Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Stitched Sunday- French and Colonial Knot

What a fun page this was to do.  As you can see, the colonial knot took me a little time to perfect, although more practise wouldn't come amiss.
They were definitely better when I got down to the scrolls lines at the bottom, but I must say, I much preferred the french knots, definitely more within my comfort zone.

The circle around the heart is done in whipped chain stitch and the heart in stem stitch.

That's another page caught up, fly and feather stitch is next.

Prairie Points and Rouleau Loops

After having done task two for the Embroidery, Embellish,Create course, I went back to do task one.  The first part was to make prairie points.
 The first ones I make, were the larger plain ones on the bottom, then I thought I would like some smaller ones.  The second batch were used making the pattern fabric.  These will appear somewhere in the embroidered cloth, probably as an edging or for one of the seams.  I am sure there will be some more of these made.

Once these were done, I sat down to do the rouleau loops.  I did have a fleeting thought go through my brain wondering why I didn't do the hardest bit first.  However, this was so much easier than I had expected.  The tubes turned out perfectly, and so easily after following Karen's clear instructions.
 I'll have two different sizes.  The small ones were the first, and I thought they would probably look better bigger, so cut some more.  They will sit under some seams somewhere along the way, but in the meantime, I can admire the neat tubes.
I shall definitely be making more of these now the fear has gone.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Skill Builder Sampler Catch Up

I had two blocks to catch up on, the first Virginia Star, 
 the second, Breaking Out
Both of the blocks used two different methods of making flying geese units.  The first had every piece cut to size and stitched, the second, the magic method.  The second was quicker, but I found the first was more accurate for me.  We shall see what the next block brings.

Marvelous Monday

I was looking forward to this Monday, and I can honestly say, I wasn't let down.  It was the first day of the Embroidery, Embellish, Create Class.  It hadn't been released when I was first ready to start, so I did this weeks Mystery Monday clue.

The cutting of the new squares and the sewing to form the blocks didn't take long at all.  However, the trimming of the blocks after seemed to take forever, no doubt made to feel worse as the lesson for the class was now online.

However, I persevered, and after a couple of hours I had a few block like this
 due to the fact that I had run out of the apple fabric.  There is a big pile of these,
 and these.  Now they can all go to the side until next Monday.
 Now the real fun of the day could begin.  I read all the info on the blog, printed the pdf's and watched the video and was ready to start.  There were two tasks for this section, and I did the second first, as you do!
 I took the linens that I have had safe in my drawer, you know that set of drawers Karen that you admired so much?  Two of the little drawers are now empty.  I took a deep breath, and started cutting with the scissors.

Karen made this bit look so easy, but I lost count of the number of variations I had for this one blocks.  Nearly two hours later, I finally settled on this.
Now it's all tacked and ready for the embroidery and my fingers are itching to start.  First though, I need to go back to task one, rouleau loops and prairie points!  That's what I am going to be doing today.

Monday, 29 August 2011

A Present For Me

I was so excited when  Karen wrote a blog post about an embroidery course that she was offering online- Embroider, Embellish, Create. I have long admired the work that Karen has done, and am very lucky to own a little bit for myself.  I really wanted to do the course, and sat and thought about it for a little while and decided it would be a present for me, from me.  I hadn't spent all the money I'd taken on holiday, and this was going to be my treat.

The first thing to do was find some suitable fabric.  Karen uses a lot of fabrics taken from older textiles, so I went through my drawer and found some table runners, dressing table set and an embroidered table cloth with crochet edging.  
I found some more treasures in the drawer below.  This held some old pilowcases.  I had to check they didn't have quilt covers to go with them, but sure enough, apart from the ones with the peach edging, they were all ones my mum had acquired from somewhere.

 I also found some crocheted doilies, a couple are hand made, but the others are machine manufactured.  These may or may not find their way into the project, they could prove to be too heavy.
While I was searching through, I also found one of the first pieces I embroidered.  If I'd know then, what I know now, I would have seperated the strands of floss, and not tried to embroider such small designs using the full six strands.  Nevertheless, it was well used, so well used in fact, it has begun to wear in the centre.  As you can see from the colour choice, I was not a pink girl.

Our first lesson for this course is due to start today, and I can't wait to see where it will start and where the journey will take us.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Stitched Sunday- Satin Stitch

I have three in the Stitched Sunday series to catch up on.  When you look at them, it doesn't seem a lot, but they do take a little time to complete.

Satin stitch was released before I went away, but I didn't get a chance to get it done, so it's the first to be completed now.
Satin stitch is one of my favourites, so I really enjoyed this block.  I usually outline the section to be completed to give a bit more definition to the satin stitch, but I'd never added an outline around the completed area before.  I added one to the ribbon at the top and really like the effect.   This is something to remember for future reference.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

A New Mystery Monday Project

The new Mystery Monday project was announced just before I went away.  I didn't think I would be able to take part as, at the time, I wasn't buying new fabric.  However, I was delighted to read the fabric requirements and see it was going to be something made completely from scraps.  Now that was something I could do.

The first week was posted the week I went away, and it was to cut squares of fabric.  Now that was an easy one, I already had lots of 21/2" cut.  That left me with two weeks to do when I came home.
One week was to make 18 four patch units of lights, the second, 18 four patch units of darks.  As I already had quite a few 2 patch units made up, this didn't take too long to do at all. 

Now I am ready for the next installment on Monday.

Friday, 26 August 2011

A Welcome Home Surprise

Before I went away, I entered a giveaway on Terry's blog which was for her blog anniversary.  Whilst away, I did keep in contact with her and she let me know that I'd won the giveaway.  It was a lovely surprise, but it was an even greater surprise to walk in through the door last Friday and find the package from Terry had already arrived.
These were the goodies that were inside.  Any of you the follow Terry's blog will know she loves pincushions, and I know have one of hers for my own!  I do love the way she has attached the button,  it is tied, something I've not seen or tried before.  It gives it a lovely finish and it's a great addition to my sewing table.  As Terry says, a girl can never have enough pin cushions!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Crochet Blocks

While I was away, the next four issues of the Art of Crochet arrived.  In my attempt to clear up, I thought I'd get the four blocks crocheted up and the magazines and folders would be away for another month.  This took a little longer that I'd first anticipated.
 The four blocks didn't take long to do, but it was then time to stitch up the next quarter of the afghan.

It took the rest of the afternoon and evening to sew all these blocks together.  Now I need to join the two quarters I have and I'll get to see what half the afghan will look like.  I do know there is going to be quite a bit of weight in it which will be perfect for the winter evenings.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Catch Up Begins

The boys arrived home safely from their travels yesterday afternoon, and with them, the camera.  Now I can truly get back into the swing of things.  First of all a catch up on some of the things that have been keeping me busy, before, after and during my holiday.

While we were away, we missed a wedding, but the boys chose what they wanted from the gift lift.  I had to smile at their logic in making their choice.  They chose dish cloths and tea towels, "because you(being me) can make them"!  Although, I will be buying the tea towels, I did have a dish cloth making spree before I went away.  I've done two each, knitted and crocheted.

Out of the scraps left, I did myself a couple too.  I don't care that the yarn is  a bit mismatched, they will still do their job.
 The next project is one of those that will take a while, it's the project I do to use up the odd time between finishing and starting projects, usually the evenings.  I chose this one from an older copy of Cross Stitch Gold.
 The great thing with this sampler, each elephant is like having a finish in itself.  As each one is done, I'm doing the back stitching, so it seems to come together quite quickly.  Eventually, this will become a central panel for a baby quilt or wall hanging.

As my hands are never idle for long, I had to think of something to take with me on holiday.  It had to be something I could do and still be sociable, and not cause airport staff any concerns for safety.  The answer was some crochet, plastic hooks do not set off any alarms!
This is going to be a jacket, and is a much darker purple in real life.  The back and one front has been completed.  The pattern is another from the Art of Crochet magazine, and was well chosen for it's simplicity.  I'll get back to this one once I've managed to catch up with the other projects I missed while being away.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

I'm Back

I arrived home on Friday night, but the boys are still away.  They get back on Tuesday, and the camera will be coming home with them too.  We had a lovely time, a great experience for the boys and I am so pleased to have been able to share the adventure with them, it was their first trip abroad.

Now I'm home, it's back to the joys of washing, ironing and cleaning.  I have lots of projects to catch up on, I shall post on progress as soon as the camera comes home.  First priority for the day, clean out the guinea pig.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

It's going to be quiet

Just to let you know it's going to be a bit quiet around here for a week or so.  We are going away, so any big projects are on hold.  In the meantime, I'm making dishcloths and doing a little hand sewing.  I'll update you all on progress when I get back.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

An Apple a Day

Now that I have an apple in my collection, I think that is all the easy fruit options done.  Next stage will be to find some recipes and get them stitched up.  I think I am going to go for some traditional recipes, using a recipe book that used to be my great grandmothers.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Pretty Pear

The next in the fruit series, a pear.  A lovely simple shape to applique which suits me fine.  Hopefully, it should be joined by an apple today.

Friday, 5 August 2011


The next in the fruit series is plums, and fortunately easy to do.  They are quite an easy shape for applique, and just needed the addition of stitched stems.
Jonathan brought home some plums last week, ripened a lot earlier than we are used to, but a delicious crumble nevertheless.  I don't think the crumble recipe will make the wall hanging, I think it might be jam.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Thank You, Terry!

The wonderful thing about blogging, is the help you get from fellow bloggers.  I know that my quilting has come on in leaps and bounds because of  their help and I'm eternally grateful to them.  Other times, they make suggestions on how to best finish projects, and these ideas are gratefully received.  On the odd occasion, they even suggest how to take a project further, and this is what Terry did last week.

When Terry saw the cherries, she suggested that I did lots of  different fruit and make a wall hanging.  Now that, for me is quite a challenge, I don't do drawing, but the next morning, I sat down and came up with a few more passable drawings of fruit.  The next stage is to make the blocks, the first one being an orange.

This idea hasn't stopped with pictures of fruit, more of which will follow, but I have thought of incorporating it with recipies for the featured fruit.  So thank you, Terry, I think I have a bit of a project on my hands.  I am going to enjoy seeing where it takes me.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Stitched Sunday-Chain Stitch

This is a natural progression from last week's detached chain.  I've not used chain stitch much as a filling stitch, but I must stay, I do like the effect. 

I'm finding these very relaxing to do, and am looking forward to the next instalment.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Skill Builder Sampler-Bow Ties

This was the first time I've done bow ties, and although triangles were involved, it wasn't too complicated to do.
I did play around with the blocks for a few minutes to test out the different combinations, but this was what I preferred for a single block.

When I first started out piecing blocks, I wouldn't have get the little triangles from the corners, but I double sewed those seams and have eight one inch HST's.  What I am going to do with them, I don't know yet, but I am sure I will find something eventually.