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. 


Saturday, 2 September 2017

Birth sampler

A colleague at work  has had a beautiful baby girl (aren't they all beautiful) so as I had offered some time before the birth to do a sampler it is time to look at my patterns and design something.  The only suggestions of likes from the mother are pink and lemon!

So whilst I puzzle over that I have a picture of a previous sampler to share, picture recently received via the connectability of Facebook.

This is a compilation design, the bear from one book, the baloons from another.  The little animals from a third.

The lettering around the edge and the balloon strings are my own. 

The layout worked out on graph paper.

I have used this basis design twice, this was the first and original.  The second was again for a work colleague with changes to the colours of the balloons, lettering and of course a different name and birth details (written on the balloons)

I still like this and still have the graph paper pattern so I do not rule out the possibility of using it again. However, it is not quite right for Kyra and Colin's daughter 's sampler.

2017 show with no craft competition

This time for many a year I would be standing at the local show ready to clap the winners of the various classes in the craft competition.  With some luck, some years, I would also be waiting for my own presentation having won a class or two myself.

Then it would be time to post how I did with what ever entries I had made, sometimes up to the last moment in order to get them to the show. Indeed the "show" was often the spur, the reason for making things, provided a deadline to keep projects progressing when I might otherwise stalled.

This year it feels a little flat as there was no craft competition at all.  I do not know why, nothing has been said on the shows official web site.  It was the absence of the leaflet with the classes for the year and the rules that usual arrives in the post a month of so before the show that was the first hint.  I had thought it was just late but then one of my fellow competitors remarked that when collecting the key for her allotment she had been asked what would she do with no competitions to enter (she was an enthusiastic entrant to most of the cooking classes as well as the crafting)g.

That lead to a check of the web page for the show and there was nothing about the craft competition......oh dear.

Now it is not total sans crafts as the "for sale" stalls are still there with various crafts represented.

Following my attempts at jewelry making last year I have a greater appreciation of the skill required and was most impressed with the handcrafted items on offer from NorthStone beautiful jewelry (that I am sure will appeal to those that watch Game of Thrones or the Lord of the Rings.) copper portraits with tartan to order and other wire art I was most impressed.  They have just started an online presence click on the name to have a look. Or try the  Facebook page. I did not indulge myself (I may not have been able to resist if there has been hematite amongst the various stones used).  Although they do do commissions so you can chose the setting and the stone you want, sadly or for my purse luckily, there was not any of my obsession stone. 

I have been working on the pink quilt, but with less urgency as no show deadline. 

Roses unquilted and quilted

Quilting a butterfly
The hand quilting of the centre is done and the machine quilting for the wide edges also done.  I had been planning to self bind, back over front. However, there was enough of the pale pink backing to do a separate binding.  That is still to go on when next I pick up this project. 

I have also got the "bits" for the next block in the sampler quilt cut and having  set them out am happy with the way the colours look.  This is another hand sewn block and has been waiting for the hand quilting to be finished before it moved up in the to do standings.  It may wait a bit longer as the Pink quilts binding will be half sewn by hand.  

Card Trick  lay out.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Hair raising?

This is a project from the past, at a time when I was not taking pictures of my creations.  The recipient has kindly taken a photograph so I have an image to go with my reminiscences. 

My friend chose to be a hairdresser and went to college to train.  How to cut and style and dye and many another trade secret to beautify the world.

She delighted in all she was learning and as her graduation approached I wanted to make something special for her in recognition.

I used a design from a book I had with some tweaks to make it more personal. My Friends initials were H,A.S  so I added the ribbon, silver hair grip and snatch of hair at the top left  to form an H, the crossed hair pins to the right for the A and at the bottom changed the direction of the hair dryers flex to form the S.

The mount board I cut myself, one of my early goes with the hand cutter.  Not too bad and the blue went well with the "comb" in the middle.

This was this first time I had made something to celebrate a profession.  Some years later  H.A.S sister graduated as a nurse and became my second profession design, of the two this felt more individually designed and I am happy to have a picture of it now to refresh my memory.

It is also nice to have this friend and her family living back within walking distance after some years over the boarder in Scotland.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Lucky me

Cross stitch crazy Friday giveaway

for this week is 


all mine.

the complements slip say it is just for me!


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 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.