Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in Review

2016 - Looking back...

I want to thank all of you that visit my blog. I hope 2016 has been kind to you! If you are like me, life has thrown a few curve balls your way. Hopefully, you have been able to roll with them as they came. 

For kicks and giggles, I thought it would be fun to share the top viewed posts on my blog. Links are below.

Top 5 Blog Posts - in 2016
5. CQI UTS RR #2 - My Blocks are Home!

Here is a collage of my 2016 finishes. (I realized I forgot to share one with you. I'll add more picks of it in January. I also included a sneak peek of a project that will be shared next year after the Crazy Quilt Quarterly Spring 2017 Magazine is released through Magcloud.)

In 2016, I only participated in one round robin. It began in 2015. Here is a collage of the blocks I embellished for Barbara Nicki Lee, Kathy, Annette, Mary and Sandy

My "UFOs and Other Projects to Complete" page will be updated soon. Here is a look at the list from 2016 and the progress I made (or did not make - depending on the project!) 

Click on any photo for a larger view.

1. Complete this Under the Sea (UTS) purse. Finished July 2016. You may see more photos here.

2. Quilt and bind my Winter/Christmas wall quilt.  I added a few more snowflakes, but did not get very far. The first photo was taken at the beginning of the year and the second shows my progress.

3. Embellish the "E" and assemble a wall quilt with my Heart blocks.  No progress, but it is high on my To Do List!

4. Assemble wall quilt with my snowman/winter themed Crazy Quilt International Snowballs.  No progress. (To be honest, I am tempted to collect a few more...)

5. Have my Heaven and Earth Designs Santa and the Mouse Freebie Ornament framed or make it into a crazy quilted pillow.
Sigh... no. I learned through cross-stitch groups I should give my completed projects a wash in mild soap when they are done. I'm afraid the reds and blues ran a bit into the beard and fluff on Santa's suit, so I've set this aside until I gather the courage to deal with it...
(After typing this, my husband looked at this and insisted it looks amazing. He cannot tell the colors bled at all and wants me to make a small wall quilt with it.)

6. Complete Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) 2014 blocks for November and December. Make purses with blocks from May, November and December. (I already completed January, February, March, April, June, July, August, September and October.)
In 2016, I completed my November block and pieced my December block. Both are pictured below.

7. Complete my block from the Crazy Quilting International Under the Sea Do-Your-Own-Block Round Robin and sew all of the embellished blocks into a wall quilt. You may see more photos of the gorgeous blocks after embellishment here.

Close ups of completed block may be seen here and of the wall quilt may be seen here.

8. Create and embellish 12-inch blocks to make into a lap quilt as part of Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) 2016.

Sigh... Between the 12-inch size (which takes me forever) and making these so they may be washed (no ribbon or beads), I have had a hard time staying motivated. I will continue working on this quilt through 2017. January and February are pictured below.

To make it easier for me to look back on, I am collecting each seam and motif addition on this board on Pinterest.

9. My blocks for my second Crazy Quilting International Under the Sea Do-Your-Own Block Round Robin should return home in March returned home in March. You may see them here. I need to complete my block and sew together 2 wall quilts.
No progress.

10. Make significant progress on this Charting Creations Fractal White Tiger chart based on artwork by Ricky Barnard. This is for my eldest son.

11. Make significant progress on this Heaven and Earth Designs Twilight Duel chart based on artwork by Ruth Thompson. This is for my youngest son.

I completed 3 full pages this year. It was 6.42% complete in January and is 22.21% complete now. 

There is a page set up on my blog to share monthly photo updates. (If a month is missing, no progress was made.)

12. Make significant progress on this Heaven and Earth Designs QS Red Hearts chart based on artwork by Ching-Chou Kuik.

I completed 1 page this year. 2 of 9 pages are now finished.

13. Complete this crazy quilted stocking for my husband before Christmas. Finished in July 2016. You may see more photos here.

In September, I finally joined the modern era and upgraded to a smart phone. Of course, that meant I had to try out Instagram. *Wink*  Sharing my 2016 Best Nine on Instagram was fun. 

Happy New Year!
I am so incredibly blessed with the friendships I have made through the blogging world. Thank you all so much for your kindness and words of encouragement throughout the year.

Hugs to all,

Friday, December 30, 2016

Fractal White Tiger December 2016 Update

Fractal White Tiger was a new start for me on January 1, 2016. My goal was to stitch at least 900 stitches per month. I happily surpassed that goal with 13,914 stitches. 

And I finished page 2 this month!

I absolutely love this artwork by Ricky Barnard and am so happy it was charted by Charting Creations.

This is how it looked last month.

And this was the project on January 1st of this year as part of the Stitchy New Start blog.

Thank you all for cheering me on through my journey with this one! I am definitely moving down to an eye next...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

UFO Challenge 2017 - My List

So... When I learned about the UFO Challenge 2017 at, I knew I had at least 12 UFOs to work on.  I made a list from memory and headed to my sewing area to pull those projects out for a little photo shoot. 

Yikes! I discovered a tote with projects dating back to 2005 (and a couple that may date back further!) So, I made a stack of projects I knew I wanted to finish in 2017. Next, I laid the other projects out and asked my husband and my youngest son to pick out a few more. I suppose I will need to participate again in 2018 to finish the projects that did not make this list!

Each month, a random number will be selected and announced. Participants will find that number on their list and work on that project during that month.

#6 was drawn for January.  

Here is the "Status Before" photo of each UFO on my list:

1. January CQJP 2013 block (you may read more about it here.)

2. CQI Hearts Round Robin LOVE Wall Quilt (you may read more about it here.)

3. Heart Quilt - the pattern is called "Hearts Askew" and is found in the book Hearts Aplenty by Lynda Milligan & Nancy Smith.

4. Pink OSU Messenger Bag (you may see some of my progress here.)

5. May CQJP 2014 Block (you may read more about it here.)

6. November CQJP 2014 Block (you may read more about it here.)

7. December CQJP 2014 Block (it was shared on Instagram.)

8. CQI Winter/Christmas Round Robin Wall Quilt (you may read more about it here.)

9. Heaven and Earth Designs Santa and the Mouse Cross Stitch - Retired (you may read more about it here.)

10. CQ Stocking for my son.

11. CQI Under the Sea Round Robin Set 1 with Colored Blocks (you may read more about these blocks and the blocks for #12 here.)

12. CQI Under the Sea Round Robin Set 2

If you will be participating in the UFO Challenge 2017, please let me know. I would love to cheer you on!

What are your top goals for 2017?

Thank you for stopping by,

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

1 Christmas Item a Month - December 2016

Wow! I do not know about all of you, but Christmas felt like it whipped right by. I do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or a happy holiday season!

Last Friday, a relative went into the hospital for the 2nd time in two months. (They are home again now and doing well.) It was only two days after another relative had surgery (which went really well) and I found myself with too much nervous energy to get to sleep Friday night. So, instead of going to bed at 9:30 p.m., I started making these two little zipper pouches. :)

I thought they would be a fun way to gift a couple of gift cards we had purchased. 

Thanks to this tutorial by the Missouri Star Quilt Company on YouTube and this tutorial on making a wristlet, these were easy and fun to create. (I am not affiliated with either website, but found the information helpful.)

Both gifts were well received. Another last minute gift was one I made back in January. I intended to sell it in my Etsy shop when I made it... (Have you noticed a pattern there? 2017 is a new year, right?! I really will stock the Etsy shop...) 

I embroidered a snowman on the bottom of the tissue-pack. It was made with upcycled denim.

Once again, I want to thank Narelle for hosting the 1 X-mas Item a Month blog. Without that extra push of motivation each month, I would not have had as many handmade gifts to share this year. 

I do plan to participate again next year, if the workshop is open in 2017!

A dear friend of mine from Little Orphan Stitch let me know about another challenge that I have decided to participate with in 2017. If you have 12 or more UFOs, you may be interested! (UFO = UnFinished Object.)

I decided to participate in the 2017 UFO Challenge at You may find the full details here. Projects do not have to be quilts. They may include embroidery, knitting, crochet, scrapbooking, and painting. Participants are to post photos of finishes with the hashtag #APQResolution on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

I told my husband I was making another commitment next year and I could almost hear him groan. (Every now and then he'll tease me by asking, "How many projects do you have going now?!") When I told him I joined a challenge to complete 12 unfinished projects in 2017, I think it left him a little bit stunned. (I am giggling as I type this. He is incredibly supportive!)

Today is also the last day to register for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2017

Tomorrow, I hope to share my list of 12 projects for the 2017 UFO Challenge. 

Friday, I will share my update on the Fractal White Tiger.

Saturday, I will share a review of my 2016 goals and progress.

Wow! 2017 is really close. I wish you all a fantastic week.  Thank you for stopping by!


Monday, December 26, 2016

CQI Under the Sea Round Robin 2015 Quilt Complete!

Kenna's Sea Garden - Under the Sea Crazy Quilt
I am not sure I can adequately express how nervous I was about assembling the blocks from my first CQI Under the Sea Round Robin.

Let me just say, I am so glad I opted to conquer my fears and just get it done.

The 1st block was embellished by Kathy S.

The 2nd block was embellished by Sandra T.

I embellished the 3rd block after my blocks made their way home.

Barbara "Nicki Lee" embellished the 4th block.

The 5th block was embellished by Mary B.

And the 6th block was embellished by Sandy B.

I did add batting to this wall quilt. I stitched in the ditch between the blocks and the blue border. I also added a few small charms (a turtle, an octopus and a sea star) to secure the batting to the back of the quilt along the center seam.

It is difficult to really capture the texture in photographs, but I tried. The photo above is from Nicki Lee's work.

Mary B.'s jelly, coral and clusters of beads and sequins along the ocean floor is loaded with texture.

Sandy B.'s block was also full of texture. 

This wall quilt included my first hanging sleeve. (I cannot believe I let that intimidate me for so long! The tutorial shared by the Missouri Star Quilt Company on YouTube made it easy.)  

This set of blocks was assembled into a wall quilt and given to a sweet relative as a Christmas gift for her beach themed bedroom.  (I did not measure the full size of the quilt. The crazy quilt blocks are 6-inches by 6-inches, so it is not huge.)

The label on the back (not pictured) includes the full names and states of residence for the ladies that embellished these gorgeous blocks. I cannot thank these ladies enough for doing such an amazing job coordinating their work with the blocks the other ladies completed.

For anyone wondering, CQI stands for Crazy Quilting International. The group originated on Yahoo, however most active members now participate through the Facebook Crazy Quilt International group

I am linking this post with the Monday Stitchery Link Party #90 at Super Mom - No Cape!

This link party is open to anyone with a blog and a project with hand embroidery to share. 

Thank you all for stopping by and special thanks to those of you that shared encouragement as I worked on this Under the Sea crazy quilt! -Renee