Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year Wishes!

Close up from my January block.
I have to say, I am SO thankful for the many friends I have made through this blog. I am incredibly blessed. I wish each and every one of you an amazing 2016 full of good health and happy memories.

There are a few last projects I finished for the holidays I thought I would share before the new year creeps in.



In October, I sewed the topiary I created as part of Kathy Shaw's ICQC #102 course into a tissue cover. My mom received it with her Christmas gifts, as she loves pink.

Earlier this month, I used my March CQJP 2013 block to create a tote bag for the gift exchange we held with the friends we play Pinochle with every month. 

We filled it with "Snow" soap, a santa towel, a matching tissue-pack cover and a peeking snowman tissue-pack cover. The recipient loved it.

This block has always been dear to me. Our first house was yellow with a tree out in front and we did plant a circle of flowers around it. And the "sidewalk" fabric was created with stretchy fabric that was once the cuffs around the legs of the first pair of jeans my eldest son received. They were a gift from his aunt. His grandparents gave him a tiny red wagon, too.

I sewed this tote together using my CQJP 2013 April block, but cannot count it as a finish yet. After I turned it right-side-out and stitched the lining shut, I realized I sewed the handles on wrong. After my seam ripper and I have a long date, I will share it again...

My CQJP 2014 April block was made into the pocket on a tote bag for my niece. Blue and yellow are two of her favorite colors. It has a matching tissue-pack cover. She also received a fluffy white infinity scarf and fingerless blue gloves with her tote for Christmas.

This block incorporated several stitches from TAST 2013.

For fun, I made the inside pocket blue.

The tote bags were made with some adaptations to this pattern. And the tissue-pack covers were made with adaptations to this pattern.

I did have one more small finish in 2015, but I submitted the photos to Pamela Kellogg for the Spring 2016 edition of the Crazy Quilt Quarterly Magazine. So, it shall remain a secret for a while longer. 

Happy New Year! 
Renee








Tuesday, December 29, 2015

TAST Stitches 22, 23 & a Gift Seam

TAST Stitch 22: Buttonhole Wheel


These little wheels are fun, but I will admit I need more practice! I was very thankful for Sharon's tip to add more spokes (placing the stitches closer together) if they did not sit flat.


TAST Stitch 23: Cable Chain Stitch


Well... I do need to make my stitches a little more even. Perhaps a bit more planning before beginning my letter H would have clued me in on the number of stitches and better spacing. It was a fun stitch!



Sometimes the trickiest part of TAST for me is figuring out the best way to work the stitch into one of my current projects. In this case, I combined the cable chain stitch and the buttonhole wheel to add a motif section to a Christmas fabric postcard.  I think they made a fun addition. 



Oh! Beneath the words, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" do you see the little green gifts tied with red ribbon? Those were created using one of Sharon B.'s crazy quilting templates (from Set 2) and a few past TAST Stitches. 

I am not affiliated with these templates, but I did agree to review my experiences with them. Using a quilting chalk pencil, I traced the smaller squares (pictured on the template above) along the seam. After my first few attempts, I found it easiest to make a red straight stitch down the center of the square and green satin stitches on either side of that red stitch. (Using size 8 perle cotton, it took 3 green stitches to the left and to the right of the red stitch to fill the square.) Then 2 red detached chain stitches were added to the tops to create bows. It was quite fun!

Please note: you may click on any photo for a larger view.

TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday. It is a personal stitching challenge offered by Sharon B. on Facebook and on her blog, pintangle.com. You may read more about it hereIf you follow the TAST Facebook group, you know there are some incredibly inspiring examples of these stitches being shared. Anyone may join at any time during the challenge. Thank you, Sharon, for offering TAST!

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee

Monday, December 28, 2015

CQJP 2014 September Block - Oregon State University Tote Completed!

Oregon State University Tote Bag
I created this Oregon State University tote bag for a relative and gave it to her for Christmas. (She thinks I should make these and sell them. It uses licensed fabrics though.)



The pocket was created using my Crazy Quilt Journal (CQJP) 2014 September block


Oregon State University Tote Bag and Tissue Case Cover
The tote was lined with Oregon State University fabric and I made a matching tissue case cover. I also slipped a pair of OSU earrings into the tote before wrapping it up for Christmas.

I adapted this pattern for the tote bag and adapted this pattern for the tissue case cover.

I am linking up with the Monday Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape! again this week. It is a great place to visit for a free embroidery pattern and to find links to more eye candy. This week's embroidery pattern is a tropical bird. If you do any hand stitching and have a blog, I encourage you to join the fun!

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee

Monday, December 21, 2015

CQJP 2013 February Block Tote Bag


Some of you may recognize the block above. It was my February block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) 2013.  I'm afraid I only finished 4 blocks that year. My attempts at the short and long stitch method on my May block halted my progress. So, I have decided to put those blocks to use. 


I adapted this tutorial from Pinterest to create a tote bag. 


My husband and I join his parents and some of their family friends to play Pinochle every month, and in December we have a gift exchange. This year, we filled four totes with goodies. A Christmas towel, a matching tissue cover, a Christmas tissue cover, and a winter hand soap (I forgot to photograph) completed each gift.

I am looking forward to participating in CQJP 2016! This time, I plan to make an actual crazy quilt. The sign-ups closed yesterday. However, late entries may still be accepted. If you are interested, you may find more details here


I am linking up with the Monday Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape! again this week. It is a great place to visit for a free embroidery pattern and to find links to more eye candy. This week's embroidery pattern is a sweet angel. If you do any hand stitching and have a blog, I encourage you to join the fun!

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee




Thursday, December 17, 2015

HAED SK Effects of Caffeine Day 3 Update


On Saturday, December 12th, I had my third opportunity to work on my travel project, the Heaven and Earth Designs "SK Effects of Caffeine" cross-stitch chart based on artwork by Randal Spangler.

I only added 146 stitches, but there is definitely a visible difference from the last photo I shared (seen below.)



By the way, Heaven and Earth Designs is having a Christmas sale through December 28th. Charts are 35% off. (I am not affiliated with the shop, but thought I would share the info!)

There is also a Christmas Raffle 2015 at Heaven and Earth Designs. If I understand it correctly, raffle tickets may be purchased for $2.00 each. Each ticket is an opportunity to win a Custom Charting Service (valued at $125.00 and cannot include commercial artwork) and a chart a month for a full year. The website also states, "Each participant will receive a special chart designed just for this event." Tickets may be purchased through January 1, 2016. The drawing will be held January 15th and participants will receive the special chart designed for the event on January 20th. Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to Meals on Wheels.

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

CQI Holiday Fabric Postcard Swap


I am so glad I decided to participate in the CQI* Holiday Fabric Postcard Swap that Wilma organized!

Just look at this lovely postcard I received in the mail!  Several of the ladies in this swap were a bit new to fabric postcard swaps and we wondered if we dared send ours out unprotected or if we should use an envelope. 



Carol K. made this lovely postcard and mailed it just as you see it in these photos (well, without the paper I used to keep her last name and my address private...) It traveled through the post beautifully. I must admit, I love having the postmarked stamp on the back, too!

Thank you, Carol! I just love my postcard!!!



If you missed my previous post, here is the postcard I created for the swap. I mailed it to the Netherlands in this clear plastic envelope.

*CQI stands for Crazy Quilting International. I am one of four moderators in this crazy quilting group that meets on both Yahoo! and on Facebook. Photos of the postcards shared within this swap will be featured on the CQI blog later this week!

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

TAST Stitch 21

TAST Stitch 21: Knotted Cretan Stitch

My first (and only) time trying out the knotted Cretan stitch, I made a little Christmas tree. 

I think I prefer the one Sharon made, with the knots closer to the outer edges of the branches; so I will definitely be playing with this stitch more in the future! 

There will be small red beads added for "ornaments" when I find time to sit and stitch again. (I have been busy sewing and will be sharing some of that soon.)

TAST will be taking a 3 week break. However, I am a couple of stitches behind. If my schedule allows me to catch up, I will share my progress. 

TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday. It is a personal stitching challenge offered by Sharon B. on Facebook and on her blog, pintangle.com. You may read more about it hereIf you follow the TAST Facebook group, you know there are some incredibly inspiring examples of these stitches being shared. Anyone may join at any time during the challenge. Thank you, Sharon, for offering TAST!

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee



Monday, December 14, 2015

HAED Twilight Duel Update #4 December 2015

The picture to the left shows my progress on the HAED Twilight Duel chart from August 30th - November 8th. The chart is based on original artwork by Ruth Thompson

This photo shows 3 months of progress. (August 30th - November 30th.)

And this is how it looked as of December 13th. There are less than 300 stitches remaining on page one! If I find enough time to stitch during this busy season, I hope to share a page finish with you next month!

I love seeing the little loop in the tail. You may find a photo of the artwork this chart is based upon in the sidebar to the right.

Total stitches completed: 7,902. (Added 2,061 stitches.)
Page 1 is 96.61% complete. (Up 22.18% from last month.)
Chart is 5.35% complete. (Up 1.39% from last month.)

I will share my progress again on January 11, 2016 (the 2nd Monday of the month.) 

I am linking up with the Monday Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape! again this week. It is a great place to visit for a free embroidery pattern and to find links to more eye candy. This week's embroidery pattern reads "Merry Christmas" and includes a set of 3 candles. If you do any hand stitching and have a blog, I encourage you to join the fun!

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee

Monday, December 7, 2015

HAED QS Red Hearts Progress - December 2015

This month, I made a bit of progress on the Heaven and Earth Designs chart QS Red Hearts, based upon artwork by Ching-Chou Kuik. Above is a photo of my progress as of November 1st.


Due to other obligations, I only managed to work on this project 5 days this month. This is how it looked after roughly 8.5 hours and 713 stitches later.


Page 1 is now 94.62% complete and the full chart is 16.22% complete. (It is SO close to a page finish that I have to force myself to set it aside to work on Christmas gifts.)



I am linking up with the Monday Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape! again this week. It is a great place to visit for a free embroidery pattern and to find links to more eye candy. If you do any hand stitching and have a blog, I encourage you to join the fun!

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee


Friday, December 4, 2015

HAED SK Effects of Caffeine Day 2 Update


On Saturday, November 21st, I had my second opportunity to work on my travel project, the Heaven and Earth Designs "SK Effects of Caffeine" cross-stitch chart based on artwork by Randal Spangler.

It does not look like much yet. Below is how it looked after Day 1. Visible progress is always good! 




Thank you for stopping by!
Renee

Thursday, December 3, 2015

1 Xmas Item a Month: November Update - A Few Days Late


This year has flown by! It is hard to believe Christmas is only 22 days away. I am a little late, but here is my 1 Xmas Item a Month post.


I made a tote bag with this darling snowman print that I discovered at Jo-Ann Fabric. It is Holiday Inspirations Christmas Fabric - Susan Winget Peeking Snowmen. (I find myself drawn to several of the Susan Winget fabrics at Jo-Ann.)


The lining is Holiday Inspirations Fabric - Metallic Red Scrolls, also from Jo-Ann Fabric.

Here is the front of the bag.

And here is the back.

The bag was made following this tutorial from mommaspocketbook.com that I found on Pinterest a while back.

Thank you so much for stopping by!
Renee

Monday, November 30, 2015

CQI UTS RR #2 - Annette's Block Completed!




This weekend, I finished embellishing one of 
Annette's beautiful mermaid blocks! 


Above is a photo of the block before embellishment.

I chose this block because the dark blue triangle in the upper-left corner looked like the perfect place to add a dolphin.

You see, after I saw the gorgeous under-the-sea themed quilt Gina made and shared at Quilts and Cakes, I began toying with the idea of learning how to embroider a dolphin. 
I mentioned the idea to Gina and she encouraged me to give it a try.
I also mentioned the idea to Mary Anne at Magpie's Mumblings. She had the great idea of using Gerry Krueger's method to create a felt applique (which I tried) and perhaps even add some stuffing to the dolphin (which I hope to try next time.)


So, I searched "how to draw a dolphin" and chose this tutorial.


He's not perfect, but not bad for a first attempt.


A satin stitched jelly and several small fish also adorn the block.


You would not guess it took nearly four hours to stem-stitch the mermaid's hair, would you?! I loved the texture that the hair and the metallic green fly stitches added to the mermaid's tail added.


The green vines with pink flowers in the photo below were shared with my last Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) post.  The vines were created by tracing some of the stem-like shapes from 
(I am not affiliated with the templates; however, 
I am having so much fun with them that the first set of templates is already on my Christmas wish list.)


This block was SO much fun to stitch!


I loved working with these colors, too. The fabrics were fantastic.


Below is a photo of the 3 embellished blocks together.


The turtle block, embellished by Kathy Semone.
 The middle block, embellished by Barbara Nicki Lee Seavey.
And the block I embellished.

I do hope Annette likes her block!


I am linking this post with the Monday Stitchery Link Party #34 at Super Mom - No Cape! I do hope you will visit to see what the free embroidery pattern is and what others are up to. If you have a blog and do any hand stitching, I encourage you to join the party.

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee