28 January 2013

Four Crazy Quilt Blocks

This week has been a busy one on the stitching front.

I have completed the four crazy quilt blocks that were needed for the centre part of the quilt.
This now means I have ALL 16 blocks done, and, AND, I have stitched half the quilt top together, and pinned the other half ready for stitching. But the second bit won't get done today as Tony has just invited me out for drive and a picnic. I cannot resist this opportunity for another adventure with 'doo'man..

So without further ado, here are the pics to show you how far I have got this week.

The four crazy quilt blocks.

These blocks are muted whites, off-whites, greys, light creams & natural colours.
I have not worked in such a one-tone (plain white) colour scheme before, and I have discovered that I rather like it. It was another unexpected learning curve.
My 12 blocks in the black, white, turquoise & teals will be surrounding these in a 4 x 4 block arrangement.

Lots of TAST stitches, lots of 'invented' stitches, and lots of surprise (to me) combinations.
I especially love the mandala combination stitches. 

Here are (rather a lot) of close-up pics of the stitching from the above blocks.

And here is half the quilt top stitched together (but not pressed yet).

After ALL that heavy stitching on the black & turquoise blocks, stitching on the white blocks was a real treat, haha. 
The fact that I managed to stitch all four blocks in 8 days was a revelation in what I, personally, can achieve. I was, of course, urged on with the need to get this quilt finished by the end of January so that I can start my next crazy quilt adventure, which is waiting patiently in the wings.

The coming week will hopefully see this quilt to completion, or to the binding stage at least.

Happy Stitching

21 January 2013

Big Progress on CQJP's

Busy, busy, busy, stitching, designing, sewing ~~ sewing, designing, stitching, busy, busy, busy.

Arranging the Crazy Quilt 2012 blocks.

The design that I liked best was having the twelve blocks around a centre panel. I had originally planned to have the centre panel as one whole piece of fabric in a colour that was used in the embellishing on the main blocks, namely teal or turquoise.

After auditioning many fabrics in that colour range I changed my mind (I'm allowed to do that).
They were all too strong and powerful and dominated the quilt.
After spending a whole year hand stitching these 12 blocks, I do not want the centre panel to be the focus, so I opted for making four more crazy blocks for the centre but in the muted white/greys that are a part of the main blocks.

So, over the last couple of days I have machined 4 crazy quilt blocks, but so far only hand stitched on one of them. I should have the other 3 hand stitched in the next few days, and then I can start sewing the blocks together.

Here are the 4 white/grey blocks.

Work on that crazy quilt continues .

Designing the Crazy Quilt 2013 blocks

Last year was great. 
I worked through my chosen 'limited' colour scheme and theme, and completed each of the 9" blocks with loads (and loads) of hand stitching, texture, beads and other embellishments. 
enjoyed every moment of it......
but, oh boy, it was hard work keeping up with all that hand stitching.

This year........I'm changing the PACE 
This year..... I am in URGENT need of some colour in my life
This year.... I am going to use all the BRIGHT colours in the colour wheel
This year.... I will not use any DARK shades of any colour
This year..... I will NOT be using embellishments
This year.... I will use only THREADS on the blocks
This year.... I will use my SEWING machine more
This year..... the blocks will NOT be square
This year.... the 'blocks' will be a few DIFFERENT shapes and sizes
This year.... I will use only use fabric that is in my STASH, I'm not to buy any more fabric
This year..... I am going MINIMALIST
This year.... I will create a very NON-TRADITIONAL crazy quilt 
This year.... I am aiming for it to be an ART quilt, of sorts(!!)
This year .... I'm creating a bigger CHALLENGE for myself

Ok, so who picked up on the 'minimalist' bit, haha.
Are you wondering how a crazy quilt can be minimalist ~~~ so am I ~~~ but I'm going to give it a try anyway, lol. I need to spend less time on this quilt than I did on last years quilt, because I have other projects and 'deadlines' that take priority this year.

In my previous post I showed you the fabrics that I will be using.
So, using those fabrics (and I have since added some purples to the mixing pot) here are my first two "bare shapes" for this quilt. 
The black outer bit is only a card template at this moment, just to give you (and me) an idea of how the final shape of these particular blocks will look, so it may (or may not) not be black in the final work.
Each one measures roughly 11" x 5" at it's widest and longest points.

This year.... I am going to have some FUN.

And now...... on to TAST 2013

This is going to be a completely separate project from the quilt.

It will take the form of a wall hanging, and, again I want to use lots of BRIGHT colours.
I will make (create) the surface of the background from wool, and fiber, and fabric.
There will be NO design element for the stitches. 
It will be totally random. 

CHANCE will determine every aspect of this.
I will take whatever TAST stitch occurs each week - that is the first RANDOM aspect to happen that I have no control over.
And then.......every placement, every thread, every fiber, every stitch, every characteristic, every style - will be taken by chance, and will be innovative, fresh and contemporary.
I have a plan of how to achieve this, but as this post has already become an 'epic' novel, I shall save that detail for another post.

So there you have MY GOALS for 2013. 

Having now put it down in writing, I am accountable.
Here's to a BUSY year ahead.

Happy Stitching

18 January 2013

A Week of Designing

I have been in designing mode for a couple of days now.

This big box of cottons and threads are some of my 'treasures' that I brought back from my UK visit. They WERE in my mothers stash, and now they are in mine, haha.

I envisage many happy days of stitching and/or crocheting.

The following projects are ones that need a bit more planning, arranging, and organizing.

 The 12 crazy quilt blocks for CQJP 2012 are finished and need arranging for their final placement.

 I have auditioned a variety of fabric colours for the borders, and decided not to go with sashing on them as they look rather good right next to each other.

 I have made my colour choice, but will not reveal it to you just yet, in case I change my mind (I usually do).

The middle section has been created and needs a few more stitches added until I am happy to add it to the quilt. 

My crazy quilt for CQJP 2013 (yep, I have signed up for another year of craziness). I can see this quilt in my head, I just need to get it sorted in fabric and stitched up. 

I worked through a few major design problems last year, so I should be better prepared for this one (famous last words haha).

Last year the size of my blocks was 9" square. They were very labour intensive on hand-stitching. Don't get me wrong here, I love, love love hand-stitching, but I had trouble keeping up with creating one block a month because I wanted more and more embellishments added to them. 
So this year, I am going for a complete change - minimalist. 
Ok, I can hear all those groans. 
How can a crazy quilt be minimalist?
Well, the answer is ..... I'm not sure!
I have an idea, but I shall have to experiment a little bit with it to find out if it really works, and, more importantly, if I like it.
I have a feeling this is going to be another learning curve where I find out more about myself too.

As for the colour scheme for this quilt, lol....... IT too will be a complete change from last year.

I am in URGENT need of some colour in my life.

I pulled out a lot of my bright fabrics and laid them on the table. 

The following pic is of the fabrics that made it to the short list. And you can see I have narrowed it down a bit more since taking the photo.

    LOOK!!!                     NO PURPLE    

So that is what I have been up to so far this week.
Now let the stitching fun begin.

Happy Stitching

14 January 2013

Creative Week 2

Creative Every Day link in sidebar >

Continuing documenting my creative activities in Journal form here.

Week 2

Tues 8 Jan
Gathering ideas for CQJP block 12. Sorted through, and auditioned, mum's lace and crochet practice pieces to see what would fit best on the block.

Wed 9 Jan
Delicately stitched mum's lace and crochet in place on the cq block.
Took dogs for a cool-off in our stream. 
Enjoyed 'studying' the costumes when the boyz & I watched Pirates of the Carribean - Dead Man's Chest.

Thurs 10 Jan
Reading - The Santa Cruise.
Stitched some seam treatments on the crazy quilt block.
A starry night, so I did some star-gazing on the deck.

Fri 11 Jan
Finished reading The Santa Cruise (a good mystery read).
Continued stitching on the crazy quilt block.

Sat 12 Jan.
Went with Tony  to suss out a car he might want to buy.
(Had to drive Tony's car home when he bought the new one).
Started reading a new book.
Stitched some more on CQ block 12

Sun 13 Jan
Watched the baby Highland cattle frolicking in the field.
Finished stitching the 12th crazy quilt block.
Started planning the placements of the 12 blocks for the final quilt.
Trying to decide if I need black sashing or turquoise!

Block 12 2012 CQJP Finished

December 2012 Block finished.
This block is dedicated to my dearest mother who passed away on 1 December 2012.

This small lace bookmark was made by my mother.

 This lace trim was also made by my mum (I added the beads)

Mum also made this crochet piece. It was an experimental test for the wings of an angel.

 The following piece of lace was made by mum too. It was unfinished.

These three stars represent my sister, my brother, and myself.
My brother is the silver star as he is already in heaven and shining as bright as a star. 

The centre sparkly piece was in my mums jewellery box.
I surrounded it with pearls as mum loved her pearl necklaces. She had rather a lot of pearl necklaces.
The four hearts are for her four children.

And this is mums butterfly brooch. It is taking the place of my usually stitched butterfly as the centre piece for this block.

Happy Stitching

09 January 2013

Creative Week 1

I'm going to try to do a weekly journal post to list creative things done each day of the previous week. The plan is to keep this going for the whole year.
Creative activities will include arty stuff, all kinds of sewing, designing, notable blogging, crochet, and all other types of crafts, and also things like cooking, gardening, tidying and sorting, taking photographs, walking, caravanning, exploring, enjoying the sights, quality family time, or even just sitting and thinking about things.

So here is the beginning....starting on Tuesday 1st January 2013.

Week 1 

Tues. Jan 1 - 
Day out with Tony at Miranda beach. A picnic, a paddle and a walk along the beach and bird sanctuary.

Wed. Jan 2 - 
Took down Christmas tree and decorations.
Created a space in the lounge to put my sewing machine.

Thurs. Jan 3 - 
Mended the sleeve on one of Tony's work shirts (I'm happy now I have easy access to my sewing machine). 
Hand embroidery on Nov block CQ.

Fri. Jan 4 - 
Machine stitched a patch on Mark's jeans and darned the hole on the 'bum'. 
Hand embroidery on Nov block CQ.

Sat. Jan 5 - 
A drawing session at the picnic table in the orchard. 
Hand embroidery on Nov block CQ.

Sun. Jan 6 - 
Gardening (weeding north garden and trimming dead branches in the orchard). 
Afternoon tea with Tony in the orchard to admire my work.

Mon. Jan 7 - 
Hand embroidery on Nov block CQ. 
Photography session with the baby Highlanders.

08 January 2013


Here is my November 2012 CQJP block finished.

And here are some photos of the stitching details on this block.

Some of the stitches used are: feather stitch, chevron stitch, pistil stitch, French knot, back stitch, straight stitch, ribbon stitch, triple berry stitch, Palestrina stitch, satin stitch, buttonhole stitch, looped and wrapped buttonhole stitch, railroad stitch, woven running stitch, couching, beading and some 'invented' stitches.
Complete with a couple of Mandala's.

Happy Stitching