Monday 29 September 2014

Sew-a-long: Project Three!

Hello! Today, it is time to share with you my third finished project for the 'Patchwork Loves Embroidery' Sew-a-long being hosted by Martina at Sunshine Quilting.  If you have been following the Sew-a-long, you will remember that last time, I had decided that my next project was to be the 'Little Blue House Wall Hanging'.

Photograph from the book of Gail Pan's Little Blue House Wall Hanging
and my chosen fabric

It is a really charming pattern and I had a lot of fun making it. I used some beautiful variegated silk thread which is hand dyed by Stef Francis and which, coordinated beautifully with the green/blue fabric (pictured above) that I had chosen for the border.

Stef Francis hand dyed silk thread

I did make a very slight deviation from the pattern in Gail Pan's wonderful book as, I was eager to use that delightful green/blue fabric from my stash and, I felt that there was not quite enough contrast between it and the embroidered panel. To solve the problem, I added an extra, narrow border of blue between the two and I think it has worked well.

My version of the 'Little Blue House' Wall Hanging

A close up of the stitches

Here is my finished version.  I am delighted with how it has turned out.

Showing the quilting from the back

I quilted it using both machine and hand quilting.  The quilting doesn't show much from the front, so I have taken a photograph from the back which highlights it better.

My next project is going to be the 'Redwork Tote'.

Photograph from the book of Gail's Redwork Tote 

It has another lovely embroidery to stitch and, it will be a very useful project!!  I have already selected these fabrics to use for it.

My chosen fabrics and threads

I have also chosen some fabulous red-toned Stef Francis variegated thread to use for the embroidery.

Close up of the threads to show the fabulous colours

I have the embroidery pattern all traced out ready to go and I can't wait to get started!!

The traced embroidery pattern on my chosen background fabric

Of course, I am not the only one participating in the Sew-a-long so, why not go and have a look at all the other beautiful finished projects over at Sunshine Quilting.

Friday 26 September 2014

So excited.....

I have had a really exciting start to the morning as, I won a competition and, this morning the prize arrived!!

The competition was run on the Facebook page of one of my favourite magazines 'Your Handmade Home'.  You may remember that I recently bought the latest issue and shared with you how much I love this magazine.  The competition was simply to be the first person to post a photograph of issue 8 to the Facebook page.... as I had bought the magazine almost the very day that I saw the competition, I thought I'd post a photo and see what happened.  Well, it turns out I was the first and this is the absolutely fabulous prize that I have just received....

Two really cute books... 'Knitting Smitten' by Jessica Biscoe and 'Hook, Yarn and Crochet' by Ros Badger.

As well as six beautiful magazines (all published by Immediate Media Co) about a range of different crafts, including crochet, knitting and sewing.  I have to admit to looking at some of these in the shop and really having to fight the temptation to buy them all.... and now I have a copy of them!  

I shall have such fun reading them all, thank you 'Your Handmade Home'!! I'm going to have a great weekend enjoying all my new reading material.... I hope you all have a great weekend too!!

Wednesday 24 September 2014

A book to add to my collection...

As I may have mentioned before, I have quite a substantial collection of needlework books. I just can't resist them and, although I have been trying to cut down on the number that I buy, just recently a new book was released that I knew I would love and I decided not to resist the temptation. I pre-ordered it a little while ago and now it has arrived!!

'Quilt as you Go: Made Modern' by Jera Brandvig is a wonderful book sharing Jera's version/method of the quilt-as-you-go technique.  I am really excited to give some of the projects a try as the method looks quick and easy to follow.  Even though I love hand stitching, sometimes it is nice to be able to produce a quilt more quickly and I think Jera's methods will allow you to do just that.  I can see that I am going to have fun experimenting with the techniques and, making some of the quilts from the book.

Luckily for me these beautiful new Tilda fabrics that I ordered have also just arrived, so I may just be using them for one of the projects in the book!!

Monday 22 September 2014

What's next on the agenda?

What will your next project be? Well, I have just received these beautiful Rowan yarns that I ordered so, next on my agenda is going to be making something with them.

You may recall that I recently bought a copy of  'Your Crochet Home' magazine which was full of all sorts of lovely projects and I am definitely going to make a start on those glass jar covers that I mentioned before.

Now I have some new yarn, I am sure that I will be able to find something else from the magazine to inspire me!!

The latest copy of 'Love Patchwork and Quilting' magazine has also recently come home with me from the shops. It is full of lots of great project ideas. I may well start by making up the free gift coaster set which came with it and then see what else there is inside to tempt me!!

And, finally, I have just received my swap partner for the Mug Rug Swap that I am participating in, so these cute little mug rugs are now high on my list of 'things to do'. 

Hope you have fun stitching your next project whatever it may be!!

Thursday 18 September 2014

The finished cosy....

Today I'd like to share with you my finished bee hive tea cosy.  You may recall this was an unfinished project that I rediscovered a few weeks ago.

I have been working on it here and there over the few weeks since I found it and now it can finally be added to my 'completed' list!!

I bought the pattern/yarn as a kit and it was designed by Debbie Mumm.

I would also like to say welcome and thank you for visiting to any new friends joining me here! Happy stitching!! 

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Sew-a-long: Project two!

So here we are, another week has passed and it is time to show you my second finished project for the Patchwork Loves Embroidery Sew-a-long. You will be able to see all of the other finished projects by visiting our host Martina's blog, Sunshine Quilting, where she has set up a link to all the participating blogs.

Garden Delight Needle Book on the cover of Gail's delightful book

For my second project I chose the 'Garden Delight Needle Book', which is featured on the cover of Gail Pan's wonderful book Patchwork Loves Embroidery.

Possible fabrics for the project

Last time I showed you my choice of fabrics for this project but, I did mention that I may change my mind about them and, I did!!  In the end these were the fabrics that I used.

Final fabrics chosen

I decided that the fabric with the green background and blue flowers had too large a scale pattern for such a small project.

My finished version of the Garden Delight Needle Book
A close up of the stitching
Inside the needle book

Here is my version of the 'Garden Delight Needle Book'.  I am thrilled with how well it went together and, although it looks very nice with the 'Bloom Pincushion' that I made last time, I have decided to send it to a friend who I know is in desperate need of a new needle book.  It may mean that I have to make myself another one!!

Bloom Pincushion and Garden Delight Needle Book

For my next project I have decided to make the 'Little Blue House Wall Hanging' which is a charming little pattern.

Little Blue House Wall Hanging as pictured in the book

I am excited to get started on it as I have some beautiful variegated silk thread which is hand dyed by Stef Francis to use.  My pattern is all traced out ready to go.

Pattern and thread ready to get started

These are my chosen fabrics this time.  As you can see, I have included the fabric with the green background and blue flowers which I left out last time.  I really love this piece of fabric and I think it may work with this project!!

Chosen fabrics
Why not pop across to visit Martina and have a look at all the other finished projects?

Monday 15 September 2014

Thrilled to be part of the ....

Today I am writing a special blog post as I have been nominated by Martina of Sunshine Quilting to participate in the 'Around the World Blog Hop'.  I have only recently 'met' Martina through the Patchwork Loves Embroidery Sew-a-long that she is hosting, which is great fun!!  Martina's blog is always fun to read and, I am thrilled that she wanted to nominate my humble little blog!! The idea behind the blog hop is that I answer a few questions which will give you a little insight into the person behind the blog.  So, let's get started.... here are a couple of photos of my little sewing room where I make all my projects....

My Sewing Room

I am currently working on a number of different projects.  The first is my next project for the Patchwork Loves Embroidery Sew-a-long, so I am not going to reveal too much of what I have done as it will spoil the final project when I link it up with the other blogs participating.

I am also working on a couple of crochet projects.  I am in the middle of crocheting a 'Bee Hive' tea cosy which is nearly finished... perhaps this week?!!

And, I have started a project following an online crocheting class at Craftsy.  So far I have only made a few granny squares but I hope to be able to make a few more of those this week too!!  By the end of the class I should have completed a blanket!!

I have also recently signed up for a mug rug swap, so I shall be starting work on those in the coming days also.

I am also about to make a baby quilt for a dear friend's daughter who is expecting her first baby but, I can't show that to you just yet!

How does my work differ from others? Well, a lot of the time it doesn't differ greatly as, many of the projects I make are from patterns or books that I have bought.  Sometimes I add an extra embellishment or alter the pattern slightly but for the basic design I have followed a pattern. I think the fabrics you choose for any project make that project unique to you.

Finished pincushion made from the book Embroidery Loves Patchwork by Gail Pan

I do have a substantial quilt book collection and what I really like about this is being able to mix and match creations.  I like to have afternoons where I browse through books from various designers and take a little idea from one and add it to a project that I have seen that I want to make from another.  So I suppose in this way I am creating something that reflects my own individual personality.

Some of my books!

Over the years this process of adapting patterns has also encouraged and inspired me to design and make things from scratch myself.

Projects made from my own ideas

Why do I create what I do? I love the whole creative process of making a quilt or a sewing project.  It is wonderful to sketch out an idea or, to leaf through the pages of a book, choose a pattern and then to audition which fabrics, threads and embellishments you are going to use to complete the pattern.  This is then followed by the organisation and precision of the cutting/sewing and ends with the reward of a finished item.  You just can't beat the satisfaction it gives you!!

Sketched ideas

How does my creative process work? Sometimes it starts with a pattern I just must make. Other times it is a piece of fabric that I just must use or an idea that niggles in the back of my head until I have made it come to life.

Crocheted critters!

I always like to have a sewing project to hand that I am working on but, I also like to crochet and I love to learn new techniques.  I think that is another reason why I like to gather books. I taught myself to sew, quilt and crochet and I am aware that this may mean that I do not always use a recognised method.  I am always keen to add to my needlework knowledge.  I think that is what perpetuates your interest in what you are doing and keeps you up to date.

Free Motion Quilting: My newly learned technique!

I do also like to carry a notebook and pencil with me to jot down ideas when I see something that I think would translate to a great quilt/embroidery pattern. It is amazing where you can find quilt inspiration!!

Ideas Notebook and Sketches

Well, that is enough of me!  Now, it is my pleasure to nominate three further blogs to keep the Around the World Blog Hop moving along.  My first nominee is Janet of: Cards, Cats and Coffee. Janet is my sister and, although she isn't a needlewoman, she is a crafter who makes some absolutely fabulous hand made cards. Her blog is definitely worth a visit!! 

My second nominee is Jenny of: StitcheryJen.  I have been following Jenny's blog for some while and feel that I have got to know her through her posts. She makes the most elegant and beautiful stitched works of art and you simply must take a look for yourself!!

My final nominee is Linda: of The Road to Oklahoma.  Linda's blog is one I have only recently discovered and, I am really enjoying getting to know her beautiful work. She also makes the most delicious-looking bread!!  I hope you will pop across and have a look too!

Thank you very much for calling in to see me here, I hope you have enjoyed your visit!!

PS. I took the banner at the top of the page from Amy at NanaCompany as she invited anyone to use it.  You're welcome to use it for your blog post too if you'd like to.