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.


Queeniepatch said...

The embroidery on the pocket is absolutely STUNNING and you certainly have spent a lot of time on it!
Constructing a bag can take much longer than anticipated, and a hot iron is a lethal weapon for polyester!

Mark Daniel said...

Really if you have such designs then please share with us ..
custom embroidery digitizing services

Christine B. said...

Such a beautiful block Renee and the details are exquisite! Hope your bag raises a lot of money for such a wonderful cause! Have a very Happy Easter! Christine x

Sandra said...

Love it.

Justine said...

That's a fantastic finish and I'm sure it will raise lots of money for a very worthy cause.

Catherine said...

What a beautiful piece! And so much time and love have gone into it for the fund raiser. What a wonderful thing to be able to participate in. I've really enjoyed watching this one grow!

Brigitte said...

I'm totally impressed again by your stitching and sewing skills. This block is so interesting with all the details of the sea world. A wonderful bag!

Anonymous said...

That is so beautiful, every part of it. The overall picture it makes is so lovely. You are more than generous to donate it for a good cause!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

You should be proud of this Renee - it turned out beautifully! So sorry about the angst over the poly fabric though - another lesson that I keep having to be taught. Using Sharon's stencils for the different plants works so well and I do love that happy little octopus...and the anchor was the perfect finishing touch.

Katie said...

Under the Sea....means...more love from me. Love it! Turned out perfect. How did the auction go?

Renee said...

Mark Daniel, thank you! I do not have a machine with embroidery abilities, but did enjoy reading about the services your company provides.

Renee said...

Catherine, thank you! It was fun to play a small role with a fund raiser for such a great cause! It was a fun piece to watch come together and I am thrilled the new owner likes the bag.

Jo said...

This is an amazing piece of embroidery

Diane said...

Wow your embroidery designs and dark blues on the black bag are perfect.

Hugs Diane

Renee said...

Thank you, Diane!