Saturday, November 16, 2013

CQI Winter/Christmas DYB Round Robin - Completed block for Kathy B.

Kathy B.'s block after embellishing.
Kathy B.'s block before embellishing
This was such a fun block to work on!  I began by couching 6 strands of gold metallic floss around the Santa patch in the center.

When I shared Kathy B.'s blocks, I cannot believe I forgot to mention she included a lovely little goody bag for each of us that worked on it.  Ironically enough, I already had some of the holly border, and was thinking it would go great with the colors in this block.  (I purchased my holly border from Evening Star Designs.  Sadly, they are going out of business.  They are having a huge close-out sale at this time.)
Goody bag from Kathy B.  What a sweet treat!
I cut holly leaves from the trim and stitched them onto the block using a single strand of DMC green metallic floss.  Then, I stitched 3 red seed beads to each pair of leaves.  (I am still wondering if I should have used larger beads, but I think I like the way these turned out.)

I saved the section on the red fabric and added this stocking button after most of the stitching had been completed.  I found the button at Canby Quilt & Fabric when I dropped by to pick up more EdMar rayon floss.  The shop owner informed me the shop will be moving - I believe closer to Estacada, Oregon (I will have to find out) around Christmas.  She also told me these adorable ceramic buttons were made by a lady here in Oregon that was selling out her inventory. 
It is hard to see in the picture above (as I typed over it), but I couched a single strand of gold metallic floss (a slightly different shade than that used around the Santa fabric) around the flowers on the printed fabric in the upper-right-corner. 

Two strands of the metallic gold floss (matching that used around the Santa fabric) were couched down on both sides of the black ornament ribbon.  Mill Hill Old Gold glass seed beads #00557 were stitched on using a single strand of DMC 667 floss.  (I have had these beads in my stash for ages.  I LOVE the fact that there is a DMC conversion chart for Mill Hill beads, to help one stitch them on with a matching colored floss.  The store where I purchased the beads was in Reedsport, Oregon, and it closed years ago.  I have found them for sale at Acorns and Threads in Portland, Oregon.  I have also found them at as an on-line only item, and on
The next step was inspired by some beautiful eye candy.  Looking for inspiration, I went to the Crazy Quilting International Blog and looked through Christmas and Winter themed blocks.  Inspiration struck while looking through the eye candy from the Christmas 2008 DYB photos.  If you visit that link and scroll down to Gerry K's blocks, you will see the seam treatment in Sherry's block for Gerry that inspired my embroidery here. (Give yourself some time - there is some AMAZING stitching to admire amongst those photos!)

In the lower, right-corner, I used a single strand of EdMar Iris #101 red embroidery floss and back-stitched the outline of a swag ribbon.  Next, I used a satin-stitch to complete the swag.  For a final touch, I used a Christmas Red shade of RiverSilks 4 mm ribbon to create bows along the swag.  (Don't look at them too closely, or you will see I need more practice with Silk Ribbon Embroidery!)  I am not perfect with my satin stitches, and this section alone took about 6 hours to complete, but I was quite pleased with the way it turned out.

Note to self: when using a satin stitch along a seam (which means stitching through 3-4 layers of fabric in some places), I may need to actually use a thimble. 

A small Santa charm looked perfect along the dark green fabric.  (He was a part of a Christmas Charm Pack I purchased from Evening Star Designs when I purchased the Winter Challenge 2013 Kit.  At the time of this posting their close-out sale indicated they had one pack in their inventory.)

This section was still SO bare.  I thought of adding snowflakes, but they did not look right.  A Christmas tree?  No.  In the end, I made a bright Christmas star and stitched in the ground with a single strand of gold metallic DMC floss.
For the last section, I added a few poinsettia-like flowers along the upper seam with 2 strands of DMC red rayon floss #S666.  Old Gold Mill Hill glass seed beads made the perfect centers for the flowers.

Next, I attempted to use an old vintage iron-on transfer pattern (that I traced onto tissue paper) to stitch on the outline of a gold bell.  However, this fabric was not ideal for the outline, so I had to remove that and decide what to put in its place.  I considered a wreath, but was not happy with how it would sit in the triangular shape.  In the end, I stitched a tree with 2 strands of DMC green metallic floss.  In the light I had, the contrast of greens worked well and the tree stood out from the green fabric.  As daylight faded, I worried it would not stand out enough, but I think it is okay (I hope!)  Mill Hill Petite Glass Beads #42010 (Ice) were stitched on with a single strand of DMC 762 floss to add some falling snow.

I wish I were creative enough to figure out how to enhance the Santa fabric in the center, but I feared any attempt would detract from his charm.

I hope Kathy B. likes the way the block turned out!

Happy Stiching,


L.O. said...

You did a great job. The block looks beautiful. I think you did the right thing by leaving the Santa the way it is. Sometimes less is best.

Renee said...

Thank you!