Sunday, December 31, 2006

I got it at Ross

I'm on the computer and I look down and Madie has something on her beard I start laughing! She's always getting stuff on her beard and we just think it's hilarious the best part is she looks at us like 'why are you laughing?'! This one is even funnier because if you look it's a price sticker for Ross for $1.99 (compare at $4)! Hey you all better get down to your local Ross and pick up a Mini-Schnauzer! They are wonderful for laughs!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has a wonderful new year full of health! Speaking of health, I've joined and have found it very helpful in my beginning my journey to healthiness! (I've already lost 2 pounds!) It's totally free and helps to motivate, support, and teach you what is healthy. I love it and even though this holiday season I messed up more than once I've learned at SparkPeople NOT to give up but to pick back up and move forward, learn from my mistakes so I can aim to do better next time. I want to get and maintain a healthy weight and create lasting healthy habits. Just click on the link below to check it out or join for yourself.
Free Online Diet Plan at

Friday, December 29, 2006

Winter Fashion

Here is our dogs China and Madie in their brand new outerwear hand made by me and my hubby! Aren't they so cute! We worked together and finished them up in about an hour. Madie's got the jacket and China has a matching scarf. You can Click Here if you'd like to see their Winter 2006 Fashion Show and Faux Paux on their blog.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Stitching

This Christmas I worked on projects for my nephew Baby J (brother Aaron & Echo's baby). I had found remnant of some green fleece on sale and bought it to create 2 baby blankets. Here is one of the blankets I made. I hand sewed the hems of the fleece blanket since it was small and fleece tends to warp out of shape with the sewing machine. Then I took some tracing paper and traced the letters I found here and pinned it down and stitched it on. I found cute patterns in the book Sublime Stitching and traced the spaceship and planet from it onto tracing paper and stitched those on as well. Then I tore away the paper and stylized the spaceship with some stars, dots, and stripes.

This picture of me is on Sunday, Christmas Eve, after church working on the embroidery. I finished the blanket on Christmas.

The "grow" is stitched onto a onesie for Baby J. I used some lightweight stabilizer basted onto the back and then trimmed down when finished embroidering. I made it on the 26th and finished just in time for Aaron and Echo to take home with them.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

His and Hers

Here is the last of my hand made Christmas gifts. These are for my brother Aaron and his wife Echo. Echo reads my blog so I couldn't put these up until after Christmas!
The pattern is from one of the iron on transfers from Aunt Martha's that I got at WalMart. The pattern is transferred onto some eggshell/ecru colored Egyptian cotton pillowcases. I used DMC floss in black and purple. One strand for the stem stitch for the thin lines and outlines, then I used 3 strands for filling in the satin stitch. 'His' is black with a purple heart and 'Hers' is purple with a touch of green (1 strand DMC floss) for the stem and leaves (stem stitch and lazy daisy) and some light lavender flowers in 4mm silk ribbon french knots with a yellow colonial knot center done in 2 strands DMC floss.

Monday, December 18, 2006

In The Garden RR: Lillian's block

I finally received the ribbon I had run out of in the mail, so this weekend I finished up the last of the leaves and then added Swarovski crystal beads and some bigger glass seed beads to add texture to the design. Now to send it off!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Godey's Lady's Fashion

Aren't these illustrations beautiful? I found them at the On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics at the University of Arizona. Here is a link to the page I found them at. Scroll down until you see Fashion Plate or Godey's Lady's Book. Just click on the Sample Page and then right-click and save the image.
I just think these would make beautiful fabric prints for CQ or backgrounds for blogs among many other uses I'm sure you can think of.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Old Embroidery Articles

Here is a link to this interesting old Ladies' Home Journal (1898) page Click Here. The link is to a PDF file at the On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics at the University of Arizona. I also thought this Click Here (also PDF) one was really neat as well, it is an article from Needlecraft Magazine on embroidered gifts (November 1912) and it had a neat little idea of tucking away little embroidered gifts you make throughout the year so that when you need a gift you already have one made. It's just so neat to read the old text. It's funny how embroidery was so commonplace because now-a-days you rarely find someone who embroiders! They used to embroider and monogram everything. I read in one of the articles that any young girl who values her possessions will take the time to nicely embroider her monogram on it. It's hard to imagine kids these days monogramming anything!
You can click on these photos and save them as well. The 3 sets of monograms are useable.
I hope that I haven't infringed on any copyrights or anything like that. If I have please let me know and I will modify as needed.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Embroidery Designs

Hi all I just found this site full of embroidery designs just waiting to be used! It's got all kinds of things in there, like alphabets, flowers, and holiday designs. Check it out. Ladies In Red

This heart design is in their Valentines section. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Brother Isaac's Gift

This monogram is a last minute one, since my brother Isaac will be at Dad's for Christmas I figured I better not leave him out! So I picked this monogram since he loves medieval style, out of the Victorian Alphabets, Monograms and Names for Needleworkers from Godey's Lady's Book and Peterson's Magazine. I scanned it, resized it, printed it, and then traced onto the pillowcase with a water erasable pen. Then I tried a new stitch! The split stitch, I had watched a tutorial on how to do the split stitch here, and felt that it would be the perfect stitch to get this monogram done so I can send the gifts off to Dad's. I used 2 strands blue DMC floss. I was going to do the stab method but after 2 or 3 stitches it was just too slow so I switched to the sewing method and I really enjoyed it since it seemed faster and I could get on a roll with it. I stitched each section by first stitching the outline and then stitching round and round working in towards the center until it was all filled up. I finished stitching the monogram in 2 and a half hours! I just sat and focused on it since I wanted to complete it last night. The split stitch also gives a unique texture and look to the monogram.

I had been wondering if this was an 'I' or a 'J' since the older monograms have one of those missing. Either would have been fine since they are both his monograms but I found this today that has the full alphabet and I now know that it is an 'I'! Whew!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Johnson "J" Towel Gift Set

Finished! My Johnson 'J' set for my Dad and Joyce Hope is finally complete and ready to send.
Click Here to see how I made the smaller ones.
Click Here to see the 6 inch monogram.
Click Here to see their bright bathroom the set was made for!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Gifts

I worked on my Christmas gift for my Dad and his wife, Joyce Hope. They love bright colors so I had the idea to create a set of hand towels that I knew they both would love with the Johnson 'J' on them. Click Here to see their bathroom! I started in July, but that 6 inch floral 'J' was so much work and the terrycloth so hard to stitch on, there was just no way I was going to do 3 more! So I came up with the genius idea to make the other 3 smaller letters on the band area so I drew up a few ideas for J's and this is what I settled on. (I had been doodling in my visual journal with J's just the other day so this one was already in there and I just ran with it for this idea) I took the air-erasable pen and drew the 'J' and then stem stitched it on. I'm going to do 3 five petaled french knot flowers on each 'J' with some ribbon stitch leaves tucked in with them and 3 on the end of the 'J'. This way it won't take me near as long to finish, and it's a wonderful matching set.

In The Garden RR: Lillian's block

Well I was finishing up my work on Lillian's block and planning on sending it on on Monday, when I ran into a little problem...I ran out of the ribbon!!! The color I was using for the leaves was all used up, so I got on-line and ordered some more from Thread Art. Now it's not like this was a tiny bit of ribbon that I didn't pre-plan for or anything. If you have bought the spools of ribbon from Thread Art before you know that they are 10 meter spools...and I opened it new when I started working on her block! I also used some on Kari's block though, and I used it in the other motif on Lillian's block as well. I thought I had enough or I would have ordered more last week! I'm so sorry Lillian for holding up your block until the ribbon arrives.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Windsong Jewels: My work on Kari's Block

Well I've been working and working, stitching and beading, and here is the finished block! I hope it is not too cluttered! Really this is the first CQ block that I've completed embellishing! Just click on any of the photos to see them closer.

All the larger roses are spider-web roses, and the smaller filler roses are running stitch roses, which I zigzagged from edge to edge while doing the running stitch down the ribbon.
Then I used french knot flowers for filling and the little buds are twisted chain stitch. All the leaves are ribbon stitch, except the branches on the curved seam which are padded straight stitches.

The gold seam is an alternating buttonhole stitch with lazy daisy's on both sides and a gold seed bead at the tips.

The purple seam is french knots using silk chenille to make the fuzzy dots and lazy daisy's in sets of 3 with seed beads in the middles.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Monogrammed 'C'

Here is the finished monogrammed pillowcase for my dear friend Christina who is in Iraq. It's a nice green flannel pillowcase.
For the verse I took an air-erasable pen and drew it out and then stitched over it with the stem stitch.
The verse is Psalm 4:8 says
"I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Windsong Jewels: My work on Kari's Block

Here's some more work on Kari's block! I hand dyed the lace motif in antique gold and added a glitz button and glass leaf beads to the middle. Also I added some amber glass seed beads to the spokes. My goal was to make a focal point so than in the yellow area I can create an opposite focal motif in silk ribbon embroidery. I'm still going to add some seam treatments and I know it's a little out of order but hey this is CQ after all and there really aren't any rules! Heeheehee!
I also added blue running stitch roses in 4mm and ribbon stitch leaves in 2mm silk ribbon.

Floral Motif

Here is a close up of the floral motif I created on Lillian's block.
I just love how it turned out. It has spider web roses in 3 different colors of 4mm silk ribbon. Clematis flowers made out of ribbon stitches in purple 4mm silk ribbon. Little yellow french knot flowers which are made by making a french knot with 1 wrap and loosely tightening with 3 wrap french knots in 1 strand DMC floss for the center. I made stems using the stem stitch and 1 strand silk floss and added leaves with 4mm silk ribbon in ribbon stitches. The little rosebuds are made from the twisted chain stitch in 4mm with a fly stitch in 4mm green worked around them.
I added clear swarski crystals to the roses as dew. Also I added amber glass seed beads to the middle of the clematis flowers. Then I added some larger amber beads and some small clear AB seed beads as dew drops near the rosebuds.

I took the air-erasable pen and kind of put circles where I thought roses would look nice then I drew little ovals to point towards the other area of the block which became the rose buds. Then I kinda felt where the clematis flowers would go and drew that in. I liked what I saw so I got some floss and made the spokes for the roses, but then I was on a role and went ahead and made the roses. Then I took a chance and instead of making the lazy daisy flowers I tried doing the ribbon stitch and ended up with clematis flowers which I like way better than the old daisy flowers. Then the next day I looked though JBM's floral stitches book and found the french knot flower and made those, I tried to make them a little looser and free so they'd look like a filler flower more. Then I drew in where the stem would go and the smaller stems I wanted to get them pointing in good directions and proportionate to the bouquet. Then when I felt it was right I stitched those in then added the leaves but I realized I needed more stems on the big long stem in order for it too be more realistic for roses so I drew in what I thought would look nice, stitched it and added the leaves. Then I added the little buds and the fly stitches on them. Then I went though what beads I thought would look nice, did a lot of bead tryouts before deciding which ones to use and where. Then I stitched them down and it was done!

My secret to making motifs is to get the foundational elements in and the filling stuff just comes together after that. To me the main flowers, and stems are foundations then secondary flowers after that, then I add the filler flowers and leaves in around them.

Friday, December 01, 2006

In The Garden RR: Lillian's block

Last night and this afternoon I worked on adding some beads to the painted lace and then on a new motif that would help bring balance to the block. I also added beads to the SRE motif. I still haven't put the leaves on the vine yet but it is so easy to do that I figured I'd better go with my idea for the SRE motif before I forgot. I love how it turned out! It's like I followed a pattern but I didn't! I'm so proud of it! I even tried 2 new stitches (flowers) on it too. The french knot flower, which is the little yellow ones, and the twisted chain stitch as some rose buds! I love those little twisted chain stitch rose buds and I am thinking of using them for my next "A rose by any other name" challenge. They really make the perfect little bud and I am very impressed with them. I learned them in Sharon's Encrusted CQ online class. They are very easy too.
The motif has roses and purple clematis and it's like a wonderful bouquet right out of my garden! I think I want to make something similar on a jacket collar!
Click on the photos to see closer.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

In The Garden RR: Lillian's block and Lace Painting

Last night I worked on Lillian's block. I'm creating a nice vining motif and I also painted some lace. I had a hard time with the lace painting since I've only hand dyed ribbon and have never done the painting style. At first I didn't even use a brush but then I went and looked up a tutorial and went back and tried again. I still didn't like the results so I went to try and subdue it with an over dye of antique gold but that just took out the dye that was there, which was a good thing since I didn't like it anyway! LOL So I got to start over with it and paint very carefully so that the dye wouldn't run and this is the final results. I like it now. All my attempts took me hours though! LOL Here is a list of tips I had to learn the hard way!

Tips for first time lace painters:
  1. Use a brush (with a nice fine tip)
  2. Less is more, you can always go back and touch up if it's too little. Too much dye will start to seep and run into other areas.
  3. It's better if your lace isn't sopping wet, squeeze it out between a towel so that it's just damp.
  4. Dainty little taps work well to control where your dye is going, tap more in the middle when the brush is fully loaded.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Windsong Jewels: My work on Kari's Block

Here is what I worked on last night. This seam isn't finished yet. I'm planning on adding some running stitch roses with some leaves to the points of the scallops. I worked the chain stitch in scallops along the seam in a variegated hand dyed sewing thread I had bought at, then I added these interesting amber glass beads. I guesstimated with the scallops because I couldn't mark on the velvet and I didn't want to risk the chalky kind not coming out good. So they are a little crooked but not so noticeable that it's a bad thing...just a mark of it being hand done! Adds character!
Hey you all see that little tiny seam of silver fabric down in the right hand corner? I was wondering what I should do with it, if anything. What would you do? Leave it? Any idea's? I fiddled with putting a button or something but it all just looks weird so I'm thinking of leaving it alone and letting it just be.

Work In Progress

I finished the satin stitch the other night all I have left is the little embellishing design to fill in. I need to finish and send by 4 Dec. to get to Christina in Iraq by Christmas. Think I'm going to make it??? Depends on if I spend my time wisely! LOL

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Windsong Jewels: My work on Kari's Block

Last night I worked one of Kari's blocks that I picked to embellish for our DYB RR (Do Your Block). I added some little branches using 4mm silk ribbon padded straight stitches. Also some little round spacers with a seed bead in the middle for little flowers. I have to admit this is one of the first RR's I've done and I am so scared to mess up her block! I'm just glad I've been taking Sharon B's Encrusted CQ online class! I didn't think I would get nervous or scared but now that I have the first block in hand I'm totally worried! LOL I'm going to take it one step at a some more seam treatments, and think about some motifs to embroider. My hubby keeps telling me, just do what you like and what you think looks good because that's the whole point of doing a RR, to have other's work on your blocks. So with that in mind, I'm trying to relax, have fun and embellish how I think it would look nice!

What I'm Working On

Here are some monogrammed pillowcases I'm making for Christmas presents for friends and family.

The purple J is on a green fleece pillowcase for my sister Joyce.

The green G is on a pink fleece pillowcase for my Mother-In-Law Gloria.

The green C is still in progress and it will be for my friend Christina.

The finished ones were done one each on the airplane rides to and from visiting family. Each took about 4 to 4 and a half hours to complete, and they are about 3 inches tall. The little flowers are 4mm silk ribbon done with padded straight stitches.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A heart my hubby made!

Hi all! While on my trip my hubby made me this CQ heart as a surprise! Isn't it great!?! He got some fabrics at WalMart's remnant bin and wanted to try making a heart for me. I think it is very good for his first ever CQ heart! He said he made it so I could embellish it!

Monday, November 13, 2006

On Vacation

Hi everyone! I'm going to be on vacation visiting family this week. So I won't be posting, until I return. I'm taking embroidery projects to work on so when I come back home you all can see what I worked on.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

White on White CQ Block

Last night I worked on my block for the Encrusted CQ class. I added more vines and also straight stitches over the braid. I also added a fuzzy yarn laced in the lace, and I added a tiny bit of satin stitching to to top left lace. I'm thinking of adding some sort of flower to the middle of the holes. I'm not sure but I'm thinking a beaded flower or pretty beads, but we are not to the beading lesson yet so I'm still holding out! Watch out because when beadin' time comes they are gonna be all over this block!

Friday, November 10, 2006

In The Garden RR

Here is my block for our "In The Garden" RR over at Crazy Quilting Sisters. Our RR is inspired from the hymn "In The Garden". I have never heard this hymn but the words were found and I really love the second verse, which this block matches! Here is the words to the second verse:

"He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing"