Friday, October 16, 2020

ICQC-108 Garden Clusters (new course) is Open for Registration 15-17 October 2020

This course is for all those individuals that have completed the ICQC-105 silk ribbon course.

The finished motifs are intended to mimic realistic flowers. The placement of certain flowers will create clusters like a garden bed. 

We will be using acrylic paints, color pencils, etc. to add depth and dimension to the background fabric before we stitch the clusters. There will be some fiber embroidery work in these clusters and some beading as well.

A great deal of the tasks will be experimenting with different art supplies you have. It is fine to substitute items for the ones used in the examples; the idea is to just be free to try things that you have not tried before and push your creative boundaries.

There will not be a specific block to create, but rather different fabric patches that could be used in projects (or just patchwork blocks) in the future.

We just finished the first offering of this course and got so many nice comments from the students about liking the lessons...

I need name, email, and state/country emailed to to register. Registration is open 15-17th of this month...and class will begin on the 20th. Also, I'll be away 22-25 for a retreat...but will have my laptop with me. However, I will only be checking maybe once a day...either very early or very late!


Friday, October 9, 2020

Do You Sew? Thanks

 Thanks to Mike over at "Do You Sew" for a nice write-up in their newsletter.

If you've never checked out their website, it is full of tips, tricks, and good info!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Basic CQ Course - Open for Registration - 5-7 October 2020

Please read the ENTIRE post before you email your registration information. Thank you :)

Basic Crazy Quilt Course (BCQC-1) is open for REGISTRATION until midnight on 7 October 2020 (Central Standard Time) 
NOTE: I do not accept late registrations for need to register within the dates of the open registration period. I'm sorry, but I just have too much going on to keep up with early or deal with late registrations.
This is a FREE online class. It is self-paced, and expected to take 4-8 weeks, depending on the time you have available to complete the 12 assigned Tasks.
Above is an artist illustration of the block we'll be working on in this course. 
These 12-Tasks include:
1 - How to Use the Class Blog
2 - Selecting Supplies
3- Design Principles of CQ
4 - Sewing the Block
5 - Surface Beading Techniques
6 - Template Seams
7 - Shape Seams
8 - 11 Various Silk Ribbon Flowers
12 - Finishing (lace, charms, etc.)
The class is FREE, you will not be charged anything for the instructions. You will need to obtain your own supplies as I do not sale kits.
Link to the Basic Supply List 
Basic CQ supplies include silk ribbon, pearl cotton threads, tiny beads, etc. as the photo above indicates. None of these are in large quantity for a single block that measures about the size of a sheet of print paper.
You will be required to use a quilting hoop (Q-snap is fine).
You WILL be required to access the private class blog (upon an invitation sent to you) and post photos of your work as you progress through the class. This is an ON-LINE course, so basic computer skills are needed (printing documents, uploading photos, etc.).

  If you are interested in taking this course, please email me at and provide me this information:
Your first name
Your last name
You country of residence
Your state of residence IF you live in the USA
The email address you wish me to send class instructional handouts to.
After you register, I will send you a Welcome Email AND Google/Blogger will send you (at my request) an Invitation to join the Class Blog where the class will be held. Watch for BOTH of these emails, check your spam folder.
Because this is an ON-LINE internet class:
You will need to follow some simple instructions to register and gain access to the private class blog. Your name and email will need to be entered; but NO social security or credit card information is required. Just basic information to "recognize" you as a class participant.
You will need to be able to take a photo of your work, and upload it to the class blog. You will get instructions on "blogging" so don't worry if you don't currently do that now; you will learn.
But, you DO NEED to have an operating camera and be able to take photos.
You do need a basic understanding of how to save these photos and then retrieve those picture files. IF you use an IPad to take will need to email them to yourself, download them to your computer, and then upload to the class blog. If you use a phone or camera...follow the instructions for that specific camera to upload photos to your computer.
NOTE: You will be given class handouts/instruction in the form of emails and pdf documents.
 The pdf files can be opened with Adobe Reader (free software on the site)

 You need to be able to open these handouts/instructions and save them.
You can also print as you desire. In total, the course contains dozens of pages of paper/printer will be required if you want to retain a hard copy of this information.
Hugs, and I hope to see you in the class! 
This Basic CQ Class (BCQC-1) is a REQUIRED course...before you can sign up to any of the other crazy quilt courses offered through this blog. You begin with this course...
After you register...expect an invitation to the course site before the morning of the 8th.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Free Online Classes in 2021

 My free online classes will continue in 2021, but I have not decided on a calendar yet.

One problem I'm having is that YAHOO has decided to discontinue their support of "files" on their group sites...which means all of the older and Retired Classes that were positioned there for free downloads are now not accessible to anyone.

So, if I want you to be able to get to any of this will have to be offered again here as an ongoing class.

Which of course means my calendar just got a LOT fuller for next year! I'm mulling all of this over as the new grand-baby (6 mos old now) and my semi-permanent house guests are just taking a lot of my time which cuts into my writing of new lessons and monitoring of existing classes.

So, keep your fingers crossed for me that the kids get into a home of their own before the year is out...and that I can find time to create new classes for you too!

But, at the very least...wanted to answer the questions about the calendar of courses for next year...YES we will still have them...not sure when or how many...but plan on checking back before year end to see the calendar when it does go up.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

OPEN REGISTRATION - ICQC-105 (Silk Ribbon Embroidery and More)

Open Registration 15-17 Sepbember (Tuesday -- Thursday)

IMPORTANT: This course REQUIRES that you complete the Basic Crazy Quilt Course (BCQC-1) first, before registering. So, please ensure that you did finish the BCQC-1 before submitting your registration information. While it is also good to have completed the ICQC-103 and 104 courses...they is not required. You can also take this course at the same time as the ICQC-103 or 104 course (if you can make the time for both).

Completion of the BCQC-2 course or any of the other ICQC courses is not necessary to sign up for this Ribbon Embroidery course...only the BCQC-1 has to be finished first.

There will be TEN different tasks to complete in this course, with about twelve different motifs to stitch. All of the designs will be printed on fabric (or optionally you can trace the designs in the handout to your fabric). (The tenth task is a surprise and any ribbon size/color can be used)

The motifs for this module will be stitched directly to fabric rather than to crazy quilt blocks. Most of these designs are very detailed...and tracing them through layers of fabric is just not feasible. So, consider these "technique tasks". After you have learned each of these can pick/choose which ones to use again in the future for your existing CQ projects. The finished motifs CAN of course be used in new pieced blocks as well as stitching samples for current blocks. If you want to create these on existing blocks, that is fine...but will require some extra work on your part to create tissue paper or soluble sheet transfers; and the results are not guaranteed to work out (just so you know).

I will be providing all of the designs to you as "printable" designs. Each page of the PDF handout for the first task will be able to print directly to fabric sheets. These will then be hooped and the stitching done on top of the printed design. You do not need to "trace" any of the designs...unless you just don't want to print them on fabric sheets as I recommend.

I created my own printable fabric using freezer paper (check under the TUTORIAL TAB above) for almost all of these motifs. Or, if you can order printable sheets for your inkjet or laser copier/printer from or other source for all designs. You will need only one standard 10-page package to print all of the designs provided (Wild Rose Blossoms, Daisies, Berry Vine, Apple Blossoms, Tiny Rose Frames, Birds & Insects, Pomegranate, and Ribbon Lady).
I have tried very hard NOT to repeat the specific lessons in the Crazy Quilting Volume II: Ribbon Embellishments book, even though some stitches are of course the same. The "Ribbon Lady" is the only direct cross-over...and she has been requested so much that I knew you would demand she be in this course. So this course AND the book will give you all of the ribbon experience needed to create just about any motif you may desire to stitch!

You will  of course need silk ribbon in multiple sizes (2mm, 4mm, 7mm, 13mm). You can use white for all tasks...and color then with ink markers (Promarker brand recommended)...or purchase various colors in the needed sizes. Substitution is possible...but not encouraged. The below chart has all of the sizes/colors the stitched models used. You can change the colors to suit your own personal "vision" of the flower/fruit/animal being created (read left side for task topics). (Satin and organza are poor substitutes for silk ribbon...but I know some of you international folks may have no choice but to use these. If so, you will work harder and the results will not be perfect...but it is manageable for most of the tasks.)

Here is the chart for supplies (ribbon/thread): [click to enlarge the photo]. It is fine to change the colors if you prefer flowers of a different color (check the name in the far left side) but the sizes of ribbon should be maintained if possible...although I have listed substitutions in the remarks IF YOU MUST change the requirements.

A package of large chenille and tapestry needles are used for ribbon work. I expect you already have these from the work we did on the BCQC class.

The 3-Day Registration Period will be filled with responses to registrations and getting the class blog up and running; don't expect the course to really get going until after the registration is closed. I will send welcome emails and blog invites throughout the first week to get everyone up and on the blog. For now, after you sign for the blog invite and welcome email...AND begin to order your silk ribbon.  

To register, please email me your NAME, State/Country, Email Address you wish to use for this course to

Remember: PLEASE do not register if you have not completed the BCQC-1 as it is a pre-registration requirement. 

After sending your registration, I will respond with a "Welcome" email. If you don't receive this by the first day after registration closes...then assume that I did not receive your information and resend the original email note. Note that I don't accept late registrations because these classes fill so fast; so FORWARD your original email note to me so I can clarify the date it was sent.

This course (and all courses) will be held at an assigned Blog for this specific class. You will need access to a working computer to take this online course. If you are especially "tech saavy" perhaps you can manage with an Ipad or other tablet...but you will need to be able to print from it and take/upload photographs to the private class blog. In the past, laptops and desktops perform great...but tablets did not usually work out as be advised.

Looking forward to this new course!


Monday, August 24, 2020

Stitch Relationships

I've shared this little tutorial with the Patreon Ladies recently...and though all of my blog followers might also like to think about stitch relationships. The question being..."If stitches were a family, would would be cousins? or even siblings perhaps?" That might seem like a strange conversation to have with yourself...but consider the similarities of just these few embroidery stitches.

While some folks like to create the Detached Chain Stitch by needling up/down in the same is often best to give yourself a thread or two between these positions for stability and ease of stitching.
Needle up at A and down at B; leaving the thread temporarily loose. A loop is formed as you pull the thread after having needled up at C. The loose thread is captured by the needle since it is passing under the needle, being therefore restrained. Needle down at D to create a short tacking stitch to hold the loop into place.
If you use the "scoop method" of stitching...then needling down at B and up at C would be done in one motion. The A and D motions would be "stab method" because they don't need to scoop.

Next, consider the Fly Stitch. Really, it's the same as the Detached Chain Stitch but we've moved A and B further apart. So, if you can stitch a Detached Chain Stitch there is no reason why a Fly Stitch is not in your library of stitched either.

Logically, the same reasoning holds true for the Fishbone Stitch. The only real difference between the Fly Stitch and it is the length of the tacking stitch (distance between C & D needle positions). Fishbone Stitches are most often created in a vertical line...resembling then the backbone of a fish; hence the name.

Changing the angle of a portion of a this vertical tacking stitch on the Fly Stitch alters the look of the stitch...and opens up more options. Feather Stitches are similar to Fly Stitches or Fishbone Stitches...they only need the direction of the C/D needle positions shifted to the left or to the right.

The above diagram is busy...but let's break it down to the basics. We begin with an open Chain Stitch...needling up at A, back down at B...and scooping up at C. Instead of needling down directly below...we move out needle to angle to the right. If we consider the angle and space being consistent...then the result would appear as the diagram above. Our "C" becomes a new this manner; and we continue along until we have stitched the amount of these needed...then we tack the last one down. Moving left and right creates variations of the Feather Stitch.

Note how changing the angle between A and B shortens one side of this diagramed stitch. Doing this can create variety in your Feather Stitching and is very helpful when trying to fill in an odd shaped space with stitching.

Loops can even be incorporated into stitches by twisting the fiber before tacking it down. This is easily done if you "scoop" between B and C as the thread can then be passed OVER the UNDER the needle before tacking. This causes it to "cross over" itself creating the loop.

So, I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial and might consider how some stitches are related to each other...if just in their manner of creation. For beginners...IF you can learn the Detached Chain Stitch...then so many others (as noted above) are certainly within your grasp as well.

Hoping your stitching is enjoyable. Hugs!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Faux Strawberry Jam - Super Quick!

Mom and I put up some "fake" strawberry jam yesterday because a friend gave my sister about a gallon of figs. In total we had about 8 cups of figs...and ended up with 6 1/2 pints of beautiful jam! I went home also with a little sandwich baggie half full of figs just to snack on. But, this morning...I decided that strawberry jam on my toast would be great. As I didn't have any of yesterday's jam in the house (still at Mom's)...I just decided to whip a bit up!

Here's how easy it was. First I de-stemmed, washed and cup up the figs. There was about a cup of them. Added same amount of sugar (1 cup)...and 1 pkg of strawberry jello. Turned the heat on medium and just kept stirring and mashing the figs.

This is how it looks as it begins to boil. For such a tiny amount...just boil long enough for the sugar to get completely dissolved (about 3 minutes). Yesterday, that 8 cups made a larger pot...and it took longer to come to a boil. Then, we cooked it for about 7 minutes to make sure it was good and hot.

While we put the jelly into jars yesterday...there isn't enough this morning to do that. So, I am just keeping it in the fridge. Believe me, it will not last long at my house; so no worry about it taking up room in my fridge. Ha!

It spreads nicely! Goes great on toast with a cup of tea. :)

Yummy! Ha, that didn't take long to make or dispose of. :)
Here's the basic recipe:

Equal parts figs and sugar. Cut up figs at least into 8 pieces...mash even smaller if you like. Add 1 small pkg strawberry jello for every 2 cups of figs. (I used the entire pkg for a single cup, so it's not bad to add a wee bit more if you have an odd amount of figs). Stir constantly while heating...when it begins to boil...keep stirring. Let the mixture get really hot...for at least 3-4 minutes. If you make a pot full (6 cups or more...then cook longer). No need to cook more than about 7 minutes in total. Put immediately into hot jars if canning...seal and you're done. If keeping a small amount in the fridge...just let cool down and place in airtight container. ENJOY!