More dying lace!

School is out for the summer...and Aidan is here visiting! When Sommer brought her, she also stayed for a couple of days...and that was a nice treat for her mother (me!). We spent some time painting lace as I had a dozen little bottles of left-over Acid Dye mixtures...
We had fun! These above are wet and drying on a towel.

Here they are dry and pressed with the iron!

These are much lighter, even though dyed with the same exact mixtures...the lace must have some nylon they just don't hold a lot of dye. But, I like the pastels for some projects, so they will find a nice block to rest upon one day!

Soutache Owls

Do you like trying new things? I do...well SOME things! I thought working with soutache braid might be I love surface beading and pinterest has some wonderful photos of soutache jewelry up! So inspiring!
 Here are my first attempts...loads of mistakes I'm sure...but still were fun to play with.
My mama and baby owls!

Open Registration for ICQC-102 (Paint, Dye, Ink, Etc)...and changes to requirements...

Well, I have done some thinking (and you know how dangerous THAT can be). But, I have decided to drop the requirement for completion of ICQC-101 before you take ICQC-102.

You will still need the ICQC-101 for all other modules of ICQC...just not the #102 one.

After don't need to have a pieced block available to you to be able to dye lace and ribbon.

You do...for the other modules...because you have to have "something" to actually stitch upon.

So...since you have the finished BCQC...YOU ARE NOW ELIGIBLE to sign up for ICQC-102 if you are interested....and can take it at the same time as finishing ICQC-101 if you are still working at these tasks.

The ICQC-102 Module is open now for registration...but will also open again in a few weeks.

Go to last post for more info on the class.


Open Registration for ICQC 102 - Paints, Dyes, Inks, Markers

Registration is now open for the Intermediate Crazy Quilt Course (ICQC), Module #102 (Working with Paints, Dyes, and Inks)
Registration is open 19 through 22 23 May. You must be registered by midnight on 22 23 May. The class is 3-6 weeks in length...depending on the time you have in your own schedule for working the modules.
You need to have completed ICQC-#101 Module (Designing and Piecing Blocks)  before registering for this #102 module.
This Course covers:
--Painting Fabric Backgrounds
-- Painting and Dying Lace Motifs
-- Inking Lace and Charms
To register please email this information:
Email Address
to me at: before midnight (CST) on 22 May.
The class instruction is FREE.
You will need supplies.
A draft supply list is under the Class Tab above.

Stumpwork Acorn and Oak Leaves

 Before you  begin this tutorial...let me include a disclaimer: This is NOT my best work.

It could have been...I tried to have it be...but the choice of threads used...almost ruined it. Or, the choice of transfer methods...which every way you look at it.

Anyway, I used a water soluble stabilizer and printed the design...and stitched over. The soluble is easy to use, and I'm very busy...but it needs to be removed with water. The threads I chose were Krenik Soie d'Alger...which are about twice the cost of DMC Cotton...and I "assumed" that that would mean they are color fast as well. Not so...the colors ran...and trying to work with that issue caused my satin stitches to become loose and wobbly. So, please forgive the "errors" and just see the tutorial for the "how to do" that it is intended to be. Thanks...hanging my embarrassed head. :)

Surface embroidery is enhanced with a dimensional leaf to portray the leaves and acorns. The squirrels and chipmunks are sure happy to see these begin to drop from the mighty oak’s branches.

Supplies Used:
·         Sheer Fabric (model used 1 layer of silk scarf, 2 layers of organza)
·         Background Fabric of your choice (model used fine linen)
·         Thin wire for larger Stumpwork leaf (12-18 gauge)
·         Wash-Away Stitch Stabilizer (or use your favorite pattern transfer method)
·         Embroidery Thread in brown, gold, orange, and red/orange for the surface embroidery leaf. NOTE: The model was stitched in Kreinik Soie d’Alger in colors #4213G, #2546G, #4116A, and #645A. However, these were proven not to be color fast as they bled when the finished project was placed in water to remove the water soluble stabilizer. Therefore, if you use these threads, trace the pattern or use a tissue paper pattern instead of water soluble.
·         Cotton or silk sewing or embroidery thread in white for the Stumpwork Oak Leaf.
·         Embroidery needle and hoop
·         Promarkers (or permanent ink marker) in a dark red, orange, and yellow.
The surface embroidery work is best done in two threads, often combining two colors. Here are the combinations used for the model: acorns and center vein = gold/brown (#2546/#4213); acorn cap = dk brown/dk brown (#4116A); leaf inside = gold/orange (#2546G/645A).

Step 1: Hoop the background fabric, with the small leaf and acorn pattern transferred for stitching. Here is the design printed on the stabilizer, and trimmed close (to reduce the amount that needs to be removed later on). You can see that this water soluble creates a good printed image. The paper backing peels off and the design has a "sticky back" that stays on the fabric as you stitch over it.

Step 2: Use a tiny Chain Stitch or Reverse Chain Stitch to embroider the outline of the oak leaf; a Satin Stitch to embroider the base of the acorn caps; and a Split Stitch to embroider the leaf veins. I'm not sure that the mixed thread colors was the best choice for the acorn it looks a bit rougher than it is.

Step 3: Fill in the acorn cap with French or Colonial Knots.

Step 4: Embroider the inside area of the leaf with Split Stitches. Be careful to align these stitches with the direction of the adjacent side-veins. Work one section between these veins completely before proceeding to the next. Note that the direction of the stitching will change slightly as you progress up the leaf.

Step 5: When the embroidery is completed, remove any water soluble or other paper/tissue transfer paper. Remove the hoop. (NOTE: IF you do not want to do a stump-work leaf; the second leave can also be stitched just as this first leaf was; you only need to include BOTH leaves in the pattern transfer rather than just this smaller leaf.)

Step 6: Hoop the layers of organza and the silk scarf. The scarf is on top. The silk provides a solid tightly woven layer to ink color into later on. The organza layers provide more substance to the piece but do not increase the density of the piece because their weave is more open than the silk is. The design should be already transferred to the silk fabric.  The water soluble stitch stabilizer works really well for this pattern transfer.

Step 7: Cut ten-inches of wire. Bend one end at a 90-degree angle, about a half inch from the end. Using the white thread, couch this bend into the stem end of the leaf. Sew through all layers as you couch the thread down. Try to keep your needle angled slightly under the wire as you stitch, this will keep the couching stitch tight to the wire. Make a stitch about every 5mm (or about every ¼ inch). As you work around the leaf shape, couching the wire in place…use a second larger needle (like a Chenille) or a stiletto tool to “shape” the wire.

Step 8: Continue to Couch and bend the wire. At times, this requires a slight forward step with the Bending Tool, gently bending and them more forward movement with the tool; and gently bending some more. This works better than trying to get the shape with a single bend…that will only give you a sharp angle. The goal is to match the curve to the leaf pattern shape.

Step 9: After the wire has been completely couched in place, trim the stem ends to about 1//2 inch. Use the same white thread to create a tiny Buttonhole Stitch around the wire. This secures the fabric tightly into place. Working with thread will take a little time; but do not use two pieces thinking it will be better or faster. It will just give the leaf a bulky edge and ruin your efforts. The “ridge” of the Buttonhole Stitch should lay on the INSIDE of the leave design…not along the outside for this specific pattern. This gives the edge a smoother line rather than a ridged one.

Step 10: Using one strand of the white, embroidery the leaf veins with a tiny Chain Stitch or Reverse Chain Stitch.

Step 11: Cut the leaf from the background fabric leaving some border around the wire.

Step 12: Trim close to the wire to remove all of the excess fabric. A pair of sharp pointed embroidery scissors make a great tool for this task.

Step 13: Use the red Promarker to ink the outside stitched edge of the leaf. The ink will automatically wick to the inside area of the leaf a bit. Just touch the stitching along the outside edge. NOTE: If you do not want to use the can use a Green/Orange color of sheer fabric and thread instead; and omit Steps 13 and 14 then.

Step 14: Use the yellow Promarker for the inside of the leaf and the orange Promarker to color the veins. These colors will begin to blend together. If you have used a water-soluble method to mark the leaf shape, then soak the leaf to remove these marking. The ink will run some, but it will only enhance the blending effect. Dry completely.

Step 15: Tightly twist the two ends of the leaf’s wire at the stem edge. With a large needle or stiletto pierce the background fabric at the “circle” on the pattern sheet. Bend the leaf wire at a 90-degree angle and insert the twisted double wire into the background fabric. Flip over the work, and couch the wire ends down on the back. Sew through the prior embroidery work only, and do not pierce the fabric.

Here is the pattern for the small leaf and acorns, for the surface embroidery technique.

Here is the pattern for the large leaf, for the stumpwork technique.

And, here is the pattern all together, just in case you want to do the entire design using surface embroidery techniques. You can size these as large or as small as you like.

I'm off to take out the satin stitches and redo...when I get a new photo...I'll post an update to this post.



This next Intermediate CQ Course (ICQC-103)
 REGISTRATION will remain open until midnight on May 15th
ICQC-103 Embellishing with Threads
This class covers Surface Embroidery Motifs
to include beaded and silk ribbon monograms.
Additional seam treatments are also part of the course.
The class is FREE, you will not be charged anything for the instructions.
Registration requires the completion of BCQC and ICQC-101 classes first. Both of these are prerequisite classes.

  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. If you do not receive by Thursday morning, email me to let me know.


Drooling over all the ideas!

CQ Quarterly, Spring 2015 is 50 pages of glorious photos, tutorials, patterns, and spectacular eye candy! I've picked my copy up at least eight time over the last three days. All of the contributors did such a fantastic job! Check it out!
And, if you get the electronic download...(which is also cheaper than the paper copy) could print just the pages with the patterns or articles you like. Of course, that might be the entire 50 pages...there is so much to see and do.  At less than $7 for the E-magazine...what a bargain!
My most favorite of the many articles and tutorials this time is the...
  ...beaded Seahorse Tutorial by Lisa Boni AND ... embrodery Octopus Applique by Lauri Burgesser
I'm in love (and in awe) at both of these! And, like some other projects...each has included the pattern and clear instructions. These are BOTH going on a block soon. Or perhaps just a little framed piece for Aidan...she would love it!
Of course, she would also like Lisa's gorgeous pin cushions or Margreet's dimensional butterfly!
The more I look at this magazine...the more I find that I love about it! 
Might even try some painting since Carolyn Phillip's article about Under the Sea treasure chests is so easy to understand.
Do yourself a favor...order the is wonderful!

Dying Crochet Thread and more

I have had some Jacquard Acid Dye color mixes ready for a while, and decided that I had best pull them out and use them before they went bad as it has been weeks since they were mixed. I wanted to try dying some cotton thread, so only began with three of the dye colors.
I pulled down a hug ball of white crochet thread and wrapped some around my fingers in little bunches, and some around this cereal box.
The "cereal box" thread was brush painted with a few different colors of dye. I just went across the box, coloring the thread about 2" down each strand; they repeated with the next color, and the next until all of the white thread was no longer white. I was not sure how it would come out...and did only one "box worth". 
 But it is fabulous! I'm going to have to re-think and do this some more as I love varigated and overdyed threads!
The other colors were submessed in little dye cups...baths of dye for each little bunch of thread. A couple of the cups had more water added, to lessen the intensity of the dye bath. They all turned out so nicely...
...that I did a whole bunch more today. They are sitting on my brown "dying towel" waiting to dry. Tomorrow, I'll be busy wrapping all of this thread around little cardboard spools.
AND, I had a lot of this light blue/teal 4mm silk ribbon from super buy on facebook...and didn't need dozens of packages of the same dyed them too.
They are waiting to dry. So, I'll have thread and ribbon in similar colors...such pretty playthings!
I'll show you how these ribbons look in a couple of days after they have dried and I'm pressed them.
EDITED TO ADD: 5/5/2012 I was asked about the size of the crochet cotton, but the label is no longer on this huge ball of thread, so I have no idea. It is equal in size between Perle 8 and Perle 12, and is a 3-ply twist. The ball is measured 5 inches tall and 15 inches around, if that helps.


This BASIC CQ Course (BCQC)
 REGISTRATION will remain open until midnight on May 4th
The class will run for about five weeks.
These 12-Tasks comprise this basic class:
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.
Link to the Basic Supply List
You WILL be required to get your own supplies to complete the about 8 x 10 size block.
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.
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.

  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. If you do not receive by Monday morning, email me to let me know.
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.
Since the class blog is Hosted on a Blogger does work best with a G-Mail Email address...but others have also worked just fine. If you do not have gmail, it is possible that you could need to set up a temporary account...just to get on the blog. I can still use your "normal" email to send you homework assignments.
You will need to be able to take PHOTOS of your work, and UPLOAD them 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, AND save them to your computer. So, you do need a basic understanding of how to save these photos and then retrieve those picture file for uploading.
If you take photos with an Iphone, Ipad, etc. then search for the free APP by has helped many students with fast uploading directly from their device to the class blog. I do not personally have any of these Apple am not much help at solving those "techie" problems.
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 over 200 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! 
EDITED TO ADD, 5/5/2015
Registration is not closed. We have 49 folks signed up for the class.
Hope to see you the next registration if you missed this one.

Class Fun!

My poor blog is suffering...from too much Class fun! I have been amiss at posting things being so busy. I shall try to do better. But, perhaps when you see what we've been up to in the recent will understand!

The BCQC is the Basic Class...and covers the same block/techniques for all. It also "introduces" students to how I choose to teach and run my classes. You might think that everyone making the "same block" would be boring. So, far from the truth...just take a look at some of the more recent blocks...all the same...yet...all are very different.
Nancy B
Karen M.
Nancy W.
Shelly H

And not to be outdone...the ladies in the ICQC 101 (Piecing Class) have been designing and dreaming up some gorgeous blank canvas blocks just waiting to be stitched upon!

Kathy L.

Mary C.

Louise K

Sarah A.

And...the newest of the classes announced...the ICQC 102 (Paint, Dye, Ink) is a huge load of fun! I can almost hear the giggling through the computer screen!

Nancy T.
Alice T.

Cheryl J.

Colleen B.

Dawn H.
Hazel R.

Marg R.

Marilyn N.

Ruth C.

Simone dK

Teena K.

This is as much of a "thank you" post as it is an inspirational and informative post. I so enjoy "watching" ladies learn new things, experiment and step outside of their normal level of comfort...and the enthusiasm that comes across in the class blog posts is heart warming to me. I'm having such a good time teaching this way...and so thanks to all of you that keep signing up to join me on this crazy adventure! May we all continue to smile, have fun, and keep learning.