Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Poppy Cross Stitch Update

After the non-stitching activity of the last few days, I am pleased with what I have been able to accomplish today. The progress on this piece is really obvious as I have now been able to stitch a poppy flower.

All the cross stitching is complete on this flower. The gap in the middle is for french knots and beads. I need to get some beads for this too, something I had forgotten! This photo shows the whole of the middle section. Left to do are the french knots, beading and the back stitch. So good to think I am almost a third of the way through the whole project.
Tomorrow should be the start of a new SAL. I am hoping I shall get home with enough time and inclination to get started.

Lakeland Update

The last few days I think I have been suffering the after effects of whatever I had last week. I have had no energy and no inclination to do anything. The boys were so surprised that over the weekend I didn't sew or even knit.

I also seemed to have caught the "reading bug", but after reading three books in four days, (and they weren't small books!)I think I am ready to get stitching again, children's activities permitting!

I did keep up with the stitching on the Lakeland Tapestry, but I am not sure how much progress is actually noticeable. Most of the stitching this week was on the highlight colours in the water area. This is to make it easier to do a straight run on the main water colour. I will check first if there are any more to do in the next inch or so, and then will concentrate on the main colour. Hopefully, by the end of the week, the water level will have noticeably risen.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Look What I've Acquired

At the beginning of the week I saw an advert on Freecycle, offering a box of "sewing bits and pieces". I went and collected it yesterday morning and had no idea of what the box contained until I returned home. If I remember rightly, some of the items had belonged to her grandmother.

At the bottom of the box was this wooden sewing "box". The top layer contained all these bobbins of sewing and darning thread. In the compartment below there is tapestry wool, hooks and eyes and lace. In this time there were embroidery pattern and this cut work embroidery. Some of the pieces are complete with the instructions still there to finish the last piece. I will try and see how old this is when I have time to look through the pattern pieces. There is also an envelope containing some iron on transfers.
The highlight of this tin was the lace.
This tin was full of buttons and I love buttons!
To complete the box, there was this fabric and pieces of ribbon and lace.
I will give the fabric a wash as it has been stored for some time, and then I will have some fun using it. This was like opening a treasure chest, I couldn't believe what I had found, it made my day.

Thursday, 25 September 2008


I made up some cards today using the samples I had stitched a month or so ago. I bought some aperture cards from Hobbycraft last week with the perfect sized apertures.

For each of the cards, I cut a square of wadding to fit the aperture. This means that it gives a much softer finish to the cards.

The first card is cross stitched using Stef Francis hand dyed silk and co-ordinating DMC Threads 797 and 912.

This pattern is called Mariano.

I used the same threads to stitch this Benecia design.

The next two needlepoint cards were stitched using Paterna Persian tapestry wool.

This one I usedcushion stitch

This card has a variety of cushion stitch and long stitch

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Aran Sleveless Jumper

Today was the first of a few days where I won't get much time to myself, they are packed with running backwards and forwards with the boys.

I have managed to do a bit on J's jumper though, and it is coming up quite well. As the pattern is not fully set in my mind, I have to make sure I get time to knit a complete pattern. This is not always easy. I'll just have to find some more time to knit, so the pattern will be fully set in my mind.

This is the back and there are two pattern panels between double moss stitch. It has a chunky and warm feeling and will be just what he needs for the winter.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

TAST-Bonnet Stitch

Well it is Tuesday and that means TAST. This week it was the turn of bonnet stitch which I have never heard of before. This is a variation of blanket stitch and I really liked stitching it. The result looks more difficult than the execution. These two seams were just plain bonnet stitch. The pale pink seam is using cotton knitting yarn and the darker pink is Anchor perle cotton.
This seam I experimented with using the stitch to couch a ribbon.
I found it is a lovely stitch to doodle with, it takes the curves beautifully. Here I used hand dyed variegated silk.

This is the block in it's entirety.

Place Mats

This is the fabric I used for the appliqued panel on the fabric postcard. I just thought it would make lovely place mats and as the ones my mum made for me many years ago were wearing out, I thought it was time to treat myself. I cut each panel so there were four rows of motifs in each. This means I only have enough fabric to make two place mats. Maybe I should have had the bright idea for this when I bought the fabric,

I used different fabric for each back. Both of these fabrics I used for the postcard too. After sandwiching a layer of batting between the fabric, I machine stitched around each square to give a quilted effect and to hold all pieces in place.

Unfortunately, I haven't got any suitable fabric to bind the edges, so I will be on the lookout for some later in the week when I get into town. It may have to be a trip to Hobbycraft as I need some DMC thread too.

Cross Stitch Poppies Update

As you can see, the leaf on the left has grown. I am happy to say all the stems are complete for this section. The leaf on the left is complete except for one colour which I need to restock. I will try and get some later this week as I will need it on the other sections too.

This week I will be doing the first of the poppy flowers. It will be so good to stitch with something other than green.

This pattern is done in three parts with a small gap between each part. This is the middle section, so it feels good to say I am ALMOST a third complete. Even though there are a lot of colours used on this pattern, there is very little backstitch detail. I will do each section as I complete the cross stitching

Monday, 22 September 2008

First Fabric Postcard

It was a quiet day here today as the boys were out, and as I was still feeling poorly, it was lovely just to spend the day pottering about and having a go at making a fabric postcard.

This was the rough layout of what I had planned.

I used bond-a-web on all the fabric pieces to aid in piecing it all together and to give it more stability to go through the mailing system. The diagonal seams I used herringbone stitch using Anchor Marlitt in a gold colour.
The autumn harvest square I appliqued to the front using blanket stitch. I stitched this using Anchor Perle cotton.

This is how it looked after I folded back and secured the edges. It now looks more like a postcard. As I wanted to add some quilting detail, I machine stitched some wadding in place, to fit the appliqued square.

I then quilted the pumpkins using one strand of the Anchor marlitt. I was then ready to add the buttons.
For the back of the postcard, I bonded some cream fabric to some stiff interfacing and then bonded to the front piece of the postcard. For extra security, I stitched around all sides, lacing the two parts together.
Here is the back ready to be addressed and sent off. I really enjoyed this, and can't wait to do another one. I think they are a great idea for sending a lovely surprise to someone. I know they will definitely get easier to make too, this was another learning experience for me.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Another Jumper

I now know today why I have felt so tired the last couple of days. I have a temperature, glands like marbles down the whole right side of my neck, sore throat and earache. Not the best way to feel when the sun is shining outside.

As I was sat under my quilt I finished knitting this jumper. There was not much knitting left to do on the sleeve so that didn't take long to do at all, but the sewing up was another matter. This yarn is lovely to knit with, but it is murder to sew up.
I love the way the body on this jumper is shaped, I've not knit a pattern with this before, and I can't wait to wear it.
This week on the Lakeland tapestry, I was able to enjoy a few colour changes. Some of the plants are now being stitched. It will be back to the water this week.

I am now beginning to get into this so I may decide to do a bit more on this each week. I am just going to see how my other projects pan out over the next few weeks.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Just the buttons

After a slow start this morning, we were out most of the day, so I was very pleased to get something done at all today.

Before we went out, I finished knitting the second of the sleeves and the first of the pocket tops.

When we came home I finished the second pocket top.
Then it was time for sewing together, and boy! Wasn't there a lot of sewing up to do. It seemed to take forever, but I was determined this was going to be finished before I went to bed. It is a cardigan I can lose myself in and I am looking forward to some chilly evenings wrapped up in this. All I need now are some buttons-ten of them!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

TAST-Knotted Cretan Stitch

Well this is what the postman brought me this morning. That means I have 2 jumpers to finish and 2 more to do!!

I did manage to find some time today to do some stitching which was nice. I worked on this weeks TAST block and the stitch today was knotted cretan stitch.
I used hand dyed variegated silk thread to stitch this seam and applied beads to the knotted part of the stitch.
This seam I used the knotted cretan stitch to couch down a ribbon. The yarn here is a cotton knitting yarn.
This seam is just plain knotted cretan stitch using a perle cotton.

I applied a fabric covered button at the join of the two seams here. And this is the block as a whole. I now have three blocks completed for this quilt.

No time for stitching

Yesterday turned out exactly the way I thought it would. We left the house at 10 in the morning and got back 8.15 in the evening. After only a couple of hours of sleep the night before, I was practically asleep on my feet when I got home.

The day wasn't totally without a craft element. I came home with this little bundle of goodies. I am doing an autumn themed fabric postcard swap, so some of this will be used for that. It will then be thinking cap time to find a way to use up the rest.
I am hoping for an easier day to day, but the way it is going I am not so sure.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Two starts, no finishes

Well this as far as I got with J's jumper last night. I did the ribbing for the back, but I was too tired to start knitting the pattern.

I am knitting a sleeveless aran top for him. The yarn is actually a blue colour which I hope will show up better in daylight. I am using Mariner Aran with wool. It is a 75% acrylic, 25% wool mix. I am not sure where I picked up the pattern, but it was a pattern with 3 free designs. Can't get much better than that!
I didn't get much else done today, other than get the piecing of another block ready for this weeks TAST stitch. This week is knotted cretan stitch. From previous experience, this is not a stitch that I find easy to do.
I am not sure if I will get time tomorrow to get this done, as it is end to end activities with the children. I had thought I was going to get this done on time this week, but never mind, as long as it is done by the weekend I will be happy.

J has enrolled on a 9 week course dealing with Mind, Exercise, Nutrition and Do It. Today the parents were set a challenge. They had to set themselves a goal. This was so that the children could see what it meant to set targets and reach them. My goal is to complete, ready for posting a fabric postcard. I am involved in a fabric postcard swap, so tomorrow I may have to buy some materials to be able to accomplish this. I have to be finished by Tuesday. Nothing like keeping busy.

Monday, 15 September 2008


One of the advantages of waking up at 4.30am is you can be at the sewing machine before 8 o'clock. Disadvantage, you feel like sleeping by lunchtime!

I am happy to say I have now caught up with TAST, although another one is due tomorrow. Today was all about couching.

I couched this to one seam using straight stitches between the beads in a contrasting pink perle cotton. The sheen on the thread catches the light as well as the pearl effect beads. I used two different laces on each of these seams. The vertical seam is couched by cross stitches and the one above, with straight stitches.
I used a button as the centre of this couched flower. The petals are worked in a pale pink cotton yarn, couched with perle cotton in a darker pink.
This is my attempt at a curly J. The boys think that it looks more like a number 8, but never mind.
This is the block as a whole. J has already decided he won't be using this quilt, he says it is too girly, which suits me. I can't wait to use it.

I have just sorted out the aran wool and a pattern to do J a sleeveless jumper. I may make a start knitting this later.