Saturday 31 August 2013

GOSC Block Five: Beehive

What do you have planned for the weekend?  I am planning to stitch Block Five of 'Le Jardin Quilt' designed by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs for the Girls Own Stitching Club.  Bronwyn is very generously publishing a block of this quilt every month completely free on her website.  Block five is the latest block published to date.  If you want to join in and make the quilt all the previous blocks are still available to download from the website.

Block five is an adorable beehive stitchery.  This morning I printed out all the instructions and set to work transferring the design to my background fabric.  This block has some appliqué, so I have already fused my appliqué fabric to the background ready to embroider.

There are two new embroidery stitches to learn which haven't been used in the previous blocks.  They are 'bullion stitch' and 'granitos stitch'.  Bronwyn has provided tutorials for both of them so that you can practise them before getting started on the actual block.

Well, I'm all ready to start, so all that's left is to wish you a good weekend!

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Weekend stitching!

This past weekend I worked on another embroidery project that I drew myself.  Actually, I drew it quite a while ago. It was intended to be the third small embroidery block I had planned to stitch for a small wall quilt project that I had in mind. I called it my 'Garden' quilt.  However, in the end, I only used the first two embroideries....

and this is the wall quilt that I made them into.

The third drawing was set aside for a later date.  This past weekend was that later date!  Here it is all trimmed up and ready to be transformed into a mini wall quilt.

As it will be made into a quilt on its own, I added a few more details than I had originally drawn. I also used a combination of cotton embroidery floss and variegated silk embroidery thread to complete the stitching. I have quite a number of stitcheries ready to make into mini quilts now so, I'd better stop embroidering and start choosing fabrics to go with them all!!

Saturday 24 August 2013


brightens up the start of the weekend better than a parcel arriving in the post.  Especially if the parcel contains something exciting....!

A lovely new book full of Christmas ideas and patterns. 'Simply Christmas' is a delightful little book full of bits and pieces to make for Christmas.  It is written by an Australian designer I like to follow called 'Gail Pan'.

Some beautiful new embroidery floss all sorts of different colours.

A new journal to write down ideas and/or note down details of the items you have made.

Last but not least, some muslin to use as embroidery background fabric and a lovely new calendar for 2014!

Well they brightened my day! Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Primrose: Block Four

I am pleased to say I have finished Block Four of 'Le Jardin Quilt'.  Le Jardin Quilt is the Girls' Own Stitching Club project being generously posted free by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs.  Block four was 'Primrose'.  It is a very pretty block and I have enjoyed stitching it.  It has taken me a little longer than the other blocks as I was away when it was first posted and I had some other projects I wanted to finish off before I got started on it.

The quilt is going to be made up of nine blocks in total.  This is the last block of this particular type and I am excited to see what the next block is going to be.  Bronwyn has given us a quick glimpse of what is to come here and here.  It is all looking very pretty and I can't wait for the next instalment!!

In the meantime, here are my four finished blocks.  I am really pleased with how the blocks are looking so far!  All the fabrics I have used are designed by Tilda.

Monday 19 August 2013

How was your weekend?

I hope it was as sunny and relaxed as mine was!  I had a lovely weekend with plenty of time for ideas, sketching and stitching.  I have really caught the bug for stitchery recently and, each time I finish one project, I am ready to move onto the next.  This weekend I used the time I had to myself to draw several more little pictures which I could transform into stitcheries. Firstly, I drew an outline sketch in pencil, made any changes that I wanted to and, I then used a pen to ink over them so that I would be able to trace them more easily through the background fabric ready for embroidering.

Once I had traced them onto the background fabrics I had chosen, I fused some fusible interfacing onto the back.  This helps to stop any thread ends at the back of the embroidery showing through to the front.  Then I hooped them in an embroidery hoop and stitched and stitched!  Here are the resulting embroideries.

My first sketch was the cow as I wanted to embroider something with a Swiss feel but, once I had drawn and embroidered her, I wanted to do something else and, as you can see, my mind then went along a farm animal route!  I think I may have to do a litle piggy as well, just to complete the set!

They are all trimmed up and ready to be made into mini wall hangings.  I just have to choose some fabrics (I love auditioning fabrics!) to go with them and put them together.  I'll show you when I have finished!!

Friday 16 August 2013

Little ideas....

From time to time I get a little sewing design idea that nags at the back of my mind.  I have learned from experience not to ignore them.  They don't go away!!  Well, this week I had one of those ideas.  Nothing too exciting, just a little idea that I knew I had to follow through on. It has probably been done a million and one times by someone else and I could probably have looked up a tutorial on the internet but, I know that doesn't satisfy my need to create what I have in mind.

On a previous occasion I needed to make pincushions, so I made these. One just wasn't enough... I had to try at least two or three all different shapes and sizes!

Another time it was fabric trinket boxes and I drove everyone here nearly mad until I had tried at least four or five different construction techniques.  Some where I had followed tutorials and others where I had muddled through on my own.

This time I wanted to make a pretty little cover for a handbag mirror.  Don't ask me why I had to make one, I just did.  I have made some before but they were square.  This time the cover had to be circular to compliment the shape of the mirror.  I wanted it to be slimmer and neater than the ones I had made previously but still personalised with some stitching or appliqué.

I tossed various ideas around in my head, I slept on them and I had more or less decided that I could crochet a very nice cover in pretty shades of wool.  I was about to start down the crochet route when I realised that the inside of the cover would expose knots where I had changed wool colours and I decided that just wouldn't do.  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I hate anything left untidy!!  I did think that I could make a fabric lining for the crocheted cover but I wasn't sure how this would work and, by now, the crochet idea was no longer the answer.  So I went back to the original fabric personalised with stitchery/appliqué plan and set to work. A couple of hours later and this was the result.

I am rather pleased with how it has turned out but I don't think it will be the last of the handbag mirror covers!!  I am sure the crochet idea will have to be explored further but, at least the nagging has been assuaged for the moment!

Monday 12 August 2013

Block One: Mrs Beasley's Sampler Quilt

What is the best thing to do when you can't sleep on a transatlantic flight? Sew of course!!

You may remember my post about cutting out and labelling up all the pieces for 'Mrs Beasley's Sampler Quilt'.  Well, during my recent flights to and from the USA, I was able to get quite a bit of stitching done.  Since getting home, I have finished block one of my version of 'Mrs Beasley's Sampler Quilt'.  This quilt pattern was designed by Leanne Beasley of Leanne's House and the instructions for all the cutting plus, piecing together the first block were published in issue 10 of Vignette magazine.

My version of block one differs in a few places from the original.  Several of the changes were intentional but one wasn't as I explain below.

The first difference (intentional) was that I used a fusible appliqué  method rather than the hand-turned method described.  This is simply because it is a method I am more familiar with.  I traced the appliqué shapes onto the fusible web backing paper using the pattern templates.  I then fused the shapes onto the back of the appropriate fabric pieces and cut them out.  These shapes were in turn fused into position on the block and finished off with a small, machine-sewn zig-zag stitch.

The second change I made (intentional) was to make my partial dresden plate using a ruler that I already had to hand rather than using paper piecing.  This was fine except that the resulting partial dresden plate didn't quite fit onto the background fabric.  I solved this by reducing the size of the partial dresden plate.  However, this left me with a bit of a gap in the top lefthand corner of the background fabric, so I filled it with an extra embroidered butterfly.  (I just reduced the pattern slightly to give me a smaller butterfly to trace)

The final difference (unintentional/mistake) was the large butterfly which is a bit larger than it should be (and has more vein details!)  I think I must have moved my fabric when I was tracing the embroidery pattern.  I don't think it looks too bad though!

I'm now looking forward to the next issue of Vignette and the next block!!

Saturday 10 August 2013


I have just returned from the most wonderful two weeks' holiday.  The first week was spent in Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Chatham Lighthouse

Here I met up with a very, very dear friend of mine and her family.  The weather was mixed but we were still able to spend many precious moments at the beautiful, sandy beach. Sharing news, laughing, listening to the ocean, paddling toes and collecting shells or glistening pebbles from the water's edge.  Memories that will be treasured!

Chatham Beach

The second week was spent in the hustling, bustling city of New York.  Here we saw the bright lights of Times Square, visited art galleries and museums, walked to Central Park and took a boat ride to the Statue of Liberty.

Times Square
It was fun but very tiring and, it is good now to be home and to catch up with all that has been happening here.  I have enjoyed reading all the latest blog posts from my favourite blogs (see list on the left) and, I was especially pleased to find that block four of the 'Girls Own Stitching Club' project, 'Le Jardin Quilt' had been published by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly.  I have all the instructions printed out ready and I can't wait to get stitching!!