Monday, May 29, 2017

The hand-stitched surface, a book review

Hi everyone, 

I hope you had a great weekend.

Today, I'm sharing a little project I've been working on. 
I was asked to review a book, and thought why not. It includes hand embroidery, and love hand embroidery. 

The book is The hand-stitched surface by Lynn Krawczyk.
You can find this book here or in Canada here.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher. This review is my own opinion. I do not have affiliate links on this post. I'm not receiving any other compensation for this review. 


This book included 15 projects to embroider by hand on paper or fabric.
The photos in the book are beautiful. The instructions are clearly written and easy to understand for someone who is a beginner or advanced. This book is geared more towards the beginner though. The whole concept of this book is to do small embroidery projects by hand to relax and have some meditative quiet moments with needle and thread. Also, to have little portable projects to travel with you when you expect to sit in a car, or in a waiting room and you want a relaxing activity to do. 

In order to do a better review, I decided to try one of the projects in the book. The projects in this book are not my usual style. These projects are more artsy. But, I thought it would be a good way to expand my craft and to just have fun. I do love hand embroidery. 

I decided to make the Boho collage coaster. 
These looked really funky and fun. So I followed the instructions and started my own. I worked on mine for a few days and this is what I ended up with.
Mine is not quite as bright as the ones in the book. 
I used many ideas for the designs from the book and added some of my own as well. What I really like about this book, is that it shows you simple stitches, then gives examples on how to expand on them. 

As you can see in the image above, the book shows you the basics on how to do the stitch, then gives you ideas on how to make it better. I really loved that part. This allows you to really individualize your projects. 

I also decided to make another project of my own design, using the stitches provided in the book. 
I made a crazy quilt block needle keeper and added embroidery. I used the same colour of thread for all the embroidery on this project. 

Here are a few more projects included in the book.
These are beautiful stitched buttons.
This paper craft is very interesting and I think would make a great card as well.
This stamped and stitched book ribbon is super cute. I love how they styled it in this photo. It would make a cute decore in your craft room. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to try a project that's not my normal go to project. But, it was fun for me. I really like the embroidered buttons and I think I may make a few of those too. It is a beautiful book, with projects that are more boho style. It's beginner friendly. Some people may think it's too basic if they have a lot of embroidery experience. I think the projects in the book are a good base for you to branch out and make things in your personal style using the ideas provided. If you are a paper crafter, this will help you to add that thread in you stash to enhance your projects. Another thing that I like is that she encourages you not to be perfect, but to be more random with size and colour. I think that makes the project more interesting. 

So that's it. I hope you enjoyed my review, and the projects I made from the book.

Linking with:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A pincushion and needle case

Hi everyone, 

I hope you are well. I wanted to share the swap items I sent to Bea of Beaquilter . She is the one who organized this swap. Thanks so much Bea!  

Here's the pincushion I made for her.
I added some hand stitching to this one. I really like the effect it makes. It's filled with crushed walnut shells. 
I also made her a needle case and handmade card.
I enjoyed making these! 
I hope you like them too!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A plus quilt for baby.... in progress

Hi everyone,

I designed a little baby quilt to use some of the RSC2017 plus blocks I've been making. 

This baby quilt I'm donating to a young woman who is expecting her first child. This girl is 17 years old and was kicked out of her home when her parents found out she was pregnant. None of her family would take her in. One of my coworkers has a daughter in the same class, and offered to take her in. She's been with my coworkers family for six months now and is doing really well. When I heard this story it saddened me so much. I'm glad she is in a safe place now, with a good family to take care of her. I wanted to do my part and make a quilt for her baby. I had a teen pregnancy too. I ended up getting married at 18 years old. I had met the most amazing man, and I'm still married to him today, 21 years later. But it was hard, and a lot of people judged me harshly. I remember all those things that happened. I was fortunate to have family support. Even though they were not impressed with me, they still stood by me. 
I could not imagine being abandoned by my family. It would be devastating for this girl, at a time when she must feel like her life is falling apart. Making a quilt for her is my gift to help her in these challenging times. Many of my coworkers have donated items like cribs, clothing, strollers, and diapers. I'm always so impressed with the generosity of the people I work with. 

I would have gotten this quilt top done today, but my iron died. Ughhhhh! I'll have to go buy a new one tomorrow. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

RSC 2017, week #19 - green

Hi everyone,

I did make some progress on my green blocks.

Here's what I got done this week.

I made 13 green, 3 1/2 inch spool blocks. My goal is to have 30 made.

I also made 6, 6 1/2 inch plus blocks. I using these on more than one project. So, more of these are going to be made too.
I'm having fun with these blocks. I hope you had time to sew on your green blocks too.

I'm linking to So Scrappy!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A few placemats

Hi everyone, 

Today I made a few placemats as a gift for my Mom for Mother's Day. 
She loves placemats and uses them all the time. I've made her some before, but that was quite a few years ago. I had looked on Pinterest for ideas and chose to do them as courthouse steps blocks. I used 2 inch strips to make these, and batting scraps. 

The backing fabric is one that my Mom had given to me a few years ago. I thought it was perfect for these. I knew that she would like the back as much as the front.
These two placemats were part of the package I'd put together for her for Mother's Day. 
I'm working all weekend 12 hour shifts. So, I gave it to her this evening. 

She loved it! She always loves the things I make for her. She has them displayed all over the house. Lol! My dad really loved these placemats too. My Mom reminded him that these were part of her gift. Haha! They are so cute. I told them, I would make a few more to add to their set. My Dad was happy to hear that. Lol! 
It's a simple gift, but I know they appreciate it! 

My daughter took me out for dinner tonight to celebrate Mother's Day. And my oldest son was able to join us when he got off work. That was so nice. My two boys got themselves an apartment and are moving out at the beginning of June. I'm happy for them, but I'm sad too that I won't see them everyday. You know, even if they've been doing there own things and weren't spending much time at home, it was nice to just hear them come in the door. They would sit with me a few minutes and talk about their day. Or just run in to pick something up and be off again. But I knew they were okay and it made me feel good. Now they want to be on their own. It's hard for me to let them go, even though I know it's the right time, and good for them to learn about life. Oh well, kids grow up so fast. By the end of August I won't have any kids at home as my daughter will be going away to university. I guess I'll have to quilt a lot to get over missing them. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

RSC 2017, week 18, multi-coloured block catch-up

Hi everyone, 

Since I didn't have a chance to make any multi coloured fabric blocks in April, I took this first week in May to catch-up. 

I made these four blocks to add to my collection. 
I really love how these Arkansas Crossroads blocks turned out. They almost have a watercolour quilt effect. 

When I was looking for multi coloured fabric, I dug deep into my big scrap bin that hadn't been sorted yet. I found this little sandwich bag of older Art Gallery Fabric scraps. Leftovers from this quilt. 

These scraps were already cut to 2 1/2 inch strips. So I used these in the above blocks and to make plus blocks. 

Then, I took the smaller pieces and made my 3.5 inch spool blocks. 

I had cut some spool blocks out of aqua/teal fabric that were never sewn together. So I finished those too. 
I have started cutting out some of the green blocks too. I should have some to share next week. I'm just glad I'm caught up with these. Honestly, it was quite therapeutic to just sew blocks for fun. No pressure, no deadline. Love the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Go visit the others participating in this challenge here.

 I almost forgot to share my April quilting spending totals. I did really well. I spent $42.89! 
That's hardly anything at all. 3 fat quarters, a half metre cut and a new rotary cutting blade. My total quilting spending for the year is now $338.29! I removed the cost of my $400.00 sewing machine that I got for my birthday. The sewing machine is a long term investment, while the others are items that will be used up. Not bad though, I'm happy with my progress. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

My Scrappy Sampler Quilt is a flimsy!

I'm so glad to finally share this finished quilt top. Considering I designed this in March of this year and I have a top done is pretty good for me. I have about 20 quilt designs that I've never made into quilts yet. 
This quilt is bigger than I have thought it would be. I really like the size. I love big quilts. It's definitely a bed quilt and will make a great twin size quilt with lots of overhang for today's thick mattresses. 
Here's a photo that I took in the morning with more daylight. 

I've been working night shifts this week. I don't work nights very often as I'm usually able to find someone to switch with. But not this week. It a lot more effort for me to get it done, since I was so tired. I was in a time crunch to finish this for Wednesday's guild meeting. I'm introducing this quilt as next years BOM. I won't have it quilted by Wednesday, but that's okay. 

I hope you like it. 
I've put in a lot of hours on this one, from making the design to writing instructions. Wow it's a lot of work!