Saturday, January 31, 2015

1 Xmas Item a Month January 2015 Finish

1 Xmas Item A Month January 2015 Finish

Last year, I discovered the 1 Xmas Item a Month blog 
and had a wonderful time following all of the lovely finishes 
the "elves" created and shared.

This year, I contacted Narelle and asked if I could join in the fun.

In December, I discovered this "Christmas Spirit" fabric by Geoff Allen for Springs Creative Products Group and just fell in love.

I have a couple of 12-inch crazy quilted blocks 
I have wanted to make into pillow covers.  
And, I have always wanted to make a couple of Christmas throw pillows.  
and tried it out with this lovely fabric.

I made a few modifications.
Rather than making a pattern, I used my 15-inch square ruler and rotary cutter to cut a 13-inch by 13-inch square 
(I centered the snowman about 6.5 inches from both sides and the top and bottom.)
and I cut two strips of fabric 13-inches long and 9-inches wide.

A half-inch seam (folded twice to tuck the raw edges away) was stitched along the center 13-inch sides of the smaller pieces of fabric. 

A half-inch seam was stitched all the way around.
I was a bit paranoid (not trusting my sewing skills), so I made sure the pillow form fit before clipping my corners.

I was SEW excited to have a cute little cover for my 12-inch pillow form!

The snowman is happily centered on the front.

And the back turned out perfectly.

Not only did I end up with a cute Christmas throw pillow, 
I discovered a pattern that should work perfectly for 
a project I have been putting off for AGES. 
Who knew it could be SEW easy?!

Thanks for stopping by!

If you are looking for my Grow Your Blog post, you may find it HERE.
If you are looking for my We Support You post, you may find it HERE.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

We Support You Blog Hop Day 2

Last October or November, I decided I wanted to make a crazy quilted purse for a wonderful woman in our lives battling breast cancer, using fabrics from the Riley Blake Designs Think Pink Cottons.

A few days later, Madame Sam at Sew We Quilt announced the "We Support You Blog Hop" to support our sisters battling breast cancer.  This Blog Hop simply required the use of the Apple Heart Designs "We Support You" Friendship Quilt Pattern
to create whatever we desired.
I simply had to participate!

PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to purchase a copy of the pattern for $12.00, 
please email Madame Samm directly at

(Be forewarned, this will be a photo heavy post... 
Click on any photo for a larger image.)

The recipient of this gift is one of the most positive people I know. 
The more challenges life throws her way 
(and trust me, there have been some BIG ones over the past year),
the more determined she is to find the bright side.  

This quilt was created with that positive attitude in mind.
I am so glad she liked it, and I hope it brings comfort as her journey continues.

Those of you that follow my blog know I love embroidery. (Crazy Quilting is my passion.)
I had to add some embroidery to this quilt. (Yep. HAD to. It was a compulsion.)

Top Row

A trim was couched down on the cups of the first bra.

The letters to the word "LOVE" were sneak peeks shared earlier this month.

As were the letters to "HOPE".

For the second bra, I embroidered the "lace" trim along the top of the cups.

Middle Row
The center bra was hand appliqued and embroidered onto a 18-inch square. 

Who would have guessed that I spent about 8 hours carefully couching this lace on 
so it would not easily snag when laundered? (Each side took about 4 hours.)
My hubby kept checking in on me to tell me both how insane I was
and how cool the block was looking.

The column of words to the left of the bra says:

I am

The column of words to the right of the bra says:

I will

These words were all stem-stitched using a variegated blue DMC size 5 perle cotton, as seen in the close-up below:

Bottom Row
The "lace" trim on the bra to the left was also embroidered, as seen in the close-up below.

The words, flowers and butterflies in the "FAITH" block were also sneak peeks. Here is one of the butterflies:

A velvet ribbon was couched onto the bra to the left using small ecru cross-stitches.
(It is SEW soft!)

And the words, "WE SUPPORT YOU" (which came with the pattern) were embroidered onto blocks along the bottom border. Here is a close-up:

No quilt is complete without a label.

This quilt is full of imperfections.  

Rather than pointing out the flaws, I choose to celebrate all that I learned.
I gained experience with machine quilting and began to learn hand quilting.
This was the best job I have done to date with binding.
And, I think I mastered the stem stitch. (Practice makes perfect?!)

Well over 150 hours of love went into this project.
My husband thinks it is the coolest thing I ever made.
Every time I shared my progress with my family, my 15-year-old son got a kick out of asking (with much exaggeration) why I kept making him look at bras.

I hoped to complete the small purse and coin purse I originally set out to make, before committing to the We Support You Blog Hop. 

The purse is almost complete.
(My seam ripper and I need to schedule a date first. We might become BFF's.)

However, the coin purse is complete!

This is the back.

(I purchased the heart frames and silk ribbons from Thearica at crazyquilting
The shop is transitioning to a new server, but should be up soon.)

Here is a peek inside.

Once again, I would like to thank you, Madame Samm, for suggesting such a wonderful Blog Hop idea and for providing all of the participants with your pattern.

Pat at Life in the Scrapatch has been such a wonderful, wonderful cheerleader.
Not only did she answer my questions, but she provided encouragement and support along the way.

I am sending hugs and well wishes to all of you out there battling cancer and to the wonderful people in your life SUPPORTing you along the way.

Ladies, if you have not scheduled your mammogram and are due for one,
I hope you will join me in scheduling yours soon!

I do so hope you will hop on over to visit the other ladies presenting today.
I cannot wait to see what wonderful crafts they created!

We Support You Blog Hop Day 2 Schedule:

Jan 30th 

Living My Dream (You are here)

We Support You Blog Hop Day 1

The We Support You Blog Hop at Sew We Quilt begins today!

For this blog hop, we were allowed to create anything using the Apple Heart Designs "We Support You" Friendship Quilt Pattern Madame Samm so generously provided to each participant.

Pat, from Life in the Scrapatch, has been our amazing cheerleader on this adventure.

I encourage you to visit these blogs to see the variety of ways this pattern was used to support women battling breast cancer.

Jan 29th 

If you stopped by for the Grow Your Blog Party, you may find that post HERE.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Grow Your Blog Party!

Special thanks to Vicki at 2 Bags Full for throwing this wonderful blogging bash.
Over 400 blogs are participating today. WOW!
Thank you for all of the work you do behind the scenes, Vicki!

Thank you for visiting! (You may click on any photo for a larger image.)

About Me

My name is Renee. I am 43-years-old and live relatively close to Portland, Oregon.
My best friend is my wonderful hubby of 20+ years.  I am so blessed to have him in my life.
Our lives revolve around our 2 boys.
My nearly 18-year-old is nicknamed Monkey.  (I am still coming to terms with the knowledge he will be graduating and off to college this year.)
My 15-year-old is nicknamed Mutt, but only on this blog.  (It was his choice of a nickname, but it never really took.)

My Hobbies and Favorite Things

Crazy quilting is my passion.
Quilting that includes embroidery and expects wonky corners?! That fits me perfectly!
I really enjoy cross-stitching and embroidery in general.  
And, I am striving to improve my sewing skills (check back on January 30th to see...)
I love hearts, flowers, butterflies, birds, trees, landscapes and embroidered spiders.
My favorite color varies daily. I love pinks, blues, yellows, greens, browns, jewel tones...

New Things I Tried in 2014

This is the purse I have been using for almost a year now.  It is one of a couple of crazy quilted purses I made from my own designs last year.
There are areas I would improve in the future, but it was a great learning experience
and I think each purse turned out cute!

I made my first county fair entries and was pleasantly surprised
to learn they both won blue ribbons!
I hope to make these entries an annual tradition.

I finally gathered my courage and attempted using a sew-in purse frame.
(I love making these now!)

I also made my first crazy quilted postcard, my first pin cushions and my first mug rugs.
Pictures and links to the posts are on my 2014 Finishes page.

I even joined my first Linky Party for a Halloween Ornament Exchange
organized by Kim at Wisdom with Needle and Thread.
If she hosts another this year, I will be joining the fun again!

New Things I Plan to Do in 2015

Reminder: You may click any photo for a larger image.

This year, I will participate in my first quilting blog hop.  
When Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt announced the We Support You Blog Hop to support our sisters battling breast cancer, I simply had to sign up.  The hop begins on January 29th and I will reveal my project on January 30th.  It has been in the works since the day after Thanksgiving and I am very pleased with how the project is turning out. I fear I may be hooked. I signed up for 2 more blog hops at Sew We Quilt!

This year, I plan to make enough items to stock my Etsy store. I opened Hand Stitched Treasure last year with one little item that expired in December.  This year, I plan to make the shop a bigger priority.  This under-the-sea themed embroidery piece is part of the project I am currently creating.

Although I finished NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) once, I was not happy with what I wrote.  This year, I would like my hubby's Christmas gifts to include a rough draft of my first novel.

In 2013, I participated in a Winter/Christmas Do Your Block Round Robin through Crazy Quilting International.
Last year, I began making a wall quilt with the blocks
and I plan to finish it this year.
The ladies that embellished these blocks for me did such
a lovely job! (I stitched their names in beneath
the blocks they embellished.)

If time allows, I will also begin putting my
Heart Do Your Block Round Robin blocks together.
First, I need to embellish the E.
More beautiful work by more amazing ladies.
I feel quite blessed.

Over the past couple of years, I swapped crazy quilted "snowballs" with members of Crazy Quilting International.  This year, I plan to make a wall quilt with my fabulous winter/snowman collection.
I plan to swap more snowballs to begin a Halloween collection.

Thanks to other bloggers that participated in the 2014 Grow Your Blog Party, I discovered Heaven and Earth Designs. I fell in love with
the freebie chart of Santa and the Mouse.
I plan to finish this little ornament this year so I can start on another fabulous chart I purchased from HAED.

I also need to finish up the 8 remaining blocks from the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2013 (CQJP 2013).  And, I have 5 more blocks to make to complete my CQJP 2014 projects.

I plan to add more finishes to the "My Crazy Quilt/Embroidery Projects" board I created on Pinterest.

In addition to all of that, I want to train to walk a half marathon this year.
And, I need to compile a cookbook to make family get-togethers a bit easier.
(I am a bit of a nightmare as a dinner guest. Not being able to eat gluten, corn, rice, eggs, yeast, dairy, shellfish, some nuts, pineapple, mushrooms and a slew of other foods makes meal planning a bit tricky for some reason...)

Most importantly, I look forward to making more wonderful friends
here in the world of blogging!

Thank you so much for visiting. Your comments brighten my day!

UPDATED: I would like to thank Susan for letting me know some of you are having problems with the comment section of my blog. Please feel free to contact me directly HERE.
Thank you!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Just Look at these Beautiful Birds!

Look what arrived in the mail today!!!  I am SO excited.  I love, love, love these beautiful fabrics.

I cannot tell you how many times I visited the entire Beautiful Birds Fabric Collection at Elizabeth's Studio. I fell in love with these Tracy Lizotte designs.

I found the prints I was looking for through the Carolina Cotton Company on Etsy. However, Pat at Life in the Scrapatch popped me an email to let me know they also have a website HERE that includes a 20% off coupon for first time buyers. Bonus!

Oh, the plans I have for these pretty fabrics!

The Tree Bird Blog Hop at Sew We Quilt is going to be sew, sew much fun!  (Any bird fabric may be used for the hop.)  Thank you, Madame Samm for bringing these gorgeous fabrics to my attention! Lana at It Seams to be Sew will be our fearless cheerleader.  Fun times!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Under the Sea Project for my Etsy Shop

Under the Sea Front Panel for Sew In Frame Purse
Last September, I created this panel to make a purse with a sew-in-frame for my Hand Stitched Treasure Etsy Shop (I provided a link, but there is nothing listed in the shop at the time of this posting. The one item I had listed expired...)  I planned to complete the panel for the back and finish the purse before sharing pictures.  However, I felt like sharing some fun embroidery today.

Click on any photo for a larger image.

Colored and Embroidered Seahorse..
My little seahorse had to grow on me.  I was not sure I liked it as much as I liked the needle painted (short and long stitched) one I put on my Under the Sea Purse last year.  So, I shared a picture of it with my dear friend from Little Orphan Stitch and her enthusiasm put my fears to rest. Here is a picture of the first seahorse, so you can decide for yourself. (This was my first completed motif using the short and long stitch. I know... I need more practice.)

Seahorse Embroidered with Short and Long Stitches

Here is a picture of the colored and embroidered seahorse from a bit of an angle.

Colored and Embroidered Seahorse - photographed at an angle.
Yep.  I grew to like this little sea creature.

Treasure Chest Close Up for Under the Sea Purse
This was my very first treasure chest.  Considering I drew it myself, I was quite pleased.  I later included one in the snowball (pictured below) that I made to swap with Nicki Lee.

Under the Sea Themed Crazy Quilted "Snowball" for Nicki Lee.
The back panel for this purse will have a mermaid.  The idea of stitching the hair and the tail intimidated me, so I set it aside.  However, the lovely way the mermaid turned out on the snowball I made for Nicki Lee was such a delightful surprise that I find myself looking forward to finding making the time to finish this purse.  (Confession: I find it SO much easier to make things for other people...)

Thank you so much for stopping by!