Tuesday, 30 June 2009

I'm being watched

Despite the distractions of the day, I now have a face. That beady eye seems to watch everything I do. I suppose I had better hurry up and get the rest of the body stitched.

I would have done a bit more, but the tennis got too interesting and unfortunately, I can't watch TV and stitch at the same time. If I can see the tiny holes to stitch, I can't see the television, and if I can see the TV, I can't see the holes. The joys of getting older-please note, I didn't say old! The other distraction was this little cutie.
I am very pleased to say, she was not interested in my stitching or the bobbins and skeins. I don't think this will be a situation that last, but I'll make the most of it while I can.

Monday, 29 June 2009

To all you slave drivers

I stitched, and stitched, and stitched some more. In fact, I stitched until the fingers in my left hand seized up from holding the fabric.

This is the progress so far. One page is almost complete and I am a quarter of the way through. How many days late finishing do you think I will be?

Today will not be a day for much stitching. I have to collect the boys and there is a little kitty coming back with them.

For the last few days, all the floss I have been using, has been laid out on the seat next to where I sit and stitch. The skeins and bobbins are all in neat lines, so I can find exactly which thread I need without having to search through them all. I am not sure how long that will last with a new kitten in the house.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

We have a back

I did it! Yes, I eventually got to the end of the seemingly endless back on J's jumper. The boys will definitely have to stop growing.
Not only do I have a completed back, I made a start on the front. Admittedly, it was a very small start, but a start nonetheless.
Most of the day however, was spent working on the Round Robin. I am going to be cross eyed by the end of this. I haven't even done a quarter of the design yet, so I think I may be doing this for some time, but I hope it will be worth it. If I ever do this design again, I don't think it will be one over one on 18 count fabric. One guess what I am going to be doing the rest of the day. Yes, it's back to the Round Robin.

Friday, 26 June 2009

On a crocheting roll

Both sides of the bag are now complete and have been joined together.
I'm really quite pleased with the join, it doesn't look as if this will be coming apart any time soon. The two sides were joined using double crochet, and it beats sewing up.
I now have to get some handles for this. I've already seen some and they are quite reasonably priced.
I have already done the crochet part of my next project, but I need to get some decent photos before I can show you.
I am doing a crochet hook roll and the outer cover is complete. Hopefully, the inside can be done later this week.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Alla Turca Part V

Today was bright and sunny and perfect for doing some cross stitch. That, and I thought I had better do another section so I had some progress to report on the monthly SAL ( http://stepbystepmonthly.blogspot.com/ )at the weekend.

I am still not up to date, as I still have June's section to do, and a week to go before the next part is released. I have made a start on part VI, but I need to get some more stranded cotton.

I haven't done much knitting this week, but I did manage another 2 inches on J's jumper. They are away at the weekend, so even if I don't get anything else done, I am determined to get this back finished. Perfect to do whilst watching Wimbledon.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

One side complete

I finished doing the squares for the crocheted bag and had the task of joining them together. They are joined using double crochet. This is the first time I've done any joining and it didn't turn out too badly, though I am sure it will improve with each project.

Once the four squares were joined, a double crochet border was added all the way round. Then a another round in the granny square style. This was then ready to add the tab which will be used to attach to the handle.

The tab was done in double crochet rows. I must say, this is a lot neater than the rows I achieved on the class I went to a couple of months ago.

This is the end result. I need to sew in all the ends and get the other side put together. I just need to get the feeling back in my fingers first.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

A wallhanging or a cushion?

I have spent a couple of days doing some hand quilting and have found it really relaxing. I quilted around the black stripes and the outer edge of the inner border.

I have had this panel for some years and finally decided to make use of it. I had a similar one with giraffes which I didn't quilt, but made into a cushion cover.

I now need to decide how to finish this and there has been a difference of opinion here. I have had two votes for a cushion, (and it would be a large one), and one for a wall hanging. Ladies, I need your help, what shall it be?

Monday, 22 June 2009

Mouse Family Quilt Finished

Well, it's finally finished. I finished sewing the binding on Tuesday, but it's taken a few days to get it washed and ironed.

I inherited some fabric from my mum, which I used for the back. I think she got it with the intention of making something for the boys when they were little. I just thought the colours tied in nicely with the front.
I thoroughly enjoyed this project with the mixture of hand and machine stitching. I found the applique very relaxing to do.
I am going to do another quilt using the elephant fabric. As long as my fingers hold out, I intend to do some hand quilting on it.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Three down, five to go

I have made a very small start on my next crochet project. I'm hoping that the next time I get it out, I will have more time to spend on it.

I have done three granny squares and need five more. They will eventually come together to make a bag. The squares are the easy bit, and something I have done before It's the rest of it that will be a challenge. I'm even going to try and line it too to give it some extra strength.

In between, I have managed to do another couple of inches on J's jumper, I have about eight more inches to do to finish the back. Slowly but surely, I will get there.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

TAST Sampler Wallhanging

I am slowly going through my huge pile of completed stitched pieces and getting them finished. There is no point in keeping them in a huge folder not being seen by anybody. Since I have been reading other people's blogs, I have other ideas for finishing other than framing.
This is a TAST sampler block I did last year and have made into a wall hanging. This is the largest I can go with just a loop finish.
I chose the cord and the backing fabric to match the buttons I used on the front. This pick out the red in the flowers and the spots on the patterned fabric.
Now to get the thinking cap on, not all the pieces I have can be finished so simply.

Friday, 19 June 2009

How I made the Parchment Card

Deepa (http://deepashome.blogspot.com/) asked how I made the parchment card, so I will try and go through the process we followed. Please bear in mind, this was my very first attempt and I don't have any of the equipment here.

We started with a paper pattern.
You will notice the lines around the design. These mark out the final size of the card, the dotted line on the left being the fold line.

We traced the outline of the flowers and the leaves using a white pen.

We then turned our attention to the corner patterns. Each of those dots had to be pricked. For the groups of four, we used a four pronged pricking tool, making sure we had a pricking mat under the paper. This stops the table or the tools being damaged.

Once all the holes had been pricked, we removed the parchment from the paper. The parchment was then turned to the reverse side. After wiping with a tumble dryer sheet, to make the surface greasy, we were ready to "colour" the petals and leaves.
We used special embossing tools that had rounded points on the end. These came in a variety of sizes and we used the biggest one first. Staying within the traced lines, we stroked the parchment. This warms and stretches the parchment which gives it the white colour. The thinner tool gives definition to the shading.
In the corner sections, we used the larger embossing tool to make the white dots between each four square. Once this was done, the cut outs were the next thing to do.

Using special pergamano scissors, which have curved blade we form this small crosses. On each four dot block, we work one side at a time, putting the tips of the blades in two holes, slight twist to the left and snip. By doing this on all four sides, you get left with the cross shape hole.

When the design is complete, the parchment is folded along the dotted line and then cut to size.

Taking some folded card, a strip of double sided tape is stuck on the reverse side along the fold. Place the card inside the folded parchment and join together, making sure the tape is on the reverse of the parchment. The card can now be cut to the size of the parchment. You should now have a pretty card.

Deepa, I hope this helps to give some idea of the process.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

A new biscornu

Marg (http://maggies-textiles.blogspot.com/) in Australia and I, have done a private biscornu swap and I received this little beauty in the post.

Each side is different, though using the same colours. I really love the colours together, so peaceful and relaxing and the buttons match them perfectly.I love the little details on the corners that tie the two sides together.
Marg, I love it and appreciate every stitch (I've been stroking them, they feel so smooth) and the time you spent working on it. A very big thank you.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

When is a postcard not a postcard

I had originally stitched this with the intention of making it into a fabric postcard but D pleads with you not to send it. I knew if D kept it as a postcard, it would more than likely get lost in all his junk, sorry, treasures. I decided to do a postcard style hanging. This meant a really simple make.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Back completed

I always like to have some knitting which I can do in the evening when I don't have to concentrate too much. This pattern is for a gillet, so without sleeves to knit, is great for relaxing knitting.The lower half has a cable pattern which is very simple. Just one twist on every eighth row, but very effective.
I finally got the back completed and it wasn't until I was looking at the photo, that I really noticed how the yarn was patterning. It will be slightly different on the fronts due to the shorter rows. I am using using Sirdar Peru in Picot. It's quite a sea green sort of colour and I am really enjoying knitting with it.
I've also prepared lots of things for hand sewing this week. It's been a busy day, but not a lot of finishes to show for it. Hopefully, during the week some of them will be completed.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Parchment Card

Over the years, I have looked at parchment cards and have thought they look fun to do, but had never got around to it. On Saturday, I finally had a go when I went with D to a parchment card class at Craftastic, our local craft shop.

We had a go at the simple embossing of the flower in the centre. We also did some pricking and cut outs. The little crosses were created using a 4 prong pricking tool, and then the parchment in the centre of the square are cut out. This was very fiddly and quite time consuming, but thoroughly satisfying.

Once completed, the parchment was folded over a card and this is the result. Not bad for the first go. Now, do I go out and get some supplies to do more at home, mmmmmm.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

An Important Flower Part 2

This is another piece that has been hanging around feeling neglected over the last couple of months. I got it out to start working on it again last week. It took a few sessions to get it completed. I even had to go and buy some more floss.

I do like how this one is developing and quite relaxing to stitch too. I think this will be looking forward to having a good iron once it is completed.

Just when I thought I'd caught up, they have released the next part. At least there I have two months before part four comes out.

Friday, 12 June 2009

I did it

I sat down with my magazine, yarn and crochet hook and made this: It's amazing when something is new, how you get excited at the little things. Not only was I amazed that I could actually follow a pattern and it turn into something resembling the picture, but I now know how to make things with flat bottoms with sides going up.

Stitches used were chain, double crochet and half treble. It is finished off with a picot edging.
I should have crocheted the cord, but I couldn't get it to stay neat, so I thought a ribbon would do very nicely, thank you.

I have already bought the yarn for the next project. I think this one will take more than a day to complete though.

J has asked me to make him a little pouch in black and D wants me to teach him to crochet. Hang on boys, mum's still learning here.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Another Wallhanging

This was the little needlepoint that was started by my mum. She died before she could finish and as you can tell by the stitching, she was quite ill when she was doing this. The stitching is very uneven. I decided to leave the stitching in tact, as it was a part of her, and then completed the tent stitch.
I have made it into a little wall hanging for D using the same cloud material as I used for Concorde. It seemed appropriate that a bird would have sky around him. This will be a little gift for D from me and his nan.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Concorde takes to the air

I eventually got around to finishing Concorde and made it into a simple wall hanging for J. This cloud material seemed the perfect background.

I machine appliqued the cross stitch to the front which was the easiest way to cope with the odd shape. It will go well on the blue walls in his bedroom.
Once this was done, I did some more knitting on his jumper. This is a slow grower, unlike J. I think it has grown about an inch and I'm about halfway up the back. I'll get there eventually, but it comes as a real shock to the system when you realise that the jumper that you are knitting for your little boy, would fit you.

Monday, 8 June 2009

My little mouse family

I have finally done the hand sewing on this quilt top.

The pieces were ironed onto the backing fabric using bondaweb and then appliqued using blanket stitch using two strands of Madeira embroidery cotton. After the first couple of pieces, I got into a rhythm and the stitches got more even.
Next the tails were stitched in stem stitch using six strands. This gives the tails some thickness.

The exciting bit was the faces. The nose and eyes are done in satin stitch using three strands, and then the mouths were stitched in stem stitch.
I know I could have machine appliqued this, but it was so much more satisfying doing this by hand. Now after a gentle wash and an iron, I need to make it into a quilt.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Blackbird Exchange

After a week of stitching, I have finally finished the exchange piece for Blackbird Designs Exchange. The design is called Something Sweet.
Most of the stitching is cross stitch over two strands on 28count linen. The lettering was stitched over one. The centre of the main violet is a smyrna cross stitch and there was the very minimum of back stitch.

I used a pale green fabric for the back with a flower motif. I chose this fabric from my stash as the green matched the light green of the leaves on the front. In the end, I went with a wall hanging finish, bearing in mind that this has to take a trip across the Atlantic.

This is the last of the exchange pieces I have to do for a while. I can now concentrate on catching up with Alla Turca and An Important Flower. I also have the next round robin piece to work on, though I need to find a design for this first.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Kick Start Needed

As you know, I've wanted to have a go at some crochet. I went to a class and I had remembered what I had learned as a child, and I even managed to crochet in rows. However, I have still been too scared to actually pick up a pattern and have a go. Silly, I know, but look what I found when I went shopping
It is full of fun patterns suitable for a beginner-at least, I think they are. It also came with some yarn and a crochet needle, so I have no excuse but to have a go.

I know that it will probably get pushed to one side unless I set myself a time to have try, so beware next Wednesday. The frustrated mutterings you'll be hearing could be coming from my corner of the world.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Their wish is my command

Well sometimes, if I possibly can.

Some months ago, when I made the placemats for the boys, D said they needed some coasters. I did the machine stitching a few weeks ago and then tucked them away to wait for the hand sewing. I forgot all about them until I found them while I was looking for something else.
I finally got them finished so I've wrapped them and put them away as a surprise for another day.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Alla Turca Part IV

Now all the exchange pieces are out of the way, and my next RR hasn't arrived yet, I've been able to do some of my own stitching. Alla Turca hasn't seen the light of day for quite some time so I thought it was time to do some catching up.

This is how it looks now after doing April's installment. Only May and June's to do now and I am back on track. I will have to go the the library tomorrow. to get May and June printed. I hope that by the end of the month I will back to where I should be.

I think for the rest of the evening I will do some of J's jumper. Good mindless knitting, even though it is black.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Mail Art Envelope

The mail art envelope exchange on Stitchin Fingers was definitely a challenge. This is the first one I have ever made, and it has been a steep learning curve. All I can say is, the next one will be better! I may even finish the next one differently as there seems to be many different ways to finishing them.

Once I had lined the stitching and sewn it into the envelope shape, I crocheted a button loop using DMC thread. I attached this to the point of the flap and it slides rather snugly over the button. The button is covered in fabric and is the same colours used in the blackberries. It was a spare button that came with a dress or something many years ago. I knew they would get used somewhere, sometime. I think it may even have been one of my mums.

The pattern was from Jane Greenoff's magazine from Sept/Oct 2001. I have had my money's worth from this magazine with one more project to complete. It may have taken some time, but I got there in the end.

I wonder what the next new challenge will be.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Blackbird Design Exchange Received

It was a long day yesterday, so it was lovely to get home and open to post. I received this from Patti and I am delighted. It was so good to receive something from someone I had got to know through the world of blogs.
I love the colours and the ribbon is gorgeous, and it wasn't until I took the photos that I noticed my initials.
I even have a place to keep my scissors. Everyone is determined that I don't lose another pair of scissors. This is going to be perfect for keeping my scissors and needles together for my travelling projects.