The Artist’s Journey

I just had to share this with my readers. Building Stamina and Seeking Grace: The Artist’s Journey was the keynote address to the Silk Painters International Festival given by Jane Dunnewold.

Jane speaks about creativity, dealing with the internal critic, the importance of developing your technique, and to slowing down in order to focus on what is best for your work. So settle down with a cuppa and a bit of stitching, as this talk is really worth taking some time out and listening to, I promise.

If you find the video of benefit help spread the word and click the like button on Jane Dunnewold’s You tube page here by doing so it helps her rankings too.

Have a safe and happy holiday season

Christmas wishes graphicThis morning I want wish all my readers a safe and happy holiday season.

A free hand embroidery pattern.

I hope readers enjoy this pattern . You can outline the tree decorations in stem stitch or chain stitch and I have left plenty of spaces for beads and sequins if you want to add them. I came up with idea as I was looking for something simple and quick to put on a small gift bag but you could use it on a card too. Anyway I hope people enjoy it.

Many readers have noticed my revamped newsletter. I often give away a free pattern for my regular subscribers. I don’t pester people too much, but write every 2-4 weeks. In the process of creating these patterns, I have really enjoyed rediscovering my pleasure using Illustrator. They have been a lot of fun and I plan to continue sharing these.

Christmas-free-hand-embroidery-pattern

Other free resources

If  you need to know how to work hand embroidery stitches, I have provided free,  12 Surface Stitches for Beginners. Follow the link for a direct PDF download.

There are also free modules in my stitchers worksheets which cover the basic stitches. They are free and none of my stuff asks you to subscribe to anything or join this or that, they are a simple give away. For more stitches can also visit my stitch dictionary

cq seams tutorial screenshot In this past year apart from running the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge, and giving away free crazy quilt block patterns from my I Dropped the Button Box Quilt I gave out a tutorial on how to work decorative crazy quilt seams. In case you missed it, here is the  download  and keep it as an ebook on a tablet, or print it out easily.

News of next year

As of January 9th I will have been writing this blog for 11 years a good 9 of those I was writing daily. Since an internet year is roughly 4.7 years to 1 normal year that means I have been writing this blog for the equivalent of 51.7 years.

An internet year is like a dog year and measured in terms of how fast technology and content changes compared to the non-digital world. So if you have ever felt that doing a particular task online involves a steep learning curve or got annoyed at things changing all the time, usually just as you have learnt to do something, then what you have suffered is the experience of internet time. Another way to compare it is a shop might do a renovation to freshen their look every decade or so whereas a website will revamp every 2 years or so.

After writing this blog for so long I feel in need of long service leave! Now don’t go in panic I will be back. The last decade of blogging has added so much to my life such as traveling to America to teach crazy quilting, it has provided me with an income online teaching which has been totally wonderful as I have worked from home doing something I love. Probably one of the most exciting things I have done is to design a product, get it manufactured and to sell it through my website. I can’t explain the thrill it is to imagine something, and then make it a real thing. Of course this ‘thing’ I am talking about is my crazy quilt templates.

So don’t fret, I will be back blogging after a break. I still have many ideas for interesting things I can do on this site. I would love to stay in touch via my newsletter as I will be bouncing back in a couple of months or sooner if I feel genuinely refreshed. It would be great if I could drop you a line to tell you. Subscribing is easy just follow the link, enter your email address, remember to confirm your subscription otherwise you will not get the newsletters.

I also plan to use my ‘break’ time to complete my book on crazy quilting. Readers will be pleased to know that the first draft is done, I have taken a heap of new photos for it. So with that eye candy sitting on my hard drive, the book project is well underway. Hopefully with not having the blog eating into my creative time achieving this gaol will be easier. I want cross a book on crazy quilting off my 2015 todo list.

There will be a few shifts and changes next year. As regular readers know In 2014 I wrapped up my online classes. I wanted to clear the decks for 2015 to be a year that allows me to be open to changes. I know that sounds like a lot of preparation to free myself up, but that sort of planning was needed. The idea is to take a break from online life, roll up my sleeves and complete the book, then look again at a lot of ideas I have and see what project is next.

I have plans to develop Tones and Tints in 2015 but not until after I have the book done. My interests have been shifting toward this direction for quite some time. So after deciding that restless mood of mine is not a whim and I will follow my instincts. The two areas will be kept separate. In 2015 I will have Pintangle for stitch related interests and Tones and Tints for drawing, paper arts and art/studio journalling. I am venturing more into both drawing and mixed media but more news about that next year.

That is enough of the babble from me. From my home to yours, wherever you are, no matter what faith my best wishes and thoughts of the season. And for all my readers I hope all your needles are easily threaded, your floss stays knot and tangle free.

See you next year!

Crazy Quilt Seam Detail 554 and 555

Crazy quilt block 84Yay I made it! These are the last few details on block 84 of my I dropped the button Box Crazy Quilt .

I wanted to share them with you as that means I can start the new year with block 85. Tell me if you like the increased pace of these posts as I would like to finish the series but I don’t want over do it for readers.

This is one of my favourite little things that are on the quilt.  These two little charms of baby shoes always make me smile. You can see how small they are compared to the seed and bugle beads. The glass button they are next to is vintage.

Crazy quilt detail of charms on block

The last detail from block 84 I would like to share is a cluster of buttons. These are modern but the colours sat well on the block. Don’t forget you can see the complete photo block 84 . I have enjoyed sharing this one. I hope readers have enjoyed it too.

Crazy quilt detail of buttons on block

I dropped button box quiltThis article is part of a series that highlight the hand embroidered seams and details on my crazy quilt called I dropped the button box.

Each block on this quilt has a free pattern which  are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.

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Crazy Quilt Seam Detail 552 and 553

Crazy quilt block 84Another two seam details today! The first is a very simple treatment that runs along side some vintage lace. Using perle cotton #8, I  worked 3 detached chain stitches in a fan formation so they look like half daises. At the base I added a small pearl bead.

On the lace itself I  added some seed beads. The lace I found in junk shop in Oxford,  England.  I was browsing  the store when I spotted a roll of lace . Someone had wound pieces of lace on to the broom handle and slipped a pin into each piece to secure it. The roll was about 4 inches thick and the pins had rusted. The wad of laces looked to me as if they were of 50’s vintage because that was what was on the outer layer and what I could see. However since the pins had rusted,  there was no real way of knowing what was there. At the time I was curious about it and when I expressed an interest the shop keeper removed two pieces from the roll to discover the lengths were about 15 cm (6 inches) long. Not only was the lace short but removing each piece was likely to be a challenge. She offered them to me for a couple of pounds and I jumped at it.

Crazy quilt detail

I don’t like cutting into vintage lace for crazy quilting but damage lace I think is more than fair game for crazy quilting.  I think they were samples from a lace maker as each was tagged. To my amazement I discovered as I unwound the samples they got older and they went back to the Victorian era. Unfortunately they were all badly damaged. The use of numerous pins to secure each piece had caused rust and mould had also caused stains. What was worse the samples were often torn.

If they were in good condition I would not have used them for crazy quilting but since they were damaged I felt there was no harm. I dyed the badly rust stained, repaired what was worth repairing. Basically I reclaimed what I could and made something of it.

I have used many of these laces on this quilt and they influenced this quilt in another important way. Because I wanted to use the scraps I had salvaged I decided to make the blocks the size they are. I felt the proportion of the blocks to the laces, highlighted them better than if they had been used on larger blocks. Also many were too small to use on larger blocks.

Crazy quilt detail of braid on block

The next seam was covered with some braid and some very small vintage beads found on the same trip to England. The edge of the braid is a fly stitch variation worked in cotton perle # 8.

Both details are from block 84 of my I dropped the button Box Crazy Quilt.

I dropped button box quiltThis article is part of a series that highlight the hand embroidered seams and details on my crazy quilt called I dropped the button box.

Each block on this quilt has a free pattern which  are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.

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Subscribe to my newsletter of stitching goodies! for stitching chatter about hand embroidery, crazy quilting, freebies (not found on the blog), ideas, and inspiration

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