Tuesday, May 16, 2017

TAST Stitches 44 and 77

There has not been much time for crafting this month, and when there has been time, the energy was lacking. Between working and a few trips to the ER with someone dear (thankfully, the issues ended up being side affects from medications and nothing more serious), life has been a bit crazier than normal. My hubby and my boys have been rockstars, taking on some of my chores without even being asked. That was the best Mother's Day gift this mom could hope for! 

Here is a bit of progress I have been hoping to share for a while. (I typed this post over the weekend, to be sure I finally did share it!)

TAST Stitch 44 (part 2): Plaited Feather Stitch

Back in February, I shared the Crossed Feather Stitch. In April, I worked the Plaited Feather Stitch on my TAST sampler using pink and black perle cotton. (The arrow is pointing to it in this photo.)

TAST Stitch 77: Pistil Stitch

I apologize for the photo quality. This was the best of over 10 attempts to capture the snowflake I created with the pistil stitch

The bottom snowflake was created with size 12 white perle cotton, 4 pistil stitches, 4 straight stitches, 4 Mill Hill Petite Glass Seed Beads and 1 small white bead.

(Some of the other snowflakes in this photo are partially complete and were created using designs my dear blogging friend shared on her blog, Magpie's Mumblings. You may find the designs here, here and here.)

I most frequently use the pistil stitch to create antennae on butterflies, as seen here. (You may see more of this block here.)

I also used pistil stitches to dress up this seam created with the use of one of Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilting templates. (I am not affiliated, but did receive the templates in exchange for an honest opinion, and I do love using them! You may see more about this block here.)

Pistil stitches were also used with bullion knots to create flowers on the block I embellished for Annette in our Under the Sea Round Robin. (You may see more about this block here.)

TAST Challenge

In April, there was a 2 week TAST break to provide time for some of us to catch up. If you did not need to catch up, you were encouraged to participate in the TAST Break Challenge to create a small project using 3 TAST stitches. 

I do need to catch up, but opted to use the feather stitch, bullion knot, and detached chain stitch to create a gift for Mother's Day. I also used the chain stitch to add "Mom" to the center.

TAST stands for Take A Stitch Tuesday. This is a personal challenge offered by Sharon B. at Pintangle.com, encouraging others to learn new embroidery stitches. A new stitch is introduced each week, but participants are able to choose their own pace for working the stitches. You may learn more about it here.

This is the 10th year Sharon has offered TAST and she is celebrating by sharing interviews with some of the TAST participants. Here are links to the interviews she has shared so far (I hope I did not miss any):

The cover of the Summer 2017 edition of the Crazy Quilt Quarterly features work by Sharon B. This edition focuses on buttons. Adding buttons to my work always feels challenging to me, so I am looking forward to ordering my copy. 

I am not affiliated. You may find the magazine here and learn how to submit your work to the magazine here

And, Sharon shared some exciting news about her book today. You may check it out here.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sun, Sand, and Sea BOM Block 3 Progress

This week, I managed to finish embroidering around the applique on these 4 darling blocks designed by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks for the Sun, Sand, and Sea Block of the Month. I still need to sew the striped blocks together (the fabric is all cut) and sew the 8 blocks together. I hope to find time to finish that this week!

I used a buttonhole stitch around each piece of applique, stem stitched the legs, and satin stitched the eyes.

This is my first block of the month experience and I absolutely love all of the blocks that have been introduced. I am very thankful that Amy at Sew Incredibly Crazy and her blogging friends have put together such a fun quilt.

Thank you for stopping by!

I am linking with the Monday Stitchery Link Party #109 at Super Mom - No Cape! I do hope you will stop by to see what others have been working on and to check out the free embroidery pattern. If you do any hand stitching and have a blog, feel free to join the link party!

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 2017

Looking back at April, I am very glad my biggest priority was to finish up the tote bag to donate. I told myself that anything else I finished would be "icing on the cake", so to speak. 

A few of you asked how the tote bag did. It raised $150 toward the engineering scholarship fund. I am already thinking about what I will donate to the fall fundraising event. A request has been made for something red...

April is always a busy month, with several family birthdays, a spring conference my husband attends, and Easter; so I did not have a lot of crafting time. I stole a few hours here and there to work on the cross-stitch project I am stitching for my eldest son. (You may see the progress here, if you missed yesterday's post.) 

I fed the keyboard of my laptop a very full cup of coffee, too. Thankfully, it survived after drying out for several days. So, April was a lucky month!

NOTE: You may click on any photo for a larger view. I do not expect anyone to really read through all of this - my goals are listed here as a tool for me to refer to more than anything else.

Review of April Goals:

To save time, the list of April Goals may be seen here. Though I made progress on a few things, only my 2nd goal was completed.

2. Embellish February CQJP 2017 block and make a tote bag with it to donate to an auction. Done! - A photo is above and the blog post is here.

May Goals:

1. Complete the 4 projects for my Etsy Shop and add them to the - currently empty - inventory. 3 of these are ready to sew.

2. Finish gifts for my friend's daughter.

3. Embellish March CQJP 2017 block. (An outline of a seahorse has been added since this photo was taken.)

4. Piece and embellish April CQJP 2017 block. (I have a smaller project in mind. To meet the minimum 8x8-inch requirement, I may piece 4 blocks that are 4x4-inches each.)

5. Spend 10 minutes a day adding snowflakes to my Winter/Christmas Wall Quilt. (I did well with this for the first week of April and hope to do better in May. This photo shows how it looks now. I realized it takes just over 10 minutes per snowflake.) This was #8 on my UFO Challenge 2017 and should have been finished in February. I'm still plugging away! (You may see more photos of the blocks here.)

6. Complete # 11 from my allpeoplequilt.com UFO Challenge 2017 list. This should have been completed in April. I have ordered something fun to finish this with. You may see more details about these blocks here.

7. In May, #2 was drawn for the UFO Challenge 2017. I need to embellish the letter "E" and create a finished project with the blocks from my CQI Heart Round Robin. (You may see better photos and more detail about these blocks here.) I am very excited to put this one together and ordered something fun for it that should arrive soon.

8. Complete blocks 1, 3 & 4 from the Sun, Sand, and Sea Block of the Month 2017 organized by Amy at Sew Incredibly Crazy. This photo shows my progress on block 3, which was designed by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks.

9. Finish my Mother's Day projects.

May is another very busy month. I will be working a fair amount outside of the home. So, I have a feeling many of my goals listed above may be on my June list, too. We'll see how much I manage to accomplish.

I also hope to visit some blogs this month. I think I am going through withdrawals. I miss visiting my blogging friends!

Top 5 Viewed Posts in April:

1. April 2017 - here
2. TAST 78 - here 
3. CQJP 2017 February Block Tote - here
4. TAST 76 - here (This was the top most viewed post in March.)
5. CQJP 2017 February Block Motif 2 - here

Thank you for stopping by!

It is Monday, so I am linking to Stitchery Link Party #108 at Super Mom - No Cape this week. If you have a blog that features hand embroidery, I encourage you to join the party! There is a rooster pattern available to download this week.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Fractal White Tiger April 2017

I fear I fell off of the blogosphere. After finishing the under-the-sea tote bag, there was not a lot of time for crafting this month. What time I did have mostly went into my Charting Creations Fractal White Tiger piece based on artwork by Ricky Barnard. I do love watching this one come together!

I also just realized that my February update made it to the 2017 Stitcher's Group (formerly New Stitchy Start) blog, but I did not post it here.

There was no progress made in March, and only 175 stitches were added in February. This is how it looked then.

And this was the photo shared on my last update here.

I am thrilled to say that this piece is now 10% complete! 

The photo at the top shows 16 months of progress. My goal is 900 stitches a month, which would be 14,400 stitches to be on track. I am still ahead of that goal.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CQJP 2017 February Block Tote

The February block for my Crazy Quilt Journal Project is 
completely embellished and sewn into a pocket on a tote bag.

(This is a photo heavy post. 
You may click on any photo for a larger view.)

The set was donated to an auction to raise funds for engineering scholarships. There are over 34 hours of embroidery and beading in this block. The octopus was created with the use of a Stitcher's Revolution Sailor's Delight Iron-on Transfer. 

I have a confession. The tote bag took about 4 hours longer than anticipated to assemble. (Tip: If using polyester straps, take extra care when ironing your nearly completed tote bag. You might be a little quicker ripping out all of the seams to replace the partially melted straps and sew everything back together than I was, but I would love to save you the trouble!) 

Seam 1:

A buttonhole stitch created with 3 strands of DMC #4050 floss embellished the first seam.

After all of the embroidery was completed, I added Mill Hill Petite Glass Beads #42027 to the seam with a strand of DMC #225 floss. 

Note: When adding beads, I secure each bead to the block. On a piece that will be functional, this is particularly important. If one bead is snagged and pulled off, the other beads will still be attached to the block.

Seam 2:

For the 2nd seam, I back stitched across the seam with size 5 DMC #796 perle cotton. Then I added fly stitches between each of the backstitches.

Seam 3:

A wavy line of fish embellished the 3rd seam. Using 2 strands of DMC #67, each fish was made with a detached chain stitch for the body and 2 straight stitches for the tail. I began by tracing a line on the back foundation fabric and then added the fish.

Motif 3:
The net was added next using a strand of DMC Ecru floss to make small straight stitches for the cloud filling stitch. Then, I wove Watercolours by Caron #000 Natural floss through those foundation stitches. I found this thread to be too thick to pull through the block (even using a large needle). So, I knotted the ends and left them on the top of the block, outside of the seam lines. 

When the block was sewn to the pocket lining fabric, the stitching held the floss more firmly in place. And when the pocket was stitched onto the block, another seam held the thread in place (as seen in the photo above), so it should be quite secure. 

Motif 4:
For the 4th motif, I traced several of the vine-like shapes from Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates Sets 1 and 2. (I received the templates in return for an honest review, but am not affiliated with them. I do enjoy working with them!) 

Using size 8 DMC #125 perle cotton, I followed the traced lines with a whipped chain stitch. Flowers were added to the vines with sets of 3 detached chain stitches and a small straight stitch using size 8 DMC #48 perle cotton.

Motif 5:

The 5th motif was also created with Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates. This time, I used size 5 DMC #4045 and the barred chain stitch to create the vines. Flower sequins held into place with size 10/0 Beaders Paradise Rose seed beads completed the motif.

Motif 6:
Feather stitched sea vegetation was added with a strand of size 5 DMC #4125 perle cotton.

Motif 7:
French knots created coral with 3 strands of DMC #52 floss.

Motif 8: 
Sea stars were added next. 

The one on the far left was created with a whipped wheel stitch using a strand of DMC #437 blended with a strand of DMC #3772 floss. 

The bullion stitched sea star near the anchor was made with 2 strands of DMC #4120 floss.

The one beneath that was made with a strand of DMC 3778 blended with a strand of DMC 3779 floss.

The whipped wheel stitched sea star to the left of the net was made with 2 strands of DMC #4130.

To help tack the net down and protect it from snagging in the future, I put a sea star on it. This one was created with 2 strands of DMC #48 and 5 bullion knots. 

Motif 9:
While adding the sea stars, I was careful to leave space for the anchor. (Adding the anchor first would have made it more difficult to work the bullion knots and the whipped wheels.) 

The anchor pendant was attached with clear quilting thread.

Next, size 5 DMC #5283 silver metallic thread was couched down to create a rope/wire holding the anchor. 

Motif 10:
Three small jellies were added with a strand of DMC white floss.

Split stitches were used to create the body outlines and satin stitches filled the body in. Tentacles were created by couching a strand of white floss down with tiny straight stitches.

Motif 11:

Random fish were added to fill in the remainder of the block using 2 strands of DMC #90 floss.

Motif 1 completed:
Three seed beads were then added to complete the seahorse motif.

Thank you so much for stopping by and making it through this fairly long post!

Additional Notes:
The Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) is a personal challenge to complete a crazy quilt block each month that measures at least 8- by 8-inches. You may read more about CQJP 2017 here and see blocks others have created here.

Posts related to this block and my CQJP 2017:
CQJP 2017 February Motif 2: Octopus - here

CQJP 2017 February Motif 1: Seahorse - here
CQJP 2017 January Block - here

Every step of my CQJP 2017 progress is shared on this Pinterest board.

I sometimes add sneak peeks of my work on my Instagram account and my Hand Stitched Treasure Facebook page.