Monday, May 5, 2014

What a wonderful way to spend a cold miserable Sunday. I do not usually do hand applique I usually prefer using my machine. This being said the pretty little lady would not have worked by machine. I used all cotton quilting fabric for my lady. Her face is some backing fabric in close to skin tones her hat just a pretty green fabric and the under brim some green homespun. 
The stitching proved a challenge especially turning the tight points and curves of her face. I started out using freezer paper but that was just too difficult but I had pressed some of the shape in so I removed the paper and using a pin and my needle stitched all around. 
I used a layering method to get the pieces laid. First was the little brim piece the the face and finally the hat then I stitched it all down with the tiniest stitches I could manage.The faced details were stitched with 1 or 2 strands of floss using back stitch for the nose, satin stitch for the lips and outline stitch for the hair. 
The hatband is Hungarian braid stitch done with variegated Perl 8 thread. The variegation did not come out too well in the photo. The little flower is made up of a mother of pearl flower button, a plastic flower button, a purple sequin and a pink bead.
This was fun to do but I do not think needle turned applique is really for me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Whispers Blocks Arrived

What fun at last my Whispers RR blocks have arrived home and now I can share with all of you the fun we have had. This RR has taken quiet some time bit I think the wait was worth it.
First block was my own and I sent it off to Lilli 
I had a great time making it and thought it would be a challenge. This really is one of my favourite pictures and all will be revealed at the end.
I am impressed with Lillie's interpretation it is very close to my original.
What happened next was Lillie wrapped my original block and sent it off to Cobi. All Cobi could see was Lillie's interpretation of my block not the original. 
In a lovely letter Cobi admitted she had no idea who the artist was and it took her some time to see the bird. Her beautiful block was made with a similar bird but using her favourite colours and some lovely stitching.
This is just a great block. So now Cobi wrapped Lillie's block up the same as mine and sent the lot off to Debbie.
Debbie's bird is much more traditional but when you know it is the first time she has ever done a bird and had some family dramas as well I think you will agree with me this is an exceptional block.
I just love the sweet fat little bird and I can almost hear him singing.  Ok so now Cobi's block goes undercover and all fly off to Theresa.
Theresa's block I think reflects the weather you have been having over there. The bright and cheery Cardinal is the bright spot on the blocks but the wonderful stitching and beading certainly make this a winter wonderland.

This was such fun to see how things can change with just 5 people imagine what would happen with 10.
I suppose now is the time for the great reveal of what the original inspiration was so here goes

The original was a painting by Paul Klee done in  1914. I think it is called the Golden Fish. I have always loved his work and chose this particular painting because of the solid patches of colour that I thought would make a fun embroidery block.
I still intend to make a wall hanging of the progress through the different works.This was a very interesting exercise 
Thank you so much Lillie, Cobi, Debbie and Theresa I hope you enjoyed this game as much as I did and I am looking forward to seeing your set of blocks in the near future

Sunday, March 2, 2014

More About Hexies

More About Hexies

I am sure I have "Borrowers" in my house. How can you possible lose an embroidery mounted on a frame in the only room of the house you sew in. Well that is what has happened to the Garden hexie it has disappeared. I have looked high an low for it but it has gone. 
I decided I would work on the other 2 hexies for February before I finished the Garden.
I already showed the Silk Ribbon work sohere is the bullion stitch one

I am not to disappointed in how it turned out. I used colonial knots in the centre of the bullion flowers and the tiny pearls are from my stash.
I am sure at some stage I will either find my Garden or start another they reckon 3 times is the charm. 

Meanwhile I have finished the first of the March lessons. This one is magic I have never used this method before and it is hard to believe the Rose is done in only one colour thread. The secret is the number of plys used and whether you use half or full cross stitches.

I just love this I think it turned out great. I chose to do a yellow rose as that is my favourite colour and I am so glad I did.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Block Challenge Finished

At last I have finished my February block. This one was a marathon because I decided to make this a practice block for bullion stitch. 

I am afraid I got lost along the way and in the end I used a lace butterfly to finish the block. This is supposed to be farm with vegetables and fish and bees and one sheep that really needs to be shorn. All in all I enjoyed doing this block it pushed my comfort zone right out.
March I have decided is going to be easier I will only be allowed to use seam decoration lets see how that works out.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

More Hexies - The Knot Garden

I have been working on my Knot Garden again. Now I have at least finished one Hexie I can get back to the Garden. I was having a terrible time with the original stitching not because I cannot do the stitches but because I could not see the outline  of the design. 2 lessons learnt here.

1. Be more careful when you are transferring the design do not go at it like a bull at a gate. Make sure all the lines are transferred and you can see them properly. My ole eyes are not what they used to be.
2. Read all thinstructions before doing anything!!!

I started with the Palestrina stitch and as you can see in the picture below it is terrible.
It is lumpy and bumpy and not at all attractive. I then decided to ink over the pathways, seemed like a good idea at the time and maybe it will work at a later time when I am prepared to remove all the stitching incorrectly started. The flower beds are not supposed to be Colonial knots and as I said before the Palestrina knots are revolting.

Enter Kathy Shaw's blog and her notes about the garden. At last it makes sense to me I can see the shapes happening.

So I ditched the original and started at the beginning. Here is where I am at now.

Nice neat Palestrina, though I must admit I used 2 strands of floss not just one to get the look I wanted. The pathways are starting to come together. I think this is going to be a WIP for a couple of weeks as I can only sit for so long but I think this is going to work.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Well I have just finished my first hexie for the Stitchmap Hex Labs. I started doing the knotted garden pattern but after doing more frog stitch than colonial knots I decided I must at least finish one project for the month then I can continue on the garden.

This is the front. I did not have the correct silk ribbon for the swirly rose so I used a finer ribbon and made groups of roses. The woven roses have a yellow bead tucked into the centre and the group of 5 roses have stamens made of purple bugle beads and yellow seed beads. The little 3 bead elements are just pearlised seed beads.   
Outlining frame is Palestrina knots in variegated mauve Perl 8 thread to match the silk ribbon flowers. 

On the back of the hexie I covered the show through stitches from the Palestrina stitch with a plain chain stitch using the same thread as the front. I may go back later and whip the chain but we shall have to see.
Back to stitching the garden maybe my brain has worked it out now. I love doing Colonial knots but I am having trouble defining the paths of the Celtic Knot. I must admit I am no fan of Celtic Knots so this may be the problem but I am not going to be beaten by a pretty piece of stitching.

Friday, January 24, 2014

At last the long awaited Hex Labs are starting at Stitchmap. The templates are are here and printed and stored in the envelope waiting for the next installment.
These are the main templates. At first I did have a problem printing them, because I am in Australia we use A4 210 x 297 mm paper and the pages are Letter 8.5" x 11" our paper is slightly smaller. Usually all I do is change the paper size on the printer and then print but in this case the templates distorted. So what I did was pretend I was using Letter paper and all was well.

As an added bonus there are the extra templates that were cut from the main templates.

This is going to be great fun I love hxies and can hardly wait to see what our great mentors have in store for us. Let the fun begin.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Crazy Quilting Journal Project - Block 1

I have finished my first block in my Journal Project. This has been a tough one. Half way through I decided I hated the fabrics, hated the stitching and all in all hated the project.
But I decided to persevere. I had given myself criteria that was outside my comfort zone. No buttons, beads or charms. I intend to use this as a throw in my lounge room and the item needs to be able to be laundered.
I am a big bling person so that was very difficult and I am sure is not going to get any easier over the coming months.
I am still not happy with my fabric selection but hopefully it will grow on me. For the stitching I am using the TAST list of stitches and hope to incorporate everyone of them eventually.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I had the most beautiful experience yesterday. A dear friend asked us to his daughter Amanda's engagement party. Jim and I were in 2 minds whether to go or not as the weather here is very hot and the party was to be away from the coast in the western suburbs area of Newcastle. To cut a long story short we decided to go. We have known the friends for over 30 years and Amanda since she was born. 
As expected the weather was nearing the 40 degree Celsius and we were having a lovely time talking with Amanda's grandparents and catching up when an overdressed gentleman arrived carrying a table, tablecloth and avery large book.
Yes it was a surprise wedding!!! The bride and groom had given their parents 7 weeks to help organize everything. Even the grandparents did not know. I wish I had taken my camera with me so I could show you all how beautiful the bride was. They were married in the garden of their new home and I think this is one of the most romantic weddings I have ever been to. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I have decided to do Leah Day's "Building Blocks Quiltalong" so I have just made my first 3 blocks.

I intend to make this a scrappy reversible quilt with the brown blocks to tie it all together. This could be fun or another of my UFOs but we shall see. Off now to try my hand at freehand machine quilting.
I have tried this before but because I haven't stuck with it I am not very good at it but here goes I will post when I finish even if it is a disaster. This is my year to learn new skills or hone old ones.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I am so excited I just got my first Spinning Wheel. It doesn't matter I have no idea how to use her I will learn.
Her name is Sally and she is quite old. Made for an old man for his wife she is showing her age like me but I think she is beautiful.
There is a story to me getting her. For Christmas my husband decided to surprise me with a SLR camera but could not find one in his price range, just as well 2 days before Christmas the battery in our car died so my present was a new battery. Very romantic I know but that is the way we are.
Then a friend gave me the fleece from an Alpaca, what on earth was I going to do with that? Why learn to spin of course so then we went looking for a spinning wheel and found Sally. So a new era starts. I said this year I was only doing things for myself and the family and it looks as if there will be no time for anything else.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year to you all
I am  involved with the  and am determined this year to at least achieve some of the monthly deadlines. I have prepared 4x6" blocks so at least I have started the right way. Now I want to start some stitching. For inspirationI have decided to use the TAST stitch list and hopefully I will use all the stitches on the list on my blocks.
I am having a break this year from Round Robins and am going to do stitching for myself and my family. There are a few tutorials I want to do as well as the Project and the Hex Labs from Stitchmap
I also want to do some Sane Quilting but that is for another message.