S., Nicki Lee S. and I embellished. Although our styles are all unique, I think we have managed to embellish blocks that go well together.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for sticking with me through such long posts! 


Christine Barnsley said...

Hello Renee! Your finished block looks fabulous and it coordinates so well with the other two blocks. Sandra is going to have an absolutely fabulous finished quilt! Have a lovely weekend! :) x

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Excellent block and so much fun to see all the individual elements developing as you wrote this series. Sandra is bound to be thrilled!

Createology said...

Under the Sea blocks are fabulous. Your attention to detail and the flora and sealife is amazing. Creative CQ Bliss...

KimM said...

Fabulous!!!! Love the snail and all your embellishments.

crazyQstitcher said...

Everything about the block is beautiful. I particularly like the seahorse and the myriad tiny fish.

Shell - Little Orphan Stitch said...

It looks great Renee! Have loved your step-by-step posts as well. It's always neat to see other people's process on putting something together.

Renee said...

Thank you, Shell! Sandra's block was a lot of fun to embellish. I cannot wait until my blocks get home and I get to share the ones the ladies have embellished for me. The pictures I have seen are fabulous!

Annet said...

Thank you, Renee for writing such a great series of posts about the making of this block. I learned a few new tricks and wish I had time to do some CQ stitching!

Katie said...

Wow wow and triple wow. Loved watching this come to life. How gorgeous!!

Renee said...

Annet, thank you for the sweet compliment! I am so glad these posts were helpful and inspirational. Hugs, Renee

Anonymous said...

What fun to follow each step as you completed this. It's very creative and the seahorse remains my favorite.