Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012

In 2010 I signed on to do a crazy quilt to be finished by 2012. Well, I didn’t get very far. When Kathy Shaw came up with the Crazy Quilt Journal Project for 2012, I decided to work on the quilt I already started. So, if all goes well, it will actually get completed (or mostly completed) by the end of 2012. To keep up, every one who registered for the CQJP is required to submit a photo of work done for each month. The area done must be at least 6” x 6”. Since I prefer to do crazy quilts that are one continuous piece (not squares sewn together) I will work on and photograph an area each month that fits the dimensions required or larger. Here is January (we were permitted to start on this in November) along with a photo of what I have completed so far.

CQJP Jan 2012

CQJP Corner CQJP Overall
As you can see, I embellish as each area is pieced. I have already completed 5 large baskets with silk ribbon embroidery flowers that will the centerpieces of the quilt. Because I used various colors for these, the use of some of these colors in the individual outer areas may seem a little off. So, you will see orange, pink, blue, purple, etc. in areas that you may think “garish”. I’m just hoping it all looks balanced both in design and color when it’s finished.

Here is a close-up of one design element, followed by the pattern.

CQJP Jan 2012 Orange Flowers


A Personal Challenge

Many of you already know of the Flights of Fancy website. Carole has an array of beautiful trims and accessories for crazy quilting. She also offers what she designates as the “Treasure Club” which is an automatic mailing of a coordinated group of trims each month. I decided to join and put myself outside my usual “style” and challenge myself to use all of the items (either wholly or partially) in one square. I’ve completed “December” and I totally enjoyed working on this.

BS 1

Here are some close up photos.

BS 2 BS 3
BS 4 BS 5
BS 6 BS 7

The January packet is here and I’m anxious to get going on it, but I have other things to do first!


Every year I say I’m going to make things to give to friends. This year I came as close as I’ve ever gotten: I made one Christmas card. How’s that for achievement? I’m so ashamed! Anyway, here it is. I have some ideas swirling in my head to try in 2012. I’ll show you the one I carry through on (maybe) this time next year.

Xmas Card (web)

I also just completed embellishment on a 4”x 6” block for a RR I’m in. This block belongs to Arlene White in Australia.

Arlene White (web)

I’ll let these two pieces be my last post before Christmas as they are the only holiday things I’ve finished. Have a glorious holiday season!!

Also, my website will be closed until after New Year’s Day.

My Heart Goes Out to Betty

Over the past few months many of the women on the Crazy Quilt International Yahoo Group have made hearts for Betty Pillsbury to show her our support because of the effects hurricane Irene had on her family and home. The idea was Cheryl Anderson’s of Wisconsin and she organized it all and gathered the hearts for shipping. Betty received them the other day and I can now show you the one I made for her. You can see all of the other hearts on the CQI list.

Heart (sm)

Sharon’s Square

My good friend Sharon Benoit made this lovely 6" square for me. I'm getting to the point with these that my book needs to be started. I've seen quite a few fabric books and still haven't decided how I want to make it. After all the work the squares represent, I want it to be my best effort.

6in Square 5

My square for Sharon:

6in Square 4

An Idea for You

This lingerie bag was purchased by me last year at an antique shop. It was labeled as antique but I believe it is newly made out of antique fabrics. I just really liked it and did not feel it was overpriced. I think it is a fabulous idea for holding any of your soft CQ items such as ribbons, laces, etc. and looks so pretty hanging on a wall or over the edge of a mirror. Let some of the content flow over the edge for color.

Bag 1a

Bag 4 Bag 3

Please feel free to copy it if you like the idea. The bag opening is held out by an oval shaped wooden embroidery hoop sewn into a casing. The hoop in this one is 4 1/2"x 9" but try any size or shape for variation. All of the decorating is done on the front of the bag.

New Pat Winter Offerings

Pat has two new items available for purchase: the latest edition of her Crazy Quilt Gatherings magazine and a new book entitled BOHO Fever on making Bohemian Gathering Bags. Click on the photos to get more information and to purchase.

CCG Cover BOHO Cover

A Challenge Met

A couple of months ago I signed up for a challenge hosted by Nicki Lee Seavey with the HGTV quilt group. Nicki also took part in the challenge. Each participant sent her a small fee and she sent us 6 items that had to be included. After the materials, she used the rest of the money to give as prizes. The six items were: a length of lace, a lace motif, a length of green ribbon, a pin-tucked piece of white fabric, a piece of fabric with swirled ribbon on it, and 3 charms. I was so out of my comfort zone with the items she sent, I stuck them in a drawer for several weeks. A couple of the things I downright hated. My Granddaughter kept asking me if I was going to do it and I finally was guilted into it, if for no other reason than to show her I followed through on things I committed to do. That turned out to be the challenge for me.

Below are the 4 winners of the challenge. I think all of the participants were winners and only about half of those who signed up actually finished.

Fourth Place - Ely Ahsanulla - I met Ely at the Adventure and she is a beautiful person who really loves CQ.

Ely #2

Third Place - Lynn Gelston.

Katiemedarlin #1

Second Place - Nicki Lee Seavey - I met her at the Adventure but she has been a friend since well before I had the pleasure of meeting her.


First Place - I couldn't believe it. After all the problems I had with the materials used - I Won!! It just goes to show ya!

Square 1

To see all of the winners, 1 through 22, go to:

I'm Still Here!

Three months since my last post and I still don't have much to say.  My problem is I don't take many photos and I don't do a lot of blogging about my personal life.  Dull!!  My DIL and Granddaughter, Ava, were here for the month of July.  It was nice to have some activity in this quiet life of ours.  Do I have photos?  No!  Candace Kling was here for a week earlier this month and we had 5 days of glorious workshops.  Do I have photos?  No!  I spent weeks and weeks getting ready for a giant tag sale I had on Saturday.  Do I have photos?  Why would I?!  I helped my DIL make a swing coat for Ava.  That turned out really cute.  Do I have a photo?  No!  I also made a couple of "sane" quilts for little ones in our family.  I had Jim take photos of those as proof I didn't read all summer.

Here's the "Dolly Dingle" quilt I made for Ava.  It looks lopsided in the photo but it's really nice and squared off.  The kits were photographed from a ladder hovering over the bed.  (I felt I needed to tell you that.)

Quilt 1

This quilt is for my niece, Bella.  I haven't given it to her yet and I don't think anyone in my Sister's family reads my blog so I am safe in showing it here.  Why don't they read it?  Because I usually don't take photos of nor write about things they care about! 

Quilt 2

Lastly, I did receive a 6" square from Allison Aller which definitely shows her sunny outlook on life.  Thank you, Allie.

6in Square 2

This is the square I sent to her.

6in Square 1

Nicki Lee's 6" Square

This square from Nicki Lee arrived while I was away for a few days. It's always so fun to come home and have something beautiful waiting in the mail. I have admired Nicki's work for quite a while now and am so happy to add a small example of her creativity to my growing 6" square collection. I met her for the first time at An Adventure in Crazy Quilting in April and she is a joy to get to know. Nicki Lee has a wonderful blog, does beautiful lace dying which you can purchase through her etsy store, and is active with the HGTV Message Boards where she hosts CQ challenges and other activities.

Nicki's Square for Reen

My 6" square for Nicki shows my love for working with black. It has become one of my favorite colors in the past couple of years (non-color, some may say) and I'm anxious to start another project with black as the background. This one has mostly bead techniques on it and may look simple to you. It took me a hours to do as I'm not very prolific with beads.

Square for Nicki

Squeezing in More 6" Squares

It's been several weeks (months) since I've sat down to work on my little squares to swap with my favorite stitchers. Betty Pillsbury gave me this beautiful square in April at An Adventure in Crazy Quilting. Thank you Betty. I love it!! Betty also has a blog.

Betty's Square for Reen

Mine arrived in her mailbox yesterday. It was a real time disparity but I do try!

Reen's Square for Betty

Candace Kling - A Master in Ribbon Art

Artful RibbonJust a reminder to you all that Candace Kling will be coming again this fall and will have more of her beautiful techniques to teach us. The kids will be back in school and the weather will still be pleasant here in CT. There are five full days of workshops scheduled, but you will have the choice of taking 2, 3 or 5 of those days. Please visit the website I have set up for everything you need to know about these workshops and visit her website to get an in-depth view of her talents. Everything Candace teaches can be applied to Crazy Quilting. She teaches the techniques in larger sizes than you may need but this is to give you the ease and knowledge of manipulating the ribbon, fabric, etc. Most things can then be reduced in size by you to incorporate into your projects. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to learn from the best.

So Proud of Lauren



It's a natural thing for Grandmas to brag about their Grandchildren. I don't do it often, however, as I'm afraid it will become tedious. I couldn't believe how well written and imaginative a twelve year old can be until I read this paper Lauren wrote for school homework. Please read it and you will see why I'm so proud of her.


Tweet! The Game is in action and Emma passes the ball to me right away.

Take a deep breath.

I hear the “poof” of the ball, yellow as a highlighter, as it lands smack in the pocket of my lacrosse stick like an angry ram running into a wall. I run as fast as lightning into the fan only to find that I have lost my defender and that two new defenders had their sticks blocking my path to the goal like their life depended on it. I feel like SCREAMING. My heart is racing like a horse in the Kentucky Derby.

Take a deep breath.

I run my hand up my stick and feel the soft metal it’s shaft is made of. For an instant all I hear is the spring breeze rustling in the trees but then I hear coach yelling to me- the same thing repeatedly. “Give and go!” Then it struck me- I reeled around in my tracks and saw Mary, our best middy wide open! I practically catapult the ball her way and cut back to Mary to get the ball right back. The ball soars through the air like a bullet and into my stick in a flash. It’s all up to me now- will I score the point?

Take a deep breath.

I bite down hard on my rubbery mouth guard and taste its plastic flavoring, bitter as a lemon on my poor tongue. I step forward in front of the goal and bring my stick down hard like I was punching air in the face. The ball bounces once, hits the goalie in the shoulder, and…


I open my eyes wide like a bug and look into the evening sky, pink as cotton candy. Instantaneously, my team gathers around me- all smiles and full of high fives. Another point for Junior Division Green Machine.

A Portrait of Gracie

As a crazy quilter, I have collected quite a few buttons . None have ever meant so much to me as the one Gerry Krueger painted of my sweet little Gracie. She gave it to me as a surprise at the Adventure in Crazy Quilting. Isn't it wonderful? Thank you so much Gerry! Please visit Gerry's blog and her Etsy shop site to see her lovely crazy quilting and more of her fabulous buttons.

Shown enlarged – is actually about 1 1/4” in diameter.


New Additions to My Vintage Stash

Shirlee and I had a great day yesterday at the Vintage Fashion and Textile Show at the Host Hotel in Sturbridge MA. This show is held three times during the summer and always kicks off the week for the world famous Brimfield Flea Market. The textile show is a treasure trove of vintage and antique embellishments for the crazy quilter. Of course, most people don't go with crazy quilting in mind but there's so much there to see that I just zero in on that. Here is a photo of the things I found. Lace is usually my goal but it's getting to be more unlikely to find at a reasonable price and I had such a good time just ignoring it and trying to focus on other doodads for a change. Other than privately advertising that I'm looking for antique lace, buttons, trims, etc., this is the best source I've found. Jim and I are planning a day at the flea market this's always a fun time and I know I'll probably run into Shirlee there. I usually do.

Goodies 1 (frame)

The ribbon chatelaine shown here was another find at the show. I bought it for the bone rings but now I find I like it way too much to take it apart. It still has a needle book attached with the needles still waiting for someone to come back.

Goodies 2 (frame)

Such A Gift!!

When Sharon Boggon arrived for An Adventure in Crazy Quilting, little did I know what she would present me with when we got home from the airport. I had asked her to make a 6" square for me for my little collection I'm gathering and I love what she did for me. I'll show you that first.

Sharon's Square

Then she handed me this beautiful purse she made for me as well. I have been in awe of her crazy quilting and now I have two examples to call my own.

Purse Front

Purse Back

Purse Inside

Purse Closeup 1

Purse Closeup 2

Purse Closeup 3

It was such a surprise and so appreciated. Thank you Sharon!

It was so much fun having her stay with me. To get on her good side, all I had to do was give her fudge brownie ice cream!

Catching Up on 6" Squares

My friend Julia Johnson is new to crazy quilting and has made me this lovely square in the lively colors she is known for in our little group. She has made some of the most vibrant, intricate, and beautiful sane quilts I have ever seen in similar colors. She has a style she should never try to change.

Square 1

My square for Julia.

Square 2

A Shared Embroidery

Karin Greetz of the Netherlands used a pattern from my blog, reduced it in size, and minimized it to do her own interpretation of this vintage peacock (Click on Embroidery Designs in the list on the right.) Very pretty Karin. Thank you for sending me the photo.


Kathy Shaw - A Wealth of Information

Several weeks ago I purchased the book "Embellishing Crazy Quilts" by Kathy Shaw.


It is chock full of ideas for seam treatments, beautiful alphabets, and designs for motifs. It is printed totally in black and white which I find so easy to use to pick out what I want to do. This is a great workbook and I know I'll use it over and over. Kathy also gave me this black beaded tassel.


She is one of the many I've corresponded with that I would love to meet. She shares so openly. Contact her about her Yahoo Group as well. It is another way she shares her designs with lots of tips from her subscribers.