Sunday 29 January 2017

A wonderful workshop.....

What an exciting week it has been the past week.  It started like any other but then on Tuesday I headed up to Norfolk for a visit with my parents.  It was lovely to see them and, it was while I was visiting them that I had arranged to attend the Abigail Mill Workshop that I mentioned in a previous post.

Abigail was a delightful teacher and she gave us all invaluable help while taking our first steps to making a freehand embroidered project.

Capturing the image in fabric......

I had decided to try and put together an image of the chalet we lived in when we were in Switzerland.  It was such a lot of fun choosing the fabrics and then adding in the freehand machined stitches. It is a long way from finished but I am very pleased with how this is looking so far.  I am not sure how long it will be until I get it completed as I am not very good with getting the perspective right, so there will be a lot of playing with more fabric and stitches before that day comes!!

Busy adding some stitching.....

There were two other lovely ladies, Brenda and Sarah, also on the workshop and below you can see us at the end of the two days with our works in progress.  I had a great time, it was a fabulous workshop!

Brenda, Sarah and me....

I also had the opportunity to buy a couple of Abigail's beautiful kits, which I hope to be able to make up.  Her fabulous book has some lovely projects in too which I now feel more confident to try.

After the workshop had finished I met up with my youngest daughter and my sister for a delicious meal at a local restaurant and then it was time to head home, taking my daughter with me!

On our return, we had a celebration for my husband's 60th birthday.  All my immediate family were there and we had a lovely day out on Saturday enjoying a scrumptious lunch followed by a trip to the theatre.

This week it is back to normality and catching up with some of the household chores!!

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Progress on my wool projects.....

It has been so much fun to work on the wool projects that I showed you last week.  Since that post, I have finished embellishing the butterfly block which forms part of the Craftsy Class by Sue Spargo.

I am really pleased with it and I am looking forward to starting another block and learning some more stitches.

I have also finished positioning the wool circles on the background of what will be my 'Circles' wool quilt (inspired by some of Sue Spargo's beautiful work)  I am excited now to add some embellishment to them.

The colours are very pretty (I am not sure this photo does them justice) and, I have found (in among some other sewing things) some perfect threads to use with them.

Looking forward to showing you some more progress on this project very soon!!

Sunday 22 January 2017

Continuing to improve my Free Motion Quilting.....

A skill that I am very keen to keep improving in 2017 is my free motion quilting. I was so excited to finally feel that I had mastered this technique last year and, I am equally excited to continue to improve on what I have learned so far.

The compositions here are framed (top left); diagonal (top right);
medallion (bottom left) and grid (bottom right)

If you follow my blog, you will know that I have followed several Craftsy Classes by Lori Kennedy.  At the end of one of these classes Lori sets a challenge for you to complete six mini quilts using different quilt compositions.  At the end of last year I had completed four of the six different compositions (shown above) and, to keep up with my FMQ practise, I have now completed the last two.

This little quilt is an example of a vertical/horizontal composition and the different motifs quilted include the sun, a boat, some waves, pebbles and seashells.

The last little quilt is an example of a radiating composition and the motifs used are spiral flowers.

Lori has tutorials for the majority of the motifs I have mentioned above on her blog, 'The Inbox Jaunt' if you would like to try them for yourself! 

Thursday 19 January 2017

Another new project for 2017......

Another new project which I am very excited to try this year and which has been on my 'to do' list for a while, is a project from the book 'Applique Art' by Abigail Mill.  I have had this book in my collection for some time and love the look of all the projects in it.

The book uses a technique called 'freehand machine embroidery' which I attended a workshop on towards the beginning of last year and which I really enjoyed. I was pleased with the results of the workshop.

I recently discovered that Abigail is going to be holding a workshop in Norwich, where my youngest daughter is at university and close to where my parents live.  I am very excited to have been able to secure a place on the workshop and, I can't wait to see what exciting new techniques I learn and what I can create while I am there! I also get to visit my family at the same time.... win-win!!

I will let you know how I get on!!

Sunday 15 January 2017

Some new stitching......

I am pleased to say that this past weekend I have started work on a new stitching project.  I know I was supposed to be working on quilts made from blocks that I had already pieced such as those I showed you in my first post of 2017 but, I also like to challenge myself to try something new each year too.  This year, I have decided to try some projects working with wool.  

Some while ago I signed up for a Craftsy Class given by Sue Spargo.  I have always admired Sue's work and have several of her books including the two beautiful little reference books 'Creative Stitching' and 'Creative Texturing' and her fabulous coffee table book 'Stitches to Savor'.

All three books are full of inspirational photographs so, as well as starting the first block of a butterfly sampler which forms the project that you follow along with in the class, I have been inspired to try my hand at making a 'circles' wool quilt.

So far, I have cut the background and the wool circles which I plan to use. I have positioned these on the background ready to be appliqued in place after which, the fun of adding decorative stitches can start!!

I am really looking forward to adding hand stitches and other embellishments to the circles. Some of them will be stitches and techniques which I will learn following Sue's class, while others will be stitches I have learned over the past year or so by following and stitching the TAST stitches generously posted each week by Sharon Boggon of Pintangle. There are still more stitches to be posted by Sharon but, I have decided not to follow them religiously every week this year but rather just to try them here and there on other projects as they are appropriate.

I will of course be completing the TAST Sampler that I have been making but, I will not be adding any more new stitches.  In order to fill in the background ready for it to be made into a picture to hang, I will be adding a few extra examples of stitches which I have already learned. I will show you more of that when the stitches are added and I am ready to make it into a picture.  In the meantime, I can't wait to get started on my wool projects!!  

Have a lovely week! 

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Giveaway Winner.....

I hope you are all having a more creative start to 2017 than I am having.... I haven't even had the cover off my sewing machine yet.... I seem to be having a slow start to the year but, I have lots of ideas, so I expect I will get started soon!!

As a result, I don't have any stitching to show you but, as promised, I do have the name of the winner of my giveaway from last time.  I used the tried and trusted method of printing out the names of all the participants, folding them up and putting them in a fabric box.

Giving the box a good shake and then picking out a piece of paper.

The winner is Ariadna.

Congratulations Ariadna and I hope you will like your prize.  I will be writing to you later this morning to get your postal address details. 

Thank you to everyone who left me a comment.

Hopefully by my next post I will have started stitching something!!

Friday 6 January 2017

Hello 2017!

I have just returned home after celebrating New Year with family and, after putting away the Christmas decorations, it is time to try and return to some kind of 'normal' routine!!  It has been a busy but fun couple of weeks here since my last post and I hope you have all had some fun too!

My children were kind enough to buy me some great new quilt books as gifts for Christmas, which I am sure I will be able to put to good use!  I also had a lovely set of nesting fabric baskets from my lovely blogger friend Leanne at 'Lizzie the Quilter'.  They are made with delightful Tilda fabrics and are so pretty.... thank you Leanne... I am going to love finding things in my sewing room to fill them with.

I made Leanne a 'hoop art' embroidery which I gave you a little glimpse of before Christmas but, now that I know Leanne has received it I can show you it in full. The embroidery design is from the book 'Stitches from the Garden' by Kathy Schmitz.

2016 was a productive year for me stitching-wise and, if you would like to see all the items I made you can find them all on my 2016 Projects Page. I have some plans for 2017 too..... I want to make quilts with all the various blocks that I have in different boxes around my sewing room even if I didn't make all the blocks that should have been made to complete the project for one reason or another (mainly moving house!)  These will include....

Hasenbach Challenge blocks.... 

 EPP Craftsy blocks.....

Farm Girl Vintage blocks...

United Stitches blocks.....

Birthday swap blocks.....

Splendid Sampler blocks.....

My idea is to use up all these blocks... not necessarily all the blocks from each set in one quilt, maybe making one or more quilts out of each set by using just one block as a central panel and adding lots of borders or maybe making more blocks to go with those I already have.... I have lots of ideas and I can't wait to get started..... there are plenty of blocks to get to work on!!

There are some projects from 2016 which will need finishing off too.... like the cross stitch I started (above) and my TAST sampler to make into a picture to go with the first one I made.

Of course there may well be the odd new project or two as the fancy takes me! There are lots of books, patterns and fabrics all vying for my attention in my sewing room!  My main objective in 2017 is to have plenty of creative fun!  While we are on the topic of fun what nicer way is there to start the year than with a little giveaway.....  just leave me a nice, friendly comment below and you will be in with a chance to win this little bundle of goodies.....

The closing date will be on Tuesday, 10th January and I will announce the winner on Wednesday..... Good luck!!