Sunday, 29 August 2010

Finally, time for an update

Firstly, apologies for the delay in the lastest post. I've been meaning to post some photos for a while, but I've ony just located a USB cable with which to download them. Having found the necessary cable, I can now provide an update.

Towards the end of July I started stitching a small picture of Humphrey the elephant, from Humphrey's corner. This was a first birthday present for Alexander. Unforunately, it wasn't finished until mod August (his birthday being the end of July), and he won't actually get it until mid September, but for everyone else, here is a sneaky look. I made it up into a small quilt with some green fabric I had bought because I like it a few months ago and turned out to be an excellent match, and some yellow fabric, that I bought for a project that never really happened. I didn't find it the most enjoyable thing to stitch - the backstitch was unnecessarily detailed and although the sketchy nature of it adds to the design, I felt there was no need to do it in three marginally different shades of grey - I cheated a little, but I don't think it takes anything away from the finished picture. I think I'll stick to Pooh in the future!
On the same day that I finished off Humphrey I made a concerted effort to finish off the heart quilt that I have been working on since the last bank holiday weekend. I finished all the patchwork, embroidery and quilting a while ago and just needed to do the binding. Here it is finished. I have fallen in love with it and it proved to be very difficult to hand it over! I'm going to make one for myself!

Whilst we were on holiday I did manage to get some cross stitch done: I stitched a birthday card for my sister-in-law, but I won't share it till October, so she can't get a sneaky peak. I also stitched a 21st birthday card for my cousin-in-law Vicky (I'm hoping no one will show her this blog between now and a week on Tuesday!). The design came from Cross Stitcher and the cherry on top of the cupcake is a bright red button.

When we got back from Holiday I started stitching my Uncle's 60th birthday card. A few months ago I told him I wanted to stitch him something as a birthday present, and he struggled to decide between two kits: the first was a Dimensions kit called Holy Family - a stained glass window effect design of Mary, Joseph and Jesus stitched on black aida (I would never had picked it). He picked this one in the end and I have ordered the kit an, because he wanted it smalled, the 18hpi black aid to replace the 14hpi in the kit! The alternative was a Heritage Stitchcraft Kit from the Trios collection of three puffins. I've already stitched this design once - for my Grandad. Since his death it has hung in our own hallway. Although Uncle Terry eventaully decided on the Holy Family design, because I already had the pattern for the Puffins, I've stitched one of the three on some mottled blue DMC 28phi linen as a birthday card.

The next thing I stitched also has a story behind it. Back in August/September 2001 I stitched a small design from Coross Stitched of a girl wearing a green dress and carrying a doll, adapted into cross stitch from a drawing by Kate Greenaway. I don't know what attracted me to this design, but I just love it. It's framed in a pine frame and has sat on my dressing table ever since. Just a few weeks ago Mum happened to mention that she too loved this picture. I decided to stitch it for her as a thank you for our holiday. It was a joy to stitch it again, and this time I did it in the correct threads, rather than the closest I had in 2001. It was amazing how much brighter some of the colours were. Here are pictures of both of the girls in green, firstly the one from nine years ago, and then the one from this month.

The final piece of cross stitch that I have completed in August was a design from the current issue of Cross Stitch Collection. In one of the earlier posts you'll see a birthday card for my Godmother of purple poppies. In the current issue a companion piece was published showing star gazer lillies on a turquoise blue fabric. I fell in love with the main design, but decided to stitch only one of the small companion designs. It's stitched on 22hpi evenweave in turquoise blue over one thread in 2 strands of DMC cotton and came out beautifully. I've mounted it as a card and sent it to Jen's mum as a a thank you for the hospitality she showed us over the weekend of the wedding. I'm looking forward to stitching the main design already.

The final project completed in August was a piece of patchwork. Another long story.... The Wednesday we were on holida Mum and I were wandering around the town when the heavens opened. We ducked into a newsagents that happened to have a very good selection of patchwork magazines. I was flicking through one when mum stopped me and fell in love with a patchwork table cloth in gorgeous yellows. So we bought the magazine, and when we got back to mum and dad's we vistited the local fabric shop and bought a selection of yellow and brown fabrics. When mum and dad came to visit we went to Just Quilting and completed the selection with a beautiful reddy fabric and some more yellows and browns. In the intervening fortnight I decided to have a practice at the technique and made up a nine-block patchwork piece in blues, greys and purples (the final yellow piece will be 154 blocks). Here is a photo: I haven't finished it off (I'll make it up into a cushion), but I have pieced it and quilted it successfully - it was just as well, as I gave Mum a really good idea of how a finished piece would look.

Just to be clear: the design is 6inch squares of patterned fabric with a "sliver" cut off one side to made it trapezoid. To each piece you then attached a "sliver" in a contrasting colour. In the piece above I used plain grey fabric for the slivers. For Mum's I'll use three different cream fabrics for the slivers.

So that was August. I'll try to do more regular updates for September, but here's a sneaky peak - John Clayton's Elegance series for Heritage stitchcraft, an animal quilt and name plate for my nephew, a case for my embroidery frame and a wedding card.... not to foget the yellow tablecloth for mum (I've already made a start on cutting the fabric)...