Thursday, May 30, 2019


Joining a quilt guild last month means...I need a name tag. I have the little plastic case and can insert a card with my name written on it...but...BORING! So, thought it was time to create another chatelaine. I do have one, done decades ago....before crazy quilting entered my life.
Very "vanilla" as I only used it for my name and Guild Letters. I attached my quilt pins (AQS, etc) to it...but honestly usually forgot it when I went to meetings. So, I'll have to do better this time around at remembering!

Here's where I am in this adventure so far. Have the fronts to both sides of the chatelaine piece. 

Found some prior embroidery pieces I had done, some cross-stitches little bits, even a shadow embroidery little bow in my pile of "stitched samples". I printed the "I Love Crazy, Bee Happy, and Name on to cotton fabrics...they may or may not get any more embellishing...we'll see.
Both have a base of linen with a cotton (orange piece) inside foundation layer. Each half looks like a really short tie at this point. Both of these two halfs will have another fabric piece (probably felt) that will connect them and go behind my neck, and become the backing that hides all of my knots, etc.

Why not consider working on a chatelain of your own? You could even add organization to it....little pockets, loops for hanging things (I'm thinking of adding one for my glasses!)...really it is quite a neat thing to have handy when stitching.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Annemieke Mein

Thanks to MaryAnne Richardson for talking to me about "favorite books". I had several and she had of course, I had to own it too since she gave it such a glowing recommendation.

It is one of those books that inspire you to just get up and create! I'm not a huge machine will never attempt even a trial of these designs. But I'm totally blown away at the creative vision of this artist.

I was also very interested in seeing this photo of the artist at work, because it gave me great insight to the scale of her work. So much larger than any crazy quilt motif, and yet so detailed the entire effort is very realistic. Here is the larger view of the completed piece under her needle in the above "artist portrait" example.

Thank you so much Mary Anne...I'll have a lot of enjoyment from reading this book!

Hugs...from one "enabler" to another! :)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

How Organized Are You?

Really, can we be too organized? Nope, I don't think so. But most days, I feel that I have a long way to go to feel really organized.

Last year I bought a calendar, then found in the middle of the year that I was already planning for the next bought another one. I got a 2018-2019 version thinking it would cover both years...nope, began in June of the current year. So, I still needed the full year 2018 and this new one. I also have a "chicken book" as we call it here in my is where I write down "important" things like the login/password to my Amazon account (ha!). Really, it began as a listing of websites with login/passwords..but has grown into notes as well because it is "handy to pick up".

There is also a variety of "doodle" books where I make lists, dream of projects, or just sketch out things. Of course, there is also a sketch book (not in the photo). But, it seems that when I'm needing one of these...I can't find the "right one" so grab is a vicious cycle. So, instead of me feeling "organized" by writing things down...I feel very dis-organized because I can't find WHERE I wrote it at?!!

Therefore, I'm making an effort to do better. To really consider WHAT information I do need and organize a way to keep that all together. I have this neat 3-ring has a nice pretty outside and handle for carrying. 

It also zips closed (which is really nice) and has places for pens/pencils, etc. I like putting the arm of my reading glasses into a pencil holder for safe keeping. Plus, the greatest thing I just found out was that the little Velcro pocket will hold my phone! Not closed mind you, but it fits...and the zipper will keep it from falling out anyway! How great is that fact...yes, I'm smiling at a simple thing. :)

So, yesterday and today I've been busy creating a new calendar (2018 beginning in June and the ENTIRE year of 2020) now just am going to spend the afternoon transferring my events from both of the old calendars into this new calendar. And, I might even get things into my phone. Why both? Well, first I'm "old school" and like paper still...and two, I have lived through the horror of electronics that just don't work any longer. So, don't want to face the dreaded "multi day wait" before I have a working calendar, contacts, etc. again. Nope...will have a paper backup!

Also, did some organizational sheets for Project Planning, General notes/doodles drawing, etc. There are a lot of organizational tools on-line these days...or you can create your own if you are marginally skilled with Windows software.

How do you organize your creative process?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Ready to Embroider

Working on a little project for publication, they wanted a quick and easy CQ, doing a little 9-block wall hanging. Only beads, ribbon, lace, etc. Not sure I could have done a large project...killing me not to pull out ribbons and beads!
 Took time last night to trace the block embroidery design on to tissue paper.
Today, taped each to their respective blocks. These little 6-inch blocks are small enough to just sit and stitch without a hoop.

Inspirational Owls

Isn't this cute! Saw it in the ladies bathroom at our local pizza joint...thought "What a neat embroidery design this would make". :)

Inspiration is everywhere!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Pieces cut out!

Sun is setting, but all of my block pieces are cut out! Next, sewing them back together...nice to be working on a new project.

THANKS to all who have jumped over to Patreon and selected a Tier of just means the world to me! (Hope y'all are also enjoying the little thankyou goodies I sent to you for signing on to this new crazy adventure with me!)

If you don't know what I'm talking about...there is a PATREON badge on the right bar...just click and it will take you to the blog post...hugs!

TIMES they are a changing....and here we go!

The past 10 years has been a huge fast growth for my little blog! What began as a simple way for me to journal some embroidery seams...has leap frogged into a platform for announcing all of the free crazy quilt classes offered.

There is still so much more that I'd like to do. Like podcasts and videos...but Blogger is just not a great platform for that, too cumbersome. So, I've been holding off.

Plus, folks all work at various paces (which is very evident in the classes). Many sign up and about 60% always finish...then there are some that begin and get overwhelmed with the "blogging" aspect of it and frustrated. But, what to do?

Well, I'm going in new direction and I hope you'll consider coming along with me!

First heart will always have a spot for new quilters that want to learn and traditional quilters that want to begin crazy quilting, my classes will remain free. However, there will be fewer of them next year. I'll be putting the retired ones over on the Yahoo Group site at the end of this year for free download...just as I've done in the past.

If you are not familiar with the Yahoo Group...just scroll until you find the photo of the "rosebud" and click there. Put in your email address..and Yahoo will let me know you are interested in joining that group. I'll go and click "yes" and then you will have access. It's not a "chatting group"...just a place for me to dump any retired files and such. You can then just go to files and download whatever you want for your own use.

Secondly...I'm just plain "too old" to go back to work...but my hobby is taking a huge chunk of my time and my resources each day. So, I have to do something to correct this or give it all up. 

The problem is I have so many more ideas to get out of my head! More books (wait until you see the one in will be spectacular; my C&T team is working on it now)! More patterns (applique quilts, standard quilts, crazy quilts...wool, fancy fabrics, batiks! Plus, I want to do more DIY little things as well. Like purses, organizers, needlebooks, etc.

I was not sure what to do until I saw a post from my cyber pal Mary Corbet of Needle'n'Thread...and her use of Patreon to help her with costs. So, I checked them out.

Wow! It's like an answer to my problem and a huge opportunity at the same time. I can establish a fan base that is seriously interested in what I do...and doesn't mind throwing a few pennies into the pot to help me do it. In exchange for that valued friendship and support...I can then direct specific benefits to them by gifting each with patterns, designs, etc. not available to the general public.

And, I can divide the group to help better understand their true needs and wants. Here's what I have done...and I hope you will go over to the new site and select a tier to join. You have my promise that I will return your support "ten fold" over this next year. 

My groups are defined as:

-- Basic Quilter - I see this person as a traditional quilter mostly who enjoys information on specific techniques and "how to" instructions.

-- Novice Quilter - More like myself, tired of the fast piecing methods and needs a bit more of a challenge...but still doesn't want to "think too much" about it either.

-- Crazy Quilter - Okay, this can be more than one definition...but I'm thinking "off the rails" wanting to experiment and do new things. Small projects and techniques are great and perhaps one large project a year.

So, given all of the above information (thanks for reading this far)...know that I'm going to be putting a lot of focus on support to my patrons in the next few months and transitioning my blog back to more of a traditional journal of "what's happening" with occasional notices still of classes. Next year, the Basic Course will be the only offering...but the Patrons will continually get new motif designs, patterns, instructional pamphlets, and much more!

The way I've set the tiers up is that the Basic Group will get patterns, etc. keyed to a more beginner level of expertise; the Novice Group will get all of these beginner level things plus more patterns, etc. keyed to a higher level of expertise; and the Crazy Group will get all of the beginner/novice level things plus designs, patterns, etc. for advanced level work. So, choose based on what you enjoy...or go "crazy" and just be prepared to download and save everything provided each month. The future posts at Patreon you see this year from me will be geared to the Tier you decide to sign up for. You can change tiers as the year progresses also.

So, Jump on over and check out my Shawkl Design Studio page at Patreon! (Just click the "Become a Patron" button at the top right hand corner of blog). That will take you to the new commitment unless you join a tier group after reading everything. :)

Oh, and those of you that ARE willing to take the "crazy plunge" with me (Tier 3) and stick it out for a year...I pledge to you today, that you will get a free hard copy of my 2020 book when it releases next year. This is a special thanks...on top of the year full of creative content you'll be getting every month in 2019 after joining!.

Thank you for your continued support of my Crazy Journey!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Stunning Stitches has arrived!

Just look what the UPS man delivered just now!

So, I'm doing a little happy dance because this means that YOUR books (if you ordered from should be to you very shortly. Plus, these will begin showing up in Quilt shops, Hobby stores, etc. watch for them!

C&T did a wonderful job of the layout and design; the 480 seam diagrams are clear and large with nice descriptions of each one. Click the photo and it will enlarge so you can see what I mean.

The Gallery Pages are also in beautiful color with each stitch clear as a bell.

I'm over the moon happy with this latest book! Hope you will consider getting it, and will enjoy many hours of stitching Stunning Stitches yourself. There is also a set of template (in my Etsy shop) that go along with the book...but you can make your own (instructions in the book)..or get wild and crazy and just stitch without templates for marking. :)


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Antique Crazy Quilt

While in Florida, we visited a lovely little tea room at the urging of Jacqui Anderson...called the "Twisted Teapot". If you are ever near Winter Haven, Florida...check them out at 200 1st St. South. The food is great, the tea is wonderful...and the antique crazy quilt on display in the hall (framed under glass) is to "die for". It is worn and tattered in places but the hand embroidery alone is worth the trip!

Here are some photos we tried to get...the lighting is not so good in the hallway and the chandelier overhead doesn't help...but we were drooling all the same.