Hello! Did you have a good weekend? I had quite a quiet weekend as the weather here was very mixed from wet and very blustery to sunny and bitterly cold. I am also still trying to shake off the remnants of a very nasty cold, so a relaxed weekend was definitely needed!! Quiet weekends inevitably involve some sewing and, this weekend being no exception, I was able to complete my January 2015 Block for the CQJP Challenge.
The last time you saw this block I had just pieced together the base fabrics. Although I gave you a sneaky peek of some of the hand stitched embellishments in my last post, a lot more stitching and embellishment has been added and here is my finished block.
It is far from perfect but, given that this is my very first attempt at crazy quilting, I am delighted with how it looks. These blocks tend to 'grow' as you go along. You can have a basic idea what you want to do but as soon as you finish one line of stitching, it is easy to think 'oh, I'll add that over there now' and 'it would look nice if I added a button or two'.
In the process of making this block I have decided that my overall theme for my challenge blocks is going to be 'The Garden'. You can see I have added some 'garden' themed buttons and a lot of the stitches have a 'flowery' look.
In more detail, I added some basic embroidery stitches like this double feather stitch and the glove stitch (the variegated thread above).
There are lots of combination stitches such as this cretan stitch with colonial knot flower buds and lazy daisy leaves.
As well as these pretty fans made using chain stitch combined with straight stitches and a lazy daisy stitch for the handle.
I added some sequins, held in place with straight stitches and combined chevron stitches with some beads.
I even tried my hand at a technique I haven't tried before called 'couching' where you lay a thread (in this case a variegated boucle silk thread) on the surface of the block and hold it in place with tiny straight stitches.
Finally, I added a piece of lace and a heart charm.
Since starting the CQJP Challenge which is organised and run by a lovely lady called Kathy Shaw, I have also signed up for an online class which Kathy offers called 'Basic Crazy Quilt Course'. More details can be found on Kathy's blog 'Shawkl' where registration for the class (which is free!) is open until 13th January. I am hoping that I will pick up some great tips and advice from the class in time to get me started on my February challenge block! I am especially looking forward to learning some silk ribbon embroidery techniques!!