Thursday, 20 July 2017

Lucky me

Cross stitch crazy Friday giveaway

for this week is 

mine

all mine.


the complements slip say it is just for me!

chuffed!




Sunday, 16 July 2017

to quilt or not to quilt

well as noted in a previous post I chose to quilt.

The dragon and letters are all done now and this project gets a rest while I quilt the rose and pink quilt.

Once they are both done then I will get the sewing machine out and make the dragon into a mini duvet cover and get the pink quilt bound.

So here is the quilted not sleeping dragon .....

This is where the dragons went

The quilted reverse.

I will say not worrying about the look of the back at all (it won't be seen once this becomes a small duvet cover) very liberating.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Less than the sum of its parts..

I know that the usual saying is that something is worth more than the sum of its parts but that is so often not the case with crafts.

I was reminded of that once again today in a charity shop as I spotted on the periphery of my vision  the corner of a nice frame with an aperture about 12.5 by 17.5 inches. With a nice detail to the wood.

A turn of the head for a closer look was followed by a double take as this nice frame surrounded a finished Lavender and Lace design complete with metallic threads.

Now the chart only, for this particular design, would currently cost $10.79 on 123 stitch.com or anything from £5.61 to £8 from Etsy Studio.  Then there is the fabric, in this case it looks to have been completed on  ivory Aida 16 count, so probably another £13. including the extra round the edges for mounting (which I tend to be skimpy about however, I am assuming this stitcher added the recommended extra).

Then the threads, which one site notes as requiring 41 skeins, it is all adding up. One American site quotes $41.28 for a kit.

Hours of sewing time, the cost of the frame, which being a fair size and quite nice and of framing (no mount board but the back looks professional and the result.

Sweet Dreams by Lavender and Lace
is my purchase of today which cost me.....£3, yes three pounds.  Whilst I have something beautiful to give next time someone who I feel will appreciate this is setting up a nursery I still have a sense of sadness that after all that input this has been valued at considerably less than the sun of its parts.

I hope that the sewing and the giving of it gave much enjoyment to the person who made this (there is no name on the outside and I do not intend taking the back off) and that at least for a while it was loved and appreciated before it came to me.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Getting to be all about letters

So last Sunday I gave up on the cross stitch I was going to have for my Sunday Stitchings.  All week I have been intending to sort out a pattern for this week...and not a thing was sorted.

So Sunday morning and no stitching is ready.  If I sit in the Chapel to hear the talks the lights bring on headaches of large and debilitating proportions.  If I sit in the other room, which has the talks on speaker but have nothing to occupy my hands my mind wanders and I don't concentrate as well on the topic being covered.

No sewing = wandering mind.

I grabbed a piece that could be termed embroidery and  in the spirit of solidifying the "stop the cottage" decision from last week, used one of the blue shades from the  abandoned cottage kit for the project which at the moment consists of letters.



I am only showing the little bit I am working on as I am not quite ready to share this in full as yet.

At the same time the "to sew or not to sew" question of the sleeping dragon has been resolved.  Whilst sorting through wadding to ascertain if there was enough for the pink quilt (there is is I cut it in half and sew it back together....yes that sounds mad but very quiltery) I came across a piece of 2 oz waddin just the size for the dragon.  So, I sew and as I work on yet more letters, quilted ones I am once again asking that time old question...who's stupid idea was this, and once again the answer is...mine!



Ah well hopefully once it is finished I will be pleased with my choice to quilt, at the moment I am wishing that Mr Pratchett had written a sightly, no a lot shorter amazing paragraph about dragons!

The talks today, well they amounted to don't get scared by the big picture and all the things that need to be done.  Focus on the good you can do today and the good you can do tomorrow.

So I shall try not to look at all the words I have to sew, just the letter I am stitching and perhaps the one after that. 

Monday, 19 June 2017

A Sunday stitching end

not a finish, an end.... the dark brown completed and then I was utterly unable to sort out what colour thread was related to what square.


I did think the palest green was identifiable, you can just say make it out, and then I thought nah! I can't tell what I would do next.  My BFF took a look and was similarly confused.

So I have decided not to continue, I may unpick and use the fabric for something else at some point, I may not whichever way this country cottage is not going to appear.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

A bit of magic required

I used to like the fairy tales with magic elves that fixed things or made things over night. All they needed was a saucer of milk or little clothes or some other small treat.

Here is a pile of pinned blocks, squares made of triangles they should sew up with points, nice sharp points.  Regretfully I feel that my uniqueness in this instance is going to result in blunts!  Unless anyone knows what I need to leave out to have quilting elves fix my wobbly blocks overnight?


Ah well I will see what tomorrow brings... and if nothing else well there will be only one!

Sunday stitching

Still not much to see however, posting all the same as today once more we choose to keep on living...



Monday, 29 May 2017

WIP update


Here is an update.  I have a bit of a glitch here. Something is not quite right with the top arch.  I am not quite sure what, the sides are right, the middle is right there must be a stitch or two in the wrong place.

I am going to leave it for now and hope that when I come back to it my eyes can either spot the problem so I can fix it or figure out a work around.

I have finished cutting the strips and triangles for the blue and beige quilt. One seam away from having all the squares sewn and being able to try the lay out. Sew near and yet sew far.... 



Sunday, 28 May 2017

Sunday stitching time


Here is is the new sunday stitching project, starting with the dark brown.  I know it is not the most wonderful picture but then there is not a lot to see yet.  I may work colour by colour as I did for the Aveling and Porter, I may not, not sure yet.  
This is the second of the two-for-pound. kits I bought from the pound shop.

One talk today were about time and the way we use and prioritise it, it made me think of the sentiment on many an old sampler, that it was evidence they had learned not to sit idle..although I can't recall the exact words. (If any one visiting can please add to the comments, or use the e-mail box if blogger won't let you comment).   I also recognise the issue of time when considering all the WIP's I have (Works in progress, or for many Works in plan) and all the stash for things not yet even at the planning stage.

My pen pal friend's husband gave that talk and she followed with one on forgiveness.  That can be a difficult thing to do and a subject that is particularly of concern and thought just short of the Manchester bombing.

I wonder how many other topics will be sewn into this particular piece.  


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Musical bookmark

I had quite forgotten about this bookmark.  It has been living in a book with the stories behind many of the hymns  in our hymn book.

As good a place as any for this bookmark.  It has stayed well stuck to its ribbon backing.

Not being musically talented I have no idea if the starting notes on this pattern are the starting notes of any compositions by the composers named.

If anyone would care to comment on that it would be both interesting and appreciated. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Next step

Stripes cut from all materials at various widths and the three stripes sewn together.


So far I have done 6 sets of the strips as I was not sure how many triangles I would get out of each strip set. I have one set marked out.


Not easy to see here, I have used pencil as the marks are on the wrong side of the material and don't need to be washed out.

The focus material cut into three wide strips (to be cut into triangles) four strips with a tight pattern (borders perhaps) and two edge sections use as yet undetermined.

Going by the triangle count for the focus strips (which I have finished marking out) I am going to need more strips cut and sewn from the other three fabrics. 


 Happily I have plenty to do that with.





Holiday + Bank Holiday over and back to work tomorrow so not sure when I will be back to this project or the Organic Rose (oh I might call it that when it is finished).

Friday, 28 April 2017

Patchwork as an organic thing

what do I mean by that? Well there are quilts with patterns.  Exact measurements, recommended materials and set yardage.  Some even come with cutting diagrams to get the most from the fabric allowance.

However, that is not always the way I do my patchwork.  Well to be honest the tops I make that way are the exception rather than the rule and I am trying to think when I have properly followed a pattern from a book.  

OK the hidden-star quilt,snail trail and maybe the sampler quilt sort of.  Others, well they may start with the basic block in a book perhaps modified to the fabric I have, or it might be the fabric, or the bits, or a measuring mistake that morphs it into something else.

I have just completed a patched top. I was given some pink material about 28" wide and quite long.  It reminded me that there were some fussy cut rose patches from the roses-for-helen-quilt.(which did a bit of organic growing too).  And there might be some other bits left from that quilt which added to the gifted pink might make something.  

It was whilst looking for the rose patches I reacquainted myself with the blue material in the previous post.

So patches located 2 with the roses in one direction and 6 the other. There was also some strips of the very dark shade from the binding on the previous quilt.

Little panels and strips , so the roses got a boarder. Four squares cut from left over light pink (reducing what was left of that to scrap status) and then some from the new pink and a top formed.  A bit skinny so wide borders (which may be reduced before the quilt is finished) added and the top is done.  Now I need to plan what to quilt in those big pink blocks.  Till then at least the roses have stopped nagging at the back of my head as something that needs doing something with.



So nagging silenced for the moment I can go back to figuring out what size triangles to cut, what width that will require the stripes to be cut, what size that is going to make the finished block / quilt and how to get the most out of the material I have for the blue and beige quilt.

And will any of it be ready for this years show....and what am I going to do with the dragon panel, still undecided, to quilt or not to quilt, that is the question, whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of regret that it is not all it might have been, or to take needle to fabric and wadding and end all speculation.  To fuss with it and perchance to make a mess of it....

It is obviously messing with my head....I could always make a second one to quilt but I am not so good at doing over.  

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Slow steps

towards a new start...had this material for a while and did have in mind what I was going to do with it.  However, other things happened and I had not quite got the sizes worked out so it got folded up and put away.


Plus I will admit to dithering over the light beige material as it has a slight pattern to it whilst the two blues do not.  There is nothing more suitable in my stash and it may surprise me and be just what the design needed.


These materials are from my little splurge when Norther Textiles put up the dreaded closing sign.  Although they were supposed to be re-locating I have not found them yet.

Oh and the pattern I intend to use...have a guess.


Monday, 24 April 2017

Sampler quilt All around the world.

Block four of the sampler quilt.  Had a bit of a pause between this and the third block.  Contemplating the colours.  Well more hoping the bit of dark blue I had left from the Maple Leaf stem would be big enough to use in this block and getting around to measuring it in case I was wrong.

I was also trying to think of a way of doing it without having to cut and sew all those little squares.  As you can see by my cut bits below my brain was not up to it!


Cut out, then comes laying out the design.  I wanted the bit of dark fabric in the middle to add some link to the Maple leaf (and as far as I can see this was the only pattern the tiny bit I had left could possibly fit in)

All around the world block
No matter how many quilts I make the shrinkage which results due to seam allowance is always fascinating.  It is often an issue at quilting group when those new to the craft look at a lay out and worry it is far to big...whilst I am oft wondering if it will be big enough. 

This picture with some of the squares joined into strips and the rest unsewn demonstrates the effect of seam allowance on size.


Although the sewn strips have not been pressed yet so are not lying flat.


Around the world sewn strips

All the strips sewn time to get the block finished and see how well the squares line up.

Around the world block

Well, there are as usual some unique bits but it is not too bad.

And as a block what do I think of it.  Not enamoured of it.  I think I prefer the randomness and the ease of strip piecing in a postage-stamp quilt to this.

Next...Card Trick and as the colour choice is an important part of the visual impact of this block, I may well be doing some contemplation before moving on.

And if you are wondering about my friend joining me, well take a look at her blog, life outside the washing basket (link on the right) and you will see it may be a block or two yet. Although once she gets started I have no doubt she will catch up fast.

Oh and I just noticed, this is my 300th post on this blog.

Wooden Heart

a little white wooden heart shaped frame to be exact. Part of the free gift kit and my last Sunday stitching project.

No you have not missed any posts, I have.  I kept forgetting to take any update pictures to post and before I quite knew it it was finished.

Despite my general antipathy towards hearts this was what the design was meant to go in, indeed just on its own it looks a little unbalanced for that very reason.

Butterfly and Rose
I changed the colour of the butterfly, the dark pink was yellow in the original.

I did a padded framing into the white heart supplied and found clothes pegs most useful as glue was required.


The almost finished item, why almost?  Well I forgot to make a hole in the backing cardboard to match the one in the heart.  So the how to hang it part, as well as the who is it for, both still need to be figured out.

Heart mount

Friday, 14 April 2017

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop 2017

Hoppy Easter, hope you are having a hoppingly good time with this years eggcellent Easter blog hop hosted by Jo over at serendipitous stitching. 

Now basically you start and finish at Jo's blog hopping about to all the other participating blogs collecting letters all the way. Enter the word you make over with Jo.  So if you are visiting here and have not been to see Jo first use the link above and join in. 

Here is my bit of Easter themed stitching from Patrice Boerens Two-Hour Cross-stitch. I stitched it over two on linen.

Wistful rabbit







I paused in the stitching of this to get the knot out of my friends thread, three times (it was a knotty evening for her thread) and to make some hot chocolate, and drink it.  So I can't vouch exactly for the two hour time scale.






So my stitching shared, time for the all important letter..which is...







And on to the next blog for the next letter click here lecoeurceltique keep having fun.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Painted eggs

posters went up at work, decorated egg competition..oh! For children with three age ranges Ahh.  There was both a level of disappointment and yet relief in that second sigh. It has been awhile since I did any egg decorating (well mainly painting,easter themed painted eggs,easter eggs part two and dragon egg) and a competition is a good spur to having a go.  The at the same time, well lots of half done things, part done things and things at the planning and dream stage, so not really the time for doing painted eggs.

However, the week after that and I am advised that a section for adults to enter has been added. I am still trying to hold out but am persuaded by a colleague who intends to enter and who also happens to enter many of the same classes I do at the local show.

She even shows me her duck egg creations, challenge made, challenge to be met.

Three boiled hens eggs later and I am ready to start, three as I will drop one, I always end up dropping one at some point.  I did, dropped it and ended up with a circular indentation in the top third..I will make it a death star I thought.  Now I know a poor workman blames her tools but in this instance the white paint I had (with no time to get more) was not adhering to the brown egg, so no go with the death star. a Quick thump with my knuckle and now there are two dents, painted black, the rest daubed with yellow and I have a fat chick to put in my glass chicken egg cup.  Funny entry complete. 

Fat chick
Now to something a bit more serious, Koi Carp a tribute of sorts to my mothers "fish" egg.  Two fish, I could have done with them being smaller or indeed the egg bigger, they came from a book gifted by my BFF.  Painting the scales was oddly soothing.

Koi Carp painted egg

And last but not least, well it is me so it had to be a dragon, well didn't it? You may recognise the inspiration from an earlier post little blue dragon

Dragon egg

All three entered and up against Phillipa's Faberge style duck egg


The blue diamante headdress even moves a little, I am very impressed.

On the day, well Phillipa and I were the only adults who entered.  The judge must also have a fondness for the dragon as that is the egg that won.

A Cadbury's cream egg and a bottle of sparkling wine, the former consumed that very day and the latter, well amusingly enough neither Phillipa or I drink alcohol so it is waiting the next charity event at work for those that do.


Friday, 7 April 2017

Gathering Moss

I have been quiet on the posting side for most of March and here we are in April. 

There has been a somewhat positive reason for that, I was on a roll with a project and the time was being spent stitching, I was not even taking out moments to take update pictures.  If the project was out it was for sewing.

However, the roll has slowed, (I have gone from planning what bit or shade to be doing next to finishing a length of thread and just sitting trying to decide what bit to tackle next) and stopped.

So I think the burst of energy for this project has run its course and this is where I got to during that time.



I am hoping a bit of dabbling here and there on other things (posts to follow shortly) and I will get back to this with less of a gap than last time and get things moving again.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Sending Hugs

that is the title of this little stitch which I have completed for my friend.  It is also how I see the gifts of hand that I give and those I am lucky enough to receive.





We started writing to each other many years ago when we still lived close enough that we saw each other every Sunday.  So why write? Because getting letters is great, because with lots of people around and wanting attention there was not always really time to have a proper chat and share stuff.

Later she moved to the other end of the country and the letters have continued over the years, through our ups and our downs, the happy, sad and every shade in
between.

Now my pen friend, my post pal is also a cross stitcher and delightfully sends me some of the fruit of her needle.

This first one as you can see panders to my favorite subject, and I love the colours and the sparkle.  However, I have not as yet found just the frame to set it off.  I take it out admire it and keep looking. One day I will find a frame worthy of it and together they will sing.



The second made me smile as this time it came framed, I tend to frame under glass and flat.  This is without glass and padded, I rather like it.

Tatty Teddy








































This last one, well I will admit to being rather naughty with it, there was something about the placement of one eye that just did not settle with me. It is in the correct place to the pattern (yes I checked, I know I am bad) and on every image of the design that is the place the eye goes.  Don't care, it was driving me mad and as it was unframed...yes I did I went all biblical (Mark 9 : 47) and unpicked it and put the eye where I thought it should be!  I did tell my friend, and she knows me well enough to be understanding of my foibles.







































If you are thinking that the exchange is a little unbalanced in my favour, well there have been a few items from me to her before the mice (which whilst nice, are small) including a quilt to two.  So we are good there.

I have waited to post this till I am sure my friend has received her hugging mice so as not to spoil the surprise.

Oh and in case you are wondering, we only use more modern methods of communication if something urgent comes up, otherwise we stick with snail mail and delight in pretty paper and envelopes and finding the right card, or stamp or seal.

Oh and this is my first link up with Serendipitous Stitchings 

Saturday, 4 March 2017

A Sampler quilt block two and three

I thought it might be a good Idea to do the block two and three together as they required machine sewing.

Here are the bits cut out for split rail and maple leaf.  Apart from the stem on the maple leaf the colours are the same as the first block.




I got my measurements for the strips in the split rail wrong and made them too thin.  Fortunately this pattern is fairly forgiving when that happens.  I just measured the height of the three strips and cut the width to match and make squares.  I will have to add borders to bring the block up to size for the final quilt.  The book arranged the strips light, dark, medium however, on this occasion I did alter the arrangement of the tones to light, medium, dark.  


Split Rail
I did a bit better with the measuring for the maple leaf, I say a bit better as the square for the stem ended up slightly larger than it should.  But it has not lined up too badly for a first attempt.

Maple Leaf
This block also needs boarders to bring it up to size (although on this occasion that was in the plan rather than a required design modification due to my uniqueness?)

Monday, 27 February 2017

Still on a roll

with this cross stitch and as it has been a while since I was I don't feel too badly that it will delay the sampler quilt.

So yesterdays progress


Saturday, 25 February 2017

Thanks to Doris

I have picked up one of my WIPs.  I was supposed to be working on it during the IHSW but I kept forgetting.  

Indeed it has been some considerable time since I have picked up this particular project. 


Here it is now.


Were you wondering who Doris is and how she inspired me to get back to this? Well, for a start the Doris in this instance is not a she, nor even a who but rather a what.  For on Thursday I was scheduled to be at my quilting group.  On Thursday however Doris arrived in England, storm Doris and with the storm came wind and rain and a whole shower of cancellations for the quilting group.

So with the quilting night cancelled and the bag I would have taken put away my eyes fell on this project tucked in its bag, and out it came. Had it not been for Doris, I would have been off to my meeting and this might have waited considerably longer before progressing at all.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Confession bagged

it is all finished, well the thread band is and now the lining is fully attached. I have not as yet started the next incarnation of parsimonious sewing thread usage.











You may have noticed I was careful there to say sewing thread as a distinct delineation between that and embroidery or cross stitch thread.  I may need to work up both my courage and possibly be nearer a finish on what I do with the bits from that side of my crafting persona before I share that guilty secret here.   

Sunday, 19 February 2017

All made up..Sunday Stitching

Well here she is, all finished and ready for Christmas, although she does have a wait till then.  I will put her away with the forerunner of my go at vinyl aida,  Flat Santa Cone'd. (the mag and issue number is on the original post)

Christmas Fairy

Christmas Fairy in profile

Christmas Fairy wings

A lingering question was answered, having sewn this pattern all with the same needle, that the vinyl was not the cause of the exceptionally bendy needle that originally came with the kit. The needle this time remaining in the same state as it started and quite usable for another project.  Unlike the kit needle!  Actually it was so bent I am going to share it again......just because I can!

Bent needle

I am again dipping into the cover kit stash for my next Sunday Stitching, but this time moving away from the Christmas theme.