Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CQJP 2017 February Block Tote

The February block for my Crazy Quilt Journal Project is 
completely embellished and sewn into a pocket on a tote bag.

(This is a photo heavy post. 
You may click on any photo for a larger view.)

The set was donated to an auction to raise funds for engineering scholarships. There are over 34 hours of embroidery and beading in this block. The octopus was created with the use of a Stitcher's Revolution Sailor's Delight Iron-on Transfer. 

I have a confession. The tote bag took about 4 hours longer than anticipated to assemble. (Tip: If using polyester straps, take extra care when ironing your nearly completed tote bag. You might be a little quicker ripping out all of the seams to replace the partially melted straps and sew everything back together than I was, but I would love to save you the trouble!) 

Seam 1:

A buttonhole stitch created with 3 strands of DMC #4050 floss embellished the first seam.

After all of the embroidery was completed, I added Mill Hill Petite Glass Beads #42027 to the seam with a strand of DMC #225 floss. 

Note: When adding beads, I secure each bead to the block. On a piece that will be functional, this is particularly important. If one bead is snagged and pulled off, the other beads will still be attached to the block.

Seam 2:

For the 2nd seam, I back stitched across the seam with size 5 DMC #796 perle cotton. Then I added fly stitches between each of the backstitches.

Seam 3:

A wavy line of fish embellished the 3rd seam. Using 2 strands of DMC #67, each fish was made with a detached chain stitch for the body and 2 straight stitches for the tail. I began by tracing a line on the back foundation fabric and then added the fish.

Motif 3:
The net was added next using a strand of DMC Ecru floss to make small straight stitches for the cloud filling stitch. Then, I wove Watercolours by Caron #000 Natural floss through those foundation stitches. I found this thread to be too thick to pull through the block (even using a large needle). So, I knotted the ends and left them on the top of the block, outside of the seam lines. 

When the block was sewn to the pocket lining fabric, the stitching held the floss more firmly in place. And when the pocket was stitched onto the block, another seam held the thread in place (as seen in the photo above), so it should be quite secure. 

Motif 4:
For the 4th motif, I traced several of the vine-like shapes from Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates Sets 1 and 2. (I received the templates in return for an honest review, but am not affiliated with them. I do enjoy working with them!) 

Using size 8 DMC #125 perle cotton, I followed the traced lines with a whipped chain stitch. Flowers were added to the vines with sets of 3 detached chain stitches and a small straight stitch using size 8 DMC #48 perle cotton.

Motif 5:

The 5th motif was also created with Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates. This time, I used size 5 DMC #4045 and the barred chain stitch to create the vines. Flower sequins held into place with size 10/0 Beaders Paradise Rose seed beads completed the motif.

Motif 6:
Feather stitched sea vegetation was added with a strand of size 5 DMC #4125 perle cotton.

Motif 7:
French knots created coral with 3 strands of DMC #52 floss.

Motif 8: 
Sea stars were added next. 

The one on the far left was created with a whipped wheel stitch using a strand of DMC #437 blended with a strand of DMC #3772 floss. 

The bullion stitched sea star near the anchor was made with 2 strands of DMC #4120 floss.

The one beneath that was made with a strand of DMC 3778 blended with a strand of DMC 3779 floss.

The whipped wheel stitched sea star to the left of the net was made with 2 strands of DMC #4130.

To help tack the net down and protect it from snagging in the future, I put a sea star on it. This one was created with 2 strands of DMC #48 and 5 bullion knots. 

Motif 9:
While adding the sea stars, I was careful to leave space for the anchor. (Adding the anchor first would have made it more difficult to work the bullion knots and the whipped wheels.) 

The anchor pendant was attached with clear quilting thread.

Next, size 5 DMC #5283 silver metallic thread was couched down to create a rope/wire holding the anchor. 

Motif 10:
Three small jellies were added with a strand of DMC white floss.

Split stitches were used to create the body outlines and satin stitches filled the body in. Tentacles were created by couching a strand of white floss down with tiny straight stitches.

Motif 11:

Random fish were added to fill in the remainder of the block using 2 strands of DMC #90 floss.

Motif 1 completed:
Three seed beads were then added to complete the seahorse motif.

Thank you so much for stopping by and making it through this fairly long post!

Additional Notes:
The Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) is a personal challenge to complete a crazy quilt block each month that measures at least 8- by 8-inches. You may read more about CQJP 2017 here and see blocks others have created here.

Posts related to this block and my CQJP 2017:
CQJP 2017 February Motif 2: Octopus - here

CQJP 2017 February Motif 1: Seahorse - here
CQJP 2017 January Block - here

Every step of my CQJP 2017 progress is shared on this Pinterest board.

I sometimes add sneak peeks of my work on my Instagram account and my Hand Stitched Treasure Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

CQJP 2017 February Block Motif 2

Well... in my mind, I thought it took me roughly 12 hours to finish the first octopus I embroidered using the octopus design from Aunt Martha's Stitcher's Revolution Sailor's Delight Iron-on Transfers. However, my blog post guesstimated about 10 hours. I decided to time this one...

Please note: this is a photo heavy post. 

I used DMC 3354, 3689, white and black flosses and Mill Hill Petite Glass Beads #42018 to embroider this piece. Stitches used included: split stitch, satin stitch, and the long and short stitch.

Wow. 12 hours and 55 minutes to finish this octopus! 
(I am not very fast - especially with the long and short stitch.)

This is the second motif on my Crazy Quilt Journal 2017 (CQJP 2017) February block. I did not time how long it took to create the seahorse, but I think it was roughly 5 hours. So there are roughly 18 hours of embroidery in this piece so far.

The Crazy Quilt Journal Project is a personal challenge to create a crazy quilt block each month that measures at least 8-inches square. (Obviously, I am running behind schedule.) You may learn more about the CQJP 2017 here and see blocks participants have completed here.

Other posts related to this block include:
February Block Motif 1 - here
CQJP 2017 January Block - here

Every step of my CQJP 2017 project is recorded on this Pinterest board.

Sneak peeks of my work are sometimes shared on Instagram - here and on my Hand Stitched Treasure Facebook Page - here.

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 2017

Well... I accomplished a lot in March. However, not a lot of that was crafty. It was a month of celebrations, jazz concerts and plays. I even managed to get hours of cleaning, organizing and decluttering in, as I had hoped - if only that had been in my home as planned! My relative was very appreciative of the help, so it is all good. :)

My April calendar is already pretty full. However, I am hoping to carve out a bit more crafty time.

Review of March Goals:

1. Complete item #12 on my list for the UFO Challenge 2017.  DONE! 
Thankfully, I tried to finish this project early!  This photo is from the beginning of the month. You may see the post sharing the embellished block here and the completed project here.

2. Embellish CQJP 2017 February block. I made some progress. It was bare at the beginning of the month.

3. Embellish CQJP 2017 March block (pictured below with my April goals.)

4. Add 4 items to my Etsy Shop.

5. Finish Gifts for my friend's daughter.  

Making any progress this month was a huge accomplishment! I am not done, but getting close.

6. If time allows, make progress on my March CQJP 2016 block. No progress this month.

April Goals:

1. Add 4 items to my currently empty Etsy shop. (It should finally happen this month!)

2. Embellish CQJP 2017 February block and make a tote bag with it for an auction donation.

3. Embellish CQJP 2017 March block.

4. Piece and embellish CQJP 2017 April block.

5. Complete item #11 on my UFO Challenge 2017 list. You may see all of the blocks here.

6. Finish gifts for my friend's daughter.

8. Spend a minimum of 10 minutes a day adding snowflakes to my Winter/Christmas Wall Quilt. (I loved this idea shared by Queeniepatch of Queenie's Needlework in her interview on

Top 5 Viewed Posts in March:

1. TAST 76 - here (Now the 7th most viewed post of all time.)
2. CQJP 2017 February Block Motif 1 - here (Now the 10th most viewed post of all time.)
3. CQI UTS RR #2 My Block Completed! - here
4. March 2017 - here
5. QS Red Hearts Update - March 2017 - here

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, March 31, 2017

"Ocean Frolics" Wall Quilt

"Ocean Frolics" Under the Sea Themed Crazy Quilted Wall Quilt

This was such a fun project to finish up! Using 3 of 6 blocks from a Crazy Quilting International Under the Sea Round Robin I participated from August of 2015 through March of 2016, I created this wall quilt. "Ocean Frolics" sounded like a fitting title!

Confession time... If I had not signed up for the UFO Challenge 2017 through, these blocks would still be safely tucked away. #12 was drawn as the project to work on in March, so I needed to embellish the bare block below and create a wall quilt.

When piecing my blocks, I made a mistake that could have caused some serious issues. On the back of the block Annette embellished, I marked the 6 x 6-inch square about a quarter-inch too high for the water/skyline to match with the other blocks. 

Luckily, Annette left space between the seam allowance and the beads and charms she added. I was able to place that block lower and cut the blocks slightly larger than 6-inches in height. 

With the change in the way I cut the blocks, I had a raw edge of fabric exposed along the bottom of the block, so I added the small shell bead in the lower-left corner to Mary's block to hide it.

This piece provided me with my first opportunity to whip stitch the blocks together. I feared the beads and charms would interfere with the foot on my sewing machine. It was a fun challenge and turned out surprisingly well.

I stitched over the seams between the blocks by adding more sea vegetation.

My first attempt at printing a label on my computer by ironing the wrong side of the fabric to the waxy side of freezer paper and cutting it to 8.5" x 11" had a bit of a hiccup. The top of the fabric pulled from the paper as it printed. Because it made the print wavy on an ocean themed place and because my husband declared we were keeping this wall quilt to hang in our home, I decided to use the label anyway. I included the name and dates of the round robin and the names and locations of each of the ladies that embellished blocks within the quilt.

I cannot thank Annette and Mary enough for their beautiful work.

For April, #11 was drawn as the project to work on, so I will be assembling a wall quilt with the other 3 blocks from this round robin. I can barely wait! I am not too happy with my machine binding attempts, so I plan to hand bind the next one.

Thank you all so much for stopping by! 

Related posts:
Bare blocks sent out - here
My work on Annette's block - here
My work on Mary's block - here
Blocks returned home - here
Block I embellished - here
UFO Challenge 2017 List - here