Yea! Calendar Time is here!

 
 
Today, Pam Kellogg's crazy quilt calendar is ready for purchase at MagCloud! Yeah, can't wait to see this entire calendar.
 
She asked me to contribute a block, and I was very honored to do so. My little bunny is ready for Spring! I'll show you some details tomorrow...
The ladies that contributed works are some of my favorite stitchers! I'm so eager to see all of their blocks! Come on mailman...bring me my calendar! 
 
 
 
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Gecko is complete...


It took most of the day...but he is done. And, I enjoyed the process, even though I was tired because I was pushing to finish.
 
 
I used a lot of beads to cover the cabochons and to fill in space here and there. More bullions, French Knots, and back-stitches were worked around the beading. To add some shading, I used longer back stitches in the pretty knitted rayon from Color Complements throughout.
 

I changed my mind on the head bead as it seemed to conflict with the eyes as I started working. So, I covered it with five spokes and did a wrapped rose in rayon perle. 
 
 
 
These darker beads are called twin beads...I put an extra one in the photo (on it's side) so you can see what they look like. Strange little beads...and I thought that they might be too dark. But, when the gecko was finished...they were fine. Sometimes things don't look "right" because there is so much empty space around them...but after you have worked more into the area...they make themselves at home. Ha!
 
 

I worked around the cabochon on the left...but these other two were too close to the sides. So, what you can't go around...you go over!


I like the little three beads on their ends...but the beading thread will be covered some with green sewing thread. I thought about using a green marker to color the thread...or removing and starting over. But, the green thread worked enough to make me happy. All of the background was filled with back stitching in the yarn fiber.


The final gecko has some good dimension and I'm pretty happy with him (or her).



Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Gecko Begins


This has been such a very busy month with classes...mine and StitchMAP's. So, I have not had any time to stitch this month's HEX Challenge...and only have two days to get it done! So, I began last night with the outline of the gecko and the brick behind. Both were done in Stem Stitch.
 
 
Stem Stitch is not the first choice of many people for a design that has such tight curves...the instructions actually said Back Stitch because of this reason. But, I like doing my own thing with designs...and rarely (as it never most likely) do exactly what instructions say for anything. And, Stem Stitch can be very easy to work around inside and outside curves...even tight ones...if the length of the stitch is just shortened. For these tight curves, the inside curves stitching is reduced to only a couple of threads for each stitch...and it works around the line perfectly!
 
 
Next was to select some beads and threads. I pulled a whole bunch of greens from my stash. But, most of this will not be used as the gecko is too small to hold ALL of this. 
 
 
I did find some tiny cabochons in green. These were part of a MIX of cabochones that I bought and wondered what in the world I'd do with these teensy ones. Goes to show...don't discard anything! Ha! These will be temporarily held in place with a tiny drop of E-6000 glue until I can encase them with embroidery work or beading.
 

The eyes are first to deal with. The gecko has "bulging" eyes...and I didn't want them to be green like the body. So, I went with a 4mm round black bead. Olive green bullions, stacked on top of each other, create an eyelid for each eye.
 

The next area for consideration are the feet. This gecko's feet are pronounced, like a tree frog. I placed a little bead near the end of each toe.
 

These beads look like round beads probably...but, they are actually drops. These are tiny, about 3mm, and I purchased them for tiny spider bodies.
 

Each toe is rounded with one or two bullions...which mimic the eye lids nicely...and French Knots to fill in the foot. Well, that's the progress so far...now, I'm off to stitch some more!

 
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Colorful Butterfly Charms


Lately, I have been on the computer a lot...tons of writing! Last night, I just needed a creative break...but was too tired to stitch. So, I pulled out the box of fingernail polish bottles...and painted some butterfly charms.
 
 
Then, I dug out the Ranger Alcohol Inks and painted some more!
 
 
Now, I had a great stack waiting for me this morning...all dry and ready to be put into the charm draw...just waiting for their home on a crazy block!
 
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Bead Organization...Traveling?

Crazy quilt projects can use up a huge variety of beads. So, when you travel...do you just leave them off until later...or take the beads with you?  I've traveled by car with trays of beads before...they are heavy and take up a lot of room. I also have a circular bead carry case...which is great.
 

But, I found this and like it even more...and it is cheaper! A win win!
It's for medicine...it a pill keep. Each little compartment is actually four compartments...each open independently of the others. And there are fourteen of these...so room for 56 types of beads. Yes, you would only get abut 1/2 teaspoon of beads in each...but, that's a lot of beads if they were seed beads or little pearls.
 

And the tapestry cover is too cute! I found this version at Miles Kimball online, and it was only $8.99 before shipping.
So, think outside the box...the next time you need to travel with a crazy quilt project.
And, another little traveling tip for you. If you are afraid that cases will "open" when traveling...put a little piece of surgical tape (like you get for holding gauze over a wound) over the lid and down the sides. It is easily removed and re-applied over and over again...much better than clear or packaging tape.


Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

A wee bit of stitching...



Managed to get a bit of stitching done this past week. Am in a Wool round robin over at CQI, and here is some of the block I'm working on right now, it belongs to Gerry K. and the photo of the sheep...is a photo of HER sheep. Isn't that too cool! 
 
 
We've had goats (never again)..but no sheep. Goats are loud...and head butt you just for fun. Not so cool!




Think I'll just keep with the stitched kind of animals...except for my "Buddy" of course.






Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Best Wishes for Fresh Hope


Today, I received my second pattern proof from the Fresh Hope organization. I donated these two designs to them...for printing and resale in their gift shoppe and website.

'Fresh Hope' is a non-profit residential rehabilitation home located in Queensland, Australia. The organization's efforts allow mothers to keep their children with them while rehabilitating from a substance abuse problem. Fresh Hope provides a safe haven for children during a very stressful time and encouragement for parents to overcome physical, mental, and emotional obstacles while working towards their goal of achieving successful rehabilitation.

The organization believes that separating mother and child during rehabilitation only  adds to a mother's struggle to be rehabilitated and can cause unnecessary trauma for the child due to the separation.  Where, if parent and child are kept together in a safe and nurturing environment...both mother and child benefit by building a stronger bond than was often known previously.

Fresh Hope works with both the mothers and their children in the areas of counseling, attachments and life skills. Because of the organization's efforts...mothers are being empowered to develop a drug free, healthy lifestyle, enabling them to parent more effectively thereby providing ‘Fresh Hope' to a generation who had previously lost hope due to alcohol or drug abuse. In this way, they also hope to break the cycle of abuse.

I believe that the goals of this organization are honorable and worth supporting. That is why I have donated freely my talents and designs to them for their use. Two patterns are not much, and they certainly won't make tons of money, but I hope that they help in some small way.

If you have the means to purchase just one pattern from their website...or even make a small donation...your money will go to a very good cause. While my patterns are new and not loaded on the website yet...there are other wonderful patterns available there now. 

Please check out their site. And, if you can't purchase a pattern...leave a nice encouraging comment or send an email of encouragement to this wonderful team of counselors and staff. I'm sure they all work long arduous days at times...and a kind word goes a long way!


 
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Mr. Owl


This year, Shari has been having a Hexagon Challenge each month. I'm helping to design some of them...and this owl will be for November. I have two more November lessons to finish designing and stitching. Then, I have all three of them to write the instructions for. It seemed like such a good idea back last December to agree to do three classes in November of the next year...thinking that I would have all year to get them done. But you know my muse...she likes to work under the short deadlines!
 
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Free Designs

I don't remember how I stumbled on to this site...but, I'm glad that I did! She has wonderful art for cards...and posts a free image daily. Most of the designs are child like and would make wonderful embroidery blocks for childrens quilt blocks. A few are also just right for crazy quilt blocks. Normally, she posts the artwork in color (great for cards) and as a line drawing (great for embroidery or applique sometimes). The site is Free Dearie Dolls Digi Stamps.
 
I invite you to check out her blog.
 
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Dying Fabrics

What an interesting week. Buddy went home with Aidan for the week...and the house is so quiet. But, it has allowed me time to nap! And to get some things done. Yesterday, I dyed a few pieces of white linen and counted thread fabrics.
The dye is left over from my last lace dying almost six months ago...and was stored in quart jars under the sink.The Aida and linens were wet and pushed down into the dye. What came out...was going to be better than stitching on white...so I was not worried. 
 
Then two silk scarves went into a bowl with blue...and I sprinkled a bit of wet orange and crimson dye over the whole thing.
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Color Schemes


 I created a color handout for my Intermediate Class, and thought that it would be helpful to everyone...so I'm sharing it. After printing, you can cut the page into small cards that will fit easily in your purse when you shop for fabric...just as a reminder of "what color schemes" might work for a quilt.

 
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Crazy Quilt Embellishment Classes - Registration is Now Closed

Good Morning to All! Life is a zoo around here as usual...but, a promise is a promise...so, I'm still going to open a new Beginner Crazy Quilt Class this month...and the Intermediate Crazy Quilt Class as well.
 
Both classes will be free...but, you must finish a lesson before receiving the next one. So, your time is required...you will not be able to download lessons and not finish them. Each class is designed to be completed in about six weeks...but can be done in as long as 12 weeks...then they will close. If you have not finished by that time...you will not be receiving any other installments.
 
The beginner class is open to anyone who wants to participate. TO REGISTER: Just send me an email with your Name, Email Address, and please tell me a bit about your current level of expertise in embroidery and crazy quilt work specifically. Please put "Register Beginner CQ" in the subject of your email.
 
The intermediate class is only open to those that have completed my prior beginner class. This is because I need to know that everyone has had at least the same level of prior work in order to start off at the same "place". TO REGISTER: Just send me an email with your Name, Email Address, and attach a photo of your completed Beginner Class Block to prove that you actually finished my prior class. Please put "Register Intermediate CQ" in the subject of your email.
 
All students will be directed to a specific class blog for the class. You will be required to be able to get on-line at your convenience...open the blog...post to the blog...including posting photos. You will receive an "invitation to the class blog" after you have registered.
 
Registration for Beginner and Intermediate Classes will close on 15 July at midnight.
My email for classes is shaw.kathy@yahoo.com
Hugs!
 
EDITED TO ADD:
The Beginner Class is very structured. You will not be able to use pre-made blocks. Everyone will create the same pieced blank block...but have choice of colors in the embellishment phase. This is the Beginner Class Model Block:
 
 
The Intermediate Class will be much more flexible...and blank blocks will be very welcome. The pre-requisite Beginner Class will ensure that all students start out with at least the same level of beginner experience...having completed that class before. There is no model block photo for the intermediate class as all of them will be different.
If you have questions, just email me...I'll be happy to answer them for you before you decide to register or not. :)
 
 
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF

Monogram Monday - FGH


Here are more letters in the Old English Font that can be used for hand embroidery monograms. Clean up the wobbly lines when you trace...to create smooth slopes and curves.
 
Photobucket
Print Friendly and PDF