Sunday, January 31, 2010


 I'm mailing off a half embellished winter block for a cq rr. I will embellish half of my partner's and my partner will embellish half of mine.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

CQI Challenge

I do like a challenge. This is a year long challenge over on CQI again. These are the blocks (later to be Christmas stockings for the granddaughters) I am starting with. My first challenge is learning to work with "fancy fabrics". I am more comfortable with cottons. I find fancy too slippery too stitch on most times. Both stockings contain some silk from men's ties I picked up at the thrift store. I was glad to find ties with Christmas fabric. The rest of the fancy fabric also came from thrift stores.

The challenge for Jan. is to add fans or curved piecing. I have some curves going on in the blocks themselves and a fan didn't seem appropriate for my stockings so I added what I also considered as curved piecing.

I added some large eyelets to the stockings with some old cross stitch the kids did when they were little. I thought it would be appropriate to add to their children's stockings. I tried to make them look like ornaments. Again, first attempt at eyelets. It was difficult to do with that slippery fabric. I figured if I messed up the patch I could replace it - something I can't do in RRs.

Bees, Butterflies, Beetles

I am in a Round Robin at CQI (Crazy Quilt International) group. With this group we are to embellish blocks by adding bees, butterflies and beetles. My bees are worked in french knots. Some butterflies are hiding amongst flowers on the ribbon I used.

This is my first attempt at stumpwork. The beetle's wings are wired. This strained the eyesight as well as the fingers which don't do well with teeny-tiny. But I do like how the lady turned out.

And finally, we have the tatted butterflies as well as the seam treatment of chain stitch and beads that are supposed to look like butterflies!

I like the RRs because they force me to try new things I wouldn't try on my own blocks (because I'm lazy if I am working on my own blocks).

Winter Biscornu

I love biscornus. I made this one for a pincushion swap just in case my swap partner didn't have any preferences. I will put it in my Christmas stash box now. My partner likes "citrus accents" and I will whip her up something with some citrus fabrics I have instead.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crazy Quilt Fairies

I've joined a couple of Round Robins over on CQI yahoo group.  I will send my six fairy blocks around to several ladies in the group and they will each pick one to embellish. And I will pick one of each one of their fairy blocks to embellish.  This was my first set sent out before Christmas. I have Tulip Fairy, Pansy Fairy, Cherry Fairy, Dandelion Fairy, Daffodil Fairy and Clover Fairy. You will find all of these in my garden.

I have embellished two blocks so far with this group of ladies. The first was a Lavender Fairy for Lauri and the second is a Willow Tree Fairy I finished for Rita.

And now I have joined another group of ladies for more fairy fun. I love fairies - I have fairy music boxes, a fairy garden, fairy lamps, fairy cross stitch. I have a third set of fairy blocks that I will embellish all myself. And when all is said and done I hope to have a fairy crazy quilt.

Next set to be sent off:

Iris Fairy, Wild Rose Fairy, Rose Fairy, Poppy Fairy, Sweet Pea Fairy, Strawberry Fairy. They represent some of the favorite flowers of my garden.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fabric Postcards

I have been sending my granddaughters, now age 5,  fabric postcards each month for over a year now. I have always signed them as "Secret Admirer" so they call them their "Secret Admirer Cards". One puts them in a box and the other puts them between pages of a scrapbook. They look forward to them each month. Yesterday I mailed January's card.

On the back - "To enjoy the beauty of a snowflake one must stand outin the cold. Love, from a secret admirer."

And in December I embroidered angels.  I don't remember now exactly what I wrote on the back.

This is one of the snow angels who got a card.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New RRs (Round Robins)

Today I mailed out my blocks for a new (Crazy Quilt (CQ) RR. With this one 6 - 6 inch blocks are sent out to other members for encrusted embellishment. I, in turn, will also receive blocks from the other members and pick one of the six to embellish. As a center motif I chose some valentines from a scrapbook of my mother's that I found after she died.

For the other RR  we mail out one larger block to each member of the group for embellishment with butterflies, beetles and bees. I chose a valentine as a motif on this one also along with some crochet of my husband's grandmother.
 I love butterflies. I love hearts.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Other Handmade Gifts of '09

Amulet Bags

This year I made a few amulet bags for friends. I still have a few unfinished in my sewing basket but will get them completed in due time. One went to a friend for her birthday and the other went to a friend who works for me and is battling a rare form of cancer.  I included cards with each that read:

Amulet bags are designed to be a personal totem, dispelling negativity and carrying positive energy for whenever it is needed. It is intended for personal enhancement.

Your bag is filled with:

An eraser so you can make all your mistakes disappear.
A penny so you'll never be entirely broke.
A marble in case someone says you lost all yours.
A rubber band to hold it all together and to stretch yourself beyond your limits.
A string to keep you connected.
A safety pin for safety's sake.
A band-aid to patch up all the little dings and dents to your spirit.
Hugs (candy) to remind you that someone cares.


I have a friend who is likes black-americana so I embroidered her some dishtowels with some 30s motifs of a little black girl and kitten. I thought they turned out cute. I guess I will make her the rest of the days of the week some other time or I will have to teach her how to embroider so she can do the rest herself. To tell you the truth, I think it would be easier just to finish the rest of the days myself. (No offense, Marsha)!


I have picked up several sets of stamped pillowcases to embroider from the thrift store. I always wonder why people buy the sets and never finish them. I completed this set but haven't given them away yet. I put them in the box for someone for 2010.


I made several pincushions for my friends who sew. This pattern was a quickie! (I received an exquisite pincushion too but haven't taken a picture yet).


I made lots of "patchwork" ornaments for stocking stuffers and gifts. Here are a few of them I managed to snap before I gave them away. They are easier to make than they look. All you need are a few 2 inch squares, a 3 inch styrofoam ball, lots of pins, a little ribbon and glue, a little ruler and time. This was my first year making them and I think I will start on more for next year's stockings.

...and for the Granddaughters...

I made some topsy-turvy dolls from a 1930s pattern. I was waiting to see how the girls liked them before I made more. I have patterns for Cinderella (ball gown/rags) and Red Riding Hood/Wolf/Grandma dolls and the girls may get them next year. One of the GDs carried hers around most of Christmas day so I know it was well received. I made some doll blankets out of 1930 reproduction fabric scraps to go with the dolls and didn't take a picture of them, darn it!

I got both of the GDs an easy bake oven so I thought a homemade chef's hat and apron, cookie cutters and their own rolling pin, tinkerbelle cup cake papers, a bin would be an appropriate gift. I was going to embroider their names on the hats but just didn't get around to it.

A Few Christmas '09 Quilts

I know I haven't blogged for quite some time. Hopefully I will do better in 2010 since I want to export everything from this blog into a journal at the end of the year. I will catch up first with some of the quilts I made in '09 for Christmas gifts.

My husband is a hobby winemaker. We make wine from fruit grown on our small acreage - grape, blackberry, pear, raspberry, rhubarb and various combinations. So, for Christmas I made him a lap quilt celebrating wine.

For my youngest son and his girlfriend I made a "holiday quilt" to match the 12 sets of holiday pillowcases I made for them last year. I didn't get a picture of them with it at Christmas.

My oldest son and his girlfriend received an "aquarium windows" quilt. I am not sure if you can tell from the photo, but each square has some kind of fish and the squares are then surrounded by a light blue fabric that looks like bubbles in water. I quilted it with wavy lines. They have several aquariums so thought it was appropriate.

For my daughter and son-in-law I made a "turning twenty" quilt which uses 20 fat quarters. I found novelty fabrics that represent all the hobbies they have - mushroom hunting, fishing, camping, wild berry gathering, hiking, etc. It's a queen size. They had been nagging me for quite some time for a quilt for their bed. Now I wonder what they will nag about! Of course they refused to get into the picture also.

The granddaughters - two of them, aged 5 - each received an "I Spy" quilt in a snowball pattern. One in purple, the other in pink - favorite colors of theirs. We play a more advanced form of "I Spy" - find a vegetable, find something that can be eatend for dessert, find something that rises, find something that lives in a desert.

I also made a Christmas quilt for each of the granddaughters to sleep under when they visit grandma during the holidays. One is a Christmas Sampler and the other is a Christmas Delectable Mountains.

Evidently they stay cozy dressed for bed in their choice of Grandpa's T-shirts and  bundled in their Christmas quilts. Little brother wanted to get in on the action too but Grandma hasn't made him another quilt since he was born 10 months ago.

And finally, I suprised one of my brothers who came to visit (all the way from sunny FL to frigid IA) with a jar quilt. I thought it appropriate since he's a chef.