Monday, April 11, 2011

Embellished Block for Sendai

It was such a joy to work on this block and I did some of my favorite motifs and seam treatments. I cannot make a block without roses - that's just a given.

I've added a tiny Swarovski butterfly necklace on the lower right side of the block.

I enjoy the French knot roses and have made these out of 4mm silk ribbon. The fly stitch fans are made with Kreinik fine braid.

The pyramids are stitched with Kreinik thread and Carole Samples Dream-A-Seam Templates. When you want to have a seam treatment evenly placed and uniform, these templates are a wonderful tool.

Tiny clusters of grapes are also a favorite seam treatment and I've used a grouping of these. I took a beading class in Omaha, Nebraska quite a few years ago and learned how to made the tiny inchworm. He's a definite favorite.

The little yellow bee is a vintage bead and I've used Kreinik Easter Grass for the wings. I love the iridescent look it gives.

I've added a beaded dragonfly as well along with a tiny branch of leaves and lucite flowers.

I loved making this block and with it I extend my prayers for the people of Japan.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I've finishing piecing my block and started some of the embellishing. Let me begin by saying I hope it's acceptable. I have a very hard time working with jewel tones and I'm hoping my yellow, topaz and greens will fit in.

I had a gorgeous antique kimono piece that was given to me years ago and I wanted to use it for the center focal point. I remembered a block my dear friend Julie had done for an issue of CQMagOnline and decided to use that for my inspiration in piecing the block.

It's a simple matter of drawing a puzzle. First determine the size of your center focal piece. Whether it's a piece of fabric or a silk print as Julie has used, make sure you allow at least 1/4" around the motif for your seam allowance.

I knew Leslie had asked for a 9" block so I cut my drawing paper that size and centered my motif. Using my ruler I drew various size pieces starting at the motif and ending at the edge of my block.

The next step is numbering your pieces - that's really important. I marked the outside edges of the pieces and then cut them out. You will need to allow a seam allowance for all sides except those you marked as outer edges.

Using a 9" square piece of flannel I stitched the motif down with a basting stitch and then started putting my fabric puzzle together using the sew and flip method. I always iron each piece as it's added. I attached the first and last piece together by turning under the seam allowance and appliqueing it in place.

All that's left is turning under the seam allowance circling your motif and appliqueing in place. When you've pressed it really well your block is ready to embellish. I've used a piece of tatting followed by a beaded Mokuba trim around the center piece.

Now all that's left is the fun part of embellishing. I don't have a lot of area to work with since we are only embellishing the inner 8" but that's no problem.

I find such pleasure in doing special projects like this and encourage all of you to join in. Read my post below and visit Leslie's blog to find all the details.

Note: I am a dedicated user and true lover of Kreinik threads. I was so honored when Dena asked that I write a guest article for their blog. I invite you to log on and read my article. Be sure to bookmark and read the Kreinik Thread Blog routinely - you will find some wonderful tips and also be the first to find out about new products. I love the Easter Grass!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Giving from the Heart

I have always found the blessings are abundant when you give of your time and talent for others in need. Leslie of Pinyon Creek Stitchin'! is coordinating "Hearts and Hands for Sendai." Please log onto her blog and read all about this wonderful project and the requirements. Be sure to arrow down and read the March 14th. post for all the details. Please consider joining in and contributing a block.

Here is a portion of Leslie's post that tells a little about the project:

"This project will be dedicated to helping those affected by the earthquake tsunami disaster in Japan. Per Hideko Ishida's request, all quilts will become a part of an exhibit in Japan where money will be raised by viewing the quilts. Ultimately, these quilts may be auctioned and the proceeds given to a charity designated by Hideko Ishida, our Japanese CQ Sister! We will keep everyone informed as time progresses. This project is open to the quilting community at large!"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Crazy Quilting in the Texas Hill Country

Myself along with several of my crazy quilt "sisters" were invited to spend Spring Break in the Hill Country of Texas. Julie of Creative Blessings of Joy planned a fabulous stitching retreat at her brother & sister-in-law's gorgeous home. Built on the top of one of the hills, it overlooks the lake and the scenery is breathtaking.

We have these retreats down to a fine art and there is only one thing we can do better... create a mess! On the right is Jan showing one of the blocks she is currently working on. As you can see, we come prepared with our stitching paraphernalia. Julie, seated, and Linda, standing, are both taking a break in this photo.

The photo on the left shows Gumbo giving Julie a "high five." I could fill this post with pictures of this sweet dog. You can probably tell I love animals and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with Gumbo, the family's beautiful Australian Labradoodle.

We spent the day shopping in Kerrville and Fredericksburg and Julie,
Lynnis and Jan needed a nice dip in the hot tub to soothe their tired muscles. Gumbo, is waiting patiently to be splashed in the face.

Their Mountain Laurel was in full bloom and absolutely beautiful. The antique roses were just beginning to bud out and I found one partially opened bud. Spring is coming to Texas!

A special "thank you" to Julie's wonderful family for their gracious hospitality. We had a wonderful time stitching in their lovely home and enjoying all the beauty of the Texas Hill Country.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I wanted to express my sincere thanks for the wonderful gifts I received from this year's One World One Heart event. If you have not heard of this yearly event please check Lisa's blog, The Whimsical Bohemian, for more information. On the top right sidebar you will see a place to sign in.

I've participated for the last two years and have met so many wonderful and talented bloggers. It's fun to both give and receive. Thank you, Lisa, for creating this event and for the wonderful opportunity it provides.

Can you believe I was the lucky recipient of four gifts? Each one is a treasure and I feel so very fortunate. The beautiful smoky quartz bracelet and handmade bag on the left is a gift from Diane of Lavender Dreams Thank you once again, Diane.

Pictured on the right are a number of lovely hand-crafted beads by Jennifer of Jewelry by Jennifer Pride I will enjoy using them, Jennifer - many thanks!

I was amazed at the bead work on this beautiful doll. This was a gift from Dot of Speediebeadie . She loves her new home and has her very own place of importance. Thank you Dot!

And last, but certainly not least, is this gorgeous hand-crafted journal by Jen of Jenxo. This is great for drawing my designs and I will use it often. Thank you again Jen for your generosity.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saying Goodbye to our Mary

Our crazy quilt group has lost a dear and talented "sister." Mary was a gifted artist and her talent unequaled. She was able to create in any form of needle art and loved to recreate the beauty around her onto fabric. She was a gifted artist in oils as well and her paintings are magnificient.

Her last crazy quilt was "The Mighty Oak." Her inspiration was taken from one of the Piecemaker Calendars and she added her very own touch of Texas in each of the blocks. She entered our local Quilt Show the year it was completed and won every ribbon. It was a true work of art!

We are planning an article for in memory of Mary and have permission to include photos of "The Mighty Oak." You will want to log on in April - you will truly be inspired as we have been. We will miss Mary but her presence lives on through all the many treasures she has created.

CQMagOnline is a quarterly publication and absolutely free to anyone who would like to look through the articles. Just click on the live link and then "current issue." I would be remiss if I didn't thank Rissa, our editor, for her dedication. It has been a wonderful resource for crazy quilting for many years

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And The Winners Are..........

What fun it has been participating again this year in the One World One Heart event. It's with a great deal of pleasure that I announce my winners:

Maggie R. with Magpie's Collectibles is the winner of my silk ribbon embroidered and beaded necklace.

Laura with Ragamuffin Primitives has won the beaded bracelet and earrings.

A special thank you to Lisa for organizing and hosting this event. Although this is the last year for the OWOH, I am really excited to read about the Our World Our Art. To receive a piece of art created by the artist is truly special. I look forward to 2012.

Thanks to everyone who visited my blog and left such wonderful comments. I hope you will visit often.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One World One Heart - 2011

Welcome to my blog! I've been very negligent with my posting but Lisa's OWOH event has motivated me and I hope to do better.

My name is Barbara and I live on the Texas Gulf Coast. I am an avid crazy quilter with a special love for creating with silk. I write for, a quarterly publication for crazy quilters. I invite you to sit down with a nice cup of coffee and read the current issue. There are some wonderful projects and tutorials included in the January issue.

I would like to offer two prizes this year. The first one is a silk ribbon embroidered necklace stitched on black velvet. I've used a beaded peyote stitch for the bezel and bail. The necklace is made with vintage beads and Swarovski crystals. (I will edit and include a photo of the necklace when I take another photo.)

My second prize is a heart bracelet and earrings that I've beaded. (earrings not shown)

I invite you to leave a comment in order to enter my drawing. Please make sure I have a way to contact you by email should you be one of my winners. The event is open to active bloggers. The drawings will be held on February 17th. and I will notify the two winners by email and also post your names on my blog.

I encourage all of you to visit Lisa Swifka's website and participate in this year's event. It's a wonderful way to meet new friends and renew old acquaintances.