Archive for the ‘CQJP 2014’ Category


Yesterday I finished this crazy quilt wall hanging and hung it outside my apartment, in the hall.   Outside apartment

This project began in 2005, when I first conceived the desire to create a series of embroideries on the theme of the S shape. For several years, I had been thinking about words that described my life as it had become–housebound and very limited (at that time); and all the words began with S. In fact, I began a Mind Map to collect my ideas as early as 2004. At the time I got the idea to make embroideries using the S shape in the designs, I was listening to Bach Partitas, and I thought I would like to make a stitched “partita”–a set of variations on a theme. But it was not until 2006 that I got to work on the idea seriously.

By this time I had 14 S words that I wanted to make embroideries for. When I have in my outer life silence, simplicity, solitude, slowness, stability, study, and stitching, then in my inner life I have satisfaction, self-sufficiency, serenity, softening, spaciousness, spontaneity, and synchronicities.    These words define my spiritual life. To them I could add Spirit/Self.

The design process began on paper, late in 2013,as participation in CQJP 2014. I wanted to see how 12 blocks with black seam treatments would look. I made myself some blocks with colored pencils on paper, cut them out, and tried out arrangements. Next I chose fabrics and hand-basted 12 CQ blocks. I photographed and printed them and played with various arrangements.  I also began to make notes for seam treatments. Paper-blocks                          Pieced Seam-treatments-on-paper              On-paper
Basted-block From several sources, I found S’s to transfer to the blocks, first on the printed paper blocks, then on to the fabric blocks

In January  last year, I chose the threads and beads I wanted to use and I stitched a trial block.  See it below. (I’m having a helluva time getting WordPress to put pictures where I want them. I used to be able to drag them where I wanted them.)      January-trial-block

Work-in-progress. It took  me until the end of  the year to finish embellishing the blocks. It took  me until a few weeks ago to know how I wanted to finish the piece.  The border was once a velveteen skirt. Because I’m not skilled at constructing a quilt, I chose to mount it on padded foamcore. I covered the back with black cotton quilting material.

IMG_4487I’m fairly happy with the finished product.  Yesterday a neighbor knocked on my door to tell me how much she liked it. We spent about 15 minutes talking about it, as she asked me questions. Having done crewel embroidery many years ago, she recognized some of the stitches.

Now, what next?

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Having finished the embellishment of my CQJP 2014 quilt and having joined all the seams, I’m now waiting for an opportunity to shop for fabric for border(s) and back. Here’s the quilt so far. It’s tacked to my design board.



For weeks I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next. This past week I’ve been asking myself what do I want to do. Today I got out a pile of fabrics and chose some for a crazy quilt block. I was also online looking for a pattern I could crib, rather than make one myself. I chose Sharon Boggon’s pattern for Block 82   of her” I dropped the buttonbox quilt.” Do click on the link to see her work.Here’s the pattern I printed from Sharon’s website. For my block, I enlarged patch #7.


Then I reviewed a method of piecing using a pattern that I have done in the past. I slightly modified Sharon’s pattern so that I could have a large patch of a particular fabric, then transferred the pattern to foundation fabric. Here’s how the back of the block looks. As you can see, #7 patch is on the left.


Because it would take time to set up my sewing machine, and because any mistakes done in machine stitching would be harder to take out, I stitched the patches by hand. Also, I prefer to stitch by hand rather than by machine, and that means I have not become proficient with the sewing machine. The stitching is easily done from the back of the block where I just stitch over the pattern lines. Here’s the front of the block.


Well, I surprised myself today. I had no plan to make anything and it just happened that I did. I wonder what will be next as I try to get myself back into regular, joyful stitching…and blogging. So far, I’m having to make myself do it.



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January block

Once again I am participating in the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.

I have pieced 13 6″ blocks, one for each month and one for practice. Here is the the 13th block, my trial block. I wanted to try out some of my ideas and see how they would look.

13th block

Here is my January block.


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I’m trying to press the “re-set” button for blogging. For the past couple of years, it has been very hard for me to write. It’s been a very difficult time, during which my husband died, my son died, four close friends died, and I moved myself across the continent and back, by myself. Besides losing loved ones, I lost the ability to stitch, to practice the piano, to read a book, and to write. Now I’m back in Charlestown, working on recovery from “nervous breakdown” or “vital exhaustion” or being just plain done-in.

Blogging, especially as part of the stitching community, was a source of great pleasure for me. A few months ago I discovered I could create needleart again and so I’m designing and stitching –intermittently, but continuing. I’m practicing the piano–not every day, but when I can. In the past couple of months I’ve been reading books, more than one at a time, and more than one a week. I’m definitely reading again. Now I want to try writing again.

Today I’m just going to post the latest TAST stitch, the beaded linked chain stitch. It is worked in black #5 pearl cotton with Miyuki 6/0 seed beads over a seam on my first block for the CQJP 2014 challenge. I’m hoping that participating in these challenges will get me back, not only into regular stitching, but back into the global stitching community. Do go take a look at what others are doing at the links I’ve provided.


And I’d love to hear from you!

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