Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Christmas Present Done Last Night

Well, it is a pretty small project but anything off the Christmas list is a bonus!  We call these "nap blankets" at our house and they are just perfect to curl up with when you want 40 winks.  It's very simple - two meters (or yards) of 60" fleece.  Go all around the outside cutting fringe and knotting it and it's done!  lol - told you it was an easy project!  This one is for dd - I thought she would like the design on this fabric and "starving students" can't always afford to have the thermostat too high!  These wash well and I've never had any trouble with unravelling or fraying - too easy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Workshop Worked!

Well, as usual, I was a nervous wreck in anticipation of the crazy quilting workshop I taught yesterday but  I was especially happy to have the opportunity to teach a group from the Calgary Guild of Needle and Fibre Arts.  What could be better than sharing what you know with a group of accomplished stitchers?  A lot of these ladies I have known since I first joined the guild about 25 years ago and it is a great social event as well whenever they get together.

As usual, there was scads of supplies to explore and share - always a treasure hunt for the perfect piece of fabric.

 My friend, Barb, organized everything including a wonderful lunch.  A trip to Costco provided the basics - a very tasty and clever way to cater a great lunch for the group.

Here is my buddy, Barb - good to see her having a chance to relax and stitch after all her hard work organizing all the logistics.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the class and to learn lots.  Almost everyone finished piecing their block and moved on to start embellishing.


 

 A few handpieced and the rest shared a couple machines to do theirs.



This time I brought my little light box with me and that came in handy withg transferring the pattern to the muslin.

I think everyone seemed pretty happy with what they learned and accomplished.  I hope they enjoyed the day as much as I did.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Project - Dresser Set - Done

The little Etsy shop is proving to be a great incentive to get things finished - this time it is a dresser set of handmirror and comb.  I have had these sitting here for awhile, having purchased the set thinking I could take it apart and replace the back decoration with a piece of crazy quilting.  Well, it worked!  And I even managed to get it put back together again! LOL

Here's a bit of a closer look at the crazy quilt section on the back of the hand mirror. 

  And here is the front of it - that's not very interesting. All in all though, I have to say I love it when a plan comes together - and this one did.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Candy Dish done!

I finally got another project done that has been waiting for awhile!  I had this candy/coaster dish from Sudberry House I had been meaning to put some crazy quilting in.  Done now!  I love these pieces that are ready to accept needlework.  This one has a mahogany base and a glass dish that fits into it.  The needlework fits into the wooden base and then the clear glass dish fits on top of it.  The dish protects the needlework and is also removeable in case you need to clean it - some of those candies could be sticky!  lol


Here it is seen from the top with the glass in place,

and here is the little dish taken out

to get a good photo of the crazy quilted insert.  Now the reflections of the glass are gone you can see all the pretties clearly in the photo.  I love projects that are finished and I am happy with the way this turned out.  I think it would make a nice little gift - too large for a coaster but nice for a candy dish or somewhere to put your keys when you come in (I need that so I could find them when I go out!)  or to empty your change out of your pockets at night?  Anyway, another UFO bites the dust and off it goes into the Etsy shop! 

BAS - Week 61 - Maidenhair Stitch

Sorry there is not much contrast in the photo - you will have to look closely to see this week's BAS stitch - the Maidenhair Stitch.  It is basically a series of feather stitches, however, one arm of the feather stitch is progressively longer in each set.  As long as you know the feather stitch, the maidenhair stitch is pretty self explanatory from looking at the photo.  I found a good stitch diagram for you at Needcrafter.com - I hope that it is helpful. 
Happy stitching and enjoy this week's challenge! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Miniature Embroidered "Chicken Scratch" Tablecloth

Well, I have been quiet for awhile since I was in beautiful British Columbia visiting my brother for a week or so.  But, my fingers have not been idle!

I have had a ball making and embroidering this miniature tablecloth!  The fabric is mauve cotton miniature gingham and the embroidery is done in one strand of DMC cotton floss. This form of counted embroidery is called Chicken Scratch Embroidery. Chicken Scratch is also known as snowflaking, gingham embroidery and Amish embroidery. It is usually worked on a gingham check in order to have a lacy appearance.
Chicken Scratch embroidery was hugely popular during the depression era and remains popular to present day. I have been collecting pieces of full size chicken scratch embroidery for years now - it never fails to enchant me!  I love the way the stitches appears to change the colour of the gingham.

So, I've just listed it in the new Etsy shop - on to the next project!

Friday, November 5, 2010

This and That

Just a note because I forgot to mention the size of the decoupage buttons (thank you, Ati, for bringing this to my attention!)  These particular ones are approximately 1-1/4 inches across.
I'm away til next Wednesday - visiting my brother in beautiful British Columbia!  See you when I get back.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Decoupage Buttons

I was fortunate enough to teach one of the little classes at the Retreat!  I am always overwhelmed by the talents of the other ladies there so it was nice that this time I had something to share too - my little decoupage buttons.  Here are (left to right) Ing, Freda, Cathy and Hideko browsing through the books looking for suitable pictures to use.  It took some persuading to convince them that yes, it was okay to cut up my books! 

Here is Cathy applying Mod Podge to her buttons.  The glaze I had brought with me had come open and dried out on the trip so I was very lucky someone had brought some Mod Podge with them and we made do with that.  These are the same buttons that were featured in the last issue of CQMag Online.


Hideko especially seemed to enjoy the project, which made me very happy.  She made quite a few buttons that day.



Since I returned home, I have been making more decoupage buttons and, with the encouragement of these lovely ladies, I have gathered up my courage to put them for sale in the new Etsy shop my friend, Leslie, and I have just opened!  You will see I have added a link to our shop at the side - I hope you`ll visit and let me know what you think.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Chatelaine from Leslie

My good friend, Leslie, presented me with this wonderful gift at retreat this year - my very own crazy quilted chatelaine!  Isn't it gorgeous?!  I have to share some close-ups so you can see all the beautiful hand dyed lace, the fabrics, the stitches and all the ingenuity that went into making this.

Leslie built a pincushion right into the chatelaine - I know that has my whole family breathing a sigh of relief as I am prone to sticking my needle into the arm of the couch or whatever happens to be handy!  Hopefully, this will make their lives easier and they will have to suffer through fewer sharp surprises.


Look at that hand dyed lace flower!  Are you drooling yet?  lol  And I love that there are so many pockets and that each one holds such a delightful surprise.  You can see the matching needlebook peeking out of the pocket here along with another surprise I'll share at the end of the post.

My name tag from retreat is stuck on the chatelaine here as you can see.  Both years I have been to retreat we have beall been given these wonderful handmade name tags when we arrived.  I love them both and will keep them forever as yet another happy memento of retreat.
You can see the wonderful bit of lace here at the bottom - can you guess what is attached to it by the red ribbon?

My scissors which will always be handy now when I need them!

More yummy lace - this time attached to the matching needlebook that fits into one of the pockets.  There were other surprises in the pockets too - a silkie and other goodies!

I loved finding this little one in the pocket - isn't she wonderful?

And look - she comes apart so I can stick a needle into her pants (I'll feel mean doing it!) and then tuck her bottom half back up inside.  I have no idea where Leslie found her but I think she is a real treasure!

Thank you so much Leslie for this beautiful gift of friendship - it means the world to me and I will treasure it always!


My First Class is Over

Tonight was the last night of my the first crazy quilt course I have taught.  During the course of the three weeks, I went from being nervous to being very sad to see it end.  It was so nice to have some ladies to crazy quilt and share things with!  As you can see from the photos, they were intent on stitching!  Tonight we learned about motifs for the blocks and they all dyed a piece of lace for their block, had some fun with buttons and did a bit of silk ribbon embroidery.  The spider web rose was a big hit - something so easy can look so good!

Here are Pat and Ramona busy stitching on their blocks tonight.  As you can see, we had the books and the beads and all the goodies spread out around us!  Typical crazy quilters!  I hope that my students will continue in their crazy quilt journey and that they enjoyed the class as much as I did. 

Tip for the day:  Ramona shared with me that beads and fabric are very inexpensive in Mexico, so on your next vacation south... go shopping!