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! 

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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!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ok, let's do a Crazy Quilt fun pack Give-a-Way!

Hi All!  I am going to join in on the fun over at Debi's Fall Into Fall Quilters Blog Giveaway!  I will be giving away a Crazy Quilt 'fun pack' which includes:
15 cuts of silk ribbon (12"-20" long)
20 fabrics
12 laces
10 venise laces
13 small baggies of beads 
2 variegated perle 8 cottons 
1 pack of charm keys
1 winner's choice of one of my tatted items: clover heart, medallion, frame or basket.  If you look through my blog youwill see pictures of what i've made.  When you win, I will send you an e-mail with the colors and weights of thread that I have :)

Here are my rules:
1. You must have a blog somewhere, some type.
2. You must have a USA snailmail address.
3. Leave a comment here and tell me a little about your crazy quilt inspirations.
4. Comment deadline is October 31 (midnight eastern).

If you mention this post in your blog, your name will be entered a 2nd time.  
Be sure to let me know in your comment if you do!

Any comments that do not include this requirement 
will not be counted in the drawing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Healing Heart for Sweet Tea

Recently we found out that a friend of ours on the HGTV Quilting and Needlework Messageboards lost her dear husband in a car accident to a drunk driver.   We are all very sadend by this and so the CQ girls have been rounded up to make what we call "Healing Hearts."  It is a 6" Crazy Quilt heart.  We will be mailing them all to our friend Tammy who will then mail our friend the package.

This is my healing heart for her.  My ideas were that showers bring flowers.  I hope that her showers are soon over and that the flowers will start blooming all over the place for her.   Maybe our Healing Hearts can help them grow a bit faster? ;)

I am quite fond of the little flower garden here and the little ant who is curiously going to make one of these flowers a shady rest area for a nap time snooze.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Needlebook Swap!

Yesterday, I spent the day working on needlebooks for Tami's 2008 needlebook swap!  I did not think i was going to be able to pull through and make them.  I even went as far as e-mailing the hostess to apologetically tell her that I was sorry but I had to drop out.  After that, something took over me and I really did not want to miss out on this.  A friend had signed me up in good fun. . . and I am so glad she did!

I didn't come up with anything as beautiful as some of what i've seen, but I did what I could do given the work load I am pulling right now.  Of course the floral one with the tatted basket, butterly and silk ribbon embroidery is my favorite!  The basket and butterfly were needle tatted by me.  The basket is a pattern courtesy of HoneyBee'sBliss.

I wish i could've went to town and CQed them, but time was not on my side this time!  Each book includes 4 felt pages to store your needles.

Here is what I came up with:


2008 - 2009 HGTV Crazy Quilt Round Robin!

"I could never touch someone else's block after so many women have done so many beautiful things to it, what if i screwed it up?!"  Or at least that is what i said last year to NickiLee and Kathy, standing in our room in Houston, Texas.  She was showing Kathy and I, practically in tears, the most amazing piece of art work you could ever lay your eyes on. . . her round robin block.  She is a big fan of blue (i'm telling you we're gypsy soul sisters!) and the ocean.  her block was all shades of beautiful blues and greens made with silky, satin, fancy fabrics. . .  What  a sight to behold as she showed us the handi work that 6 or 7 women from around the United States, gals we like to think of as our sisters, had sewn onto her block.  I choke up right now thinking about the presentation of her block that she had given to us at the retreat last year.  

Nicki is a fantastic teacher and encourager.  (enabler... oops! hehe)  In e-mailing with her since then and having caught 'the bug' . . . the crazy quilt bug that is, she has encouraged me to 'just do it!' 'jump in with 2 feet!'  and so i became inspired, encouraged and willing.  It wasn't long ago that Tami had started sign ups for the 2008-2009 HGTV Crazy Quilt Round Robin.  I signed up, so excited!  Time started passing and I started thinking, 'there is no way i could piece a crazy quilt block THAT BIG' and hey. . . sure i could have pieced a smaller block, but in this swap, i think 'go big or go home!'  I allowed feelings of doubt to start creeping in and soon enough I was ready to contact the hostess and tell her 'i am sorry, but i am cowering out of this!'

One night, after putting Sebastian to sleep, I sat and was working on some projects.  4 am creeped around and BANG!  I went for it!  I worked hard for 5 hours until the sun came up and the faerie block was born.  Made with various faerie pictures, blues, blacks, purples and some hints of green the block was taking form.  I stayed up for a while longer that day and finally crashed.  The long night into the morning had finally taken its toll, but I wanted to continue to work on the block so badly, to see it finished!!!  Oh how cruel sleep can be to creativity, right in the middle of a SURGE too!  

After I woke up I pulled another all-nighter.  The block was complete.  I was ecstatic and in love.

On this block you will see some things that are very dear to me.  There are 2 hand silk paintings, painted by my friend Carolyn.  The peacock is very dear to my heart because she had made it for me, not even knowing how much i LOVE peacocks when i was very ill last year in and out of the hospital for 2 months.  It was a surprise gift.  The flower painted on black silk was a gift from her in a CQ embellishment swap we had.

Over the next 6 months, 6 ladies from around the United States will start dressing my block up in embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, beading, laces, ribbons. . . the works, the whole kitten caboodle!  She will return home to me in April 2009, hopefully just in time for the 2009 Circle of Friends retreat where the HGTV girls meet up for chocolate, shopping, food, fun, memories and bonds that will last a life time.  

. . .is it April yet?!