Wednesday 30 September 2015

TAST Week Twelve and catching up!

I was away for the weekend last weekend, so I have been playing catch up the last few days and have not had a lot of time for stitching or for blogging. My sister and I took our parents away for the weekend for an early celebration of my Mum's 80th birthday.  

We went to Warwickshire to visit some friends and then onto Leicester to visit the tomb of Richard III (the King who was recently found in a car park and re-interred at Leicester Cathedral).

It was an extremely interesting visit and my Mum, who is very interested in the history was delighted to have been able to go and visit Leicester and the tomb.

Since I have been home all I have had time to stitch is this week's TAST stitch which is the barred chain and the alternating barred chain.  This is a new stitch for me and I was excited to try it.

I have added a small line of each to my sampler and I like how they look.  It was not a difficult stitch to work once you got the hang of it!

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Take a Stitch Tuesday: TAST

Several weeks ago I was reading one of my favourite blogs 'Living My Dream'  which is written by a lovely blogger friend called Renee.  Renee mentioned that she was going to join in with a fun embroidery challenge called TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) which is being run by Sharon Boggon of Pintangle.

The idea behind the challenge is that Sharon posts the name and instructions of how to complete a new embroidery stitch each Tuesday. You learn (if it is new to you) the stitch and create a sampler week by week. I liked the idea of the challenge and I joined the Facebook Group that Sharon set up and even added a few photographs of projects that I had completed with some of the stitches.  However, I didn't really feel that I was completing the challenge in it's true spirit, so this week I decided to start it again from scratch. I have started work on a dedicated TAST sampler.

Another of the ladies in the FB Group, Melody, is making her sampler using all her leftover bits of thread.  It is beautiful and I thought it was a great idea for using up all those odd strands of embroidery thread that get leftover from other projects.  I asked Melody if I could use her idea and she was kind enough to say yes.  Here are some close ups of the stitches to date...

Week 1 - Fly Stitch
Week 2 - Buttonhole Stitch
Week 3 - Feather Stitch
Week 4 - Cretan Stitch
Week 5 - Herringbone Stitch
Week 6 - Chevron Stitch
Week 7 - Detached Chain
Week 8 - Chain Stitch
Week 9 - Couching
Week 10 - Running Stitch
Week 11 - Woven Wheel
Most of the stitches that have been shared by Sharon so far are stitches that I am familiar with but, I had never stitched a 'woven wheel' before, so that was a lot of fun!

It is not too late to join in if you would like to.  I have added the TAST badge to the right hand sidebar of my blog with a link to the TAST page on the Pintangle blog if you are interested.

Monday 21 September 2015

Disaster averted....

This weekend I have been working on finishing up my Gail Pan 'Hazel' bag which I started at the workshop I attended last weekend in Barrowford.  I finished all the hand work on the front panel during the week, so only needed to cut the fabrics for the bag, applique the panel to the front and then construct the bag.

I started by appliqueing the panel to the fabric for the front of the bag.  As I had embroidered around the applique shapes featured on the panel itself (to hide my wobbly needle-turn applique) I decided to embroider round the panel too.

The bag front was layered with some batting and I added a row of quilting (as described in the pattern instructions)  Next, I added the ric rac, which I couched onto the front using colonial knots rather than just slip-stitching it over the seam.  This is a technique which Gail used in another of her projects that I made and I really liked the look of it, so I thought I would add it here too.

Then I constructed the handles and made up the bag all as per the pattern instructions adding a cute little toggle for the closure. It just needed one final press and it would be done but, disaster struck!! My iron choose that moment to spit out some horrible dirty water right onto the panel on the front of my bag! This is what the ironing board looked like....

I quickly sponged the dirty water off the bag and hung it up to dry with my fingers crossed that it wouldn't leave a stain! I was lucky and it dried without a mark.... disaster averted!!

I am very pleased with my new bag.  I  am hoping to get my other workshop project finished this week.

I am linking this post with Super Mom - No Cape for her stitchery link up.  Why not pop across and see the other projects that have been linked.

Friday 18 September 2015

CQJP Challenge 2015: Finished September Block

Today I would like to share with you my finished CQJP Challenge 2015 block for September. As I mentioned in my previous post about the CQJP Challenge, I decided to use a block that I pieced for one of Kathy Shaw's wonderful online classes as the base block for September.

In the class (ICQC 103) we learned how to create a 'twisted tree' and I really loved learning this technique and was very proud of my tree. Now I have added all the remaining seam embellishments to finish off the block and this is how it looks....

Here are some close ups of  some of the seam embellishments....

I am looking forward to working on October's block now and I think I will use another of the ICQC 103 blocks as the base.

This block was one that I used to complete the task to stitch an basic surface embroidery design. I chose a basket of flowers.  I also used it for a second task during the class which was to stitch a silk ribbon monogram. There are still many seams which need to be finished off, so lots to work on for October's block.

Hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend of stitching! 

Wednesday 16 September 2015

My weekend adventure and a winner!!

I am warning you in advance that this is a long post, so if you want to skip down to the bottom of the page to see who the giveaway winner is without reading through the rest, please feel free to!!

From left to right: Gail Pan, myself and Karen of Patchwork Chicks

Let's start at the beginning.... on Friday I set off from home to drive the 230 miles to Barrowford in Lancashire where Karen of Patchwork Chicks has her lovely shop and where the two workshops she had organised with guest designer, Gail Pan were to be held.  After a long journey I made it to my hotel and, after a good night's sleep I was looking forward to a lovely day of stitching.

When I arrived at the Pendle Heritage Centre Barn where the workshops were held, I was met with a delightful display of Gail Pan quilts and accessories. It was lovely to have the opportunity to look closely at the quilts Gail had brought with her. The displays were fabulous and, I couldn't resist adding one or two (or more!) patterns to my collection.

Once everyone was seated, Gail introduced herself and showed us the project we were to make in the first workshop.  It was a lovely pattern called 'My Stitching Things'.  When we all had the embroidery pattern transferred, we started work on the stitching and Gail moved from table to table to give us all help and advice.

I shared my table with a very nice lady called Jill and we chatted happily as we stitched away at our patterns.

After a day of chatting and stitching we had a break to visit Karen's lovely shop where I might have bought one or two fat quarters of fabric to add to my stash and a few other 'essentials' before we headed back to the Barn for a trunk show with Gail.  It was lovely to learn more about Gail and how she has built up her business.

I headed back to my hotel having had the most wonderful day! 

The next morning at breakfast I met two more lovely ladies who were staying at the same hotel to attend the Sunday workshop, Lynda (who also writes a fun blog) and Wendy.  Our project for the day was another lovely pattern called 'Hazel'.  This pattern included some needleturn applique which I had never attempted before, so I was very excited to learn a new technique.

Gail's needleturn methods were quick and easy to learn and I will certainly be using them again.  My first attempts were a bit 'wobbly' in places so I added some embroidery stitches around some of the applique shapes to cover my mistakes! 

All in all it was a great weekend and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to meet Gail whose designs I have admired for a long time.  I would like to say thank you to her and to Karen and her team who made it such a lovely occasion.  Also to my newly found friends, Jill, Lynda and Wendy.... we had a lot of fun!!

Now, to end this post, I would like to announce the winner of my 300th blog post giveaway. I folded the names of all those who left me comments (which I enjoyed reading) into a pot and pulled out a winner.....

The winner is Wendy Booth-Boyd.  I will be in touch Wendy to get your postal address so that I can send on your prize.  Thank you to everyone who left a comment.