Friday 29 November 2013

Decision made!

After several very pleasant afternoons sipping tea and leafing through magazines and quilt books (one of my favourite pastimes!) I have made a decision about one of the gifts that I want to make for Christmas.  This is just as well, as I need to make it this weekend and get it posted off next week if it stands any chance of arriving at its destination on time!!

I am going to use this very pretty charm pack of fabric which is from the 'Wildflower Wood' collection by 'Lynette Anderson'.

My idea is to make a table centrepiece using a dresden plate block.  I have found my dresden ruler and, now the decision is made, I am very keen to get started.  There will be some embroidery and appliqué on the table centre too but, although I have an idea in my head what I hope it will look like, I am not absolutely sure how it will turn out.  I'll keep you posted!!

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Knitting Update

I thought it might be nice to keep you updated on my progress so far with these beautiful wools that I showed you last week.

Well, this is how my very simple scarf is shaping up.

As I mentioned, I am using these very simple instructions from Sandra of Cherry Heart. However, instead of just knitting to the end of each ball to give large blocks of one colour I decided to make my scarf more stripey by knitting 10 rows of each of the five colours and then repeat.  I am pleased with my progress so far as it has been a long time since I picked up some knitting needles!!

Monday 25 November 2013

Forgotten Embroidery

At the weekend, when I was busy tidying up my sewing bits and pieces to make space to sit and plan my new projects, I uncovered two little embroideries that I had traced onto background fabric from sketches I had drawn and then had completely forgotten about!

So, I set to work and embroidered one of them.  It is a little garden scene.

I had sketched it at the same time as I drew my 'frog' embroidery which I finished earlier on in the year. 

I also used the yarn wrapping technique which I used for my 'autumn' embroidery (an idea from the book Hoop-La by Kirsty Neale) to finish off the wooden hoop it is framed in.  This time, instead of using knitting yarn, I used a variegated green cotton pearl embroidery thread.  It has given a very pretty finish to the hoop and I am really pleased with the overall look.

The second embroidery is a beach scene which I now have all hooped up ready to stitch.  It seems a bit strange to think about stitching 'the beach' when there is snow on the ground outside but, it I am keen to finish it off before it gets lost again with my notes and plans for my next projects!!

Friday 22 November 2013

Let it snow!

Well, winter has definitely arrived this week, with plenty of snow!!  I woke up yesterday to see this view from my window.  Sitting in a snow cloud (notice you can't see a hint of the mountains opposite!!)

Of course when it is cold and snowing outside, there is nothing else to do but to stay warm and cosy inside and, start planning your next sewing project!!  I want to make a couple of Christmas gifts as well as a new quilt to hang on the wall in my bedroom here.

So, I sorted out some books and magazines to look through, made a nice hot cup of coffee and spent some time planning what to make next!

It snowed on and off for most of the day, so not much point risking life and limb driving around (well that's my excuse!)

This morning I woke to a different scene.... lots of snow but, clear skies and sunshine!!  It looks stunning but, because the skies have cleared,

it is VERY cold.  It is going to be a beautiful day!!  It is a wrap up warm, put on your boots and scrunch through the snow day!!

Hope you are nice and warm somewhere!

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Flown the nest....

Yes, several more owls (six actually!) have been finished off and have 'flown the nest' to their destinations overseas (the UK!)

You may recognise the colours that you see on this little chap as he was made with leftover wool from my Navajo blanket.  It is very satisfying when you can use up leftover wool making something else and, making an owl is an excellent use of wool!!

I differed the sizes of the owls by changing the ply (thickness) of the wool and using a smaller or larger crochet hook.  I crocheted the eyes on the smallest owl as it is going to a child and I wanted to make sure that the eyes couldn't be pulled off.  The eyes on the larger owls are glued on.

Now that I have finished all the owls I intend to make for some little while (!) I have started a new project to keep me occupied in the evenings.  Here is a little glimpse of the wool I will be using....

I'm using this very simple set of instructions from Sandra of Cherry Heart.  I'll post more photographs shortly.

Monday 18 November 2013

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer!

A short while ago my Mum sent me (from the UK) a magazine she thought I might like to read.  It is one that I hadn't seen before and there were some very interesting articles in it, as well as some rather cute things to make. There was also a very sweet little reindeer offered as a free gift.

Truth be known, I think it was the reindeer that probably attracted my Mum to the magazine!! The magazine is called 'Craftseller' and is published by 'Immediate Media'.

And, here is the completed reindeer!! He is rather cute! All ready to hang up with the Christmas decorations!!

Friday 15 November 2013

New Books!

I've just received a parcel with some lovely new books that I ordered recently.  The first two are by Lynette Anderson, an Australian designer who I am particularly fond of.  I already have several other books by Lynette and they are always full of fun projects and beautiful stitcheries.  I know I am going to find something nice to make, especially as the 'Stitch it for Christmas' book has arrived just in time to make some cute decorations.  The other book you can see in the photo is called 'Stitch it for Autumn'.  It is Lynette's latest book and it also contains some really pretty projects.  I'm looking forward to browsing through them both properly and making a list of things I'd like to make from them.

This next book is one that I was really attracted to because of the quilt on the front cover.  Something about that quilt made me want to buy this book.  It is called 'Fast, Flirty and Fun: Easy Quilts from Fabulous Fabrics'.  I have not been disappointed by the quilts inside the book either!  The author, Sarah M. Bisel has really put together some very pretty, original and fun quilts.  It will be difficult to pick out which one to make first!

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Finished Farmhouse Block

I recently wrote a post about the latest block from Bronwyn Hayes' stitching project for the Girls Own Stitching Club called 'Le Jardin Quilt'.  The block was called 'Farmhouse' and I am delighted to say that I have now finished stitching the embroidery and piecing together the block.

I am thrilled with how the embroidery turned out.  It was such fun trying out the new 'rosette' stitch and I enjoyed choosing the fabrics to border the embroidery and finish off the block.  All the fabrics I used were Tilda fabrics.  All Bronwyn's designs for this quilt have been fabulous but, I think this is my favourite block so far.  I am really looking forward to see what she has designed for the next block!

This is how my 'Le Jardin' quilt blocks look so far.  It is all really starting to take shape.

Monday 11 November 2013

Getting ready for Winter...

I thought that my next project should really be one that I could use to decorate my house when the Winter arrives which, I think it did last night as, I woke to my garden here looking like this:

I like to change decorations depending on the season.  I was also keen to make another embroidery hoop art project.  This idea surfaced as a result of various hoop art images I have seen on the internet.

I started by piecing together the background fabrics.  I placed and fused the appliqué snowman onto the background and then traced through (using the window as a light source) the lines to be embroidered.  I backed the panel of fabric I had made with a lightweight fusible interfacing and then got to work with the stitching.  The snowman appliqué was finished with a buttonhole stitch.  His arms were embroidered using several lines of back stitch which I also used for the lettering.  I added a few french knots, cross stitches and buttons for decoration.  Then I hooped it up and finished off the back as I have described previously.  I think he looks cute and I'm looking forward to adding him to my other Winter decorations.

Friday 8 November 2013

Can you ever have too many...

zipped pouches?  I don't think so!!  I've just finished making the cutest zipped pouch using a FREE online class from Craftsy.  The class is taught by Kristin Link who is the founder of the website Sew Mama Sew where you can find all kinds of crafty tutorials and information.  It is well worth a visit!

I made my pouch using the same fabrics as I used recently to recycle my notepad cover.  The exterior is a fabric designed by Lynette Anderson and the lining is a fabric by Sweetwater.  It is the perfect size to carry all my sewing bits and pieces.  If you want to make a different size of pouch, Kristin has given alternative measurements for a whole set of pouches on her website.

The Craftsy class is called 'Bag-making Basics: Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch'.  It is fun and easy to understand.  There is also a follow-up class available FREE from Craftsy called 'Bag-making Basics: Drawstring Bag and Bucket Bag'.  This is also taught by Kristin Link who is very easy to listen to and whose instructions are very straight forward.

I think I may have to make a whole set of pouches!!

Thursday 7 November 2013

Another owl in the post!

In between all the embroidery and sewing I have been doing lately, I have managed to squeeze in a little time for crocheting.  This week I am pleased to say that I have finished another fat, fluffy owl.  This one is for my sister.

I posted him off a couple of days ago, so he is well on his way to his destination by now.

I hope she likes him!!  Only four more of them on my list of requests!!

Wednesday 6 November 2013

My favourite type of recycling...

Every once in a while my husband receives advertising gift items from suppliers through work.  If they are notepad related, he often asks me if I would like them as he knows I use a lot of paper writing down ideas and lists!!  Usually the notepads are very ordinary and they just get used up and the remnants put in the bag with the other paper for recycling.

However, fairly recently, he was given a notepad in a neat little plastic wallet.  He passed it on to me as usual and, I used the notepaper but, this time I was loathe to throw out the plastic wallet, so I thought I would recycle it in my own way and then buy a new notepad to put in it.

I made a cover for it.  Firstly, I hand embroidered the little label that I wanted to stitch on the front and then I found some pretty fabrics from my collection to use to make up the cover.  The dotty fabric is designed by Sweetwater and the other print is designed by Lynette Anderson (both have been in my collection for a while so I'm not sure if you would still be able to obtain them)

I'm happy with the results and I am pleased to have been able to recycle the plastic cover which would otherwise just have been thrown away!

Monday 4 November 2013

Block Seven: Farmhouse

I am very excited to pass on the news that Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs has posted the next block of the Girls Own Stitching Club project 'Le Jardin Quilt'.  It is a beautiful block called 'Farmhouse' and will be the centre block in the overall quilt design.

I have printed out all the instructions and prepared my background fabric so I am all ready to get started.  I can't wait!!  Especially as it includes instructions for another new stitch called 'rosette' stitch which, I have never used before and, I am eager to give it a try!

Here is a photo of the blocks I have finished to date roughly laid out in their final positions.  The 'Farmhouse' is the seventh block which means that there are only two blocks remaining once this block is finished.  I think it is looking very pretty so far!!  Links to the instructions at Red Brolly Designs for all of the blocks to date can be found under the page heading 'GOSC: 2013' above.