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April 2022

Crazy Quilting Day 1

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I have been waiting for this class for a long time!  The class was originally scheduled for April of 2020, so it had been rescheduled several times because of the pandemic.  I am really, really excited to begin this process, as crazy quilting is something I've been interested in for a very, very long time.  I remember having a little crazy quilting kit that I finished that came with an American Girl Doll. :) That was quite some time ago!  I took a class in crazy quilting in 2014, and do know some about it.  I have also have been collecting fabrics and bits and bobs for what seems like forever to work on a crazy quilt project, there are just so many projects it is hard sometimes to keep up!  I'm hoping that I can start to create a rotation for working on projects to include this crazy quilt project. 

After the first day, this is my block.  The colors I chose are to match the living room in our home.  It is a formal living room, and the colors are a muted blue, green, yellow and cream colors.  I do have a wall space where I would like to hang the quilt.  For the class, you can construct blocks for any kind of project you wish, such as a wall hanging, or a pillow cover.  I envision a full quilt that is a wall hanging.  I am constructing my blocks to be 10 x 10 to help with making the math easier.  I think I will have a total of nine blocks, but I may make it bigger because in writing this it seems a little bit small!  There is so much work to do with the embellishment that it seems a little overwhelming to think about a lot of different blocks.  In addition to the piecing, I printed some images on Transfer Artist Paper as I was packing my materials for class.  I am so glad that I thought to do this, and am really surprised at my pre-planning. :) (I've taken two retreat classes now, so I think that you learn more about  what to bring as you go.) I really love the Art Nouveau style art work from the 1920s by Alphonse Mucha.  I printed a few of those images to include.  More to come on this project soon!


Bunny Needlepoint

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I'm so happy about this project!  I have continued going to the needlework shop for more classes, and have learned some new stitches and also how to do compensating stitches.  I learned then when doing decorative stitches, there are times where you are not able to complete the full stitch, which requires compensating stitches so that the stitches fit.  I think having a background stitching on linen has been helpful for me to understand stitch diagrams and how to figure out how to complete the compensating stitches.  I also really enjoy using the different fibers to create different textures.  There are many canvases  that I am interested in starting, but I have one completed needlework piece, and then a small Valentine project as well.  I want to finish these first before starting in on another project.  I will also be doing some research on how to complete finishing on these.  My first project, I've ordered a ready made leather wallet to slip it into a pocket.  For this Easter piece, I'd like to make it into an ornament.  Finishing needlepoint is an art in an of itself, so I see how brave I feel!  In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy these decorative stitches and luxurious fibers!



20220404_160104Here is the April Year in Charm by Lizzie Kate.  It was such a sweet project, that I finished a very, very, very long time ago.  The first project I ever, ever stitched on Linen was the March version of this kit.  I remember being so intimidated to stitch on linen, and new nothing about variegated threads- it has been such a learning process to look back on my progress as a stitcher.  These little pieces remind of of that process.  One thing I have learned is to go to more professional establishments for framing.  These pieces I had framed at Joann Fabrics.  I really like the esthetic and quality of the frame.  It also comes in a range of colors, so it makes it nice for displaying these pieces, however they were not laced, and on some of them the work in flattening it and making it really taught was not done well at all.  I actually think when I have some time, that I might bring them to a professional framing shop to have the framing redone in the same frames.  

Carrots and Parsnips

20220404_155639This was such a fun project.  Admittedly, it had lingered partially finished in my stash for quite a long time.  I do find with my projects, if I get to a point that I am not sure how to do, I come to a bit of a halt, and go to another project.  That was what I was feeling with this particular project.  I had finished everything up until completing the stems.  I wasn't really sure what to do with reading the directions, so I just took a chance, and did it in a way I thought it would work, and it did!  I love the way it turned out.  I have several different project kits that are for making mats, such as this.  After some reflection, I may change these projects a little bit.  One thing that I have come to realize is that I don't think my personal style is to use the black wool.  I know that this is very traditional, and I do like the way that it looks, but the more that I keep doing wool applique, I realize that I would prefer another background color.  I had finished a project last year that I did change the black wool that accompanied the kit.  I do wish I had thought of that for this kit.  Another situation I would like to think about is that it is hard for me to use these kinds of mats.  Why do you ask?  KITTIES!  My cats (I have two cats), just love wool!  I think because of the texture and warmth they are very attracted to it.  Also the stems on this particular project would be very appealing!  So considering the mats, I would actually probably not want to put them down because of the fur and the chance that kitten claws would snag it.  If I had thought of it for this project, I would have changed the orientation of the design, and then make it for a frame. 

With the finishing for this project, I did use fusible.  I know that there are very strong opinions for not using fusible with wool applique. I do see the points of this, but I am kind of addicted to the fusible!  I just love that it creates a nice clean finish.  I used fusible for attaching the fabric for the back.  Another change from the kit/instructions was that I used variegated Valdani threads from my stash for the stitching (the project came with DMC). 

Designer: Lakeview Primitives  

Carrots and Parsnips 

finished runner size: 25"  X  9"

long-arm machine quilting

20220221_113614Quilting on a lang-arm machine is truly my happy place.  I learned to quilt on a long-arm machine through a class at a quilt shop that was local to me quite a few years ago.  At the time, my domestic machine wasn't great at handling the bulk of a quilt despite using all of the techniques.  I really felt strongly at completing the quilt from start to finish, and didn't want to 'send it out' for someone else to quilt.  The minute I started using the machine, I just loved doing it.  Standing at the machine and controlling it to make a beautiful design to put the quilt layers together was so thrilling.  It is so relaxing watching the machine  make up the design while seeing your progress as you guide it along.  Another dream I have is to own my own long-arm machine, and hopefully some day I will.  I was surprised when I went to the long-arm place and saw the computer-guided machines.  I thought it was really neat how you could pick different designs and size them to the areas on the quilt that you wanted.  It is amazing that you can quilt in this way, but it is curious to me that the quilter doesn't have to really do anything.  I'm not sure quite how I felt about that.  You don't even really have to watch the machine that much.  I think that personally for me it seems like the quilter is a little bit removed from the quilting process.  It also made me think about quilts I've seen at shows.  If it is a computer-guided quilt design, then how is it really judged on the quilter's actual quilting skills, if the machine is controlling the process.  It definitely is easier, and probably leaves less room for errors in the quilting design.  I am going to try it during my next machine rental.  I have a lap-sized Christmas quilt that I am going to do next, and the owner of the long-arming shop said that she has a lot of computer guided Christmas designs, so I am going to give it a try next time!  In the meantime, I have some photos of my time on the Gammill machine using a pantograph design.  

One thing that happened as part of this wonderful day quilting, is that I was able to determine how I was going to proceed with some of my quilting projects.  I have several quilts that are in different phases.  Many of them are partially pieced, and do have the backing fabric and binding fabric chosen.  I had been looking ahead to the quilting and final finishing, and have felt stalled because I didn't know what I would do for the quilting.  Seeing the different types of batting and also the examples of quilt finishing at the shop gave me quite a lot of days, and was a bit of a relief that is helping to look ahead to future quilting projects.  20220221_122558

Needlepoint 101

20220404_171031I finally learned to do needlepoint!  I have two kits that I had purchased.  One, I purchased at a  needlepoint shop several years ago.  It is a sweet Easter egg with a little rabbit embellishment (I'll show it in another blog post.) .  My husband gave me a very generous gift card to a needlepoint last Christmas, that  I hadn't used because the store at limited hours due to Covid restrictions.  I never considered doing needlepoint until I was researching the requirements for the Diploma from the Royal School of Needlework in London.  One of the required classes is canvas work.  I decided to look into trying needlepoint in preparation for my ultimate dream of completing my diploma at the Royal School of Needlework.  

I had perused needlepoint shops because there are several in my area.  I was really awed by the different types of fibers which I have picked up for crazy quilting projects.  This past fall, I used my gift card and purchased a really nice Valentine's project with a bunch of different fibers.  Then, in January, I was able to sign up for a beginners class at a needlepoint shop on Cape Cod.  It was really so much fun.  I knew that I would like it going into the class, and I was not disappointed.  Anything with a needle really is automatically a passion for me. :)  

Here is the project that was created for the class.  It is a tiny piece with an initial.  I decided to use my last name initial for this project.  The idea is to have this finished into a little wallet, change purse, or luggage tag.  The shop had leather items on display that you could use for the finishing.  I choose my two colors based on the wallet I would like that is a yellow color.  The stitch that was used for this project was a tent stitch.  While taking the class, the instructor offered to teach a second level class that was a little more advanced, for learning a few different stitches and also using some different fibers.  I am going to bring my Valentine's project since I have several different fibers and also some beads.  I'm so excited to learn some new stitches!

a little book bag

I apologize I don't have many details about this project because I can't find the pattern!  This was just a simple sewing pattern that I used to go through some of my stash fabrics.  It is a reversible bag with a pocket.  I use it for carrying library books, my planners or a quick sewing project.  The quilt shop I purchased the fabric at had the material for making the bag handles that you could buy by the yard. The fabric I used was Lucky Strikes that I had in my stash.  One side is a heavier weight cotton canvas, while the other is a quilting canvas, and I didn't notice any problems in construction with using the two different weights of fabrics.  I have some leftover fabric, so I think I might make a little pouch to match.  

As I was taking photos, I realized something about the fabric!  While this fabric is not directional, the way the print is, seems like it is directional depending on how it is cut.  Just some advice if you make a bag like this- pay attention to fabric direction! 20220404_162721




March Journal

20220327_102350 20220317_192439 20220317_184223I'm so disappointed that I didn't post in March!  I don't post as often as I would like to, but I do try to post most months.  I had a bunch of posts in draft mode, but just became busy and didn't make time for taking the photos.  It was a busy, productive month.  I went to a needlepoint class, and learned a few new stitches.  I also finished  a binding on a quilt, and helped make a family baby quilt that will be a shower gift.  I also hosted St. Patrick's Day, and made soda bread several times.  I don't usually post anything but needlework, but thought I'd include a few cooking photos. 20220317_184227