Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tea Time

My work on a Tea Time RR block for Cathy K. For the tea pot, cup, cupcake and girl on stool I used the tissue paper transfer method to get the motif on the block. That involves using a tweezers to get out al the little pieces of tissue paper when all embroidery is complete. I also added a spider web of silver sulky and beaded spider, cast on stitch pansies and some bullions here and there. The silk ribbon flowers were stitched over the pattern in the fabric.


Two 18" and four 14" pillows ready for gift giving. Nothing fancy - but practical, removable, and washable. And, I can make new pillow covers for them every year for Christmas gifts too!

The Birds (a sequel)

Another set of bird blocks for the "For the Birds DYB". I can only send 6 blocks around with this RR so will have to decide which of the 6 to send of the 14 I have made. I think mixed with some wild butterfly and bright and wild flower blocks it will be a pretty spectacular quilt. I will have to do the cats hiding in the shrubs/plants since we have a lot of feral barn cats we feed around here. We seem to adopt all the ones people let loose out in the country.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Birds

I remember watching Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" movie when I was younger. I thought it was so scary and kept my eyes on telephone wires full of birds for quite some time afterwards. After my kids got older I couldn't wait for them to see the scary movie "The Birds". So we popped up some popcorn (the old fashioned way...shaking it in a pot over the fire on the stove), all got cozy under afghans and quilts on the couch, turned out the lights and laughed our heads off at "The Birds". How the special effects had changed in a much so that what I once thought was so frightening was more like a comedy.

Anyway...I digress. I hope my birds aren't laughable or scary. I've made my blocks for another RR over on CQI Yahoo Group, "For The Birds".

I'll probably combine them with some garden blocks, more bird blocks and who knows what all else to make a lap sized crazy quilt...or not.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Every year I make towels and potholders for stocking stuffers for the family. This year I decorated flour sack dishtowels with fabric and rickrack and made 16-patch potholders. The mushroom set is for my daughter and her husband since they are avid mushroom hunters. The rooster set is for my sister.

The cat set is for my son and his girlfriend since they love cats and the wine set is for my husband, a wine maker.

The Irish set is for my nephew and wife and the purple set is for a friend who loves all things purple.

And the snowmen set is for my other son and his girlfriend since his girlfriend likes snowmen.

I also made a rooster themed table runner for my sister ...

And a purple themed table runner for my friend.

And this is a gumdrop pillow made from an Amy Butler gumdrop pattern.  It is 24" version and makes a great footstool. (I know since I made one for myself). I found the upholstery fabric at the thrift store and it cost a whole $2.45. This will be for my son and girlfriend.

Another Amy Butler gumdrop pillow. This is for my other son and girfriend. And, again, it is from upholstery fabric purchased from the thrift store for a whopping $1.95.

Crazy Stuff

This is Diane's completed Tea Time RR block after Nicki, Thearica, Carolyn and I stitched on it. Details of some of my work follows.

Tea cup and tea bag and a few flowers. Tea cup stem stiched with variegated DMC blue and wrapped with gold sulky thread.

I added silky ribbon with tea cup motifs on it and embellished the cups which was kind of difficult to do since the cups are so tiny. Then I added a herringbone seam treatment below mainly because I need practice with that stitch. I also added lazy daisies and bead.

This seam I added above Carolyn's tea set - bullions of perle #8 and flowers of silk ribbons and beads. I wanted to add a butterfly above it but had to restrain myself since Diane requested no butterflies.

Tea pot, mug and cupcake of 2 strands of DMC with silk ribbon flowers and a few beads. Cupcake frosting of some sparkly Sulky thread.

"Tea party" in backstitch and some silk ribbon flowers again.

This is Peggy Sue's block for an Encrusted RR. I was the second person to stitch on it and after seeing Rose Anne's beautiful work felt a little intimidated. I also felt the colors were a little weird - purple and red? But I see they do go together just fine.

I added a crocheted heart and basket full of leaves. Along the side I added some lacy seam binding and embellished on top of that with fern stitch/cast on stitch, some french knots and I can't remember what all else. I practiced herringbone stitch again and added lazy daisy stitches again.

Here I added a piece of lace from the thrift store across two patches and embellished with bullions and some pistil stitches. You can't see very well but there are green cast-on stitches below the holes. And I crocheted a purple flower motif (looks blue in this pic) and added a purchased flower to the center of that.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

To Everything There is a Season

An Autumn wreath for Margreet. Margreet included a button and some trim that she wanted each person in the RR to add to her block which was a fun exercise.  This was a RR over on CQI Yahoo Group.

Summer DYB RR for Ritva - another RR at CQI.

And this is my Season to Season wallhanging. I am trying to decide whether to keep it for myself or to put it into the Family "Dirty Santa" drawing. Each of these blocks were from a swap on CQ for Newbies Yahoo Group. In this RR we made a block and embellished half of it and swapped with a partner who embellished the other half and then it was returned to owner. Gina embellished Spring, Violet did Summer, Gerry did Fall and Lauri embellished half of Winter. I added binding like a quilt and added a rod pocket on back for hanging. For purposes of this picture I added a yardstick to the rod pocket just to see how it would hang.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


My sister, the youngest of 5, at age 51, is still trying to find herself.  She has never forgiven our parents for being alcoholics. She has never forgiven mom for leaving us. She has tried several different religions. She has tried several different forms of therapy. She has tried several different marriages. She has tried several different hiking/bicycling/mountain climbing trips to several different countries. I really can't understand her since I've never lost myself and had to find myself again but I do try to put myself in her shoes but I just can't get that nutty.

A few months ago she told me she quit working on her doctorate in psychology and was instead going to study to be a shaman. She was going to climb some sacred mountain in Peru as part of her training. And she told me she had a CAT as a spirit guide- "two of them actually". Yes, a CAT now gives her spiritual guidance. I'm not a cat person. We have lots of barn cats we feed and they always seem to stare at me when I pass by. They actually give me the creeps. They follow me when I'm gardening and poop where I dig. So, I'm not really understanding how to get advice from a cat. They just don't speak to me (nor I to them.)

At any rate...I made my sis a CQ cat for Christmas. She can have the spirit of me with her now.  The tag, which I haven't made yet, will say "Although I can't support your belief in a cat as a spirit guide, this is to remind you I will always support you. Love, Cat" (Cat is what my DH calls me...short for Cathy which is short for Catherine.)

I won't bother to tell her that about 30+ years ago I woke up in the night (probably because I talk in my sleep and wake myself with the chatter) and thought I saw a ghost cat at the end of my bed that looked a little like a white Cheshire Cat. It smiled and spoke not a word. And I haven't spoken of it...until now.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

CQ by 2012 ???

I LOVE Fairies. I know they live in my gardens. I have a little fairy garden where I know they live. This is my first block for My Midnight Fairies (or Faeries?). All black backgrounds (ok, some have flowers), set on point and filled with lots of flowers, butterflies, fairies, mushrooms, etc. I bought some bright, flourescent and glow in the dark threads.  I am hoping for 16 (4x4) blocks.

Here's a close up of the first fairy riding a dragonfly. I stitched her dress with one strand of silk thread and embellished it with gold sulky. I'm not sure I will be using one strand of anything after this. My eyes don't see well enough. And, I am not good with facial features so that will need a little work. Plus...I should have embroidered her face in a little thinner thread instead of perle 8 so it would fit better with her dress.'s a learn as you go project. The dragonfly has sparkly ribbon wings. I am going to embroider the center fairies for the blocks first and then piece the blocks around them. The only plan that exists is in my head.   I hope to have this done sometime in 2012. There is a CQ by 2012 challenge and hopefully I will meet that challenge.

This is the other crazy quilt (well, I call it a bedrunner that I hope to lay over my Valentine Hanky Quilt) I hope to finish by 2012. A year doesn't seem like a very long time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Winter and Seams Only

This is my work on Ritva's Winter block. She requested I use the color scheme of her blocks and added that she liked lace and beads. I made a Winter wreath for her.

This is Jeanne's block that I stitched on for the Seams Only RR. The orange in the middle bothered me  because I didn't think it belonged but I managed to stitch around it in some other bright colors.

And now...back to some Christmas projects before the grandkids get here to wreak havoc.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More Craziness

This is my work on Margreet's Spring block. I wanted to do a lot of miniature silk ribbon flowers that are found blooming in my garden in the spring. They were so miniature that by the time I finished that giant tulip in Margreet's fabric just didn't seem to fit. I tatted a butterfly to stick on top of it so hopefully it broke up the obvious "bigness". And when I was done I figured the bergamot in the upper left corner was a little out of proportion with the rest of the flowers but that's the way it is.

This is Marianne's block after Angie and I have stitched on it. This is for the white/cream/silver RR over on CQ4 Newbies.

Marianne asked for snowflakes so here I added one. You can't really tell from the photo but it is a sparkly silver. I added the silver spider web, cream feather stitch with white irridescent beads.

Marianne also requested a swan if anyone felt ambitious. I'm not sure I am too ambitious but here's a swan for her. I added it on top of the silver rickrack because the rickrack looked like sparkly, ripply water to me.

And finally, my blocks for another Tea Time RR to start Dec 1. I know...they are busy. I think I am doomed to be busy. It's my sane quilting leaking into the crazy quilting. But if I only get seam treatments I'm fine. A couple of these may be added to my "Ode to the Kitchen" quilt that exists only in my mind at this time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


My work on Rita's Autumn block. How does one capture the glory of Autumn in thread?

These are Rita's Autumn blocks so far. L to R - my work, Ritva's work and Beryl's work. I made the scarecrow purple to pick up the purple in the other two blocks. Maybe I'm learning something.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Lot of Sane and a Little Crazy

Patches and Pinwheels quilt inspired by a pattern by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville. It's a full size quilt. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it - maybe leave it in a pile I have for gifts or charity quilts. Or maybe I will keep it. I do like it. It appears I should have used blue for the borders since I must mostly have blue scrap fabrics. It is my favorite color. But, I had enough of the red polka dotted fabric for the whole borders so red it was. And, the back is a sheet from the thrift store - a soft blue with morning glories - a favorite flower. And there was just enough left for the binding.

This is a race track quilt/playmat for my grandson, Jacob, for Christmas. He will be about 22 months by then so I'm hoping he will like it. I found some age appropriate cars to go with it. I've had the panel for quite some time but couldn't figure out how to finish it off. I found some St. Jude fabric that had hospitals, fire and police stations, etc on it, some fabric with school buses, and some miscellaneous fabrics. On the strips along the side I included a "fishing hole" and a "mushroom patch" since he loves to accompany mom and dad and sister on the mushroom hunts and fishing trips. So, now, when he plays on his mat he can pull off road to do the same.

These are the finished napkins and placemats for my dad and stepmom for Christmas. I've been saving Celtic/Irish looking fabrics for years.

And finally...a little bit of crazy- this is a Tea Time block for Nicki. Five of us in the group rotate our blocks and so you end up with your block home at the end stitched on by four talented ladies. I added tea cup and flowers, party hat, teapot button and some seam treatments in the same area.
Close up of my work - a teapot button, a party hat and a tea cup of flowers.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In the Good Ol' Summertime...

This is my work on Beryl's summer block. I tried to cram on a fan but it wouldn't quite fit.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lucious Lace and Is it Winter?

This is the block I made to start the Lucious Lace RR - blah, lifeless.
And this is the block I received back after Paula, Nicki, Candji and Colleen did their magic. I was especially impressed when two out of the four who worked on my block said that blue was out of their comfort zone. Doesn't look like it to me!
 And this is my work on Wendy's Winter block. She wanted snowflakes, ice, etc. And, since the October challenge is spider webs I made the center of a snowflake a spiderweb. You can't see the glittery thread I used to overstitch everything but it's there. The angora yarn is supposed to simulate blowing snow. Not sure if it does, but that's why it's there. And, who says all snowflakes are symmetrical?

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's Spring in my Mind

My stitching on Ritva's Spring block. Spring is my favorite season. I get to dig in the dirt, watch the birds make nests, pick strawberries, radishes and onions and curse the rabbits.

On another note...I think my kindergartner granddau. has some anal-retentive tendencies. I left my pincushion on the dining room table and when I came home from work found that my pins had been sorted. She certainly doesn't get that tendency from me! I am always in a state of disarray.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today Is Brought to You By the Letter P

P is for Pillowcases I'm making for Christmas. Fishing/outdoors ones for my daughter and husband who love fishing, mushrooming hunting, hiking and camping, a little monkey one for my little monkey grandson, aged 19 mo. ,  and butterflies for each of the granddaughters, aged 5.
P is also for Pansies and this block I just completed for Carolyn for the Pansies, Pansies, Pansies CQ RR. I tried a needleweaving pansy at top but it turned out so small. I guess next time I will try thicker thread since I could hardly see to weave properly. I don't see miniature well. I barely see large things right in front of me.

And this is the pansy block done by the whole RR group for Carolyn. Normally a sixth block returns home "naked"; however for this RR we decided to all stitch a bit on the sixth so all blocks will be full when they get home to the owner. I added the tatted butterflies and the smal pink trio of pansies.

I can't wait for my blocks to get home. I already have the bell pull hardware and some further embellishments I will cram onto the blocks when I get them back. I do so love pansies.