Sunday, December 7, 2014

Spring Stitching Club Update

Briefly stopping by to post an update on my Spring Stitching Club project. 
I just finished stitching a few happy faces onto four mini embroidery designs (picture above), need to stitch three others, and then turned the seven of them into hexie flowers. Yesterday was not a good day, so after taking medication I went to bed with a heat pad on my back. Really needed to rest my back and legs, but wasn't sleepy. Out came out my Spring Stitching hexagon project that have been put away for awhile. I was able to complete sewing together my first five hexie flowers. It is easy to work on this while in bed. My motivation to keep working on this project has been rekindled! 



























This particular project I'm hoping to turn into a quilt for my youngest. The Winter Stitching project which I posted previously about (on these posts), will be turn into a quilt for my oldest. I may change my mind and combine 2 seasons per quilt. Meaning I will still need to stitch the Autumn Stitching Club in order to make the quilts. I'll see!
Before I keep going with english paper piecing, I still need to focus on finishing my CQBC. Only 2 more tasks to complete the class! Then I'm going to be working on special projects for dear friends. Will try to find time here and there to keep working on these hexagon flower quilts, english paper piecing is very soothing... plus each flower that gets done makes me feel accomplished :-). 
Until next time!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Handpiecing ... Etc.

Lately, I've been dedicating most of my free time to the CQBC, and my hand piecing is on hold for the moment. Few weeks ago I took a few pictures of the tools/supplies I'm using for hand piecing.
Cookie Jar Pup was a bit overwhelmed by all these items, but really there's nothing much to it; a Clover magnetic pin holder with Clover fine patchwork pins, Sewline glue pen and fabric pencil, Clover needle threader, Omnigrid quarter inch rulers, leather thimble pads from the Colonial Needle, a Clover finger pressing tool, size 11 Foxglove Cottage straw needles, Mettler silk finished cotton thread, and Fons & Porter's seam ripper.  The Clover ring thread cutter and the black leather thimble are used occasionally. 
The fabrics are a mix. I think most of them are by Sandy Gervais, Fig Tree, or 3 Sisters, but I'm not really sure... it's been awhile since they became part of my stash. If you recognized them please give me some insight! ;-)
I already posted about the scissors previously (here), so won't go into details on this post. Trying to keep all tidy and at hand can be challenging. I really wanted a Bionic Gear Bag and I even got the pattern, but the dynamics between my sewing machine and I are practically non-existent at the moment. While waiting for a reply regarding having one custom made, a trip to Target took place and I found this handy dandy cosmetic/toiletry bag (traincase) that looked like a good candidate,... and I was right! 
I was able to fit everything I need for hand piecing as you can see above, plus a few other things. On a separate plastic zippered pouch are my scraps of fabric, template material, and quilt block paper pattern. 
It fits nicely inside the cosmetic bag, on top of everything else, as you can see below. This little toiletry bag has proven to be just what I needed without having to dig deep in my pocket! 
I'll still love to have a Bionic Gear Bag, perhaps when I master up boldness to sew one for myself. Having one custom made can be a bit costly, and rightly so, since there are so many steps to it. Perhaps one of you will like to trade with me, you could sew a BGB for me and I could hand embroider a few kitchen towels or quilt blocks for you ;-). I think a BGB bag will be perfect for keeping english paper piecing projects!
This toiletry will remain my designated hand piecing bag ;-). I have grown fond of it! It fits a lot, zips up nicely, and keeps its shape. I love having everything tidy and in place!
I must keep focus on the Crazy Quilting class, especially since I am so close to completing it, but having said that.... can't wait to keep working on a few more hand pieced blocks and my other hand embroidery projects!
Until next time!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

CQBC Progress Update: Silk Ribbon

Today I completed one more task, woven roses! These roses were a joy to stitch, especially since I was a bit familiar with the "spider web" (aka: woven wheel, woven rose) stitch. Working it with ribbon, instead of embroidery thread, creates a lovely dramatic look.
My previous task was to do a SRE (Silk Ribbon Embroidered) Iris, pictured below.
The Irises were also a joy to stitch! I need more practice, of course, but overall I'm very happy with my very first experience in working silk ribbon embroidery. Kathy is very thorough in giving us direction, instructions, constructive criticism, and encouraging support... a great teacher, indeed!

I'm thrilled that, thanks to this class, I was finally able to conquer the fear of working SRE (Silk Ribbon Embroidery)! About 6 years ago I acquired quite a few SRE books and a nice variety of silk ribbons in order to teach myself to do silk ribbon embroidery, along with a few books on Crazy Quilting... long story short, I ended up detaching all the ribbon and all the SRE books, only kept a couple of books on CQ. This form of needlework art was always in the back of my mind, and I'm so glad to be giving it a go at the moment!
The upcoming tasks will only get better; more SRE, beading, and embellishments. Can't wait! In the meantime, maybe I'll work on some of my current projects.
Until next time!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Puppy's Vintage Coffee Grinder

This was my last "hush-hush" project. 
Stitched with love for a dear friend!
I'm so happy that my friend liked it! Posting it here in order to add it to my needlework record keeping,... record that I keep by means of this blog, a fact well known by some of you ;-).
This design is part of vintage Vogart "Pups and Puns" for the kitchen no.271, and the embroidery was done with Presencia perlé cotton size 8.
Stitching this cute face was my favorite part! 
A few other "hush-hush" embroider projects are about to begin brewing. 
Until next time!

PS: Soon another update on my CQ Basics Class.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Embroidered Pictures & Patchwork

I've been looking for this book for awhile, and finally was able to find it at a reasonable price from an Amazon seller from the UK.
It arrived in two weeks and was in better condition than stated in the listing, to my delight. Here are a few peeks of "Embroidered Pictures & Patchwork" by Priscilla M. Warner.
An embroidery sampler. To practice the various stitches that will be helpful to know in order to make the book's main project.
Here is the only picture in the book portraying the book's main project. It's a English Paper Pieced quilt, using scraps of fabric basted to hexagon shapes, with quite a few embroidered hexagons.
Do you see that subtitle under Patchwork, it reads: "Advantages Of Hoarding... ", LOL. I guess hoarding fabric has been around for many years ;-). This book is a 2nd edition from 1960, the 1st edition was published in 1950. So you see, hoarding fabric could be a good thing! 
The designs are really cute, perfect for making projects for little ones. There is another hard to find book by Priscilla M. Warner that I will love to add to my collection, it is entitled "Embroidery Mary". I haven't seen it available at this moment, and if it does come up it might cost an arm and a leg. Anyways, I'm glad I was able to find this one!
What hard to find item(s) do you like to collect?

Until next time!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CQBC Progress

I finally made some progress on my Crazy Quilting Basics Class!
(Class is hosted by Kathy Shaw.)
Above is the beginning of Task no.5, after adding the basic seam markings. In this particular class we have learned how to make and use seam templates. 
After the basic seam markings are embroidered in the corresponding seams, we have to add combination stitches to the basic seams. Later, on of of the upcoming tasks, I'll be adding other types of embellishments to these seams.
This is the fun part! At this stage, I'm mainly using Perle Cotton no.12, and for french knots 2 strands of Color Variations DMC.
However, half way my 3rd seam, I did get a tiny bit tired of making french knots. 
A much needed break from embroidering french knots was in place. This is how my block looks so far with today's progress. It's resting on my needlework desk waiting until I find a few more minutes to sit and stitch. I will love to finish this task before the upcoming weekend. We'll see!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Throwback Tuesday: This Little Piggy Went To The Market

Miss Piggy was stitched few years ago, more precisely four years ago in 2010, shortly after I got the book. It was a very quick and simple embroidery project, the kind that makes you smile every time you look at it. 
I used the pattern provided in the "Embroidery Craft: Stitching through the Seasons" book by Vicki Haninger. This book is a lovely book with a warm vintage charm to it. It for sure is a pick-me-upper in days like this one filled with nostalgia. 
As you can see, I haven't done anything with her yet. Perhaps she could fit on a small quilt among the hand pieced blocks I'm slowly working on, so I may have to stitch a few other blocks -eventually- to even things out a bit ...hmmm, we'll see. 
What I should be focusing on is on my CQ block Task 5. I'm sure hopping to be back on track once I'm able to shake off the blues.

Non-affiliated links:
Embroidery Craft book on Amazon (nice preview).
Embroidery Craft book on Vicki's blog (nice introduction and previews here and here).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Detaching Soon

I think that finally this month I'll start detaching on my Etsy shop. All these books- and perhaps a few more- need a new home! Most of the listings will be between $3, $5, $7,  some others (like booklets, magazines, patterns, etc...) between $1 and $3 without shipping. If anyone is interested, but do not want to use Etsy, feel free to inquire on this post comment section. 
Have a great week ahead!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Crazy Quilting Basics / Class Progress

As mentioned on my previous post, here is a peek at where I am at on my Crazy Quilting Basics Class hosted by Kathy Shaw.
After selecting my block fabrics and gathering my supplies, (which, thankfully practically all of them were already in my stash) the piecing of the block was do. I did the block, of course, mine is hand pieced. The picture collage below shows progress and completed Tasks 1 through 4.
Hand piecing the block wasn't hard but since I needed to follow a pattern (to my advantage) my focus couldn't shift from the block. Each and every piece needed to be on the right place. After the hand piecing was done I basted the block onto a large piece of fabric and mounted it in the Q-snap hoop neatly stretched, ready to be work on. Now my homework consists of learning how to plan the embroidery on a CQ block. I took a break for few days from the CQ class and did other less focus stitching in order to relax ;-) and finish a little something for a special someone.
I'll show you later what I made on my short relaxing break, but for now my focus is back and this homework needs to get done!
Will update later how I did on Task 5!
Until next time!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stitchings

We've been having a few days of nice weather. Lovely cool bright sunny days! Especially, the early afternoons have been perfect. Volunteer work was great this morning and the brief stop at the market for produce and a few other grocery items went well.
Just recently I started a new hand embroidery project of a vintage pattern. There is a peek of it above, can't show much at this time. It's another hush hush project... ;-). Sipping and stitching is a good relaxing way to pass time!  What is your current favorite hot drink? Mine is Masala Chai Latte, made at home not from scratch. Can't drink coffee, in fact I stop drinking coffee since February of this year. Coffee makes me really sick from my stomach, but thankfully I'm able to tolerate tea at the moment. So tea it is and I'm loving it!
Above are the latest additions to my Aunt Martha's Transfers collection, aren't these above cute? Love those cute potholders... or panholders as they are called in the envelope. Couldn't resist, believe me, I try for weeks. The price was very very reasonable. No shame, the rest is history, and Bob's your uncle (I've always wanted to use this phrase, LOL, hoping I used it right).
Here in this blog is were I keep track of the things I've stitched, current wip's, and future projects.... so this cute little teapot needed to make an appearance. This was the previous hush hush project I posted not long ago. It was embroidered as a thank you for a very kind lady. She was so nice to me and I wanted her to know I truly appreciated her generosity! 

On other needlework news.... I've been taking an online, free, Basic Crazy Quilting class with Kathy Shaw. All is going well, so far. I'm learning a lot! Perhaps I'll share a bit of my class work on my next post. 
Until next time! Enjoy your weekend!





Friday, October 24, 2014

Scissors Review

Wow, October was a busy month! Just now getting back to normal.

Do you have a favorite pair of scissors? I guess it would be kind of hard to just have one pair, especially when there are scissors for different tasks. My current fabric and paper scissors where not doing a good job. The paper ones were old and had been used for other things beside paper, the fabric ones are bulky and require a bit of hand/wrist work. So, I did a bit of research a while back and decided to try these below.
These above are the scissors I'm currently using for my hand piecing tasks :-). Three of them are Kai Scissors. I'm using the one with black handles for cutting out templates from a specific kind of cardboard (however they are not for that, their job is to cut rubber for rubber stamping projects), can't tell any difference from using this pair from any other utility scissor pair. It is still hard on my hand to cut with this pair. Maybe is the kind of cardboard I'm using for the templates that makes it hard...don't know, so I will still be looking for an alternative.
The hot pink Kai Sewing Scissors, are very sharp, they perform smoothly and effortlessly... like cutting through butter, love them. The lavender Kai Serrated Patchwork Scissors have a serrated blade that grips the fabric preventing slippage, for very precise cutting of patchwork pieces, and in my opinion, still cuts smoothly... this pair is my favorite, really love it!  
The yellow one is a Cutter Bee by EK Success, excellent for cutting the paper pieces needed to make templates. They are very nice for cutting paper... very happy with this pair as well!
Here are close ups of the front and back of the serrated pair... are you able to see the serrated blade? They are a bit linty because I've been truly giving them a work out with my hand piecing blocks ;-).
Here a close up of the Cutter Bee, do you see that sharp tip... it does a very detailed cutting into the paper pattern pieces.
Having the right scissor for the right job makes a big difference. Especially if you were to have health conditions, like myself,  that will hindered your ability to cut for a long period of time and such.   
So these are my to go scissors for the various tasks of my current hand piecing wip. Very happy with the two Kay's, the lavander and hot pink ones, and with the Bee Cutter. The pairs I'm using the most are the serrated one and the paper one.
Do you have any favorite pair(s) for hand piecing? Please do share!

Please Note: I do not have any affiliation with the brands/links I mentioned on this post. I'm just a very happy customer sharing my thoughts on how these work for me.






Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tea Party Tablecloth

Things have been hectic around here.
A bit of everything going on. Few days ago, while busy with chores, my toddler grabbed my WIP floursack towel as a tablecloth for her tea party, LOL... too cute! Of course, I needed to capture the moment, and at some point post here about it :-). 
Until next time!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Basic Crazy Quilting Free Online Class

Briefly stopping by to spread the voice... in case you have interest and will like to learn the basics of Crazy Quilting! ;-) Below is a screenshot of the blog post and here is a link to Kathy's blog.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Block No. Two


This block with its many pieces took me a bit longer than the previous ones, especially since I didn't work on it in just one sitting. It is not perfect but I am happy with it.

I am learning a lot! It was a good idea to skip this one until I felt ready for it.

Another block with a hiccup,... ended up piecing the center right side section to the center square upside down :-( , my seam ripper and I are best friends. It was such a silly mistake that, that in my disappointment, I forgot to take a picture of it. I am glad that it wasn't the longer top/bottom sections. You can be sure that the silly mistake was not repeated. Lesson learned!

I am taking a little break from all needlework until I take care of an assignment. Until next time! Enjoy your weekend!
Notes: Pattern/tutorials provided by Wynn at Zakka Art. Inspiration from Japanese patchwork book (info on previous hand piecing post).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tidying A Bit

A bit of tidying here and there, this time the box of no.8 perlé cotton needed it urgently. Much nicer now than how it was (below).

Need to go now, there are so many other things that need tidying around here but those require a bit more muscle than a box of thread. Chiropractic adjustments tomorrow. Until next time!

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