Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

May you all have a safe and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Back From My Christmas Trip - Camera Left in Michigan

We just got back from a Christmas trip to visit my parents in Michigan (Hi Mom!). We had a great time. My sister Julia was also visiting from Shreveport with her family. Brother Jon (he's local) was also around one of those days. We filled up all the beds, so today after we left, my other sister Laura and her daughter Sarah (from Galveston) and Sarah's family moved in to fill the void and spend New Year's with Mom and Dad. Quite the game of musical beds!

Anyway, we talked a lot, played cards, handed around Christmas gifts and ate like little piggies. I never found peace and quiet to do some tatting but, oh well, the family doesn't get together often because of the distances involved. A great time was had by all.

Unfortunately, I did a really dumb thing. I left my digital camera in Michigan. So I am sorry to say that my blog may be without photos until after New Year's when my camera arrives from it's own trip home from Michigan. It was one of those "I put the camera down because I remembered something else that needed to be packed and forgot to pick it back up again." (A senior moment maybe? Tomorrow is my birthday, so it is possible!)

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My Boy Scout Son's 3 Seconds on You Tube

My son Kyle got an e-mail from a friend that gave us a pleasant surprise. Kyle is in a Boy Scout Promo video on You Tube! At 1:12 into the video is a young man in his Boy Scout uniform (my Kyle) pushing a young scout on a tire swing and laughing. I wish you could hear his laugh in the video instead of the music - he has a great laugh.

I just had to brag. Kyle worked at Owasippe Scout Reservation (Chicago Council) for 8 years - from counselor-in-training as a freshman in high school to Health Officer this past summer. Now that he has graduated from university and moved into the real working world, he will only be able to volunteer during his vacation time. I am sure he is going to miss working with all the scouts

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Greetings to All!

Merry Christmas to all! May you have a peaceful Christmas in the company of your loved ones!

Please say a prayer for the families of our soldiers who cannot be together for this year and a prayer for the safe return of all our soldiers.

Peace be with you


Joyful Stitching,


Life Catches Up with Me!

Life has caught up with me and kept me so busy that I am not sure if I am coming or going! Now the gift shopping is finished, Christmas dinner is in the fridge and ready to cook, and much of the housework is done. Time to take a deep breath!

Our daughter Caitlin (our youngest) celebrated her 21st birthday on Wednesday. How did she get so old!?! I am sure that I am not old enough to have a daughter that old! It seems as if time is moving much too fast. Time for a piece of chocolate (the basis of all life). One of my friends calls them "chocolate fortune candies'"

The chocolate wrapper wisdom of the day - " Smile before bed. You'll sleep better."

Monday, December 18, 2006

CQforNewbies Challenge #2

Our CQforNewbies Challenge #2 is to bring out one of our projects that has been tucked away and display or use it. Since so much of what I make is given as gifts, I had a hard time coming up with something. As we decorated our Christmas tree last evening, I started thinking and a Christmas ornament brought itself and (by association) another project to my attention to meet the challenge.

This tatted ornament is from a class in needle tatting that I taught a couple of years ago. We had a wonderful group of ladies in that class and had a great time! At the moment, I don't remember the name of the book that this pattern came from. I will find that information and edit this post to include it. It was made using Cebelia 10 and a #5 tatting needle.

Update: The pattern for this ornament is in Needle Tatting with Style Book 1 by Barbara Foster and was designed by Sandra Scales.

This pincushion is from a hardanger class that I taught. It has a matching scissors fob and needle case. (I don't know where I packed them.) Again, my mind is blank on the source of the pattern. I'll find this one too and add it here.

The chocolate wrapper says "Sing along with the elevator music." Sounds like fun!

Take A Stitch Tuesday Challenge

Sharon B of the blog in a minute ago will is presenting us with a challenge called "Take A Stitch Tuesday." We will be taking 1 stitch each Tuesday, beginning the first Tuesday in January, and playing with it to see what we can do with it, try different threads, different embellishments. Then we will post a photo of our work either on our blogs or on a photo site. It sounds like a great way to stretch our stitching skills and creativity. Click on the link to find all the details and if you haven't checked out Sharon's blog or website, please do so. She has a stitch dictionary and lots of eye candy!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Ornament Swap

The mailman brought me a present today, an ornament from the CQforNewbies Swap. This stocking was made by Christy. Isn't it great!?! I love the pearl fringe and the silk ribbon flowers.

I have just finished cleaning and rearranging furniture so that we can put our tree up. I can't wait to hang this on the tree.

The chocolate wrappers know me too well! " You know what? You look good in red."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tatting for Block 2

While looking for something else, I ran across a page that my Grandmother had torn out of the April 1969 Popular Needlework magazine. It had patterns for 3 tatted edgings. I thought that it would be nice to include something that Grandma liked in my Fall Table Runner, so I tried one of the patterns.

I used Perle Cotton 12 and the #8 tatting needle. Beads, etc. to be added later.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another Christmas Ornament

This afternoon (well I guess it is yesterday afternoon now) I finished putting together another Christmas ornament. I wanted to give it to Margaret when she and Joyce and I had our "girls night out" last evening. Joyce is now pouting because she hasn't received hers yet! It's coming, my dear!

We went to Applebee's. It was great - no cooking, no dishes to wash, a nice young man to wait on us and for Joyce to flirt with. We laughed so hard, entertained the staff, and had a very good time. I can't wait until next month!

My CQ Seam Treatment Journal

Last night, I looked around my computer and saw a paper full of quick sketches of seam treatments that I had seen on a crazy quilt listed on eBay. Not far away was a journal with a beautiful CQ cover that I had ordered from Sharon B's shop at Cafe Press. (Check it out - great CQ stuff - and sign up for her newsletter too!) My brain fires up - what a perfect place to record these seam treatments! So out come my Dream-A-Seam templates (from Carole Samples - marvels of artistic symmetry), rulers, circle template, and colored pencils and I get to work.

This is the first page of my Crazy Quilting Seam Treatment Journal. I will keep it in my CQ workbasket so that it will be close at hand for inspiration. I am quite pleased with myself!

Now to find all those other pieces of paper stashed around the house!

I reward myself with chocolate. "Remember your first everything" the chocolate wrapper says. Yes, it's a first step in nurturing my creativity and the artist within.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Am I an Artist? Are You?

On November 26
Sharon B began a series of postings on her blog In a Minute Ago about nurturing our creativity. Many other bloggers have also taken up the discussion. Sharon got us all to thinking (she's very good at that!) about taking ourselves seriously as artists.

This is something that I had not really thought about. Sewing and embroidery have always been "things that I do." I have not thought to apply artist as a description of myself. I make clothes and home dec stuff. Is it art to use patterns that others have come up with to sew my clothing? Maybe it is. I can't seem to make anything exactly as the pattern is written. I always have to do things my way and add my own little touches. My choices of fabrics, threads and embellishments are made to please my eye - my artistic eye? - and not to please anyone else. Am I an artist?

I also make jewelry. Often, I will see someone else's design and say "That's great, but..." and go off in my own direction. Am I an artist?

Sharon B also talked about maintaining a visual journal of our ideas. Again, I had never thought of doing this - or maybe I had, informally. There are little (and big) pieces of paper all over my house, stuck in odd places, with sketches of details from antique garments or embroideries that I find inspiring, with photos with color combinations or flower arrangements that are nagging me to turn them into embroidery or clothing, with quick scribbles of seam treatments found on antique crazy quilts that I have seen on eBay. Am I an artist?

I can't answer the question. The word artist feels strange to my shape - or is it to my thinking? Have I been pushing this aside for years to raise a family and earn some money? I have discovered this - I need and deserve to chance to find out. I have to give myself permission to do this. I will turn 54 on December 30 and I have many years ahead of me to enjoy my art!!!! I am not too old. It is not too late. I will do this. I will make time for my stitching and other pursuits every day. And even if I never find the answer to the question, I will be a happier person for spending more time doing something that gives me so much joy and for using a gift that was given to me as much as it was meant to be used.

This has been a different kind of thinking. I need some chocolate!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Start on Block 2

Yesterday, I got 1 1/4 yards of the hem edging completed for Aiden's baptismal gown. Today, I need to get another 1 1/4 yards made! Onward and upward...

I also made some time for stitching on Block 2 of my Fall Table Runner. It was very happy to receive some attention.

On the piece in the lower right corner, I embroidered the design in the fabric with a stem stitch using silk buttonhole twist. and the lace on the top left corner was based on. I still don't know how I will be embellishing the lace, but inspiration will come, I am sure.

The chocolate wrapper for the day says "Hey, why not?" Maybe I need to have another piece of chocolate!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Crochet Motif

When I was at Border's the other day, I found a neat book put out by the American School of Needlework called 101 Thread Crochet Embellishments by Delsie Rhoades.

While there are lots of things to try, I decided on a fan. I used Perle Cotton 12 and could see after about 8 rows that it was just going to be way to large for any of my crazy quilting projects. So I stopped after 11 rows, added a row of single crochet, and called it completed. I haven't been crocheting for quite a long time, so was quite pleased with the results.

The chocolate wrapper is being mischievous again! "Naughty can be nice." I have to think in that!

Aiden's Baptismal Gown

Well, Blogger was not being nice yesterday, so I'm trying this again!

After shoveling out my car yesterday, I worked on a different project - one in the "must get done" category. Aiden Patrick (nephew Patrick's first baby!) needs a baptismal gown. I was to the point where I had to decide on the machine embroidery I was going to use at the hem. So I spent a good part of the afternoon trying out various designs in my 3D Embroidery software (such fun!) and this is the trial run of the combination of designs that I decided to use. The designs are from Husqvarna Viking design package #154 Elegant Elements.

Now that the trial runs are over, it's on to the real thing!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Living With Block 1 For A Bit

Before someone asks (I get phone calls from friends), here is Block 1. It may be ready for its beads, buttons and pretties - then again it may not! I'm going to live with it for a bit.

Besides, the other blocks are feeling neglected and we can't have that! (Yes, my projects speak to me.)

The chocolate wrapper knows and speaks truth! "Friendship is a gift in itself."

Windy City Smockers Christmas Party

On Tuesday, the Windy City Smockers and Smart Smockers, 2 chapters of the Smocking Arts Guild of America in the Chicago area, got together for a Christmas Party. Instead of exchanging gifts, we arrived loaded down with hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves for children. These have been sent out to Fort Hood to be given to children of our brave soldiers. The children's party is this weekend. Vivian's son is deployed out of Fort Hood and we pray for his safe return and for all those serving in our military and their families.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Block 1 - Tatted Motif

Finally, I'm able to get this photo up!

I added this tatted motif to my block. The block seems to be mostly ready for beads and fancies, but I think I will live with it for a bit, just to be sure.

Monday, November 27, 2006

More Christmas WIP

This afternoon was a good time for stitching. I completed the stitching on another Christmas ornament, just need to put it together. For the seam on the left, I used a metallic ribbon floss fastened with bugle beads and seed beads. I really like the way the tree sequin and stars came out. The seam to the right of the tree is a chain stitch in metallic ribbon floss with seed beads. Bugle beads and seed beads decorate the sequins along the far right seam.

I also added to my Fall Runner Block 1, but haven't been able to get that photo uploaded. It took three tries to get this photo up! (big sigh) Is it that time of the month for Blogger(again)? I'll try again in the morning.

Chocolate wrapper wisdom for the day - "Lose yourself in the moment." Sounds like stitching time to me!!!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Holiday Tatting

I took my needle tatting along on my trip to Michigan. Still working from Minitats 69 Petite Motifs by Patti Duff, I decided to make some of the holiday designs. I just love how they turned out!

These mini motifs all work up very fast and I can think of lots of ways to embellish them in my crazy quilting.

Wisdom from the chocolate wrapper for the day - "Buy yourself flowers."


I hope everyone in the States had a great Thanksgiving. We went to visit Mom And Dad in Michigan and had a quiet Thanksgiving. Well, quiet if you ignore the noise from the football on TV. The men in our family have a strange way of watching football. As you can see, my son on the couch, my dad in the lounger, and my husband holding his head up to disguise the closed eyes. Despite the snores coming from the room, you can be sure that, if we had turned off the television, they would have been very upset.

It was different this year with the family scattered all over the country. Christmas will be a bit more lively with part of the Louisiana contingent and the Texas crowd coming to Michigan for the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Block 1 - Slow Progress

I made a little time for stitching today. I added a nice trim that I found at JoAnn's to the block. The colors worked perfectly. The seam will need some beads, but I am not into sewing on beads just yet.

As you may have noticed, things seem to be going rather slowly with this block. I have never been a fast worker when it comes to my needlework. I very much prefer to go slowly and rip out as little as possible. I also don't always make enough time for my stitching. I am trying to make time every day for doing needlework, but it doesn't always work out that way. Often I plan to do it at the end of the day (when the house is quiet), but all too often, I sit down and the next thing I know - it is the middle of the night! Falling asleep on the couch is not a good habit, so I am going to try to make time during the daylight hours.

Are these chocolate wrappers trying to create mischief? "Wink at someone driving past today." Yes, definitely a mischief maker!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Christmas Ornament Swap

I almost packed up my Christmas ornament for the CQforNewbies Swap without taking a photo! I completed it yesterday evening. Here it is - all beaded, buttoned, and charmed!

The button is by Mary Englebreit and the charm by JoAnn's. I also added the star sequins and lots of beads. It was difficult to get a good photo with all of the shiny and sparkly things on this ornament. The details don't show up very well.

"Smile. People will wonder what you've been up to." Oooh, the chocolate wrapper of the day has a sense of humor! Sounds fun!

On a personal note, I have to say that I was disappointed that the house gnomes did not take care of the chores while I was down in New Orleans! I would have loved to come home and find that all those things I would normally have done over those three days were taken care of. Alas, no such miracle occurred and I have only now gotten caught up. Now with the Thanksgiving holidays upon us and with traveling (to Mom's in Michigan) and children home for a 4 day weekend, I can only anticipate falling behind again!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Needle Tatting

Sorry to be delayed in posting this, but Blogger has been in a snit.

The day I left for the wedding a tatting book that I had ordered arrived. Since I had to have some sort of needlework to do and I couldn't pack my CQ stash, the tatting was thrown in my suitcase. Minitats 69 Petite Motifs by Patti Duff has a great selection of motifs that will be great for crazy quilting.

The 3 on the left are all made from the same pattern, but using different thread sizes, Cebelia 20 & 30 and Perle Cotton 12. The 3 on the right are all made using Perle Cotton 12. I want to try some of the patterns in Tatting 80. I think they would make a pretty bouquet of flowers.

The chocolate wrapper wisdom of the day is "Get your feet massaged." Oh doesn't that sound lovely!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Wedding - Adding to the Family

It was a wonderful wedding! Here's a photo of the family members who were able to attend. That's me in the red dress. Kurt took this photo for me. Thanks Kurt!
I didn't get any stitching done, but managed a little needle tatting at the end of each day. It was a relaxing thing to do at the end of each hectic day. I'll post a photo of that tomorrow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Off to the Wedding

I am off to New Orleans to attend the wedding of my 50 year old confirmed bachelor brother Jim to his lovely bride Jane! Things will be a bit subdued due to the recent death of Jane's father, but we will still celebrate the happy occasion and welcome Jane into the family.

The chocolate wrapper wisdom of the day is "There is no excuse not to dream." If my brother can finally meet "the woman", anything can happen! Keep on dreaming!

I should be back on Sunday!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Around the Block CQ Web-ring

I have been invited to join the Around the Block Web-ring. This is a ring of Crazy Quilters who devote at least 80% of their postings to crazy quilting. What a fun way to click your way around to see all of the latest projects and beautiful eye candy! Not to mention learning about stitches and techniques that some very talented ladies so graciously share with us newbies!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Block 1 - As It Stands Now

By request, I give you this photo of Block 1 in all it's uncompleted glory!

As you can see, it still needs a great deal of attention - a few more seams to embroider, a couple of empty looking spots to recreate and, of course, beads and buttons to add! I am happy with my progress and will just keep stitching along.

"Follow your instincts" - the chocolate wrapper wisdom of the day. (Do you know how hard it is to eat only one chocolate a day?)

UFO or WISP - Commitment to complete!

UFO's (UnFinished Objects) and WISP's
(Works in Slow Progress) - I have plenty of both in my house. To me there is a difference between them. A WISP is something I am working on - just not very quickly. A UFO is something that has gotten set aside, buried or ignored with absolutely no progress being made. Sandie of abeautifulcraft has a challenge for us - to work to complete some of our UFO's or WISP's and to blog our progress.

I find that most of my UFO's are things that I was making for myself and set aside to complete other projects, usually a gift for someone. When I return home from my brother's wedding this weekend, I will decide which UFO project I will complete first and make my commitment!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Christmas Ornament 1

My small amount of photography skills are showing. Shiny fabrics and trims are defeating me at the moment! The seam on the left is chain stitch done with DMC rayon floss over the gold rickrack, waiting for beads. On the right is stem stitch done in YLI Metallic Ribbon Floss. I will need to shop for some crystal beads to make a little ornaments to hang here.

The unfinished seam in the center is blanket stitch in YLI Ribbon Floss and detached chain stitch in DMC rayon floss. I had only a limited supply of threads and no beads with me at Mom's, but now that I am home again this ornament should finish quickly. I sure missed my stash!

At least the trip home from Michigan was quick (no construction work on Sunday) and took only 3 1/2 hours (that passed quickly as I sang along with Stevie Nicks)!

The wisdom of the chocolate wrapper (I love "buy one, get one free!") for the day is "Hey, why not."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Christmas Ornaments Started

Since I have a Christmas Ornament Swap coming up, as well as lot of gifts to make, I got started on several ornaments. The ornaments I pieced today are Fan ornaments. The first two are from a kit that I purchased from Evening Star Designs (see side bar). It is a great kit for CQ Newbies, with everything supplied for making 3 ornaments and very easy to follow directions and diagrams.

These fans went together so nicely that I pieced two more using my stash. I made myself stop at that point. I don't want to have too many pieces waiting to be embellished!
It was such a nice day! Mom and I got things done, didn't fight over who was going to use the iron first, and didn't even have to cook dinner! Dad brought home pizza!

Mom's Quilting Project

I am visiting my Mom and Dad in Michigan. Yesterday's drive should have been about 3 hours. Instead, accidents, construction, and heavy trafic in general made the drive around the bottom of Lake Michigan an exhausting 5 hours. But I am glad that I made the trip. Mom and I spent a nice day at our sewing machine's. This past summer, I bought Mom a bunch of cat fabrics. She is making a bedspread with each block having a different cat.. The cats are surrounded by fabrics that are full of memories, fabrics from her Mother's dresses and her sister's and from her own past wardrobe. The solid blue squares are quilted with a cat outline in running stitch. Blogger is not being very nice right now, so I will try to continue this later.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Block 1 - A Braid Substitute

My stash of braids and such is still small and I didn't have anything that would look good on this block. As I was paging through my ever-present copy of Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches (by Miss Carole Samples), I found a solution to my problem. The green band on the lower seam is called a laced, stepped double-running stitch (p. 144) and I think that it is a great substitute for the braid I didn't have. I am very pleased with the result of my experiment. The running stitches were done with silk buttonhole twist and the lacing with Perle Cotton 5.

Just above and to the left is a seam of alternating blanket stitches. I know that some of my seams look a bit plain at the moment, but beads, buttons and other goodies tend to catch the embroidery threads at just the wrong times (very frustrating to me) so they will not be added until all of the embroidery is completed.

Today's chocolate is left over Halloween snack bars. No wisdom there, just calories.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Block 1 - Miss Carole's Influence

There is a little story to go with this motif. Last night, Miss Carole, as she will on occasion, emailed me about some eye-candy on eBay (a circa 1880-1900 crazy quilt). Several seam treatments caught my eye and I did some rough sketches. Then I noticed this motif. Having studied Miss Carole's Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches and having purchased her marvels of artistic engineering, the Dream-A-Seam Templates and the workbook that accompanies them, I got brave and decided to try out my newly learned techniques! I got out my graph paper and managed to draw out the motif. I got so excited that I stitched it before breakfast! Thank you Miss Carole!

Sorry about the fuzzy photo on this, but this little heart applique must be shy - it didn't want it's picture taken! I back stitched around the heart in 2 colors of Perle Cotton 5. The seam to the right is a stem stitch in Perle Cotton 5 wrapped in silk buttonhole twist.

The chocolate wrapper wisdom today reflects a part of my philosophy of life (oh doesn't that sound pretentious)! "Smile at yourself in the mirror." I believe that we must be our own best friend and remind ourselves that we like ourselves. I also believe that, no matter how rotten a day you expect to have, if you start smiling at yourself first thing in the morning every day, a positive thought process is set in motion and will soon be carried with you all day.

Organization Challenge

The October Challenge for the CQforNewbies group was to get organized. While I am not yet totally organized, I have made a good start on getting my CQ act together. My DMC floss, silk floss, silk buttonhole twist, silk ribbon, Perle Cotton's, EdMar threads, DMC Broder Special #25, Floche, Flower thread, Metallic threads and blending filaments are all organized. It seems like a lot, but then I notice all of the fabric, lace, buttons, beads, charms and other goodies still to organize. I promise myself that I will keep working on it. After that comes all of the non-CQ fabric, machine embroidery supplies, smocking & heirloom patterns, books and magazines. Maybe by 2010 I'll be organized!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Successful Dress Hunt

There has been no time for stitching the last 2 days (sigh). I decided that I just had to find a dress for my brother's wedding! I finally met with success at Carson's big mark-down sale. My husband actually liked the dress and and was even happier that it came at a very attractive price. The wedding will be in New Orleans on November 11. Now, if only Mom and sister Julia would find their dresses...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Block 1 - A Little More

Forty-five mile an hour winds today managed to clear most of the leaves from the front yard. While I am sorry that they are now in a yard somewhere else and someone else will have to rake the leaves, I did not miss raking leaves today! It was so cold out in that wind!

I made time for a little stitching this evening and completed 2 more seams. Again, I was using Perle Cotton 5. On the left is a row of alternating chain stitches. The chevron stitches on the right are woven with 4 mm silk ribbon.

Joyful stitching to all!

Friday, October 27, 2006

SAGA Wee Care Service Project

While cleaning and organizing my needlework and sewing supplies, I came across a group of UFO's that cried out to be completed. I had found 3 Wee Care gowns for our SAGA Service Project that were very close to completion. I just had to finish them. These particular gowns are sized to fit babies who weigh under 1 pound. I cry while making each gown, thinking of the babies who will be wearing them and thinking of what their parents are going through.

Wee Care is the Service Project of the Smocking Arts Guild of America (SAGA). SAGA members sew gowns for babies in neonatal units to wear and to clothe babies who have died. These gowns are either smocked or embroidered. Some of the chapters also make bonnets for the babies. These gowns are then presented to local hospitals.

If you are interested in more information about the Wee Care program, the link in the sidebar will lead you to the SAGA home page. Click on Wee Care Program. This will bring you to a history and description of the program and a link to contact the Wee Care Chairman.

SAGA is not just smocking. SAGA is hand embroidery, cut work, silk ribbon embroidery and a whole host of other needle arts. The purpose of SAGA is "to preserve and foster the art of smocking and related needlework for future generations, through education, communication and quality workmanship."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Progress on Block 1

Today was a grey, gloomy, cold and wet day, just the kind of day to stay indoors and stitch. I completed the stitching on 3 more seams this afternoon and evening.

The top right seam is sheaf stitch alternating with a cross stitch, both done in Perle Cotton 5. The cross stitch is crossed with another tiny cross stitch in orange silk buttonhole twist. This tiny cross doesn't really show up in the photo, but it is there!

The center seam is a herringbone stitch unadorned and waiting for some beads. I'll be adding beads after I complete all of the stitching on the block. In the bottom right hand corner is a woven running stitch. Both of these seams were stitched in Perle Cotton 5.

A friend of mine, Miss Freda, warned me (as did several others) that this crazy quilting was addicting and I was a bit sceptical. I now have to admit that all of you were right and I am now addicted!

The chocolate wrapper must have known about today's weather! "It's definitely a bubble-bath day" it says!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Block 3

Today was spent on an unsuccessful hunt for a dress to wear for my brother Jim's wedding down in New Orleans next month. (sigh) I did, however, manage to find an outfit to wear to the rehearsal dinner. So the day was not a total loss.

No stitching today, but I did finish sewing Block 3 for the table runner. The machine embroidery design is from the Husqvarna Viking Colors of Autumn #153 embroidery CD.

Chocolate wrapper wisdom of the day "Follow your instincts."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Block 1 - Adding Texture

I love the swirls in the fabric on the bottom right of this block. I could not resist using embroidery to add textue to the piece. Using silk buttonhole twist, I stitched the outline stitch over every swirl printed on the piece. It took some time, but I am very pleased with the results.

Ah! My chocolate wrapper speaks wisdom again! Make "someday" today.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Block 1 Update

Two days of working on this cascade of colonial knots and I am not quite sure if it is completed. I think I will live with it a few days before I come back to contemplate it again. I added a splash of red, but it could be that it needs a bit more of the fall red. Yep, better live with it a bit. The leaves are all variations of detached chain stitches and all stitches today are using perle cotton 5.

I also added just a bit of orange to the seam treatment below. It just seemed right (no pun intended). The seam that is partially in view at the top right is only just begun. More on that seam later, since I have no idea right now where that one is going!

My chocolate wrapper is telling me - "Be mischievous. It feels good." Ah yes, but that has gotten me in trouble before. Not everyone understands my sense of humor.

Can there be blogging without chocolate?

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Even though I didn't make time for stitching today, I thought I had accomplished quite a bit. I did some housework, upgraded this blog a bit and I organized my needlework stash a bit. The CQForNewbies Yahoo Group is having a challenge this month- Get Organized! I was feeling very proud of myself for managing to dig out all of my perle cottons and getting them into one storage container. I decided to take a break and cruise through some of my favorite blogs and sites.

Lots of wonderful eye candy and inspiration. And then, (gasp) I arrived at Charlene's blog When This You See, Remember Me (see side bar). Miss Charlene has photo after photo of how amazingly organized she has all of her crazy quilting stuff. I now see how she manages to get so much done! What wonderful ideas for organization she has!

I now see how far I have to go. So I gathered up all of my CQ and embroidery books into one location and felt a little better about my efforts. Such a long way yet to go!

Just Get Started!

I took a deep breath, then took the plunge and just started stitching. Once I got started, everything became much easier. Maybe I was thinking too hard about what to stitch!

The seam to the right of the pumpkin is an unadorned feather stitch. To the left of the pumkin are blanket stitch wheels with colonial knots. At the lower left corner, I tried mirror-imaging an uneven line of blanket stitch. I have used Perle Cotton 5 for my stitching

So far, I like my results. At the same time, I ask my readers to remember that I am very much a newbie at crazy quilting. Costructive suggestions will be listened to, but I will always tend to stitch as the spirit moves me.

I have had an e-mail from Mom - Thank you! I'm glad you like my blog. And from my daughter Caitlin requesting a CQ project for her (one project at a time for the moment, my dear). And from Miss Carole - Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words!

Joyful stitching to all!

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Second Block

All sewn together and waiting for attention! Here's my second crazy quilt block! I really like the way that the colors are coming together. The lighter brown print is reflecting a little more light that I wanted but then, I am just happy to be able to get the photos taken and posted! It is a little darker in real life.

The centerpiece is machine embroidery from Husqvarna Viking #51 Countryside Treasures. Another stray piece of fabric has found a home!

Yes Kyle (my son who graduated from U of IL, got a real job, and moved away), Mom can do this internet stuff!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Beginning

Here begins a new adventure for me and for anyone who wants to join in.

I love fabrics, laces, and threads. Coming from a long line of needleworkers, I suppose that it must be genetic by now. Sharing my love of the needle arts on this blog will be an extension of what I have been doing for years, both as a student and a teacher of various needle arts. I hope to share with you my new projects and learning experiences along with the never-ending task of trying to complete some of the UFO's (unfinished objects) that seem to be constantly increasing (sigh).

My newest project is crazy quilting. This wonderful artform allows me to combine all of my loves in one project!
Building my stash of fabric (so you guessed that I already have a head-start on this one), lace, buttons, fancy threads (that's right another head-start) and all kinds of useful goodies is all part of the joy.

This is my first CQ patch, waiting for embroidery and embellishment. I think I am listening for the block to tell me how it would like to be dressed. I decided that I wanted to use some of my machine embroidery stitch-outs (it keeps them from just hanging around with nothing to do). The design is from the Anita Goodesign Fall Splendor embroidery CD. This block will soon be joined by three others. It is hoped that they will all play nicely together and will become a table runner, at least by next fall. (I'm being very realistic here! I have decided that the days of tall tales in needlework projects are over for me.)