Saturday, 30 April 2011

Another post - so soon!

Well - a small update. On Thursday I finished off the May Calendar Girlies - it was a bit of a tight schedule as I had forgotten that Friday was a bank holiday so there would be no post. The four that have to be sent by post were in the letter box at the bottom of the road ten minutes before the box was due to be collected all with first class stamps. So, if the post hadn't been picked up early.... they may have been delivered today, in time for the start of May tomorrow. We can but hope for small miracles.




You can only see four in the photo, because those for Linda and Aunty B were finished Thursday evening as they didn't need to go in the post! Also in the photo you can see some of the black and white fabrics that I'm using for some log cabins.... the log cabins will go together to make a bag for my cutting mat - it's now all pieced - I just need to make up the bag.



The May design wasn't one of my favourites, but I did some more embroidery on the hair - hopefully you can see it on this close up photo. Instead of just one line of backstitch showing that the hair curled up into a bun at the back, I infilled it with rows of backstitch in the same shape, curling in a spiral and the effect was remarkable and made a huge difference to the finished design. However, there were also a lot of lazy daisy stitches to make the flowers in her hair, on her dress and in her basket, and my stitches weren't always particularly even (though the bigger issue was between Calendar Girls and not within the same design, so unless they are all displayed together - unlikely - it's not an issue.



Above I mentioned the log cabins in black and white that need to be made up into a bag. Well, that was planned for Friday, but I got a tad distracted.... On Thursday I joined the Vignette blog. Vignette is a mystery quilt by Leanne Beasley to be published over 8 issues of her magazine (which I have got on order). The first two issues are out and I had decided to make the quilt - it combines patchwork, embroidery and applique - my favourite! I bought the fabric a few weeks ago - I've chosen the Lily and Will range by Moda in greens, blues, pinks, browns and creams (see the photo), whereas the model is stitched in Sweet Broderie from Lecien - the result will be that my quilt isn't as bright (more pastels) and that the colour palette is more limited.



Having bought the fabric and talked it over with Mum we thought it would be best to leave it a few months before starting the quilt whilst I finished off some other projects and got more proficient in piecing so that I didn't make mistakes in what should be a beautiful quilt in beautiful fabrics. That's all very well. But I spent a fair bit of time on Thursday reading everyone else's blog and got tempted.



Friday morning I came downstairs to watch the royal wedding and spent the day piecing the first block of the Vignette quilt. It took all day to piece, because of the 14 Shoo Fly blocks (7 for block 1 and 7 for block 16 (ready and waiting)). I also traced the embroidery. This morning I finished off the block by attaching the Shoo fly blocks around the edge. I'm really pleased with them - I took a lot of care in making sure the seams were accurate and in joining them making sure that the points matched.



I've picked my embroidery threads as well. Because of the limited colour pallette, I have fewer different colours than in the model, so I've traced a small part of the design onto a scrap of calico that includes all of the elements of the border design and Ill do a test embroidery to check that the colours work together and one element isn't too bold in relation to the other parts of the design. As this embroidery seems to go all round the edge of the design it would be a shame to get it wrong when a few hours and a scrap of calico will make sure that the colours are all ok. Once confirmed I will need to order a fair few skeins of DMC threads....



I will of course keep you updated as this project (and all of the other projects) progresses ...

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Catch up - lots of photos

Hello

So it's been a while since I updated.

The Wilding Angels: The Wilding Angels quilt from Letters Tied with Blue is now fully embroidered, so I have six angels and a large central panel. I have also pieced it - though this nearly ended in disaster - I don't know whether it was my cutting, or the destructions, but the top and bottom panels ended up 2 inces shorter than the central panel, which couldn't be reduced. The original shop where I had bought the beautiful red fabric had sold out, so we went on a major hunt for the same fabric. We finally found it in another local quilting shop, where I bought the final meter from the bolt. It was a perfect match so the quilt front is now pieced. I'm backing it with some fairly plain fabric from French General (from the Lumiere de Noel range). It's all tacked together and I have made a small start on the hand quilting. This project is getting very close to completion, but I've loved doing it, so when Mum said that she loved it, I've offered to stitch it again for her - she's having a think about where she could hang it before committing...

Essential Sampler Quilt: Linda and Aunty Barbara and I have been attending a monthly course following Nikki Tinkler's Essential Sampler Quilt book. We've done four classes so far and have completed a lot of the blocks. I didn't like the Lady of the Lake block, so I've replaced it with the Northumberland Star (which I drafted myself), which is now completed; and I wasn't keen on the results of the Rocky Road to Kansas. This was a fairly straightforward star design but the pieces were themselves pieced out of crazy patchwork - with my very limited colour palette of dark blue, lilc and raspberry, this didn't work. Instead I have found a block called World without End. This uses the same shapes as the Rocky Road to Kansas, but instead of it being done once for a 10" block, it is repeated four times and there is no crazy patchwork. The result gives the illusion of a circle and looks fantastic. I've drafted this as well but I haven't pieced it yet. I have decided to follow the quilt as you go method, so that I do more hand quilting - I think if I left it till I had a huge piece of fabric I probably wouldn't do anywhere near as much quilting simply because of the logistics. I haven't quilted all of the blocks I've pieced yet, but I've enjoyed the ones I have. This month's blocks included bias applique. I bought myself the little Clover iron and the bias tape maker and had a ball. I love it. I'm even happy with my applique because you can barely see the stitches - I think I will be doing more with this technique - Kim (at the Fat Quarters) has just got in some of the Moda primitive fabrics and I think the pale fabric on the darkest brown fabric would make a stunning Celtic Knot design- I'd like to find a design out of the Lindisfarne Gospels to keep it local. Also, I love the potential with the Stained glass designs and Rennie McIntosh designs (which Linda would love).

The Yellow Tablecloth: this is now completely pieced. Mum was up last week and we bought the wadding and the backing, so I need to create my quilt sandwich and get quilting, which I will be doing on the sewing machine (providing the gap to the right of the needle is big enough....

Calendar Girls: Ongoing I am embroidering 6 Calendar Girls each month as a Christmas present. I have forgotten to photograph a few, but here are five of the March ones (Granny already had her's!), but I'll get some pictures next timeI'm at Linda's. They are designed to be hung individually, and swapped at the end of the month for the next one. But Granny is haning them one below the other and apparently they look great, so I'll have to get a photo of that when I go down to visit at the end of June. I am currently stitching the final May Calendar Girls, ready to send out in the next couple of days... and Mum has said that she likes them and would maybe like them next year....

New Projects: Log Cabins: Back in March Linda and Aunty Barbara and I went to a Scrappy Log Cabin class. I didn't like the end result, but I love the effect you get from Log Cabins - the ultimate contrast is black and white and the traditional central colour is red.... so I bought three black on white fabrics and three white on black fabrics and a nice bright red fabric and I'm going to make myself a cutting mat bag. So far I've made 12 of the necessary 24 log cabin blocks.

New Project: Vignette Quilt: I am buying the new magazine called Vignette - no adverts just lots of gorgeous photos and beautiful projects. The highlight of the magazine is a Mystery Quilt that will be published over 2 years. It will be double bed sized and there is piecing, applique and lots of embroidery. The model is made from the Lecien fabrics, but I'm not keen on this range, so I have bought the Moda fabrics from the Lily and Will range. I haven't started the project yet - I need to finish some others first....

New Project: Tail Feathers: this is another quilt with patchwork, applique and embroidery from Cinderberry Stitches. It's another one I haven't started yet, but the fabric is bought and ready for when I've finished a few other projects.

And on top of all of that I have completed a button sampler for Linda, a Meerkat for Michael (pictured), cooking mice for Mum , birthday cards (Spinning a Yarn was for Linda and the bird cage was for Mum) and Steph as asked for a quilt for her 21st Birthday. She's picked a design from the Moda Bakeshop and likes the Lily and Will fabrics as well - but she's gone for the pink range - very unlike Steph.....

Well - I won't ever get bored - there's still a long list of projects not yet started, mostly Cross Stitch.....



















And did I mention already that I finished Charlotte from the Elegance range