Archive for the ‘Block Swaps’ Category

What seems like “finally”, I am finished with the pretty bright block I’ve been working on.  It took me a while to be satisfied with the whole picture.  Truth be known, there is still one small change I would make…and still might.  I can’t decide if I like the leaf trim along the lower left triangular patch.  It will be a few more days before I mail the block home so I can still mull that though over in my mind for a little while longer.  If I make a change I will post another picture later.  I’ve already stitched and ripped, stitched and ripped, stitched and ripped enough in an effort to satisfy myself with my work.  I found embellishing the heavy, cotton lace trim and tatting with embroidery was tedious at best and very difficult to stitch accurately on.  I will not likely be using a lot of it in the future.

Here are a few pictures of the block…I find the photos to be VERY unforgiving of stitching flaws with this particular block.  It looks much better in real life to me.  The whole block brings back memories of the 60’s to my hippie heart.  It has the “feel” of embroidered blue jeans and embellished garb.

full block:

Upper right

left top:

upper left

left bottom:

lower left

right top:

lower right1

right bottom:

lower right

center:  I used the Sharon B template for the paisley patch.  When I looked at the finished patch I could almost see a bird…I think the shape would translate into a great little tweeter.  Another time I will use it with that in mind.


For my final Pay It Forward commitment, I made another set of needles for my stitching daughter…these really come in handy.  The sharp one is a frogging needle for ripping out stitches.  The blunter needle is used as a stitching awl.

pay it forward frogging needles

That’s all from me today…

Until next time…

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!   (Psalm 107:21)


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Do you ever get the urge to be different for the sake of being different?  Me neither.  I was just born that way.  🙂  There is a popular me-me amongst blogs featuring Wednesday Works In Progress.  I don’t participate, but I do have works in progress on Thursday.  Today I am sharing two.

The first I will not describe too fully, because it is for a swap, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.  Being evasive might even add to the intrigue.  The block is made of decorator silks with some pretty cotton laces added for interest.  I think I will keep the stitching fairly simple.  Too much would very likely detract from the elegance of the materials.

A4M pincushion 9 13

The second piece I am working on is the one-on-one block I am swapping with Pam.  I am contemplating removing the blue lace and replacing it with a different blue lace, but I’ve not made up my mind.  Brights are a challenge for me, because I am not especially drawn to them.  Working with this block is a very good exercise in stretching my creative wings.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love the block…I’ve just never been particularly comfortable with brights.  I don’t wear them and rarely work with them.

Pam's one on one

That’s all the “show and tell” I have for the day, but I do have a burden on my heart for our country…for this world.  If you watch the news, you probably have one, too.  The verse I chose for today is really good news and a promise to hold fast to.

Until next time…

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure.  (2 Timothy 2:19)

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I wish I could say I never produce work that needs to be ripped out.  I can’t.  This past week my friend Hollie added a bead tail to the needles she uses when she is removing stitches and working too close to her machine needle for comfort.  After seeing a picture of them, I just had to make myself a couple of them.  The added bling makes keeping track of their whereabouts so much simpler.  Needles used to rip out seams are affectionately referred to as “froggin’ needles”…”rip-it, rip-it”.  🙂

frogging needles

Speaking of Hollie, I received the block she made in our quilt block sampler swap in the Art 4 Mail group.  The first block is a simple four-patch.  Her fabrics are gorgeous.  I’m a big fan of paisley from way back.  Our first theme color was blue with a complimentary fabric.

Blue Hollie

Tomorrow I will mail the ones I made out to the ladies in my group. Did I mention I am a big fan of paisley?  I guess I should have repressed my block before taking a picture.  It was already folded neatly in quarters, ready for the envelope.

Blue Judy

This is how I’ve spent all my sitting time this afternoon.  It look like I’ll be cutting tiny stitches for a while.  This was a collar I picked up at a thrift store for a dollar a while back.  It’s high time I remove the beautiful lace and start using it in CQ projects.  I’ll use the muslin, too…

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That’s a wrap for this time.

Until next time…

And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  (1 John 2:1)

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Once again days have turned into weeks since my last post.  My dear husband and I took a trip to north Arkansas for a few days for a little rest and relaxation.  While we were visiting that part of the country we had the pleasure of visiting with my crazy quilting, online friend Hollie and her husband Mark. (picture of Hollie and me in the post before this one)  When we returned home we needed a few more days of rest and relaxation to revive from the road trip…If you are over fifty, you know what I’m talking about.

When we went out of town we left our dogs at home with our oldest daughter.  They love her dearly, and we never have to worry about them when they are in her care.  Our Great Dane started getting very finicky about eating while we were gone this time, and when we returned things went downhill from there.  We were hoping he was just being sensitive, because we left him and he would soon return to normal.   His hips had been getting bad for a while.  He showed signs of old age.  I’ve seen the “handwriting on the wall” for several months.  On Tuesday of last week he completely stopped eating.  Nothing I offered him would entice him to eat.   On Monday of this week we called our vet in to euthanize him.  He was beginning to show signs of suffering, and we had to gulp up the courage to do what was best for him.  Hence…the broken heart.  Bubba was a great dog and will be missed greatly.


Moving on to crazy hearts…Late last week a crazy quilting friend’s husband passed away.  My words are not adequate for expressing the sorrow I feel for her loss.  I’ve never walked that mile…I can only imagine the pain she is feeling.  This heart will be embellished with her in mind, and I will send it to her.  Hopefully I’ll have it completed and ready to go by weekend’s end.


The next heart is for a one on one heart swap…just because.   I constructed it a little bit bottom heavy and have not decided how I will handle that.


Speaking of one on one swaps…My friend Pam and I have entered into a one on one block swap.  We chose an 8 inch block.  Each of us made a naked block and exchanged them to embellish and return home.

Here is the one Pam sent to me.  She dyed all the fabrics herself.  Aren’t they lovely.   The colors are vibrant…brights are her favorite.

Pam's block one on one

The block I sent to her is made of fabrics in far more muted colors…The trim along the edge of the curved patch was salvaged from a thrift store pillow case.  I call this block “two friends” because of the silkie I used for the anchor patch.

Pam Gonzalez - one on one

Last but not least, I worked on the final block I will angel stitch for in the World Wide Crazy Quilting encrusted RR.  The block belonged to Carol.  For my part I stitched the vine on the long blue patch, added stitching to the existing stitching on the anchor patch, and added the spider web and spider.  I tried a different web-making technique and have not decided if I like it as well as couching the web.

Carol's block

Before I go I want to announce my next giveaway.  Robbie Fields has generously offered to share two sets of her Creative Stitchery Success Strips to be given away one set at a time on my blog.   I will be featuring her success strips in a post very soon (or as soon as I can manage to get another post ready).  I recently bought a set of these strips from Robbie after hearing about them from several of my very accomplished stitching friends.  I’m so glad I did, because they make it so simple to space my embroidery stitches evenly and give them a more professional look. That’s a big plus when stitching compound-stitch, seam treatments.   I think every crazy quilter should have a set of these great stitching tools, and I have to wonder why I waited so long to buy them.  Click on the link and see how affordable they are.

Just for the record, I am hosting this giveaway because I really like the strips.  Robbie did not ask me to.  Only after I asked her if she minded if I featured her strips on my blog and told her I wanted to give a set away did she offer to furnish the sets.  I appreciate her generosity.  I expect nothing in return for hosting the giveaway.  It is my intention to share a wonderful stitching tool with those who are not aware of it.

Until next time…

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)

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And what a beauty it is!  The one-on-one swap block I sent to Stephanie is her first-ever block to embellish.  She did an amazing job!   I love each and every element she added to the naked block I sent to her.  Her work turned my plain block into a treasure.  Without further ado, here are pictures of the beautiful work Stephanie added to my block. 

Here is a picture of my block before Stephanie began working on it.  (Click on any picture for a larger view.)

2012-11-14 14.58.15

This picture shows the finished block…isn’t it gorgeous?

2013-01-17 13.09.36Steph full block

The buttons and beads in the button cluster are beautiful…being a lover of buttons, I find it to be a very fine addition to the block.  The silk rose positioned at the top of the cluster was made by Stephanie.  She used the singe around the edge method…I’ve got to try it soon.  It makes a very elegant flower.  Just to the right of the flower is a small snowflake pin.  It is a special piece Stephanie added to my block…special and very pretty.

2013-01-17 13.10.22

I absolutely love the silkie tag Stephanie placed on the block. Not that I would ever forget who did the beautiful embellishing, but it is a wonderful reminder and a very sweet touch.  She chose the pine cone theme, because it is the state flower of her home state of Maine. The pin just below it works perfectly.

2013-01-17 13.10.34

The fan and tassel are made of vintage silk…so luxurious. I love the rich colors.

2013-01-17 13.10.45

Her beaded snowflake is beautiful…so perfect.

2013-01-17 13.10.56

Finally, Stephanie used beautiful vintage laces and lovely stitching throughout the block.

2013-01-17 13.11.09 steph1

Needless to say, but I will anyway, I am well pleased with my block. Stephanie had been shy about joining in a round robin and working on someone else’s block. After seeing what she did with my block I must say, she has no reason to be shy!  Her work is beautiful, and I believe anyone would be pleased to have her stitching on their block.

I’ve not decided how I will use my beautiful block…but I am thinking about it. I appreciate Stephanie taking my one-on-one block swap challenge and look forward to seeing her future work.

Until next time…

For we walk by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

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Soon I will mail Ruby’s Butterflies and Dragonflies 2 round robin block back to her.  I’ve had it almost a month and a half, because we don’t mail blocks in December.  During that time I’ve looked at it many times, and her block gets prettier every time I see it.  The ladies who stitched before me really outdid themselves.  Their work is beautiful.  I found it hard to decide what to do next when I got my hands on it…you know…the “hard act to follow” scenario.  Being last in the rotation is a challenge unto itself.  When I finally started stitching, my part began to flow…I hope Ruby is pleased.  I can’t imagine she wouldn’t be.  Check it out…

My work starts with the two center blocks and moves down and to the right.  The lovely Venice lace motifs I used were dyed by Nicki Lee.  She makes her beautiful, hand dyed laces and other treasures available to crazy quilters everywhere in her Etsy shop.

For closer view click on pictures…

Ruby my work

The second picture is the full block completed. 

Ruby final

During the month of December I’ve worked on a one on one swap block with Stephanie.  Soon her block will be returned to her.  The colors in the photo are not true to the colors in the block, but they are close.  I’m hoping Stephenie will be well pleased.  I’ve enjoyed embellishing her block and hope this one on one swap is only the first of many Stephanie will embellish in the future.Stephanie finished

I’ve also been working on my January block for the CQJP 2013.  I’ve decided to do tone on tone blocks with stitching and lace only…maybe a few beads but no silk ribbon. Each block will be a different color.  When all twelve blocks are complete I’ll put them together as a lap throw.  The absence of silk ribbon will make the throw washing machine friendly. 

 It is still my intention to take part in  the blue/green color study round robin, but my block is not yet constructed.  I spent so much time sick during December, I haven’t gotten around to it.  I’m finally starting to feel better so hopefully I’ll manage to put one together in the coming week. 

The All Things Pretty round robin I signed up for is shy one stitcher.  We tentatively have a start date for January…if another stitcher steps up.  Here’s hoping…

Until next time…

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.  Colossians 1:16

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The more I looked at my January block the more unhappy I became with it.  The long, dark blue patch glared at me even though it blended well with a couple of the fabrics I used in the block.  Today I replaced the glaring patch with a more subtle piece of fabric.  I’m more pleased and look forward to embellishing it over the next month or two. 

Original block:

January 2013

Here is a picture of the revised block.

January 2013 Redo

My friend Stephanie and I are doing a one on one block swap.  Exciting!!!  Saturday I received Stephanie’s block.  Isn’t it lovely?  I love the rich colors and fabrics.   I’ve got  embellishing ideas spinning around in my head.  I’ll update as I work on it.

CQ one on one swap with Judy D.  November 2021

Until next time…

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Romans 8:29

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My friend Stephanie and I are going to do a one on one block swap. I will send Stephanie my naked block to embellish, and she will send me hers. When we finish our work on each other’s blocks, we will send them home. Today, after days of trying to get around to it, I constructed the block I will send to Stephanie. I chose blues for this project…all blues. It seems to me Stephanie told me she may join in on the next color study we will do on the Crazy Quilting for Newbies board. This will be a great trial run for her first round robin. I started something new beginning with this block.

From here on out my blocks will be planned out and recorded in a sketch pad. In the past I sat down at the sewing machine with a piece of muslin and a stack of fabrics and constructed a block by the “fly by the seat of my pants” method. Rarely have I been truly satisfied with the outcome and usually ended up frustrated. Frustration was absent from this block constructing experience…and I’m satisfied with the way the finished piece turned out. Win-win. Yay! I also have a record of how the block was constructed and the fabrics used in the block just in case I want to repeat it. This planning and construction method will work perfectly for the 2013 CQJP.

Speaking of the 2013 CQJP…I’ve begun in a very small way. Last week I cut twelve 12″ muslin pieces, one for each month. I may use the fabrics I used for my Stephanie swap in my January block, because I really like them. If January were a color, I believe it would be shades of blue. Hopefully I will have a chance to get my first block made before the end of this week. I’ve got my fingers crossed. I’d love to actually begin work on this exciting project.

Oh, before I forget…Yesterday I received the final Butterflies and Dragonflies 2 Round Robin block I will work on from the Crazy Quilting International group. The block belongs to Ruby and has been worked on by three stitchers, Susan B., Candji, and Hollie. I will begin my work on it soon and send it home to Ruby. I think she will be very pleased. It is a very lovely block. The work the ladies before me have done is stitching to be proud of.

Until next time…

The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. Psalm 29:4

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Back in May Nicki Lee and I swapped naked crazy blocks with each other to embellish and return.  This evening I finally completed my work on Nicki Lee’s block.   This swap was a serious challenge for me, because I greatly admire Nicki Lee’s embellishing talent.  Her blocks are nothing less than gorgeous.   She has been crazy quilting far longer than I have, and I have no doubt she is more accomplished.  It takes time to hone such a craft.  When Nicki Lee challenged me to swap, I accepted because I believe we only get better at anything if we push our talent to exceed our current ability.  I’ve given this challenge my best shot and hope Nicki Lee is pleased with her block.  This is a sneak preview…it will be on its way back to Nicki Lee very soon.

Full block…click to enlarge. 

Top Left

Bottom Left

Top Right

Bottom Right

Thank you, Nicki Lee, for challenging me to this swap…I appreciate you!

Until next time…

Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.  Psalm 89:9

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Susan B. our Butterflies and Dragonflies mom said it best.  “Where has September gone?”  It’s been so long since I made a post I was going to try to make a respectable attempt to make one this morning.  That was three days ago…I’m trying again today.  WordPress has a serious case of hiccups going on.  WordPress is not cooperating and has zapped all my posting attempts so far.  Nothing is being auto-saved. The zapped efforts number continues to rise.  In baseball and pinball three strikes and you are out, but I’m giving it one more valiant effort so I can share the round robin blocks I worked on this month.  I  planned on a post with a little more to it, but alas…Wordpress has other ideas.  I won’t be too critical of the glitch, because I have my moments, too.  I just wish I had the power Wordpress has to make things disappear.  🙂  Dust wouldn’t stand a chance.  Politicians would no be safe!  Especially this close to election…enough of that!  This post is about September slipping away and crazy quilt round robin blocks.

Last night I made my final stitches on Candji’s Butterflies and Dragonflies block from one of the crazy quilting yahoo groups I belong to.   I was going to add a link to the group so anyone who might want to try their hand at this wonderful art form would find their way to a very helpful group, but once again…the zapping glitch foiled my efforts.  I’m beginning to have my doubts about this post being successful.  This glitch monster seems to be a hearty one.  When I received this block I was unsure how to begin.  This may sound crazy, but I found my starting point by trying to see through the eyes of a butterfly or dragonfly. I looked at it from an aerial view, and Candji’s block became a colorful meadow of wildflowers.

Candji’s Butterflies and Dragonflies block:

The work I did…

Overall after Hollie and me…

During the month of September I worked on Pat H.’s Brown Study Block. I embellished the long flower motif that was added by Pam and added the brown lace and stitching on the long vertical seam on the right.  Lastly, I added the flower motif in the right top corner.

Here is Pat’s block after three rotations.

I’ve also been working on Nicki Lee’s block…slowly but surely.  Here is another sneak preview of her block…More work has been completed since this picture was taken, but I’ll save it for next time.  I’m hoping to finish it up soon.

That does it for this post.  I had to go around the world to make this one happen.  It took three days of hair-pulling…I’m almost bald. 🙂  I appreciate you looking.

Until next time…

I am the way, the truth, and the life. —John 14:6

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