Tuesday, 31 January 2012

I like Mondays

My friend's daughter came again for a couple of hours for some more sewing fun.  When I last saw her, I gave her a little cross stitch to do, and this week, we made it into a little wall hanging.
Something simple, and quick, but the smile at the end was worth it.  I could get used to this.  The good news is, she's coming back next week too.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

A Funny Sort of Week

It's been a funny sort of week, I was out most of two days, and then the days I was in, I just didn't feel motivated to do anything,  Needles of every description failed to inspire me.  All I could put it down to, was being physically tired.

In between the comings and goings, I did sort out some old magazines.  Over the next couple of months, I shall be listing some of them on the destashing page of my blog.  Just click on it, and if there is anything that catches you eye, please let me know.  I shall be added books, kits, and supplies over the coming weeks, so keep checking back.

My sewing table was in need of a tidy, so I did get to the machine for a bit over a couple of days, I used up all my strips and have another five crumb blocks to add to my collection.  This is definitely a project with no end, the crumbs just keep coming. 

When there are enough blocks, I shall put them together in a quilt, but I think I need a few more.

I am hoping for a more productive week this week, I don't like feeling as if I don't want to do anything, especially, when there are lots of projects deep down inside I want to do.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

It's a Little Bit French

Cheryl at Willowberry Designs is doing a Sew A Long this year with a French theme.
There's also a little twist, hence the two stitched pieces.  One goes to make a gift, the other goes to make a project at the end.  There were two colourways for this, but I've done mine both the same.  They were the colours I preferred, and stitched with the threads I had.

Cheryl is also organising a swap throughout the year using the gifts that are made up.  That should make for an exciting six months.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Hexagon Flower

Despite my best endeavours, the red fabric scraps are not disappearing, in fact, they are multiplying.  I thought a rainbow quilt of hexie flowers might be something to aim for at the end of the year, so here is my red offering.
I shall keep the same centre for all the flowers and then shall probably mount the flowers onto the same colour fabric.  I shall have a look for some lovely background fabric and sashings.  As I have twelve months, I have plenty of time to choose.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

TAST-Feather Stitch

A bit later getting to TAST this week, but better late than never. 
 Only a couple of lines added this week, a plain feather stitch to mirror the up and down feathered buttonhole from last week,
and a line of closed feather stitch.  This holds down a line of silk ribbon, interspersed with seed beads.
This is the piece as a whole.  The end of the line at the top is where another embellished piece will fit in when made up into the whole cloth.

Monday, 23 January 2012


While looking for something else, I came across these, pages that should have gone in my fabric book
I thought there should have been more, but they weren't letting on the first time round I was looking for them.  They kept well and truly hidden

Thankfully, it was just a simple task of sewing them into a double sided page

and add them to the book.  Another line of stitching down the centre,

and it is all done.  This time, definitely finished-I hope!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Pansy Cottage

I enjoyed doing the pansies so much, I did the other design that went with it.  This time, a cottage worked in long and short stitch, satin stitch, long stitch, and stem stitch.  Instead of making a card, I am thinking of incorporating them into a wall hanging.  I shall have to get my thinking cap on and see what I can work out.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Just like buses

You wait ages for one to come, then two come at once!  Just like my quilt finishes.
  This was made from a layer cake I bought to do a QAL, then decided other things were a priority, and didn't do it.  The fabric didn't go to waste, I used it to make a quilt of my own.
 The top was made several months ago, but I had to get fabric for the backing and some batting.  That arrived last month, but with one thing and another, it took a little time to get it to the sewing machine.
Now it has, I'm quite pleased with the result.  A lot of the fabrics, I wouldn't have chosen on my own, but the fabric in the binding seems to pull them together and give it a warm look.

It's likely to be a few weeks before there is another finished quilt here.  I need to pull out a top, and shop for the backing.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Little Bit of Spring

If spring isn't outside, with stitching, you can always have it inside.
Looking through one of my old magazines the other day, I saw the pattern for this little pansy embroidery.  This will probably go to make a card, but I am waiting to make up my mind until I have another picture stitched.  This time, it's a country cottage, with pansies.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A Quilting Finish

It's been a long time, but eventually, I have a quilt finished.  This top was made last year, for the red month in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and although I had fully intended to finish before now, it's finished in this year's red month.

 I did just simple straight line quilting, either side of the seams.  On the sides and across the top and bottom, there are three lines of quilting.
I got some red spotted fabric for the back, with a black strip top and bottom. 

I have another quilt ready to be completed, just have to get it all sandwiched together and to the machine.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A Wondeful Way to Spend an Afternoon

A friend of mine had asked if I would mind helping her daughter to do some quilting.  They'd bought the new magazine, The Art of Quilting, and hadn't been able to make sense of the instructions.  Her daughter found it much easier to learn if she could see how to do it.

I was delighted to help and thought of ways to make it easier and more exciting for A, so she wouldn't be put off.  I gave her the choice of my red and white charms squares that I'd received in a fabric swap, told her how many she needed, and left her to it.  It didn't take long for her to choose which ones she wanted, and to put them in order.  Then the fun began.

A had never used a machine before, but in no time, she had pieced the the top.  We then made a sandwich with muslin as the backing, and after changing to the walking foot, she quilted the top.
Using a simple envelope backing, she made this beautiful cushion cover, all in just over an hour.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and so did A.  She spent the evening telling her mum how it was all done.  I'm out next Monday with Daniel, but the week after she is coming again.  Apparently, A was so thrilled with what she did, she's planning a quilt for her brother to take to university in September!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Something Gentle for the Weekend

Feeling a bit under the weather over the weekend meant I didn't want anything too complicated to do, or anything big.  Small and easy was definitely the order of the day.
I ended up going through some old magazines I want to clear out, and came across these four designs.

They were supposed to be for bookmarks, but as I didn't have any of the card blanks for them, they were made into little cards instead.

They're only about four inches by two and a half, so are quite sweet, and the combination of cross stitch and long stitch, made them very quick to complete.  Perfect for a lazy weekend.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


I collect all my threads from my various stitching and knitting projects, and keep them in a jar.  I quite often use them for stuffing, but have thought, they could be used for something a bit more pleasing.  I thought I'd try playing with water soluble fabric and see what happened.

The water soluble fabric arrived with no instructions, so it was definitely a try it and see project.
I layered some of the threads etc, between two layers of the water soluble fabric and started stitching, using the darning quilt and FMQ in no particular pattern or order.

As there were no instructions, I soon found I had layered the threads too thickly in places, and rapidly went through my needles.  In fact, by the end of the project, I'd broken five, a personal record.

Eventually, I decided I'd stitched enough and the fun began.  I dissolved the fabric, and moulded the resulting fabric around a little pot, and allowed it to dry.

The pins you see are just hold folds in place until it dries completely.

The idea was to trim the edges to the height of the pot, but there is something about the raggedy edges that I like.  This is still a work in progress.  I think I'll trim the loose threads, maybe add some velvet ribbon, and possibly some beads.  I have it on the mantel shelf so I can look and it and let it tell me what it wants.

This may not have gone exactly as planned, but it's something I shall try again.  The threads will be spread thinner to make the stitching easier and more effective, and I shall try different forms, possibly platters.  Who knows where it will go, all I know is, it's been fun.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge

I've always wanted to do Free Motion Quilting, but have always been scared to try it.  Something about having to dictate the stitch length and direction seemed very scary, so this challenge seemed to be the perfect place to start.

The challenge for this month was to try a leaf shape.  I watched the video and it seemed so easy, so I prepared my sandwich and took the plunge.
 These aren't in any way perfect, but I am delighted with how it turned out.  It wasn't as bad as I was expecting and I love the effect on the quilt sample.
I imagine it might be a bit harder on a larger quilt, but having started on a small piece, at least I can work my way up, 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

TAST 2012-Buttonhole Stitch

This is one of my favourite stitches, so this weeks TAST was a real pleasure to do.  I even remember some of the stitches from the last time round.
 This is how my piece looks now.  To start with this week, on the bottom right seam, I did buttonhole lace.  I did three layers of the lace.  You can just see on the hexagon, I've worked a Rosette of Thorns on each of the sides.
 Here is barb stitch-two rows of buttonhole back to back, with the centre bar laced
 Buttonhole Wheels
 This is Up and Down Buttonhole Feathered-this stitch nearly got me.  The first evening, I just couldn't get it, and not being one to give up.  I tried again.  I got a piece of scrap, sat at the computer with the instuctions, and straight away, it worked!  This is great for working on curves.
Feather stitch, with beads added to the ends of the feathers

The whole piece is now being damp stretched and I'm eagerly waiting to see what the next stitch will be.  More examples can be seen here- http://www.pintangle.com/journal/2012/1/10/take-a-stitch-tuesday-week-2.html

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Building Houses

Terry and I are doing a QAL of our own. Terry has wanted to do a House quilt for a very long time, and we decided to do one together. Terry found a pattern here and we got started. As I was already working with red, our first houses were going to be red.
 My houses are definitely scrappy, as I was using all I had in the red.  It seemed a good idea at the time, but I am rethinking. 
Terry's houses can be seen here http://terrytreasures.blogspot.com/2012/01/building-houses.html.

Next month, we are doing orange houses, so I'm off to search to see what fabric I have.

Monday, 9 January 2012

TAST 2012

I decided I'd join in with Take A Stitch Tuesday hosted by Sharon B again this year.  I may not necessarily do each stitch each week, but I thought I'd do as many as I was comfortable with.  I thought another white work piece would be the perfect canvas, so the first piece is made.
 This time it's going to be silk, with ribbons, lace and beads
This week's stitch is fly stitch, so on one hexagon, I have a leaf

Here is a combination of fly stitch and bullion stitch.  The bullion stitch is done is a very pale grey/white silk.

Along this seam, I've threaded beads onto the straight stitch.  In the 'v's and between, I've done french knots.

This is going to be a piece that grows throughout the year.  Some of the stitches included may not necessarily be included in TAST, but one thing is for sure, I'll shall enjoy every minute of stitching.

Sunday, 8 January 2012


The Internet is a great source of inspiration and tutorials.  Last week, I read a post here-http://sewmanyways.blogspot.com/2012/01/tool-time-tuesdayfabric-heart-bookmark.html, and thought these were perfect.  They used up some more of my scraps and make ideal gifts.
Karen's tutorial is so easy to follow too, I had these four done in about an hour, in between sorting washing etc.  Hopefully, there will be more of these throughout the year, another project in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Flower Pincushion

 This has been on my list of things to do for some time, a sunflower pincushion.  You can find a great tutorial here - http://genna-crossstitchandcrochet.blogspot.com/2009/10/sunflower-pincushion-tutorial.html.  There are plenty of pictures and clear instructions that make the whole process simple to follow.
This has also used up some more of the red scraps in my stash.  Hopefully, I can add some of different colours as the year progresses.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Using up Leftovers

The cotton yarn leftover has now been used and put to good use,  I got another two dishcloths crocheted.  I now have a small space cleared from under my work table, and have two more useful objects.  Now if I can get some of the quilts done, an even bigger space will appear.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2012

It was fun joining in with the rainbow scrap challenge last year, so I thought I'd do it again this year with a slightly different game plan.  This year, I thought I'd do blocks of the different colours through the year, to get a rainbow quilt at the end.

The first colour this year is red, so I have six of these blocks
 A string block
 and three crumb blocks.
I do have some red leftover, so have a couple of small projects to do, but they can wait for another day

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Fabric Book

I've not made a fabric book before, so I was so pleased that this went together so easily, I wouldn't mind making another one sometime.
 I picked out a spare fat quarter I had.  It was enough to do the inside, outside, and the tab
 I made a bar for the tab to go under, using the needle weaving techniques learnt last year in Karen's class.  Great to be able to use them in different situations.
 The pages were joined together, then I stitched down the centre to fix them in place
The end result, is a book that has been labelled "cool" by one of the boys!  That's what I call a result.
That's the end of the Stitched Sunday embroidery pages.  I still have the hearts, and the Skill Builder Sampler series to catch up with, plus a couple of other projects to start for the year.