Monday, December 29, 2008

CQ RR, Round 2!

Ok, ok already... It's been forever since i've posted... or so it feels like it!  I've been up to a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  

We're actually on the 3rd round of the HGTV round robin and let me tell you I haven't even touched the block yet!  I've been too wrapped up in the holidays, but I thought i'd at least share the 2 peeks with you that I did on the 2nd round block.

The first treatment was made using some templates my friend Kathy shared with me.  She works up all kinds of cool crazy stuff!  

This is a silk ribbon Christmas tree with gifts under it.  I basically copied it from the Silk Ribbon Embroidery Bible.

Stay tuned for more!  I start teaching 2 different CQ classes and I am pretty nervous!

Monday, December 15, 2008

3 Breast Cancer Quilts In Honor of Carol Finally Delivered...

In January of this year I found out that my boyfriend's mother's cousin had passed away from Breast Cancer.  This is the letter I received from Heather, my sister-in-law:

"Hi girls!
Several weeks ago, my cousin lost her fight to breast cancer. She's my mom's cousin and one of her daughters (the one I am close with) is my age. I can't put myself in the place of my cousin to know that she just lost her mom. She and her two sisters have had a very tough life. They lost their father at an early age too. So, here they are parentless, and my cousin is not married yet and I know she'll probably be getting engaged sometime soon and it's just sad that she won't have them here with her for those special moments.
At any rate, I admire her very much. She is a really strong woman! Her and her sisters are going to do the 3-day race for the cure and they are looking for donations. I didn't know if anyone might be interested or if you could spread the word along. I know that some companies match donations and such. I just wanted to do whatever I could to help. So if you have a moment to check it out or pass it along, that'd be great!

At that point I felt like I really needed to do something... of course make each daughter a quilt to comfort them.  What a loss and I couldn't imagine!  Right away I turn to my friends on the HGTV Quilting and Needlework Forums and ask if they'd be willing to donate a pink/white block.   I wasn't thinking too big and before I knew it we had almost 90 blocks and about 50 people involved with donating blocks and money for batting, backing, shipping, long arm quilters, a woman who donated 3 beautiful quilt labels and this project became a pretty big undertaking.  Over the course of 3 months the blocks were sent in... 90!!!  In flowed letters of stories from girls who were making blocks in honor of mothers, sisters, cousins, and so many loved ones.  Letters of love, hope, faith and even more love.  Once all blocks were in, I pieced the 3 very large (about queen size) quilts and sent them off to the long arm quilters.  

Around September the quilts had arrived back to me, quilted beautifully and ready for delivery!  Next step... to get in touch with the sister who lives here in New Jersey.  It took me about a month or so to get in touch with her, she's a busy one!  And we planned to meet for dinner.  Time slipped by and in November we got back in touch and then fast forward to this past week when we finally agreed to meet up.  Last night Allan and I headed to her house to deliver something was all she knew.  I hadn't told her anything of the quilts, just that all of us had felt moved to do something for them.  We arrived and talked and finally I told her the story and she was so gracious, thankful and excited.  Of course there were lots of tears and lots of heartfelt hugs... how incredible it felt to be a part of this!  I really love my friends on the board and I am so grateful they helped make this happen.  I could've pulled off something small... but never anythingof this magnitude.  

Here is the letter Christine posted tonight on the board (and how sweet of her to take time to post a thank you to everyone!)

"Christine (Baby Bear)
Posted Dec 15, 2008 10:04 PM

Hello Everyone!

I want to give all of you a hug!!! I cannot thank you enough for the beautiful quilts! It is truly the best gift I have ever received! I am so very touched, and I'm even crying as I write this. 

I told both my sisters about the quilts, and they were so touched. They will be coming from South Carolina to visit the day after Christmas, so they will be able to see them then. I didn't want to send pictures, because the pictures would not do the quilts justice. I want them to see the quilts for the first time in person 

There aren't words that can express my gratitude. The quilts are extraordinary, and just knowing how all of you came together with Talia, and put forth so much time & effort for someone who you hadn't even met before, is so remarkable! Your acts of kindness embody the very essence of my mother, Carol. And for that reason, this gift has such a special meaning to me. It is also very fitting because my mother loved to sew as well. 

Your thoughtfulness is overwhleming, and you will hold a very special place in my heart forever. This past year has been very difficult for me, but it is moments like last night that make a world of differnece. I owe that moment to all of you! I only wish there was a way to give a moment like that back. From the bottom of my heart.....THANK YOU!


Here are some pictures:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Valentines Day Themed Crazy Quilt Heart Class

Do you remember some time back when I had posted 2 naked hearts for one of the classes I'll be teaching?  I had finally started embellishing them.  It had taken me around 2 months to really dream up what was to be for both of them.  I finsihed the pink and white one and moved onto the red and white one.  I embroidered my first peacock, who i thought was very dorky looking, then I adjusted his eye a bit and was a little more pleased, but still, much to learn in the way of making peacocks.  Next time i won't outline his body in black that's for sure!  Anyway!  Last Sunday 11-23 while shopping, I had taken them with me while looking for a few embellishments.  I lost them.  Yep you read it right.  I lost them.  I didn't realize it until I got home with dinner and my boyfriend and I were about to sit and watch a movie and eat.  As the movie was playing and i was picking at my food, I instinctivly went to reach for my red and white heart to work on it and then I couldn't find it.  Well we looked everywhere.  Tore the apartment down, looked in the bags and in my purse and emptied everything 6 or 7 times, checked the freezer and the refridge, checked all over the car and found nothing.  We retraced our steps back to Joann and the parking lot... still found nothing.  I left photos of each heart with my name, phone number and that I'd pay a cash reward for them if found.  A week later and still nothing.  That night, even though I felt completely horrible and like my world was coming down, I sat and whipped up 3 new hearts on the machine.  I managed to fully embellish one to take as my class sample for Tuesday.  The store had been asking for a class sample and if it's going to be a January class, people should at least have a good month to look at it ya know?  So I raced against the clock and finished the new pink and white one.   It's almost a replica of the old one but it's all I could manage given I only had a day to work on it.  

I brought it to the store and the owner is out for a week, but the one woman who works there is so sweet and was very flattering even saying she'd be signing up for the class!  I feel so unworthy or something lol!  Like it's so simple I feel so silly when I get compliments, even though I agree they're beautiful I feel like anyone can do it!  Oh well, overall I am thrilled I got them a class sample, but I sure do miss my old ones.  

Here are some photos...

These are the original 2 that I recently lost, the pink and white one was finished.  The red and white one was in the works...

The 3 new hearts I made.  I know the top left one is way too busy.  It'll surely be a 'what not to do' piece ;)

Class sample finished...

Close up of the fully open roses, they were fun!

I miss my old hearts but I really hope whoever found them will treasure them as much as I do...

Crazy Quilt Christmas Ornament Swap!

I finally got my pretties back!  And wow they sure are lovely! 

These are the two that I sent in:
I have some of my needle tatting on the left one and lots of silk ribbon embroidery on the right one!

And these are the two I got back!  How beautiful are they!  They're so shabby chic! ...and guess who loves shabby chic?! ;)  I love all of the stitching and charms and lace and how cool is the one that is in the shape of a tea pot?!  I'm grateful that I was encouraged to be in this one!  Yay!

Finally Made Something For Me!

I was originally making this as a gift and then I just kept falling more and more in love with it!  Of course that doesn't mean I won't duplicate it for the recipient ;) but I just love it!  It is my first charm bracelet of this magnitude, it's very jangly and is just full of charms and crystal!  What fun!  Here are a bunch of pictures with close ups.  I can't wait to wear it!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pin Cushion Madness!

I've been collecting caps for the past couple weeks now, anticipating making some really cute pin cushions!

My first attempt was this cupcake pin cushion.  It came out cute, but of course I have bigger, better plans for the next ;)

Then, last night I sat and made these two. They work up super fast and very easy!   Very addicting... I went and bought a 50lb bag of sand today to fill all of my new ones!  I put rice in these with poly fiber fill.  The rice probably wasn't such a great idea but oh well, live and learn!

More to come soon!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CQ Ornament Swap!

I joined a CQ Ornament swap about 2 months ago VERY excited, having thought of this earlier in the year.  I kept thinking "wouldn't it be so beautiful to have a tree full of small crazy quilted ornaments?!"  And then, it happened!  Unfortunately for me it came at a time where I had already committed myself to so many other things, including paid work, so I could only make 2.  I had hoped for at least 12, i mean jeesh! Nevertheless I made my two and here they are!  Of course I love the one with all of the silk ribbon embroidery.  On the 2nd one I know something is missing over the tatting... i just don't know what.  I hope whoever receives them enjoys them!  Those little bees and critters are so fun to make!  The tatting is mine, i just added some gold seed beads for a holiday effect.

Pin Up Girl Crazy Quilt Hearts

I love pin up girls.  The new ones are pretty but I'm talking the older pin up girls... 50s & 60s.  Yes, 2 weeks later I am still feeling creatively tapped out but i'm talking embellishment wise, not quite design wise.  On Election night, as a matter of fact, as the votes rolled in I sat and worked on these hearts.  They were a lot of fun but I learned that I should have enlarged the heart so that I could get a little more area to work on.  Regardless, I will finsih them, and they will be mine.  I don't have anything that I have CQed that I own to show.  So I thought these would be a fun set of pieces to keep, and I hope to add to my collection by hosting a swap for these next year!  

She came first.  Notice i couldn't resist immediately adding a beautiful rhinestone trim on her.  My plan is to take feathers and from behind pop the feathers through around her boa to make it look real.  A lot of fun (and an experience that'll be eh?!... like making a wig!  I better google a how to there!)  

Next came this beauty.  I love the black/white/sepia thing going on here.

Lastly, came this gypsy like gal.  I love gypsies so the idea of a gypsy like pin up girl in front of the moon?!  A-1, first class craziness!  She's actually not topless, although you cannot tell in this picture.  
So what you see is what you get!  That is how the sit right now because I am a bit busy with other things and still kinda feeling like: ??? what do I do with these???  As if I've never embellished anything before.  It's ok, timing is everything and it will come to me!  Stay tuned!

Crazy Quilt Round Robbin 1st Block

Alright, almost 2 weeks since i've posted - wow!  Still kinda tapped out but I have been feeling the urges to post here, i've just been lazy! 

As I posted earlier I am in the HGTV CQ Round Robbin.  My first one and I was scared to death to join!  I mean - really - what if I messed up someone's block after people had worked countless HOURS on it?!  But ya know what?  Once you get that block, it's not the same feeling.  The block speaks and you just work... They really do talk and it's SO much fun!  I'll never second guess joining a CQ RR again that's for sure!!!

First up I got EMB's block.  Her theme was butterflies.  I wish I could post more but I can only show you my 2 sneek peaks that I showed her.  I will also show you her block as I received it bare.

Here I tatted the "E" and added some silk ribbon embroidery over it.

Here, I added the lace with the beads and a little "heart flower" then the beaded silk ribbon.
Fun, fun, fun!  Next up is fishingwidow's block.  It's here and I already have some ideas 'drawn' out ;)  Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Creativly Tapped Out

For the past week, maybe almost 2 now, i have just been creativly tapped out.  I stare at all of my CQ projects as if I have never touched one in my life.  I lay out beads and lace and this and that and nothing comes to mind.  I'd hate to say I'm 'depressed' because that just makes me feel even worse.  I'm not quite sure what to think.  My friend Kathy has sent me some e-mails today to help me with some ideas and they were great, I sat down to stitch and just couldn't.  Needle in hand and I just stare... I don't know what to do or what to make of things at this point but it's really disappointing.  ugh!  This is a bad slump to be in, my projects are really what keeps me going!

I've been looking for a fellow tatter in New Jersey to tutor me in shuttle tatting because my flip keeps getting messed up.  I've put out those tear off flyers in the local supermarkets, looking for shuttle tatting tutor $15/hr., still nothing.  I have put ads on craigslist, nothing. 

So frustrating!

Friday, October 31, 2008

And The Winner for the CQ Give-a-way is...

wow, all I can say is this girl must've been sending out some serious energy LOL i knew she wanted this pretty bad!  I mixed up the names, shook them up, flipped them and then Allan picked her right out. . . and announced. . .

Congrats!  Stay tuned girls, i'll be doing another one in a few weeks!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Watercolor Portrait Give-A-Way!

Wow, now wouldn't this be amazing to win?!   

She is offering this:

"This giveaway is for a portrait of one child or infant. 

I will paint the portrait from a photograph supplied by the winner. The size of the portrait will be 9.5" x 11" and is painted using quality materials. "

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tatted Monograms

I love monograms.   Love, love, love them!  Well whaddya know, in the mail a couple days ago I get this book from my friend Lois.   It's dated 1949.  Ok let's address that to begin with, i love history. . . you couldn't get me to love it in high school but now I cannot get enough of it!  Reading the ads is so much fun and it's so amazing.  Allan and I just wonder what the kids 2 generations from now will think of all the fancy stuff advertised now!  Great reading.  "earn as much as $5/hr!" We don't even think it's funny in the laughing sense but truly interesting!

Ok, now inside this book is a group of patterns for shuttle tatted (come on guess....) Yep!  Letters!  She wondered if I could convert them to needle patterns. . . well i've learned that it's actually pretty easy, in shuttle tatting when you close the ring or end the chain you don't reverse, in needle tatting, you just add the reverse most of the time.  So the "E" was the first initial I came up with, I can't tell you why right now though, that is for a later blog ;)  Then the L which is my favorite, it reminds me of "Laverne and Shirley" for some reason.  (Jim Vallely who was the write and producer also did the Golden Girls, I adore them, was watching them the other night) and then the S, which looks a bit wonky but since it's detached it has to really be sewn into place.  Maybe I could alter the pattern a bit to make it a bit more fancy.   Crazy quilts, here these gals come!  These are a lot of fun, I hope to work up the whole alphabet soon!  . . . and you know i'll be back with pictures don't you? ;)

Monday, October 20, 2008

CQ Heart Tutorial

My friend Jane_Kiwi was asking about the CQ Heart process so i did this little "step by step tutorial" :)  

First, print out the heart template: CQ Heart Template [click here]  

1st: Cut out the heart and trace the pattern onto muslin.  


2: Choose your center fabric. A 4 or 5 sided piece is usually best, this will allow for more fabrics along the edges. I have chosen a sheer fabric, so i have a solid piece under it, which is why you see 2 fabrics there. I work with the traced side of the heart face down, but you can see the heart because the pen bleeds thru the other side. 



3. Choose a 2nd fabric and pin it to the first fabric matching the edges, then pin to keep in place. Notice i have made 2 small marks where the first fabric begins and ends. This is just to show you where you will begin and end stitching. 


4. Stitch fabrics together, clip loose threads. Then press open. I use a loose piece of muslin i have laying around to cover the fancy fabrics so they don't get scorched :)


5. Cut away the excess fabric (where the green extends beyond the white fabric) and pin and stitch down your next piece of fabric. Continue to cut away any fabric that is more than 1/4 past your seam. 



6. Continue to piece around in a clockwise or counter clockwise around the center piece. Pin as you go to keep your fabrics from slipping and sliding all over.


Just showing the progression of the piecing until the final piece of fabric is done... The nice thing about doing the hearts is that 4-6 pieces of fabric will be all you need. They're a great beginner piece. 


Now that all of the heart has been covered, here is what the front looks like (certainly doesn't look like a heart!) 


This is what the back looks like. 



Now how you go from here will be your own personal preference. You can cut away the excess fabric, baste the edges, then zig zag and go from there. I like to baste before i cut away the excess fabric. I lie my heart right side down onto the feed dogs and machine baste with my largest stitch. I baste first so that as i'm cutting pieces of fabric aren't flopping all in front of my scissors and it also holds the fabric safe and securely. I've accidentally cut into the fabric i'd be embellishing because it was flopping all over while cutting. So with the back side up so i can see my tracing lines, i baste about 1/3" inside. 


Cut away excess fabrics. Cut exactly along the traced line.  

The basting along the edges is put there as a reminder NOT to embellish past that. If you start stitching buttons and beads there, when you go to sew them down to something or what have you, your needle will come in contact with the embellishments and well... i will leave you to imagine the rest 


Lastly, zigzag or serge your edges so that they do not fray like crazy as you embellish them! And you have your heart! Great Job! 

© Copyright 2008 The Talia Effect 
Reprint Permissions Policy:  
You may reproduce or copy this page in print for non-commercial, non-profit teaching and educational use only. Proper acknowledgement must be given to The Talia Effect for any material reprinted.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Think Girly" Order Up!

'The mad tatter' as I like to think of myself was at it again at the request of my friend Sherry.  She had contacted me to make her some tatted goods for a CQ block she was going to be embellishing.  "Think girly" she says, and that is all she says. . . So, i thought girly with the butterfly and clover leaf heart, and then the ecru 80wt tatted basket was where 'delicate girly and dainty' came to mind ;)  

I love the clover leaf hearts.  They are so beautiful.  I look forward to the day i learn to shuttle tatt though because needle tatting tends to work things up larger, a lot larger than shuttle tatting would.  With needle tatting you have to rely on working the thread on the needle.  With shuttle tatting you work the piece on only the thread, so it's only as wide as the thread, and with 80wt, that is pretty small!  Regardless, they came out pretty and I love them!  Once all dressed up for a night out on the town, I think they'll be dazzling and whimsical!