Thursday, November 7, 2013

* Pinterest findings for future use*

heart from Barbara Digiovanni's blog

flower spray from Mustrilaegas

butterflies from

cool dragonfly from urban threads

swirly bird from Milkcoffee etsy

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I have decided to join the CrazyQuilt Journal Project 2014

I am nervously excited!!

I need to think about project ideas.  What do I want to end up with?  Just a bunch of pretty squares that will end up in a box somewhere in my house?  Or do I want something in the end that can be displayed?  A small wall hanging?  A medium size quilt for display on my couch.

Hmmmmm, I need to do some thinking! :)

What do I want to learn this year? More stitches?  Do I want to practice just a few stitches each month and thus really get some good experience with each?  Or should I have no boundries?  I have a feeling it will be a little of each.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Teal Aqua Turquoise Round Robin
~ PJ's block ~
added the peacock and seam treatment to it's left.  I enjoyed making this peacock and learned a lot.

here is a closeup

I used metalic thread, regular DMC thread, and seed beads for this project.  
I started by drawing the bird with chalk, then outlining the shape using a stem stitch.  For the feathers, I added a row of dark green French knots, with a row of metalic white french knots, and a seed bead.
The "hair" along the stem of the feather was made with straight stitch using a metalic rayon type thread.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Teal Aqua Turquoise Round Robin
~ Donna D's Block ~

here's a close up of my stitching

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quilt Squares I've made for The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project

Please see my previous posts about this ongoing project or visit the website Remember the Mothers

~ Heidi Lewis ~
click here to see it on the Safe Motherhood Quilt website

Nicole Renee Walacavicz Clatterbuck

click here to see it on the website

Jackie Novak

click here to see it on the Safe Motherhood Quilt website

other blocks I have done

Mud Runs

Tough Mudder NE 2012 crew
~ me on the right ~

What's a mud run you ask?  It is an obstacle course with lots of mud!  The distance varies anywhere from 3 miles to marathon distances.  I tend to go for ones around 5 miles or less because I'm in it for the fun mostly and because that's all my old knees can handle!

I have 2 Tough Mudders (New England), 3 Ruckus events, 1 Spartan Sprint, and 2 Rugged Maniacs under my belt.  So I asked myself....what else can I add to that list???  Why a Spartan trifecta medal of course!!!

Tough Mudder NE 2011
~ eight foot wall ~

So, this year I have decided to try and acquire the Spartan trifecta medal!  That means I need to complete one of each of the 3 Spartan races:  sprint, super and a beast - with in one year!  Most of my crazy mud running friends have jumped on the bandwagon and are in it with me.  Erica won't be joining us because she doesn't want to over train cuz she has her sights set on a mid level triathalon - so impressive!!  The rest of us are signed up for the Spartan Super in Montreal on June 30th, the Spartan Sprint in Amesbury Ma on Aug 11 and the Spartan BEAST!!! on Sept 21 (I think that's the date, gotta double check).  We are very excited and not surprisingly a bit tentative for the BEAST.

Ruggged Maniac 2012
~ slide ~
~ low crawl under barbed wire ~

Spartan Super in Montreal on June 30th:  is a 8 mile course.  Although I think it will be closer to 10 miles.  Time will tell.  This year I hope to accomplish the rope climb. I was unable to do this obstacle:  I was too tired by the time I got to it in the past.  I have been working on strengthening my shoulders and upper body!!

I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blizzard of 2013 - Nemo

What else could I do while waiting out the 2013 Blizzard but quilting and embroidering? :)  I decided to make my very first ATCs (Artist trading cards).  These are so cute:  they are 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches.  The inspiration for these came from the blizzard:  We ended up getting 29 inches of snow!

here is one of the ATCs.

a closeup of one of the snowflakes

and a closeup of the second snowflake (Bullion knots, French Knots, fly stitch)
 using DMC thread and metallic thread and.  Further embellishments using some bead  trim.

Here are two more ATCs I made.  These are addicting!  
I am keeping the one on the right for my collection.
The other two are being traded and I can't wait to see what I get in return!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Teal Aqua Turquoise study- Crazy Quilting Group

I am excited to participate in my first Round Robin for the Crazy Quilt Newbee group!  The ladies are so friendly!  I feel fortunate to have found this group!

I am working on Lori's block first and after taking a look at it, I decided to focus on the Dragonfly fabric.  I plan on embellishing 2 of the dragonflies, each a bit differently to try and see what works best.  I hope Lori doesn't mind that I am using her block for my experimentation :)

For the outline I have couched 3 strands of DMC 964 using one strand of the lovely Pearlescent Effects #E966 also from DMC.  I just love the pearlescent effects thread for embellishments.  The results with this thread is just lovely! I do find that I need to use short stretches of this thread as it tends to kink a bit here and there.  I need to keep an eye on the tautness of the thread that is being couched.  It is obvious from these pictures that there is some slack here and there.

Each section of the dragonfly wing is filled with French Knots using 1 strand of thread of different shades of teal.  The front wing consists of DMC threads (not shiny) and the back wings consist of Guterman threads (shiny).  Although the Guterman threads are shiny and thus more pleasing to the eye, they are a pain to work with because they are so slippery.  I did not enjoy making the French knots with this thread. You can also see that some of the French Knots are not as tight as they ought to be.  I most likely would use them again for this kind of effect, but I would be saying a few choice words under my breath as I did so!  One little trick that seemed to help was to make a small stitch right after the french knot to anchor it.  That kept it from becoming loose.

finished outlining the other wings and started filling in with French Knots.
The head is filled in with a satin stitch and the eyes on the side of the head are made with a cast on stitch.
The body was made from beads and sequins.  The antennae were made with a stem stitch using pearlescent thread.
The first dragonfly is just about done!

I decided to embellish the second dragonfly's wings using a LATTICE stitch to  
make the wings appear more fragile.  The rest of the dragon fly was made just
 about the same as the first.  Let me know what you think!

here are the two finished dragon flies.

 Below is a seam treatment decorated with lazy daisy stitches with French Knots in centers, 
pistil stitch, buttonhole fans, and fly stitch secured with a French Knot

Below is another seam treatment consisting of lazy daisy chains, lazy daisy flowers and coral stitch.  

The cat tails were made with a stem stitch and Bullion stitches.  

here's the bottom, right-hand side of the block that I worked on.  
(The crocheted flower was already present)

hope you enjoyed this post!  Happy stitching!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Another quilt square for the SAFE MOTHERHOOD QUILT PROJECT

Click HERE for the link for the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project

Here is another quilt square I have made in memory of a mother 
who died due to a complication associated with child birth.

It is thought she died of a pulmonary embolism one 
day after giving birth to her daughter.  


 I found some fabric that had a floral column that drew my attention and I decided to use that for the quilt piece.  I cut it into strips.  I found a coordinating  piece of fabric that would go great in the middle and sewed that down with large straight stitches.  I then sewed the floral strips around it, mitering the corners.

Using  a variegated purple thread, I machined stitched some floral embroidery just outside
 the seams to bring it all together.  I then machine-stitched a small floral border using a 
variegated tan thread right at the purple/tan seam.
I added some faux pearls by hand -stitching French Knots at the center of each
 flower, using a pearlescence thread from DMC.

I added some fantasy flowers (chain stitch) using French knots for its center 
(two kinds of orange thread).  I used the Blanket stitch for the leaves.

here you can see some small flowers made with lazy daisy stitch (maroon thread) 
for the petals and  French knots for its middle (sky blue thread)

this store-bought butterfly goes beautifully with the piece.  I couldn't resist!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to grow plants from the foods you eat:

Apple tree - grow your own apple tree from an apple seed

Avocado - How to grow an avocado tree from a pit

Carrot fun - grow a carrot plant from a carrot top

Celery - grow celery

Scallions - grow scallions indefinitely!

Potatoes - grow them in trenches or towers and another version of growing in towers

Pumpkin - add soil to the pumpkin and watch nature take place!

Romaine Lettuce - same technique as celery

want to read more about it?  I found a book on amazon about it
Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Safe Motherhood Quilt Project


The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a national effort developed to draw public attention to the current maternal death rates, as well as to the gross underreporting of maternal deaths in the United States, and to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes since 1982.

Ina May Gaskin and one of the Safe Motherhood Quilt Panels


  • Why are maternal death rates under reported in the U.S? 
  • Why is there no consistent,  systematic way for documenting maternal deaths?
  • Why is the maternal death rate in other countries lower than in the US?  
  • This information needs to be assessed and analyzed in order to make policy and health-care related proposals to help prevent future pregnancy-related deaths and in turn decrease the maternal death rate!

The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project was founded by Ina May Gaskin, the mother of the U.S. modern midwifery movement over 10 years ago.    Ina May's vision was that each mother who died in childbirth since 1982 (the year after which  no improvement  occurs in maternal mortality) be commemorated with a unique quilt square.  To date, multiple Safe Motherhood Quilts have been made, each consisting of 20 unique squares.  Quilters around the country continue to  design and dedicate quilt squares to the memory of women in the U.S. who have  died of pregnancy-related causes.  The Safe Motherhood Quilt is the voice for women who can no longer speak for themselves.

  • At least 30 other countries have lower maternal death rates than the U.S.
  • There has been no reduction in the maternal death rate in the U.S. since 1982.
  • The CDC acknowledges that we have a massive problem of underreporting of maternal deaths in the U.S. and that our reported rate may be only 1/3 to 1/2 of the actual total number.  Maternal death rates are four times as high in the African-American community as in the Caucasian community.

  • There is no federal requirement that the states carry out a confidential review of all maternal deaths in order to be sure that all are counted, to analyze the principle causes of preventable deaths and to make policy recommendations to prevent such deaths in the future. In most countries with lower maternal death rates than ours, maternal deaths are systematically reviewed and there are lower levels of underreporting of such deaths than the CDC says we have in the U.S."

YouTube Videos
Ina May, first midwife to receive the award, speaks at the Right Livelihood Awards

Quilt blocks and Quilters
please contact me if you'd like your page linked here.

My quilt blocks: Agnes
Other quilter's blocks: Laura

I had the privelege to display a few panels at my local library 
for the month of June 2011

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mystery Piece

Bullion Knots
lime green - 4 wraps - 1 strand (Gutterman thread #7850)
very Dark Blue - 3 wraps -1 strand of Essenital Threads
blue - 3wraps - 1 strand DMC 820 (small circle of blue)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sampler - Bullion Knot

Fantasy Bullion Knot flower

I am trying out a fantasy Bullion Knot flower.  This is actually based upon something I saw on a CQ square (do you see it towards the bottom?) I saw on pinterest.
Each Bullion Knot has about 20-25 wraps on a milliner needle using 1 strand DMC floss.  The beginning and end of the Bullion Knot is very close together on the fabric, so when the thread is pulled through, this results in an arched effect.  The pearl like thread is a sparkly floss from DMC called Pearlescent Effects (E966) and I used 1 strand for the French Knot.  I still need to finish the French Knots.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Another Crazy Quilting diamond

This diamond was made for a project initated by the CQfornewbees group.
  It needed to be made with bright happy colors.  

Below is the top of the diamond. Because the blue fabric has butterflies on it, I decided to
try my hand at the Satin stitch and make a pretty butterfly.  
It didn't come out to bad, but I know I still need lots of practice.

The heart below is made using the Basque stitch and filled in with a Lattice stitch 
that is couched down with yellow thread at the intersections.  The yellow stitching
around the heart consists of lazy daisy stitch (3 leaves) and stem stitch (Curly "S').
The curly Ss are tiny and I just love the stem stitch with tiny stitches.  
I like how this RED heart looks on the green background.

I hope you've enjoy these photos!

My Embroidery Sampler
I've decided to finally make an embroidery sampler for myself to keep track of stitches and their uses, particularly ones that please me.  I won't be updating this blog very often as it is a "back burner" project but now that I've made this blog I will feel obligated to work on it periodically.

I started out with a good size piece of muslin that I've backed with Pellon Shape Flex (all purpose Woven fusible interfacing).  It is basically a piece of lightweight 100% cotton fabric with glue on it, allowing it to be attached to another piece of fabric (via ironing).   Just what i was looking for, nice and easy!  I found it at my local Joan's.

My first stitch was the French knot, and since I liked how my tree came out on the CQ diamond that was made for someone else, I decided I needed to have one of those lovely trees for myself. 

One thing I've discovered for myself is that the thickness of the needle affects the size of the knot.  I was using a very thin embroidery needle (size 11) and decided to try a betweens and, lo and behold, I like the look of the knot much better.  It comes out fatter, more pronounced.

I left the third branch empty on purpose because not only do I like the way the branch looks but I also wanted it for my future reference.  The branches almost disappear with all those French knots and it is hard to see what exactly I did to make the branch.

 I fooled around with colors as you will see.

This heart is made using the BASQUE stitch, which is basically a twisted loop stitch. I've made this heart before on a CQ diamond that was donated and I wanted one for myself!   I used 2 strands of DMC floss.  The inside of the heart is decorated with a lattice stitch (2 strands floss) held down (couched) with 1 strand of yellow DMC floss at each intersection.

I am in the process of embroidering some S shapes and such around the heart, using the stem stitch.

  I need to figure out how to make better enlargements!