Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Farewell 2013!!

Well, can you believe that we have reached that time of year again, when we say goodbye to the old and welcome in the new?  This year has gone by very quickly for me and has had some quite significant changes. All three of my children are now at university abroad and, we have undertaken some major renovations at our house. I am very pleased to say that throughout it all, I have maintained a very steady creative pace and finished more projects than I thought I would. Here are a couple of collages of my favourite completed 2013 projects.



I finished a fair number of crochet projects and thought I couldn't leave 2013 without a round up of my finished owls!!


I hope you all have a lovely evening and, that 2014 brings you good health, peace and joy!! I already know that it has some new adventures in store for me!!

Monday, 30 December 2013

And a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Christmas.  This year it was a bit of a different celebration for us as we were not at home for the first time in a VERY long time. We went to visit with my parents-in-law and stayed at this beautiful hotel.


The service and food were both excellent and it was nice to see family. However, my own family decided that Christmas dinner at a hotel was 'not the same' so yesterday I cooked Christmas dinner for us here at home!!  I have to admit that part of me was looking forward to being away for Christmas so that I didn't have to cook but, it seems that is not quite how it works!!


We got home on Friday evening and everyone was excited to open the presents we had left under the tree.  We all had some lovely gifts.  One of my particular favourites was this cute little 'Button Heart' kit which a friend sent me.  This box contains everything that I need to make the sweet little heart shown on the front and, I can't wait for a quiet afternoon to get started on it!!


Tomorrow my husband's niece and her boyfriend arrive to celebrate the New Year so there is lots still going on!!  I hope you all enjoy whatever you are doing to celebrate the New Year and wish you all the VERY best for 2014.

Friday, 20 December 2013

A couple of early Christmas presents!

I have a small confession to make... I'm afraid that I just couldn't resist ordering myself a couple of early Christmas presents! Two new books arrived at the Post Office this morning.  They are both beautiful and full of inspiration!


The first is 'Doodle Stitching' by Aimee Ray.  This book was published a little while ago and I have been having a real fight with myself whether I really needed to add it to my collection or not.  In the end I decided that I did need it and, I am really pleased that I did!!  The book is a lovely collection of simple embroidery stitches and ideas.  I haven't had the chance to look at it properly yet... may be later with a nice cup of tea?!! However, from the brief look through that I have had, I can already tell that I am going to enjoy it and, be inspired to make all sorts of new stitchery projects!


The second is the latest 'Tilda' book 'Tilda's Winter Delights'.  I just love Tone Finnanger's style and this book is full of the most beautiful photographs which are tremendous inspiration in themselves.  There are lots of cute projects too.  I definitely think that I may have to put a visit to Norway on my bucket list, I just love the Scandinavian colours and style!!


Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you all have a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS and wish you all the very best for 2014!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Block Eight Completed!

I'm really pleased to have been able to complete this embroidery block for the Girls Own Stitching Club project 'Le Jardin Quilt' designed by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs.  It is the last block that Bronwyn is going to publish for this year and I wanted to finish up 2013 with all my blocks up-to-date.



It is such a pretty little scene called 'The Bird Bath'.  The new technique that Bronwyn introduced in this block was the bullion rose.  It took a little bit of practice getting the roses right but, I am very happy with the results. It is always fun to learn a new technique.  Should you want to make the quilt yourself, click on the tab at the top of the page marked 'GOSC: 2013' and all the links back to Bronwyn's posts for each of the blocks are there.



The fabrics I have been using to surround the embroidery and complete the blocks are all 'Tilda' fabrics.  It will be nice to see the quilt complete but, that will have to wait a little while.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Decorating for Christmas

One of my favourite parts of decorating for Christmas is finding Christmas quilts that I had forgotten all about.  I have made many little quilts and decorations over the years and each January when I pack them away I forget all about them. It is such fun to rediscover them in among the other decorations all carefully folded away.




A lot of these Christmas quilts were made when I first took up quilting and they are not the best examples I have ever made but, they remain among my favourites.



Snowmen, angels and Father Christmas.  Most of these quilts were made from Debbie Mumm patterns from some of her very earliest books.  A lot of the fabrics are her designs too.



I also have some cute little quilts that I have bought at Christmas markets.





I love the nostalgia of Christmas music playing in the background while I gently unpack the Christmas decorations remembering Christmases past. Dusting the shelves and carefully selecting just the right place for each ornament.  This year I put up the decorations on my own (not easy to get the tree straight in its container!) but, it is with anticipation of the delight that will be enjoyed when my (grown up!) children return home from their studies. Can't wait to see them all!! 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Last Handmade Christmas Gift

It is very rewarding to have finally finished the last handmade gift I am posting for Christmas this year.  I did think I might not get it finished as there was quite a lot of work involved. Luckily, I have just managed to complete it in time.

When I was in England earlier in the year, I stayed with my parents and we visited a quilt shop where I bought a charm pack of Lynette Anderson fabrics called 'Wildflower Wood'.  My mum really liked the fabrics and asked if I could make her something with them.  As previously posted, I eventually decided what to make and, I have sent her this table centre which I made with some of the fabrics.


I had always wanted to make a dresden plate block and I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Piecing the 'plate' went together quite quickly but, it then has to be hand appliqu├ęd to the background fabric which takes a little more time. I also added some embroidery to pick out some of the fabric colours.  It has been posted now, so I hope it is well received.  I was pleased with how it turned out. 

Thank you for visiting! 

Monday, 9 December 2013

My finished 'Beach' scene




Happily this past week I have had time to finish off my little 'Beach' scene and, I am pleased to say it is hanging up in my shower room, complimenting the other decorations in there.  It is actually hanging on the back of the door, not standing on this shelf but, I couldn't get a good photograph of it in that position because it is a room with no natural light.  This means I have to have the light on and then I get reflections on the glass of the picture.



In the end, I didn't only add some ric-rac to embellish the embroidery and change the shape to create a picture that would fit into a rectangular frame, I also added some blue stripey (Tilda) fabric to the bottom edge and some prairie points (the little triangles of fabric).  I like how the yellow ric-rac emphasises the sun and the blue the sea.  I also like how the prairie points repeat the shape of the beach huts.  



All in all, I am very happy with how it has turned out and, it adds some extra colour to my tiny shower room!


Friday, 6 December 2013

Block Eight of 'Le Jardin' Quilt

I am pleased to report that Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs has now posted Block Eight of the Girls Own Stitching Club project 'Le Jardin Quilt'. Bronwyn has once again excelled herself as it is another lovely block called 'The Bird Bath'.  It is a really cute scene.




I have printed off my block instructions and have everything ready to start. The new stitch this time is a bullion rose.  We learned the bullion stitch earlier in the quilt when Block Five:The Beehive was stitched but, this time the stitch is being used to create a rose. The detailed explanations of how to do this are all in Bronwyn's blog post about the new block.



Can't wait to get my needle and embroidery threads out, especially as this will be the last block published for this year.  The final block and the finishing details of the quilt are going to be published by Bronwyn in next year. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend of stitching!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Three little pouches!

Just in time for posting off so they arrive before Christmas, I have managed to finish sewing three little pouches. One is going to be included in a Christmas parcel but the other two are birthday gifts for a friend and a family member who celebrate birthdays in December.



I made them using 'Tilda' fabrics and the pattern I used was this tutorial by 'A Spoonful of Sugar' who describe the little pouch as a pencil case.  They would be great for keeping a pen and pencil in your handbag.  The pens and pencils in my handbag all get lost at the bottom and I can never find them!! However, they would also be great for keeping a packet of tissues and a few items of make up in or your phone. I just hope that the recipients will like them and find a good use for them!!


I'm off to wrap them all up and pop them in the post!!


Monday, 2 December 2013

Summer in Winter Stitching

You may recall that my second 'forgotten embroidery' was a little beach scene that I had hooped up ready for stitching.  Well, the stitching is complete and my little beach embroidery is all ready to be pressed and framed.



When out shopping (for Christmas!!) the other day, as well as suitable presents, I was also on the look out for a frame for my embroidery.  I want to hang it in my shower room which has a collection of other 'beach'-type related decorations.  Such as these quirky sea birds and some cute little wooden beach huts which were the original inspiration for my embroidery.





However, I was unable to find a square frame and ended up buying this rectangular one instead.  



I have a plan to change the shape of my finished embroidery by embellishing it.  This is what I am thinking of using and there may be one or two buttons added too.



I'll let you know how I get on!!