Monday, December 28, 2015

UFO Long List

CQJP 2016
This will be my Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2016. We're allowed to make the blocks prior to January but then, not stitch on them until the new year starts.  They're in no particular order.  Each has a
piece of linen in it for a bit of cross stitch.

All the fabric I used was a gift by a Stitching Angel in the Crazy Quilt International Yahoo group.  She was VERY generous.  This little embroidered piece was the inspiration for all my blocks.
Animal Advent

These little guys are a cross stitch advent calendar.  So, I've done 8 out of 25.  Since it's 2 days before Christmas, this is on the long list...
Art Nouveau 

My other dilemma is background.  I used oatmeal but it doesn't show the white very well.  I'd like to switch to light blue but have 8 not match?  Do I do 8 on blue and then switch to another color so it looks like I did it on purpose?  Then what?  Ornaments?  Crazy quilt?  Wall hanging?  These are long list decisions to make.
Add caption

I thought I was keeping up with Morning Glory Designs' Art Nouveau quilt until I realized the last couple of months, I was supposed to make 2 of each.  Oops.  And, I'm terrified of sizing up the 3 that fit together.  Here's a screen shot of the quilt with borders.  I love it!  But then, she sent out a picture of the quilt that includes all of the bonus blocks, too.  It's fantastic!  Naturally, I didn't think to keep the picture.  Now I want this to be my TAS challenge for 2016.  12 more blocks and the borders.  Not that we've made a decision to have a challenge.  I'm just going to make my own up for now.

Road Rage
I don't know what to do about this.  I was embroidering vintage cars for a quilt for Rich.  First, I started on white but didn't like it.  Then, I re-did them on dark grey and hate them more.
Not that I want to do them AGAIN, but I think I need something in between.  Or, go back to the white.  But, then the chrome doesn't stand out.  And, we all know how important the chrome is to a vintage car.
Irish Chain

Last but not least, my Irish Chain.  This was one of my bucket list quilts. Wedding Ring and Crazy Quilt were also on the list.  This needs a fancy border and quilting.  The border is 2-toned and wavy with a vine of leaves splitting them.  The wavy part has me scared and so, it sits.  How to deal with the corners is really the problem.  Try to miter?  How do I make sure each wave starts and stops at the right point to match up to the next side.  Hmm.  BTW, I have tons of extra intersection blocks if you want some...

So, I have no realistic expectations for these quilts to get finished any time soon.  I really do need to stop with the new projects and work on what I already have before they take over!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

UFO Short List

I got to thinking about my UFOs...  That's always a bad sign, right?  Originally, the thought was to bang them out during my 6 week layoff.  Totally doable, right?  Um, no.  I have WAY more than I was thinking.  I used to be that person that finished everything she started.  What the heck happened???

So, I layed them out.  I took pictures and made notes of what I need to finish, not counting all the free time for the rest of my life...  Here goes.

On the short list:
Roberta Anne with an"E"
Okay.  First we have my wool project calendar quilt.  There's only 2 blocks to finish.  Then, I have to decide if they are individual minis or 1 big project.  I'm leaning toward 1 quilt.  Fine, first decision made.  Now to buy sashing and border fabrics...
Twisted Mystery 20??

I have no idea what year this is from.  The year before I started at Jim's?  It's huge.  And, complicated.  I'm 95% finished if I want to go the distance. Or, be done with the center and call it a lap quilt.  But then, what to do with all the extra pieces I've already made?  Fine.  Second decision made, I'm going the distance.  I think I only have to make Flippin' Flowers to finish, then convince Jane Hair to quilt it before June.  I'd like to make it a wedding gift.  We'll see if I get it done...
Dresdan Plate

This one has been around awhile, too.  It's not nearly as badly done as I envisioned in my mind.  I had put it aside because I wasn't a huge fan of my workmanship.  But, really, they're pretty good.  I think I just get frurstrated with repetitive things.

I need to decide if I want sashing or not.  I think, not.  It could be cute block to block with little black, little pink, bigger black borders.  Decision 3, done.
Kalidescope Quilt

Another one I don't hate as much now that I've taken a break from it.  All it needs is quilting.  A perfect time for me to master free motion work.
Hearts & Tulips

This was my TAS challenge for 2015.  I need to prep it for a scalloped border and buy backer & batting.  Then, patiently wait for my name to come up on Judy Burk's list.  I'm giddy with anticipation!  So, I guess, basically I met my challenge.  We didn't have to finish the project, just work on it.  I know, we're a bunch of go-getters!
State Flowers

I just have to add a thin black border to State Flowers.  Another one that I hated while I was making it.  Getting it out to photograph, I realized just how much I love it now.  This is another one that I'll quilt myself.
Dresdan Flowers

Here's another REALLY old one.  It's a dresdan flower with origami centers.  I started it as a store sample for Sweet Annies.  So. Long. Ago.  It just needs quilting.  The folded centers make this quilt top crazy heavy!  Rich will love that.
Hey, There Cupcake

I got this fabric for Christmas last year.  I made the top right away but never quilted it.

Baby Quilt
Shoe Shop Girl

I made this baby quilt awhile back and didn't know what to do with it.  Turns out my cousin is going to be a grandma this summer and it's a boy!

Bethany graduated in May and I don't think I've worked on this much since then.  I think it needs 2 more shoes, a border and then quilting.  Now, Sierra graduates this year and I haven't even started hers...

I don't know if I did myself any favors by writing it all down.  I'm feeling a little overwhelmed just thinking about it.  I think I just need to grab one and get started.  Realistically, I could grab 1 a week to finish it.  That would knock out 6.  Not bad for a start to 2016.

Mind you, this is just the short list...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Step 1- Hardanger

Lesson 1
So, several months ago, I was reading Susan Elliott's blog Plays With Needles, that mentioned something about being a Master Needle Artist, or maybe it was Master Stitcher.  I'll never find her exact reference without reading her every word.  Again.  Anyways, she spoke about needle artistry like you could get a degree in it or something.  I was like, hold the damn phone!  What?!  This was a super exciting thought to me.
Lesson 2

I know not many people would get excited about this.  I told Rich if I'd known that was an option, I'd have my doctorate by now!  Dr. Heather Maureen Mantz, Master Stitcher.  I can see it now!     I have NEVER known what I wanted to be when I grew up.  This is it folks.  These are my ambitions.  Obviously, I'm not in any position to pay for stitching school.  Or, know where to go to do that. Does it even exist?  But, I decided I could master stitching on my own.

My first step would be Hardanger.  So, I Googled how to Hardanger.  I found the Needle Tips and Techniques Website.  She's got some wonderful little tutorials.  I admit, I needed YouTube for backup but, I managed.

Lesson 3
The thing with Hardanger is, you've got to focus and keep count.  Not my strong point, as you know.  I stitched and restitched lesson 1 a number of times.  When you go to cut threads, if you've miscounted by one, you're screwed.

I thought I was doing pretty great by lesson 3 but then I cut my thread while I was cutting around the outside of my bookmark.  Dag nabit!  However, I did not care enough at that point to start over.  Just using it as a teaching moment, says the home schooling mom...
I thought lesson 4 turned out well.

Now, I've got a few questions I need  answered.  When do you decide you know how to do a technique?  To say I've mastered Hardanger, I probably need several years of experience.  At the very least, a large project.  Right?

Second question, what the heck do I do with these tiny little squares?  I'm never going to use a Hardanger bookmark.  Pincushions?  Ornaments?  Crazy quilt block?  I just don't know.  This is why I give so much away.  I make, and I make, and I make, with no actual point other than to make something pretty.

So, today is my first day of lay off.  I only work 8 hours a week for the next 6 weeks.  Oh, how I LOVE this time of year!  Today will be a day of organizing and list making.  My first list will be techniques to become a master stitcher.  What's required before I can become a know-it-all stitcher?

1.  cross-stitch ✔️    Many years of projects
2.  embroidery✔️     Many years of projects
3.  Hardanger✔️       Dipped my toes in
4.  red work✔️         Made a Christmas quilt
5.  black work
6.  gold work
7.  Sashiko
8.  Brazilian embroidery
9.  Tatting
10.  white work
11.  Needle Point
12.  Crewel

What am I missing?  Does 4, 5, 6, and 10 really count or are they just subdivisions of 2?  Although, Plays With Needles is doing some amazing work in gold that looks nothing like your average embroidery project.  Tatting may not qualify for this list.  But, it's on my list of things to learn.  I just need to get my hands on one of those little do-dads and I'll be off to the races!  I've also been able to check crazy quilting off my list in the past 6 months.  Which, theoretically, could be used with all the techniques listed...

So there you have it.  Prepare to hear a lot from me over the next few weeks!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Crazy Quilt Pincusions

Warning, you're about to see lots and lots of pictures.  I posted my first pincushion in the last blog post but I'm posting it again.  Just cuz...I think it's really pretty.

 Since it was my first try, I cut off several of my seam treatments.  Now I know to leave a solid inch around unadorned.
The final shape was a pit funky.
 This is my second one.  It went much easier.  All the fabrics were donations from my Stitching Angel. The paisley is a re-make of a Joyful Embellishment motif.  I tried to mimic the other blue flower.

I also used a lot of Lisa Boni's work for inspiration.  I LOVE her work!  She has a fantastic tutorial on her blog
 In the middle of working on this, Sharon Boggon's (sp?) from Pintangle and TAST templates arrived.  They were fabulous!
This fantastic black embroidered fabric was the main inspiration for the piece.  I didn't add a big thingy to the top seam.  It seamed too much.
 Then my final one.  I think this might be my favorite.  The colors are totally me.

I'm not sure how I feel about these button flowers, though.  It's a bit overwhelming for the project.
I experimented with those templates and did something with squares.
 The butterfly chain was part of TAST.  It's so cute.
My favorite woven roses.  I started with 2.  A large and a small but as I went, I kept adding more roses.

This blue fabric was my inspiration. The picture doesn't do it justice.  It's a beautiful cornflower blue.

So, I've got my first Christmas presents done.  It's a start.