Friday 31 July 2015

Birthday swaps.....

As some of you may know, July is my birthday month and, as today is the last day of July and, I have participated in a couple of birthday swaps this year, I thought I would share with you some of the wonderful things I have been lucky enough to receive.

The first swap is a block swap with a group of ladies I know through Facebook. There are 14 of us participating and each month you sew a block for the ladies that have their birthdays that month and post them onto them.  I have already shown you several of the blocks that I have made and sent in this post and here.  Now, during my birthday month, I have started to receive some blocks and here they are....

From Julie T. (West Sussex, United Kingdom)
From Nancy (Canada)
From Annabella (Isle of Wight, UK)
From Jill (Italy)
From Eva (Netherlands)

They are all beautiful blocks, thank you ladies! I am looking forward to being able to make them into a marvellous quilt with blocks from around the World!

I am also participating in a more personal swap just between myself and a dear blogger friend, Leanne of Lizzie the Quilter.  Leanne sent me some gorgeous gifts for my birthday which included this pretty little wall hanging....

and another pattern in the same series by Robyn Allen-Waters for me to stitch for myself.

Some beautiful wooden buttons....

and a dear little fabric bucket to put in my sewing room.

She also sent some sweet treats but, I am afraid I ate them before I took the photographs! Sorry!!

Thank you Leanne for my wonderful birthday surpises! I love them all!! I am currently working on some surprises to send Leanne in return. Her birthday is a little later in the year and they will have to remain a secret for now!

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Patchwork with stitchery SAL link up

Today is the first link up with Martina of Sunshine Quilting, who is hosting a new sew-a-long for any patchwork with stitchery patterns.  Previously, the sew-a-long had been just for Gail Pan patterns but, this has now been expanded to include patterns from any designers.

The first little project I want to share is one that I actually stitched a while ago but, I have always loved it and thought it would be nice to include it here.

The pattern is from a book by Anni Downs called 'A Family Gathering'.  I love Anni's patterns and I just couldn't resist making this little stitchery called 'Home Sweet Home'. 

In the book Anni makes the stitchery into a framed picture but I chose to make it into a tiny wall hanging.  I added some prairie points at the bottom decorated with rice beads.  

It hangs in the hall of my house, welcoming people to my home!

Do pop over to Martina's to see the other beautiful projects that have been linked up in the sew-a-long.

Monday 27 July 2015

One of my favourite quilts....

Today is a 'stitchery link-up' day over at 'Super Mom - No Cape!' and, as I don't have any new embroidery projects to show you for the moment, I would like to share with you one of my favourite quilts which, I made a number of years ago, before I started my blog.

Some of you may know it as it was a block of the month pattern by Lynette Anderson and, it is called 'Fernhill'.

I loved working month by month on this quilt and it remains a favourite to this day.

The photographs here were taken in a previous house we lived in but, it currently hangs in pride of place in my dining room.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

I am linking this post to 'Super Mom - No Cape!' have a lovely week!

Saturday 25 July 2015

Too tired for stitching!

Hello! I am sorry I have been a little neglectful of my blog this week but, as I have had several disturbed nights looking after little Poppy, I have been too tired to do much in the way of sewing, so I haven't had a lot to share with you!

However, I did manage to get the next task for the ICQC 103 online class that I am taking with Kathy Shaw finished.  This task was to create a wisteria vine on one of my blocks.  I decided to use the same block that I had previously stitched one of my trees on.

You may recall that I have already stitched a wisteria vine for the other class that I am taking with Kathy  so, it was nice to have the chance to practice the technique again.  This time I used a raffia rather than string for the trunk.  I also added extra leaves from the start and I was pleased with the finished vine.

I also finished the next task for my ICQC 107 class, which was stitching a small cluster of daffodils along the trellis in the background.  These were really fun to stitch but, I wish I had practiced them on a scrap cloth first as, I wasn't completely happy with the leaf placement. Never mind, from a distance the overall effect is quite pleasing.

I am a long way behind on my Farm Girl Vintage blocks but, as I had a much better night's sleep last night (honestly, it has been like having a new born baby in the house and, I am much too old for that!!!) I am hoping to get caught up on some of them this afternoon and tomorrow.

Enjoy your weekend! 

Monday 20 July 2015

A busy weekend....

Hello! I am late in the day posting this but, it has been a busy weekend spent caring for Poppy (one of my little dogs) after her surgery, as well as welcoming my youngest daughter back home from university for the summer.  It is lovely to have her home!  As a result, I only managed a little stitching.

Taking Kathy's advice, I added a few extra leaves to the wisteria vine that I stitched for my ICQC 107 Class (run online by Kathy Shaw). I think her advice was spot on as, the extra leaves seem to add some extra depth to the look of the vine. I then completed the next task which, was a cluster of irises.

They were quite quick to complete, so I was able to get them finished between everything else that was going on!

Looking forward to getting the next flowers stitched over the next few days!!

I am linking this post to the latest stitchery link up at Super Mom - No Cape.

Friday 17 July 2015

More crazy quilting....

All the spare time I have had this week has been spent working on my ICQC class tasks. These fabulous classes are offered online by Kathy Shaw and are just fantastic!  I have learnt so much.... thank you Kathy!!

This week I have added a wisteria vine to one of the backgrounds I showed you for the ICQC 107 Class.  This was a lot of fun to stitch and I am pleased with the finished wisteria.

Moving on from the trees in the ICQC 103 Class, I have now completed several other surface embroidery motifs which include a design which is a very traditional crazy quilt motif, the spider web and spider.

I was delighted with the result and since then I have also stitched a vintage surface embroidery design of a basket of flowers......

Created an expanded surface embroidery design where I started with a very simple outline design of a watering can and added my own embroidery embellishments to expand the design resulting in a little 'picture'.

Lastly, I tried my hand at a different technique called 'Broderie Perse'  where a printed fabric design is cut, appliqued and then hand embellished with embroidery.  I really loved making this flower and I was very pleased with the outcome.

I have to go and pick my little dog Poppy up from a second round of surgery on her leg later this morning (the first operation was unsuccessful) so I am not sure how much sewing will get done the next few days but, I am looking forward to learning lots more crazy quilt techniques! Have a lovely weekend.  

Wednesday 15 July 2015

July Snow Happy Heart Block

A little late but, better late than never! A new month means a new Snow Happy Heart Pattern published by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs.

I was too busy the first week of July to get started on my block but, this week it has been quieter and, I have had more time to sew. I had a great time planning and piecing my block. I had already printed out the pattern for the July heart, which features a cute little snowman holding a flag.

I spent some time looking at my previous blocks so that the July block tied in with the general feel of the quilt so far and, so that the overall quilt remains balanced.  I then cut out my fabrics and pieced the block together.

This month I just embroidered the name of the month and the word 'Happy' on the applique background fabric.

July is a happy month for me as it is my birthday month. When I started making my blocks, I had already thought that I would try and include the words 'Snow Happy Hearts' within the overall quilt design.  The month of January has the word 'Snow' and, July seemed like the right place for the word 'Happy'. The only other addition I made this month were some little star buttons to the right hand side of the heart.  You can follow along with all of the blocks I have made so far on the 'Snow Happy Heart Quilt' page of my blog.  There is a link in the right hand sidebar.

Monday 13 July 2015


Hello, I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend.  Last week was a busy week for me but, I had a nice quiet weekend and that can only mean one thing.... lots of stitching!!

In my last post I shared with you two backgrounds that I prepared for one of Kathy Shaw's crazy quilt classes. The backgrounds are for the ICQC 107 Class which is a class designed to teach various silk ribbon embroidery techniques by adding miniature flowers to the backgrounds to create two garden scenes.  I really enjoyed embroidering the backgrounds and in particular the tree as I learned a new technique for embroidering the leaves.

However, this is not the only tree I have stitched this past week. I am also signed up to take another of Kathy's classes, ICQC 103 which, is designed to teach basic surface embroidery motifs.

You may recall that I showed you the base blocks that I made for this class a couple of weeks ago.

Well, the first couple of surface embroidery motifs that I have learned are both trees.  The first was an embroidered tree using french knots, stem stitch and chain stitch.  The second is a 'twisted' tree which uses a technique where threads are twisted and then couched onto the surface of the block.

I really enjoyed learning both techniques and I am looking forward to the next lesson.

I will be linking this post with 'Super Mom - No Cape' for the latest stitchery link up party.

Friday 10 July 2015

No blocks again....

Hello! Well, it is Friday again and that means I should really be posting about my Farm Girl Friday blocks..... however, I have had a really busy week with visitors here and then taking them home again, which involved a lot of driving so, I haven't had much time to sit and sew. I now need to catch up with weeks nine, ten and eleven. Luckily, I have a quiet weekend ahead and I am hoping to catch up with all sorts of stitching projects then.

In the odd moment here and there that I have had to sew this week, I finished off my background blocks for Kathy Shaw's ICQC 107 Class. There are two backgrounds and the embroidered details on them are the backdrop for some beautiful silk ribbon embroidery flowers.

I already like how the backgrounds look and, I can't wait now to get started on the flowers. Kathy's brilliant classes are packed full of so much wonderful information and I am learning such a lot from them. I am looking forward to learning how to embroider some different silk ribbon flowers.

Have a happy weekend!

Monday 6 July 2015

Progress on my free motion quilting!

Hello, I hope you have all had a lovely weekend.  Here it has been busy as I have some guests staying for a few days and we have been out an about having some fun visits to places in the local area.

I am just popping in to share with you some photographs of my latest free motion quilting practice.

The last online lesson I have been able to complete is one where spirals and sharp points were taught.  I have tried really hard with these practice pieces and I think I have made some progress.

There is not much time for any sewing here at the moment although, there are lots of projects waiting for my attention.....

Some backgrounds to finish stitching for my ICQC with Kathy Shaw....

My July CQJP Challenge 2015 block to be embellished....

The next Snow Happy Heart pattern from Anne Sutton to get started on.....

and of course some Farm Girl Vintage blocks to piece....

I am hoping to get some sewing time again at the end of the week! See you all then!