Saturday, 13 October 2018

Sidetracked!!

Hello! I hope everyone has had a nice week! We have had beautiful weather here all week even though it is October and it should be feeling like Autumn.


Here are a couple of photographs of the fabulous sunset we saw last night.


Now back to stitching..... Well, as you will know if you read my last post, I am supposed to be working on several baby quilts at the moment.  I have pieced, layered and basted one top ready for quilting and I have chosen the fabrics for a second quilt top and, even started piecing them together..... however, that is as far as I got this week, as I was sidetracked!! 


For some little while now I have been following a very talented Textile Artist called Alison Whateley both on Facebook and on Instagram and I love her work.  I find it very inspiring and, after Alison posted a couple of short videos on Instagram showing how she works on the background of her pieces and then adds in the details, I just couldn't resist giving it a try and made this little quilt of globe thistles, which I love and which we have in our garden here.


I did use a slightly different approach as, I didn't free machine embroider the piece that I made.  Instead, I layered a piece of backing fabric and batting together and then free motion quilted the fabric scraps which form the background through all the layers. 


I added a few lines of stitching using a couple of the decorative embroidery stitches that I have on my sewing machine.  I then added the applique on top using a raw edge applique, finishing the edges and adding details with free motion quilting.


To finish off, I added some hand stitching and a few sequins and beads. When I had finished adding the details, I added some binding to make a mini quilt about 10" x 12".  I was very excited to try this type of project and I must say I am very happy with the results.


Today though, I am going back to working on the baby quilts..... hope you have a lovely weekend! 

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Brushing up on my free motion quilting......

Last time I showed you the latest quilt top that I had finished piecing and mentioned that I was getting ready to quilt it.  I always get nervous about starting the quilting on a nicely pieced quilt top in case I mess things up and ruin it!!


I decided that as it has been quite a while since I quilted a bigger size of quilt and, since I needed to brush up on my free motion quilting, that I would quilt a few sections of a whole cloth practise quilt that I started back in May of 2017.


In May 2017, I attended a fabulous class close to where I was living at the time called FMQ 'Beyond the Basics'.  The class was run by the lovely Hazel and Terry who are the team behind In Stitches.  On the second day of the three day course, we were encouraged to make a largish (1 metre x 1 metre) practise quilt which we basted into a sandwich and then just quilted.  


I don't know if you have ever tried this but, quilting a quite large, completely blank canvass is actually quite daunting.  I had completed a reasonable amount of the quilting while I was actually at the class and which I told you about in this post at the time. However, I then put the quilt to one side and, I have been filling in sections of it here and there over time.




I find this size of practise piece extremely useful as, it gives you the chance to get used to the weight of a larger piece of patchwork which practising on smaller pieces doesn't give you.  It is quite a jump from free motion quilting on a small practise piece of say 14 inches square to a full size baby quilt and this larger practise piece is great for preparing you for the weight and drag that a larger quilt gives.




Each time I have filled in a section I have tried to use different designs, using some of my favourites from online classes that I have taken with Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps and Lori Kennedy of the Inbox Jaunt.  I also have books written by them both which are great for looking through for design inspiration.


I am excited to say that while I was practising this time, I finished filling in the rest of the quilt sandwich and I have now bound it and turned it into a finished piece.  I am just delighted with how it looks and I think I am ready now to start quilting the baby quilt top!!  It is probably just as well as I have three more to make over the coming weeks too!!


I have one more thing to do before I can get started.... I need to give my sewing machine a new needle, a clean up and some oil. 

Thank you for visiting and have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Good Morning!!

I know it has been a while but, since my husband retired at the end of 2017 and we moved back to Switzerland in April, things seem to have been busier than ever!!

Laon

Laon Cathederal
This Summer has been no exception. In August we spent two weeks in the UK visiting with friends and family there.  We were lucky enough to be there while the weather was nice and warm and it was lovely to see everyone.  Our eldest daughter and her boyfriend then travelled back with us to spend some time here in Switzerland with us.  We drove back through France, staying at a town called Laon on the way.

Port Grimaud

Next, we had a family sailing trip in the South of France.  This was another long drive but it was worth it as, although the actual sailing was a bit rough (don't think I'm a natural sailor!!) we stopped at some fabulous places and even had a trip to St Tropez.

St Tropez

No sooner had we returned than we left again driving across France to an island in the Atlantic (joined to mainland France by bridge) called the 'Ile de Re'.

Ile de Re

It was a very pretty island and we had lovely weather so we saw some beautiful sunsets on the beach.

Chinon

Finally, for the return trip we made our way back through the Loire valley to Switzerland.  The Loire valley is very beautiful and boasts literally hundreds of fairy-tale chateaux.

Chateau d'Azay le Rideau

We stopped to visit a few places staying in Chinon, where we saw the Forteresse Royale de Chinon and, visited Chateau d'Azay le Rideau then moving on to stay at Chaumont where we also visited a fabulous Chateau.

Chateau de Chaumont

Lastly, we stayed in Sancerre before our final journey back to Switzerland.  It certainly was a fabulous place to visit and I would like to go back.


With this in mind, perhaps you can excuse my absence from my poor, neglected blog and my lack of sewing projects to show you!!  However, the last few days I have found time to start on a new project.  A baby quilt which I am making for my youngest daughter to give as a gift to a relative of one of her friends.  It is coming along quite nicely but, I do need to decide how to quilt it next!

Thank you for visiting me and until the next time....




Sunday, 29 July 2018

A cute little finish!

I just don't know where the time goes but, I don't seem to get many things finished at the moment.  Perhaps the beautiful weather we have been having here has something to do with it..... we have been out and about rather a lot in the mountains!! It is cooler up higher!



This weekend I was determined to get one small project I have been meaning to get done for some time crossed off my 'to do' list. As luck would have it, it was pouring with rain all day on Saturday, so the perfect day to be in my sewing room.



A couple of years ago we were given a very pretty metal bread basket for Christmas by another family member.  I really like it, so I use it all the time (almost daily).  It is by the Danish designer Georg Jensen and I really love his style of designs.  Nearly every time I cut bread into it, I line it first with a square of kitchen paper towel and then throw that away after we have used it. 


For months now I have been promising myself that I would make myself a quilted fabric liner to put in my basket.  Well, this was that day!  I had decided to just make a simple patchwork square using scraps but, as I was sitting in my sewing room pondering on my scraps, I was drawn to look in a book I haven't used for a while. 'Flower Power Patchwork' by Anne-Pia Godske Rasmussen and found a pretty star block which used up some scraps and which I really liked.



So I set to and made myself a basket liner using just one star block.



I used a fat eighth of fabric for the main background pieces and the rest were all scraps.


I  was thrilled with my new basket liner and put it straight to use!!

Monday, 23 July 2018

Just one small finish this week.....

It seems to have been another busy week.  Don't they just fly by?!! I haven't done a huge amount of stitching but I have just managed one small finish. You may recall, that I have been participating in a sew-a-long hosted by Serena Boffa Soda of La Casetta Nel Bosco as part of a Facebook group.  Well, the last stitch for the sampler was on Wednesday so, once I had completed the last stitch, I decided that I should frame the sampler.


To do this, I layered the sampler fabric with some batting and backing and added some quilting.  I then trimmed it to 7 inches square and fused some heavyweight interfacing to the back.  I finished the edges with a satin stitch in green thread to match the embroidery thread I had used.  I then stuck this to the mount board (which I covered with a complimentary coloured paper) and put it inside the frame.  It wasn't easy to photograph in the frame as there always seemed to be a shine from the glass!!


That must mean it's time to start another new project......!! 

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!