Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Surprise in the Mail

Just look at the beautiful surprise I found in my mail today!

My sweet blogging friend, MA from Magpie's Mumblings, made this beauty.



Pictures do not do it justice!

It arrived beautifully packaged, too.

I love the way the pretty silkie was attached and check out that button!

Hearts are my favorite shape, so I love the charm.

And the seam work is all exquisite! 

I believe MA recently shared 19 gorgeous postcards on her blog. 

You may see this lovely postcard at Magpie's Mumblings HERE.

She also shared a series of seam treatments recently. You may check them out HERE. (And you may see some featured in my work when I find time to play with a needle and thread again!)

On another note, I apologize for falling out of the blogging world. Life has thrown us a few curve balls this summer. Stressful ones, but we are counting our blessings! 

To balance out the stressful bits, we have also been lucky enough to have Dutch relatives come and visit. We are truly enjoying their company. We have been crazy busy playing tourist, but it has been the highlight of the summer. Here is a list of some of the fun places we have gone with our guests this month:

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon
OMSI - Oregon Museum of Science & Industry in Portland, Oregon
Big Al's in Beaverton, Oregon (For those of you eating gluten free please note: the online menu differs from the restaurant menu in some respects. For example tater tots are not gluten-free as indicated on the website.)
Build-A-Bear in Clackamas Town Center in Happy Valley, Oregon
Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington
Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington (The International Fountain was a big hit!)
Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour in Mukilteo, Washington
Woodburn Premium Outlets in Woodburn, Oregon
Aurora Colony Days Parade in Aurora, Oregon
Clackamas County Fair in Canby, Oregon - My Mother-in-Law really wants me to submit an entry next year. ;)
Jimmy Mac's Roadhouse in Everett, Washington (This is one of the 4 restaurants that I have been to with amazing food and that have been wonderful about dealing with my dietary restrictions. I wish every waitress could be as knowledgeable and informative as ours was. And the steak... Goodness, I need to stop thinking about it before I begin drooling... However, this is not the place to go with peanut allergies.)

I also apologize for being late in responding to comments made on my last blog posts. I may get to them by September - I hope! I have been able to check in on Facebook with my iPad here and there, but computer time has been limited. (I could respond tonight, but I've only put 3 stitches into a project since July 30th. I need a stitching fix and have a date with my needle and thread tonight! As far as addictions go, embroidery is a pretty safe one, right?!)

Wishing you all a fabulous August! In September, I look forward to catching up with my favorite blogs. :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Renee












Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fractal White Tiger July 2016 Update

My camera is taking somewhat grainy photos today, so I apologize for the photo. (The lighting this late in the day could be a factor, too.)

This month, I added 1,145 stitches to my Charting Creations Fractal White Tiger cross stitch based on artwork by Ricky Barnard. 

I finally passed the 10,000 stitches mark and the project is 5.95% complete.

This photo shows how it looked last month.

I did not have much time for crafting this month, but I did manage to surpass my goal of 900 stitches a month.

I began this project on January 1st as a part of A Stitchy New Start. I do hope you will visit to see what everyone else is working on!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

1 X-mas Item a Month - July 2016

Yay! I finally finished a couple of projects to share with the 1 X-mas Item a Month blog

In May, I shared the embellished front to this stocking. Today, I carved out enough time to stitch it all together.

I completed the cross-stitched center over a decade ago and tried to make a wall quilt for my husband. (The pattern was in the book Alma Lynn's Country Cross-Stitch.) 

The wall quilt did not turn out well, so I set it aside. Last year, I pulled it out of my pile of UFOs (unfinished objects) and decided it would be fun to use in a crazy quilted stocking for my husband. I am happy to say that he loves it!


Some time ago, my husband mentioned he wanted a new pillowcase, so I found these fun beer prints. Unfortunately, I did not think about the print and grain running in the wrong direction...

This was my first time making a pillowcase using the "roll up" or "burrito" method.

I followed the tutorial I found at The Seasoned Homemaker. I also watched this YouTube video by The Crafty Gemini to make sure I understood the method first.

His pillow fits in it perfectly and I think he'll like it - even if the beer is all sideways.

The body fabric is Cheers by Martin Irish. The cuff fabric is by Hi-Fashion Fabrics, Inc. - Pattern HJG-C3867. (I wanted to share links, but could only find the Cheers print with a black background and could not find the cuff fabric on-line.)


Are you working on any handmade Christmas gifts?




Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Row by Row Experience 2016 - 4 Shops Visited



I am afraid it did not take me long to spend the money I stashed away during the Piggy Bank Savings. If you remember, I planned to split the money I saved with my husband. However, he insisted I should keep it and use the full amount on my Row by Row shopping. Don't tell anyone, but I think he likes me. ;) 


If you are interested, sign-ups for the 4th Annual Piggy Bank Savings = Money for Quilting Challenge are open until August 1st at Val's Quilting Studio.


Last year I found myself intrigued by blog posts and Facebook posts about the Row by Row Experience. Although this annual event began in 2011, last year was the first time I heard about it. (As I am not a big quilter, this is not shocking.)



This year, I decided to collect a few rows and give it a try. My first stop was at Sewn Loverly in Wilsonville, Oregon. I picked up the kit for their row. And, I fell in love with the license plates, so I had to get one. 

While I was there, I picked up some buttons. (I see the white buttons and think, "Snowmen!") I already used one of the ladybugs on my CQJP 2016 February block. I also splurged on 3 fat quarters.



I have also visited A Common Thread in Tigard, Oregon. They had 2 kits and I could not decide between the village scene and the stack of cups. So... I bought both. These are both panels to be colored in. They had fabric marker sets on sale, too. However, I will be ironing wax paper on the back of mine and coloring them in with crayons - a technique I learned through this tutorial. The shop did recommend spraying the fabric with water and ironing it before coloring and sewing it into the quilt top.

Again, I had to get the license plate. I also fell in love with two of the Row by Row fabrics - one with license plates and one that reads Home Sweet Home. I bought a fat quarter of each and a half yard of a twiggy looking fabric that I look forward to using in a crazy quilt block.



On Saturday, my husband took me to 2 quilt shops. First, we stopped at Quilting Delights in Happy Valley, Oregon. I only planned to pick up the pattern, but their kit was laser cut and I just could not resist! (It even includes two heart-shaped buttons for the doorknobs. Too cute!)

I could not resist their license plate, either. (I'm weak, what can I say... They are so cute.)



Next we stopped at Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe & Mercantile in West Linn, Oregon. I absolutely love their row and really wanted to buy the kit. However, I am hoping to make a quilt for our home and my husband is not a big fan of pastel colors. So, I am toying with a few ideas for this one. Do you see those tiny little hexies? One of the quilts hanging between the campers is made with them. The fabric I purchased (beneath the hexies and the pattern) has an iron-on adhesive to stabilize the appliqued pieces.

I love this license plate, too. And, if you know me at all, you know I love snowmen. I could not pass up a fat quarter of this darling snowman print.

I would love to know if you are collecting Row by Row patterns. If so, which shop has your favorite row? 

(Please note: I am not affiliated with any of the shops mentioned in this post.)

Friday, July 15, 2016

CQJP 2016 February Block Finished with Motifs 7, 8 & 9

Living My Dream: CQJP 2016 February Block
Well... it is mid-July and I finally finished my CQJP 2016 February block. Better late than never, right?

I love many of the details, but do regret having the 2 hearts tilted in the same direction on this block. I think this one is a good argument for planning rather than winging it as I went.


Here is a picture of the bare 12 x 12-inch block.

I do love the way embroidery dresses things up!


Motif 7 was a fun one to create. I used the curve that looks like half a heart on one of Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates from Set 1 to trace the heart on the fabric.


Using size 12 black pearl cotton and a running stitch, I created the heart. I added a few extra stitches curving into the heart to make a little trail for this ladybug button I purchased at Sewn Loverly in Wilsonville, Oregon. 

I love the way it turned out!

(Please note: I am not affiliated with the templates, Pintangle or Sewn Loverly.)

Motif 8 used a different template from Sharon B.'s Set 1. I traced the medium sized tear shape (pictured in the upper-left part of this template) for the upper wings and the smaller tear shape for the bottom wings to make a butterfly.

Using size 8 red pearl cotton, I split stitched around the wings, and then filled them with long and short stitches.


Size 12 black pearl cotton and split stitches created the body. Two straight stitches topped with colonial knots made the antennae. Size 12 white pearl cotton and a running stitch created a flight path.


For Motif 9, size 8 red pearl cotton and 4 detached chain stitches created the butterfly. Size 12 white pearl cotton running stitches were used for this flight path, too.

Here are the January and February blocks together.

Now, to start on my March block...  


Thanks so much for stopping by!


CQJP 2016 is a personal stitching challenge to complete a block a month. You may learn more about it here. If you are interested in joining next year, sign ups for CQJP generally open up in November and close in December.