Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fractal White Tiger July 2016 Update

My camera is taking somewhat grainy photos today, so I apologize for the photo. (The lighting this late in the day could be a factor, too.)

This month, I added 1,145 stitches to my Charting Creations Fractal White Tiger cross stitch based on artwork by Ricky Barnard. 

I finally passed the 10,000 stitches mark and the project is 5.95% complete.

This photo shows how it looked last month.

I did not have much time for crafting this month, but I did manage to surpass my goal of 900 stitches a month.

I began this project on January 1st as a part of A Stitchy New Start. I do hope you will visit to see what everyone else is working on!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

1 X-mas Item a Month - July 2016

Yay! I finally finished a couple of projects to share with the 1 X-mas Item a Month blog

In May, I shared the embellished front to this stocking. Today, I carved out enough time to stitch it all together.

I completed the cross-stitched center over a decade ago and tried to make a wall quilt for my husband. (The pattern was in the book Alma Lynn's Country Cross-Stitch.) 

The wall quilt did not turn out well, so I set it aside. Last year, I pulled it out of my pile of UFOs (unfinished objects) and decided it would be fun to use in a crazy quilted stocking for my husband. I am happy to say that he loves it!

Some time ago, my husband mentioned he wanted a new pillowcase, so I found these fun beer prints. Unfortunately, I did not think about the print and grain running in the wrong direction...

This was my first time making a pillowcase using the "roll up" or "burrito" method.

I followed the tutorial I found at The Seasoned Homemaker. I also watched this YouTube video by The Crafty Gemini to make sure I understood the method first.

His pillow fits in it perfectly and I think he'll like it - even if the beer is all sideways.

The body fabric is Cheers by Martin Irish. The cuff fabric is by Hi-Fashion Fabrics, Inc. - Pattern HJG-C3867. (I wanted to share links, but could only find the Cheers print with a black background and could not find the cuff fabric on-line.)

Are you working on any handmade Christmas gifts?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Row by Row Experience 2016 - 4 Shops Visited

I am afraid it did not take me long to spend the money I stashed away during the Piggy Bank Savings. If you remember, I planned to split the money I saved with my husband. However, he insisted I should keep it and use the full amount on my Row by Row shopping. Don't tell anyone, but I think he likes me. ;) 

If you are interested, sign-ups for the 4th Annual Piggy Bank Savings = Money for Quilting Challenge are open until August 1st at Val's Quilting Studio.

Last year I found myself intrigued by blog posts and Facebook posts about the Row by Row Experience. Although this annual event began in 2011, last year was the first time I heard about it. (As I am not a big quilter, this is not shocking.)

This year, I decided to collect a few rows and give it a try. My first stop was at Sewn Loverly in Wilsonville, Oregon. I picked up the kit for their row. And, I fell in love with the license plates, so I had to get one. 

While I was there, I picked up some buttons. (I see the white buttons and think, "Snowmen!") I already used one of the ladybugs on my CQJP 2016 February block. I also splurged on 3 fat quarters.

I have also visited A Common Thread in Tigard, Oregon. They had 2 kits and I could not decide between the village scene and the stack of cups. So... I bought both. These are both panels to be colored in. They had fabric marker sets on sale, too. However, I will be ironing wax paper on the back of mine and coloring them in with crayons - a technique I learned through this tutorial. The shop did recommend spraying the fabric with water and ironing it before coloring and sewing it into the quilt top.

Again, I had to get the license plate. I also fell in love with two of the Row by Row fabrics - one with license plates and one that reads Home Sweet Home. I bought a fat quarter of each and a half yard of a twiggy looking fabric that I look forward to using in a crazy quilt block.

On Saturday, my husband took me to 2 quilt shops. First, we stopped at Quilting Delights in Happy Valley, Oregon. I only planned to pick up the pattern, but their kit was laser cut and I just could not resist! (It even includes two heart-shaped buttons for the doorknobs. Too cute!)

I could not resist their license plate, either. (I'm weak, what can I say... They are so cute.)

Next we stopped at Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe & Mercantile in West Linn, Oregon. I absolutely love their row and really wanted to buy the kit. However, I am hoping to make a quilt for our home and my husband is not a big fan of pastel colors. So, I am toying with a few ideas for this one. Do you see those tiny little hexies? One of the quilts hanging between the campers is made with them. The fabric I purchased (beneath the hexies and the pattern) has an iron-on adhesive to stabilize the appliqued pieces.

I love this license plate, too. And, if you know me at all, you know I love snowmen. I could not pass up a fat quarter of this darling snowman print.

I would love to know if you are collecting Row by Row patterns. If so, which shop has your favorite row? 

(Please note: I am not affiliated with any of the shops mentioned in this post.)

Friday, July 15, 2016

CQJP 2016 February Block Finished with Motifs 7, 8 & 9

Living My Dream: CQJP 2016 February Block
Well... it is mid-July and I finally finished my CQJP 2016 February block. Better late than never, right?

I love many of the details, but do regret having the 2 hearts tilted in the same direction on this block. I think this one is a good argument for planning rather than winging it as I went.

Here is a picture of the bare 12 x 12-inch block.

I do love the way embroidery dresses things up!

Motif 7 was a fun one to create. I used the curve that looks like half a heart on one of Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates from Set 1 to trace the heart on the fabric.

Using size 12 black pearl cotton and a running stitch, I created the heart. I added a few extra stitches curving into the heart to make a little trail for this ladybug button I purchased at Sewn Loverly in Wilsonville, Oregon. 

I love the way it turned out!

(Please note: I am not affiliated with the templates, Pintangle or Sewn Loverly.)

Motif 8 used a different template from Sharon B.'s Set 1. I traced the medium sized tear shape (pictured in the upper-left part of this template) for the upper wings and the smaller tear shape for the bottom wings to make a butterfly.

Using size 8 red pearl cotton, I split stitched around the wings, and then filled them with long and short stitches.

Size 12 black pearl cotton and split stitches created the body. Two straight stitches topped with colonial knots made the antennae. Size 12 white pearl cotton and a running stitch created a flight path.

For Motif 9, size 8 red pearl cotton and 4 detached chain stitches created the butterfly. Size 12 white pearl cotton running stitches were used for this flight path, too.

Here are the January and February blocks together.

Now, to start on my March block...  

Thanks so much for stopping by!

CQJP 2016 is a personal stitching challenge to complete a block a month. You may learn more about it here. If you are interested in joining next year, sign ups for CQJP generally open up in November and close in December.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Under the Sea Hand Bag Completed!

Yay! I finally completed a 2016 goal shared on my UFOs and Other Projects to Complete Page! 

(Note: If you visit the link above in 2017 or later, the list will have changed.)

Some of you may remember way back in January of 2015, I planned to turn this piece of embroidery into a purse to sell in my Etsy shop(You may have also noted by my empty shop that I am not quite comfortable selling what I make. That may need to change soon...)

You may also remember when I received this gorgeous needle painted amaryllis from my friend at Little Orphan Stitch

(You may see more details about it here.)

In the back of my mind, I believe my dear friend asked me to let her know when I finished this hand bag. So, I thought it would be fun to surprise her with it instead.

It is not perfect, but I do hope she likes it!

It was fun to create!

Now that she has received it, I may share it with you all.

I would love to hear what you are working on at the moment.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

TAST 2016 Stitch 39

TAST 39: Coral Stitch

I have fallen behind with my TAST stitches. This week, I managed to make two flower stems with the coral stitch.

I traced a half-heart shape from Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates Set 1 onto the muslin backing on this piece and used it as a guide to stitch this stem using size 12 green pearl cotton and coral stitch worked from the top to the bottom. Next, I added detached chain stitched leaves. 

Adding buttons always feels outside of my comfort zone. I have had this one for some time. I am not sure how I feel about it with this flower stem, but it was fun to try none-the-less!

The stem on this flower motif added to my Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) 2016 February block was also created with a coral stitch. This one was made with size 8 green pearl cotton and was worked from the bottom to the top.

As explained in this CQJP post, this flower was also created with Sharon B.'s templates. (I am not affiliated with the templates, but do love my sets!)

Please note: TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday. It is a personal stitching challenge offered by Sharon B. on Facebook and on her blog, 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. (I believe this TAST logo was created by the talented Annet at Fat-Quarter.)

CQJP 2016 is a personal stitching challenge to complete a block a month. You may learn more about it here. If you are interested in joining next year, sign ups for CQJP generally open up in November and close in December.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Twilight Duel Update #11 July 2016

It is the 2nd Monday in July, so it is time for an update on my Heaven and Earth Designs Twilight Duel cross stitch, based upon artwork by Ruth Thompson.  

This photo shows how it looked in my June update.

Since I started the project on August 30, 2015, I am trying to remember to take a photo of my progress as of the 30th of each month. This is how it looked on June 30th.

I am trying to fill in the blanks I left when I skipped to page 4 for a challenge on the New Official Heaven and Earth Designs Facebook Group. 

I almost finished page 2. It will be done next month and I will be stitching the page to its right (page 8) for the next challenge - a "parking" challenge - thus the threads parked and waiting.

Here is an update on the statistics:

Percent complete:
Project: 16.25%           (It was 14.26%)
Page 1: 100% - Done!
Page 2: 95.73%           (It was 58.84%)
Page 3: 13.52%           (It was 11.4%)
Page 4: 100% - Done! 
Page 5: 1.83%             (Same)
Page 7: 2.7%               (Same)
Page 10: 0.25%           (Same)

I am linking up with Stitchery Link Party #66 at Super Mom - No Cape! I encourage you to visit to see the free embroidery pattern and to discover what other bloggers have been working on this week. 

Thanks for stopping by! -Renee

Sunday, July 10, 2016

CQJP 2016 February Block Motifs 5 & 6

Well... it is now July, and I am almost done with my CQJP 2016 February block. 

For Motif 5, I used a strand of white floss to tack down this lovely white lace motif. 

(I am not affiliated with the shop, but I purchased it from

And I was incredibly excited this week when Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates Set 1 arrived! (I am not affiliated with the shop, but do love the templates!)

I used 3 of the 4 templates to create Motif #6 on my CQJP 2016 February block. 

I traced the stem from the center template, the petals from the top template, and the leaves from the bottom template.

I used a coral stitch and a strand of size 8 green pearl cotton on the stem.  

Using the same green thread and fly stitches, I added the leaves. 

The petals were created with a satin stitch and a strand of size 8 red pearl cotton. (Do not look too closely. I traced one petal a bit too far out and my satin stitching needed some practice!) I added a button to fill in the center of the flower.

I will have more to share (and hopefully a block finish) later this week.

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

HAED SK Effects of Caffeine Days 7 & 8 Update

Life here has been very busy these days. I missed a couple of updates with my Heaven and Earth Designs SK Effects of Caffeine (based on artwork by Randal Spangler.) 

I took this travel project along to a couple of appointments and managed to work on it about an hour and a half.

This is how it looked in my last update. I finished the upper-right corner of the book. I cannot wait to get to finish the green gem in the center.

As of May 1st the project was 4.81% complete.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Piggy Bank Savings Challenge

Last July I decided to join the Piggy Bank Savings = Money for Quilting Challenge hosted by Val at Val's Quilting Studio.

Between August 1, 2015 and July 6th, 2016 I managed to save $88.48. It is more than I would have saved without the challenge. It would have been more if I had not fallen out of my cash only habit for a few months. 

My hubby and I decided to split the amount we saved. I think my half is going to be invested in a few kits for the Row by Row Experience 2016. (My husband even volunteered to visit some quilt shops with me - without me asking. That's love there!)

Thank you for hosting the challenge Val!

Monday, July 4, 2016

HAED QS Red Hearts Update - July 2016

Can you believe it is the first Monday in July?! The year is half over.

I want to wish those of you in the USA a wonderful and safe 4th of July. And, I hope my Canadian friends enjoyed their Canada Day.

The first photo shows how my progress looked in June on my Heaven and Earth Designs QS Red Hearts chart based on artwork by Ching-Chou Kuik.

In the past month, I added over 1,500 stitches. And, I have a page finish! 

(Confession: I may have stayed up a little too late last night to finish page 2 because it was soooo close.)

This is 64 days of actual stitching time.

The full project is now 37.15% complete. Page 3 is a partial, and as you can see, a fair amount of it has already been stitched.

Page 1 - 100% complete!
Page 2 - 100% complete!
Page 3 - 31.96% complete
Page 4 - 13.64% complete
Page 5 - 2.17% complete

(Please excuse the small spot at the bottom of the photo - I used a damp cloth to wipe away a small smudge on the fabric.)
I am linking up with the Monday Stitchery Link Party #65 at Super Mom - No Cape! I love the Independence Day embroidery pattern being shared today. I do hope you'll stop and see some of the other fun projects that have been linked up!