Friday, December 30, 2011

A Little Crazy Quilting

This is the second 4x6 block (Colleen's) I stitched for the exchange hosted by Kathy Shaw. It was a little challenging since there were squares with so many different colors so  I broke it up a bit with my seams. I feather stitched all seams and added a different type of "flower" to each. Then I added some sweetheart roses here and there.

On Ruby's winter themed block I added some motifs- a sleigh, wreath and tree -  in metallic threads. It's hard to catch the sparkle in the picture. Around the silky I ruched some organdy ribbon and some white bumpy yarn.  I was hoping it looked like snow. Most of the stitching was wrapped backstitch with a single strand of the metallic thread.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Little Sane and a Little Crazy

My Quiltville Orca Bay Mystery Week 6 Ohio Stars are complete and looking pretty wild and crazy. To see what everyone else is doing check out the Monday linky party. 

And speaking of crazy...this is my Midnight Fantasy Garden block I'll be using for a small stitch challenge over on CQ4Newbies called "Celebrate Life". 

Monday, December 19, 2011

If I Saw This in a Quilting Book or Magazine I Probably Wouldn't Make It!

Remember these 350 HSTs I made for part 3 of the Quiltville Orca Bay Mystery? 

Well, for part 5 of the Quiltville mystery we needed to add "wings" to the HSTs so I cut 700+ 2 inch triangles and then sew them to either side of the HSTs. I added some blacks with color this time - bats, cherries, flowers, hot peppers, shamrocks, pumpkins, lady bugs, polka dots. 

If I saw directions for a quilt that included sewing together so many small pieces I don't think I would make it. I would think it too large a task I would probably start and never complete. But, I do love a good mystery, viewing the variety of fabrics everyone is  using and sewing along with a lot of ladies from all parts of the world to create the same quilt - a virtual quilting bee. And, all the ladies are linked up at Quiltville if you want to take a look. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Flowers in Winter

The following are some pics from some RRs I am participating in:
This is Lauri's 6 inch angel themed block. I added 4 different seam treatments in variegated DMC then framed Lauri's silkie with silk ribbon flowers. I tatted a butterfly for upper right and made a bullion fantasy flower for lower right.

This is a different type of RR where everyone stitches on one large block. This is Ely's roses themed block. I added sweetheart roses, spider web roses and bullion roses around the fairy center and added a crocheted butterfly.

And this is Ely's block after Arlene, Paula and I have stitched on it. One more lady needs to add her stitching and then it's going home to Ely.

This is another rose themed RR block. This time it is for Meg and she requested yellow roses so I added a large one plus some other rosebuds and flowers... some bullion rosebuds.

This is Meg's block after Rita, Ruby and me. Then it's on to Kathy to stitch on and then home to Meg who says she will auction it off for Texas firefighters.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Rest of the Stories...

Remember this post about the quilts I made for children in Turkey - victims of an earthquake sleeping in tents in winter conditions?

Well, I received this beautiful handmade brooch in the mail a few days ago from Rengin, the lady to whom I sent the quilts. It consists of oyas, a traditional needlelace of Turkey. I was expecting nothing in return for those quilts, but this was a pleasant surprise, absolutely gorgeous, and will definitely be treasured by me. (I've got it in a box with the stamp from the envelope, the card that came with it and an explanation of how I came to be in possession of such a lovely item. In case anything happens to me then my kids will know.)  In case you are interested in oyas Rengin sells them in her etsy shop.

And remember this post where I was wondering what the winner of my AAQ quilt was going to do with it? I had a surprising phone call yesterday from Judy K who is now in possession of said quilt. She found me on and wanted to know if I had anything on the quilt that began with "q", told me she was 70 and a quilter and was not going to use my quilt as a dust rag - she had it hanging on her sewing room wall. How fun is that? I'm about ready to email her to see if she belongs to any online groups, if she has a blog and that I thought somewhere on the quilt there was a little porcupine with quills.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mug Rug Mania

I wish I liked the look of binding sewn on by machine. I got tired of sewing the binding after about 3 mug rugs but had made 22 so I finally plowed through the stack.

I'm going to give some to those people I always like to give a little something and I'll use some as stocking stuffers. Here's the ones I made for coffee or hot chocolate lovers. I'll give a mug stuffed with mug rug, some packages of coffee or hot chocolate and a snack. I should be making cookies or little loaves of breads to give but I am just not in the mood this year.

Here's the mug rugs I made for the tea lovers.

And here's the ones I made for the little boys who will be out for Christmas - a few grand nephews and a grandson. I found these mugs where the kids can design their own mug insert. I'll put a hot chocolate and a fruit snack inside, wrap mug rug around and then tie it all up with a bow.

And here's the little girl's version. I have lots of grand nieces. This latest generation has lots and lots of girls.

And, I just know I'm going to have to explain to the whole family that the piece of cloth is a mug rug - a little placemat for mug and snack. I'm turning into my aunts who always sent us something for Christmas that left us scratching our heads and wondering what the heck it was.  (Why oh why did I spend all that time sewing on all that binding? )

Monday, December 12, 2011

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

Answer: The Orca Bay Mystery quilt so far, of course!

Clue 4 to the mystery my very well be a red herring!

I have finished my 68 5.5 string squares in red. But, alas, I have only cut a few in half and re-trimmed accordingly. Now, if only I didn't have to work for a living, well...I could...

Anyway, if you want to see the bits and pieces of the mystery (er, I mean clues) so far go visit Quiltville and the Orca Bay Mystery.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I finally had time to work on some stitching on items that are not Christmas presents.  I finished a 4x6 block for Maureen in a RR on Kathy Shaw's list. Maureen made the block. I did the stitching. 
I added a little bit of everything - cast-on stitches, bullions, silk ribbon, spider web wheels, beads...

And this is a new stitch I'm trying - Ship-ladder stitch. Kerry Leslie presents new stitches every so often on the CQI Yahoo Group and a tutorial on her blog. I made the stitch going down one way then back up the other way, joined them in the middle with a few lazy daisy stitches. Boy, when you take a close up pic you can really see the flaws! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Teeny, Tiny "I Spy" Wasn't an AAQ Winner, But it Has a Couple of Bids!

My Alliance for American Quilts entry that I made in Feb (see Feb post) is finally up for bid on Ebay. My greatest fear was that no one would even make one bid on it. I need fear no more. AAQ will benefit from my efforts!
This is about the teeniest, tiniest "I Spy" quilt around! Wonder what the winner will be doing with it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

350 HSTs on the Wall, 350 HSTs...

These 2 inch b/w HSTs are for part 3 of the Orca Bay Mystery at Quiltville. We need 350 but I have more than that but quit counting when I hit my goal. It really didn't take as long as I thought it would to cut and stitch. I use the EZ Angle ruler to cut them. For some reason I thought the task daunting and so to the tune of "99 bottles of beer on the wall" and counting forward not back, the refrain "xx HSTs on the wall, xx HSTs, cut one up, sew it up, xx+1 HSTs on the wall..." kept running through my mind as I sewed. I tried blocking it out by listening to some of my favorite Irish tunes; mind just kept on singing about HSTs. Sheesh!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

In Between Sane and Crazy

It's never boring around here. I always have my choice of sane or crazy project to work on after a hard day on the job. And I always like challenges. I think they keep the mind functioning.
Another challenge I hope to work on in 2012 is Sharon Boggon's "Take a Stitch Tuesday" .

I love gingham so decided to make some 4.5 inch squares into little canvases to stitch on for the TAST challenge. I figured it already has some lines marked for me to follow while stitching. If there are some stitches that involve circles I guess I will use some pastel polka dots for the "canvas". The 4.5 inch squares are bordered with 2.5 inch white on white strips and I figured I could stitch on those too. Then it will turn into a lap quilt. Crazy, huh?

This is my work on Rita's rose block. It is for a rose themed RR over on CQI (Crazy Quilt International) yahoo group.

And this is how Rita's block looks after Ruby and I have worked on it. Now there are two more stitchers to go.

And, yuck, I don't really like orange but I am participating in an Orange Study RR with some ladies on the CQforNewbies yahoo group. This is my stitching on Doris' block. I added some pale orange eyelet trim, tatted a little butterfly, crocheted a few flowers, added some kiko stitch flowers, a bullion flower, some leaves...

...and this is how Doris' block now looks after Doris and I have stitched on it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Christmas Gifts

More embroidered floursack dishtowels to go with the chocolate hotpads I had back in a previous post somewhere...

...and more crocheted dishcloths (dishrags?) to finish off the kitchen sets consisting of dishcloth, hotpad and dishtowel...

...more hotpads (potholders?) with a candy other than chocolate theme this time...

...and finally a special hotpad for my brother who is coming to visit from FL this Christmas. His alias is pepperchef so he gets peppers and chefs on his hotpad!

My DH and I come from large families...will I ever be finished making presents?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Strung Out

I finished my 72 3.5 string blocks for week two of the Quiltville mystery quilt- Orca Bay. I still have to take the paper backs off - yuck. And, I didn't make a dent in my blue strings so, as title suggests...I'm not really strung out!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Seeing Red - Crazy Basket Case

I embroider, quilt, sew, garden, read in order not to be a drug addict or alcoholic, to stay sane, to relieve stress. Without hobbies I think I would be a crazy basket case. Crazy basket case? Hmmm...
Speaking of baskets...I noticed I have lots of old embroidery transfers in my collection that contain baskets. I love the old transfers...they remind me of my first embroidery projects...when grandma patiently taught me to do lazy daisy, straight and cross stitches.

I wanted to use all the baskets in a lap quilt somehow. I was moved earlier this year by that quilt show that showed the red/white quilt collection some lady had. Then the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012 came along.  So, lo and CQJP 2012 project was born...a crazy lapquilt in mostly reds and whites that contains lots of baskets that I can embroider on all year so I don't become a


I figured since I don't like piecing blocks all that much that I should start piecing some right away so I don't poop out on the project.

I need at least 20 blocks for a good sized lap quilt.

Each block should contain at least one basket but hopefully maybe 2.

The embellishments need to be washable and the seam treatments all need to be something a little different as far as new stitches or stitch combos.

I think I will be seeing red for a while. Actually, I think it is my new fav color. Wonder what that says about me!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kudos for Comments

Look what came in the mail Wednesday - one of Gerry Kruegers gorgeous victorian pincushions!  I visit her blog olderrose frequently and comment whenever I have something to say. Since she appreciates comments,  on her 1000th post she awarded the 1000th commenter this pincushion. That commenter was me! How lucky can a girl be?

Monday, November 21, 2011

No Hourglass Figure Here...Just Lots of Hourglass Blocks

I'm making another Quiltiville mystery quilt this year. Orca Bay is the name of the game. The first step is to make 224 b/w 2.5 inch hourglass blocks. I ended up with 227 that measured correctly and about 20 wonkies. So far this fabric hoarder has not bought any fabric.

It's not too late to join in the fun! Visit the Quiltville blog so you don't miss out.  I made one last year for the first time and it was loads of fun.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Favorite Color Plus Red Challenge

The CQI (Crazy Quilt International) Yahoo Group has a challenge going on this quarter - make something out of your favorite color plus red that you can wear. Totes were counted as something you could wear. My fav color is blue so I cut up some old bluejeans, did a little red work, a little chicken scratch and turned it all into a tote.

I wish I would have embroidered something up in that upper left rectangle, but I didn't so I'll have to be happy with it.

Inside I used some flannel I had left over from some other project. And then there's a big pocket there on the side. I'm going to tote my crochet or embroidery projects in it so I have something to do at work on my lunch hours. Right now I tote things in a plastic grocery bags. This seems so more chic!

It's not my boho bag...but that will be next. I just have a little more embroidery to do on it...well, actually, I have the whole flap left to do. Won't be long now though!