Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Handpiecing ... Etc.

Lately, I've been dedicating most of my free time to the CQBC, and my hand piecing is on hold for the moment. Few weeks ago I took a few pictures of the tools/supplies I'm using for hand piecing.
Cookie Jar Pup was a bit overwhelmed by all these items, but really there's nothing much to it; a Clover magnetic pin holder with Clover fine patchwork pins, Sewline glue pen and fabric pencil, Clover needle threader, Omnigrid quarter inch rulers, leather thimble pads from the Colonial Needle, a Clover finger pressing tool, size 11 Foxglove Cottage straw needles, Mettler silk finished cotton thread, and Fons & Porter's seam ripper.  The Clover ring thread cutter and the black leather thimble are used occasionally. 
The fabrics are a mix. I think most of them are by Sandy Gervais, Fig Tree, or 3 Sisters, but I'm not really sure... it's been awhile since they became part of my stash. If you recognized them please give me some insight! ;-)
I already posted about the scissors previously (here), so won't go into details on this post. Trying to keep all tidy and at hand can be challenging. I really wanted a Bionic Gear Bag and I even got the pattern, but the dynamics between my sewing machine and I are practically non-existent at the moment. While waiting for a reply regarding having one custom made, a trip to Target took place and I found this handy dandy cosmetic/toiletry bag (traincase) that looked like a good candidate,... and I was right! 
I was able to fit everything I need for hand piecing as you can see above, plus a few other things. On a separate plastic zippered pouch are my scraps of fabric, template material, and quilt block paper pattern. 
It fits nicely inside the cosmetic bag, on top of everything else, as you can see below. This little toiletry bag has proven to be just what I needed without having to dig deep in my pocket! 
I'll still love to have a Bionic Gear Bag, perhaps when I master up boldness to sew one for myself. Having one custom made can be a bit costly, and rightly so, since there are so many steps to it. Perhaps one of you will like to trade with me, you could sew a BGB for me and I could hand embroider a few kitchen towels or quilt blocks for you ;-). I think a BGB bag will be perfect for keeping english paper piecing projects!
This toiletry will remain my designated hand piecing bag ;-). I have grown fond of it! It fits a lot, zips up nicely, and keeps its shape. I love having everything tidy and in place!
I must keep focus on the Crazy Quilting class, especially since I am so close to completing it, but having said that.... can't wait to keep working on a few more hand pieced blocks and my other hand embroidery projects!
Until next time!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

CQBC Progress Update: Silk Ribbon

Today I completed one more task, woven roses! These roses were a joy to stitch, especially since I was a bit familiar with the "spider web" (aka: woven wheel, woven rose) stitch. Working it with ribbon, instead of embroidery thread, creates a lovely dramatic look.
My previous task was to do a SRE (Silk Ribbon Embroidered) Iris, pictured below.
The Irises were also a joy to stitch! I need more practice, of course, but overall I'm very happy with my very first experience in working silk ribbon embroidery. Kathy is very thorough in giving us direction, instructions, constructive criticism, and encouraging support... a great teacher, indeed!

I'm thrilled that, thanks to this class, I was finally able to conquer the fear of working SRE (Silk Ribbon Embroidery)! About 6 years ago I acquired quite a few SRE books and a nice variety of silk ribbons in order to teach myself to do silk ribbon embroidery, along with a few books on Crazy Quilting... long story short, I ended up detaching all the ribbon and all the SRE books, only kept a couple of books on CQ. This form of needlework art was always in the back of my mind, and I'm so glad to be giving it a go at the moment!
The upcoming tasks will only get better; more SRE, beading, and embellishments. Can't wait! In the meantime, maybe I'll work on some of my current projects.
Until next time!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Puppy's Vintage Coffee Grinder

This was my last "hush-hush" project. 
Stitched with love for a dear friend!
I'm so happy that my friend liked it! Posting it here in order to add it to my needlework record keeping,... record that I keep by means of this blog, a fact well known by some of you ;-).
This design is part of vintage Vogart "Pups and Puns" for the kitchen no.271, and the embroidery was done with Presencia perlé cotton size 8.
Stitching this cute face was my favorite part! 
A few other "hush-hush" embroider projects are about to begin brewing. 
Until next time!

PS: Soon another update on my CQ Basics Class.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Embroidered Pictures & Patchwork

I've been looking for this book for awhile, and finally was able to find it at a reasonable price from an Amazon seller from the UK.
It arrived in two weeks and was in better condition than stated in the listing, to my delight. Here are a few peeks of "Embroidered Pictures & Patchwork" by Priscilla M. Warner.
An embroidery sampler. To practice the various stitches that will be helpful to know in order to make the book's main project.
Here is the only picture in the book portraying the book's main project. It's a English Paper Pieced quilt, using scraps of fabric basted to hexagon shapes, with quite a few embroidered hexagons.
Do you see that subtitle under Patchwork, it reads: "Advantages Of Hoarding... ", LOL. I guess hoarding fabric has been around for many years ;-). This book is a 2nd edition from 1960, the 1st edition was published in 1950. So you see, hoarding fabric could be a good thing! 
The designs are really cute, perfect for making projects for little ones. There is another hard to find book by Priscilla M. Warner that I will love to add to my collection, it is entitled "Embroidery Mary". I haven't seen it available at this moment, and if it does come up it might cost an arm and a leg. Anyways, I'm glad I was able to find this one!
What hard to find item(s) do you like to collect?

Until next time!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CQBC Progress

I finally made some progress on my Crazy Quilting Basics Class!
(Class is hosted by Kathy Shaw.)
Above is the beginning of Task no.5, after adding the basic seam markings. In this particular class we have learned how to make and use seam templates. 
After the basic seam markings are embroidered in the corresponding seams, we have to add combination stitches to the basic seams. Later, on of of the upcoming tasks, I'll be adding other types of embellishments to these seams.
This is the fun part! At this stage, I'm mainly using Perle Cotton no.12, and for french knots 2 strands of Color Variations DMC.
However, half way my 3rd seam, I did get a tiny bit tired of making french knots. 
A much needed break from embroidering french knots was in place. This is how my block looks so far with today's progress. It's resting on my needlework desk waiting until I find a few more minutes to sit and stitch. I will love to finish this task before the upcoming weekend. We'll see!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Throwback Tuesday: This Little Piggy Went To The Market

Miss Piggy was stitched few years ago, more precisely four years ago in 2010, shortly after I got the book. It was a very quick and simple embroidery project, the kind that makes you smile every time you look at it. 
I used the pattern provided in the "Embroidery Craft: Stitching through the Seasons" book by Vicki Haninger. This book is a lovely book with a warm vintage charm to it. It for sure is a pick-me-upper in days like this one filled with nostalgia. 
As you can see, I haven't done anything with her yet. Perhaps she could fit on a small quilt among the hand pieced blocks I'm slowly working on, so I may have to stitch a few other blocks -eventually- to even things out a bit ...hmmm, we'll see. 
What I should be focusing on is on my CQ block Task 5. I'm sure hopping to be back on track once I'm able to shake off the blues.

Non-affiliated links:
Embroidery Craft book on Amazon (nice preview).
Embroidery Craft book on Vicki's blog (nice introduction and previews here and here).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Detaching Soon

I think that finally this month I'll start detaching on my Etsy shop. All these books- and perhaps a few more- need a new home! Most of the listings will be between $3, $5, $7,  some others (like booklets, magazines, patterns, etc...) between $1 and $3 without shipping. If anyone is interested, but do not want to use Etsy, feel free to inquire on this post comment section. 
Have a great week ahead!

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