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Friday, October 24, 2014

Size 26 tapestry needle!

They arrived today from Amazon, and it's true: they're  perfect!  They fit through even the tiniest beads. 

Fabric Auditions for Place Mats

I am continuing to use my Oriental Fabric stash to update my dining room.  Last night I went through my stash and started to cut out placemats.

I find that taking a photo first really helps with choosing the best layout.  Looking at the photos, I already see some things I want to change.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Take a Stitch Tuesday - 135 - Beaded Fern Stitch - Take Two

Today I dug through all my needles and found one in an assortment pack that fit both the seed beads and the #5 Perle cotton!  Yes!

Here is my re-do of the Beaded Fern Stitch.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Take a Stitch Tuesday - 135 - Beaded Fern Stitch

This week the stitch is Beaded Fern Stitch.  You can find instructions at Pintangle TAST.

This was harder than it looks!  I don't have a #26 tapestry needle so I could not use seed beads.  The beads I used are #06, so I used size 5 perle cotton.  

I would like to try this again with the correct needle and beads.  Thank you, Sharon!

Dining Room Makeover

Because quilting and other fun projects always come first, I have neglected to make proper dining room cushions, placemats and napkins.  

Last night I decided that I was probably not going to make another quilt with Oriental fabrics, and I may as well use those gorgeous fabrics to make said cushions, placemats and napkins.

Here is what we have been using for probably 8 years!  These are from Walmart and the foam disintegrates if you handle them too much.  They don't even fit the chairs!

I pretty much know what to do, have looked at a few tutorials and this should be pretty straight forward.  I don't plan to use a zipper and pillow forms.  I will stuff them with polyfil and I think they will be washable that way.

 Here is the pattern I drafted on craft paper.

This is the lovely fabric.  I had over 3 yards of it!

This is some Kona Black that I have had for a while.  I was going to make a quilt with it but it has been in the drawer for a long time. It will be on the bottom of the cushions.

This is the cushion boxing from Robert Kaufman brown Fusions, and 10 miles of piping I made last night from the oriental fabric. The white stuff is batting.  I will first layer the Oriental fabric, batting and some muslin and quilt it lightly to give it some body.  I do hope I am able to quilt it only lightly.  My tendency is to quilt things to death, but here I cannot afford to do that since all is already cut to size and I don't want to have any shrinkage.

This photo does not do the fabric justice; it is much more golden in color, more like the photo at the top.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Stitch Sampler Band: Part 3

Here is the next and third segment of my Stitch Band.  Most of these seam treatments I have gleaned from the instruction sheet for Kathy's Basic CQ Class.  My block is pieced and waiting for the next lesson, which I think I will receive on Friday.  I can't bear the wait so I am stitching the what I can see on the diagrams I have.  Naughty, impatient me!!  But it is practice, and so much fun!

I also stitched a spiderweb this week.  This is a silk block I made from Allie Aller's Craftsy class: a straight flip and sew block pattern.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pieced Block for Shawkl's Basic CQ Class - Take 2

Here is the new block, with the neutral colors.  It should be much easier now to see the pencil markings and embellishments. 

Fabrics for Crazy Quilt Class - take 3

Here is my latest selection of fabrics. Fabric number five from the top is actually fabric number one dyed with tea. Fabric number six from the top is fabric number one dyed with coffee. 

Shawkl's Basic Crazy Qulting Class

I had gathered my fabrics and last night completed my first block.  As I was piecing it I was thinking the fabrics were too dark.  Sure enough, they were.  So I am gathering new fabrics in beige tones.  One of them is a white tone on tone I am dyeing in coffee.  It should be ready this morning.

The idea is to have the fabrics be light enough to see the pencil marks used as templates for the stitching.  The instructor has to be able to see them in the photos and I have to be able to see them to stitch the seams.

These are the original fabrics:

Here is the block.  A bit too dark and too busy.

Here is the second selection of fabrics, minus the one being dyed.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Zentangle Quilt Tutorial

I just got a link to this fabulous Zentangle Quilt Tutorial over on Zany Quilter!  I can't wait to try this!

Organizing Embroidery Threads

I have been collecting embroidery threads for a while and it was easy to just keep the skeins in a box. But now that I am actively embroidering and embellishing CQ blocks, the skeins laying all over my table, in addition to the bits of loose thread, are quite unmanageable.

I had purchased the little plastic flat DMC "spools" but had not used them yet.  Last night I took a few hours to undo all my skeins and wrap them onto the spools.  I had just the right amount!  I saved the part of each label that had the number on it and tucked that down under the thread.

I looked around the web and found a few good ideas: a Spool Rack, and also a tip for holding floss while winding it.  The article I read suggested using a mason jar, but my tea was handy and the handle keep it from slipping down.

By the time I found the spool rack idea I had already wound my flat plastic spools and for now I am happy.  It all fits in my plastic DMC box (which is now full).

This is only for my 6 strand floss.  For my #5 Perle, I have undone and cut the skeins and looped them onto a large embroidery hoop.  I can just pull on a piece from the knot and it comes right out, just one strand.

The #8 and #12 Perle cotton comes in neat balls so I have not done anything with those except put them in a box propped up against the wall.  On the side is my (for now) small collection of silk ribbon.  I have more on the way, so I will have to figure out something to organize that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PVC Embroidery Frame

In preparation for Kathy's online Basic CQ Class, I have made a PVC Embroidery Frame.  It is dual purpose, with a 12" x 12" hoop and a 12" x 17" hoop.  

I bought 15 feet of 1/2" PVC pipe and the various fittings at my local hardware store.  I ordered a bag of ten 4" snap clamps (to hold the fabric to the frame) from Amazon and they will be here Friday.  They are actually made and sold to hold fabric or plastic to PVC frames on greenhouses and other garden structures.  Who knew?

Thanks to Alice over at Alice's Ramblings for the materials list and instructions!  It took about 15 minutes to cut the PVC pipe and assemble the stand.  The red thing is my husband's handy dandy PVC pipe cutter.  Works like a charm. 

I used an acetone based paint clean up product to remove the labels and markings from the materials. Next time I will do the cleaning before assembly.  

I bought some extra parts to make a small hand held model that will use the same clamps.