March’s TAST and CQJP

TAST Week 9

Week 9 of the TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) Challenge was the Couching stitch.  couching

For my sampler, I made a shamrock using Pearl Cotton and “invisible sewing thread”. Week 9 Couching

Making the shamrock got me thinking about 4 leaf clovers.  Indiana has an excellent environment for growing clover.  I used to look for 4 leaf clovers, which were supposed to bring good luck to the finder.  Wondering where that legend started, I googled 4 leaf clovers, and came up with this tidbit from Wilkipedia:

clover “According to tradition, such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally.  According to legend, each leaf represents something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck  (the three-leaf shamrock had been used by St. Patrick as a metaphor for the Christian Trinity).”     It went on to say there are about 1 four leaf clovers for every 10,000.  Guess I was pretty lucky to find the few that I did (still have one pressed in my Bible from those days).

My CQJP (Crazy Quilt Journal Project) block this month is titled “March in Yuma”.  It embodies some of the more memorable events of the month.

We live full time in an RV and spend 6 months of the year as “snowbirds”  in Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ.   The 400+ site park has become our winter home with friends.  The exodus toward the north begins in March, and there are always many “end of season” parties,  each one a “last chance to get together with friends” before heading our separate ways.

I appliquéd a 4 leaf clover to symbolize the 4 end of season parties we attended.  Each one was separate, but the friends involved are interlocking and combined, just as the leaves on the  clover.  I used the same pearl cotton to couch around the leaves and create the stem.  Later in the month, I used the couching on several more elements of the block.  I found I liked the way it defines the seams.


Tast Week 10

Week 10 brought the Running Stitch.  running

Week 10 Running Stitch I had just used the detatched chain stitch a few weeks ago to depict raindrops, but the running stitch also whispered “rain” to me.  This time, I created a bed of   Texas Bluebonnets at the bottom of the square.  Have you ever seen the Texas Bluebonnets in the spring?   There’s nothing like it!  To see more of Texas’ famous wildflowers, see my blog posts here.20100424TXFredericksburgBluebonnetsS[16]

bonnet They cover entire fields, hillsides and valleys with their beauty.  They don’t come every year, only on the years when there’s been enough early spring rain.  Why are they called bluebonnets?  Here’s why…they look just like a minature lady’s bonnet.

In my sampler, they’re lifting their faces in gratitude toward the life-giving rain.

For the Crazy Quilt block, I appliquéd a miniature quilt block and used the Running Stitch as quilt stitches.  The little block symbolizes our park’s annual Quilt and Art Show.  (There’s another line of couching between the peach and green section.)P1210917


(That’s Bernice and I demonstrating tatting at the show….I’m on the left.)     

Tast Week 11

Week 11’s stitch was the Whipped Wheel.  Whipped Wheel

I’ve used teneriffe embroidery on shirts before… in fact, in the above picture, I have on a shirt I embellished with tatted circles containing teneriffe centers.  The teneriffe starts with base of spokes, then the embroidery is woven on top, as in the center of this tatting:


The Whipped Wheel is similar, except for the raised effect.  Instead of an over and under weaving, the weaving is under two, around one.

We used to own property that included a wooded area on a hillside.  One spring, walking through the still mostly bare woods, I was delighted to find a cascade of tiny star-shaped blooms flowing down the hillside.  Doing some research, I discovered they were “Star of Bethlehem”.  The tiny bulbs must have washed down from the home site above over the years, and lodged in the woodland soil.  I transplanted some to my flower/herb garden and enjoyed them each spring thereafter.  The small whipped wheel was a little difficult to accomplish on my sampler (with each week’s area barely more than an inch square), but I tried to illustrate the Star of Bethlehem.

Week 11 Whipped Wheelstar4

My husband is the Shuffleboard Leader for our park.  4 mornings a week find him on the courts at 7:30 am with his cleaning crew, ready to play by 9.  He also heads up the Yuma Encore Shuffleboard (Y.E.S.), a league of 6 teams.  In March they had a full day of tournaments to end the season.  I had to include a shuffleboard reminder on the quilt, and the whipped wheel made perfect pucks

Court details were stitched with the Running Stitch.


Tast Week 12

Week 12 brought March’s last stitch, the Barred Chain.barred ch  barred alt

This stitch took quite a bit of practice to master.

After a “thorny” start, I created this long stemmed ribbon rosebud for the sampler.  I love roses, and discovered this one on a walk just this week. IMG_5905 week 12 alternating barred chain stitch

The stitch also outlines some of the seams on my quilt block.


Two more elements make up the quilt block.

We were invited to a Dinner Theatre.  The play was Green Misconduct, and the tables were strewn with shamrocks.  My tatting for this month’s block is a Celtic Shamrock (pattern by Yarnplayer).


I mounted it on the white on white fabric, the one fabric common to all my blocks.

I have a bit of Native American blood in my veins, and perhaps that’s one reason I’m drawn to the sound of Powwow drums.  Each year, the Strong Hearts Powwow is held in nearby Bard, CA.  To symbolize the Powwow, I created a Dreamcatcher, with a couple of my beaded feathers hanging from the bottom.

P1210704           P1210917

All of these elements combined make up “March in Yuma”.


3 thoughts on “March’s TAST and CQJP

  1. Nice stitching! And I enjoyed looking through your blog. I really like your nature theme and the way you incorporate your life into your stitching and quilting. (I’m a fellow TASTer.)

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