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.