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

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.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

A Sampler quilt, tumbling blocks

Sewn on to the background the tumbling block is for now finished. Of course it is not completely never to be touched again finished . It will wait now for the rest of the blocks from the book to be finished, sashing chosen sandwiching and backing and quilting all still to go.

However, getting the first design in the sampler quilt feels like and achievement. 

That this journey has properly started

Tumbling Blocks

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

What was Sunday Stitching finished

A wise man once told me that reading (depending on the book) was a good way to avoid thinking!

Well under certain circumstances I guess so can stitching.

Sunday I did not get to Church as my mother was not feeling well. I did get to go out, although a trip in an ambulance taking my mother to hospital had not been on the plans for the day.  All has ended well and after one nights stay for tests ect she is home again.

But while she was not and the might be worries were trying to crowd into my mind I used this to stop me doing any negative thinking.

Not completely completed, the cross stitch and backstitch is now done and I believe the "what" of this piece is now understandable.  Not sure when I will take the final steps with it, it will depend where my head is at I guess.

Friday, 3 February 2017

A Sampler Quilt- a pile of cubes

Time to stack the cubes. The first three cubes went together OK, adding the bottom three was another matter. Possibly I was being overly optimistic in my last post about the percentage of persuasion compared to precision in piling my cubes together.

So with some joins and points totally reflecting my crafting moto,(see above). 

Here is the pile.

Blue topped patchwork cubes
Even with the struggles to get the edges to meet (bottom right set was the worst) it did not take too long putting them together. A single episode of Death in Paradise plus half an hour.  Of course difficult to estimate actual true stitching time when watching the telly as some bits need more watching than others (yup program and sewing alike)

Now the background is my carpet, it has made several appearances before, and the arrangement above, with the dark to the top, mid shade to the left and light to the right is the way it is set out in the book. 

I plan to attach the pile of blocks to a square of pale pink. Now the wondrous and yet also perplexing aspect of this design is you can rotate it. Oh rotations lead to decisions being required.

light from the left?
light from the top

Not sure which I prefer, not sure at all.

Must dig out the pale pink and try it against that, it may help me focus.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

A Sampler Quilt - cubes.

Diamonds hemmed and turned into cubes.  They curved up sort of at the edges bit a nice hot iron sorted that.  

Next step, stacking the blocks into a tower.  Have you heard the saying about writing? You know that it is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration?

I have a quilting version.

 10% precision and 90% persuasion to get the corners and points to match.

Patchwork cubes

And am I enjoying this yet? Well not exactly, sewing the diamonds together might have been fun if waiting to see if the edges would match up had not been so nerve wracking.  Of course I should be enthusing over this so as not to put my friend off making a start.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

A Sampler Quilt

Whilst I have quilted for some years I have not really explored a lot of the many many block patterns that exist.  Often I have thought of trying something new and been put off by the possibility I would make a start, find I disliked or was not able to successfully complete and have random bits lingering.

I then encountered pictures of sampler quilts, quilts made with multiple block designs, the uniting factor the materials / colours chosen. Drawn to the idea nothing else happened.  The various quilting books with block designs had differing final block measurements.

A lucky find at a charity shop, a book specifically for a sampler quilt got me a step closer.  The gift of cotton material from a downsizing crafter in complimentary shades provided the next step. 

 Still no start, other projects on the go as you will have seen on my blog.

My BFF and I thought it would be a good project to work on in tandem. Selecting our own materials and although following the same pattern making two completely individual quilts.

However, as difficult as finding the right time to make a start had been for me, co-ordinating a start between the two of us, with work and life events factored in proved to be even more so. 

Modified plan, I will make a start, and my BFF will join me catch as catch can with hopefully the added advantage that I will have encountered the tricky bits first.

Working the blocks in the order they appear in the book (to stop picking the looks easy ones first) I have finally made more of a start than cutting out the paper templates for tumbling blocks.

Paper piecing for tumbling blocks
So far I can't say that I am enjoying paper piecing.  There is something about turning over the hems that I do not find soothing. (The book suggested that this repetitive process would be soothing) I am hoping that joining the tacked diamonds will feel less of a chore.

I know there are a lot of people that love this method and happily sit stitching paper after paper.  Each to their own I guess, each to their own.

Sunday stitching, a little mixed up

Firstly a small confession, last Sunday I wanted to keep stitching past the designated slot.  And as the rules are my rules, I get to bend them.  So I did white till I thought I had run out of the thread that came with the kit.  I have plenty of white in my stash so I was not bothered and made a mental note to myself to get some sorted and in the bag for this Sunday.

So, mental not did not work and I opened the bag at Church and no white!  What to do? Start on the backstitching.  Three strands into the backstitching and a flicker of memory just after Christmas of pulling a seasonal gift (well this was me so for seasonal gift read chocolates) out of the bag to give to the Missionary Elders, and there being a length of white thread stuck to it. 

Another look in the bag and there is a loose bit of white thread.  Still not enough to finish all the white left to do but reason to pause the backstitch and go back to white.  With all that said, here is todays progress....

A bit of backstitch.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sunday Stitching today

saw more white than blue completed however, it is of course the blue that stands out.

She is coming together.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Dragon rinsed and beyond

Ok here is the dragon after rinsing to remove the marking pen..did it work, well yes and also no.

 There is a hint of the pink remaining in the lettering. I am not worried about that as it has just had a couple of rinses in cold water and not a full wash.  So I anticipate that will ease out that last little hint.

The stay put colours have lost a little of their depth however, I am ok with that.  I hope that the full wash is as kind.

So are you wondering about the not part, well with the grey outline gone the design lost a certain sharpness.  I had tried doing the outline from behind in a dark colour thinking it would soften to something close to approaching the grey when viewed from the front (not having a dye pen in grey, the pastel is too thick). I think the best way to show the result is this close up of the dragons head after the washing. The dragon looks in need of a dentist don't you think?

Dragon face

I stared at it for a little while and made the decision to re outline from the front, knowing that would be a less subtle effect than I had been getting from the grey but the teeth and claws needed something doing.

Dragon face

Now those teeth look "all the better to eat you with my dear" ok, not the wolf and not grandma but you get the idea.

Dragon all set, time to move onto the letters.  Some touching up to the green lettering on the lower right (the pen is running out and faded, which considering this set is over 16 years old is still rather impressive) in between filling in the letters, giving the pen a rest in between.

So some letters blue, some letters green and some teal a touch of the gold here and there and I feel that the panel is finished.

It took a surprising amount of white pastel (special fabric dye, not normal artists pastels) to get to this point.  The white helped to blend the other colours. Here are my pastels. You can see which ones did all the work.

Oh right, the finished look, well unless I change my mind tomorrow and start messing about with it...I do that sometimes.

This is where the Dragons went...

Presuming I stop with the panel at this point, 
 to quilt or not to quilt, that is the question?


Sunday, 8 January 2017

First Sunday stitching of 2017

Now there is no Christmas deadline to encourage over optimism the amount of white remaining looks to be an uninteresting prospect.  Thank goodness for little bits of blue that will I hope break the monotony.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Dragon in colour

Well this is the picture before the scary moment, the moment when I hope the pen that is washable washes out. Still scary, even when I have washed these pens out time after time.  More of a worry, will the colour I want to stay in stay put or will it fade.  As I type, it is spinning in the washing machine.  Fingers crossed.


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Monday, 2 January 2017

A touch of colour

and the dragon begins to form.  The lettering is not as evenly spaced as I might have liked (and I spotted a spelling mistake or two and had to correct) however it is mine and will fit in with my crafting motto.

Its back to work tomorrow so not sure if this project will continue at the same pace but at least it is progressing.

  • Sleeping Dragon

Sunday, 1 January 2017

In to 2017

This time last year I posted in-to-2016 about my thread ball and I noted that once the display case put an end to balling thread that the parsimonious craziness did not come to an end.

Now my local council kindly gives away free cloth bags at the local show as part of the drive for recycling.

I had one of those bags, I started popping my fabric scraps into the bag as per my   Bits-A-Quilt  projects. So of course the bag was to hand when I was working on quilts and producing those lengths of thread which needed a purpose.

So, I started stitching the thread (doubled up) into the top of the bag. This particular use it up started when I was quilting my hidden-star-hidden-beauty-quilt.  with its differing browns and golds.  And kept going with the colours from quilt after quilt.  I can look at the bands of colour and recall quilts that I have made and given away.                 

You can see the first bit to the left of this picture, I think there are threads from at least ten quilts (both the quilting left overs and the tacking thread) in this band.

The patterns change as it moves around the bag depending on the colours available from the projects at hand.

Now as I added the stitches something unintended happened. A little tighter each trip around the band as I worked my way to the top.

This reduced the diameter quite considerably. You can get a hint of it on the picture to the left.

I have stopped adding thread as I needed to leave room to sew on a lining to the bag.

Like some other projects that I thought might get finished in 2016 this one has not quite made it.

I have the lining in but the edges have not all been sewn over just yet.  And yes I am using thread from the last quilt I was working on tree-quilt (and the pink thread I tacked that one with).  I may even need to make another quilt just to get enough thread to finish it LOL.

This is the top of the bag (stuffed with bits) before the lining goes in.

So once the lining is all sewn on, will that be the end of it? friendly local council keep giving me nice cloth bags.  So there is plenty of scope for more thread decorating and using up in the future.

1st Sunday stitching update of 2017

Well even stitching during Christmas films did not speed this up in time to get finished for Christmas. Whilst the dark pink is finished there is still lots of white to go, some blue ans a little light pink.

Can you tell what it is yet?  To be honest if I did not know what it was I don't think I would be know from this.