Monday, 16 July 2018

Not everything goes according to plan!

I think I should probably start this post by sharing with you the finished project that I showed you in my last post.... complete with it's frame!!

In fact, the frame arrived just after I had finished writing my last post and I had almost forgotten that I hadn't shown it to you!!  I am really pleased with how this little framed quilt looks. You may recall how excited I was to have finished this little project and, that I was keen to get started on another new project.

I started planning almost immediately, making good progress and getting an exciting new background pieced together, which is shown above.  I wanted to try out another 'floral' art-style quilt like the ones I had previously made (shown below).

So, the next step was to quilt the background before adding some applique and free machine embroidery.  This is where things didn't quite go according to plan!! I had almost finished the quilting and was relatively happy with how the background was looking until disaster struck.....

The corner of the backing fabric got folded back on itself and the corner was stitched to the middle of the quilt.  I cut the fabric away but, I knew it would be difficult to unpick the quite densely quilted stitches.

In any case, I had now decided that the quilting was too formal for the type of texture I wanted to give the background. So, I decided to chalk the whole thing up to experience and just be content with the FMQ practise it had given me.

I had thought that I would throw the whole thing in the dustbin but, I didn't really want to waste the fabrics and time that I had spent quilting by just throwing the piece away.  I suddenly remembered a pattern Christina Cameli at A Few Scraps wrote for quilted fabric buckets and which Christina kindly offers as a free pattern in her Craftsy Shop. She also wrote an accompanying video showing you how to make them in this post in November of last year.  My discarded background fabric was just the right size to make two little fabric buckets which I am extremely pleased with!  Now to get started on the new background.....

Monday, 2 July 2018

Waiting for a frame.....

Hope everyone had a lovely week!  I have managed to finish the new project that I showed you last time and it is now sitting in my sewing room while I wait for a new frame that I have ordered to be delivered.

I am really very pleased with how it looks. I used a real mixture of different techniques and added both applique and hand stitching as well as free motion quilting.

I learned a lot of lessons along the way as to how I would do things differently another time, which is always very valuable!!

As this was only a very small project, I chose not to use traditional binding for finishing the edges.  Instead, I fused some very stiff fusible interfacing onto the back and zig-zag stitched around the edge.

I then mounted it onto mount board (the board used to mount photographs) and it is all ready to be framed.  We are just waiting for the frame to arrive!!

This little project was my fourth finish in the month of June.

You can see the other finishes which I completed in June under my page OPAM 2018 (which is shown on the right hand sidebar.)  Thank you to Peg and Kris for running OPAM which keeps a tally of all the finished projects of those participating.

I am very excited now to get started on my next project!  I have so many ideas but it has been so hot here the last few days, I haven't really felt like sitting in my sewing room!  I know I won't be able to resist for long though..... !!

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Another new project.....

After all the excitement of finishing two projects last week, I don't have quite as much to show you this time.  I have started on a new little 'art' quilt project which is taking shape quite nicely.  This is how it is looking so far....

As well as that, I have managed to keep up with adding the latest stitches to the 'Sew Simple Things Sampler' designed by Serena Boffa Soda of La Casetta Nel Bosco I really love this little sampler and I can't wait to add the next new stitch which will be released tomorrow.

On the subject of keeping up, I haven't been very good at keeping up with the monthly blocks of Gail Pan's wonderful i-stitch-club BOM.

The stitcheries are really sweet and a lot of fun to work and, I even have all the designs traced out onto my back ground fabric ready for stitching but, I just don't seem to have had the chance to get to them yet.

I did manage to get another of the February blocks appliqued into place, so I am making a little progress!!

Until next time, I hope you are enjoying some sunshine! 

Monday, 18 June 2018

Some finished projects to show you....

I am very excited today to show you the result of the 'experiment' that I wrote about in my last post.  I had such a lot of fun adding free motion applique/embroidery details to this little piece of patchwork that I had previously quilted.

After adding the applique shapes to the altered background, I set about free motion embroidering over the applique shapes to add detail and definition to the shapes.  This is not as easy as it sounds.

I originally added the detail to the seed heads in a green thread to match the fabric that I had used for the applique which looked quite nice to start with. 

However, once I had added the details to the leaves in brown,

the green didn't look quite right, so I had to add some brown to them as well.

I then added some extra details, including the butterflies and the sequin 'berries' and I am really happy now with the end result.  So happy in fact, that I started another quilt made in a similar way.

This one I pieced together using some lovely hand-dyed fabrics which I bought from the In Stitches Studio.  They are just perfect for making this sort of quilt. I then quilted the background with wavy lines using my walking foot.

Then the fun started!! I added some simple 'poppy' applique shapes, including a bud and some seed heads and then filled in the details using free motion embroidery.  

Finally, I added some hand stitching to complete the centres of the poppies and the flight paths of the butterflies.

I am really enjoying exploring these techniques and can't wait to get started on my next project!!

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a creative week!

Monday, 11 June 2018

Working on something new....

For some little while now I have had an idea floating round in the back of my mind that I have been wanting to try.  Well, you know how it is, life is busy and the idea gets pushed to the back of your mind but, it keeps popping back up, reminding you that it needs some attention.  So I have finally given my idea some attention.

My first landscape quilt

I just love all the different styles of textile art and quilts that you see on the internet.  There are some seriously talented people about!  One style that I particularly like are landscape quilts and you may recall that I tried one of those fairly recently and told you about it in my last post. I will definitely be trying another at some stage too. Another style that I really like are the more abstract pieces which often feature flowers or seed heads and I have been itching to have a go at one.

Practice quilt (including butterfly design)

At the end of last week I sorted out a small free-motioned quilt that I had made as a practice piece to audition quilting designs for a larger quilt that I was making for a friend. I had thought that this little practice piece would make the perfect back drop for some applique which could be quilted over and turned into a textile art quilt (well, that was the plan but it is a bit of an experiment!) 

Quilted butterfly

The small quilt was already quilted but, one of the designs was a butterfly which I didn't really want in the background of what I was planning.  So the first thing I had to do was unpick the butterfly quilting.  I then re-quilted the area with the same background pattern that I had quilted the rest of the quilt with.

Practice quilt with background requilted
and applique shapes added

Now I have added some applique shapes and the idea is that I will quilt over the applique to create seed heads and leaves.  So far I have just quilted over one of the seed head pieces but, I am really enjoying myself and I like the results so far!  I'll let you know how the experiment progresses!

Applique seed head with quilted detail 

In the meantime, I have also finished stitching the next stitch to be added to the 'Sew Simple Things Sampler' designed by Serena Boffa Soda of La Casetta Nel Bosco I am really loving the pretty design.

Thank you for visiting and have a lovely week.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A few things finished (well nearly!)...

Hello! I am a bit late posting this week, I had been trying to get into the habit of posting every Monday but, I had visitors staying this weekend, so I didn't get the chance to get to my computer.... until now!  While on the subject of computers, some of you may know (if you have your own blogs) that there seems to be a problem with Blogger sending through comment notifications.  Apparently it is due to be sorted out, but until it is, I will respond to any comments you leave me (thank you very much!) here under the post where you leave the comment.

Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  The weather was lovely here although we did have quite a big thunderstorm one night!  So, what have I been up to?  Well, I haven't had time for a huge amount of sewing but, I did add the next stitch to my 'Sew Simple Things Sampler' designed by Serena Boffa Soda of La Casetta Nel Bosco.

I also made a few (10) little tissue sachets for a friend who had asked me to make them for her.  They are currently on their way to her new home, so I hope she likes them when they get there!!

Lastly, I have nearly finished my miniature landscape quilt which, I am quite pleased with for a first attempt. The main reason this isn't completely finished is that I spent hours procrastinating over which fabric to use for a binding.  In the end, I decided to try out something I have been meaning to try for some little while.... facing a quilt.  I watched various videos on how to face a quilt on YouTube before taking the plunge and giving it a try.

Facing a quilt means that you have no binding showing on the front of the quilt as it is all pulled round to the back.  It is slightly easier than adding the binding as you add four individually cut strips which don't need to be joined before stitching to the quilt and there is no need to mitre the corners.  I haven't finished stitching mine to the back yet but I hope to get that done this week. Nice to have an alternative finish to use for a quilt project!

Monday, 28 May 2018

A couple of cute finished projects....

Hello! I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. I am feeling very pleased with myself as this last week I managed to finish two of the little bonus projects from Gail Pan's wonderful i-stitch-club BOM 'Send my Love'.  I still haven't finished any more blocks but the two bonus projects completed were this little needle case which was March's bonus project.  Such a cute little design and a useful size to carry round with you to classes!

I also finished the May bonus project, which was this sweet little pincushion.  Another lovely design and I made mine to match the needle case, so I now have a matching set to take with me when I am travelling.

I am hoping to get some more blocks completed this week too.  I would love to get caught up before June's blocks are released!!

There is nothing I like more than to join in a sew-a-long and last week a lovely sew-a-long s started in a Facebook group I follow.  It is being run by a lovely lady whose acquaintance I made through taking part in the Splendid Sampler.  She is very talented and made the most beautiful Splendid Sampler blocks and now she is about to have her first book published called 'Small Wonders'.  Her name is Serena Boffa Soda and you can follow her Facebook page at La Casetta Nel Bosco

In anticipation of the release of her new book, she is running the sew-a-long to teach some basic embroidery stitches.  Although I am familiar with the basic stitches, I loved the little design that Serena has drawn for this sew-a-long and I couldn't resist joining in! 

I transferred the pattern to some prepared fabric and stitched the first stitch which is the blanket stitch.  Isn't it cute?  I'm looking forward to the next stitch being released on Wednesday of this week.

Thank you for visiting!  xx

NB. I have no affiliation to any of the blogs, websites, books, classes, etc that I link to here. The views expressed are just my own humble opinions.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Today's update! Catching up again!!

Hello, I'm getting better..... the gap between this post and the last is not too huge and I am excited to share with you what I have been doing!! 

Firstly, although I haven't done any more stitching on my February blocks of Gail Pan's wonderful i-stitch-club BOM, I have now cut, traced and prepared all of the blocks for March, April and May.  I have even cut out the fabrics and traced the stitcheries for the bonus projects too.  As you can see, there are some very cute designs!!

I was also very excited to receive a copy of Gail's wonderful new book 'Patchwork Loves Embroidery Too' which, I have had on order for some time and have been eagerly awaiting. There are some seriously lovely projects inside!!

There were also a couple of other books that I had on order which arrived this week too. For some little while now I have been thinking about trying to make a miniature landscape quilt. I think I may have been enticed by the beautiful miniature landscape projects I have seen produced by my friend Sheila who blogs at 'Sheila's Quilt World'.  I have always loved them but, I also recently discovered a miniature landscape tutorial on YouTube by quilt designer 'Karen Eckmeier'.  The tutorial looked so straightforward I was determined to have a go but, not before I also ordered two books written by Karen. 'Happy Villages' and 'Accidental Landscapes'.  They arrived this week and they are lovely!

With all this new inspiration to hand, how could I not try a miniature landscape? So, I had a go.  Here is my first attempt. I didn't have my normal selection of fabrics available as I wasn't at home (where my stash is) so my fabric choices may well be a little different the next time round.

Overall though, I am pleased with the result.  I have added one border and, I will be adding another outer border as well as some machine quilting to add a bit more texture to it.  I am really looking forward to seeing it develop.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Finally, time to write.....

I know it has been an age since I last wrote and, I am sorry but, I do have a very good excuse..... I moved house.... again!! It has taken a while to get everything sorted and to get my sewing room straightened out. For a while it looked like this.....

 But at least now it looks like this.....

We are now quite well settled back in Switzerland but, I haven't been in my sewing room very much, as we have been away for a few days too. We visited another part of Switzerland, close to the border with Germany and visited some very pretty towns on the Rhein.


Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein


We also took a boat trip to visit the Rhein Falls which, I believe are some of the highest falls in Europe.

Now I am back home again and I am trying to get into a better routine.  Moving and travelling are fun but they are a big upheaval too!! I have managed to embroider the February blocks of Gail Pan's wonderful 
i-stitch-club BOM. All of the stitcheries are complete and I have finished the needleturned applique on the first of the three blocks. 

The stitcheries are so pretty and a lot of fun to work. Hopefully, now that things are settling down, I will get the other two blocks completed and can move on to March and April's blocks. My challenge is to get those finished before May's blocks are released! We will see!!

You may have noticed that I have also stem-stitched around the needleturned applique on the first of these blocks.  I did that to hide any 'wobbly' applique stitches and I have done the same for January's blocks which I shared with you last time.

I did also get the second little 'bonus' project finished.  It was this pretty little mug rug and I had a lot of pleasure making it and then machine quilting the background.  It has been the only free motion quilting I have done for some time and I was making sure I hadn't forgotten what to do!!

That's all for now but, now that I have more time on my hands again, I do hope it will not be so long before posting again! Thank you for taking the time to visit! 💞