Thursday, 29 December 2016

The next step

in the project. Working out the words. This was a full pack of pencils when I started designing the lettering. You will see that after a lot of rubbing out and redrawing there was quite a reduction in pencil. 

Which resulted in this arrangement. Please note that the red lines were already on the bit of flip chart paper I was recycling to make the pattern. and should be ignored.

Sleeping dragon? This is where the dragons went...

Now the trick is to get the writing onto the material around the dragon already traced on. I have made a start and it is not going well. The original transfer of the dragon must have had some slippage as it does not fit exactly to the pattern.  I am going to see what it looks like once I have wiggled and jiggled and slipped it about to get the letters in. If it looks ok then on with the project.  If not, well that pen is washable you know and I will just have to prove it all over again and try tracing the design out in one go dragon and quote at the same time....

Monday, 26 December 2016

A small start much delayed.

You may, or may not and if not try this link (link to older post) recall a design I put on a hairbrush.  A sleeping version of Monument Dragon.  Well I wanted to use the same image to make a cover for a small duvet.

I enlarged the design using an overhead projector and copied it out using washable marker onto some white fabric.  It then got popped into a bag with the bits for the Tree Quilt Project and both were left for some time while I worked on getting Rainbow Cat and the leaf quilt finished for the show.

I then decided the Tree Quilt bits needed a refresh and popped the contents of the bag into the washing machine.  As I lifted out the bits and hung them up I came across a large piece of white material.  I wonder what I was planning on doing with this I thought, it is too small to be backing for this quilt....Oh! it was my dragon, well proof positive that the washable pen was in fact washable.

Just as well I had kept the enlarged design as I had to draw the whole thing out again.

  You can just about see it here.  The start is further delayed as a result of the Dragon Batik bag.

I liked the result of the quilted writing on that bag so much and this design has so much white space on it that the idea of adding some words just won't go away.

The words that I kept turning to is a section of prose from a Terry Pratchett book,Guards!Guards! I keep trying to find something shorter or simpler but that section appeals to me so very much, it yearns to be used.

So I have taped some extra paper around the edge of my enlargement of the dragon and need to work on a style for the words and of course getting the spacing right to fit it all in.

Then transfer to  the fabric and make a start, hopefully in the not too distant future, on colouring it in with permanent fabric markers.  Wish me luck, I feel I am going to need it, there are a lot more words to fit in this time.

(here is the link to the design with words the-next-step)

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Tree quilt

Some time ago I made a blue-and-brown-and-cream-quilt, when posting about that quilt I mentioned my problem with counting and that I had made a panel more than I needed, in fact I made two too many.

I originally gave them and the left over squares to that quilts recipient as she was interested in quilting herself.  However, a move meant she parted with her sewing machine and so she gave me the pieces back.

They became a sew a bit and see what happens project if I had a bit of extra time when working on another project.  On occasion I played around with the layout at the quilting group and would be asked who was it for.  The reply, I don't know yet.

I have a collage of various quilts as my "wall" image on Facebook, the blue and brown and cream quilt is amongst them.  A lady from Church asked me if I had any quilts I was willing to sell and mentioned she liked that quilt.  Of course I no longer had that one and told her so.  She offered to buy the materials to make a quilt and pay for my time, something big enough for lying on the couch and snuggling in.

I told her I would think about it, which was sort of true.  I already had in mind that I would make her a quilt but had not thought quite what to do. I was waiting for her recent move to be over and a hint of her new decor.  This preference for a previous quilts colours, given a top was part constructed was a light bulb moment.

Blue and Brown and Cream quilt

I added just one more set around the central design then a wide boarder of dark blue and I was all set to quilt.  As the pattern had not started out with the recipient in mind I wanted the quilting to be a more personal reflection of her.

A mother,foster mother, grandmother  and foster grandmother she has spent her life working with children and  strengthening the family.

 So a hand quilted tree in the middle with the word family machine quilted under it. This is it from the back as it does not take a good picture from the front. 

Stick people

Stick people
Four hand quilted leaves in the corners to represent her four children then little stick people machine quilted on the edges, male and female again representative both in figure and style of the children in her life.(I did not have the energy to do one for each grand or great grand child and after all that number is quite likely to increase, it is up to twenty seven already!)


For those of you familiar with my religious affiliation the three little apliques of Sun, Moon and Star (using pieces from the quilt material) alongside side tree and family will be a symbolism you are familiar with.  My friend certainly was, as I gave her the quilt she exclaimed with delight "oh you did it, you made a quilt, it is exactly what I wanted" and  again offered to pay me for it.


I smiled, hugged her told her not to be daft that it was thanks for years of friendship and that her obvious appreciation and open joy in it was the best of payments.

And I meant it!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Rainbow Cat renamed

This pattern marks a first for me, well a couple of firsts really.  It is the first time I have seen a pattern shared on a facebook page, thought I like that, I know who I could make that for and immediately looked for the pattern found it and bought it.

It is also the first pattern I have bought as a download ( I have had some free patterns online) and the first time I have used Etsy.  At least using Etsy I could be sure I was buying from the designer.

To save on printing ink I only printed out the pattern and not the accompanying picture.  That made stitching it interesting as working from left to right in the bold bright colours the composition of the final image was not clear for the longest time.

as I worked I came across an article with another person starting on the same pattern mentioning their plan on when to do the white, which resulted in an earlier post on that issue.  But as I had not yet gifted the item the pictures were cryptic.

Those that saw me working on it thought it was a tropical fish or a parrot, not even the first eye made the guesses match the image.

Cat's eye
 The second eye was not much help

Cat's eye

The turning point was the nose, the two eyes and nose whilst not the whole pattern still captures the power of the cats gaze.

Cats gaze
The last sections of black were odd to do under that gaze

Almost done.

Finished I entered it unframed in the local show, I did not share a picture at the time as still it had not been gifted. It came second.  Oddly it took me a month from start to finish to stitch this.  It then took me three months to find just the right frame. 

Here it is finally framed and ready to go to the recipients intended from the first moment I saw it... my brother and sister-in-law. 

Rainbow Cat        
As they unwrapped it they said "oh a psychedelic cat" and thus as it passed from my hands it was renamed. They love cats, love the colours and style of the 60's and 70's , they loved their psychedelic cat and at that moment of unwrapping jointly knew just where in their home it would hang.  Now that is the kind of result we all long for, instant acceptance and absorption into the recipient's life. 

I would pop a link on the the home of the pattern but I am not finding it so easily the second time round, I think in addition to the cat, there is a lion a dog and other rainbow creatures, I like the cat best, but then perhaps I am a little biased.     

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Let it Snow..?

last year the small quilting group I facilitate was given a Christmas themed panel.  Thinking the fairest way for the group to use it was to cut it up into its various parts so we could all have some and make cushions I made kits.

I rolled them up tied them with a ribbon and we drew them out at random. That stopped me cherry picking the one I liked best. (it had a thin strip with birds on, which I thought would quilt well)

Whilst I did not get my favorite,I was quite pleased with the one I did get, one of the simpler piercings with  one central square and four snowflakes. 

I was not the first to finish, one was made up on the night, the second some months later and I finished mine a few weeks ago but was waiting for December to post it.

Let it Snow
I quilted around the houses and trees etc, my BFF and quilting group member (who had finished hers as a patchwork without quilting) liked the effect so much she is planning on unpicking the cushion so she can quilt it and then remake the cushion.

This is an envelop style finish at the back, as taught to me by my BFF (and she keeps having to teach it to me as for some reason it won'y stay put in my head).

Monday, 12 December 2016

On the twelth day of December

and the Advent hop arrives at my blog.

So what to share, something small that feeds into the traditional themes of Christmas without the original story and with a slight nod to my having the twelfth.

Pear Tree
Yup a pear tree without the Partridge, but then the 1st day of Christmas is still some days off so it can be forgiven for not being in place just yet.

I also like this little silhouette, a pattern my BFF introduced me to (although she stitched hers in pink, well she thinks it is purple but I say pink) I used sparkly Aida and a dark blue thread.  

Sparkling nativity
There is something about the simplicity that calls to me.

Jo also asked that the hop participants included something about a favorite or special decoration in the post.

In some ways that is tricky as I have shared some of those decorations in earlier posts in Christmas bloggs gone by.

There is  The elf and it's mini me. 

The Christmas Card inspired embroideries

The The Advent Calendar which at first was a project upon which it was traditional to work each year and now is in use with scripture readings sharing space in the little pockets with chocolate treats.

Various other bits and bobs pepper my blog here and there, but some family traditions we have lost. Making our own Ginger Wine (and looking like bubble, bubble toil and trouble doing it) as Castle Wines who made the essence stopped making it!  The extra sized, feed four adults and two children, cornbeef pie for Christmas eve, that diminished in size as we lost grandparents and the children grew.  Multiple Christmas cakes for the same reason.

New ones added, like watching a Muppets Christmas carol which I positively love especially if it is on TV Christmas Eve. The perfect accompaniment for decorating the tree. 

Even more recently the Advent Blog Hop has joined my Christmas traditions and I hope the same will be true of those reading this.

So don't forget to pop back to Jo at serendipitous stitching tomorrow and open another door.


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sunday stitching and a decision

here is this Sundays progress.

you may notice there is quite a bit of blue, that is because I have made a decision to sew not just in the Sunday time slot but also during and Christmas films (if there is nothing else I should be doing) and see if I get done before Christmas.

Although that will mean stitching on days other than a Sunday I only intend to update on Sundays, or when finished.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Sunday Stitching delayed

well not the stitching which started on a Sunday as normal with a little bit of blue and more yellow. It went quite well I thought.

The week has just been so busy I kept forgetting to post. 

There is a lot left to do and only one stitching Sunday before Christmas (I have a talk Sunday after next so no stitching) and I am trying to decide if I should work on this outside the specified time to get it finished

There is still quite a bit to go..hmmm thinking about it

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Sunday stitching todays update

Today was a wonderful day, the chill grey rainy weather could not put a dampener on it.


Because today my mother gave her first talk at Church since she has had aphasia.

It was joyous that she both was, and felt, able to to this.

Here is the update for today, there was a little less time sewing due to the above and the eagle eyed may spot that there has been a little bit of correcting going on as I realised two blue stitches were in the wrong place.  It was a bit of a relief it was just the two blue and not that the yellow was wrong when thy did not meet up quite as expected.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Remembrance Sunday stitching

Today for the first time I had the honour and privilege of participating in the Remembrance Day parade in my home town.  We were lucky and had a bright dry day, not too cold, just that sharpness of air that is invigorating. 

Marching behind the veterans (impeccably in step and in time, regardless that age was wearying for some and others had disabilities) was a humbling and thought provoking in equal measure.

Do I like poppies because of their colour, their shape or the symbolism I have known for so long.  I am not sure, but today it was with a sense of gratitude I viewed the poppie in its many forms, paper and plastic flowers for lapel pins, brooches, badges, key rings and wreaths.

Now my Father and I were representing the Church at the Parade, which as it was timed to have its silence at 11, conflicted with the meetings, so again my normal   Sunday stitching has taken a break.  However, I felt like doing something when on returning home the wreath laying at the cenotaph was still in progress.

So a little poppy themed stitch, which is not by any means as grand as previous poppy finishes  (poppies     fields ) but poppies all the same was a must. 

 Here it is

I shall try to be better prepared for next year.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

From one thing to another...

the need was for a loose button to be sewn onto a coat.  That then required the correct shade of thread.  I did not have just the right colour amongst my thread so that required checking my mothers thread, she tends to have collections of those little spools made just for repairs.

That leads to the boxes she  keeps her thread in and the memory of past makes.

Some time past, I shall not guesstimate how long, my mother was gifted some chocolate ginger which cam in small oval wooden boxes.  

I like boxes and they shouted to be kept an to be made over.  So I painted them with my mothers initial.  I firstly had to paint the top of the box black to cover the original ginger chocolate information.

Then the letter with metallic paint, followed by the vines.  I still think they look good.  I may have painted many more had the chocolates continued to be sold in the oval boxes.  Sadly they were not.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2016

Welcome to my stop in the 2016 Halloween hop courtesy of Joe @ Serendipitous Stitching.

So the first part of the arrangement is to share a piece of work on a spooky theme.

Here is mine.

The original pattern is a free blackwork pattern from kreinik entitled Blackwork pumpkin. My thanks to the Facebook Group Our love for blackwork celtic knots and free patterns  for the original link to this. I have only completed the central design and I have used various threads from my stash not the make, colours or specialty threads as specified in the pattern. 

As I have mentioned before, whilst I am not overly fond of backstitch despite the amazing way it can transform a design , I find blackwork strangely soothing.

On to the next part of the hop, the letter for the competition,

Add this letter to the others you have collected along the way and see if you have the phrase to win the prize back at Jo's via this link if you like serendipitousstitching.

Hold on a moment I'm not the end of the hop so click on this link to the next blog and grab yourself another letter.

Have fun.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

A new sunday stitch begins

This time I am going to stitch whatever bit takes my fancy, not going to do one colour at a time. So four colours used and this is what it looks like so far

Not too inspiring yet is it.

I wonder if there are enough Sundays before Christmas to get it finished?

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Surprise Sunday stitch

As previously noted I had not anticipated any Sunday Stitching this week as I would be at a special stake conference with the Presiding Bishop speaking. So not sitting in the Relief Society room avoiding the lights and listening to the talks whilst stitching.

However, we were asked / advised to arrive early, very early. So I realised I would have an hour between arriving and the meeting starting...sewing time. 

The result? A finish.

Before backstitching

After back stitching

Here are the close ups of the ladies.

I think I will stay with the female Christmas figures for my next Sunday Stitching.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Comunal Quilting

I have not worked on any of my own quilts in what I would consider to be unusual places however, here is a picture of me and others quilting at Henry's Lake campsite at a family reunion.  Not my family, the family of some friends we were visiting with.  The quilt had been coming to the annual family get togethers for some years, the children sat underneath it an played in the shade and wiped sticky fingers.  It rather needed a wash but that would have removed the design. A design representing the family with a flower in the middle, the grandparents names in the center, their childrens in the petals.  Then new flowers spreading out from there, the childs name and spouse in the middle and the grandchildren's names in the petals. Buds for the children much wanted and loved but who never drew breath.  Some years later I visited again and the quilt was at last finished and proudly displayed on the grandparents bed.  The grandmother smiled at me and said she could still tell which bit section I had sewn, in amongst her own and those of daughters, daughter-in-laws and letterly granddaughters, calling it the English bit ( I had made my stitches a tad bit smaller than the rest, ohps!) and that sometimes she wished that some of those sticky finger marks had not washed all the way out

I also had the privilege one Autumn, or perhaps considering where I was at the time I should say Fall of being in Salt Lake City at Conference time.  Walking in the ZCMI mall on Ladies Day, to see several quilting frames spread out.  The quilts were to be donated to charity and were waiting to be tied.

Anyone was welcome to give it a go.

Some knew just what they were doing sat down and got started, others had a little tying tutorial and were away.  I had been shown the method at a Relief Society homemaking only a few nights before and was  delighted to try out my new skill.

Stay for as much or as little as you liked as one quilt was finished another was added. There was a steadily growing stack of quilts that were going to be bound in the various Relief Society meetings that would follow. Person after person (yes mainly women) sat sewed moved on and was replaced by another.

I do not know for sure but I presume this was a regular feature as most just accepted it was there.

I have no idea where the quilts I worked on were headed, but I hope they were of use and warmed both body and heart of the recipient.

I know I was warmed by the experience.

I wonder if it would work at the Metro Centre?

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Four more colours Sunday stitch

As anticipated this project is moving along at pace. 
Four more colours both started and finished.

Two colours and the backstitching to go, they are starting to rake shape.  There will be no work on my Sunday Stitching project next week as not a normal Sunday service.  Special Stake conference, so this project will be a fortnight before I get back to it.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Sunday stitching a double start a triple finish?

As I finished the cat and hedgehog last week I needed a new project for this week.  Cover kits still appealed, not feeling like starting a big project for Sundays just yet.  Three kits to chose from all with Christmas themes.  Working two designs together was fun last time around so I have gone with another duo of images hence a double start.   

Working one colour at a time across both designs I finished three colours, two shades of yellow and peach, so that would be the triple finish.  I have the feeling these kits are not going to last me that many Sundays so I will be moving on to one of the others quite quickly. 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Sunday stitching, .

all finished....

Cat and Hedgehog

they came with cards to mount them in.

Cat card

although I guess I can swap them over if required.

Hedgehog Card

However that is not the end of the Sunday stitching for today as it being General Conference there was more stitching time and as watching it via the Internet and being at home there was also a comfy seat.  So a little bit of progress on a project that has been languishing even though it was supposed to get at least a monthly outing as part of the IHSW, I have been remiss in my participation in that group.

It is however, not a project for normal Sunday stitching, the pattern is too busy and complicated for travel to and from church.  I do hope that this little resurgence of interest in this pattern will continue.