Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wedding Quilt Replacement Project

The members of StitchMAP have volunteered to help replace a wall hanging that was recently lost in a fire. The wall hanging belonged to the aunt of our member Donna. It was a crazy quilt commemorating the wedding of her aunt and uncle. A total of 16 blocks, measuring 8" each, done in pink and white satin were pieced by our project coordinator Lyn G. You can see all of the naked pieced blocks on Lyn's blog here.

The blocks have been sent out to various members who have volunteered to embellish them. Colors have been coordinated, motifs, lace and other trims chosen. Everyone is in stitching mode right now. Our members who do not crazy quilt wanted to be involved so they are making two cross stitched labels for the back of the quilt. One label will have the wedding date and the couple's name. The other will acknowledge StitchMAP's involvement in the recreation of the original quilt. Other members have volunteered to make tatted lace to be used on the blocks.

Here is one block that has already been completed and returned to Lyn.

It was stitched by Mentor Kathy S.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer Challenged Many of Us

Where has the summer gone? Many of our members took extended vacations in July and/or August but that did not stop the needles from flying at MAP! Work continued on the One Stitch Challenge. The first step in the challenge was coloring the fabric in one or more of several methods taught. All of the participants completed this step and remarked about how much fun it was getting to play with the paints and dyes. The next step of the challenge was to make an under the sea scene using just the Feather Stitch and the additions of some simple beads or other embellishments. Everyone was quite proud of their first attempts and were eager to move on to the second stitch in the series, which they have done. It is a two step challenge using another stitch in two ways. We will be sharing the results when it is complete.

Here are some of the pictures of the Feather Stitches Under the Sea pieces as completed by several of our members.

Stitching & Tatting By Donna H.

Stitching & Beading By Cynthia G.

Stitching & Embellishment By Sharon G.

We also continued with the Pilot Class of our Basic Crazy Quilting Course. The first order of business was cutting out and properly marking the muslin backing pieces. No one had any idea what they were going to end up being when they first got the cutting instructions. Can you guess?

Completed by Donna D.

Next, everyone spent some time auditioning fabrics for their projects. There was much to learn about balancing the blocks with color, textures, printed and solid fabrics. There was a lot of oohing and aahing as the sharing of the auditioned fabrics progressed.

Jeanne Z shares one of her fabric auditions

Each of the apprentices participating in the BCQC managed to complete the piecing of the required blocks by the end of August and they are eager to begin stitching the seam treatments. Templates for use in marking the stitch placements have been run off and prepared to use. Supplies have been purchased for the embellishments to come. Yes! We are ready to have FUN! Let the needles fly!

Here are some of the blocks that were pieced by the apprentices in the BCQC for their first projects. In addition to learning a bit about carrying the observer's eye around the block by balancing color, etc. the apprentices learned one method of applying a curved patch to their CQ block. They have actually learned 3 methods of block construction in this course: the flip and sew method, the "T" construction method common in same quilting and the strip quilt method with an 'end cap'.

Square block done by Amy A.

Round block done by Eileene G.

Rectangle blocks done by Renee G.

Congratulations to everyone on their accomplishments so far! This summer was challenging and fun. Registration is now being taken for the Pilot Class of our Basic Hardanger Course - through Sept. 10. We hope others will come and join us on our journey to keep needle arts alive by sharing stitches.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BCQC Classes Have Begun

There are currently 16 members of StitchMAP participating in a pilot class for our Basic Crazy Quilting Course. They are deep into Lesson 3 at this time. Each participant has studied about various types of fabric and thread. Each has studied a bit about scale and proportion as it relates to crazy quilt block construction and embellishment. They have had time to download and prepare their own set of CQ stitching templates. They have submitted their fabric and color choices to their mentors for approval and have begun to collect their embellishments for the CQ blocks they will be creating.

This past week they started the construction of the CQ blocks for their first project. For several of these ladies it is the first time they have ever constructed a crazy quilt block. Each lady is receiving one-on-one mentoring from one of our volunteer mentors. Before the month is over they will have also made 2 smaller blocks to complete what they need for their required class projects. They will be learning 3 methods of block construction in this first lesson. The class is set up to provide each student with 3 finished projects at the end. Those that wish to may make an optional 4th project using one of the construction methods they have just learned.

We also have 8 other members who are participating in a fun exercise called The One Stitch Challenge. They have each submitted the name of 3 embroidery stitches that they would like to learn or perfect. The goal for this Challenge is to make 3 small projects from a list of choices supplied to them. They have received their first lesson and are busy trying their hand at painting their fabrics.

Here is a picture that shows the painted fabric that one member, Theresa E., has prepared as her One Stitch Challenge background. It will become the top of a round Altoid tin when she has completed the stitching part of the challenge. She is off to a great start!

We are happy to report that we had 22 new members in the month of June and already have 10 new members this month. Welcome to each and every one of them.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Welcome to our SAM/MAP Group Blog

Today the members of Stash Angels Mentors (SAM) and StitchMAP (MAP) are launching our group blog KNASS. This is an acronym for KEEPING NEEDLEARTS ALIVE BY SHARING STITCHES. This is a great name for our blog, voted on by the members as being the name that best explains the group's mission and vision for keeping needlearts thriving into the future.

Congratulations to Kathy Shaw for coming up with the winning name. And to our 2nd place winner Pam Coombes for her entry - Itching to Be Stitching. Here are pictures of the prizes that they have won.

Kathy won this lovely stitching organizer and these two pages of silkies.

Pam won this Stoney Creek Collection cross stitch kit and tin with a built in frame. It is entitled Special Tweet.

StitchMap (MAP) is home to those who are in our Mentor Apprentice Program to learn more about their favorite stitching techniques. It is also the home base of our Stash Angels who give so generously from their own stash to those who are in need of a small stash enhancement experience to complete one of our mentored projects or some special project of their own. This is the social center of our groups, where we chat about our love for stitchery, family and some things totally unrelated to needle and thread. We share hints and tips, links to our eye candy, shopping resources, special projects that can be completed in many techniques, contests or giveaways on other sites, and information on contacting various guilds and groups related to stitching.

We have our own contests from time to time, like our Group Teaser. This is a brain teaser/triva type contest in which we research the answers to a group of questions about stitching related matters such as various techniques, tools and fabrics. There may even be questions about our own site's logistics, various needle artists or authors, and stitchery related guilds or groups. All in all, it is very educational and informative. All of our swaps are done through MAP.

Stash Angels and Mentors (SAM) is home to the mentors who teach the apprentices of MAP. This is where the mentors gather to plan the upcoming classes, discuss their mentoring assignments and share tips. They also frequently participate in RR's. The RR pieces are then assembled to be used for a special prize at MAP or as a charitable fundraising item for groups that deal with Alzheimers, Diabetes and/or other special needs.

If anyone reading this blog is not already a member of MAP or SAM and would be interested in joining, all you have to do is click the Yahoo Groups button in the side bar to get to the application. We will send you a Membership Questionnaire to fill out so that we can use the info on it to introduce you to the membership. When that is returned, your application to join will be approved right away. Don't miss out on all the fun. Join today and find out about our mentoring programs and contests.

In the first week of June we held our first Group Teaser. Lyn G. is the coordinator for this activity. She prepares the questions and hides the answers from us until someone has the answers right. The subject of the first Group Teaser was Judith Baker Montano. The Bonus Questions for this Teaser were set up as a Scavenger Hunt of the MAP member's blogs and information that could be derived from them. The week we had this contest there were some internet hiccups going on all over the world. As we do have members from Canada, Australia, Turkey and Finland, Lyn wanted to make sure everyone was getting the she invented the Teaser countdown and posted a big TICK TICK TICK every so often for about 18 hours - going from 10 to 1. Members were on the edge of their seats. One member, Beckie, even wrote a poem about it in the 7th session of the countdown:

Here I sit, glued to my chair,
Watching for emails and pulling at my hair.
I should be cleaning and pushing the broomstick.
But I can't 'cause I'm afraid --
I'll miss the next darn TICK..TICK.. TICK!!

Here are pictures of the prizes that were awarded to the winner of the first Group Teaser:

Congratulations go to Norma for winning the Super Squishie donated by Lyn.

And to Beckie for being first to get all the bonus questions correct and winning the Silk Ribbons and Silk Ribbon Embroidery Book package donated by Shari.

Now, here is a SURPRISE for you, the general public: You can also win a prize from SAM/MAP. Below is the first half of our June Teaser about Judith Baker Montano (JBM). All non-members of SAM/MAP who answer the questions correctly and leave a message with their e-mail address (but not the answers - see below) on this post, by July 5, 2009, will have their name put in a hat. The winner's name will be drawn on our founder's birthday July 6, 2009.

1. What was the first quilt show that JBM ever won a prize at?

2. What is the name of JBM's first book?

3. What brand of silk ribbons has the name "Montano Series" in their line of SRE ribbons?

4. What brand of fabrics has the Montano Design? Name the design of the fabric.

5. Name 5 of the JBM color combinations from her line of silk thread and ribbon combinations.

You could win this sweet cross stitch Pillow Insert Kit from Pine Mountain Designs:

Do not post your answers to this blog (you don't want to help the others, lol). Send your answers to Lyn at: Be sure to include your own e-mail address so we can contact you if you win. Good Luck.

Saturday, May 30, 2009