Friday, November 30, 2007

Stocking Detail 12

The upper left seam is scroll stitch worked with a silk knitting yarn, a strand of rayon floss, and a metallic thread. Along one side, two strands of rayon thread were used for detached chains in a series of fans. Seed beads accent the fans. The upper right seam has a piece of tatting made with a single strand of variegated silk floss.

The motifs were done with E beads in a matte finish and transparent seed beads. The large motif started with silk ribbon twisted ribbon stitches and has an E bead at the end of each seed bead leg. The smaller motifs have seed bead legs coming out of the E bead in the center. The effect is very dimensional.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stocking Detail 11

The top seam is buttonhole stitch in Caron watercolors with detached chains and French knots in watercolors and wildflowers. The bottom seam started with chevron stitch in a thicker fiber. Rayon floss in several colors and red metallic thread were used for the accent stitches which include pistil, French knot, detached chain, and straight stitches.
The motif was created with eyelash knitting yarn, a metal shank button, and shell beads. Looks a bit like a dragon's nest, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stocking Detail 10

The base for the toe seam is buttonhole stitch sewn with one strand of gold metallic floss. I laced this with two strands of red metallic floss. I don't really follow any instructions for lacing. I just weave the needle here and there until I find a design I like at the time. Caron watercolors is a nice variegated thread that I used for the pistil stitches in groups of three.
I used a shisha mirror, the craft store version,
on the toe patch. I secured the mirror with a detached buttonhole net in gold cotton pearl. Around the mirror, I added two rows of seed beads.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Stocking, TIF

Today, we have a bonus photo. I pieced the new stocking over the weekend. This one is for my youngest daughter, only 13 months. She doesn't really have favorites yet, so I chose the pink for her. My vision for this stocking was cotton candy pink, all baby girly. When I laid out all the pink fabrics, the deep pinks and fuschia won out. This probably fits in better with the others. None of them have pastels. The lighter patch at the bottom stands out, and doesn't really fit. However, it is a funny shape and overlapped by two curved patches. I don't know if I want to take it out. I may cover it with a motif in the brighter pink or use it to show off some stitching in the darker pinks.

It's been at least a couple of years since I pieced a crazy patch project. I don't remember it being so challenging. Perhaps it was because this will be part of a set that I pieced several years ago. Perhaps it was because my style has progressed and this is the first new piece in so long. Perhaps I'm just a bit rusty. Until I started looking closely at the other stockings, I had just assumed I'd be machine piecing this stocking. It could also be that I'm just too sleep deprived to do well with puzzles. Hand piecing is very much like doing a puzzle. The challenge is that the pieces are not sized to fit. I get to decide what size and shape I want each piece as I go along. Any way I look at it, I want to brush up on my technique.

Sharon B is planning a new challenge for 2008. Details can be found on her site. It's called the Take It Further challenge. The challenge involves doing a monthly project. I plan to use this challenge to improve my skills and piece a new crazy project each month. Talk has already started and this is looking like a fun challenge.

Stocking Detail 9

This motif started with buttonhole wheels of various sizes, all done with rayon floss. Around each wheel are detached chains, also done with rayon floss. All other added stitching was done with two strands of Caron waterlilies silk floss.
The wheel on the far left was whipped in a loose spiral shape with the threads going under the spokes. There are French knots in the center.
Reversed buttonhole bar was done on the next wheel. Sharon gave this stitch for her Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge a few weeks back. Instead of adding a single round of stitches to the outer part of the wheel, I started in the center and continued going around until the wheel was full.
The middle wheel has French knots in the center.
The next wheel has detached chains between each spoke.
The last wheel was whipped with the threads going over the bars.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stocking Number Two

The next stocking is for my son. I chose a monotone background. Actually, they were all supposed to be monotone, each different. My daughter just wanted contrasting pieces on the toe, heel, and cuff for hers. This one is dark blues. The embellishment colors are primarily blue and red, with some gold and touches of peach. My son's theme is dragons. Most hobbies don't last very long with him. He went through a magic phase, and a Dungeons and Dragons phase. He enjoyed the first Harry Potter book when it was read in school. His current hobby is modeling Warhammer miniatures.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Stocking Detail 8

The last detail of this stocking is the top section. There are two frog charms and a cat bead. The cat matches the one in the focal patch from yesterday. One of the frogs is a prince in disguise. He's wearing a little crown on his head. Someday, I hope my daughter finds her prince.
The right seam was done with one strand of gold metallic floss and one strand of red rayon floss. It started with a base of cretan stitch. Then straight stitches and knots were added. The left seam was made with rayon knitting ribbon. Each stitch has a knot on the end. A variety of red and green beads are sewn along the seam. With the same beads, I added a little dangly bit where the seams intersect.
To finish it off, my daughter's name is sewn in bright red beads.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stocking Detail 7

The cat is the focal motif on this stocking. I don't usually care for premade patches in my crazy quilting, but my daughter picked this out and it fits. I wouldn't have thought of it myself. The same patch was used on a round robin block I had sent out. I did several round robins when I was new to crazy quilting. It was a great way to learn new techniques and see other stitchers' work up close.
The seam to the right of the cat is feather stitch done with two strands of gold metallic floss. The accent stitches are French knot and pistil stitches done with two strands of green metallic floss and one strand of green rayon floss.
The spider web is a thinner metallic thread done with straight stitches. To the right of that is another seam done with two strands of gold metallic floss. I can't seem to find the name for that stitch. I must have seen it somewhere, but it doesn't show up on any of my other crazy quilt pieces. It may be a variation of the feather stitch or the fly stitch. It looks like fly stitches with the anchoring stitches angled to form the zigzag.
The little black cat is a bead I got while vacationing in Washington.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stocking Detail 6

Nearer to the top of the stocking, is this beaded motif. I don't know if there is a name for this type of bead, but they look like teardrops. A gold bead in the center of each group of teardrops makes this look like foliage. I added sparkling vines with gold metallic thread.
The lower right seam is cretan stitch and French knots, all sewn with rayon floss.
The upper seam is also rayon floss in two shades of green, this time a simple chevron stitch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stocking Detail 5

This is the area near the heel of the stocking. I patched this stocking by hand like a puzzle. The patches in this area were rather small. There is an article about hand patching by J. Marsha Michler in the current issue of It's worth reading whether you are new to crazy quilting or are an old pro who has yet to try out hand patching.

While I wanted all the seams embellished, I didn't want these tiny patches to stick out too much. With this in mind, I used a single strand of metallic floss in red to blend in. I did a double feather stitch seam all around the edge of froggie's patch that wasn't covered by the black trim. I accented this seam with pairs of gold seed beads surrounded by a detached chain which was anchored with a pistil stitch.
There are two bows tacked on, one a green ribbon.The other bow is another cheap plastic glittery one, this time gold. Between the bows is a simple closed feather stitch seam done in a green pearl thread, repeated from the toe area. A simple chevron stitch seam, done in red to blend in, finishes of the curve of the heel.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Stocking Detail 4

There is way too much blue in this photo. The colors really do fit the red and green theme for this stocking. Herringbone stitch, done with a strand of red rayon floss and a strand of green metallic thread, started off the horizontal seam. Two strands of green rayon floss were used for the accent stitches. Along the outer v's of the herringbone are three detached chains. Along the inner v's are three tiny straight stitches.
I used up the thread in my needle with only about a half inch of the herringbone left to do. Instead of rethreading the needle for that short space, I decided to do a wandering branch motif trailing down both patches. It starts at the lower point of yesterday's patch. I used a strand of metallic black and a strand of gold to make the branch in chain stitch. Most of the metallic threads I've used are made with a metallic fiber wrapped around a core thread. The gold I used here is a single fiber, similar to a very fine tinsel. It breaks very easily. The best tip I ever got for using metallic fibers is to use them in shorter lengths than other threads and flosses. It helps tremendously. I only wish I had learned it before doing this project. Iridescent seed beads accent the branch.
The vertical seam is cretan stitch done with one strand of green rayon floss. A combination of French knots and detached chains are worked along each side of the seam in gold metallic thread.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Stocking Detail 3

I liked the fabric in this patch and didn't want to hide it, so I simply tacked a bow on it. The bow is cheap plastic covered in sparking glitter paint. Not the fanciest embellishment, but it works here. Four strands of gold metallic thread were used to make zig zag chain border around most of the patch. Two strands of rayon floss, each of different shade of green, were used to make the feather stitches on the lower seam.

Stocking Detail 2

Three seams make up the toe area. On the far left, I used a strand of red rayon thread with a strand of gold metallic thread to do buttonhole stitches with alternating bar lengths. With only the red thread, I added French knots to the shorter buttonhole stitches. To the longer buttonhole stitches, I added a pistil stitch flanked by detached chains.
The seam on the right is a variation of feather stitch done in black. I received the thread in a swap, so I'm not sure what it is. It's not really metallic, but not soft like floss. It feels a bit like nylon, but it frays. Along the feathers are French knots done with two strands of rayon thread, each a different shade of green.
The horizontal seam is closed feather stitch done with a pearl thread. Gold seed beads accent the seam.

And since he doesn't make for much of a detail on his own, here is a close up of the little cat charm above the last seam.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Stocking Detail 1

I started this motif by sewing on the frog charm. I wanted to give him a bit of substance, so I added stitching around him. I used a metallic thread and stem stitch to create a lily pad under the frog. The flower was made with 4mm silk ribbon and a chip bead.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Crazy Quilt Stockings

It's that time of year again. The time when I dig out all the unfinished Christmas projects and promise myself this will be the year they are finished. I skipped it last year because I had a new baby in the house. This year, I make no promises. I'll get done what I can, and there's always next year.

Several years ago, I started a set of crazy quilted Christmas stockings for my family. There isn't really much left to do with the embellishments. Once that's done, they'll just need to be assembled. The biggest task to get these finished this year is making another one. When I started them, I only needed four. Now, there are five of us. Each one is different with a separate theme for the person it was created for. That will make creating a new one easier. I don't have to worry about matching the style and fabrics, only shape.

In the spirit of giving and to help keep me focused, I've decided to do a series of blog posts about this project. My goal is to post a detail photo with a description of the stitches and embellishments used. Daily would be ideal, but my husband and I are spending our weekends house hunting. So, Monday through Friday is more likely.

I'll start things off with a full shot of my daughter's stocking. Hers is the most Christmasy. She chose red and green for her colors. Her theme is cats and frogs, her favorite animals. Clicking on the photo will bring up a larger view.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Welcome Fall

Okay, so fall is working its way into winter, but here it is anyway. I made this wreath with a craft group I'm a part of. When I moved a couple of months ago, I didn't keep any of the previous wreaths I made. So, when my group decided to make wreaths, I splurged a little and had fun with it. Even still, the supplies only ran around $15.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pink & Green Crazy Quilt Block

I've returned to the pink and green CQ block that I began embellishing during Sharon's encrusted crazy quilting class earlier this year. It's always interesting to see a block develop. I can nudge it in one direction or another, but each one seems to take on a life of its own.This one has strong angular lines. I may be able to soften them up a bit with further seam embellishment. We'll see what happens.

Here are a couple of details still in progress:

The first shows last week's TAST stitch, Zig Zag Spanish Knotted stitch. It took a while to get into the rhythm of this stitch. I later realized that I left out a step, but it isn't terribly obvious. I'll get it right next time. I used Caron Wildflowers thread for this stitch and couched down some fluffy knitting fibers with it. Along one side, I've added cast on stitches. I've used cast on stitches before and never managed to make them neat. The light bulb finally went off as I was doing the last stitch. By passing the thread through the fabric on the other side of the starting point, the stitch is anchored all neat and tidy. I probably won't rip these out and redo them, but now I know the trick for next time.

This week's TAST includes variants of the Pekinese stitch. Here, I've done two rows of double Pekinese stitch with different lengths of back stitch. I plan to lace the rows also, but haven't chosen a thread yet. Look for that in the next update. I'm not sure I like how much space the bottom row takes out of the brocade patch. I'll be keeping an eye on that space more as this block develops. I'm starting to see fine golden spider webs around the edges of this patch, open in the center.