Christmas Stockings

It's been a stress filled time taking me away from crazy quilting over the span of several weeks. Before you feel too sorry for me, the stress was caused by doing sane quilting as gifts! It's really starting to be a chore to just machine stitch and not do any hand work. My kids don't want my CQ projects as they say they're too "fancy." Maybe someday!!

I thought for Christmas I would at least give you some photos of CQ stockings. The first two of these are by Shirlee Fassell, the next one is mine, and the last one was embellished for me in a RR. (Embellishment by Rengin Yazitas, Thusitha Ariyartne, Shirlee Fassell, Reneta Datzova, and Melodie Lente)

Using Silk Chenille

It has been a while since I started thinking about using chenille for hand embroidery. Chenille thread was used quite often on antique textiles and is so pretty and easy to use - that is, now that I know how to thread the needle (thank you, Shirlee!) I have provided two photos showing what you have to do to thread the needle. First remove the chenille down about 1" or so from the two threads that run down the center. Then tie the two threads onto the eye of the chenille needle. That's it!

Don't thread the whole strand of the chenille through the eye of the needle as it makes it too thick to pull through your fabric easily. I ended up with a slightly larger needle than shown here as my chenille broke when I tried to pull it through a piece of silk backed with muslin. The larger needle worked great as the size of the needle made a hole large enough in the fabric to be able to pull the chenille through without stressing it. Here's a puny little sample of a flower I embroidered with chenille as I was in a hurry to show you something. I think it will look so pretty when I use it with silk ribbon and other embroidery threads and beads.

CQ 2012 - I've started piecing

It's been so long since I've blogged about something I'm working on, I thought I'd show you this small portion of the pieceing for my quilt that I've finished. It's going to be a long process as I'm also working on other things. I want to have the bulk of the embellishment done for this quilt before I assemble the pieces onto a muslin backing. Two more of my baskets are in the current issue of CQ Magazine Online . Since I'm using the same color silk for all of my piecing I've decided to use black throughout to provide the main contrast. I'm also going to use a lot of the vintage items I've accumulated over the years.

Sharon's Beautiful Crazy Quilt

Sharon Benoit is one of my friends who join me here at my home several Saturdays a year to stitch. She has worked tirelessly on this beautiful quilt. Please take the time to study the effort she has put into it.

Shirlee's done it again!!

If you think I'm a fan of Shirlee Fassell, then you've got that right. Her work is so special and for the past two summers she has been going to Paris for a week to take classes at Ecole Lesage and learning to use a tambour hook. The following photos are of what she learned there this summer, the first being the project she worked on in class and the others are since she's been back home (only a matter of weeks.) She made another of her class project as a gift for her cousin in Germany in different colors. The last two photos are her rendition of two designs from the same group that I'm using for the baskets in my 2012 CQ.

The materials she's using for these are metallic threads, raffia, chenille, beads, sequins, etc. This is a Level 1 class result and I can't wait to see what she can do after Level 2 next summer.

Moda Quilt - Another Oldie

This quilt was made a few years ago for a contest sponsored by Moda fabrics and I had to use a predetermined selection of fabrics. I made this quilt (50"x50") in less than 2 months as I was near the final entry date when I learned of the contest. A photo, not the quilt, were submitted. My quilt did not get selected for the finals and I have yet to be able to find the winners online. Entrants were supposed to be notified of the results but I never heard a word. I am not sure if the contest continues. I believe they were trying to set something up similar to the Hoffman Challenge. You may have seen this quilt in other venues, but it really needs to be on my blog. I used a combination of hand and machine embellishment.

CQ 2012 Basket

This basket took a little longer than the others but, again, I used only simple stitches. The basket is done using a sz 12 variegated perle cotton and the only stitches used were staight stitch and split stitch. I also used the same thread in green for the stems (split stitch) and the leaves (satin stitch.) The petals of the flowers are straight stitched from the outside of the petal into the center using 4mm varigated silk ribbon. The number of petals in each flower are more than actual lilacs have. Who cares!! They still look like lilacs. The only tips you need to know to do these are, keep the stitches loose and be prepared to use a lot of ribbon. I used 13 yards and you won't want to run out half way through. A pearl seed bead was used in each flower center. Two of my baskets for this quilt will be in the next issue of CQMagOnline.

CQ 2012 Basket

This is one of the five baskets I'm doing as the focal points for my 2012 CQ Challenge wall hanging. You can refer to the chart of the quilt that I posted here earlier this month to see where they will be going. All of the stitches for this basket are simple and consist of straight stitch, lazy daisy, a lot of French knots, padded satin stitch, split stitch, and outline stitch. All open areas were then topped with sz 11 and 15 seed beads. I added the bow to the handle as it needed something at the top when I finished the embroidery. I also added a mixture of small flowers to this vintage basket design from other vintage sources as the basket didn't look complete. You are welcomed to print a copy of the design. This will not be actual size so you can reduce or enlarge it on your computer.

Signature Wedding Quilt

Here is the signature wedding quilt I did for my niece two years ago. You can read about it in one of the past issues of CQ Magazine online.

CQ 2012 Challenge

I should have explained more about the chart I did for my wall hanging. The design is my own and the diamond shape* was cut from a 10" square piece of paper. Each diamond will have a basket of flowers if all goes as planned. The designs for the baskets are from vintage embroidery transfers. I made changes to them all as in some I loved the basket but not the flowers. I added more flowers, some bows, and various "stray" designs to help them fill in the diamonds fairly equally. I will be saving some of the designs to publish in the CQ Magazine. Eventually, the whole quilt will be here on my blog.

*To get this design, I folded the 10" square of paper into quarters and then once more into a triangle (like a snowflake you might have made as a child.) Here are drawings of how I cut it.

Crazy Quilt 2012 Challenge

I have joined in a challenge with several other crazy quilt enthusiasts on the Yahoo crazyquilting list to finish a large quilt by the year 2012. Instead of a bed quilt, I prefer a wall hanging. I have charted my quilt and have a photo of that chart below. I will be writing about portions of it on CQMagOnline as well as this blog, but the entire project will eventually be shown here. The wall hanging will be ~42"x43" not really large by some standards, but large for someone like me whose attention wanders. Wish me luck in sticking this out to the finish!!!

A Doll's Crazy Quilt by Shirlee

Here is a great example of the detail Shirlee pays to every project she does. Even a doll doesn't get short changed. She dressed this doll's bed as her part of a barter with someone else. There are a lot of great ideas for you in this quilt.