Fun Time!


Now how cool is this!! Today, I am sitting amongst twenty other ladies...having a sewing retreat, and having a lovely time. For the past couple of weeks I've been getting ready for this trip, and also working on CQJP website pages and have not been able to get much stitching done. I hope to get some crazy quilt stitching done this weekend, and post photos for ya'll soon. But, today...I thought you might like this photo of a van some of the ladies drove down from Maryland in! The fabric pieces are "attached" to the van with starch. And, in Tennessee...they started loosing some because it was raining!
How creative! 
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Do You Have a Crystal Ball?...


I do...of sorts. I actually have been working on a pattern for a crystal tassle top mini-class. And decided that a crystal ball would be good to add to the class as well....it makes a super cool closure. 
Just work a little perle cotton or crochet thread loop (cast on stitch over 4 threads)...or use a child's hair elastic band...to fit over the ball, which is treated like a button. Now, to just get the charts drawn and the instructions written.

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Midnight Fantasy - Lyn


Lyn sent along two blocks for the group to work on in the Midnight Fantasy Round Robin; but, she only required that we choose one to work on. 
But, you know that when I have a CQ Block in my hands...I really NEED to stitch on it! So, I decided that both blocks should be "tied together" so that they would be a unit. Well, not literally tied together..no ropes involved...just having some of the same elements.
 So, large machine embroidery butterflies, large sprays of pink rose buds, tiny cloisonne' butterflies, larger plum wire ribbon roses and seams with a touch of orange was my choice. 
 The blocks are headed to the last person in the group to finish up before going home to Lyn in Texas.
  This block also has a spray of smaller rose buds with beads below my colorful seam.
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CQ Teddy Bear


I've been wanting to do a CQ Teddy Bear, and have not found the right pattern. I'm still looking. But, in the meantime...I'm doing a little bear just because. It's an easy pattern so far...one that I've had for a while...from Funky Friends Factory. So, we'll just hope for the best. Here are some of the parts with their seams stitch...still have to do the body, head, and arms.
My plan is to stitch...assemble the parts...add beads & SRE...then finish the assembly. Then add more seam embroidery and beads where needed after it is put together. Yes, I know that is the hard way...but it is the way that keeps me from turning beads and sequins inside-out. And, after doing many, many beaded dottie dolls...I learned a few tricks to bead and stitch with a five inch needle...and hide my knots. 
Do you have a favorite little bear pattern? I'm welcoming suggestions...but want a vintage looking little fellow. I'm leaning heavily in the direction of a Gooseberry Hill pattern called the 1903 Bear Pattern. But, still thinking...and hope I don't get "burn out" from just muddling around with this little Teddy.
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I have this friend...


...and I shouldn't say who (her name starts with an S, ends with an I, and has HAR in the middle). She is a formatible women...very multi-tasker wizard type...very caring...very persuasive. The persuasive part gets me in trouble! I mean, I love her...and love her ideas...but some time I have to sleep! When I have one "project" that I have volunteered for...all of a sudden she makes me want to volunteer for another...then it is another. I'm never really sure just how that happens...but every time I hang up the phone with her...I could swear that I have agreeded to another small project (and usually thought up three additional ones all on my own...that dang Muse!)
Anyway...I had a wonderful conversation with her grand-daughter a couple of days ago. A lovely little lady...all of five years old. She had managed to break an arm while playing...and we all are trying to make her feel better by sending butterflies. She had received mine, and a note from my grand-daughter Aidan, and had called to speak to us both...and say thanks.
So, during the conversation...I asked her if she liked bracelets. Mostly because I knew that Aidan would be out of school this week...and needing something to do...so why not get her to make a bracelet. They are quick...and easy...and I could get one done as well. So, in reply she said..."Yes, that would be very lovely. I really like bracelets, and would like one from you and Aidan. Thank you. Also, I would very much like for you to stitch something for me...as I really love what you stitch."
 Well...all I can say is..."The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!"
So, this is Belle's tin...with some stitching. And if you look at the upper left corner, you can get a glimpse of the bracelet that Aidan made as well. We'll be getting it into the mail this week...after the rain stops some.
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April CQJP Block


Got my white block done for April, although it looks gray...hard to photograph white with a cellphone I guess.
My challenge to myself for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project is to work ONLY in white. And, it is really getting to be a bore for my muse...so, the challenge is also to just keep stitching! I pieced all of my blocks at the beginning of the year, with a lot of lace pieces...and am wishing that I had not done that now. It's hard to incorporate so much lace in such a small space...but, then...that too is a challenge. And, that's the "name of the game" for this...to challenge ourselves in different ways...while completing twelve crazy quilt blocks throughout the year. So, I'll keep plugging away...and learning new things each month...even if those new things are about my self...and not new stitches!
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Do You Paper Piece?


Admittedly it is not my favorite thing to do. But, sometimes...it is necessary. Here is a star block completed yesterday It is one of Carol Doak's 50 Fabulous Stars. 
 But, what I really wanted to share with you is the idea/fact that these stars can be used as "portions" and not just as whole blocks. They are pieced in 4 units...which can be treated as individual elements. Here is the same block...or half-block really...with alternating directions. It makes a pretty effective border treatment I think.
 Some day, perhaps, I'll get around to completing the paper pieced Indian Orange Peel quilt that I bought foundation papers for...years ago! 
The pattern is by Karen K. Stone...who has a new book out too...and it is on my wish list!
 
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Funky Chicken for April


Here's my funky chicken for April. I'll start putting these together into rows soon.
 
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Fabulous Give-a-Way


GIVE-A-WAY
Check out this Fabulous Give-a-Way. But, don't enter...I don't need the competition! Seriously, I want to win! Okay, what are friends for...go ahead...enter. 
And, check out the website too!
You might have noticed that I'm not carrying Czech Glass Buttons on my Etsy site any more...or my beaded cabochons. Well, that's because Crazy Quilting Supplies is now carrying them. This has freed up a lot of time for me to design classes, teach, and stitch...and I'm so thankful for that.
Now, if they will only carry my lovely little clay/porcelain roses...I would be so content! Perhaps, I should start a petition?
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Mom Expects Frost



so, we just spent the last two hours covering all of the new plants in the garden. It looks like some sort of tent city along the fence...with the sheets and extra fence posts making cover for the row of corn. And, extra plastic bags and newspaper make cover for the okra, tomatoes, beans, squash, and cucumber plants.
Every year...it seems...we do this. It's almost become a family tradition!
 Here are the roses in bloom...
thought you might like to see them too. 
 Aidan's garden needs some work...so I'm not showing the bottom...but she in out of school next week, so Nana has plans! Ssshhh...she doesn't know about that yet.

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I'm Collecting Toilet Paper Rolls...


Okay, a few things...
 
1) Don't sent me yours...I'm sure to collect enough all on my own. Thanks.
2) Yes, I am weird...and believe me I already know that...so please don't remind me, cause reminders just give my muse something to talk about..and she already has enough to wag her tongue about.
3) The really strange thing is...I woke up from a little nap with THIS idea...yes, I know...this is what my brain thinks of when I'm sleeping! How scarey is THAT!
Here is the newly designed paper roll...now with a piece of contact paper attached...and beautiful silk ribbon! See the tub of ribbon that needs organizing...THIS will be my method.
And, in case you are wondering how long this will take...I also collect cardboard sleeves from wrapping paper and paper towels. Yes, it is true...I am truly mad! 
Wahaahaahhahah!
Do you use old cardboard sleeves for anything?
Just wondering...as I might have a lot and need to do something with them?
No, I'm not going to show you my gift wrapping rolls in the hall closet...just imagine them....hugs!
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HGTV - Six Inch Block Set - Kathy



The set of blocks is finished for the HGTV 6-inch Block Set Round Robin. One of the six is to be completed by the owner...so I decided to go ahead and start on mine. I already posted about the stitching, and now have finished the beading and silk ribbon work. So, it is ready to go along with the five blank blocks...to the next person in the rotation.
Here are some close-ups so you can see the specific beads and silk flowers...and such.








As you can probably see, the block has three primary floral clusters...each made of clay, porcelain, and silk roses...and silk or glass leaves. Some random crystals and pearls are added in. All the seams have also had beads and/or sequins added as well.
 
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Stitch Journals Have Arrived


Yea! Look what came yesterday! The Stitch Journals!
Some of these will be going out in the mail today...thanks for your patience!
 I'm sending them all priority mail...so you don't have to wait any longer.
Hugs to all!
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HGTV 6-inch RR Swap - Kathy


I already showed you the size blocks made for the round robin on HGTV...didn't I. Well, here they are again just to remind you.
 And, I could not help but start stitching on one of the set before mailing.
 Here is the block after lace and basic embroidery. I'm working on beads now, and will show you that when complete. Here are some closeups of the seams. 




All of the blocks are 6 inches square.
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