Tuesday, July 18, 2017

TAST Stitch 68

TAST Stitch 68 was the Woven Zig Zag Chain Stitch. Looking at the stitch, I could picture a seam of holly leaves.

I thought using waste canvas would help keep my stitches even.

It appeared to be working. 

Unfortunately, I failed to line the dark blue line of the canvas up with the seam, as I thought I had done. Removing the waste canvas revealed the zig zag chain stitch above.

So, I pulled the stitches out and tried again, just eyeballing the distance between stitches.

Size 8 green perle cotton was used to create the woven zig zag chain stitch above.

Clusters of 3 red seed beads created holly berries.

TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday. It is a personal stitching challenge offered by Sharon B. at Pintangle.com. You may read more about TAST here and find the Facebook group here.

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, July 17, 2017

CQJP 2017 March Block - 2 Seams & 1 Motif

Better late than never? Last week, I finally felt inspired to work on another under-the-sea themed block, so I pulled out my CQJP 2017 March block and added this seahorse.

I traced the shape on the back foundation of the block with light pencil marks. Using the marks on the back to guide me, I outlined the body with split stitches. The body and stomach area were then filled with satin stitches using a single strand of variegated DMC floss. DMC 4077 was used for the tummy and DMC 90 was used for the head and body.

The first seam embellished on the block was created with a strand of size 5 DMC #4020 and buttonhole stitches in various clusters and angles. At a later stage of embellishement, beads will be added to this seam.

The second seam was a quick one. Fly stitches were created with 2 strands of DMC 93 variegated blue floss.

If you have not heard about CQJP, it stands for Crazy Quilt Journal Project. It is a personal challenge to complete a crazy quilt block at least 8-inches square each month. Registration generally opens in November and closes in December the year prior to the challenge. You may read more about it here and see blocks others have created here.

Related Blog Posts

Seahorse Tutorial - here
CQJP 2017 January Block - here
CQJP 2017 February Block - here
My CQJP 2017 Pinterest Board - here

I am linking this post with Monday Stitchery Link Party #119 at Super Mom - No Cape! 

If you have a blog and do hand embroidery, I hope you will join the party!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Monday, July 10, 2017

QS Red Hearts Update - July 2017

It has been a while since I shared an update on my Heaven and Earth Designs "QS Red Hearts" cross-stitch project. It is based on artwork by the very talented Ching-Chou Kuik.

In June, I picked this up for the first time since March and worked on it for 2 days. Only 395 stitches were added, but it was visible progress on page 4. 

I had been sharing progress the first Monday of each month. Right now, my focus piece is Twilight Duel, so I will be sharing that on the first Monday and sharing this piece once a month when there is progress to share. (This one is for me, so I hope that is frequent progress to share!)

The project is 44.67% complete.

Pages 1-3: 100% 
Page 4:      28.22%
Page 5:      7.12%
Page 6:      7.26%

I am joining Monday Stitchery Link Party #118 at Super Mom - No Cape!

Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

4th Annual Piggy Bank Savings Challenge

This was my 2nd year participating with the Piggy Bank Savings Challenge hosted by Val at Val's Quilting Studio

Last year, I saved $88.48 between August 1st and July 5th. 
(Here is the post where I shared the total & here is how I spent it.)

This year I managed to save $92.52.
(It would have been more, but I took some big, heavy blankets that are hard on my washing machine to the laundromat with a few of the quarters I had tucked away.)

Looking at the funds I saved, it is tempting to splurge on pretty fabrics for a new project.

However, my main crafty goal this year has been to finish some UFOs.
(If you missed the post with the priorities for this year, it is here.)

So, I am going to buy a couple of yards of interfacing that I need for two UFOs and put the rest of the money towards a student loan.

If you would like to see how everyone else did that signed up for the challenge, you may find the links here

And if you think you might like to join the fun next year, 
sign ups begin on July 13th for the 
5th Annual Piggy Bank Savings = Money for Quilting Challenge on Val's blog.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Twilight Duel Update #20 - July 2017

On June 5th, this is how my Heaven and Earth Designs "Twilight Duel" cross-stitch based on artwork by Ruth Thompson looked.

(I have a confession... I may be splurging soon to purchase a phone case featuring Ruth Thompson's artwork. If you are curious, you may find them here. I am not affiliated with her artwork or this company.)

In June, I added 2,783 stitches. (1,674 of those were added after I shared the above photo on June 5th.)

A full photo of this piece may be found on the sidebar to the right.

39,224 stitches are done, so there are 108,376 stitches to go...

My next update should reach the 40,000 stitches milestone.

Percent Complete:

Project: 26.57% (It was 25.44%.)
Pages 1 & 2: 100%
Page 3: 20.95% (It was 18.94%.)
Page 4: 100%
Page 5: 1.83%
Page 6: 0%
Page 7: 46.63% (It was 28.25%.)
Page 8: 100%
Page 9: 2.73%
Page 10: 0.25%
Page 11: 0%
Page 12: 0%
Page 13: 42.51% (It was 40.87%.)
Page 14: 3.62%

I am linking with Monday Stitchery Link Party #117 at Super Mom - No Cape!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 2017

We are already halfway through 2017. Can you believe it?! 

Looking back at the projects I hoped to work on in June (found here), I completed the following:

#1 I finished 1 of the projects for my Etsy shop. Photos will be shared soon.

#6 on my list was to finish embellishing the "E" block from the Crazy Quilting International Hearts Round Robin I participated in back in 2014 and to sew the blocks into a wall quilt. The embellishment is complete! You may see more about the embellished "E" block here.

#7 I did make progress on the crazy quilted Christmas stocking I am making for my son. You may read more details here.

#8 was to finish Block 5 for the Sun, Sand, and Sea BOM through Sew Incredibly Crazy and Friends. I pieced the block and ironed the applique into place, but still have a fair amount of hand stitching to do. 

Here is my updated list for the APQ UFO Challenge. (My original post about the challenge is here.)

Thanks to this challenge, I have 3 finishes and have made progress on 3 others.

There are a lot of chores and big projects we are hoping to finish around the house this month, so I do hope my crafty time will be productive!

July Goals:

1. Complete 2 projects for my Etsy shop. Sewing this under-the-sea block into an eye glasses case will be one of those projects. 

2. Finish gifts for my friend's daughter.

3. Sew the 6 blocks from my CQI Hearts Round Robin into a wall hanging. (This was #2 on my APQ UFO Challenge list and was selected for May.)

4. Finish embellishing the stocking I am making for my eldest son. (This was #10 on my APQ UFO Challenge list and was selected for June. Current progress may be seen above.)

5. Finish my CQJP 2013 January block into a finished project. (This is #1 on my AQP UFO Challenge list and was selected for July. Please note: the house was stitched from the Stoney Creek Country Living Collection "Cozy Winter Twilight" chart. You may read more about this block here. )

6. Finish Block 5 of the Sun, Sand, and Sea BOM through Sew Incredibly Crazy and Friends. (Progress seen above.)

7. Finish Block 6 of the Sun, Sand, and Sea BOM through Sew Incredibly Crazy and Friends. Block 6 is actually a border for Block 5 that was designed by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks. You may see it here.

8. I am participating with The Stitching Hour 2017 on Instagram. It is a personal Challenge inspired by AmbitiousStitches to stitch 1 hour a day from June 1st through August 1st. If you are interested in following my progress, it will be shared here.

Top 5 Viewed Posts in June:

1. June 2017 - here
2. A Floral Seam & a New Book - here
3. "E" Block Progress - here
4. CQI Heart RR "E" Block is Done! - here
5. TAST 76 - here (This was also the 5th most viewed post in May.)

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Fractal White Tiger June 2017

This month I added 612 stitches to the Charting Creations Fractal White Tiger cross-stitch I am working on for my eldest son. The piece is based on artwork by Ricky Barnard.

The top 4 rows of page 6 are now complete. There are only 5 rows to go!

This is how it looked last month. There was still a fair amount of confetti to fill in above the eye. There are some larger blocks of color coming up, which should stitch much faster. So, I may have more visible progress next month. I hope so, as I am eager to work down to his nose!

I began this project 18 months ago, on January 1, 2016, as part of what is now called the 2017 Stitcher's Group. In that time, I have spent 63 days working on this piece. I cannot wait to finish my current focus piece so I can spend more time with this one.

It is so fun to see a piece of fabric and several colors of thread turn into such an amazing image.

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Magical Ride!

Several years ago, I purchased Stoney Creek Collection: Cool Friends Book 211. I loved the snowmen and this darling chart for "Magical Ride" was an instant favorite.

Imagine my delight when I discovered stitching a mirror image of the pattern (and omitting the snowy hills) would allow it to fit perfectly onto a patch of the crazy quilt stocking I am making for my eldest son!

This was my first time using Kreinik Blending Filament (which reminded me of tinsel for the Christmas tree that my mom used to buy every year) and I loved the extra sparkle it added to the metal parts of the sleigh. The fringes of the scarf used the Turkey Stitch, which was another first for me.

(If you are on Instagram, you may find all of my "Magical Ride" update photos here.)

This Christmas stocking is #10 on my list for the All People Quilt UFO Challenge 2017, which was the project selected for June. I will not finish it this month, but am very happy with this darling snowman addition!

My progress on this stocking will also be shared on the 1 X-mas Item a Month blog. (There are some darling creations being shared again this year if you want to check them out here.)

I am also linking with Monday Stitchery Link Party #116 at Super Mom - No Cape! (If you do any hand stitching and have a blog, please join the party!)

New Crazy Quilting Books:

For those of you that Crazy Quilt (or want to learn to Crazy Quilt), you may be interested in knowing Kathy Shaw has published another book. If you order a copy from her Etsy Shop by July 3rd, you may take advantage of a discounted price. You may learn more about it here and there is more info and a few sneak peeks here.

Sharon Boggon also released a great embroidery book. You may find it here. (At the time of this post, Amazon lists it as the #1 New Release in Patchwork.)

Please note: I am not affiliated with either book or shop. Links are added for your convenience.

2020 Challenge

Have you heard about the 2020 Challenge? If you crazy quilt (or want to begin) I encourage you to check it out here at Pintangle. You may also see Sharon B.'s first block for her 2020 Challenge here

If you are going to participate, please let me know! I really want to join the fun, but am determined to continue marking UFO's off of my list. So, I would love to follow your progress and cheer you on!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 19, 2017

CQI Heart RR "E" Block is Done!

In April of 2014, I participated in a Heart Round Robin with 5 other members of the Crazy Quilting International (CQI) Group. 

This year, I am participating in the All People Quilt UFO Challenge 2017.  In May, project #2 was selected as the UFO for the month. Completeing my "LOVE" wall quilt with blocks from the Heart Round Robin was second on my list. This required embellishing the final block (my "E" block) and assembling the wall quilt.

The feather stitched seam pictured above was created with 2 strands of DMC S5200 snow white rayon floss. Cast on stitches created with a strand of size 8 red perle cotton were added to the tips of some of the feather stitches. Mill Hill Petite Glass Seed Beads #42010 were placed in the center of the cast on stitches to make small flowers. Onyx seed beads and detached chain stitches embellished the rest of the feather stitched seam.

For the next seam, Herringbone Stitches were added with a strand of EdMar Lola #206. Beneath the herringbone stitches, I added Mill Hill Petite Glass Seed Beads. #40161 beads were added to the red fabric and #42014 were added to the black fabric.

A Swarovski Elements 6mm butterfly bead (the color is light siam) was added to the black motif area. A strand of red DMC floss and a running stitch created a flight path with a little heart loop. 

Using white silk ribbon I purchased for the free basic crazy quilting course I took from Kathy Shaw, I made evenly spaced French knots for flower buds. 

A strand of metallic white DMC floss and double detached chain stitches (also called berry stitches), made leaves. I added a small straight stitch in the center of each leaf to fill in the black center. Red seed beads were placed between each flower (where the pins are seen in the photo above.)

My favorite addition to the block is the spider and spiderweb. Each feature a heart to fit the theme of this round robin. The web was created with straight stitches using DMC Fil Argent Silver Thread. The spider has a heart-shaped bead for the body and a bead for the head. Fly stitches added with a strand of white DMC floss created the legs.

Two heart-shaped beads added the final touch to the block.

Now that the "E" block is fully embellished, it is time to pull the basting seams from each block and assemble the wall quilt!

Thank you for stopping by!

1. Crazy Quilting International (CQI) is a group that focuses on hand embroidered crazy quilts. The group began on Yahoo! However, due to difficulties members had posting photos and updating round robin information through the Yahoo! groups, most of the active CQI members moved to the Facebook Crazy Quilt International Group. You may find the group here.

2. I have begun the daunting task of a bit of blog clean-up. Some of the links I have shared in the past go to websites that no longer exist, so I am deleting those. And, now that I am aware of Blogger's "nofollow" guidelines, I am making sure my links are all in compliance. Although, I always let readers know if I am affiliated with a product/company, I was not aware of adding the "rel=nofollow" attribute to those links. Several have already been changed. And, as I am not into blogging to earn money, I am no longer an Amazon Associate, so I am no longer affiliated with links shared to products on their site. 

I am linking to Monday Stitchery Link Party #115 at Super Mom - No Cape! It looks like this week's free pattern is for a cute potholder.

Related Posts:
1. My Heart Round Robin Bare Blocks - here
2. My Heart Round Robin Blocks are Home - here
3. My 2017 UFO Challenge List - here
4. Beaded Hedebo Stitched Seam - here
5. Ric Rac and Whipped Double Chain Stitch Seams - here
6. Floral Seam with Metallic Threads - here

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Floral Seam & A New Book

Last night, I had a lot of fun playing with one of Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates. (This template is from Set 1. I am not affiliated with the templates, but did receive them in return for an honest review and I truly love them!)

First, I traced the wavy line along the seam on the foundation side of my fabric using light pencil marks. (I held it up to the light to be sure it was sitting where I wanted it.)

Then, I used a stem stitch and a strand of DMC white metallic thread to embellish the seam.

After that, I stem stitched curved stems shooting off of the top of each "hill" on the wavy seam. 

Detached chain stitches created leaves along the vine and flower stems.

Note: I use shorter strands of metallic threads than cotton. These threads fray easily, particularly if they are going through several layers of fabric (as found along seams). Using shorter strands decreases the likelihood the thread will fray, knot, and/or break while stitching.

Using red DMC metallic thread, I added sets of 3 detached chain stitches for petals at the tip of each stem and topped each of these flowers with a Mill Hill Petite Glass Seed Bead #42010.

Today, I am excited to say, I finished this block. I hope to get better photographs of it to share tomorrow.

(I have shared more progress photos on Instagram. And you may find links to other posts related to this project here.)

Even more exciting! Today I received my copy of Sharon Boggon's new book: The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results. (Please note, although I am not affiliated with the book, if you go to Amazon through my blog and make a purchase, I do earn a small credit. The cover price on the book is $29.95. At the time of this post, it is only $19.33 on Amazon here in the US and for Amazon Prime members, shipping is free. This book may be found here on Amazon.)

I have not read much of the book yet, but I have looked through all of the photographs. Just seeing all of the luscious colors and textures is inspiring me to work on more crazy quilting. So far, I would recommend the book just for the eye candy.

(Confession: I grinned seeing the template I used for the floral seam shared above on page 70 of Sharon's book.)

When I ordered the book (on the 12th), I was delighted to see it was the #1 New Release in Needlework. At the moment I am typing this post, it is listed on Amazon as the #1 Best Seller in Embroidery. Sharon, if you happen to read this post, congratulations!!! I am so excited for you.

Thank you all for stopping by!