Monday, 27 June 2011

Poppy Field

After a little perseverance, Poppy Field is done.  Although it wasn't finished before the boys came home, it was finished the evening they got back.  There was some back stitching detail to do, mainly on the flowers and the building.

This design was by Lesley Teare and came from Issue 33 of Cross Stitch Gold.  Now I need to work out a way to finish it, but in the meantime, it shall join the waiting pile.

I've started a few other small projects, but need to get supplies to finish them.  Hopefully, I'll get the chance to do some shopping later in the week.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Skill Builder Sampler-Week 2

I wouldn't get too used to me doing these so soon after release, but it's nice to keep up once in a while.

The next block was a nine patch block using strip piecing, so it was something I was familiar with.  I've used some of the same fabrics as in the previous block, but have brought in some more.
One thing that did please me, was the way all the joints met up in the right places, a definite improvement on how things used to be.

Now, I have almost a whole week to wait in anticipation of the next block.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Skill Builder Sampler

Leila is hosting a Skill Builder Sampler and I thought it would be a useful way to try new blocks and methods of piecing.  However, I didn't really have the money at the moment to splash out on new fabric, so I thought, being a sampler quilt, I'd just use what I had and it would be a scrappy sampler quilt.
I am using fabric leftover from some quilt tops I've just finished, and a few fat quarters that I have left, though there aren't many of those at the moment.
The first block last week, was a log cabin block.
This is my first ever log cabin block, such a simple block, yet, I've not done one up until now.  I was quite happy with how it turned out too, it was the perfect size after minimal trimming.

The next block was released yesterday, so I hope to work on it today.  This is one I've done before, a nine patch block.

Friday, 24 June 2011

A different approach

The first job of the day was to make some changes to the dog bed to see if it made things easier.
I cut away part of the front, and just zigzag along the edges twice over to keep them together and stop fraying.

It made things easier, but definitely not ideal.  The cats may get their bed after all, but not before he's got a bigger bed, I don't think anyone is going to be able to take this one away for a while.

As I hadn't made any cards for a while, and stocks were dwindling, I thought it was about time I made some more. 

With the pergamano cards I've done before, the parchment was the outer cover, and I hand sewed card to the inside.  This time I mounted the embossed design onto card.

I cut the design to the outer border, mounted onto coloured card, and then using decoupage sticky pads, the card was mounted onto a plain white card. 

I'd forgotten how relaxing I find doing the embossing, so I may not leave it so long before I do some more.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A New Bed

This is the dog's basket. Well, it was the cat's, but he decided he'd suit it better and took it for himself.  As you can see, he's made a few modifications and these are becoming a little too dangerous to keep it, so I decided I ought to try and see if I could make him a new bed.

First, I drew around the basket, adding a few inches all around to allow for stuffing.

I cut two circles of fabric for the base.  This was taken from a pair of old curtains.  I have no idea where they came from, but somehow, they were in my stash.

As the fabric was quite stretchy and frayed easily, I machine basted all away around. 
Once that was done, I joined enough of my crumb blocks together to form the fabric for the top.

I pinned the basted circle to the crumb blocks, and sewed around leaving a turning gap.

Before turning, I trimmed to size and cut slices toward the seam for easier turning and  we were ready for stuffing.

I have a pillow case full of fabric trimmings, ends of batting etc, and this is what I used for stuffing.

Then it was time for the sides.  I was going to show you how I made the sides, but I got distracted by a trip to the nurse and a little glitch in the sewing proceedings.  Anyway, the sides were made from stiff interfacing, covered both sides with wadding.  Using some more crumb blocks, and a piece of fabric from my stash, I made a cover for it. The bottom was machine basted closed.

It was this seam that was pinned to the base, and then the fun began.  Lots of pins, lots of fabric bulk, and machine stitching can be dangerous.  I manoeuvred everything into place, and surely but slowly, stitched around the whole thing twice.

Once turned the right way, the seam is hidden inside, and I was left with a cosy bed.

Just a small glitch, the dog didn't really fit inside.  Then I realised, the basket has sides that taper out, to make it easier for him to get in.  This had straight sides so he didn't really fit.

I wasn't too disappointed.  It would mean making another one, a bigger one, but it would mean the cats could have a bed again.


someone was determined he was going to sleep in it, so I think today, I shall be making some modifications to see if I can make it an easier fit.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

June Heart

June's heart has only been waiting for just over a week, so not too long for me.

Again, it was relaxing to do.  That's six months of hearts now, only another six to go.

I've also been working on the cross stitch.  I am so determined to get this one finished and now, progress is so much easier to see as areas become filled

Monday, 20 June 2011

Next Four Blocks

As the crochet hook was already out, I polished off the next four blocks pretty quickly.  These four won't be hanging around all month.
You may notice that there is a mistake in the raspberry square.  I must have got distracted and repeated the second pattern row when I should have done the first.  As it's a sampler afghan, and for me, I've left it.  I'm just happy to know I can spot the mistake and work out what went wrong, a big improvement from the start of the project.

Now these blocks are off the list, I can do something else, not sure what yet, but there isn't a shortage of things to choose from.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Exquisite Post

Don't you just love getting beautiful things in the post?  Just imagine how delighted I was to open the envelope to find this little beauty.
It came from Karen, and it was a piece of embroidery I'd won on her blog.  She always does such beautiful embroidery, and it is an honour and pleasure to own one of her pieces.  She has lots more beautiful pieces available in her shop and I quite often go and have a look and dream of what I'd buy when the boys stop growing out of their clothes.  Go and have a look for yourselves, I am sure Karen would enjoy your visit.

Back to basics

After the success of the little jacket, I thought I'd better catch up with the latest squares for the afghan.  They've been waiting for some time, and I knew the next batch was due to arrive at any time.
I liked how this four turned out, especially the top right.  Not only do you get a wavy line with the colours, but you get a ripple effect in the square.  I really liked it, I might even use it to make a little blanket one day.

Before I'd even had a chance to finish these, the postman arrived, and yes, the next batch have arrived.  Think I'll be doing those sooner rather than later, and it will be something else to cross off the list.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Friday Night Sew In

This month, there were no unexpected happenings, so I could participate in Friday Night Sew In with no problems.  I decided to work on the latest cross stitch I'm doing, I really would like to get this finished before the boys come home, but I think that might be a little over ambitious. 

The design comes from an old Cross Stitch Gold Magazine.  I chose to do it, as I love poppies.  I don't have anywhere to put them in the garden, so I'll just have to make do with stitching them.

This is where I was when I started on this yesterday.  The bottom line is the bottom of the picture, the chart for that portion is over the page, so that will be started once I've finished the left side.
And this is where I was when I went to bed.  Slowly, but surely, the space is getting filled in.  I shall just keep doing it bit by bit every day.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Happy Dance

Ever since being shown the basics of crochet as a child and forgetting them as I grew up, I've wanted to be able to read a crochet pattern, and make something "proper".  It didn't take long to remember how to do the squares and the basic stitches, but I wanted to be able to make garments, just as I did with knitting needles.

Well this week, I did it!  I read a pattern and I have a jacket.
It might be small, but it's still a jacket, and it's the proper size and shape.  More importantly, it's wearable!  I love the little flower decorations too, and in case you're wondering, the other bits are leaves.  Next time I go into town, I'm hoping to find some pretty buttons to finish this. 

This was crocheted using a cotton yarn mixed with kapok.  The kapok really softens the feel of the cotton, I'll look forward to using it again.

Well, tonight is Friday Night Sew In.  I have a cross stitch in progress, so I shall work on that as it's one of the projects on my list to finish before the boys come home.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Is it Winter Yet?

Anyone would be mistaken for thinking that winter was upon us with me knitting socks, especially when I used the last ball to knit a hat!
This is a girl's sized hat, so didn't take too long, or a lot of wool to knit.  If I can still get the wool in the sale, I may buy some more to do a complete set.  On the pattern, there are socks, hat, mittens and wrist warmers.  Fortunately, we don't have very high temperatures here at the moment, so this isn't too uncomfortable to do.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Small Quilt Talk Challenge No 11

Having got some more of the correct white, I was able to go back and finish the basket quilt.  I only needed three more white squares to finish the front.

Once the front was done, it was time to decide on the back.  I had a piece of the pink striped fabric that kept in with the pink theme I was using.  I squared off the piece and added more white for the borders to make it big enough.
After simple quilting, I also used the white for the binding. The table quilt measures about 24" square.
The small pieces in the block may have been a challenge, but it was one I enjoyed doing, and I look forward to the next one.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

And then there were two

In no time at all, one sock became a pair.  I don't even mind that they're not exactly the same, I love the variation in the wool colour, and even with the changes, they can't be mistaken for odd socks.

There is one ball of wool left, so another something quick is next on the list.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Table Topper

Being home has it's advantages, it means I get to use the sewing machine again. That's twice in a matter of days and the result is another finished item.
 This crumb block runner was waiting for a backing, quilting and binding.
The binding was fabric that I already had, but I had to buy backing.

That's two items finished, but there are still thirteen left in my pile.  They are all waiting for borders, backing, or bindings, or even all three.  I should be able to get one more done this week as I now have stocked up on the white fabric I needed.  The others might just have to wait a little longer, but it is progress, even if a little slow.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Something Different

It seems such a long time since I've had knitting needles in my hands, and they were just itching to knit again.  While I was in town last week, I picked up a couple of patterns for socks.  I've never knitted adult socks befoe, so thought I'd finally give it a go.  I didn't realise  until I got home, that the patterns were for two needle socks, and not dpns.  If I'd known that, I might have taken the plunge earlier.  What was even better, the yarn I chose was half price.

I now have one sock, much quicker and easier to knit than I had expected

I quite like the top too.

I used Sirdar Escape DK, which is 51% wool, 49% acrylic.  All it needs now, is it's mate.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

UFO Challenge-May

I had a little time before we had to go out yesterday morning, so I attached the binding to the quilt and pinned it over for hand sewing the back.  I was able to make a start before leaving, but I packed it up and took it with me.

While the boys had their athletics session, I managed to get most of the binding sewn.  There was about six inches to finish when I got home.
Fortunately, it didn't take too long to do after dinner.  I did do another line of quilting around the centre of the quilt, which I think looks better.

That's another quilt off the list, and all being well, I might get June's done before the end of the month, but I'm not promising anything.  The knitting bug has caught hold.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Reunited with the Sewing Machine

The last couple of weeks seem to have been rather hectic.  There was housework I could no longer ignore that needed to be done and it's been a busy time with the boys, so time at home has been at a premium.  It was so lovely to be able to spend some time with the sewing machine before an appointment yesterday.

This is a project that should have been done last month, it's Mays UFO project, but it's better late than never.

The joined blocks are made up from leftovers from the jelly roll quilt I made last year.  I managed to find some fabric at a reduced price from the same line to create the panels and borders.
 So far I've quilted in the ditch around the centre panels, but I am thinking of doing another one around the centre block.  I shall see how I feel before the binding goes on.
The backing fabric was also on offer, so I can't complain.  Now I am just waiting for some binding fabric so I can get this one labelled and finished.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Needle Case

I've used a couple more of my crumb blocks and have made a needle case.
This one is for holding packets of needles, in this case, my sewing machine needles.  Now I don't have to go scrabbling in the bottom of bags to find the needles. 

I think if I was to do this again, I would put pockets on both sides. Next, I think, I will use some of these crumb blocks to make a cover for my sewing machine.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Needle Books

I've been trying to deal with my scraps as I've been working, so I've been making crumb blocks.  I wanted to make some needle books, and thought some of the crumb blocks would be ideal for the covers.

 I made two different sizes. The one at the bottom was the first one, but I decided I preferred to do one that was a rectangle rather than square.
  I quilted the outside before adding the lining.

For both books, I added two felt pages, the inner page, slightly smaller than the outside.

All in all, I think I'm pleased with how these turned out.  I can't wait to think of more ways to use the crumb blocks.