Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sunday stitching grey backstitch

is finished and it has made a big difference to both characters.  You can really see them now.



There are still a few grey french knots and some brown backstitching to go before they are finished.  So with the extra stitching time General Conference will give me next Sunday I am going to need to decide on another project for the day, this one will certainly not take all of the time available.  

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Leaf and stripe quilt

This quilt came first in the show this year, of the two items I entered I had higher hopes of the bag.  You never can second guess what the judges will prefer.

This another project that started out with squares I was given after a Church project faltered. (This was before the Quilting Group I facilitate started but it is one of the reasons I have been surprised the group has kept going).

The subtle colours of beige and light teal stripes did not initially inspire me.  I was not attached to the squares and when asked to do an demonstration at Church I thought they were just the thing to use for quick nine patch bags that the ladies could try in an evening.

I made one bag up as an example and had the pieces for enough for the ladies attending.  I rather liked the little bag and the effect turning the squares to alternate the direction of the stripes gave.  Added to that I noted the material was quite soft and began to think I might make a quilt with the remaining squares.

Each time I was working on something else and had the sewing machine out I would stitch  a few of the squares together.  There were more squares than I had realised so the quilt grew. 

I rather liked the sashing, particularly as the material used was left over from another project. 

The inspiration for the quilting on the sashing came from the wonky-quilt. A similar arrangement of celtic knots.

I was less certain what to do in the squares, a knot over the stripes did not feel right.

My BFF proposed the solution, leaves. I liked that, she even supplied her light board to help transfer the extra size ivy leaf shapes into the squares.



Leaf quilting

Corner Knot

Tri-foil Knot
I am quite pleased with the overall effect which is a bit cooler and subtler than many of my designs.
      

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Big Birthday Blog 1975

The Birthday blog hop Serendipitous Stitching..

If you have reached 1975 from Jo's blog then you know what this post is about and can skip to the next paragraph. If you have arrived here from a search engine or Facebook etc then perhaps a little clarification is in order.  Today is a BIG birthday for the Queen Bee of blog hops Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. To celebrate we are hopping along the years of her life to date, sharing her stories and adding one of our own for the year in question and a stitch we think Jo might like. So here we go.


Jo was 9.  Once again Jo was in a mixed age class at school but this time some of the children were from the year below her.  Luckily Jo's teacher this year was one of the most inspiring teachers she had in her whole school career and he was able to stretch all the children with the topic-based learning he favoured.  This was quite radical in the 1970s!  Time out of school was spent playing in the streets, the local park or the  wasteland behind the houses.  There was a big mixed-age gang of children who all looked out for each other.



I however was 7, in the first year of the juniors and the bottom reading group.  Actually to be totally accurate I was the bottom reading group all on my own!  Up to this point I don't recall having made the link between reading and stories book at school having been on the "run spot run, see spot run, spot can run" variety whilst at home my mother would read me  a chapter from the unabridged version of Black Beauty if I ate all my breakfast.  This was the year the books we were given at school changed and had adventure stories with mysteries and pirates and a reason to read. All of a sudden it was hot knife through butter time, I could not get through the books fast enough.  So startling was my sudden progress  my teacher would make me tell her the plot to make sure I had really read the book before I got another one.  Sadly for my acquaintances the need to tell the entire plot in detail when asked to comment on a book or film or play remains to this day.   So this is the year my love of books kicked in.


Having shared Jo's 1975 and my own, here is a piece of work that I hope will appeal to Joe. 

I made this for a birthday last year, my mother's birthday  I stitched it inside the card as part of the verse. It was a special birthday.

Queen Bee


 Happy Birthday Jo I hope you feel like the Queen Bee for your special day




Sunday, 4 September 2016

Sunday stitchings..the backstitch begins

well it begins on the right design and not on the left, which has not changed since last week.


ah but on the right the backstitch is starting to make a big difference.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Show 2016

Ok so I have told you about the show before and there have been several posts about projects destined for the show.

So an update on some of them.  Scotty Dog and Bird on Wire, sadly did not place, they lost out to a giraffe, reindeer and caterpillar.

Origami parcel


My previous success in the wrapped parcel category slid from a first last year to a third for my origami inspired wrap this year. I was quite happy with my crane, goldfish tiny frog and folded flowers.


Origami crane, frog and goldfish
My second entry in this class did not place.

Wedding gift


The free entries inspired me to try some classes never before attempted.  The computer generated greetings card...well that is what it is called.  So I had again, two entries. One based on a photograph taken in my garden with beetles on a flower..this was totally natural and made me smile all day.



Cute as bugs on a flower may have been, it was the The dragon that placed second.  It felt good that this image won a prize as I had not been able to bring myself to risk entering the original quilt in the show (leaving it overnight in a tent)  and it is special to me, as the length of the post about it attests, you have been warned.





Like the flower, Flat santa coned failed to place and The Nativity came second in the Christmas Decoration class.  There was evidence that Mary and Jesus were gaining some particular attention as each time I revisited the exhibit they had moved.  I would place her, baby in arms, next to Joseph and when next I saw her she would be near him but moved.  My BFF suggests people were picking her up to look at the baby.

At least she was not eaten!  You may find that an odd remark  however it relates to another entry, in the chocolate class.  Last year my truffles came first and as I was never good at cooking I was delighted to win in a food class.  The entry is for six chocolates, the judges eat one to judge leaving five.


That is the number that were left when I saw the results at ten in the morning (they came second this year) when I went back at two for the presentation there were only four left.  I shall take it as a compliment that they looked good enough to pinch.  The other entries appeared to stay at five, no filching.

Now this may sound strange but to my utter delight I did not win the cross stitch class, I came second (not sharing the picture of my entry yet it is to be a gift and the giving time is away is not yet here). So why delighted with a second place?  Because my BFF won the first place, it is great!

The deserving winner

Right I think that leaves the other new category I  tried, again to entries in the jewellry making. Now to display them nicely I also made stands out of cardboard and will freely admit that I was almost as pleased with the stands as I was with the jewellry items themselves. Now of the two I had a favorite, evidenced by the number of pictures I took of it, you will be able to guess. Here they are, the blue beads were another gift from the downsizing crafter.

Wire wrapped hematite


Beaded necklace

The wire wrap at the back

Yup you guessed it, I like the wire wrapped pendant, so it makes utter sense the judges liked the beads better, the beads came second, the pendant did not place.

Altogether out of twenty entries across ten classifications I got first and second place in one class, second place in five other classes and third place in two classes. Not to bad a day.










Van Gogh inspired

needle case..yes I am serious.  I am not saying most could tell that is where the design started however, I know so that will do.

Of course the other inspiration was the beaded class, two entries allowed, part of the show, first item of course being  the scissor pouch.

So here is my needle case..

Sunflower needle case

And here it is at the show, it did not place however, the scissor pouch did come third.


Dragon batik

You may recall that last year I made a bag using the elephant batik my mother made many years ago.  I mentioned that at the same course I made my own batick of a dragon.  Here it is with a few additional embellishments  to strengthen the lines .  I wondered what to do with it, make a cushion, put it in the middle of a quilt or like the elephant make a bag?

Batik dragon

I was still wondering after I had added a border made with bits left over from the Mint Quilts, mint-tulip and mini-mint.

I had however, decided to quilt it free motion as I had with the elephant. Once that was done I was again wondering what to make of the panel that resulted.

Quilted dragon


I had nothing in a shade or green to match the background of the dragon.  Well nothing until I purchased a remnant for 70p at a Boyes store.  It was just the size of the dragon plus mint border.

This bit inspired me, there is a saying about dragons that makes me laugh and now I wanted it to go with this dragon.  I would put it in the middle of the green panel and it would go on the back of..well it was still not decided but narrowed down to either a bag or a cushion.  

Here is my design, drawn out on brown paper, yes the same brown paper used for the beaded scissor pouch (and my friend worried that she used brown paper to wrap one of my birthday gifts!).

The bottle of sauce you can just about see in the bottom right did not make it to the final design.

Once I had this worked out I contemplated the difficulty of transferring it onto dark green.

Time for a re-think. The design would be easy to get onto the mint material.  With a frame made of the green (by cutting out a rectangle in the middle) would make a reverse colour way to the dragon..that felt right.  So that is what I did.  


This bit I hand quilted, and once the quilting was completed embellished the letters with  Pentel Arts Fabric Fun Pastel Dye Sticks, to reflect the yellow in the dragon.


At this point I decide that a bag is in order. So it needs gussets, handles and lining.

Well the yellow in the quilted bits reminded me that I had some trimmings left from the binding on Monument Dragon. There was not a lot but there was enough to do the bottom and side gusset, well three bits joined together were.

I also had some dark green lining material, again not a lot but six pieces joined together was just enough.   


Next task handles? Well the question answered part of itself, asked as a plural two handles.  But what to make them of ? 

The piece of green cut to make room for the "saying" cut into four strips, resewn to make two.  Add the last little bit of golden yellow and I am rather pleased with the result of my bits and scraps handles.   The addition of eight buttons, four gold four silver, all from the charity shop and the bag is finished.
































Dragon bag


   
                                                                                             
So the Elephant bag entered in the 2015 show came second to Mint Tulip. Entered in the 2016 show how would this bag fare?

Friday, 2 September 2016

A beaded item...

one of the classes of competition in the local show this year is a beaded item.

So what to do for a beaded item..I recently shared a previous beaded piece I had completed (I-could-make-that ) and noted I wanted a beaded item for the show.  Something smaller, a lot smaller and perhaps more beads less threads.

I was not sure what to do and then the thought popped into my head, right off the Facebook page where someone was sharing "sewing notions" they liked, which included a scissor fob and a scissor pouch.

Oh a pouch, doable and usable. Found a simple pattern based on a folded square.

Take the square of material, line it, fold it into triangles and there you have it. 

 Well sort of....

My BFF and I don't share the same birth date but we pick a day and call it our official joint birthday. This year My gifts were craft themed, a colouring book (oh pattern source for the future ) colouring pens (design tools) and a fab bag (the better for transporting crafts). My BFF apologised that she ran out of birthday themed wrapping paper when it came to the book and had used brown paper instead.  Silly, it counts as a present that brown paper does.

Here is the first use of it, the pattern for my scissor fob, both the folding plan and how my dragonfly (still got a dragon in there) and flowers would fit to the finished shape.

Scissor pouch pattern

The bits with the pencil squiggles would go under the flap and so had no beading on them .  The split into bits dragonfly needed the top wings highlighting so I could recall for the beading which bit was which.

I did not take a picture of the square before folding. I used cream raw silk for the outside and purple lining material for the inside.  Each scraps from earlier projects bridal-bouquet and elephant-bag and of course were scraps from wedding/ bridesmaids dresses I was given.  So Stash reducing.  The beads, a combination of e-bay buys, and gifted stash from a downsizing crafter (also the source of the cord). 

So here are many pictures from many angles.  I am rather pleased with it. Can you tell?

Front of dragonfly scissor pouch

Four part dragonfly flap

The front again

Scissor pouch with tassel

Add caption

The back of scissor pouch..BIG

This is a bit like the little bit at the end of the credits on a film...so you stuck it out through all the pictures and I remembered that the tassel I bought in America many many moons ago. There is a crystal on it at the front and an iridescent bead matching the dragonfly's head on the back. The flap fastens with a small clear press stud.

I might do the basic design again, bigger, this is just the right size for my little crane embroidery scissors. Then again, I might not.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Today's daily sewing.'

there was no update last Sunday as I had a talk, so no stitching.  This week I finished off the mid grey on both pieces and the dark grey on one (started on the other) both are progressing. Although I would say one is easier to see what the finished item might be than the other.


And the title of this post, well there is a hymn we sing at Church titled We are sowing..and as I was singing it the other day I  had an appreciation of it as both a song for sewers with an E as well as sowers with an O. And perhaps also some of my reasons for preferring furrow over ditch when describing a quilting method. 

Here is a link to the hymn in question just in case it is not one you are familiar with.

Monday, 22 August 2016

I could make that

Now there is a dangerous remark to make.  I said it in an art shop in Berwick as my friend admired a velvet and beaded wall hanging, with fronds and large leaves (which was rather expensive).  To which she replied that would be great do you think you could use an old velvet skirt I have to make it?

And so another project was born.

The skirt was plum velvet, pencil style, made with three panels,  a little shaping at the waist and a waist band.  The three panels gave me the idea of a triptych.  A surprise find of beads on sale at a local DIY store the next step.


I have a certain sense of accomplishment with this piece as the bird design that forms the largest panel in the middle is mine and not something I have copied from someone else.

The shape formed by the crossed beaks being my subtle nod to my friends initial and (That difficult to find letter as I have mentioned before)



The fish however are from a children's colouring book, which as I am sure you know is a wonderful source of designs.



The outlines of all the elements are couched, with the most heavily couched area being the feet.








The only part of the original skirt not used was the zip, the waistband made the hanging loops.


The beads catch the light, which my pictures do not show too well




Although pleased with the end result and fully intending to do a beaded "something" for myself I had not until recently been inspired by either material or design.  However, it has not been an old velvet skirt which has set me on the beading route again. Rather it has been the local craft show, free entries and a beaded item class just waiting to be entered.  That is a story for another day, after the show in September perhaps.