Friday, January 30, 2015

Morning All!

I've been making some changes to the blog. Some, I'm not sure I'm even going to keep...but we shall see.
Every just wake up and feel like "changing something?"...I do, and usually it means that I'll be moving furniture that day!
When I was meant that I'd cut my hair or dye it again!
So, now that I'm getting older...does changing my blog mean that I'm too old to push the couch around? I hope not!
You might also notice that I've added a "donate" button to the blog. No, I'm not in dire straights...or anything. But, some have asked if they can contribute to the cost of the software costs and such for the classes. I do spend money on a Creative Cloud subscription with Adobe each month for their entire suite of software....which I mainly use Illustrator at the moment to draw diagrams and artwork for the classes. So, I thought I'd just make it easier...if you want to throw a couple of bucks into the pot...that's fine. If now, I'm perfectly fine with that too! Hugs!
At least now, I've given you a you don't have to ask.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Intermediate Crazy Quilt Classes

Several ladies have been asking about the registration window for the Intermediate Course. Well, thought I'd take some time today and give you the "scoop".
Last year, I offered the Intermediate Class for the first time...and had about a dozen ladies sign up for this pilot class. We had a wonderful time, and they did some amazing and beautiful work during the Autumn and Winter months.

While I "thought" that I had done a good job of limiting the class to just the was quickly apparent that there was just TOO MUCH information to have just a continuing single class. AND, I had a second problem...what was included was just a small fraction of what I WANTED to include.

So, after much thought and pencil to paper...I have developed a plan.
I'm going to be offering a series of Intermediate Level Classes. If you choose to take them could consider it a "Course". Each class will have parts or tasks...and you receive the next task as you complete the prior one...same process that I use in the Basic CQ Course.

I am going to continue to require that students take and finish the Basic CQ Course before taking any of these Intermediate Classes. Here are my reasons for that:

1) The classes are held on a private blog...which works a bit differently than a public blog. In the Basic CQ Course, each student learns how to properly get registered and use the blog for class. This sounds simple...but takes several days for some students to work out the "bugs" of actually getting logged in and maneuver around the site.  So, by requiring this basic class first...students will know how to use the blog as a teaching/learning platform...and I will not have such a high curve of "getting started" in the intermediate classes.

2) Tasks are completed and photos are published to the class blog. Feedback comes from me in the form of comments; and from other students in the form of positive remarks. Subsequent tasks are emailed upon completion of the prior task. This method of processing through a course curriculum is new to most. It is my "method of teaching" and having the basic course allows everyone to have a good working knowledge of my teaching methods and the rhythm of a class taught by me.

3) Information presented in the Basic Course will not be repeated in the Intermediate Course. But, the information will be built upon. So, students that do not get the handouts on Templates, Embroidery Stitches, Ribbon Stitches, Basic Design Principles, etc. will not have these to refer back to in the Intermediate Course.

4) The Basic Course has nothing to do with a person's skill level. It can be taken by anyone. If you are comfortable with the material provided you can move through the class in a couple of weeks. If you have more constraints on your time or your can use the entire 12 weeks provided in the schedule for you to complete the course.

Okay...this is getting long let me just end by giving you my proposed breakdown of Classes for the Intermediate Crazy Quilt Course (ICQC) upcoming Classes.

ICQC-101: Piecing Crazy Quilt Blocks
101-A-Working with printed images
101-B-Color theory
101-C-Selecting fabrics
101-D-Designing blocks
101-E-Adding lace and trims

ICQC-102:Working w/Paints, Dyes, Inks
102-B-Silk Ribbon

ICQC-103: Embellishing w/Threads
103-A-Combination seams expanded
103-C-Basic Motifs
103-D-Motif Vignettes

ICQC-104: Motifs w/Fabrics & Threads
104-A-Fabric manipulations
104-C-Raised Applique
104-D-Working w/slips

ICQC-105: Embellishing w/Ribbon
105-A-Silk Ribbon Florals
105-B-Manipulating ribbons

ICQC-106: Embellishing w/Objects
106-A-Beaded seams
106-B-Clusters and trails
106-C-Filling w/beads
106-D-Cabochons and handmade buttons
I would love to hear your feedback and ideas about this proposed Course content. If I've left out an element of CQ work that you want to know more about...let me know.
These classes may overlap in the scheduling...and will not be offered in order necessarily. These will be technique classes and not have to rely on each other as a rule. But, having a block to work or practice on is important...and understanding COLOR THEORY is even more I am making the ICQC-101 Class a per-requisite for the other ICQC Classes. The others can be taken in any order however.
Registration for the ICQC-101: Piecing Crazy Quilt Blocks Class will open on 26 mark your calendars.
I will provide a general supply list for each course prior to registration. Some are still being worked out...and when they are all completed...I will also post them on the blog under the Classes Page. As of now, I'm still in the planning or editing phase for each. They will be announced as they are completed. If you have taken the Basic CQ Course...then you know how detailed and complete my instructions these students will understand that it takes time to do this writing and stitching of the models. The rest of you...well, you'll just have to trust me that it will be worth your time.
All of these classes will be no charge.

There will be a need for supplies of course...which will cost money...unless you have things in your stash that you can use. Hopefully, you will! I'm also okay with you substituting different colors of ribbon, paint, dye, etc.

My goal is to share information and yet, not require you to mortgage the house to learn new techniques.

Now, that's not to say that a "GOOD SIZE STASH" is not worthwhile...because it most certainly is! And, I'm all for Shopping Trips! And mine are all usually on-line...Ha!

Hugs to all!

Edited to Add: The next BASIC CQ Class will be open for registration on 2 May. However, the current ongoing class is moving along so fast...I am toying with the idea of opening another one in keep watching for that too. Hugs,

Monday, January 26, 2015

Crazy Quilt Quarterly Spring is almost here!

The Spring 2015 Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine is about to launch! This is Pam Kellog's first edition...after taking the editor position. 
She asked me to write an article about "CQ Classes"...and I was happy to do so. It's not what you might think...does not mention my Shawk Class at all really...but I do hope you will read it anyway. Hugs!
Got my heads' up copy today..and the magazine is SUPERB! Y'all are going to love it!
So, keep you some "pocket money handy" the 1st of you can get this download from MagCloud then.
Watch Pam's blog for more info on when to order...
Kitty and Me Designs.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Little Hedgehog

A student asked me about the little hedgehog on my block for Pam Kellogg's 2015 Crazy Quilt Calendar today. So, thought I'd post this little pattern for everyone.
You can reduce or enlarge to fit the space you want to fill. Here's how I created my version:
Step 1: Size shape to about 1 1/4" wide, cut it out of good quality wool felt
Step 2: Sew to CQ Block with tiny Blanket Stitches in matching color sewing thread
Step 3: Begin at the back and create layered Bullion Stitches in variegated brown/black floss. Stop at dashed pattern line. Look at the photo for direction of these knots.
Step4: Add black seed bead for eyes.
Step 5: Add Satin Stitches in black floss for end of snout.
Hope you enjoy creating him (or her). Hugs!

Monday, January 19, 2015


If you had been anywhere near my house would have heard this word for sure.
The conversation between my visiting granddaughter and me like this:
AIDAN: "Oh Nana, I forgot...I have to do an animal cell or a plant cell?"
AIDAN: "You know, it's kinda round with little parts inside. And it needs to be in 3-D."
AIDAN: "Nana, you're not listening. I need to do a cell for Science and it's due tomorrow, and I forgot about it.
AIDAN: "The teacher said we could make it out of cake if we needed too."

Why is that when children have a science project...they "remember" it only hours before bedtime the night before it is due in school?

So, I made a rush trip to the local dime store to get nerf way was I going to try this with cake!

Here is the result before we glued it and the names of the descriptive parts on foam core board!
You might recognize...coral beads (painted blue), gold bugle beads, white covered button (painted orange), and two pinto beans painted blue with darker blue squigglies on them. 
Much paint was used...five different paint brushes...two paint trays...and Aidan was very happy. It was a good time when it was done! One I hope NOT to repeat however. Hugs!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Registration for the January BCQC is Closed

The Basic Crazy Quilt Class/Course is now closed to any more registrations.
We has a huge interest in the past five days...and now have 144 folks signed up for the January basic class. That's going to be a load of fun!
The next class registration for the BCQC will be on 2 May.
So, if you missed this registration window...mark your calendar for 2 May and check back here at to register then.
The last class of the year will be open on 8 August.
I'm working still on re-editing the Intermediate Classes...and hope to have something new on that in mid February.
Other committments are eating at my time right now.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

REGISTRATION for Basic CQ Course is now OPEN (Closes the 13th)

 REGISTRATION will remain open until midnight on January 13th
The class will run from 14 January thru 31 March
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.
On March 31 the class officially closes

  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. 
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.
You will need to be able to take a photo of your work, and upload it 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.
You do need a basic understanding of how to save these photos and then retrieve those picture files
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 about 300 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!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I'm Cool!

Like my hand warmers?

Yes, I know...I'm just a little crazy.
It is cold outside...and inside is even a wee bit chilly! 
We in the southern states are having a "polar freeze" according to the weatherman. Now...don't send me any ugly notes from the eastern and northern I realize that we in the deep south are not even half as cold as y'all are. BUT, we complain when it gets below 50-degrees...because we are just not that used to a lot of cold days. And when it is below 35-degrees, we run to get extra wood for the fireplaces (and buy all of the bread and milk in the grocery store)...thinking that we surely are about to turn into Popsicles.
 So, when the weatherman talks about it dropping into the teens at night...and 20's in the daytime...we are miserable!
When I'm typing, and I do a LOT of hands and fingers do not need to be stiff and cold.
 And these hand warmers are good for helping to warm them up. But, they are not so good at letting me have a great range of motion. So, not so good for typing I found. Even with the fingers cut out, the "mouse" feels so strange in my hand that this is not going to work for long.
The house is cool, but not cold...the thermostat is set to 68-degrees and I'm going to TRY not adjusting I want to keep my heating bills down some this year.
And then, I remembered that I had purchased a little desk heater some years back...before retiring. My office as always cold...and we were not supposed to get any of those floor heaters. So, I tried this little tiny desk top model since I could easily remember to "turn it off" before heading home...
it is IDEAL. So, thought I'd share with you.

It is tiny, as you can tell by the size of the stapler on the desk. But, it puts out a LOT of heat ...and does it quickly. So, my fingers are not out of the gloves...and are toasty warm. Might just move it to the floor so my toes can thaw out next!
This model is a Lasko 102 "My Heat" and costs around $20 in the states. (Amazon Prime has it for $17 right now.)
 I also have a Lasko 754200, Ceramic Heat model which is about twice the size of this smaller model, and uses radiant heat. But it does not get hot very quickly. I tried it first, since it is larger...but it blows cold air until the radiant heat elements warm up and that did not help at all.

So, if your hands are always cold when you stitch or type then you might want to check out one of these little heaters.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Crazy Time?

Is it just me..or were the past three holidays just crazy nuts! At my house, it seemed like the clock was working at double speed at least!

Doesn't Mom's yard look like a used car dealership? This is the view we had at Thanksgiving...over fourty folks piled out of these vehicles...and the food was great! I'm not going to share family or food protect all who over-stuffed themselves!

Christmas was spend with my daughter at her house. Aidan gave out the presents from under the tree.

Sommer opened hers...

Kyle opened his...
And, I took photos! Hugs!

In December, I did manage to complete the blocks for the wool round robin at CQI, and mailed after the Christmas rush.

Then, unfortunately I had a little down time in mid December with my sciatica acting up...and am down again (almost) these past couple of days with my neck out of joint. Makes me kinda "cloudy headed" and hard to turn my head. Hoping it clears up (better already than yesterday) or I'll need to go see the chiropractor next week...and it is supposed to be really cold starting on Monday. Not, "Pennsylvania" cold...but cold for Alabama. We have had rain for two days...and more tonight and tomorrow expected. Dreary and yucky! Not great weather for being creative.

But, I still managed to draw out some patterns for my CQJP 2015 blocks.

And print the silkies for them. Now, I just have to feel like sewing!

Have also been working on editing the BCQC course will open for registration on the 10th of January. Still hope to get parts of the ICQC open at the end of the month...but, it may be February instead if my efforts keep getting pushed back.

Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays as much as I did...and hope that they were less hectic!
1/4/15 Edited to Add: BCQC=Basic Crazy Quilt Course; ICQC=Intermediate Crazy Quilt Course