Monday, August 13, 2018

Twilight Duel Update #28

In July, 626 stitches were added to my Heaven and Earth Designs "Twilight Duel" cross-stitch project, based on artwork by Ruth Thompson.

Most of those stitches filled in the sky and wing of the white dragon on the lower-right section of the piece.

Percent Complete:
Project:        38.7% (It was 38.27%)
Pages 1-2: 100%
Page 3:        41.51% (It was 40.84%)
Page 4:      100%
Page 5:          1.83%
Page 6:          0%
Pages 7-8: 100%
Page 9:          5.06%
Page 10:        0.25%
Pages 11-12: 0%
Page 13:    100%
Page 14:      61.19% (It was 53.34%)
Page 15:        2.95% (It was 2.93%)
Pages 16-18: 0%
Page 19:    100%
Page 20:        3.72%
Pages 21-24: 0%

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, August 10, 2018

SK Effects of Caffeine Days 22 - 24

My cross-stitch travel project is a chart from Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED). "SK Effects of Caffeine" is a storykeep chart based on the artwork of Randal Spangler. You may see what the completed piece will look like on the HAED website, here.

The photo above shows how it looked in December of 2017. On May 28th, I worked on it for 32 minutes and added 91 stitches. The photo below shows the progress.

On Friday, August 3rd, I took it to work with me and worked on it for 40 minutes during my lunch break. 81 stitches were added. The photo below shows how it looked.

And, Saturday, August 4th, I was able to work on it for an hour and ten minutes. 100 stitches were added. This photo shows how it looks now.

The project is 13.77% complete with 3,257 of 23,660 stitches finished. The first page (of four) is 51.13% complete.

Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

CQJP 2018 Block 3 Pieced

The March block for my Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) 2018 was pieced in July and is ready for embellishment. It measures 8-inches by 8-inches.

My goal is to embellish 12 blocks to create "My Favorite Things" crazy quilt by the end of the year.

Thank you for visiting!

CQJP is a challenge to complete one crazy quilt a month that measures at least 8-inches square. You may learn more details and see the blocks that have been completed this year at the official blog for the challenge here. You may also follow CQJP 2018 on Facebook here.

Related Posts:
Embellished CQJP 2018 February Block - here
Embellished CQJP 2018 January Block - here

My CQJP 2018 progress may be found on this Pinterest board.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

TAST Week 13

Week 13: Sheaf Stitch
During Week 13 of TAST, Sheaf Stitch was introduced. There has been 1 break week, so this is Stitch 12 for this round of TAST. It was introduced on March 27th in this post, and the instructions for the stitch may be found here.

I worked the stitch with size 8 variegated pink perle cotton. After completing this seam, I added a French Knot between each of the Sheaf Stitches.

TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday. This is a personal challenge shared by Sharon B. of to learn a new embroidery stitch each week. In 2018, 28 stitches have been shared; so, I am a little bit behind, but this is a no pressure challenge. You may learn more about TAST here and find a Facebook Group with others participating with TAST here.

Thank you for visiting!

Monday, August 6, 2018

QS Red Hearts Update - July 2018

527 stitches were added to my Heaven and Earth Designs "QS Red Hearts" cross-stitch project in July. I just love this artwork by Ching-Chou Kuik!

This is how she looked at the end of April.

And this is how she looked at the end of July.

The project is now 84.16% complete. (It was 83.04% in April.)

Pages 1-4: 100% complete
Page 5:        91.06% (It was 90.68%)
Page 6:        59.7%
Page 7:      100% (It was 90.64%)
Page 8:        14.48% (It was 13.58%)
Page 9:          0.47%

To finish her this year, I need to add roughly 1,490 stitches a month. I am working full time now, so time will tell if I can pull that off or not.

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, August 3, 2018

QS Red Hearts Update - April 2018

1,179 stitches were added to my Heaven and Earth Designs QS Red Hearts cross-stitch project in April. This piece features artwork by Ching-Chou Kuik.

This is how she looked at the end of March.

This is how she looked on April 30th.
No progress was made in May or June.

The project is now 83.04% complete. (It was 80.53% in March.)

Pages 1-4: 100% complete
Page 5:        90.68% (It was 83.02%)
Page 6:        59.70% (It was 50.15%)
Page 7:        90.64% (It was 86.39%)
Page 8:        13.58% (It was 10.39%)
Page 9:          0.47% (It was 0%)

International Hermit & Stitch Weekend (IHSW) is an event that originated with Joysze at Random Ramblings. It takes place Friday through Sunday on the 3rd full weekend of the month. It is an opportunity to spend as much time as you can stitching. You may learn more about IHSW here. The Facebook group is here. I try to dedicate my IHSW stitching to this piece, in hopes of finishing it this year.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

August 2018

My goals for July were pretty simple. I wanted to make progress on a cross-stitch project, and I wanted to complete a tutorial for an under-the-sea themed project.

Although I did not have a lot of time to cross-stitch, I did manage a page finish on QS Red Hearts! (I will share a post with my April progress and another with my July progress soon.)

I also shared a Treasure Chest Fabric Postcard Tutorial. I do hope it is helpful! Links to all 6 parts of the tutorial are on the Tutorials and Free Patterns Page. There is a tab to the page at the top of this blog; however, you may also visit the page by clicking here

August Goals:
1. Make progress on QS Red Hearts.
2. Embellish my March CQJP 2018 block.
3. Add more TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) stitches to my messenger bag.

Thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Treasure Chest Tutorial Part 6: Finishing

After Part 5 of this tutorial, the embellishments were complete.

If you missed the first parts of the tutorial, 
links are provided at the end of this post.

Click on any image for a larger view.

NOTE: My method for this step of making fabric postcards was created by utilizing information from 2 fabric postcard tutorials. Both are worth reading. Patchwork Posse has a lot of tips and gorgeous examples of fabric postcards in this tutorial. And, I love the finishing tips and photos explaining how to zigzag stitch around the postcard shared at Quilted Delights in this tutorial.

As mentioned at the end of the finishing section of my Artist Trading Card Tutorial, there are several ways to finish your postcard. 
This explains how I completed these:

Step 1: Print the postcard back onto a sheet of card stock.
I created this PDF for you to use - it will print 2 postcard backs onto 1 sheet of card stock. It will need to be trimmed down to size, as explained below. The backs of my postcards include my name and the name of my blog. I removed those for the PDF shared here.
Open the PDF, place card stock in your printer, and print.

Step 2: Trim the card stock to 4-inches by 6-inches.
Cut the two card stock postcard backs 4-inches by 6-inches with a paper cutter or by marking the rectangle with a ruler and cutting it out with scissors. 
The "t" in the word "Postcard" is the center of the back. The address lines are about 1/4-inch from the edge.
Leave at least 1/2-inch at the bottom of the postcard for postal stickers.

NOTE: If you are worried you might mess up when you write the message, you may write your note and address it now, before assembling the fabric postcard.

Step 3: Cut a 4-inch by 6-inch rectangle of Pellon Peltex 72F Two Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer.

Step 4: Remove the basting stitches from your embellished block.
Using a seam ripper, remove the basting stitches you sewed around the 4-inch by 6-inch rectangle traced on the back of your foundation.

Use care not to cut any of the embroidery stitches. 

If you made a Crazy Quilted Postcard, be careful not to cut any stitches from piecing the block.

Step 5: Iron and cut your embellished block to measure 4.5-inches by 6.5-inches.  
Use care not to iron over the beads. 
You want this piece to be larger than your Peltex.

Step 6: Cut a 4-inch by 6-inch rectangle of muslin (or any cotton fabric.)
Note: This will not be seen at all once the postcard is fully assembled.

Step 7: Sandwich the embellished block, the Peltex, and the 4x6-inch rectangle of fabric.
First, place the embellished block face down on your ironing board.
Second, center the Peltex rectangle over the embellished block. (As seen in the top portion of this photo.)
Third, place the 4x6-inch muslin rectangle over the Peltex. (As seen in the bottom portion of this photo.)

Important: Before ironing in the next step, carefully pick up the "sandwich" and gently push the edges of the front fabric against the Peltex to make sure it is centered the way you want it. If any of your embroidery extends past the Peltex, it will be cut and the embroidery could unravel. So, all stitches and knots should be covered by the Peltex.

Step 8: Fuse layers according to the Peltex directions. 
I used the highest setting with no steam for 5 seconds on the back side, carefully flipped it over and ironed the front for 5 seconds.
NOTE: I did not iron over the beads on the treasure chest.

Step 9: Trim the "sandwiched" postcard.
Place the embellished side face-down on your cutting mat.
Using your rulers and rotary cutter, trim front fabric to 4x6-inches.

Step 10: Trim any loose threads from the edges.

Step 11: Finish the edges of the postcard.
(This step is very close to the tutorial at Quilted Delights found here. That tutorial shows great step-by-step photos.)
Using a zigzag stitch, with my stitch width set at 3.5 and my stitch length set at 0.3, I stitched around the edges of the block. On the corners, I move slowly. Lifting the foot (with the needle in the fabric), I pivot the card slightly, lower the foot, take another stitch and repeat this process a few times. After I round the corner, I take a few stitches in reverse to better cover the edge and then continue forward to the next corner. 
When I reach my starting point, I lift the needle and change the stitch length to 0.2. Then, I lower the foot and zigzag stitch around the postcard one more time to better cover the edges.
When I reach the starting point again, I lift the needle and change the setting to a regular straight stitch. I line the needle up with the edge of the zigzag stitching, lower the foot and go around the card one last time.
When I reach the starting point, I knot the thread and trim the ends.

Step 12: Trim card stock slightly and glue it to the muslin back of your sandwiched postcard.
Trim the card stock slightly so it fits within the stitched edges (rather than being glued onto the raised edges.) After trimming a tiny bit off of the edges, my card stock measured 3 7/8-inch by 5 7/8-inch.
Place the fabric postcard face-down. 
Place the card stock postcard back face down.
Apply glue to the blank side of the card stock. (I used Fabric Fuse Quick Bond Fabric Adhesive. As seen in this photo, I made a thin line of glue in the shape of a rectangle with a "X" in the center. I filled the space in with small, light dots of glue.)
NOTE: Make sure the print on the card stock is facing the direction you want it to.
Adhere the card stock to the back of the fabric postcard.

In the USA, fabric postcards must be processed by hand at the post office. (They cannot go through the machine they use to cancel the postage stamps.) There is a small additional fee for this. (I believe it is around $0.21 at this time.) 
My Postmaster did tell me I could purchase the correct postage stamps and mail them with my other outgoing mail in my mailbox, and they would still be processed by hand. (I still take mine to the post office.)

Personally, I like to mail my fabric postcards in a clear plastic envelopes to protect the embellishments. As a result, I am not charged for a postcard stamp, but for a regular postage stamp + the handling fee mentioned above. I believe at this time it costs about $0.71 ($0.50 + $0.21 if my memory is correct) to mail one within the United States. To mail outside of the USA, I pay the International postage fee + stamp for the handling fee. 

I hope this tutorial is useful! If you have any questions or notice any errors, please do not hesitate to ask or let me know.

If you make a Treasure Chest Fabric postcard, I do hope you will let me know! I would love to see your work and would happily share it on my blog, if you would like that.

Links to related blog posts:
Treasure Chest Sketch
Treasure Chest Tutorial Part 1: Gathering Supplies
Treasure Chest Tutorial Part 2: Design Transfer
Treasure Chest Tutorial Part 3: Coloring Fabric
Treasure Chest Tutorial Part 4: Piecing & Foundation
Treasure Chest Tutorial Part 5: Embellishment