Thursday 27 October 2016

More free-motion quilting.....

Still not much in the way of stitching done here the last few days.  I have finished one of the secret projects which I am really pleased with.  It will now have to be wrapped and posted off.  I can't show you the finished project yet but I will give you another sneak peek.... this is how I decorated the hoop which frames it.....

And I added a cute little button too.....

I haven't summoned up the courage to start quilting the other secret project yet.... I am still practising my free motion quilting and, just on cue, Lori Kennedy of 'The Inbox Jaunt' is currently holding a sunflower quilt-a-long which I am following along with.  This week is week three but, it would be easy to catch up if you wanted to follow along too.

So far we have marked out the fabric ready for adding the quilting, quilted the centre of the sunflower and then added some petals.  I have made two versions.  For the first I chose a piece of hand-dyed fabric which I won in a giveaway from Magpie's Mumblings last year.  I thought it would be perfect as a sunflower but it wasn't as large as the fabric piece recommended for the QAL and I struggled with squeezing in the second set of petals, so I started with a second quilt sandwich which is slightly larger.

You had the option to either outline the central oval and then quilt in towards the centre or to start in the centre and quilt out, so I did one of each.  All good practice before I start on my quilt! I am very happy with how they are both are shaping up and I am looking forward to the next step.

Tuesday 25 October 2016


Not much to show you on the stitching front today as I have been working on my 'secret' projects and I can't show you any more of those for the moment.  However, one of the secret projects is going to require quilting and, as I haven't had any free motion quilting practice for quite some time (since before my house move) I thought I had better start practising again.


As well as practising on some small quilt sandwiches (not interesting enough for a photo) I decided to add some extra quilting to a faithful old table runner which usually comes out in the Autumn to decorate my kitchen table.  Prior to this last week, the table runner was quilted with some very basic walking foot quilting in straight lines. 


I know you are not supposed to quilt after the project has been bound but, I thought I would give it a try anyway.  I am very pleased with the results!!  It looks very nice on my table even with the odd stain which I don't seem to be able to wash out!! 

Thursday 20 October 2016

TAST Week Sixty: Inverted Feather Stitch

This week's stitch for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle is from another of my favourite stitch families.... the feather stitch. This particular member of the feather stitch family was new to me and I didn't really think it resembled feather stitch greatly but, I did enjoy learning it and stitching it!  It is called 'inverted feather stitch' and Sharon's tutorial for it can be found here.

I stitched two lines of the stitch echoing one of my existing circles.  I used two different thread weights. 

The outer line was stitched using a variegated cotton perle (no 8) thread and the inner line was stitched using variegated fine silk thread.  I enjoyed working the stitches and I am very happy with how they look. 

It must seem that all I am working on at the moment are the weekly stitches for TAST but, this isn't the case.  I am actually working on two special 'secret' projects at the moment which I can't share very much of.  I will just let you have a peek.... the first is a baby quilt for a friend's daughter.  Here are a couple of the little applique details that I have included.....

The second is a gift for a friend and involves some embroidery....

They are fun projects and I am enjoying working on them.  Hope you are all enjoying some creativity too!

Sunday 16 October 2016

TAST Week Fifty-Nine: Woven Detached Chain Stitch

This week's stitch for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle is another in the Chain Stitch family: Woven Detached Chain Stitch. It is another stitch which I was unfamiliar with.

It isn't a difficult stitch but does require a little patience when you are completing the needle-weaving in order to keep the tension smooth (which I nearly achieved!)

I used the stitch to add a little blue flower to the centre of a circle.  I thought it tied in nicely with the other woven picot flower which I stitched earlier on. You can find Sharon's tutorial for the Woven Detached Chain Stitch here.

My flower was stitched using a variegated blue cotton perle (no. 8) thread. I also added some colonial knots to the centre of the flower. 

Hope your weekend is a sunny one! 

Thursday 13 October 2016

A few more blocks.....

I have been busy catching up with a few more of my Splendid Sampler blocks.  I have continued to work on the applique blocks. I still had one more applique block from those that I missed while moving and there have also been a couple of recent applique blocks. I think the blocks I stitched this week will bring me up to date with all the applique designs. Here are the blocks I have been working on.....

Block 55 is called 'Dedication Rose' and was designed by Lisa Bongean

Block 68 is called 'Wild Roses' and was designed by Pat Sloan.

Pat also designed a cute bonus block for October called 'Wonderful Pumpkin'. I really loved stitching this block!

Now I just need to catch up with some of the blocks using other techniques!!

Monday 10 October 2016

TAST Week Fifty-Eight: Slipped Detached Chain Stitch

The latest stitch for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle is another in the Chain Stitch family: Slipped, Detached Chain Stitch. It is not a stitch that I have used before but was fairly straight forward to learn.  I used it to make a tiny circle of stitches inside another of the circles on my sampler.  You can find the tutorial for it on Sharon's website here.

I used some variegated silk thread and I depending on how you angle the stitches slipped through the tiny little anchor stitch of the detached chain, you can make the resulting stitch look quite different.  I tried to make mine look a little like leaves.

They filled the centre of the circle very nicely and I am happy with the result.  I also added a stitched outer border in stem stitch as I previously mentioned I might.  It was stitched using variegated cotton embroidery floss and I think it will look nice when I have stretched the finished sampler over canvas.

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Catching up with the Splendid Sampler.....

It has been some while since I have had the time to work on my Splendid Sampler blocks.  I have been itching to catch up with some of them and, last weekend I was finally able to make a start and stitch a few.  I decided that it would be easiest to catch up by grouping together the blocks of a similar style.  I have started with the applique blocks and I have managed to make five.  I did also make the one hand embroidered block as this was nice and straight forward to stitch in the evenings.  Here they all are:

Bonus Block: Designed by Pat Sloan to celebrate the halfway point of the Challenge:
 'Top of the Hill':

Block Fifty-Two: Designed by Pat Sloan: 'Coneflower':

Bonus Block: Designed by American Patchwork and Quilting:
 'One Million Pillowcase Challenge':

Block Fifty-Six: Designed by Jennifer Keltner'At Home Anywhere':

Block Sixty: Designed by Fiona Ransley'Hearts and Flowers':

Block Sixty-Three: Designed by Kim Christopherson'The Icing on the Cake':

Hopefully I will get some more caught up over the coming weeks! 

Sunday 2 October 2016

CQJP Challenge 2016

As some of you will recall, at the beginning of the year I started the CQJP Challenge for 2016.  This challenge is to make a crazy quilt block for each month of the year and then to put these blocks together into a project of your choice at the end of the year.  It is hosted by the lovely Kathy Shaw with some administrative help from Marci.

However, with my unexpected house move, I fell behind with my blocks. Well, if the truth be told, I was already a little behind even before the house move, with my last finished blocks being those for April and May (pictured above).  As I also have quite a number of other projects waiting for my attention, I decided not to stretch myself too thinly and try and get caught up with everything.

Instead, I decided to use the blocks I had made so far to make another circular cushion rather like the 'tuffet' cushion I finished for my daughter earlier this week.

I pieced the blocks together into a square of fabric.  Where the seams joined I added in some extra decorative stitches to unify them with the other decorated seams and I added a button in the middle.

I then marked a circle onto the wrong side of the background fabric just beyond the points of the Dresden plate blades, placed the square of fabric right sides together with another square of fabric for the back of the cushion and sewed on the marked line.  I left a few inches of the seam open for turning. I trimmed off the excess fabric leaving a generous quarter inch seam allowance and turned the cushion right sides out.  It was then stuffed with toy stuffing and the opening was closed by hand.

It was a quick and easy make and I was pleased with the result. 

I am hoping that the CQJP Challenge will run again next year and that I will be able to join in again then but for now it feels good not to worry about catching up and to have a finished project!