Monday, 29 February 2016

The Doll Quilt SAL: Show and Tell.....

I am so excited to be able to finally show you my finished doll quilt.  The doll quilt SAL was hosted by Katrin at Cattinka and has been a lot of fun.  Lots of lovely ladies took part and you can see all the beautiful doll quilts they made over at Katrin's blog HERE.




I used a pattern from the lovely book 'Red Home' by Natalie Bird.  It is such a cute little pattern and I couldn't be happier with the finished quilt.



I stitched all the embroideries using 'Running Postman' variegated thread by 'Cottage Garden Threads'.  The fabrics were a variety of reds and pinks from my stash.



I hope you like it as much as I do!  Here are a few more photographs of it with a cute Tilda Sweetheart Doll which was made for me by a Facebook friend a little while back.




Don't forget to pop across to Katrin's and see all the other beautiful doll quilts made in the sew-a-long... there are over forty of them!!! 

Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Splendid Sampler: Block Four

Block four of The Splendid Sampler is a pretty little applique block designed by Jen Kingwell and is called 'Happy, Happy'.


I loved making this little block as I love applique and it certainly made me 'happy'.  I used the fusible applique method and finished the applique shapes with a hand-stitched buttonhole stitch. 



Instead of embroidering the flower stems with back stitch as the pattern suggests, I used stem stitch and I also added a few detached chain leaves here and there.



I also decorated the vase with a little hand embroidered daisy.  All the fabrics (apart from the cream background) were scraps of Tilda fabrics.



Looking forward to the next block being released!!


Friday, 26 February 2016

Patchwork with stitchery SAL: February Project

Hello! This week is the February link up for the 'Patchwork with Stitchery' sew-a-long hosted by Martina at Sunshine Quilting.  After my feeble start in January, I was much more organised this month and I have a lovely project to share with you.



This little embroidered pincushion was a free pattern from designer Gail Pan during a blog hop she took part in last year. I had been meaning to stitch it for some time but had not got round to it yet.  



It was a lovely, quick little embroidery design which, I enjoyed stitching. Instead of satin stitching the leaves I decided to use fly stitches to fill the leaf outlines.



I am never very happy with my satin stitches and, I like how these little fly stitch leaves look.



The construction of the pincushion was nice and easy too.  It is a pretty addition in my sewing room!  Do pop across and see what projects the other talented ladies in the group have linked up!  Have a lovely weekend.... I'm off to a free motion applique workshop tomorrow..... very exciting!! 

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Doll Quilt SAL: An update!

Since my last post about my progress on the Doll Quilt SAL I am taking part in which is being hosted by Katrin at Cattinka, I thought you might like an update of how things are going. As I mentioned last time, we are not allowed to share our finished quilts until the end of the sew-a-long. Then, on 29th February Katrin will be holding a 'Show and Tell' of all the finished quilts but, in the meantime, we are allowed to share our progress to date.



You may recall, I decided to make the sweet little doll quilt that appears in the book 'Red Home' by Natalie Bird and, I had started work on the embroideries and chosen all the fabrics.  Well, the little embroideries are all finished and trimmed up ready to be pieced together.



The fabrics have also been cut ready to piece together and a layout has been decided upon.



I have even managed to get some of the piecing started.


Now I just need to get the rest finished before the deadline! 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The Splendid Sampler: Block Three

Last Sunday the third block of The Splendid Sampler was released.  Block three is designed by Melissa Corry and is called 'Lots of Love'.



I used up some more of my beloved Tilda scraps to piece this cute block.  It has some quite small pieces to work with but, Melissa provides some very useful tips about working with smaller quilt pieces.  If you just take your time and press everything well it all goes together smoothly.


I am pleased with all my blocks so far.... here is a look at them side by side. I have also been busy this week getting a couple of other projects ready to work on.



First of all, I need to start work on my February CQJP 2016 block, so I have pieced the base block ready to start embellishing.  You may recall that my blocks this year are going to be a series of Dresden fans.  This is how my January block finished.....



I have also started preparing some more EPP hexagons for the next block in the Craftsy Class I am taking.


Plenty to be getting on with until the next Splendid Sampler block is released on Thursday! 

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

TAST Week Thirty: Long Tail Chain Stitch

Today sees the release of another new TAST stitch! Stitch thirty of the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle  is long tail chain stitch.  As the name suggests, this is a member of the chain stitch family and, Sharon has posted a tutorial about it, together with some wonderful examples of the stitch, on her blog.


As Sharon explains, it is often used to create flower shapes and, I chose to stitch two different examples in two of the boxes on my sampler.



For the first example I placed a flat sequin in the middle of the square and completed the long tail chain stitch to secure it in place.  I then added a single seed bead to the centre.



In the second example I also created a flower shape with the long tail chain stitches and then I 'whipped' the tails of the chain stitches to create a filled centre section.



In both examples I used variegated silk thread to work the stitches and finished the perimeter of the box with a stem stitch in the same variegated thread.


Monday, 22 February 2016

Finished!

As you may know, I had been hurriedly trying to get a table runner finished for my son in time for a trip we were making to visit him for his birthday. Well, today I am pleased to say that I can show you the finished quilt.



I am really pleased with how it has turned out and at the weekend we visited my son and his girlfriend and gave it to them.  It was nice to see it in place on their table and they seemed very happy with it! I hadn't been sure how to quilt it and, as I had pressed all the seams open as I was piecing it, stitching in the ditch around the blocks was not really an option.


In the end I decided to use a zig-zag stitch and sew over all the seams.  I liked the effect this gave and it looked nice from the back too.



To speed up the binding process, I added and finished the binding by machine rather than finishing it by hand as I would normally.  It was very quick to do and saved a lot of hand sewing!!



I have tried machine stitching binding on before and never been very happy with the results. The method I used previously was to sew the binding strip to the back of the quilt and turn it to the front then, machine stitch the binding down from the front.  Because my binding never seems to be exactly the same width all the way round, this always meant the line of stitching you could see on the back of the quilt was a bit wobbly and I didn't like it.



This time I sewed my binding to the front, turned it to the back (like I do if I was going to hand stitch it in place) pinned it down and then sewed through from the front, catching the binding at the back.  It is still a bit wobbly in places but, somehow I preferred the look it gives.  (I hope some of this makes sense to someone!)



Anyway, it was finished on time and I am happy with the end result!! 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Splendid Sampler: Block Two

Today is the release day for block two of The Splendid Sampler.  This block was designed by Jane Davidson and is called 'Wings'.


I printed the instructions out and got started!  I think to stand any chance of keeping up with the blocks you need to make them pretty much as they are released.


There were lots of little squares to piece together for this block and I used up some more scraps.  Many of which you will probably recognise as pieces of Tilda fabric.


Instead of embroidering the butterfly antennae using a back stitch as in the pattern, I preferred to add some detail using a bullion knot for the body of the butterfly and a fly stitch for the antennae. I then added some colonial knots at the end of each straight stitch. I am very pleased with how it looks.


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The Splendid Sampler: Block One

On Sunday the first of 'The Splendid Sampler' blocks was released.  It is a very pretty block called 'Hearts Aflutter' and was designed by Pat Sloan



I had a lot of fun deciding which fabrics to use from my scrap box to make the block and, in the end, I made two!!  The first version (shown above) was made using a needle-turn applique method for the heart which I edged with stem stitch to make it stand out further. However, when it was finished, I decided I wasn't sure that there was enough contrast between the light purple squares and the heart applique, so I made a second block using aqua background squares instead.



This time round I used a fusible applique method which I finished using a blanket stitch. I am pleased with both of them but, I am interested to know which version you prefer?  

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

TAST Week Twenty-Nine: Barb Stitch

Here we are at Tuesday again which, means another new TAST stitch! Stitch twenty-nine of the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle  is Barb stitch. Sharon has posted a tutorial explaining this stitch (which is a combination stitch) on her blog as always.




The stitch consists of two back to back lines of blanket stitch whipped together with another thread.  I like the blanket stitch so I enjoyed stitching this example.



I filled in another of the boxes on my sampler again using variegated silk thread and then outlined the box using the same thread and stem stitch.


Blanket stitch is worked with the needle away from you.
The thread passes behind the needle but no knot is formed.

If you follow the links, you will see that Sharon calls the base stitch 'buttonhole stitch' but, I prefer to call it 'blanket stitch'.  I know a lot of people don't think there is a difference between the two stitches but I think there is.


Buttonhole stitch is worked with the needle towards you.
The thread passes round the tip of the needle to form a knot.
Buttonhole stitch.... can you see the knot?

You can read a post I wrote explaining what I think the difference is here.  I am only self-taught, so this is really only my own opinion but, in that opinion, there is definitely a difference in the stitches but, you judge for yourselves.

Monday, 15 February 2016

It's all in the detail.....

I have been busy this weekend working on the table runner that I am making for my son.  I need to finish it soon as we are visiting him for his birthday later this month and, I want to take it with me when we go.


Cacti appliques at one end before embroidery details were added

You may recall, the last time that I posted about it I had pieced it together and, had added the various cacti appliques to either end.  I should explain that this runner was made to my son's own design.  He and his girlfriend chose the fabrics the last time they were visiting me and he drew out the design that he wanted with an indication of the sort of cacti he wanted me to applique at either end and then left me to do the rest!


Cacti appliques at the other end before embroidery details were added

The cacti needed a few extra details added to them to make them look more cacti-like and, that is what I was busy doing this weekend.  I am very pleased with how they now look. Here are some close ups of the details....










The runner has now been layered together ready for quilting which I hope I will find time to do in the next couple of days.  The next time I show it to you it should be finished!


Thank you to all of you for warning me about getting addicted to hexagons and EPP..... I am rather afraid it is too late!!  I made some more cards at the weekend also and, as well as those in the photograph above, two of them looked like this....


More hexagons!! I did enjoy making them and, I am really pleased to be able to use up all the card supplies that I have had sitting waiting for me to use them. I have been having a lot of fun at the same time!!


Yesterday was the official start of The Splendid Sampler and the first block was released.  I have finished my block but, it needs a little hand stitching to finish off the applique so, I will show it to you a little later in the week.

I am linking this post with the stitchery party over at Super Mom - No Cape! Why not pop across and see who else has linked up!  Hope you all have a creative week!