Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday stitching on to the red

I was briefly joined by a five year old girl and her mother today.  The young lady looked at my progress and asked if I was sewing a ship? My mother thinks it looks more like a tropical fish!

What do you think?

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Sunday Stitching a new begining

a visit to a Charity Shop resulted in 4 cover kits (for 50p each) so I am back with cross stitch for the Sunday stitching.

Started today with the pale lilac.

Its a good job I prefer to stitch in hand and not on a hoop as the fabric in the kit certainly would not go on a hoop.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

The fairies or elves have been!

now they may not have fixed everything  when they visited and I am not sure what item left out enticed them to provide assistance.  However, from my last post on this quilt (although I have sewn on it between then and now) something has occurred, as with the top sewn up the points are mostly points and the seams are mostly lined up.


You may recall that when I cut the fabric for this quilt originally I cut  strips from the patterned material for the border on this quilt.

The four rolls in the middle of this picture are intended for the edges.

The pale strip on this will go in the seam allowance.

I have not sewn them on yet, this is the strip laid against the top to show how it should look.  I am hoping to mitre the corners.

It should bring the size of the quilt up to the same size as the top of a double bed.

So far I am pleased with the way this is progressing.

Stitching the rows to set the squares on point was odd.  It has not put me off trying it again (the on point) that is.  

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Love it or hate it...backstitch

I guess I feel both emotions about it depending on how much there is of it, how complicated and whether I am just about to start it, in the middle and wondering if I should have started it or out the other side with the item finished.

I have been thinking about this conundrum again recently due to a birth sampler I have been working on.

You may recall my mentioning I had offered to do one and the only parameters the mother set were, pink and yellow. 

My BFF brought over her collection of patterns from magazines and I found one I was drawn to.  Another Forever Friends design (I have used one twice before) but to meet the parameters it needed some colour swapping.

The recommended material 16 count, I chose to do it on 14 as I had 14 to hand (I had contemplated 18 and I am so glad I did not, I will come back to that) and anchor threads.

I figured as I was changing blue to pink (and a pink bit to purple) anyway, and did not have a full range of the anchor threads I would colour match as best I could. 

With just the cross stitching finished it does not look particularly  prepossessing. 

Particularly the flowers, insipid is more the word that springs to mind.  However the design gave me hope that once the backstitch goes on then things will improve.

You can see the original with blue flowers here.

I had a bout of selective amnesia when looking at this design and recalling the previous successful Forever Friends (twice),  I forgot that the designs have that most beloved of backstitch styles (not), they don't follow the x-stitches.  They go between stitches, half way, in the middle, small stitches a third of a square!  They require a needle with a point. Not too bad on the bear, but on the flowers, oh my so glad I was not trying this on 18 count.

I did the bouquet first and encouraged by the marked improvement moved on to the bear.  Then the flowers in the border. It felt like there were more than twelve.  Now initially I was not sure how much thread this was going to take and to ensure all the flowers were the same I decided to do them first, then the ribbon if there was enough dark pink left, if not I would change colour. I was already thinking the purple might be OK as was.

However, the more I looked at it like this, the more I liked all the ribbons without any backstitching.  I even left it over night just to be sure it was a choice of taste rather than an avoidance of more maniacal backstitch.  I even did one section along the bottom, contemplated it and unpicked it. 

I like it like this, honest I do. I still have the name (more backstitch) and details to add and the frame to go.  I will update with that later, at the moment I have run out of steam (but I do like it like this, it is not the lack of very hot water that is putting a halt ot the ribbon backstitching..hmm am I protesting too much perhaps? Nah this is good ) 

Before and during, not liking the backstitching at all, done it works and most of it was indeed needed.

Perversely, considering my comments about backstitch I like blackwork!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Cutting it fine

(as in close, not as in well!)

You may recall I decided to set the beige and blue squares on point. To do that I needed another twenty triangles the same size as the half square and four double sized triangles.

There was some of each shade of blue material left. Less of the dark blue, which was my preference to use than the light blue.  There was not enough fabric to do the twenty small and four big triangles.  Hmm what to do, there was enough for the twenty small and two larger triangles, use that? Change the plan?  Then it occurred to me was there enough for twenty eight small triangles.  Sew two small together and get a big one, sorted!

So here they are cut out and next to the trimmings which are all that was left over from blue material when I was as you can see I was cutting it rather fine.

Small triangles

The plan
Whilst I was cutting triangles I decided to cut the strips for the next block in the sampler quilt.

It is back to the sewing machine for this block.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sampler Quilt..Card trick

Card trick block

Well that is the next block in my sampler quilt finished and added to the others. Now I was expecting to have to add a sash to this to bring it up to size.  However, it is the same size as the tumbling blocks square so it will need to wait till all the others are done and I see what overall sashing is required. 

Friday, 22 September 2017

All together now

I have been sharing a project that started out with one intention, altered destination mid-course and ended up something entirely different.

(Previous posts.)

I pondered several ways to set out the appliqued panels and contemplated what to put in the separating blocks.

I ended up with three Celtic Knots ,the one at the top contains a poem about the nature of love that in itself is similar to a knot as it takes some thought to decide where the beginning and the end actually are.  I have used this knot before, now that I think about it, twice, once on a cushion for the female half of this couple (a dog ate that) and once on a wedding anniversary card.  The anniversary card was for a Missionary Couple, here on their mission at the time of their 50th wedding anniversary.  They were doing their mission in the archives of Durham University and at the Cathedral. Both were fascinated with history, illuminated manuscripts ( also a passion of mine see tracing-inspirations ) and the symbolism of flowers.  Hence the embellishments in the spaces on their painted card. 

 I put a key to the meanings of the flowers inside the card. They were delighted with it (and the cake my mother made for them).

Right, I got distracted there from the sewing didn't I, so back to the sewn project.

The tree at the bottom, well that is my design based on an ornament I have, a tree made of wire and semi-precious stones for the leaves.  I added it as I find it soothing and as four Celtic Knots did not for some reason work. I like my tree and it may find its way into another project someday.  Also there is,I guess the idea that a tree is often used to symbolise the family and perhaps is a little nod to the three of their four children that did not make it into the wall hanging (which is what it ended up being) 

So all together now.

It finally made its way to my friends, who although they appreciated the work, did not exactly know what to do with it!

Ah well, sometimes that is just the way it goes.

It was an interesting journey.

Had I not still one quilt left for a child to go at that point, I may well have stopped with the applique. However, after that quilt I promised myself no more of these, well except for the Monument Dragon for me.

I have not started another one so perhaps that is the end of them.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Big sister's name

not my big sister, Heather's. I did warn right at the beginning of my blog journey that posts would not always be chronological.

So this came first.

As you can see it is a similar theme of a decorative name. 


However, a different alphabet.

If I recall correctly it is on 18 count, navy blue aida.

And the alphabet came from this book. 
Lisa took (a very good don't you think) photograph and sent it to me.
To be honest I had forgotten what fabric I had used.
nice to have the reminder.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Flutterby of Roses

Finished...I would have pushed to finish for the show, but there was no show. 

Still happy to be finished and ready to move on to another project.

I am quite pleased with  the way the butterflies turned out, especially as they are my own design.  As I guess is the quilt as it grew from bits left over from another project Roses for Helen and from other bits.  I even like the way the shades of pink work, the pale pink for four of the butterflies and the binding  and the darker for the other three. The butterflies and flowers and in the furrow around the burgundy frames were hand stitched. the lines on the wide boarders machined.

And for the first time ever the thread in the bottom bobbin had six inches to go after I finished the last row.  

Saturday, 9 September 2017

All in the name

Some of the first personalised gift cross stitches I made were not birth samplers or  baptism commemorations.

They were for the young women in the branch as they reached 16 (if memory serves me correctly) 

This is the second one I completed, based simply on the recipients name it followed the trend set for her older sister and would be followed by one for their younger sister.

There was one other but in that instance I just did the first letter of the young womans name as she had not quite decided if she prefered her full name or one of two diminutive  versions using with the same starting letter of K.

Books of alphabets are a great resource, love alphabets.