Wednesday, 4 June 2014

(Cross stitch) Be careful what you wish for

I had been working on what felt like a forever of patterns with many fractional stitches, blended threads or confetti placements.  I yearned for big blocks of solid colour and minimal factional stitches.  

The birth announcement/sampler for my nephew offered me just that.  His mother was and is a BIG Disney fan with a marked fondness for Winnie the Pooh.  I spotted a kit (best way to get the specially shaded range for use with Disney designs) that although not specifically a birth sampler  had room for me to add name and other details.

There it was big bold, just what I wanted and oh how I struggled to get it finished!  I got fed up fast with the big blocks of the same colour I wanted to move on, do something else, dot about, count in numbers under ten or twenty.

I bemoaned my choice and grumbled more over this than any of the more complicated patterns I have worked on.

Eeyore's Bounce
To keep myself going I worked up and down in blocks of ten, that was not a good move, I can see it on the finished piece, it it the first time I noticed the direction you work (even though the top and bottom threads of each stitch lay the same) can show when you look back at it.

I did not trust myself to frame it, both because it finished up quite big and because by the time I had finished it, I liked it very little and thought that might be reflected in the care or lack of I would take. So off it went to my friend the framer.  I even abdicated choice of mount and frame!

Here it is framed and wrapped to protect the edge.  Oh and the little V you can see at the bottom right, well that is a different project and I will be coming back to that at a later date. Happily my nephew (by the time I finished it he was old enough to express an opinion, shame on me) and his mother liked the design. I put a family tree on the back, although I note it is my mother who is the family historian not me.

Looking back on it, now that I am not sewing it, I can see again why I chose it, the design is very eye catching and fun, but I shall avoid any large Disney projects in future but I have not abandoned them altogether, smaller designs remain an option.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

appliqué baby quilt number two

So some time after the Guardian Angel was finished on came the announcement of further expansion to my friends family.  This time the design was chosen with an awareness of the baby's gender although it remained a general secret.

Once again the design was  to be based on a cross stitch pattern.  William in the Window designed by John Clayton for Heritage Thread Bears.

John Clayton's William in the Window

                                                                                                    The bit which needed some though this time was the right side of the design as I did not want to add window frame all the way round and as you can see , in the original it fades into the fabric.

That was not something I could envisage for the quilt.

My solution ivy leaves down that side.  I took a few real ivy leaves to make the pattern, I picked a couple in various sizes that appealed to me and used them. A little bit of padding to the leaves gave them texture.

William in the Window quilt

The fingers holding up the quilt in this picture belong to the baby boy (not so much the baby now, he is sitting his GCSE's this year).

As with his big sister's quilt, the back is also pieced and includes his initials.

The quilting was easy to decide on just following along the lines of the pattern on the main fabric.

Oh and just in case you were wondering, no the recipient's name is not William.