Monday, 5 June 2017


As I mentioned in my last post, we recently had a stay in Scotland and, I thought you might like to see some of the photos I took while I was there.  I have added captions under the photos so that you can see where we went.

A rock pool on a walk from Loch Ard to the top of
Ben Venue

A shy orchid along the path on the same

Another beautiful waterfall and pool on
the walk between Loch Ard and Ben Venue

The William Wallace Memorial taken from Stirling Castle

A view of Edinburgh from the top of Arthur's Seat

There is quite a lot going on here at the moment and I know that the Summer is going to be busy, so I have decided to have a little break from my blog.  I hope that you all have a nice Summer (or Winter to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!) and I will see you back later in the year!

Hugs xx

Sunday, 4 June 2017

An embroidered gift...

We recently had a trip away to Scotland, visiting some beautiful places which I will share with you in a different post.  On the way, we stopped to visit some family members who live in Carlisle.  As we stayed a couple of nights with them, I wanted to take a few little gifts with me as a thank you.  I bought one or two bits and pieces and I also made a little hooped embroidery.

The pattern came from a book I have called 'Modern Primitive Embroidery' written by Jennie Baer.

I added some more colour by decorating the hoop by wrapping it with blue yarn.  I think it turned out quite nicely and my sister-in-law liked it!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Free Motion Quilting and Beyond!

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I had been at a free motion quilting course in my local area at a studio called In Stitches.  The workshop I attended was called 'Free Motion Quilting and Beyond' and was held over three consecutive Fridays.  It was extremely interesting and I learned a great deal about the design and construction of an art quilt.

Terry and Hazel, the lovely ladies who run the workshop are very talented textile artists and allowed us to take photographs of some of their fabulous quilts (shown above).

The workshop started with us making three different sample squares with the same applique designs on each.  We then tried differing approaches to quilting them so that we could see the effect this had on the look of the applique.  Here are my three samples and I have indicated below each how I quilted them.

Sample One: The applique was fused and the shapes
quilted over with an all over pattern

Sample Two: The applique was fused and the shapes 
finished with outline quilting.  The background was then
quilted around the applique shapes

Sample Three: The background was quilted first.  The
applique shapes  were then fused.  Extra quilted details
were added to the applique shapes.

The second day of the workshop we concentrated on working on a much bigger quilt (1m x 1m), dividing it up and quilting the different sections with different quilt designs and different threads.  

On the last day we were shown some paint techniques which could be used to enhance our quilting.  The only detail I have to show you of this are the tendrils on my last pumpkin sample which I enhanced using 'inktense' pencils which I set with textile medium.  It did make a big difference to the look of the tendrils making them stand out much more.

I also added a lot more detail to my quilt which I still need to finish.  All in all, I had a marvellous time and my head is now full of lots more quilting ideas!

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.