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Archive for the ‘Making Things’ Category

It’s been a busy few days.  My dear cousin sent me a beautiful batch of  pickling cucumbers this past Tuesday.   They spent the night in the refrigerator, and on Wednesday morning I sliced them and put them in lime water.  Thursday they came out of the lime water and spent the night in spices and vinegar syrup.  This morning I canned nine pints and two quarts of beautiful, crisp sweet pickles.  The pickles in the bowl went great with the spicy black bean burger I had for lunch.

Work on Nicki Lee’s block has begun. I’ve got a long way to go before it is finished, but here’s a peek at some of the work I’ve done on it. The flower motif is not attached, but I am pretty sure it will be.  The stitching on the lace has just begun…

This seam treatment is far from finished, but aren’t the lace butterflies pretty?  They are hand-dyed by Nicki Lee herself…but they are mine, and I can use them on her block if I want to.  :)

And a final picture of my progress on Nicki Lee’s block…once again, this seam is not finished.  It needs a few beads to add a little bling, but all in good time.  I’m enjoying working on this beautiful block and hope to do it justice.

A heart for Pam…this picture shows only the naked block.  I have begun working on it, but I’ll share a picture of the work when it’s finished.  I love making these little crazy quilt hearts!

Here’s a picture of the first Brown Study Round Robin block I will work on. It came to me all the way from Australia.  I’m still “studying” it to figure out where I want to embellish and what I want to do to it. I absolutely love the tree fabric.

That’s about it for craftiness over the past few days…and the near days to come will be spent finishing these projects and sending them on their way.

I’m still waiting for my Kombucha tea to finish brewing.  So far it looks good.  I have high hopes for it.

Until next time…

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.  Psalm 24:10

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If you have not entered my latest coconut oil giveaway, there is still plenty of time. I’m hosting a giveaway  for an amazing GALLON of premium coconut oil. You really don’t want to miss the chance to win this wonderful gift. You can find it here…A Gallon Of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway…O Yeah! There are several ways to enter to boost your chance of winning.

Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

The first crazy quilting round robin I took part in is nearing the end. My portion of the stitching on each block has been completed. A couple of posts back I shared what I thought was a picture of Sheila’s block after my embellishing work was completed, but the more I looked at it the more it seemed to need something else.

Click on pictures for larger view:

Here is Sheila’s block with my additional work…

This shot is of the whole block. Aren’t Hollie’s hat donning birds the sweetest?

For over a month I’ve been waiting for A Study In Brown Round Robin to be announced. It finally was, and I signed up to participate. This evening I constructed my brown naked block. (This was quite an achievement, because I am recovering from a fall that left me feeling aches on top of my aches…and bronchitis. Even sitting at the sewing machine was a major effort.)

Naked brown block for “A Study In Brown”…

This round robin does not start until July so there will be no update then. I’m still working on my red block. It is nearing completion, so I’ll be sharing a final picture of it soon.

Until next time…

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.  Psalm 107:2

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This past week I made and sent two crazy quilt hearts to two “crazy” friends…

One loves pink…This was a one on one swap.

and the other loves orange. This is a “just because you’re loved heart”.

The next two hearts are part of heart swap through one of the crazy quilt groups I belong to. I sent two and will get two in return. Who will receive mine and whose I will receive is yet unknown.

Swap send 1:

Swap send 2…

Yesterday my sweetie and I stopped at a local thrift store while we were out running errands. They had a boat load of beautiful silk ties priced 3 for $1.00. It was pointless to even try resisting buying a pile of them. Because the ties were in an outside bin, and it was a sweltering hot day, I only bought $9.00′s worth. As soon as I got them home I threw them in the washing machine. Tonight they will be carefully seam-ripped for later use in crazy blocks. I only bought a few of what the thrift store had…the colors are beautiful…so I’ll buy more later if they are still there on my next visit.

Finally here’s a picture of the red block I’ve been working on for over a month. Since the last update, I’ve added an embroidered bird to the top right corner. I removed the small, golden flower beads from the center of the crocheted Irish rose and replaced them with a beautiful, German-made metal button. I added a cluster of buttons on the red lace. On one of the buttons I tried out a tutorial one of the crazy quilt crazy ladies shared on her blog for embellishing buttons with a bullion rose. It was easy to follow, and I’m sure I will use the technique many times in the days to come. Check out the tutorial here: Shawkl: Button Rose Bullion Tutorial…thank you, Kathy. Your technique added a sweet flair to my plain button. :) I still have a way to go before this block is complete. I also tried using waste canvas to cross stitch a motif on this block for the first time. I was inspired by Quayceetatter’s Cross Stitch Rose Tutorial. I’m pretty sure I will remove the red chain stitch on the seam at the upper right. It just doesn’t fit…we’ll see.

Button Cluster with bullion rose button…not perfect, but practice, practice, practice will make perfect.

Close up of little blue heart…

 That’s about it for this time, but if you have not entered my latest coconut oil giveaway, be sure to check it out. It’s for an amazing gallon of premium coconut oil. You really don’t want to miss the chance to win this wonderful gift. You can find it here…A Gallon Of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway…O Yeah!

Until next time…

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. Psalm 5:11

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Just a short post to share my newest naked block…

Earlier in the week I spent a couple of hours thrifting and found a lime green silk skirt.  It had “crazy quilt” written all over it.  I brought it home and cut it into pieces the same day.  This afternoon pieces of both the skirt and lining were sewn into my next block.  It’s a seven-inch block constructed of silk, cotton, the “wrong side” of a piece of brocade, and even a piece of polyester (one of my least favorite fabrics, but even it has a place in crazy quilting). As soon as I put the finishing touches on the purple block I was working on before the class I started five or so weeks ago, it is next in line for embellishing.

Putting this block together was less frustrating than any I’ve made so far.  Maybe that means I’m getting the hang of it.  Not feeling encumbered and overwhelmed while constructing a block definitely makes it more fun.  Ooorah.

Here is my naked, green block in all its glory.  I can hardly wait to start dolling it up.

Until next time…

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Galatians 1:11-12

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Since the second day of April I’ve had in my possession a Round Robin crazy quilt block belonging to Hollie.  A few moments ago I made my final embellishing stitches.  I hope Hollie will be pleased.  Here it is…

View 1:  This shot shows the upper portion of the work I did.  I believe the only changes I made since my last “Hollie block” post is the pink, beaded motif at the top.

View 2:  The lower portion of the work I did is shown in this shot.  The placement of the butterfly may be slightly different than it was in the previous “Hollie Block” post, and a small dragonfly charm has been added.

View 3:  Overall shot of the work I did.

Now to work on one for myself until the next RR block arrives!

Until next time…

Your outer life is your reputation with people, but your inner life is your reputation with God.  ~ unknown

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Earlier this month I received my first Round Robin crazy quilt block to work on.  This block was naked when I received it.  It belongs to Hollie, a very sweet, crazy lady who lives in Arkansas.  The colors and fabric Hollie chose for her block are among my favorites, though  you wouldn’t know it by looking at my Round Robin naked block.  After spending some time looking at the block and thinking of how to embellish it, I finally took the plunge and made my first stitch.  It’s funny, but that first stitch felt almost scary.  The block is not mine and is precious to someone else.  It was unembellished; crisp; unsullied.  I don’t want to be “the one” to mess it up.

Here’s Hollie’s lovely block…naked and untouched:

I’m not certain I am finished with my part, but for the moment I’m at a standstill and am waiting for inspiration before making more changes.  There’s no hurry, because  it can stay with me the remainder of April.  Hopefully I’ll get a bright idea for embellishing the empty spaces within the seams I stitched.

Here is the embellishing work I’ve done on Hollie’s block so far.  Please keep in mind I am still learning…learning is what this Round Robin is all about…the word “novice” is a comfortable umbrella to me at this point in my crazy quilting journey.

Overall block…overall views are so forgiving.  :)

This view shows the petite roses and detached chain leaves made with silk ribbon adorning the feather stitch along the seam on the left side.  Seed beads have been added to the center of each rose. 

One of Hollie’s “likes” is mother of pearl buttons.  I just happened to have a few in my button stash.  Each button is embellished with pink, glass, seed beads.  Looking at the picture, I see a couple more of the tiny pink beads need to be added around the buttons.

The second seam is embellished with daisy trim.  Each daisy is embellished with a lavender seed bead…a color pulled from the ever-so-romantic, calico fabric.  Along the left side of the trim I’ve added a row of tiny “flowers” using a fern stitch and more lavender seed beads.

This shot shows the silk ribbon spider roses and pierced roses within the calico fabric to the right of the daisy trim.  Each rose has seed bead centers.  I’ve spotted a couple of roses that need an additional seed bead or two added.  They look just a little wonky.  

To the right of the roses is part of the seam embellished with two rows of the  Chevron stitch forming diamonds.  (They are a “girl’s best friend so such a romantic flavoured block needs diamonds.)  Along the left side of the Chevron stitch diamonds are “little flowers” made using the fern stitch and french knots.

The final shot shows the sweet, lace motif butterfly and concludes the work I’ve completed on Hollie’s beautiful block.  I hope (and pray) she likes it…it has been a pleasure to work on…and such a learning experience.  Before sending it on its way to the next stitcher in our group (Mikki from Iowa), I’ll take more pictures and post again. 

Until next time…

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.  Romans 14:12 

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Yes, I know Christmas is in December, but for just a few minutes after the postman made today’s delivery I was sure Christmas had arrived again.  My bloggy/Art4Mail friend Lisa sent me a stash-building care package filled with wonderful pretties to help wile away my crazy quilting hours in fanciful style.  The box was filled with laces and trims, shiny-fancy fabrics, beads and baubles, motifs and more.  I was enamored and enchanted…wowed by Lisa’s generosity.  Not long ago, she said something along the line of “we make such good friends through the computer”.  And it is true.  (Yes…I know sentences don’t begin with “and”…just call me a grammar rebel.)

I took pictures of all the treasures.  The pictures turned out a bit dark, but you can still get the gist of all the package held.

Fabulous beaded trims…

Shiny Fancy Fabrics…

Trims and lace and Kreinik thread…

A pile of pretty silk ribbon…

And these lovely pictures…In my novice ignorance I’m not sure exactly how to use them.  They may be iron on transfers.  I’ll definitely be looking into it.  I’ve seen lots of beautiful work where they’ve been used within a block.

The pictures only show a bit of what sweet Lisa shared.  Thank you, Lisa.  I appreciate you.

Until next time…

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  These things I command you, that ye love one another.  John 15:13-17

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One of the things I like most about crazy quilting is the liberty to make changes in embellishment without the integrity of the block being affected.  In my last post I shared the block I made for Christen Brown’s  A Crazy Ladies Guide To Embellishing class.  The choice and placement of some of my trims and laces was unsettling to me.   After looking at the block for several hours I decided changes had to be made if I was going to be satisfied with it.

The lace under the basket made using a bit of lace had to go.  The handle in this picture has been replaced with  self-tasseling cord.   I decided the tasseled ends added interesting texture so they are not tucked under the basket body.  The meandering, purple chenille thread has been removed.  It had actually been replaced with a much thicker white chenille yarn/thread before this set of changes, but I did not take a picture of it.  Instead I added a lovely, lace, dragonfly motif across one seam.  The crocheted lace at the top of the block now covers only the outside edge of the dark green patch rather than extending into the small brown patch.  I am more pleased with the embellishment pieces and their placement after this adjustment.   I won’t rule out more changes as the block takes shape, but that was it for this round.   Last night I started embroidering the seams and lace edges.

Here’s the block with changes and progress to date…

This morning the postman delivered a package full of beautiful motifs I ordered from Nicki’s Raviolee Dreams Etsy Shop.  The lovely dragonfly  I added to my class block was in the package along with lots of other feminine and colorful, eye candy pretties.  If you are a crazy quilter or think you might like to give it a try, Nicki’s Etsy is a great source for lace motifs.  (Motifs are virtually impossible for me to find locally.)  She hand dyes many of them.  Check out her shop…and just look at these dazzling motifs I have added to my stash.

Time for me to get back to my stitching.  Part 2 of the class comes out on Monday morning, and I want to be ready for it.

Until next time…

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

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My first naked block using fancy fabric is complete and ready to start embellishing.  This one is 10 x 10 so there’s more room to play.  If all goes well, I’ll start embellishing it this evening.  Most of this block is constructed using fabric gifted to me by Nicki in her recent giveaway.  (Check out her blog…and Etsy shop.)

While putting this block together a lightbulb came on…figuratively speaking, of course.  Up until now I’ve had some difficulty insuring every piece of fabric used in a square was machine stitched.  I had been constructing my squares without a pattern…just placing fabric in a clockwise direction without regard to how many angles each piece formed.  Therein was my problem.  It was necessary to baste loose seams down before embellishing them.  It worked out, but not nearly as nicely as it would if it had been stitched on the wrong side of the fabric.  Most of the basting was concealed by the embellishments but not all.  Using a block pattern provided by Sharon B of Pin Tangle (home of TAST), I discovered what I was doing amiss.  I love it when a lightbulb comes on!  Even a free-form art form can be a learning experience.

Fancy Naked Block 1 -

I will share my progress as I go along.  I can’t wait to get started, even though, I have to.  Housework and cooking sure can get in the way.  :)

Until next time…

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.         Galatians 6:10

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If you read my last post, you know I am hooked on crazy quilting.  As with most arts and hobbies, materials for crazy quilting can run into bucks quickly.  All my fun money has gone into beads, ribbon, trims, etc., lately.  Still I wanted/needed more.  I was playing the “waiting for more fun money” game and using the bits and pieces in my stash in the meantime.  Being a child of God who truly believes God wants us to have the desires of our heart, I told Him I wanted/needed more things to us in my new favorite pastime.  One day last week I read a Yahoo groups update telling of a crazy quilt blog giveaway at Nicki Lees RavioLee Dreams.  I clicked on the link and saw the lovely goodies the owner was giving away.  I almost did not throw my name in the pot, because it was my first visit to this blog.  I’m so glad I did, because God used the giveaway to give me my heart’s desire and a new bloggy friend.  That’s the kind of God He is.  He uses people to bless people and throws in extra bonuses all the time.  The picture below is representative of the giveaway goodies I won.   One hundred and fourteen people threw their names into this giveaway pot, and my name was chosen!  I feel so blessed!  I can hardly wait to receive and begin using the wonderful new crazy quilting “candy”.

Moving on to my latest block…

Last night I finished my fifth crazy block.  I’m still prone to remove the flower pot button and do something differently in that space, but I’m not sure at this point.  When I look at the overall block the button seems out-of-place.  Hopefully before the daylight hours are passed today I will make it into my sewing room to sew another naked block to embellish.  My hands will feel lost and idle this evening if I don’t.

Saturday was a rainy, dreary day in Mississippi, but the mailman delivered a package of sunshine to my house.  I received my half of the most recent pincushion swap I participated in at Art4Mail.  The lady I was partnered with (Pam G.) had never taken part in a pincushion swap, and from what I understand she had never made a pincushion.  She’s a natural.  The pincushion she made is beautiful.  I hope she will make many more, and I would be happy to swap with her again…any time.  I loved the pincushion she sent to me instantly…and the extras were wonderful.  (The chocolate is all gone…but the trims and beads are still waiting to be used.  Soon.)

Close up front…I love the colors…the fabric combination.  The embellishments are sweet.

Back view…

Here is the pincushion Pat received…

The pincushion swap closes out my blessing, block and happy mail post, but I’ll be back soon with another block…and no telling what else.  I seem to be getting over the three month slump I was in.  Hallelujah.

Until next time…

I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

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