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Archive for the ‘Challenges’ Category

Making my gray block for the upcoming Newbie Gray/Grey Study was so much fun, and I had so much nice gray fabric left, I had to make another block…just because.  I’ll use this one for my July CQJP block.  (I’m almost finished with my June block.)  Yes, I know.  I’m a little behind. 

Earlier this week I got a new crazy quilting book in the mail.  It’s J. Marsha Michler’s Motifs for Crazy Quilting I LOVE her books!   In it she shared one of her techniques for putting a block together.  I used her method of hand-basting the patches to the muslin to make my second gray block.  On the upside of this method, I was able to sit in my comfy chair most of the time while making it, and I didn’t get the screaming back and neck ache I usually get when I sit at my sewing machine.  The only downside was the added length of time it took to make my block.  This is a method I’ve wanted to try for a while but never took the time to do it.  I’m sure it won’t be the last time I use it.  The method sounded tedious, but the illustrations in the book made it look so simple.   I think before I piece another block by this hand-basting method I will buy one of those nifty miniature crafting irons and mark that off my wish list.  It would really come in handy for pressing all those turned under edges and eliminate the need to get up and go to the ironing board.

Motifs for Crazy Quilting is loaded with really great motif patterns, but the inspiration to try something new alone was worth the price of the book.  I think my favorite motifs are the trees, but there is a bit of everything.  I would render a guess there is something for every taste.  J. Marsha Michler did a nice job of putting this book together.  Good for us!

Here is my first hand-pieced crazy block.  All in all…I’m happy with it which is always nice.

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That’s all for this time…

Until next time…

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.   (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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Eighteen years ago today my best friend and I married…one man and one woman…as God intended.  These have been eighteen years of what a marriage was meant to be…we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve worked through them.  We’ve loved each other and grown together.  I thank God for my dear husband and look forward to our remaining time together…until death do us part.

Another month managed to slip past since my last post.  Bella, the German Shepherd puppy I got for my birthday last month has all but sapped my energy.  She’s not quite four months old, but she is strong as an ox.  Bella is a good puppy, but she is ALL puppy.  Unfortunately her breeder had already started “aggression training” before I brought her home.  We are now trying to untrain her and teach her the manners that will make her a valuable companion and best friend.  For my purposes she won’t need aggression training.  These pictures were taken at the vet’s office yesterday while we were waiting our turn.

3 and a half months

This one is a little blurry, but it shows how big she has gotten in such a short time…

bella 3 and a half months

Even now I am “forcing” myself to write a blog post.  My sweet friend Pam called me on the phone this past weekend to see if I was okay.  She had not seen me online for a while and just wanted to make sure something was not wrong.  We had a delightful visit, and I now feel closer to her than ever before.  I knew in my heart of hearts she is special and we have much in common, but our phone visit confirmed it.  It is because of her call that I am making the effort to update my blog.  (I appreciate you, Pam.)

While Pam and I were talking we decided to do a one-on-one crazy quilt block swap.  I’ll be making a block for her to embellish and return and vice versa.  I look forward to it and will share my naked block when I get it made.  We decided on an eight inch block.  It has been a while since I did a one on one swap and all my round robins have come full circle except for my blocks returning home, so I am ready and very happy to be doing this swap.  I am still expecting at least one more block I will be angel stitching on,  but I do not have a block in the round robin.  I also have one more one-on-one heart swap heart to finish and then all my commitments will be filled for June…for the summer, for that matter, so I am very glad to have the block swap with Pam to work on.

I have done some crazy quilting stitching since my last post.  Most of it has been on other people’s blocks.  I made my May CQJP block and called it finished although I may return to it and fill in some gaps.  Yellow is not one of my favorite colors and though I enjoyed working on it in spite of that fact, I tired of it and my ideas of what I needed to do next seemed to fizzle out.  I’ve started work on my June block and once finished I’ll revisit the yellow one.  Sometimes all it takes to come up with new ideas is a break.

Here is the May block…the corners are mighty bare.

whole block

A few close ups of detail…

Left upper…

Left top

Left lower…

Left lower

Right upper…

Upper right

Right lower…

Lower right

Center…

center

Because yellow is a favorite color of a very special friend, I made this yellow heart for Steph in a one-on-one heart swap.  She said she is pleased.  I sure hope so.  I enjoyed making it for her.

for Stephanie

I’m going to call this post to an end even though I have more crazy quilting updates to share.  Hopefully I will get back soon and finish what I started.  🙂  My washing machine is making terrible noise, and I really need to check on it.  (Ugh…a new washer is not on my list of things I would love to have, but ours has some years on it so it probably won’t live much longer.)  Bella needs to go outside, and even though it is miserably hot outside I really need to answer her distress call.

But before I go…look how beautiful…

Savannah Debutant

Until next time…

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  2 Corinthians 5:21

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When I looked in on my blog this morning I could hardly believe over a month had come and gone without a single post.  Looking back on the month of April, it is much easier to believe.  I started April out with my second bout with the flu…Strain B.  Because it was reported to be milder than Strain A, I opted not to go to the doctor in time to take Tamiflu…I pray I never feel the need to take that nasty stuff again!  Strain B may be milder, but it still landed in my lungs, and I ended up with a granddaddy case of bronchitis…if not pneumonia.  It took me a full month to get over it.  BUT thank God I am finally over it!

My Crazy Quilt Journal block for April is completed.  It is monochromatic pink.  Like the three blocks before it, a spider and spider web are part of the embellishment.   This block has more beading than the other three, so the final project may be made into a wall hanging or be displayed over the back of a chair instead of becoming the lap quilt I originally planned.  I’m afraid  a trip through the washing machine would be its doom.

Here are a few pictures of April in the pink…

The full block…

full block

Left upper corner…

upper left

Left lower corner…

Lower left

Right upper corner…

upper right

Right lower corner…

Lower right

Spider close-up…

spider close up

My friend Hollie suggested it would be nice to see all four completed blocks together…so this is for you, Hollie.  Of course, the blocks will have sashing in between them when they are actually put together.

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The TAT RR I am in hit a snag, and I had no block to work on in April.  (That was probably God’s way of taking care of me, because there were very few days in April when I felt well enough to stitch for more than a few minutes at a time.)  I did stitch on one of Janie’s All Things Pretty blocks.  All Things Pretty is a “do your own block” 6″ block round robin.  Each participant embellishes a 6″ block.

Here is a picture of the work I did for Janie…

Final

I have more to share, but I think I’ll save that for another post.  I’ve got spring flower pictures and snowballs thrown and a snowball caught.  The beginning of April brought the close to a heart swap I participated in.  I sent two and received two.  I will share the wonderful hearts I received in my next post…maybe even today.  Who knows.

Until next time…

I will go in the strength of the LORD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.  Psalm 71:16

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This morning I finished embellishing the blue heart I made for the Crazy Quilting for Newbies swap.  One of my daughters saw it, and asked why I put spiders on EVERYTHING?  Which I don’t.  But I told her spider webs were a symbol of good luck on Victorian crazy quilts.  Since these heart-shaped quilt blocks are swapped as a token of friendship, and I wish all my friends nothing but good things, a spider web and fantasy spider seem perfectly at home on my block.

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Here’s a closeup of my harmless little spider…He wouldn’t bite anyone.

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I’ve also completed my March CQJP 2013 block.

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And a few shots of detail…

Right upper corner…

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Right Lower Corner…another harmless spider.

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Left Upper Corner…

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Left Lower Corner..

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Inner…

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Another…

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And last…beautiful lichens…

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Thank you for looking.  Your feedback is welcome. 

Until next time…

And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!  John 1:36

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A crazy quilt heart swap is being hosted by Crazy Quilting for Newbies with a mailing date of April 1.  Until today I teetered on whether or not to join in.  Getting the hearts constructed was my only hold up in deciding, and today I took a few minutes to put a couple of naked hearts together.  My March CQJP block is nearing completion so I’ll have plenty time to embellish these and get them in the mail on time. I might even make a couple more.

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A few days ago I made a couple of fabric postcards.  This time I used Peltex, an extra stiff interfacing that is fusible on both sides.  It worked much better than the Pellon I used to make the first few I made.  I found centering and finishing them to be much easier with the Peltex. 

Friends really do make life blossom…this one went to a very special friend…she is a bright flower in my friendship garden.

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This one was made for a faithful blog visitor who never fails to make me smile when she leaves a comment.  I hope it made her smile when she found it in her mailbox.100_4135

Thank you for visiting.  Your comments are always welcome.

Until next time…

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.  Psalm 96:5

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Night before last I made the final stitches in the round robin blocks in my possession.  Last night I had NOTHING ready to work on.  I felt like a fish out of water.  All month I’ve tried to get my March CQJP block constructed.  My fabrics were selected and prewashed and  laying in a wrinkled pile on top of my work space.  On the first day of  March I designed the layout of this month’s block and traced it on my muslin.  Today I finally took the time to press my fabrics and stitch my block.  Yea me!  Tonight the embellishing will begin.  This block is the third of a monochromatic theme.  It is shades of green, and all the materials used to embellish will also be green. 

Here is a picture of the naked block…

Naked block

Yesterday my husband and I ran errands.  While we were out we stopped by one of my favorite thrift stores.   I found a few framed vintage handwork pieces, a pretty little tea bag holder, and a choker necklace that will be taken apart and used for embellishing crazy quilt blocks. 

Framed tatting (I think this is tatting.  I cannot tell the difference between tatting and fine, cotton crochet)  The shadows on the matting are in the photo only.  The piece is pristine, and I love it!  It is hanging near the chair where I sit and stitch and is a sweet inspiration…

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I grew up in Virginia and have visited historic Williamsburg several times.  Finding the next two pieces was almost like going home.  The cross stitch samplers are circa 1950’s.  I don’t know where I will hang them, but I couldn’t resist bringing them home.  A lot of care and time went into both pieces, and I always feel a strange connection with the unknown person who spent her time working on them.  I feel a sadness that no one who loved her wanted to hang on to the pieces.

The Raleigh Tavern…

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Brutan Parish Church…

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I assume this pretty little piece is a tea bag holder (I am drawn to blue glassware and china.  I don’t know if this is a replica or vintage.  It’s pretty, and I will use it.  It’s hand decorated in the USA (a BIG plus in my book) by CC Fine China…Morgana Collection.  I found nothing about it online, but that matters not, because I like it. 🙂

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Robert Rose Faux Pearl Choker (I can’t imagine wearing anything like this around my neck, but the parts will be perfect for embellishing CQ blocks…too bad there are no green pieces!)

necklace

That’s my thrifty finds from yesterday…thank you for stopping by.  I welcome your comments. 

Until next time…

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally. . . . But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  James 1:5-6

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The last day of February rolled around yesterday.  I made my final stitches on my Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2013 February block just a couple of hours before March rolled in.  My theme is monochromatic blocks…twelve blocks, twelve colors.  Purple was the color for February.  February is “heart month”, and there is no nobler heart than a purple heart. 

All my stitching on this block is free form so it is less than perfect…just like me.  🙂  Though I am tempted to use templates to make each stitch uniform, I have resisted. 

I am sharing several pictures…some close-ups so you can see the detail better.

Full block:

February full block

Left upper corner:  A  button cluster with a  dyed Venice lace motif and assorted beads highlights the left upper corner.  This block is my first piece to use the Victorian Fringe stitch as a seam treatment.  I love the look and will definitely use the stitch again.

February upper left

Upper Right Corner:  The flower sequins are shades of purple.  They look pink in the pictures, but they are not.

february upper right

Lower Left Corner:  I used this block to practice my vine-stitching technique, so all quadrants feature one.

february lower left

Lower Right Corner:  Trees are beginning to bud and bloom in Southeast Mississippi and the right corner seemed the perfect place for a budding tree.

February lower right

Center:  My husband thought my spider was a fly…:)

february center

Thank you for looking. Your comments are most welcome.

Until next time…

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  Revelation 21:4

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