Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Fine Project for the New Year!

As this year comes to a close...we are thinking of the New Year about to begin. I'd like to take a moment to remind you of a Calendar Contest that was announced this past November. If you have not thought of a "personal challenge" for yourself next year (or are looking for a good one that deals with stitching)...why not consider this: Create a crazy quilt block for publication!
The shape needs to be horizontal and measure 8 inches tall by 11 inches wide to get a good horizontal photo that will "fit" the calendar format. ONLY the photos are needed for this challenge so you get to keep your block for framing and display! PLUS you get a chance to win prizes as this is a contest!
Read all the instructions that Pam Kellogg has already shared about this challenge...and begin thinking of a design for your own "My Secret Garden" block! 
~ I double dog dare you!! Ha~
Hope to see your entry cross over the judges computer screens...hint, hint!


Boy, I feel like I just got off of a roller-coaster! This year was just a whirlwind of activity for the Christmas holiday...and I enjoyed every minute of it! Today, I'm feeling "extra old" and tired will have to get my wind back!
I was fortunate enough to spend the week of Christmas at my daughter's home...and the grand-daughter and I  so enjoyed ourselves! Plus, my daughter got engaged; which is so exciting! 
I'm knee deep in finishing up my round robin block for CQI and still working on my next book. So, will have photos of the block for you soon.
Hope you also enjoyed a glorious Christmas (let's not talk about the parts we did not enjoy)...and only remember the good things!
Sending hugs out to everyone~

Friday, December 18, 2015

Updates and Reminders

Well, not many blog posts this month! I HAVE been working on things...just nothing that I can post a public photo of...without ruining the surprise!
Wanted to jump on real quick and remind everyone that the CQJP Registration closes on the 20th of IF you are still on the fence...hop on board soon! You can go to to read the rules and guidelines for joining in.
Also, I'm checking OUT of the computer TOTALLY from about the 22nd through the internet at all. Going to enjoy my Christmas with family...and hope you can do the same.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

CQJP and Hexagons!

Last year, a lot of hexagon quilt photos began popping up all over Pinterest...many were of crazy quilt blocks. One of my most favorite is a set of blocks by Rhonda Dort. Here is a link to my Pinterest page of these blocks and more.  
Perhaps YOU will be inspired...I know that I was. So, for next year...more hexagons! I have the blocks all ready to stitch on. Thought I'd share some photos with you today.
 The first important fact about these blocks is that they are "whole cloth" blocks. Sometimes referred to as faux crazy quilt blocks...because they have NO seams. The illusion of seams will be created by the addition of the trims...which will have combination seams along the sides.

The second piece of important information is the size. Each side of the hexagon measures 5 7/8 inches and across from point to point is 11 3/4 inches. This larger area is needed to showcase the corners of some handkerchiefs AND allow me to use some larger pieces of dyed lace.

 This block looks void of hankie...but the "mother" is on a corner of one. This also has a beautiful pink lace heart from a friend in Romania (Thanks Annamarie!) and from a pal in the United Kingdom (Thanks Pippa!)

Most all of the trims have been purchased at Vintage Vogue, on different swap groups, or gifted to me in various swaps. While I don't remember exactly which came from where...I'm really glad to have an opportunity to use them all...finally! You know I don't do trims very often.

The blue machine embroidery on this block is from the front of a blouse. I got it at a yard sale because I liked this front panel...and planned to cut it up. The collars are also used in these blocks.

The heart in this block was dyed by Cathy Kizerian and the blue butterfly (as well as most other butterflies) were machine lace done by Phyllis Latham.

The base of all these blocks is a heavy weight linen fabric, so no other layers are present. The linen was chosen because the "blank areas" can be stitched directly to. My plan is to use these as areas for embroidery motifs. 

While there are some beads present in the blouse I've added to these current plan is NOT to add more. We'll see if that holds true! The reason is that the final home for this quilt will be a display daily...and the item should be washed therefore. If I use any beads, it will be minimal (which will be really hard for me...hence my on personal "challenge" for CQJP2016).

I do plan on adding some ribbon to these. Ribbon will need to be very secure so it will be couched or appliqued into place. The trims, hankies, lace, etc. will all need to be sewn securely in place. The trims that have white edges were machine stitched down already, but the others will be appliqued in place by hand.

This bottom silk ribbon grouping is a special motif I got from Vintage Vogue in a de-stashing group...thanks Janet!

A great many pieces of lace are from my own dye stash, but others are from a beautiful envelope of dyed lace from Nicki Lee Seavey of Raviolee Dreams given as a "Secret Pal" gift a couple of years ago. I have not had the heart (or a large enough project) to use am really enjoying placing them in this project!

The handkerchiefs are mostly from another de-stash group and purchased from Thearica of Crazyquiltsupplies. I have only used a few of these so could keep going with more blocks if needed.

Some of the handkerchief have enough "white space" that some embroidery can be added in these spots as well.
Not all of the hankerchiefs have lace edging, this rose bouquet one did not. So, a piece of organza trim lace was tucned under and stitched in place. Now, it is one of the most delicate looking hankys in the quilt. I wish you could see the embroidery on this specific is teensy weensy little cross-stitches! Amazing!

When placing handkerchiefs lace and trims...I decided NOT to be concerned over color. This is the reason there is "orange" in this quilt! The embroidery will also be in all colors. I know that the same linen background and the repeat of the different hankies all over the quilt will tie all the color together and balance the quilt when completed.
 It will be interesting to match these block together once they are finished. The backing will be cotton, reinforced with some medium weight fusible interfacing. The edges will be stitched closed and then the blocks will be attach to each other.
So, if you are nervous about taking on a large quilt OR perhaps just don't enjoy the "piecing" part of creating blocks...think about a whole cloth project such as this one.
Hugs to all!