Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My CQI Winter/Christmas DYB RR Blocks are Home!

My blocks are home!  Well... they have actually arrived last Thursday.  The lighting in my house distorts the colors of the blocks.  I tried to take a picture on our patio table (once the fog let up enough to let the sun through), but it was so chilly I could not hold the camera still - I was shivering too much!  Late yesterday afternoon, I tried again and succeeded.  (Please forgive the shadows!  And remember, for a larger view, click on the photo.)

In July of 2013, I mailed the six blocks pictured above to Donna A.  She chose to embellish my "Joy" block and did such a lovely job!
Beautiful work by Donna A.
It is such a joyful block!  I just love the seams.  And, I adore trees (have you noticed?) and Donna gave me two!  (If I remember correctly, they were a few of her first trees. Bravo!) I love the North Star.  And the reindeer is just darling!
Donna's darling reindeer
I am simply thrilled Donna A. used some of the same snowy trim she used in the snowball she swapped with me (as you can see below.)  My blocks will be sewn together in one project and the snowballs in another, but the colors and this fun trim will certainly tie the two together!

The snowball Donna A. made for me in the CQI snowball swap.
In August, Donna mailed my blocks to Kathy B., and she chose to work on my "Love" block.  It turned out just gorgeous!
Beautiful work by Kathy B.
I love the way Kathy B. outlined the word "love" on this block.  Her seams are so pretty.  I love the variegated and metallic flosses she included.  The snowflake and flower on the bottom of the block are both stunning.  And I just love the flowers she added within the heart she stitched!
Close up of heart Kathy B. added.
In September, Kathy B. mailed my blocks on to Melody B.  Melody selected my "Family" block.  The scripture she added from Luke 2:11 certainly fits the word stenciled on the block!  "For unto you is born this day in the city of David..."

Melody's lovely work.
After seeing a picture of Melody's work, I admitted to the ladies in our round robin that I love button clusters, but I have not managed to work up the courage to add one.  So, I was thrilled to have one added to one of my blocks!  The seams are all so pretty, and I love the traditional addition of a spider web.
Scripture from Luke 2:11
In October, Melody mailed my blocks to Kathy S. and Kathy chose to work on the "Peace" block.
Beautiful work by Kathy S.
With her beautiful stitching, Kathy S. turned this into a "Prince of Peace" block.  As always, her seams are stunningly beautiful.  I also love the SRE (silk ribbon embroidery) blue poinsettias, the North Star and my second button cluster! I love the use of beads in the button holes.
Button Cluster by Kathy S.
(For the record, my husband laughed at me for being SO excited about the button clusters on my blocks.  It probably did not help that I was literally bouncing with delight sharing each lady's beautiful work with him!)

In November, Kathy S. mailed my blocks to Barbara W. and she chose to embellish the "Believe" block.  I am simply thrilled that the believe block includes Santa Claus!
Lovely work by Barbara W.
It is so fun to know the Santa trim and the wreath trim are both from the 1970's (just like me!)  And, I do not have my booklet with everyone's notes here with me, but I believe Barbara said the peppermint candy beads in the fun seam above "Merry Christmas" are from the 60's. Too fun!
Fun and lovely seams by Barbara W.
I love the seams in this block.  I have a hard time imagining ways to use bugle beads, so I was delighted by the Christmas tree seam made with them and topped with stars.

We took December off and mailed the blocks home this January.  Now, I get to decide what to do with the remaining "Dream" block.
For me to embellish.
I know I will include a bit of red (I am thinking of adding a cardinal I learned to stitch by studying Barbara W.'s work for Kathy S.) and a touch of green to compliment the green and red in the blocks embellished by Donna A. and Barbara W.  I may stitch around the word "Dream" like Kathy B. did with my "Love" block.  I also picture a tree and a snowman.  And, perhaps some words, as I love the ones Kathy S. and Melody B. included.

My next CQI round robin with be another DYB (do your block), where I make 6 blocks and mail them out.  Five will return embellished and I complete the last one.  The theme of the next one is "hearts" ~ which is fitting if you know me.  Hearts are my favorite shape.  We need 3 more people to sign up before we set a beginning date.

Before I complete my "Dream" block, or piece my heart blocks, I need to finish a secret (for now) project and my January CQJP 2014 block!  I must admit, I was VERY tempted to sign up for an Under the Sea themed round robin.  However, I have so many projects on my to do list, I did not dare add another commitment.  I compensated by making my first CQJP 2014 block an Under the Sea theme.

Here are a few sneak peeks!

I wanted to add a mermaid or a seahorse.  The idea of a mermaid intimidated me, but I did finally manage to sketch a seahorse!  I traced it onto tissue paper and stitched it onto the fabric.
Outline of seahorse from the sketch I drew.
I was very tempted to darken the eye and leave the seahorse as you see it above.  However, I decided to try filling it in with short and long stitches.  And, I opted to tell the perfectionist within me to take a hike, as she began pointing out all of the areas requiring improvement.  After all, this little fellow turned out better than I thought he would...
Seahorse filled with short and long stitches.
Now, I am off to try to finish the block.  I have found I really admired encrusted crazy quilt blocks, so I am doing my best to really fill this one up with stitches.  It is not something that comes naturally to me, so I find myself second-guessing a lot of the work.  But, I am determined to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Thanks for stopping by!
Renee




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