Thursday, December 11, 2014

Revamping a Small Suitcase

Got away from my stitching for just a bit.  I bought this small suitcase at a sale recently for $1.00.  I love the size.  It was originally blue so I started by painting it white.

I have painted a floral bouquet on the top.  I will also be distressing the edges.

The next step will be to begin work on the inside of the suitcase.  More to come!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Ornament Exchange and Doll Trunk Addition

This is an ornament I received in my exchange with Tahlia.  As you recall from my last post I had sent her the peacock ornament.  The photo here is a bit bright.  The little ornament is so nicely stitched on all three sides and on the bottom using lots of metallic thread in gold, copper and silver.  The bag of beads was thrown in as a little birthday surprise.  Love the colors and all the sparkle.

She also sent my trunk doll a wonderful stitched gift.  It is so tiny and perfect!  At the CQI retreat she gave me the tiny spool of thread.  Love it all!

Below is my little vignette with some small oil lamps, hats, teapot and the pieces from Tahlia setting on top of the trunk and flanked by my CQJP 2013 mini quilt.  I need to get a dress and some accessories made for the doll so she can come out of hiding.

I love getting special gifts from my creative friends.  They are always so special.  Trunk doll is happy too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Peacock Ornament Exchange and Tutorial

When I was at the Crazy Quilt International Retreat in Kansas City we drew names to participate in an ornament exchange.  I don't know if this really qualifies as crazy quilting but it does sort of, kind of...  There weren't any hard and fast rules and hopefully the recipient will be pleased with this.

The name I drew was Tahlia.  I knew she liked peacocks so I started wondering how I could create a peacock ornament.  It turns out she also likes jellyfish, bunnies, hippos, sea turtles and Victorian items as well but by the time I learned that (within minutes) I already had ideas for a peacock rumbling through my mind.  I came home and went shopping.  I bought a deep bluegreen and a lighter, more aqua, coordinating fabric and then found a sheer netting type fabric with sparkles sitting next to the cutting table (and calling my name).  This post is photo heavy since most of us are very visual.  I thought this would be the easiest way to show you how I created the ornament.  I had the general idea in my head, bought supplies and then let my muse take over from there.

I drew a pattern on the computer and played with the design possibilities.  If you would like the actual pattern, send me your request and email address and I will send it to you.  You can adjust the size to fit your needs.

I traced the pattern onto my lining fabric (muslin) and then used this as a stitch guide (traced pattern on muslin facing out and basting to the back/wrong side of the fabric).  Note:  I placed the muslin over the pattern and traced it onto the muslin with a pencil.  Baste muslin lining to each of the five sections.

The next step was to embroider the center stem of each section.  I used a fly stitch.

I folded and pinned the pieces to see if I was going to be happy with the way it was coming together.

This is the broach (above photo) I had purchased online to use in the center of the ornament.  I later found the larger peacock pendant (shown below) at Hancock Fabrics.   As you can see I chose to use the larger peacock. 

Next I stitched each section/feather with a metallic green thread as shown using the stem stitch.  No two feathers are the same.  Just wing it (pun intended).  I know your eyes are probably now rolling ~ lol.

I then played with some sequins to get an idea of how or if they would work.

I decided to embroider (stem stitch) an oval on each according to the pattern to frame the sequins I had chosen.

I didn't want to stitch the sequins on until I was sure the decorative stitching was done to avoid the thread getting caught on the sequins.

I then attached a large copper sequin topped with a smaller faceted green sequin using a green seed bead.

The next step was to add muslin lining (with pattern outline as a guide) to the back side of each feather piece.

With right sides together I stitched together the front and back of each feather/section leaving about 1" open for turning.  Trim seams and turn right sides out.  Baste seam together.

Stitch the five sections together at the bottom.  I tacked the outer two feather sections together and the two aqua sections together at the base and then layered all five, tacking in place

Back shown above; front decorative side below.  Set this aside.

The sparkly netting was cut into a strip and gathered into a ring on one side as shown below.

Fan the netting out to cover the back.  Stitch the netting to the back of feather cluster.

I covered this with a fabric covered button to hide the stitching.

From the front I trimmed the netting a bit closer to the feather section with pinking sheers.  Since the netting is stiff and doesn't ravel, Tahlia can trim it closer if she wishes.

Here is the finished back view.

On the front I crunched up the part of the netting I trimmed off and stitched it down close to the center.

I then centered and stitched the peacock piece in place.

A narrow ribbon is stitched in place for hanging, hiding the stitching between the feather section and the netting.

Wouldn't a tree full of these in different 'peacock colors' be beautiful!  How about white or ivory?  This pattern would still be pretty using it to create fans with a variety of details.  It wouldn't need the peacock in the center.  You could use pretty rhinestone buttons.  Lots of possibilities!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Completing Crazy Quilting Projects

Finally finished my combo CQJP 2013 with November Calendar Block.  I found some upholstery/drapery fabric that had the perfect burgundy and gold colors in a subtle pattern.  It coordinated nicely especially with the gold lace over burgundy fabric on the center block.  I may still add something more to the border later on but for now this project is crossed off my list and hanging for fall.

This isn't crazy quilting, but it is another project crossed off my list.  Mom saw this panel hanging at Hobby Lobby when we stopped by there recently.  She really liked it so I told her I would make it for her.  It is a beautiful panel.  We both loved horses as did my dad when he was alive.

I top stitched around the horse head, mane, eye and nostril as well as around some of the leaves.  I don't know if you can see in either of these photos but I added some adhesive rhinestones in the centers of the snowflakes and sporadically around the panel to give it a bit of sparkle like snow coming down.

I added ribbon loops and antique snowflake jewelry along the top, hanging it on a red dowel.

Her apartment doors opens to the hallway and there is a shelf just outside each door for decorating.  As you can see she likes to decorate.  It hangs just a bit low on her door, but a majority of those living in the senior apartments are short.  You have to be 70 or older to live there.

Yesterday I mailed off the blocks for my first round robin through Crazy Quilts International.  These blocks are going to be 2" x 3" when completed.  I am planning to make a mini fiber book with the completed blocks.  I have two covers (front and back) that I will be completing myself.

I am asking each person to choose a color from the palette below to complete their 'page'.  For instance one block/page will be stitched and embellished using one pastel color family (pink, blue, lavender, amber, green, or peach).

It feels so good to get some projects done and crossing them off my 'to do' list.  I am definitely a 'list' person.  Are you?

I mailed my ornament for a CQI ornament exchange yesterday also and should be receiving one in return next week.  Photos and a tutorial will be posted next week after I am sure the ornament has been delivered.  I hate spoiling anyone's surprise although I can tell you it is a peacock ornament since she is already aware of that.  I will also be receiving a mini cq set of blocks from one of the other rr participants for me to work on.  I am looking forward to both!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What Have I Been Doing? Beading, Stitching and Listing on Etsy

Seems like I am in the midst of a zillion projects!  That may be a bit exaggerated but sometimes it seems like an endless list of UFOs.  I'm trying to just face them one at a time and not let myself get overwhelmed.  It feels good to get even one thing crossed off my list though.  I know we are all in the same boat at times, right?

I have been working on a couple of things I can't share yet, but will soon but in the meantime wanted to share what I can.  I finished another of my hanging heart sachets and got it listed in my Etsy shop.  It is scented with lavender from a lavender farm not far from where I live.

My next project will be finishing up my fall hanging using blocks from CQJP 2013 and my November calendar page.  I finished connecting the blocks and embroidering along the new seams.  I found the perfect fabric (in my opinion) for binding it.  I loved all the feedback I received on that but when I held the various fabrics next to the piece it just wasn't working for me.  I couldn't find a warm enough and dark enough brown and the burgundy didn't feel quite right either but was close.  The black seemed a bit dark but was going to be my choice.  I decided to take one last look and found a fabric that complimented without overpowering.  Hopefully I can finish that project this week and show you what I found.

After that the next thing on my list is a winter horse panel from Hobby Lobby that I am stitching together for my mom to hang on her apartment door.  She picked it out and how could I say no?  It should be pretty quick as it just needs a backing and batting.  I think I may add some sequins here and there first to give the 'snowflakes' a little sparkle.  Loving this white horse!

I have taken over the dining room with my jewelry.  I have been putting off getting it all listed and have now made it a priority.  It may never sell but it has a better chance in my Etsy shop than in a box in my studio.  I just really enjoy coming up with new pieces and I guess I got a little carried away.  They are each one-of-a-kind though.  Many of my pieces use unique 'previously loved' beads and components so I couldn't duplicate those even if I wanted to.  I hope you will keep me in mind when you are looking for Christmas, Valentine's Day and/or birthday presents!  I haven't shown these as available for shipping anywhere but within the USA but if you don't live here and are interested contact me and I will gladly figure shipping etc.  I am just getting active on Etsy and I'm not real comfortable with shipping elsewhere yet.  It isn't anything personal!

Here is a sampling of the jewelry I'm offering.  I hope you will come visit.