Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Twelve Dozen Template

Well, it's almost a New Year! And I hope it will be a great one for all of us, the last one sure has been a roller coaster ride hasn't it!!

The Twelve Dozen in Twelve Months Challenge is about to be in full swing!...and already I'm having such I'm on the design for #14 today!!

You've seen the first get cracking! Post your finished seam on the HGTV Message Board string for all to see!! Here's the link ( for those that are not yet members...but should be, cause it is about the best needlework forum out there! (Okay, I think it IS the best...but since I haven't been a member on ALL the others...I'll try and be PC about it) :)

I finished a template for the basic zigzag stitch yesterday...and posted the file on the CQ Wiki instructional site so you can down load it for use. It will help you produce uniform (vertical and horizontal) zigzag seams to use during this challenge...and it's free!! And, check the WIKI site out while you're there, it's full of crazy quilt tutorials!(

The template zigzag stitches are proportioned correctly to match the designs I'll be posting. Otherwise, you might have a problem fitting all those lazy daisy or french knot stitches ...into a zigzag that has more vertical and less horizontal than the one I'm using. ( would be wonderful to have more vertical and less horizontal, wouldn't it!...but there I go daydreaming again!)

There are five sizes on the template...and here's my recommendation for their use:

TINY - for doll quilts that you want to do CQ seams on
SMALL - for blocks 9" and less
MEDIUM - for blocks 9" to 14"
LARGE - for blocks over 14"
JUMBO - for circus tents

Of course, you can mix and match on the same CQ Block if you would add some variety...and your eye will tell you if the scale is right or wrong. Remember, no rules here...this is your challenge, your work, your project, your pace.

Tomorrow, I'll post stitches 3 and 4.... :)

Later in the year, when I run out of "zigzag" ideas...and add another basic stitch...I'll create a template for that/those as well and post it to the Wiki site as well.

So, get ready...hang on, this crazy ride is about to leave the station!! Woo Hoo...all aboard!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

TDiTM - Stitch #1

Reference: Twelve Dozen Stitches in Twelve Months

Okay, I can't stand the waiting for the New Year any here is the first stitch of the challenge. And, if you don't know about the challenge...check out the post about Twelve Dozen Stitches in Twelve Months. If you're counting, that breaks down to about 3 stitches per week...seems doable (if I can design that many combination stitches!!)

But, I guess that's the "Challenge" part for me. :)

If you want to post your photos...I'll start a string on the HGTV Message Board for Quilters so you can add your pictures there.... :)

Hope you enjoy the first stitch (I'm working on number 6...but am going to restrain posting any more least for today!)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

CHALLENGE - Twelve Dozen in Twelve Months

One of my personal goals in 2009 is to become much more proficient in stitching Crazy Quilt seams. So, to keep me motivated I am starting a challenge for myself. You are invited to stitch along with me.

I will stitch 12-dozen (that's 144) different seams over the next twelve months. (Okay, life got in the way of my deadline...but I'm still going to create the 12-dozen. We'll just have to see how many months it will take me! Actually, I still think it is a very do-able goal to just do the stitching. I did not consider the extra time to doodle the stitches, create the visual line drawing in Illustrator (which I had to learn to use), stitch the example, photograph the finished seam and resize to fit the blog, and write the blog entry and post!!) My intent is to expand on basic stitches that all should master quickly. So, this is going to be at the beginner level.

And, because I love beads...most (if not all) will surely include beads. However, for those of you that don't like beads on your work...I will accomodate and stitch half of the example with beads and half without. My work will be on a sampler cloth, although if I stitch on projects I'll share those as well.

Each week I will post some stitches using a basic stitch as the starting point. I will post a photo of the stitched example (bead and no bead) and the stitch chart. Feel free to use them to expand your stitch library.

These are my designs and my I ask that you honor my request not to use them for any endeavor of profit. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Beginner's Anatomy of a Stitch

Can't do a colonial knot or Hungarian braid stitch? Yeah, me too. And for a few months now I've been kinda hung up on my "lack of ability" instead of concentrating on my "ability"...more on the negative than the positive. (Weird, cause that's not usually me). But, just recently, while looking through Carole Samples book Treasure of Crazy Quilt Stitches (which I just love) I was struck by the awesome number of stitches...that were really just a mismatch of simple stitches that I CAN MAKE!

So, I decided to take a simple stitch...the zigzag...and add to it. I added lazy daisy, straight stitch, and french knot only. Those I can do! And was amazed at how far I could add to the basic lowly little zigzag...with no real effort.

So, I stitched up a sample to share..hoping that someone else might be helped to see that there is very little "magic"...just start stitching and see where it takes you.

Now, I don't advocate not learning new "established" stitches...but I say "Don't wait until you feel you are a SKILLED stitcher" just use what you do know and go for it!

On each photo, you will see two rounds of the stitch progression...I stitched in various color so you could (hopefully) see how the stitch builds from the basic zigzag.

I challenge you to take the basic zigzag...and add to it using only the french know, straight stitch, and lazy daisy. Change up the size of the thread...change up the colors...change up the height and width...shake things up. I'd love to see what you come up will start a new string on the HGTV Message Board for needlework/quilting to share this blog and give you a place to post your photos.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Russian Ladies Gifts

Okay, I know you're probably tired of seeing pin cushions...but I just can't stop! I am working on some Round Robins, but can't share photos of them since I don't want to spoil the surprise!

My six beautiful penpals from Russia received their Christmas gift from me. Yep, you guessed cushions. One (my very first effort) is pictured in my Borrowed Pin Cushion posting. But, now that all have arrived, I'll show you the other five.

Am also working on the usual Christmas decorating and family things this month, so not getting as much stitching done as I'd like too. But having fun just the same!

As you can clearly see, I worked each in a different color. I did not specify which lady received a specific one, as I wanted them to pick the one that they most liked. I used my stencils for most of the seams and the tissue paper overlay idea for the trees.

All were tons of fun. And now, I'm thinking of doing some smaller sized ones...but am concerned about having enough work on a smaller surface. When I get that worked out, I'll post a picture of the finished effort. Will probably after Christmas however as a large family (over 40 in all) is a lot of folks to plan for...cook for...clean for...Well, you get the idea I'm sure. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

More PinCushions!

I've been busy working on some crazy quilt round robin blocks, and having a ton of fun! But, I can't show those since only small "peeks" are allowed. So, I'll show you some shots of three more pin cushions I've been working on. These are already mailed and no secrets here. I cut the tops of the photos...haven't done that in a long the shots are not complete. Instead, they are mostly of the stitches enlarged. But, sometimes, that's better I can see how to complete them and I hope you try them out. Enjoy!