Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Beautiful Christmas Cracker

Here are some photos of the Christmas Cracker I received from Faye. I was very strong and did not open it until Christmas morning but I forgot to take photo of it before I opened it.
Isn't the stitching just beautiful I am so lucky I love the Asian influenced fabrics.

Such pretty braids, beads, laces and 2 silkies as well.

Here is a closeup if the silkies not a very good one I am afraid but they are just beautiful in real life.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yesterday I put the photos of Diane's blocks on the blog but looking at them this morning I realized you cannot really see the stitching so I have uploaded photos of my work on Diane's block. I hope she likes them. I found this an extremely challenging set but a stunning idea and can't wait to see the finished product after Diane embroiders the views from the window. 
Block1: This is Portuguese Border Stitch done in pink and soft green perle 8. This is from TAST from Pintangle and is a really pretty stitch and easy to do.  
Block2: These are some of the stitches from  "A Book of Fancy Designs for Ornamenting Oriental Work" this is a gorgeous old book from the Antique stitch library. Crazy Quilting was known as Oriental work in Victorian times.
Block 3: Another set of stitches from "A Book of Fancy Designs for Ornamenting Oriental Work" . They are up and down buttonhole stitch detached chain straight stitch and fly stitch. The thread is perle 8.

Block 4: The base stitch is taken from the little Victorian book I have been using for this set. It is worked like a cross stitch but up and down  I then tied down each corner with a minute cross-stitch and put buttonhole wheel flowers in alternate holes.
Block 5: This is just a series of stitches out of my head. I used a variegated perle thread 5
Block 6: A little kitty staring out the window chain stitch, straight stitch in rayon thread.
Block 7: Stars reflected in the paintwork stitched in woven star and drizzle stitch with colonial knots, my favourite sort if knot. Stitched in perle 8
Block 8: Just stitched as the muse struck. Blanket half wheels and detached chain. 

Block 9: This in fact was the first block I stitched. The woven stitch daffodils were taken from an old copy of Inspirations. I thought the idea of a couple of flowers forgotten on the window sill was sweet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Back again with a bit more on the BAS Round Robin. This has been very challenging and Diane's blocks were no exception in fact I think they were the hardest of all but in some ways the prettiest. 
Because of the constraint not to use the light green areas and maintain the integrity of the light and dark values if the window frames this really made me for one think. 
Once the blocks came to me there was not too much room on some of them. Any how here is my go at these beautiful and exciting blocks. I can't wait to see them finished after Diane puts the scenery in the background areas.
This block I added very little to just the Portuguese plaited stitch in the lower left hand.

Here I added the lower right upright panel to click on the block to get a larger view.

Lower left upright is my work here

Once again the lower right  upright.

The right upper upright is my stitching

The kitty sitting on the window sill is mine

The Stars reflected on the left upright above the other kitty. I did not do the kitty but I think she is so cute.

The stitching on the upper right upright.

The daffodils on the lower left window sill are perle 8 woven stitch.

Most of my stitching came from either TAST in or from a fantastic little booklet "A Book of Fancy Designs for Ornamenting Oriental Work" from In Victorian times Crazy Quilting was called Oriental work hence the name of the booklet.
I hope you enjoy looking at these lovely blocks it was indeed a privilege working on them. For a larger view of the blocks just click on any one of them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I have just signed up for the 2013 CQJP challenge. I hope I do better than I did this year what with my hip and foot I seemed to slow right down with my sewing. I would have thought being confined to a wheelchair for 6 months would have meant lots of sewing but it was all just too hard and I did very little. So now I mam determined to stop procrastinating and get back to my sewing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I have at last finished my stitching on Pam's blocks. I enjoyed myself with this stitching as it is great to be back in the swing again.
This is the feather stitch. The colours did not come out as well as I would have liked but you can just see the stitching and the little colonial knot silk ribbon flowers.

The next block is outline stitch I love this moth it is a bit different to the usual butterfly but I think lovley just the same. I stitched this in variegated floss using 2 strands for everything including the satin stitch, running stitch and chain

The straight stitch was done in rows of perle 8 pale yellow and then woven with a magenta. The green chain stitch outline is also perle 8. I added 5 little flower beads to the trellis made with the stitching.

The herringbone stitch is held down with a tiny cross stitch then fly stitch detached chain and pistil stitch are used to decorate it.
This set of blocks has been so much fun and has really tested my imagination and sewing skills. I can see the improvement in my stitching since I came back to embroidery. 
One of the problems I always had was I found "Fancy Work" was too constricting I was just using other peoples ideas and not my own just like paint by numbers for me. 
My Mother did the most beautiful work and in her later years started designing her own stuff. I am very much the proud custodian of these beautiful pieces.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

At last I seem to be sewing again. I have been working on a couple of projects for lately. The first is Pam's Build a Seam blocks. I have finished 3. The first one is the Chevron Stitch
 I used Chevron to cover the seam and then had a nice play with fly-stitch, colonial knots, detached chain and pistil stitch.

The next block I did was the Cretan stitch
instead of doing the seam I filled in the little blue area with cretan leaves, bullion roses, colonial knot forget-me-nots and some detached chain leaves.

The last one I have finished so far is the Buttonhole Stitch.
For this I used knotted buttonhole on the seam with buttonhole and colonial knot hollyhocks with a few detached chain leaves thrown in for good measure. 
The colours in these photos are not very good but then I am not much of a photographer.

The second project is some butterflies using different methods of stitching for my U3A class I attend on Tuesday afternoon during term time. I am also experimenting with a way to transfer drawings to embroider to my fabric. For this series I am using a water soluble fabric with the design drawn on it. As the item I am embroidering on is to be used as a food cover it will need washing so I am not worried about whether I can wash it. 

The first butterfly is my version of Jacobean Embroidery
Not a great photo but there you go.

The second is Dorset Feather Embroidery 

This photo is better and you can see the water soluble fabric I am using.

And last so far is an appliqué using sheer fabric

I hope it works but we shall see. You can also see the sewing lines on the water-soluble fabric.

I also did a Dorset Feather strip that I will eventually stitch onto a hand towel.

With this I used an ordinary pencil to do the placement marks. I am sure it will wash out.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hi all it has been an awfully long time since I came to play here but hopefully I am back. In March 2012 I had a fall and broke my left hip and then in April I had my left foot reconstructed. This had to be one of the silliest things I have ever done because I have spent since then in a wheel chair with only very limited access to my computer. At last I am now at least using a walking frame or, at home, a walking stick. I am sewing more and have just finished my bit on the 9 blocks for Joyce
This is the buttonhole stitch I did the little butterfly and the twisted buttonhole with buttonhole wheel flowers. The nest 2 photos are close-ups of my buttonholes.

This is the backstitch block and a close-up of my cornucopia.

Chain stitch is one of my favourites and the little octopus and sand dollars are both worked in chain.

Next is Chevron Stitch 

 This is the herringbone stitch I used 3 different colours and 3 rows of stitching one on top of the other.

Fly stitch is used on this block.

 Straight stitch was a bit of a problem for an idea at first but then I thought of Pekinese stitch which is a sort of whipped straight stitch.

Just have fun so that is what I did. Black feather stitch which is very hard to see on the dark velvet and red needle woven daisies with black colonial knot centres.

I loved working on these beautiful blocks with their rich colours and textures. I am sorry I did not do more but I felt these blocks had been held up long enough so I just pu the best I could on each block.