October CQJP

It’s November I know, but I just got my October 2012 Journal Project finished and am working on November. I also signed up to do the 2013 CQJP. It will help me to stay motivated to keep going. I will probably have to continue with this quilt in order to get it finished. I do have an idea for my next crazy quilt project so I hope with my lack of posting I haven’t lost your interest. Please stay tuned!

CQJP Oct 2012

New 6” Squares

Earlier this month I received two gorgeous 6" squares from two talented ladies and I couldn't be more pleased.

Carolyn Phillips sent this beautiful Asian inspired square with the focus point being the hand-painted crane in the center. I so wanted to ask her to paint something on my square, as she does such glorious paintings, but I didn't want to influence what she felt like doing. Not only did she send the square, but she also painted these awesome pansies for me to incorporate in another project. Carolyn also included a dragonfly kit which I will add to my 2012 CQJP. I was doing the happy dance when I opened the package.

6in Square 11

6in Square 11 (flower)

Marie Alton, who has been my online friend for years, sent me this intricately embroidered square which has to represent hours of work. Her stitching is so delicate and absolutely precise and I so appreciate her for this work of art. Stunning!!! Marie also enclosed a pretty white beaded heart with red picots around the edge for me to use on a future project.

6in Square 10

Thank you both so very much!


It's been over a month since I've posted. Summer slows everything down but I haven't come to a total stop. The CQJP is keeping me working at least in small increments. Here is my June installment. CQJP June 2012
I've also sent out three 6" squares this year. I'll share those photos here and will post the ones I receive in return as they come in.

6in Square 36in Square 86in Square 9
Thank you for stopping by.

Heather Brighton’s “Take It Anytime” Class Work

Heather has done most of the online classes being offered at my web store and has sent photos of her beautiful renditions of several of them for me to share with you. Here are three along with her comments about them.

I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon yesterday working on the "Twisted Waffle Flower". The directions were very good and I am delighted with the final result.


I just wanted to say thank you for sharing the pattern for the butterfly on your April CQJP Block. I copied your pattern and used a Caron Wildflowers thread, I am really happy with how it turned out.


I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed this Take It Anytime class. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. I chose to use it as a CQ seam treatment instead of a bookmark.


Finally – A Paint for Metal that Works!!!

Over the years I have tried several brands and types of paint to do charms. Never being satisfied, I continued to purchase Susan Clark’s charms at considerable cost. Her charms are still the best on the market as they look like cloisonné so I would never say to do this as their replacement. However, using the newly released Vintaj Patinas, I can easily paint my own charms, have them look wonderful, and have a larger variety to choose from. Here are a few of the charms I’ve painted and a little about the paint. I am now selling the Vintaj Patinas and Glaze but only after I purchased my own and have had such success with them. I thought you might like them too.


The following are my experiences with the paint, not part of the manufacturers sales pitch:

Opaque Vintaj Patinas are permanent on metal and they dry very, very quickly (I’m talking minutes here.) I use only a small dot that I’ve squeezed out on a piece of plastic. Use a brush and dab it on instead of brushing it out for more thorough coverage or apply a 2nd coat. The paints can be mixed to make other colors. Adding a drop of Glaze will extend them. Clean your brush often with water. You can gently sand the paints off in high spots if you want the brass to show through here and there.

You are finished after painting or you can antique the piece after it’s dry by mixing 3-4 drops of water with 1 drop of the patina color you want. Paint over the entire piece and immediately wipe off the excess with a paper towel. I love using “onyx” for this step (as seen on the fan, the owl, and the key) but, as in the leaves pictured, I used “moss” as the base and “clay” for antiquing. Neither of the bows were antiqued and both were sanded to show some of the brass. The little filigree is just painted with no other steps taken.

Paint over the entire charm if you like with a coat of the Glaze. This also prevents any of the metal you want to have stay it’s true color from changing over time.

“Acquisitions” from Vintage Textile Show

Shirlee and I spent a few hours in Sturbridge MA at the Host Hotel yesterday. The show wasn’t as satisfying as it has been in the past because of the addition of so many costume jewelry booths, but I still had a nice time and came away with some things for my crazy quilts.

Show Purchases

There is a piece of “motif” lace that I cut apart and am selling on my website to share with you.


It’s getting hard to find antique laces in quantity but it’s a fun pursuit and gives me an excuse to go antiquing. I more than hate any other type of shopping.

Below is my May Crazy Quilt Journal Project square.

CQJP May 2012

CQJP – April Square

It’s so hard to believe that 2012 is almost 1/3 gone. I have so much more spare time than I used to and seem to be accomplishing less. I’m pushing myself to keep up with the CQJP as a personal challenge and am enjoying seeing all of the work others are adding each day. Be sure to take the time to enjoy some of the beautiful crazy quilting that’s being shared. There’s no end to the ideas and inspiration you will see. Here is my April square.

CQJP Apr 2012

I found this vintage butterfly design on the internet. I thought you’d like to try it in your own colors.

CQJP Apr 2012 Butterfly


Six Inch Square

Lynn Schoeffler exchanged this fantastic square with me and I couldn’t be happier to add it to my ongoing collection. Thank you, Lynn, for doing such a beautiful example of your handwork for me.

6in Square 7

My square for Lynn.

6in Square 6


Today, I opened a new category on my website called “Take it Anytime” classes. You can order these classes and they will be emailed in PDF form for you to take them at your convenience. The teacher’s email address will be provided so that you can ask questions and send photos of your work for their review and suggestions. At present, there is a class with various designs using faux pearls by Betty Pillsbury and a beautiful beaded flower motif by Shirlee Fassell.

Faux Pearls

Twisted Waffle Flower

Pillsbury Pearls Detail Shirlee Flower Detail

Online Classes Starting Next Week!

There are 3 wonderful online classes starting this next week and I hope you will join in the fun. “Bead Encrusted Cabochons/Buttons” is beginning on March 15 and will consist of 3 lessons. The following are photos of some of the cabochons Kathy has done for me. They are so pretty, I just don’t know where I’m going to use them. I’m like that with things I really love as I feel something more worthy will come along to show them off. I’ll make myself use at least one on my CQJP squares. Hmmm! Which one will I part with!!! “Gee, Reen, it will be right here on the wall!” Be sure to notice the 2 antique buttons.


Cabochon 1 Cabochon 2
Cabochon 3 Cabochon 4
Cabochon 5 Cabochon 6

Cabochon 7

Kathy has another class entitled “Soft Sculpture Appliqué” starting on March 15. The little Teddy Bear featured will teach you the soft sculptured technique Kathy has perfected. Don’t just look at the little bear and think “Baby,” look at the entire design and think “I can use this technique in other ways to enhance my CQ project.” So many other motifs can be designed with this 3-dimensional idea.

Shaw Teddy Detail

“Seed Bead Botany” with Nancy Eha is beginning on March 14. Her first week of instruction has been mailed to me and all I can say is “If you want to learn beading, learn from one of the best.” This class is going to give you so much inspiration and so many ideas!

Eha Detail

My entire listing of upcoming online classes can be found by clicking here.

A Fuchsia to Embroider

It took a long time, but I now have 100 followers. As a gift for each of you, I have written up the instructions for an antique design I found in an old ribbon work book. The instructions in the book are strangely written and they called for things I’ve never heard of, not usable for me. As I worked the flower, I just kept a running record on the computer and in photos of what I did. If you should embroider this fuchsia design, it would be great to see a photo of yours.

photo 6

- Trace the design onto Golden Threads quilting paper (this paper is strong enough to last throughout all of the embroidery.) Use a black micro pen or other permanent marker. Since the paper is transparent you will be able to chose the direction of your motif with the fuchsias to the left or right of the leaves. Trim the paper leaving 1/2” all around the design.

- Pin the design to the surface of your fabric exactly where you want the design to be. Baste all around it in the 1/2” margin.


photo 1

- Using 2 strands of green embroidery floss and a back stitch, follow along all of the stem lines. Using 2 strands of the same or another green floss, whip the thread through and around each of the back stitches. I used the same color throughout as I like the stems to just be there and not standing out too much.

- Cut small pieces of batting and pad the area of the outer petals of the flowers and also the flower buds.

- Using 1 strand of floss and an outline stitch, do the stamen stems. I actually used regular sewing thread as I didn’t have the color floss I wanted. The thread seemed to cut into the paper as I worked so be careful if you use it not to destroy your pattern too much. Because you are using a traced pattern, and if this happens, you can always remove the pattern and put a fresh one on using the stitches that you’ve already made to place it correctly.

photo 2

Before I go onto the ribbon work, please visit this Google search of images to see all of the variations in color and shape that fuchsias grow. I chose to use colors that didn’t match any of these but that I like for the project I’m doing.

I used 13 mm silk ribbon throughout (You can also use 7 mm if you prefer on this size pattern, but definitely if you make the design smaller.)

- Leaves are first and are just a straight stitch. Use a large eye needle (I use a 14 chenille with 13 mm ribbon) and start your stitch on the end of the leaf and then go back into the fabric at the stem. You should shape each leave as you go to be sure the ribbon is lying on your fabric so that the edges will curl under on the majority of them. You can pull one edge of the ribbon in a little more than the other from the backside of your work. This gives the leaves a different slant. If one twists a little, that’s fine. It makes them look more natural.

photo 3

- Flowers are also straight stitches throughout but the order in which they are done is the key. Using the original drawing as a guide, work the petals that are under other petals first. We will start with the center petals shown here in purple. Stitch your petals from the outside (as you did the leaves) to the center of the flower. Use your needle to push the batting back underneath the ribbon. As with the leaves, work with each petal to get the direction of how the ribbon lays the way you want it. Sew the back ribbon instead of using knots to cut down on bulk. Work one flower at a time and cut your ribbon. Traveling along the back is a waste of ribbon and gives your needle more to get caught on as you move around your design.

photo 4

Next, do the outer petals of the flower and the buds in a contrasting color (burgundy on mine) and just follow the pattern, stacking the petals as shown in the design.

- The calyx of each flower and bud are two small straight stitches. You can use a 7 mm ribbon here if you like.

photo 5

- Remove paper. Tweezers will come in handy here. Be gentle, slow and deliberate and you won’t hurt any of the design.

- Add a bead or French knot at the end of each stamen stem.

Finally, let me know how you did on this, whether the instructions were clear or not, and any other critique you may have will be appreciated.

Enjoy Stitching!! Reen

February CQJP Block

Finished a few weeks ago, I’ve been waiting for February to arrive to show you this month’s block. As I said last month, this is a continuous quilt so there will be portions that may look a little strange. These areas will be left for the large flower baskets.

CQJP Feb 2012

Gerry Krueger (Older Rose blog) embroiders the most beautiful birds and always shares her techniques so openly. Using her method for embroidering birds on felt, I made my first effort for February’s block. I picked a simple drawing and I found the most difficult parts were getting the stitches to go in the right direction (good but not great) and cutting the darn thing out. I did snip a few threads but I used a dab of the “dreaded glue” to work them right back into place. I think this motif has a little vintage quality to it. I’m including a drawing here for you to try it if you like as well as a floral motif I did on the same block.


Bird Pattern


Flower Pattern

A Mini Round Robin

Kathy Shaw hosted a round robin recently requiring each participant to send her three pieced “rectangles” (4”x6”). She then embellished one of the rectangles for each of us. I don’t know how in the world she managed to stitch all of them as there were quite a few who signed up. She did it and they’re all wonderful! My other two were sent to other participants and I received two to stitch. I showed you the Christmas one for Arlene White in an earlier post.

Here is the one I embellished for Shari Jensen. She wanted a Southwest theme so I just concentrated on the seams and tried to get the feeling of the southwest, not necessarily authentic design.

Shari Jensen

The finished ones that came back to me are beautiful. I used hand dyed fabrics by Chris Daly which I sell in color coordinated packets on my website. I’ll have to include each of them in a special project. Thank you all!!

By Kathy Shaw


By Renee Gray


By Cathy Labath