Tuesday, February 28, 2017

TAST 43 & 44

TAST Stitch 43: Buttonhole Wheel Cup

I enjoyed creating the Buttonhole Wheel Cup this week. 

It was worked with DMC size 5 pearl cotton #4040.

The texture is so much fun!

TAST Stitch 44: Crossed Feather Stitch

I worked the Crossed Feather Stitch twice.

First, I used blue Finca size 8 pearl cotton with DMC size 8 #605 pearl cotton.

Then, I used just the DMC #605. 

I plan to work the Plaited Feather Stitch to share next week.

TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday, a personal challenge to learn a new embroidery stitch each week (or one a month - you may go at your own pace.) TAST is offered by Sharon B. at Pintangle.com and you may learn more about it and find the stitches that have been introduced so far here. There is a TAST Facebook group here.

In celebration of TAST's 10th year, Sharon B. is sharing a series of interviews with TAST participants. The most recent interview was with Angela of Princess Bubbles Creates. I love seeing how Angela incorporates the TAST stitches into her work! You may read the interview here and find Angela's blog here.

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Completed CQJP 2017 January Block

CQJP 2017 January Block

My January block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) 2017 is finally finished! Wow is it PINK!?!

You may remember, I planned to add more to Seam 1 and to add silk ribbon leaves to Seam 12. 

For Seam 1, 3 straight stitches were added with size 12 DMC #699 perle cotton and cross-stitches were added with size 8 DMC #605 perle cotton.

For Seam 12, River Silks #43 silk ribbon was used to make ribbon stitched leaves that I tacked down with a strand of DMC #704 floss.

Motif 4 is a Bliss Beads Sterling Silver Plated Love Charm attached with clear quilting thread.

Motif 5 was a fun one. (It has been too long since I played with silk ribbon embroidery!)
Using a strand of DMC 818 floss, I created 3 sets of 5 spokes. River Silks #18 silk ribbon was woven between the spokes to make spiderweb silk ribbon roses. Next, River Silks #65 silk ribbon was used to create ribbon stitched leaves that were tacked in place with a strand of DMC #369 floss. Little feather stitches with a strand of size 8 DMC #954 perle cotton filled in the motif. And I added a few size 10/0 hot pink seed beads with a strand of DMC #604 floss.

Motif 6 was a simple butterfly created with size 12 DMC #B5200 perle cotton. 

The wings are 4 detached chain stitches, the body is a straight stitch and the antennae are 2 pistil stitches. A running stitch created the flight path.

Motif 7 is a bullion stitched rose. First, I attached 3 clear pink size 10/0 Czech beads in the center with a strand of DMC #818 floss. Next, I added bullion knots in a circular motion, with each round being larger than the last, using size 8 Anchor #01201 variegated pink perle cotton. 4 leaves were added using fly stitches made with size 8 DMC #954 perle cotton floss. 

I loved being able to plan this block in my bullet journal and being able to record how I created each seam and motif. (Note: I did not create each seam and motif in the same order they were numbered in my bullet journal, so on the next page, I kept records correlating to the numbers assigned to each step here on my blog.)

Not every addition matched the original plan, but the plan was definitely helpful!

CQJP stands for Crazy Quilt Journal Project. It is a personal challenge to create a crazy quilt block each month in 2017 that measures at least 8x8-inches. You may learn more about the rules here and see the blocks that have been completed this year here

Other posts related to this block include:

Every step of my CQJP 2017 project is being saved to this board on Pinterest.

Sneak peeks of my projects are sometimes shared on my Instagram account, here, and on my Facebook page, here.

This post is linked to the Monday Stitchery Link Party #98 at Super Mom - No Cape. If you do hand embroidery of any form and have a blog, I encourage you to join the fun!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

CQJP 2017 January Block Motifs 1 - 3

The 1st motif completed on my January Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) block was the central heart applique. 

This seam was inspired by a heart my friend, Cathy, created in Crazy Quilting International round robin in 2009.

First, I made a lattice grid (as described in the first part of this tutorial) with a strand of size 5 DMC #B5200 perle cotton. Tiny cross stitches made with a strand of EdMar Glory #083 rayon floss couched down the intersecting sections of the grid. 

I wanted to cover the raw edges of the applique, so white pearl beads were then stitched around the heart. I sewed and secured each bead individually. To help keep the beads lined up, after stitching the 3rd bead, I brought the thread up behind the first bead and threaded it through all 3 beads and secured the thread behind the fabric. I added 2 more beads individually and then secured the next set of 3 and repeated the process.

The beaded shell chain stitch framed this central area. The seams were worked using small strips of waste canvas, size 5 DMC #B5200 perle cotton, a size 26 tapestry needle and clear white and clear pink size 10/0 Czech seed beads.

The camera could not quite capture the sparkle the beads added. They are lovely playing in the light.

The 2nd motif was a spider web. This was worked with size 12 DMC #B5200 perle cotton. I made 5 long straight stitches beginning in the upper-left-hand corner and extending to nearby seams. 

Then, I wove 4 lines of the same floss over and under to create the spider's web. (If my plans for the block were going to be functional - like a purse, rather than for a wall hanging, I would stem stitched the web.)

A small straight stitch of the same thread created the piece of web for the spider to dangle from. Then a single strand of DMC white floss was used to attach a large pearl bead for the body and a small pearl bead for the head of the spider. The same strand of floss was used to make the legs. 

For the 3rd motif, I simply tacked on a small ribbon flower I had in my stash, using a strand of white DMC floss.

CQJP is a personal challenge to create a crazy quilt block every month in 2017. You may learn more about the challenge here and see the work of others here.

Other posts related to this block include:
Piecing the Block
Seam 1
Seams 2 & 3 
Seams 4 & 5
Seams 6 & 7
Seams 8 & 9
Seam 10
Seams 11 & 12
Seams 13 - 15

Photos of each seam and motif may be found on this Pinterest board.

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, February 17, 2017

CQJP 2017 January Block Seams 13 - 15

The 13th seam embellished on my January Crazy Quilt Journal Project Block was one I had been avoiding. 

You cannot tell in this photo, but when I clipped the beads on the ribbon so they would not bulge beneath the seam, it left a little piece of plastic protuding toward the black fabric. As I worked on the block, the top bead began to work its way free from the small criscrossing threads holding the string of beads in place. I could not bring myself to leave it.

So, I carefully removed the string of beads and sewed 4 mm hot pink beads on with a strand of DMC #602 floss. Then, the outer edges of lace were tacked down with a strand of white DMC floss.

These larger beads are out of my comfort zone. My tastes migrate toward small  and delicate. However, I liked the way the seam turned out. 

The 14th seam was a fun one! Using a strand of size 5 DMC #B5200 perle cotton and straight stitches, I created 3 sets of 8 spokes.

Detached chain stitches fit between the spokes with a strand of EdMar Iris #218. And a small hot pink seed bead was sewn into the centers with a strand of DMC #604 cotton floss.

The 15th seam consists of back stitches along the seam with a strand of EdMar Glory #043

The Crazy Quilt Journal Project is a personal challenge to create a crazy quilt block each month that measures at least 8" x 8".  You may learn more about it here and see work others have completed here.

Other posts related to this block include:
Piecing the block
Seam 1
Seams 2 & 3
Seams 4 & 5
Seams 6 & 7
Seams 8 & 9
Seam 10
Seams 11 & 12

My CQJP 2017 project may also be followed on this Pinterest board.

Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

TAST Stitches 40 and 41

This week, I began a TAST Sampler. Ordinarily, I try to work the weekly TAST stitches onto current projects. There have been several stitches I skipped because I was not sure how they would fit in with my current work. 

You may click on any photo for a larger image.

TAST Stitch 40: Shell Chain Stitch

Using a strand of size 8 Anchor #1563 perle cotton, I worked the shell chain stitch from. Using the same color, I worked the beaded shell chain stitch (As recommended in the tutorial, I used a size 26 tapestry needle so the size 10/0 Czech glass seed beads would fit over the eye.) 

I first worked this stitch onto an under-the-sea block in 2014, as seen in this post (it was stitch 97 in that round of TAST.)

In 2014, the beaded shell chain stitch was added to a block from the Winter/Christmas round robin I participated in. You may see the seam here and the completed block here.

TAST Stitch 41: Eastern Stitch

I have always loved the example Sharon B. shares of this stitch worked on blue fabric and featured at the top of the tutorial. (Click the title of the stitch to go to the tutorial.)

This was my first time working this stitch and it took me a while to get into a rhthym, but I really enjoyed it. Using a strand of size 5 DMC #4250 perle cotton, I worked 2 sets of four Eastern stitches with a French knot between them.

TAST stands for Take A Stitch Tuesday, a personal challenge offered by Sharon B. of Pintangle.com. You may read more about it here and find the TAST Facebook Group here.

To celebrate her 10th year offering TAST, Sharon is sharing a series of interviews with TAST participants. I was honored to be asked to participate. I know several of you have already seen this interview on Pintangle. Thank you for the sweet comments. I can honestly say, I never imagined my work would be featured on my "go to" embroidery blog. Sharon never ceases to amaze me with the generosity of her time sharing the art of embroidery.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Twilight Duel Update #17 February 2017

In January, I shared this progess photo of the Heaven and Earth Designs Twilight Duel cross-stitch I am working on for my youngest son. I just love Ruth Thompson's dragons.

There is another challenge on the New Official Heaven and Earth Designs Facebook Group to complete a blank page. So, I have skipped over to page 13.

Because I began this project on August 30, 2015, I try to take a photo on the 30th of each month.

This was my progress on January 30th. (I am itching to fill in pages 3 and 7!)

My mother-in-law spoiled me with a scroll lap frame for Christmas. My husband said she was quite nervous about it, because I had not even told my husband I wanted one. My delight delighted her. 

This is my progress on page 13. There was a bit of progress made on pages 7 and 14, too. 1,801 stitches have been added since my update on January 9th.

Percent Complete
Project: 23.79%  (It was 22.34%)
Pages 1 & 2: 100%
Page 3: 18.94% 
Page 4: 100%
Page 5: 1.83%
Page 6: 0%
Page 7: 11.08%   (It was 7.26%)
Page 8: 100%
Page 9: 2.73%
Page 10: 0.25%
Page 11: 0%
Page 12: 0%
Page 13: 26.08%  (It was 2.41%)
Page 14: 3.44%    (It was 2.9%)
I am joining Monday Stitchery Link Party #97 at Super Mom - No Cape! This week's free embroidery pattern is a cute little donkey with a basket of flowers. I do hope you will hop over to see what others have shared.

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Happy Mail!

Look at the wonderful treasures that arrived in my mailbox last week!

I received a card from my best friend since 5th grade. (She is sooo much better at staying in touch than I am!)

This gorgeous dragonfly card arrived from my crazy quilting friend, Sharyn. She is also participating in InCoWriMo (International Correspondence Writing Month.)

Just look at the sweet laces she sent for me to play with. I am feeling quite spoiled. 

And I love the wax seal on the envelope!

My blogging friend from Creatology offered to swap letters with me during InCoWriMo. Imagine my surprise when this beautiful fabric card she created slipped out of the envelope. I just LOVE it! It is so pretty.

And, as part of the CQI 2017 Valentine Postcard Swap, I received this beautiful piece of art from Diana Williams. I love the Valentine fabrics, the tiny beads around the heart buttons, and the little Valentine letters the sweet birds are carrying. It's just gorgeous!

I hope Diana doesn't mind me sharing her sweet note. Several of my recent posts have discussed making fabric postcards. The back of this one is made with fabric. I love that it is personalized and also mentions her name, the name of the swap, and the year for me to look back upon. 

I do hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Fabric Postcard Tutorial

On Wednesday, I shared how I created this panel of "snail mail" prints

A few of these became fabric postcards, like the one pictured above.

I have made a few fabric postcards in the past, and the method seems to change a little bit each time. This post will share how I made the fabric postcard pictured above.

A few disclaimers before I begin:

1) For your convenience I have shared a few links to Amazon to better show the products I used. Please note: if you visit Amazon through my blog and make a purchase, I do earn a small credit. 

2) I have blended information from two fabric postcard tutorials to make my own. Both have some great information. Patchwork Posse has lots of tips and gorgeous examples of fabric postcards in this tutorial. And, I love using the finishing tips shared on this tutorial at Quilted Delights to zigzag stitch around the card.

3) Even with the changes I have made to finish the edges, the card stock is raw along the edge of the zigzag. Next time, I may try finishing the edges following this tutorial at Needled Mom.

4) I am not an expert! I am self-taught through on-line tutorials and trial and error. I am still learning. :)

Items You will need:

1. Decorated fabric for the front of the post card. (I used a colored piece pictured above. In this tutorial, I shared how to piece a crazy quilted front for your postcard.)
2. Rotary Cutter, Ruler & Mat
3. Sewing Machine - helpful, but you could sew by hand.
4. Card Stock 
5. Paper Trimmer (I have this one by Fiskars, but found less expensive options here.) or scissors and ruler.
6. Pellon Peltex 72F Two Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer (Note: The Peltex is 20" wide, so a 6" strip would yield enough for 4 or 5 postcards. 1/3-yard should provide enough for up to 10 postcards. I purchased 2 yards at Jo-Ann Fabric with a 50% off coupon.)
7. Iron/Ironing Board
8. Pen(s) to write the address and message. (If using a fabric back, these should be permanent and fabric safe.)

How to assemble a 4- x 6-inch Postcard:

1. Iron and then cut the front fabric (fully embellished) to measure 4 1/2" x 6 1/2". Leave an extra 1/4" on each side.

2. Create the back of the postcard. 
Note: Using a card stock back will dull the needle on your sewing machine quickly.
a. I created a document in MicroSoft Word. (This is optional. If you want to hand draw the lines on the back, skip to "d" below.)
b. Cut a sheet of card stock to measure 8 1/2" x 11" using a paper trimmer or mark with a ruler and cut with scissors.
c. Put the card stock in your printer and print the postcard document.
d. Cut card stock to 4" x 6" using a paper trimmer or mark with a ruler and cut with scissors.
e. If you are worried about messing up when you write your message on your postcard you can write it at this point. Remember to leave about half an inch at the bottom for postal stickers and 1/4" around the edges where the card stock will be sewn.

3. Cut Peltex to 4" x 6".
4. "Sandwich" the layers. 
a. Place the front fabric face down.
b. Center Peltex on the wrong side of the front fabric.
c. Center the card stock face up on top of the Peltex.

5. Before ironing, carefully pick up the "sandwich" and gently push the edges of the front fabric against the Peltex to make sure it is centered as desired.

6. Fuse the layers according to the Peltex directions. I used the highest setting with no steam for 5 seconds on the back side and then carefully flipped it over and ironed the front fabric to the Peltex (taking care with embellishments like beads.)
Tip: If you wrote on the cardstock, you may wish to put a piece of fabric over the ink to protect your iron and ironing board.

7. Place the "sandwich" front-side-down on your cutting mat. Using a rotary cutter and ruler, trim front fabric to 4" x 6".
8. Trim any loose threads from the edges.
9. Finish the edges of the postcard. 
Hoping the card stock would look better around the edges, I tried something new this time.
a. Using a zigzag stitch, I set the width at 3.5 and the length to 0.3. I like to begin along the bottom edge of the postcard.
b. On the corners, I move slowly. Lifting the foot (with the needle in the postcard), I pivot the card slightly, take another stitch, and repeat this process a few times. When I get to the next side, I take a couple of stitches forward and then zigzag in reverse to the corner to better cover that section and then continue forward to the next corner. 
c. When I get near my starting point, I stop to clip the loose threads on the top and bottom of the postcard from my beginning stitch. (See the threads in the photo above? I do not like them to tangle up in the zigzag stitches.)
d. Following advice from the Quilted Delights Tutorial, without breaking the thread, I lift the needle and change to a straight stitch. Lift the zigzag foot and very carefully, slide the postcard so the inside edge of zigzag is lined up with the needle. Lower the foot and stitch around the postcard, then knot the thread.
e. Clip loose threads.
(The edges of the paper are still a bit raw from the zigzag stitching. Using a fabric back, this was not an issue. However, with a fabric back, the fabric needs to be prewashed and you need to use a permanent pen that will not run when wet. I use a Pigma Micron pen and heat set it with an iron on a dry cotton setting.)

10. Write your message on your postcard. The address should be on the right side and your message on the left. (I divided the center with little glitter-ink hearts.) If you plan to mail it without an envelope, leave the bottom 1/2" blank. Writing there would be covered by the sticker from the post office. (Personally, I have been having fun with some of the glitter pens in this 100-pack of gel pens I purchased on Cyber Monday with an Amazon birthday gift card I had not used.)

11. Your postcard is ready to mail! 

Please note, fabric postcards cost extra to mail. Currently, the surcharge for the US Post Office (USPS) to hand cancel them (as they cannot go through the machine) is $0.21. I purchased a package of 100 A6/A2 plastic envelopes like these to mail my postcards in. With the plastic envelope, these require a letter stamp (instead of a postcard stamp) and a surcharge stamp. (Within the US, that is $0.49 + $0.21= $0.70 at this time.) My post office told me I can put these in the outgoing mailbox (with the proper postage) and they will be sorted to be hand cancelled at the post office.

With February being InCoWriMo (International Correspondence Writing Month), I am having fun with the "snail mail" theme. I have been sharing my outgoing InCoWriMo mail on Instagram - where I also enjoy seeing what everyone else has shared with the InCoWriMo hashtag.

Within the next couple of days, I plan to add a page to my blog that will include a PDF of a postcard back and of the little mailbox drawing in case anyone is interested in using them. (If you do, I'd love to see and feature what you create!)

Tomorrow, I will share some happy mail that brightened my week and I hope to have another tutorial from the "snail mail" panel I colored and embroidered soon.

Thank you for stopping by!