Sunday, 15 January 2017

Some new stitching......

I am pleased to say that this past weekend I have started work on a new stitching project.  I know I was supposed to be working on quilts made from blocks that I had already pieced such as those I showed you in my first post of 2017 but, I also like to challenge myself to try something new each year too.  This year, I have decided to try some projects working with wool.  

Some while ago I signed up for a Craftsy Class given by Sue Spargo.  I have always admired Sue's work and have several of her books including the two beautiful little reference books 'Creative Stitching' and 'Creative Texturing' and her fabulous coffee table book 'Stitches to Savor'.

All three books are full of inspirational photographs so, as well as starting the first block of a butterfly sampler which forms the project that you follow along with in the class, I have been inspired to try my hand at making a 'circles' wool quilt.

So far, I have cut the background and the wool circles which I plan to use. I have positioned these on the background ready to be appliqued in place after which, the fun of adding decorative stitches can start!!

I am really looking forward to adding hand stitches and other embellishments to the circles. Some of them will be stitches and techniques which I will learn following Sue's class, while others will be stitches I have learned over the past year or so by following and stitching the TAST stitches generously posted each week by Sharon Boggon of Pintangle. There are still more stitches to be posted by Sharon but, I have decided not to follow them religiously every week this year but rather just to try them here and there on other projects as they are appropriate.

I will of course be completing the TAST Sampler that I have been making but, I will not be adding any more new stitches.  In order to fill in the background ready for it to be made into a picture to hang, I will be adding a few extra examples of stitches which I have already learned. I will show you more of that when the stitches are added and I am ready to make it into a picture.  In the meantime, I can't wait to get started on my wool projects!!  

Have a lovely week! 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Giveaway Winner.....

I hope you are all having a more creative start to 2017 than I am having.... I haven't even had the cover off my sewing machine yet.... I seem to be having a slow start to the year but, I have lots of ideas, so I expect I will get started soon!!

As a result, I don't have any stitching to show you but, as promised, I do have the name of the winner of my giveaway from last time.  I used the tried and trusted method of printing out the names of all the participants, folding them up and putting them in a fabric box.

Giving the box a good shake and then picking out a piece of paper.

The winner is Ariadna.

Congratulations Ariadna and I hope you will like your prize.  I will be writing to you later this morning to get your postal address details. 

Thank you to everyone who left me a comment.

Hopefully by my next post I will have started stitching something!!

Friday, 6 January 2017

Hello 2017!

I have just returned home after celebrating New Year with family and, after putting away the Christmas decorations, it is time to try and return to some kind of 'normal' routine!!  It has been a busy but fun couple of weeks here since my last post and I hope you have all had some fun too!

My children were kind enough to buy me some great new quilt books as gifts for Christmas, which I am sure I will be able to put to good use!  I also had a lovely set of nesting fabric baskets from my lovely blogger friend Leanne at 'Lizzie the Quilter'.  They are made with delightful Tilda fabrics and are so pretty.... thank you Leanne... I am going to love finding things in my sewing room to fill them with.

I made Leanne a 'hoop art' embroidery which I gave you a little glimpse of before Christmas but, now that I know Leanne has received it I can show you it in full. The embroidery design is from the book 'Stitches from the Garden' by Kathy Schmitz.

2016 was a productive year for me stitching-wise and, if you would like to see all the items I made you can find them all on my 2016 Projects Page. I have some plans for 2017 too..... I want to make quilts with all the various blocks that I have in different boxes around my sewing room even if I didn't make all the blocks that should have been made to complete the project for one reason or another (mainly moving house!)  These will include....

Hasenbach Challenge blocks.... 

 EPP Craftsy blocks.....

Farm Girl Vintage blocks...

United Stitches blocks.....

Birthday swap blocks.....

Splendid Sampler blocks.....

My idea is to use up all these blocks... not necessarily all the blocks from each set in one quilt, maybe making one or more quilts out of each set by using just one block as a central panel and adding lots of borders or maybe making more blocks to go with those I already have.... I have lots of ideas and I can't wait to get started..... there are plenty of blocks to get to work on!!

There are some projects from 2016 which will need finishing off too.... like the cross stitch I started (above) and my TAST sampler to make into a picture to go with the first one I made.

Of course there may well be the odd new project or two as the fancy takes me! There are lots of books, patterns and fabrics all vying for my attention in my sewing room!  My main objective in 2017 is to have plenty of creative fun!  While we are on the topic of fun what nicer way is there to start the year than with a little giveaway.....  just leave me a nice, friendly comment below and you will be in with a chance to win this little bundle of goodies.....

The closing date will be on Tuesday, 10th January and I will announce the winner on Wednesday..... Good luck!!

Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Just popping in to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017!!

The last of my family arrive this evening and all the preparations are in full swing.  I hope you all have a wonderful time whether you celebrate Christmas or are celebrating in another way.

Thank you all for visiting me here and I look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The finished quilt revealed......

Earlier this year I shared with you some sneaky peeks at a quilt I was making for a friend's daughter who was expecting her first baby (my friend's first grandchild).  I am pleased to say that the baby, a little girl, has now arrived which means I can show you the finished quilt.

My friend chose the fabrics to co-ordinate with the decorations in the nursery.  I randomly pieced a central panel of fabrics adding a few little personal touches, such as an appliqued bee and heart as well as some pieces of ribbon. (Shown below before the quilt was quilted).

I then added a narrow darker border trim, followed by a wider border in a white on white print.  The central panel was free motion quilted using an open all over swirl pattern.

The outer border was then more densely quilted with another swirly pattern with the motifs much closer to one another.  Finally, I added a binding to match the inner narrow border.

All in all I was really thrilled with the finished quilt.  My friend really liked it too and I am hoping that her daughter and the new baby will love it as well!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

My finished 'Winter Wandering' quilt....

I am really pleased with myself today as I have managed to get my new Christmas quilt which I made using the blog hop blocks from the Winter Wandering blog hop finished.

I didn't finish the quilt exactly as the pattern instructions indicated as I wanted to make sure I had time to piece the quilt together and also to have the chance to try out some free motion quilting in the sashing and borders. The smaller finished size suited me better too.

I am really happy with it and it is ready to hang up with the rest of my Christmas decorations.

The quilting included 'in the ditch' quilting with a walking foot around each of the blocks followed by some free motion quilting in the sashing and borders.

I didn't want to detract from the embroidery so I didn't quilt the centre panels of the blocks but, in order to hold the layers of the quilt together in these areas I added some sequins as snowflakes in a couple of the blocks and baubles on the Christmas trees in the block with the stockings.

I also added a cute little owl button to the block with the house.  These all helped to tie the layers in the centre of the blocks together.

If you would like to download the patterns for the blocks you can find them at the following links:

Block one and instructions from Ellie's Quilt Place here.

Block two from Bobbin here.

Block three from Gail Pan here.

Block four from Jubama here.

Thank you to the designers for each of their beautiful blocks.... it was a lot of fun to make!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Finally finished my quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) quilt....

Earlier in the year as I was improving my free motion quilting skills, I decided to try and make a QAYG sampler quilt similar to the one which appears in the book 'First Steps to Free Motion Quilting' by Christina Cameli.  

The basic idea is to make blocks using solid fabrics and to practise a different free motion quilting technique on each of the blocks then, piece them together using a QAYG technique. In the book I think Christina makes thirty blocks but I only made twelve, so the finished quilt is a lot smaller.

I had made and pieced together all the blocks quite some time ago (before I moved house) but, I just hadn't got round to binding the quilt.... until this last week.

It is now finished and I am very happy with the finished lap-sized quilt.  To see the individual blocks in more detail, you can visit my FMQ Sampler Quilt 2016 page.