Last week we had the “Christmas” meeting of our creative group, 8 amazingly talented women who get together 3 or 4 times each year.  The last meeting had to be canceled because too many people were unable to attend, so we had a couple of projects that were due.

The first was a project that we first discussed early in the year and then got together in June to talk thru our ideas.   The idea was that we would each make a project from this pattern……


To remember our original plans, check out this blog post.

I think that none of us really got into this idea and thus it has taken us a long time to present our quilts and several are still in the planning or creating stage, but the ones that were shone were stunning…..

Cleo showed off her magnificent hand appliqued piece.   she is planning to add some beads and other bling to finish it off.   It will be amazing….


Next was Denise who ALWAYS is the first one to be finished with her projects!!!!DSC06715

I LOVE her colors…..

Fay, who recently had a knee replacement and couldn’t be there, sent her W-I-P.   She is using crayons to color the design before adding quilting….. DSC06716

Ruhanna moved completely out of the quilting realm and made this adorable beaded purse……DSC06718

Linda went with fusible applique ad added some gorgeous gridded quilting.  She wasn’t sure about the inner border, but we all encouraged her that it added so much to the piece…..DSC06719

I had so many thoughts about this piece when the challenge was first released, but with all of the craziness of this past summer, I eventually went with my strength and simply quilted it…..DSC06734

I was originally thinking that I would work with a “Zentangle” approach, but wasn’t happy with how it was looking so I finally got out a marker and started adding the accents that I couldn’t do with thread.  For the basket, I sewed the grid in with thread and then drew in the checkerboard squares…….DSC06671

I also added a few dots here and there…..DSC06671

The final step was to add a bit of shading with Inktense pencils.   This worked fine until the very last leaf where I added too much water and the color bled outside the quilted line…..ARGH!!!…..


To fix it, I let it dry and then added another line of quilting, echoing outside the original line.

But, the final frustration was when I trimmed it to the finished size.   I managed to cut it too short at the bottom and ended up catching part of the leaf in the binding…..


When I have a minute or two, I am going to un-stitch the curve of the leaf and make it a bit shallower.   That will fix the ultimate problem, but I am still frustrated that I didn’t finish it well!!!

In the next post, I will show the Christmas giveaway project that we all worked on!!!!

Meeting with the Cre-8’s again….


I love the group of 8 women that I call the “Cre8’s” and I love and look so forward to  our get-together times!!!   Our meetings are all the same….when we first arrive, everyone is a bit uncomfortable as if we are not sure where we stand with each other.  But, once we haul out our Show and Tell and start talking about our ideas and plans, we lose ALL semblance of discomfort and thoroughly enjoy each other!!

The basic format of our group is to select a challenge project early in the year….meet in the middle of the year to talk about what we have done or are thinking and then reveal a couple of months later.

Last night was our “thinking about it” meeting and I loved seeing what everyone was thinking…..

The idea for the challenge is that we are all going to take one applique pattern and use it as the basis for our project.  We can do ANYTHING to the original pattern that we want!!  This is the design….


Deb was the first to share her idea and she brought out this wonderful piece….



She is using the basic outlines of the design, but is using fussy cut pieces from other fabrics to fill in the details.   She plans to add embroidery and embellishments and MAYBE even to do 3 more and make it into a larger wall hanging!!!

Cleo hasn’t started yet but cant get the idea of hand applique out of her mind so is planning to applique and embellish her piece.  These are her luscious colors….


Brenda has a pile of wools that she hasn’t used yet and is thinking about doing hers as a wool applique.   Don’t these fabrics look yummy…..


Linda is also going the route of fused applique and embellishments….


She said that she is planning to add some darker colors to the leaves at the bottom to give it a feeling of weight.   I love the stripe fabric that she used for the “basket”.

Two others have had the pattern enlarged and have ideas….. Fay is thinking about using crayons to color the design and then add embroidery, beading and handwork, and Denise is thinking about doing some sort of cut out applique. 

Our last member, Ruhanna wasn’t able to be there but I am sure that her piece will be magnificent.

So you may be asking….what about you Frances!!!   Well, here is my story…..

I had originally thought about doing the applique before we left for India and then doing the embellishment work while we were there.  Since plans have changed and we will also be packing for Nepal at the same time, luggage space will be at a premium so I couldn’t see adding beads, threads, etc to the bag.

On to the next thought…..

I was reading in one recent quilt magazine and it talked about doing a piece with machine quilting and then adding depth by using Prismacolor pencils.  Well, this looked interesting so I went upstairs and did a test piece……

photo 1

This looked good so I read the article some more and it suggested using a silk thread, which I didn’t own.  So, I sent for two spools of silk thread and went happily up to start on the piece.  

I decided to first do a test piece and see how my machine would handle the thinner silk thread.  I found that my machine worked great, but I really didn’t like the fineness of the line that it formed.

Then I put a heavier thread in the top and left the silk in the bobbin.  I liked that better because it left a heavier stitch on the top, but didn’t add so much thread bulk to the back……photo 2

The top left designs are with the silk thread and the bottom right are with heavier thread.

As I was drawing out the design, I started thinking about using a mixture of the heavier and thinner lines to add some dimension to the quilting. 

My first thought was to do the “basket” with heavy thread stays and silk thread weaving….photo 3

so far so good…



This morning we are packed and ready to leave for our jaunt to Colombia, and I actually had a few minutes to add some to the piece.   Here is where it stands now…..


I am happy with the contrast in values so far…..more to come…..

Cre8tive fun!!!

Last Thursday our little Creative group met for our annual Christmas gift exchange.   This year we decided to make flags for each other with no restrictions as to size or type

Now, I have known about this project since our meeting back in June, but didn’t manage to start on it until the Wednesday before!!!   I really didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to do, but started out by looking for inspirational sayings and came up with “Do what you love” so that was my starting point.

I printed out the words on my computer and laid them out on my cutting table.  I also knew that I wanted to use a bunch of fun threads for the cording….DSC03817

I had originally planned to use a lot of buttons, but that idea soon faded away!

I pulled out some fabric that I had dyed many years ago and started cutting rectangles and adding words to them.  I decided to take my own advice and add flowers (something that I love) to the end of each side….DSC03820

At this point I had to figure out how to attach the flags to the string so a lot of fiddly sewing ensued.   Let’s just say that I am glad that the “cording” had lots of threads hanging off because it did a great job of hiding my stitches.

Here is the final product….


We started our meeting with all of the flag sets hidden away in bags…..


….but soon enjoyed revealing each bag’s secret.

Ruhanna made these cute, fuzzy headed women to remind us that “It’s gonna be o.k”……..


Brenda made this cute Christmas flag set which I was excited to receive!!!!…..



Deb inspired us with her “beautiful” batik leaves…..


We were all in awe of Cleo’s flags….these were done by sewing three layers of fabric together and then cutting out either one or two fabrics in each section….sort of like reverse applique……


Linda made these cute flags with fun inspirational sayings and lots of embellishments…..


Denise used recycled jeans to make her flags….


….and they are reversible too……DSC03839

Finally, Fay did some fantastic paper piecing and produced this fun piece…..


It was a fun, fun evening and I loved seeing what each person had created.

Now we have to decide on our NEXT project……