Sunday, 21 May 2017

The next step.....

Last week I shared with you my choice of fabrics and the pieced quilt top for my version of Lori Kennedy's Spring Quilt-a-long quilt.

This week was week three of the Q-A-L and the quilt top needed to be layered and then stabilised using some walking foot quilting in the ditch.

I added quilting in the ditch around each of the half square triangles. I am really pleased with how it looks so far and I just can't wait to get started on the free motion quilting!!

Back view!
Looking forward to Tuesday and the next step!!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Week 83: Beaded Oyster Stitch.....

This week's stitch (week 83) for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle is the Beaded Oyster Stitch and you can find Sharon's tutorial for it here.

I really enjoyed learning the oyster stitch in an earlier week of TAST and I was very happy to have another chance to add a row to my sampler, this time enhanced with beads.

I used cotton perle (8) thread in a light lilac colour and added white beads between the stitches.  I gives a really pretty effect.  I am really enjoying how this sampler is starting to fill up too!

Don't forget to pop over and have a read of the latest TAST 10th Year Anniversary Interviews being posted by Sharon at Pintangle.  This week's interview is one I had the privilege to give! Thank you for the opportunity Sharon!  You might also like the chance to see more about Sharon's lovely new book too!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Spring projects.....

Sorry it has been a while since I last posted, there seems to have been a lot going on here and I am not sure where the time has disappeared to. Since I was last here though don't think that I have had idle hands. Yesterday I spent some time working on a new Block of the Month project that I am participating in.  Some of you may have noticed that at the beginning of the year I added a new button to my right hand sidebar..... I signed up for Lynette Anderson's latest mystery button block of the month project.
Seaside Town

It is called Seaside Town.  I so enjoyed participating in one of Lynette's previous button club projects called Fernhill that I knew I would love this project too.  Fernhill was some years ago now (2012) and I love my finished version of the quilt.  I have been tempted with some of the button club projects between then and now but, I didn't think I would have the time so didn't succumb!! 

My Fernhill Quilt

However, I just couldn't resist a seaside inspired quilt.... I love the seaside!  So far I have received the instructions for month one and month two.

I have finished the little pieced blocks for month one (these are to be used later on) and, I have nearly completed the embroidered block.... just a few more French knots to go!

For month two there were some cute little houses to paper piece.  I have finished all the piecing.  We had to make four in total.

The two above will be used at a later date but the two below have been pieced together to make one block ready for the addition of some embroidered details. I have transferred all the embroidery patterns over to the block but just need to find time to do the stitching now!!

I can already tell this is going to be such a pretty quilt and I am really looking forward to finishing the month one block  embroidery as well as adding the embroidery to the block for month two.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Another week... another stitch.... week 82: Interlaced Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch

This week's stitch (week 82) for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle is the Interlaced Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch and you can find Sharon's tutorial for it here.

I really like this family of stitches, so I really enjoyed adding a line of this variation to my sampler. I used variegated cotton perle (8) thread.

I have been busy this week, so I have not had much time to sew or to read blog posts, so I am sorry if I haven't had the chance to visit you!

I did manage to find the time to audition some fabrics for my version of Lori Kennedy's Spring Quilt-A-Long quilt. Lori published week two of the challenge yesterday, so there is still time to join in if you would like to.

My finished top is all ready for the next step now..... and you will notice that a number of the fabrics changed from those I was originally auditioning!!

I am off to the second class of a FMQ workshop I am attending locally at InStitches on Friday, so I am hoping to have something that I have made to share with you next week.  I did the first class last Friday and finished some quite interesting samples.  I will share those with you later too.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a lovely week!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A new TAST stitch..... week 81: Beaded Hedebo Edge Stitch

This week's stitch (week 81) for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle is the Beaded Hedebo Edge Stitch.

This stitch is a very pretty edging stitch but it is a stitch which needs you to pay a lot of attention to your thread tension as you are working it.  I added a line to my sampler and I worked it in blue perle cotton (8) thread.  I added 3mm seed beads in a blue colour also.

The stitch is worked over a series of long and short cross stitches which are then woven using an up and down buttonhole stitch technique.  It took me a little while to establish the correct rhythm to successfully work the stitch but, I think the results were worth it!  You can find Sharon's tutorial for it here.

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will know that I have really been working hard to improve my free motion quilting and, I always take every opportunity to practise. One of the blogs I follow which has lots of FMQ information and tutorials is 'The Inbox Jaunt' by Lori Kennedy. From time to time she hosts a quilt-a-long which is always fun to join in with.  I thought you might like to know that a new one is about to start.  I will certainly be joining in with the fun.  Here is the link to the first quilt-a-long post. Hope you join in and have some fun too!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Take-A-Stitch-Tuesday takes a break.....

This week (and next week) the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle is taking an Easter break so there are to be no official stitches posted.  This gives those who are a few stitches behind time to catch up and also everyone a little family time over the Easter holiday.

However, Sharon very kindly shared on her blog a special Easter bonus stitch called 'Slipped Cable Chain Stitch'.  It is a very pretty stitch and I couldn't resist adding a line of it to my sampler even though it isn't an 'official' TAST stitch.

It is a combination stitch and the base stitch is a cable chain stitch.  I stitched my cable chain in green perle cotton (8) thread.  I then slip stitched using variegated silk thread.  It gave a lovely result.  You can find Sharon's post about this Easter bonus stitch here.

For those who were up-to-date with their TAST stitches but couldn't resist some more stitching, Sharon also issued a challenge to be carried out during the two week break.  I fall into the category who just can't resist some more stitching, so I have completed the challenge.  You can find the details on Sharon's blog here. Basically, you had to use three stitches already released on TAST and create a little embroidered project with them.

For my three stitches I used stem stitch, fly stitch and bullion knots and I created this little wisteria vine.  

I drew the vine using one of Sharon's stencils (I bought a set a couple of years ago when I was making my crazy quilt) and stitched the stem using a variegated, over-dyed, six-stranded cotton embroidery floss and the stem stitch.

The leaves were stitched with exactly the same thread and a fly stitch and the blooms were also stitched with the same type of thread but in a different colour variation.

It was a fun challenge!  I had a lovely Easter with various members of my family but they are all back at work/university now.  I hope you all had a nice Easter too.

By the way, don't forget to pop over and read the latest TAST interview in the series to celebrating 10 years of TAST on Sharon's blog.  It was published earlier this week.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

TAST Week 80: Whipped Double Chain Stitch....

This week's stitch (week 80) for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle is the whipped double chain stitch.

Two lines of chain stitch are worked side by side and then the middle edges of the 'chain links' are whipped together with another thread.  It creates a beautiful, decorative and  very distinct line of stitching.  Sharon's tutorial for it can be found here.

I added a row to my sampler using pink cotton perle thread (8) for the base chain stitches and blue cotton perle thread (8) as the whipping thread. 

You can compare the difference between the whipped double chain stitch and whipped chain stitch (just a single line of chain stitches) which is just a little further to the right in the photograph above. Don't forget to pop across to Sharon's blog and read the series of interviews she is holding with some of the talented participants of the TAST Challenge to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of TAST.  You can find the latest interview post here.

Monday, 10 April 2017


Very excited to share with you my little wool circles project all quilted and finished.  I really loved working on this little project and I am really pleased with the finished quilt.

It is only a very small quilt (approx 12" x 15") but there is a lot to look at and the pebbling in the background adds a lot of texture which I am not sure the photographs show very well.

The backing fabric and binding are both cotton print fabrics and I wasn't sure how well they would all work together with the wool, especially for the quilting but, I needn't have worried because the quilting went quite smoothly.  This is what the back looks like.....

It was quite difficult quilting close to the circles as some of them stand quite proud of the background fabric making it a bit awkward to quilt evenly.

If you look closely you will see a few quilting 'wobbles' but overall I am very happy with it.

I did have a bit of a panic when I was hand stitching the binding on the back as I suddenly heard a little noise which sounded suspiciously like a bead falling to the ground.  I turned the quilt over to see that there was a bead missing from the middle of one of the circles (I must have squashed it with my ruler when I squared everything up.)

Anyway, I replaced it and I am hoping it isn't too obvious where it was. What do you think?

Friday, 7 April 2017

The final two.....

Yay! I have finished the final two circle sets on my little wool wall hanging.  I am very pleased with how this is looking.

The penultimate circle set was decorated (from outer edge) with Italian knotted border stitch in variegated fine silk thread; up and down buttonhole stitch in variegated perle cotton (8) and finished with beaded drizzle stitches in the centre.  Just loved working the drizzle stitches and they add such a lot of texture to the project.

The final set was embellished (from outer edge) with glove stitch in coton a broder; buttonholed cabled chain stitch (the cable chain worked in coton a broder and the buttonholing in variegated fine silk thread); Italian knotted border stitch in variegated fine silk thread and finally bullion knots in the centre worked in coton a broder.

I am very excited to have this project nearly finished and I couldn't wait to start on the background quilting. 

It is not perfect but it adds so much texture.  Perhaps I will get it finished at the weekend!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

TAST Week 79: Whipped Spoke Stitch.....

This week's stitch (week 79) for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle is the whipped spoke stitch.  It is a very versatile stitch that can be used to create textural shapes and designs.  Sharon's tutorial for it is here along with some beautiful examples of how it can be used.

I used it to add some pretty little butterflies to one corner of my latest sampler.  They were fun to work but you do have to pay close attention to your tension while you are stitching it. (Don't look too closely at my example!)

I hadn't realised it at the time but, I have used this stitch before when I added a flower to one of my crazy quilt blocks.

It will certainly be a stitch that I will be using in a future project too!

Monday, 3 April 2017

A couple more circles completed....

I am still busy working on my wool circles in between other projects and have managed to complete the embroidery on two more circles.

There are now ten of the circle sets decorated out of the twelve that I have added to the background fabric which makes up the little wall hanging.

The first of the two I have recently completed is embellished with (from outer edge to centre) buttonholed cable chain stitch (the base cable chain stitch worked in perle cotton (8) and the buttonholing worked in variegated fine silk thread); twisted fly stitch (worked in coton a broder); fly stitch (worked in variegated fine silk thread) and colonial knots (worked in variegated fine silk thread).

The second of the two newly embellished circles is decorated with (from outer edge to centre) tete de boeuf stitch (worked in variegated fine silk thread); beaded whipped chain stitch (worked in perle cotton (8)) and finally, a whipped woven circle using pistil stitches for the spokes (worked in variegated fine silk thread).

I am really looking forward to finishing off the last two circle sets and completing the little quilt with some textural stitching in the background.