CQJP January 2012

I know you are likely thinking, WOW she is posting on a Tuesday.
Well, I did end up getting my January block for CQJP completed and just in the nick of time!
I've done quite a bit of experimenting on this block so here goes.... 
Several weeks ago in TAST we did the buttonhole stitch and I came across this flower on Sharon's blog - the buttonhole eyelet flower.  They turned out just okay.  I learned that I need to make the centers much smaller so I'll know for next time.  I used a hand dyed #5 perle cotton with silk ribbon french knots in the center. 
Then I experimented with a half buttonhole wheel on one side and embellishing a lace edging on the other.  #8 hand dyed perle cotton and ribbon floss weaving. 
 I just love these side views.  I added some surface stitching.
Finally, I embellished a motif with beads and some stitching.  I do not have a vast collection of beads in varying colours so I'll need to work on that!  
I'm pleased with the results but as with any of my projects not sure it is absolutely complete.  I may add to it once I start to put all the blocks together at the end of the year.  Onto February....  


TAST Week 4

I think I just may have booked myself up a little too much with projects in January!
I'M BEHIND...... 
Week 4 in TAST was the cretan stitch.  I had never used this stitch previously so I did practice a bit but ended up stitching on a block versus my sampler (see below).  I need to experiment a bit more but have run out of time.  My upcoming crazy quilt class required more preparation than I had anticipated so consequently I am now trying to finish up my CQJP January block this week versus doing my sampler. 
I did manage to paruse the wonderful cretan samples on other participants blogs so this is my TAST digital journal for the cretan stitch - some wonderful samples!  You can enlarge the page to see the various blogs.
I have modified Ali Edwards templates from her December Daily Album which you can find @ Designer Digitals
My very small sample of cretan. 


Got Needles!

While I was visiting Karen, she gifted me with this.  I completed the sections and stitching when I got home and put it all together.   
It is a version of a pin cushion that holds various needles - she calls it "Got Needles".  She teaches this as a class in southern California at Piecemaker's. 
It holds all the needles I use day to day - a great addition to my studio.
Thank you Karen!
Enjoy your weekend.


TAST sampler journal

I mentioned on Monday's post that I am keeping a digital journal of some of the TAST 2012 participants stitch samples.  Above is week 1 samples of the fly stitch. 
This is a selection of week 2 buttonhole stitch.
The page template is part of Ali Edwards December Daily template package which I have modified slightly. You can find it here @ Designer Digitals. 


TAST Week 3

TAST Week 3 was the feather stitch.  I decided instead of stitching this on my sampler, I'd show some of my feather stitching on some blocks.  I tend to use this stitch a lot for vines and stems.  The above sample is from one of my fall tone blocks.  The sample below is part of my upcoming class sample.
I spent some time last week going through all the wonderful samples for the first three weeks of TAST.  Each week Sharon shows some of the participant's samples and having seen this, I decided I wanted to keep a visual sampler of sorts. 
This is my feather sampler.
Please stop by and visit these talented participants blogs - all are noted in the photo.
I'll share the first two weeks on Wednesday.
The page template is part of Ali Edwards December Daily template package.  You can find it here @ Designer Digitals.


Stitching with Karen

A special thanks to all of you sending me birthday wishes.
I'm finishing this week off with a special post.
In November I had the pleasure of spending over a week with Karen Fraser (no blog), an extremely gifted teacher.  Karen specializes in silk ribbon embroidery but she does ALL types of embroidery.  We spent nine days stitching this panel, YES NINE!!!  The panel is a piece designed by Di Van Niekerk in South Africa.  Stitching is silk ribbon work, stumpwork and a bit of Brazilian.
I came home with the majority of the piece complete with the exception of the darker purple pansy and the panel divisions stitched, both of which I just completed in late December.  
I found this a very challenging piece but am delighted with the results. 
I learned so much. 
 I knew how much I liked silk ribbon work so expect to see more in the future.  Didn't enjoy working with organza ribbon, quite tricky.  I didn't enjoy stumpwork (pansies, butterfly, dragonfly) as much as I thought I would but I'll definitely be attempting some more on a larger scale - I think the problem was more that they were so tiny (Karen helped A LOT).  Really enjoyed thread painting (some of the leaves), Loved the cast on stitch so will be playing with this more.  Perfected French knots (hydrangeas).  Last but not least, LOVED bullions and this piece has several done in different ways.  I will be playing A LOT with these soon.... 
I like to refer to this piece as Karen's and my panel as I could not (nor would I attempt) to have done it without her.  I've stretched it on a frame and it now hangs in my studio for inspiration.
Thank you Karen (and Lee) for sharing your generosity, talent and home with me.  I sure did have fun.... 



Yesterday started off VERY WELL with a bottle of this!
And then a box of Purdy's snowballs - delicious....

And some of these to round it off - quite a treat at this time of the year.
I think you may have guessed I celebrated my birthday yesterday with some decadent treats.
Today, I need to hit the gym......


TAST Week 2

I'm a little late this week in posting as I ended up finishing several smaller projects I had been working on prior to stitching my sampler.  This week it was all about buttonhole stitch.  I must admit, this is not one of my favourite stitches.  I did end up stitching a buttonhole loop flower (bottom right) which I had not done previously.  Otherwise, experimented with various thread weights.  
Busy weekend checking out many of the other TAST participants entries and general research online.  We had our first light dusting of snow which hasn't lasted long but evidently more snow in the forecast so will see.
Plan to start stitching on my CQJP today - the first block! 


Silent Night

Thanks to all those who left such kind comments over the last couple of posts.
I decided to take a break from stitching posts today.  I'm very lucky to live in an area where we experience silent nights.  I was playing with the theme of silent night prior to Christmas and this is what I came up with.  Quite simple.
My plan is to get some more studio time over the weekend as I have numerous projects in various stages at present.  Enjoy your weekend whatever you get up to.... 


CQJP 2012

Over the last several weeks my sewing machine got quite a workout. 
I spent several days constructing my blocks, all twelve of them.  These will provide the base for my Crazy Quilt Journal Project, the second project I'll be working on throughout the year.  YUP, it is shaping up to be a busy year.....
You can read about the project HERE.
I'll be adding some seam treatments using the Take A Stitch Tuesday stitches too.  I've chosen the greens as I hope to make this into a wall hanging for one of the rooms in our home.  I'll be posting throughout the year with close ups of each of the blocks as they are completed. 
A very special shout out goes to Gerry who sent me a lovely selection of greens to add to this collection.  Thank you Gerry (do you see them in there?).
Hope you will join me to watch the progress.
For those of you watching Downton Abbey - can you believe the beading in those costumes - GORGEOUS...


New class

One of our local quilt stores has been discussing my teaching crazy quilting and I have decided to go for it.  I was reluctant to do so as I felt I was really a beginner myself but since no one else does CQ locally decided to take the plunge.
This is the block (12") I'll be teaching in the class.  I found it far more challenging designing the block for a class than I would have if I were stitching it for myself.  I wanted to keep all the stitching basic and yet at the same time show a visually appealing block.  There are about seven stitches used in the block with variations of each stitch.  Have included a button cluster, an embellished butterfly applique and a doily.  I'm hoping that it will appeal and there will be interest.  It would be wonderful to have a CQ group locally.
We have many talented machine quilters locally but few using hand work so will see where it goes.  
Thanks to Gerry for your design input!
I had a busy weekend of stitching completing the last in a four block series.  Have also started a new project (more on this later in the week).  I recorded Downton Abbey last night so look forward to watching it this evening. 
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