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