Friday, February 19, 2016

My CQ Book of Inspiration Finally Completed

I am so excited to finally be finished and able to present "My Book of Inspiration" to you.  I love quotes and that is the basis for this fabric book.  The finished size of the book, including lace trims, is approximately 6 inches high by 4 inches across. I will start with the cover shown here.

Side angle.  This ended up being about 2 inches thick.

The first page you turn to includes a crazy quilt block created by Lisa Boni.  The facing green with the quote is actually the same shade of green as her stitching but you all know how light plays tricks with the camera.

Next is pink which I created.

Connie Kalina created the crazy quilt block in the following photo.

Next you will turn to the peach pages with the cq block created by Kristie Watson.  I stole her little peach bird from her block to add to my quotation page.

The blue cq block which comes next was stitched by Darlene Doerscher.

Finally, below is the yellow-gold cq block I created.

Inside the back cover I have shared the credits.

The back of the book is all lace and texture.

I thought I would be able to stitch much of the book with my sewing machine but found I much favored having it hand stitched.  I can't tell you how many hours I have put into this.  Every bit of construction is done by hand and every section of lace is stitched in place by hand.  Thankfully I am very pleased with the results and I actually do enjoy hand-stitching.  It is my form of relaxation.

The cq blocks were sent out for a mini round robin.  There were five of us, so four of the blocks were created by some very talented crazy quilters.  I created the covers, the remaining two cq block pages, and the quotation pages as well as construction of the book.

Here are some close-ups of the quotes that inspire me.

I wanted to include credits to those who shared their talents with me.  I love the blocks you each created and I really enjoyed working on your blocks.

Below is credit I try to give everyday.  I am thankful when I wake up everyday with a roof over my head, a warm home, a loving husband and family and peace of mind.  I try to take nothing for granted and feel each day is a gift I try to use wisely and each person in my life is there for a reason.

Hope you enjoyed my open book and that it inspires each of you as well.

Friday, January 29, 2016

CQJP 2015, Smocking Challenge in Lavender - Block 11

I am behind on my Crazy Quilt Journal Project but still enjoying the process.  For block 11 I got to work in my very favorite color - lavender.  Some people don't care for this color but it has a way of lifting my spirit.  They say blue is the number one favorite color which makes sense I guess.

Anyway, this is my first attempt at smocking.  Getting started was a bit tedious and I was glad I only needed small sections.  I marked my fabric uniformly by poking pin holes in graph paper and then marking with a pencil in the holes onto the back side of the fabric.  Once that was completed and gathering threads in place it was much more fun.  I used a checked gingham for my first which was easier.

I stuffed the bonnet with a bit of batting to keep it from going so flat when it is placed in my book.  I hand stitched it in place on the block, hiding the stitching.

Here is a close-up of the smocking on the bonnet.  The bonnet is done with a single piece of fabric, a bit of lace added along the brim and a ribbon bow at the base.  Too bad babies don't wear bonnets as much anymore.

This is the second section of smocking.  I added some little ribbon flower in the center.  This fabric is thinner and I found that my pencil marks showed through the fabric in some areas.  A good lesson to learn before taking on a bigger challenge some day.

This is the last section of smocking I created using checked gingham.  It really reminds me of the bigger pieces my grandmother used to do using bigger checks.  She would make pillows with them.  I think her favorite color was this lavender also as she also used gingham in this color and painted her bathroom a gorgeous lavender color with white trim.

I like the texture the smocking adds on the quilt block.  I could really see it incorporated in a tone-on-tone pillow in a limited amount of course.

Hope you enjoyed this block as much as I enjoyed working on it.  I will definitely be creating more lavender blocks in the future!  I understand there are boards and hand operated machines that simplify the preparation of fabric for smocking but for now I will do it the old fashioned way.  I would certainly invest in something like that if I were to find myself doing a lot of smocking.  Have any of you used these or do you do smocking by hand?  I really would love to hear your experiences!