Sunday, September 14, 2014

CQI Retreat Photos

I returned home from the Crazy Quilt International's Retreat near Kansas City, MO yesterday.  There was so much talent there and such nice ladies.  They made me feel so welcome and after just a few days I felt like I had know several of them for years.  I am still recovering and playing catch-up at home so this is mostly photos from the retreat.  I think there were about five of us attending this retreat for the first time and about as many that have attended since their retreats began.

Above is my roomy, another Connie (Kalina).  She was so much fun.  She has attended every retreat this group has had.  (She is the 'evil' Connie though so if you happen to know her don't let her tell you otherwise).  The piece she is holding is of her female ancestors and was stunning.

Above shows the International blocks the group had worked on.  They too were amazing and as you can see received a lot of attention and close viewing.  So much detail!

This was a class in progress and obviously an interesting one by the attention the instructor is receiving.  Several mini classes were offered free throughout the retreat.

This is Cathy who created a beautiful block for Pamela Kellogg's 2015 CQ Calendar.  Cathy is also the one who (tried) to keep us in line and informed throughout the retreat.

Activities other than mini sessions included introductions/orientation, show and tell, gift exchange and a stash swap.  Vendors within the group had tables of luscious supplies set up that we could purchase and many (if not all?) of them contributed to a gift bag of goodies we each got to bring home with us.

Photos of my stash dash, purchases, and gifts or handouts are shown below... 

The box and some of the supplies inside are from the gift exchange.  When I got home I organized all my trims, fibers, beads/buttons, silkies, laces etc. inside the handy and pretty box.

Thankfully I can say I did not come home with near as much fabric as I contributed for the stash dash! 

I am determined to do something with all the goodies and not let them just sit around unused.  My first retreat was a very positive experience and I hope to participate in more in the future.  A special 'Thank You' to all the CQI stitchers for making me feel welcome!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Painting Roses

I've been having fun painting roses!  I've also done some studies in pencil but haven't photographed them.  The CQ retreat starts tomorrow so I need to get things ready for that but thought I would quickly share some of my roses.

This first one was painted for a friend.  It is a drawer that fits into her beautiful china hutch.

Directly above is a sea shell I painted and I'm contemplating what I want to do with it.  Below is a shabby chic silver teapot I painted and will be offering on my Etsy shop when I return from the retreat.

Love flowers but I think roses are my favorite.  Of course I also love lilacs...and hollyhocks...and peonies...and daisies...and...  Do you have a favorite?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Garage Sale Treasures!

I just had to share this treasure trove of fabrics I bought...all for a dollar!  It is all now washed and folded and ready to play with.  There was an attic full of totes, all full of denim, gingham, pillow tucking etc.   Considering the abundance and the price I think I used a great deal of restraint, don't you.  I have been wanting to go to the fabric store and buy a few chunks of gingham so that I could create samples of chicken scratch and pin tucking.  This definitely saves me the trouble and money. 

I had purged my fabric stash so I could have more room and had it boxed up to take for the 'stash dash' at the CQ retreat I will be attending later this week.  I guess I took care of the empty space.  I really can't wait to get started!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

CQ Color Studies and CQ Retreat Prep

The CQ Retreat I signed up for months ago is nearing.  It will be my first retreat so I am very excited.  Since it is in the KC area I will be able to drive which will be even better especially since I have someone (Gayle) riding with me which will make the trip a pleasure.  The rumor is that we will (maybe) have time to sit, stitch and relax at various times throughout the retreat.  In preparation for that I have some small projects I will be taking with me including the three small - 6" - hearts for an on-going color study I am doing.  With so many talented CQ artists in my midst I am confident I will receive lots of valuable input in the event I get stuck on what to do.  I really can't wait to meet these ladies, many of whom I have become acquainted with on-line and have great respect for.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New 2015 Crazy Quilt Calendar Just Released!

The new calendar is out and I am honored to say one of my blocks is included.  Pamela of Kitty and Me asked if I would be willing to work up a block for November to be part of the 2015 calendar she was working on.  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  The most difficult part was creating a November block that didn't scream Thanksgiving since that is how I am geared.  Fall is one of my favorite times of the year so I just gathered fabrics that were warm and comforting.  (Of course I had to include purples).

When I think of November I think of all I have to be thankful for and Fall harvest.  Living in the midwest state of Iowa pumpkins, sunflowers, colored corn, pussy willows, spider webs and wildflowers all come to mind.  I hope you enjoy every month of this calendar!  I haven't seen all the blocks yet, but of the artists I know creating blocks for it I'm sure you won't be disappointed.  Below are some close-ups of my block...

Here is a listing of all the designers who have participated:

Mary Ann Richardson
Nicki Lee Seavey
Maria Mulder
Kathy Shaw
Pat Winter
Cathy Kizerian
Brenda Sandusky
Gerry Krueger
Terri Lee Takacs
Betty Pillsbury
Connie Eyberg
Allison Aller
Pamela Kellogg

To find links to their blogs etc. and how to order your own calendar, visit Pamela's blog at or a calendar can be ordered by going directly to

I've also just listed some more jewelry on my Etsy shop.  I hope you will take a look.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Block 46 Updated and a Before and After

First my 'before and after' transformation.  I had purchased these stocking holders for the mantle at an after Christmas sale.  I am not one that favors shiny brass but thought I could deal with it during the holidays.  I then needed a new kitchen light fixture and found one with a shape I sort of liked that cost me all of $5.00.  Unfortunately it was shiny brass too so I was on a quest for a way to transform it.  I tried sanding it but couldn't manage to breach the finish.  With nothing really to lose, I bought a can of Rust-oleum Universal Formula Metallic Paint & Primer in One.  I experimented on the stocking holder first and was pretty pleased with the results.  This color is Flat Chestnut but as you can see has a slight sheen.  I used it on the light fixture with good results.  As soon as I get it wired I will share photos.

My mind is full of ideas.  I keep looking around at all the items I could transform!

This is the same block I shared recently.  It looked too 'boxy' to me so I added a couple of rows of buttonhole stitching (facing each other) within the red block, adding French knots along one row.  Now I'm done again.