Do You Homeschool? Or Do Children's Crafts?

Well, if you do either of these...you really seriously need to check out this site. I'm not even sure how I found it, but I've been following it for weeks now...and love it. I don't have the time for all of the projects, but have done at least three of them when Aidan has visited...and she always has a good time with them.
This little sheep is one idea out of hundreds...but is a good example of the easy nature of the crafts, and that most supplies needed are really usually on-hand anyway!
So, please check them out....Krokotak 
The site is in Russian, but can easily be translated...there is a button at the top right.
 
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Ornate Vintage Alphabet Motif - G,H


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Book Review - 400+ Embroidery Stitches


Really, this book should be called "400+ Crazy Quilt Seam Ideas". And, without a doubt...it is the very best book on seams that I have seen yet. And, I include my own book, Embellishing Crazy Quilts, in that list too. And my second book will be done closer to this one...as I'm in love with this easy breezy layout!
 

This book is published by the Love to Quilt Creations, and is promoted by the American Quilt Society. The author, Joan Waldman, created a lovely book. Actually, it is more the size of a pamplet...only 31 pages.
But almost every page is stuffed full of gorgeous charted designs that are clearly printed on graph paper. (A perfect companion to the grid template I posted for you last week...how cool is that!).


I love that it is thin enough to go in a project totebag, and easy enough to understand that any stitcher...even the very beginning stitcher...can follow it.
I got my copy as a "used like new" book from Amazon...at only $7.70 plus shipping. You might not find one that cheap, but...any price is seriously worth the money!

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Ornate Vintage Alphabet Motif - C, D

 
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Templates at work...

I spent a little time this afternoon making more templates...using the grid system I posted about last week. I  did punch out an entire grid with my large needle...and it took a while. I also used my 1/16 hole punch and punched out just a few "individual" seam template base ideas...cretan, holbein, herringbone, running stitch, etc. and they took far less time! More printing of the grids on vellum...but far easier to punch out.
 
Actually, I'm really surprised that I can even see the holes...as I'm that tired. Sommer and Aidan stopped by late yesterday afternoon. And, Sommer was so tired...she fell asleep across the end of my bed. At 8:00 p.m. I still didn't have the heart to wake her...but had too. I was worried about them driving home, and convinced her to just spend the night...and get up really early to drive back home and get Aidan on the school bus this morning. There were clothes still here for Aidan...so getting dressed this morning was no problem.
 
Sommer agreed, and immediately went right back to sleep...and I put Aidan to bed around 9:00 p.m.
Then, around 10:30 p.m. I decided it was time for me to turn in too. So, I crawled into bed. Now, my bedroom is the only bedroom in this apartment...but is big. It has my double bed and Aidan's single bed in the same large space. After about 20 minutes...and I was just almost asleep...Aidan starts snoring. And, I mean SNORING. Her mother never moved or woke up...being dead asleep herself. 
 
ME...another story all together!  I tried getting her to turn over. Nope, no help...I tried a pillow over my head...Nope, no help. Finally, around midnight I just gave up...and got up. No sleep, so I got on the laptop and got some design work done.
At 5:00 a.m. I was in the kitchen making oatmeal....and sure did need my two cups of coffee at 8:30 a.m. when mother was awake down stairs at her house! 
 
I've got my second wind now...a burst of energy...but, figure it won't last a whole lot longer! I should sleep like a baby....a snoring baby...tonight!
 
Hugs! Hope you all get a good night's sleep tonight too!
p.s. If you send me something today/tonight and my response does not make sense...then, I'm asleep...so you're really talking to my muse!
Hey, that might be a better conversation come to think of it!

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Ornate Vintage Alphabet Monogram - AB

Aren't these letters just gorgeous! These are vintage and protected by the Creative Commons license...so can be distributed...but not sold. So, share if you like on your own blog too!
I'll post them over the next few days.
They are very detailed, and would be gorgeous as embroidery pieces. A lot of work...but, oh so worth it!
I'm adding at least one of these to my "To Do List" for sure!
I'll schedule these to post over the next few days...while I continue to plug along on my applique "Jingle" quilt. Maybe I'll have something finished to share by the end of the week.
Oh, as this is a true vintage alphabet...there is no letter "I" or letter "W" in it. You'll have to adapt another letter to replace these. Suggestions are the letter "M" inverted for a "W"; and the vertical post of the letter "K" for the letter "I".
Hugs!
Left click the photo and then select "view photo". From there, you can save or print the jpeg type file.
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Vintage Leaf with Bud

Here's an interesting little embroidery motif.
It is simple enough to trace and enlarge for filling work; or reduce for a simple little beaded motif.

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Applique begins...

I'm working on the center medallion of the Jingle Block of the Month applique and pieced quilt. The medallion is a seperate pattern, called Mrs. Kringle. 
 
The surrounding blocks are free downloads each month, and as you can see from the printout above...the first pieced and first applique patterns are already out.
So, I have to get this center completed...before I get started on the individual blocks.
 
I'm having a good time and really enjoying the relaxation of applique work. It is almost as much fun as embroidery.
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New Grid Templates Available for Free

 
 
I'm working on a new grid template idea, for making more elaborate seam designs that are based on a simple grid. So far, there is a set of four templates based on two types of grid. Accompanying the template sheet is a set of worksheets that can be printed for "doodling" your own seams. 
 
Then, use the template to mark the corresponding "holes" based on the grid you have chosen. Complete instructions are in this pdf file...and I'd like to see what your thoughts are when you use these. 
 
Here's how the above seam looks using this new grid template:
 
 
This is similiar to how you would stitch on a papercard...without the card, but with "pencil dots" to mark where the appropriate holes are for your needle placement.
I'm interested in your feedback after you try these templates.
Thank you.
 
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Classes and Patterns


Just a quick note to let y'all know that I have now loaded my patterns and my class instruction downloads over at Patternspot. Just search for Kathy Shaw or Shawkl and you'll find my page. And, while you are there...look around...the site is really starting to pick up some really cool designers!
 
The class lessons are very reasonable, and although I'm not teaching them online...you can still contact me via email if you need any help. 
 
However, after teaching each of them several times...and not getting any real serious questions...I am confident that the instructions are detailed enough for you to most likely complete any of them with minimal effort.
 
Still, I'm always here if you need me.
Hugs,
 
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CQJP February - Block Four


This is the last block for this month. I'll post all four of these blocks to the CQJP2013 site soon and complete the challenge for another month. Woot! Woot! It's always nice to accomplish a goal!
Here are the seams from the Embellishing Crazy Quilt book worked on this circle:
 
 Seam #22
 
 Seam #84
 
Seam #128
 
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Free Quilt Books & Patterns...one week only





I received a note from Martingale Press today. They are honoring Robin Strobel, who passed in December.

"In honor of Robin’s generous spirit, we’re offering free downloads of her books, The Casual Quilter and Quilter’s Bounty, as well as her patterns, through Monday, February 25. Simply add Robin’s books and patterns to your cart and proceed through checkout. We think she’d like that."

If you would like the free downloads of her two books, or some of her patterns just go to the Martingale site (link below) and search for Robin Strobel and they will come up. Fill in the required information and the downloads window will open.

http://www.shopmartingale.com
 

Just trying to share the news, and help honor a great quilt teacher, author, and woman.

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CQJP February - Block Three


Still stitching away on the February CQJP2013 blocks. I'm going to finish four of these small circles for this month, and I'm almost done! Yea! I won't be late...but am sure to be some time this year...Ha! This block includes three more seams from the Embellishing Crazy Quilts book. Here are the closeup photos:
 
Seam #122
 
Seam #109

Seam #101

 
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Jingle BOM


Do you download Block of the Month patterns? I do...sometimes. And there are a couple of Erin Russek's that I've been wanting to do....and keep finding excuses to begin. THEN, this year, she announced "Jingle" and I just had to really, really just HAD to do this quilt. There is a huge and glorious center medallion (see photo above), and it will be surrounded by eight pieced blocks and eight applique blocks.

 
The center is a purchased pattern for the 30" medallion...called Mrs. Kringle. Very reasonably priced, and a pdf download so you can start NOW! The surrounding blocks are free each month. Here are some of the pieces being prepared.
 

And here are the pieces that I've finished getting ready to stitch down.
Let me know if you are also working on this quilt, as I'd like to follow your progress too!
Hugs! 

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CQJP February - Block Two

February blocks continue! These are about five inches across and this quilt will have a few of these included, so I'm trying to finish several each month. Then, I'll be working on larger ones through the summer.
 
Here are the closeup of the seams included in this block:
 
 Seam #99
 
 Seam #119
 
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