Friday 21 March 2014

Little daisy pot holder!

This is a slightly melancholy post today as I am sharing with you my last project finished while living here in Switzerland.  By this time next week I will be in my new home in England.  I have mixed feelings about the move as we have been here in Switzerland a long time (18 years) so I am sad to go but, I am also looking forward to returning to England which, is where I am from originally. It feels like 'going home'!  We are also keeping a small home here in Switzerland so we'll be back to visit here on holiday! Yay!!

My last little project is a little daisy pot holder.  I used the same sketch that I used for my 'Daisy Days' wall hanging only this time I used only one daisy.

I embroidered the daisy onto a square of cream background fabric 3" x 3". Then I added strips of my favourite Tilda fabrics to the sides and then the top and bottom to make a 'Courthouse Steps' block.  I sandwiched this with some batting and backing.  Then I quilted it, trimmed it and added a narrow binding.  Lastly, I added a hanging loop.

This pot holder is already in the post to a very special friend of mine.  I hope she likes it!

It may be a little while until I am able to post again, so please bear with me. Thank you for visiting me!!

Au revoir Switzerland and hello England!!

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Angel Hoop Art

Recently I was browsing through Pinterest when I saw a very sweet little angel embroidery which I really liked.  I immediately pinned it to my embroidery board but, the cute little image wouldn't leave my head and I knew I wouldn't be satisfied until I had embroidered a little angel of my own!

So I set about sketching a little angel.  Firstly in pencil and then I drew over the sketch in felt-tipped pen so that I could see the lines more clearly when I transferred the image to fabric. I traced the image onto my background fabric (using the window as a light source) and then spent a very enjoyable morning embroidering it.  This is how the embroidered angel finished up. She is a little different to the original sketch but I am very pleased with her.

Once the embroidery was finished I decided that I wanted to decorate the hoop so that it could be used as a frame.  Instead of using knitting yarn as I have done in the past, I used some paper ribbon that I had.  It is the sort of ribbon that you have to patiently untwist to get the full width of the paper.  I cut some lengths of ribbon and carefully unfolded them to their full width and then wound them onto the hoop.

I really like the effect the paper gives to the finished hoop.

I pressed my embroidery and trimmed up the fabric into a circle big enough to hem and gather it to the back of the inner hoop so that it looks neat and tidy on the back. 

This is how my Angel Hoop Art looked at this stage but, I needed something to hang it up with.

To finish it off and also provide a hanging loop, I added a further piece of unfolded paper ribbon which I tied round the screw adjustment at the top of the hoop.

I am very pleased with the finished project! A very satisfying morning's work!!

Monday 17 March 2014

Daisy days!

I am feeling very happy with my latest 'finish'.  I was just doodling with pencil and paper the other day, sketching little flowery pictures, when I thought to myself that I could use some of them as simple embroidery designs.  I traced one of the patterns I had drawn onto some cream background fabric, pressed some interfacing to the back for extra strength and started experimenting with stitches and threads.

After several attempts, I opted to use just four basic stitches: chain stitch, running stitch, back stitch and colonial knots.  The thread I used for the flower petals was a variegated pink thread and it gives a lovely subtle change of colour to the petals which were stitched using chain stitch. The flower centres are colonial knots in an orangey-yellow thread and the box outlines are an outer line of backstitch and and inner line of running stitch all worked in green.

Once the embroidery was finished I played around with some fabric scraps until I came up with an arrangement of colours that I liked.  I added a small piece of green to the top and bottom of the embroidery panel and then added strips of fabric in a 'log cabin' style to each edge until I was happy with the size and shape.

I then sewed the front and back together, sandwiching some batting in between and adding a ribbon hanging loop, turned the whole thing the right way out and quilted it.  At this stage, I thought the little wall hanging my project had turned into, needed a little something extra so I raided my bead stash and added some beads to the bottom edge.  The weight of the beads also helps the wall hanging to hang flat.

Here is my finished wall hanging, which I have named 'Daisy Days'.  I am really pleased with how it has turned out!

Friday 14 March 2014

New project completed...

So, what was the result of all my planning the other day?  Well, I only have a few little bits of fabric at my disposal at the moment as most of my 'stash' has been packed away ready for my house move.  I really have had to patchwork together little scraps of my favourite Tilda fabrics and I didn't have enough to make anything too large. The result was these cute little mug rugs.

The first one I made by cutting sixteen 2" squares of fabric. I pieced them together into one piece of patchwork, four squares across and four squares down.  Then I added a slightly larger rectangle (3.5" x 6.5") of cream fabric to one edge of the patchwork piece.  I pressed all the seams open and fused a piece of interfacing to the back which reinforced the panel for hand embroidery (it helps hide the threads at the back).

I hand embroidered the flowers, stem and leaves using three very simple embroidery stitches. When I had finished, I placed the pieced mug rug front on top of a piece of batting and a piece of backing fabric and quilted it. I trimmed it up and added a binding. I like the result!! 

The second one I made by cutting four strips of fabric 8.5" x 2".  I sewed the four strips together to make on 8.5" x 6.5" piece.  I then cross cut four strips 2" x 6.5".  I cut the centre rectangle of cream fabric 3.5" x 6.5" and added one of the cross cut strips to the top and one to the bottom of this central piece.  I then added a piece of green grosgrain ribbon to the centre of the cream rectangle, stitching it in place very close to the edge of the ribbon on each side.  I trimmed the ribbon even with the edge of the cream fabric at each end and then added the last two cross cut strips to either side, being careful to make sure I turned them so that the different fabrics were evenly distributed. I pressed all the seams open and fused some interfacing to the back.  

Then I hand embroidered the flowers, stem and leaves and a row of chain stitch on either side of the ribbon.  The front was then sandwiched with some batting and backing fabric and quilted. To finish I trimmed up the batting and backing and added some binding. Voilà!

I think I will send one of these to my son's girlfriend.... I don't think she has a mug rug and EVERY girl should have one don't you think?!

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Repairs can be fun!

Do you have a favourite pair of jeans?  I do!  Over the last couple of months there has been a lot of dusty, dirty work to do sorting out the garage and packing up in readiness to move and, my poor favourite pair of jeans has taken a bit of a battering!!  As a result, they had a hole in the knee and I had managed to catch a back pocket on something sharp and make a tear. I didn't really want to throw them away just yet as there will probably be some more dusty work to do at the other end of the move, unpacking.  So I had a think about how I could repair them instead.

I decided to appliqué some heart shapes over the hole/tear.  Firstly, I ironed some fusible interfacing to the back of the worn/torn areas so that they were reinforced.  I traced some heart shapes onto the paper side of some fusible web and fused the shapes to the fabrics I had chosen for the repairs.  I cut out the shapes, peeled off the paper and fused the hearts onto my jeans in the relevant places.  As I still want to be able to wash the jeans, I then finished off the edges with a buttonhole stitch.  It didn't take very long and was fun!

I wouldn't wear them out to dinner but they are great for working in the house!!

Sunday 9 March 2014

Block Nine: Completed!

Yay! Here it is my block nine 'Window of Happiness' completed and ready to be pieced together with the other eight blocks which go to make up the top of my 'Le Jardin' Quilt which was designed by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs.  

I would love to piece all the blocks together right now but, they will all have to be put away carefully until later as I have to move house first!!  Apart from a few strips which I used to make up this final block, all of my beautiful Tilda fabrics have been packed up and are ready to cross the Channel to England.  So I will have to wait until I unpack them on the other side before I can choose the fabrics for the borders, backing and binding.

As soon as I have them all unpacked and my sewing machine all set up, I will finish off my quilt. It is lovely to have an exciting project to look forward to.  It will make all the upheaval of the move go that little bit more smoothly! 

Here are all nine blocks laid out side by side.  I am so pleased with how it looks and I know adding the borders, quilting and binding will only enhance it! 

Friday 7 March 2014

Planning a new project!

It is time to start planning a new project.  I have an idea what I would like to make but I just need to get a few ideas down on paper and then sort out some scraps of fabric to make something from.

I like the planning stage of a project almost as much as the sewing part.  In fact I like every single stage of the creative process from start to finish.  It's addictive!!

How about you?  What are you planning to make next?!

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Easter Sampler Completed

I am really pleased with myself today as, I have finished my Easter Sampler. The pattern I used is a free pattern designed by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs and, the reason that I am so pleased is that I had intended to embroider this sampler last Easter but didn't get time to do it.  I'm really pleased I've had time to make it this year!

I finished off the embroidered panel by adding fabric borders along with hanging loops and making it into a mini wall hanging.  It is going to look nice with my other Easter decorations!!

Monday 3 March 2014

Le Jardin Quilt: Block Nine

Hurray! The last block of the Girls Own Stitching Club project 'Le Jardin' Quilt, designed by  Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly, has been published. It is the most beautiful block called 'Window of Happiness'.  I love it!! I have printed off all the instructions and will be preparing my background fabric and transferring the design just as soon as possible.

I am really looking forward to getting this last block embroidered and pieced together so that I can put the whole quilt together.  It is so very rewarding to have a quilt that you have been working on for some number of months all pieced together, then quilted and finished off.  I can't wait to see what the finished quilt looks like! 

This is how my quilt top was looking after block seven. The last block published in 2013 was  block eight 'The Bird Bath'. I didn't take a photograph of all the blocks laid out after I had finished 'The Bird Bath' but, there is a photograph of the individual block below. Links back to Bronwyn's posts for all the blocks can be found under the 'GOSC: 2013-2014' page at the top of the right hand sidebar of this blog.  Why not give it a try?

Block Eight: The Bird Bath