Sunday, 24 October 2010

Small Update

It's been a while, but I don't have a lot to report by way of finished pieces. I've been working on some quite large projects recently, and that means that I've made progress on a few things, but I haven't actually finished anything.

The quilt that I'm stitching by hand has had a bit of a revival. i was struggling with it because I couldn't get the seams to align. I've now started redrawing the stitch lines on each piece as I cometo it and it was remarkable how, despite using the same template to draw around, each piece was rather inaccurate. It also explains why the seams weren't aligning! I've now successfully complete two 12"blocks and made a start on a third and I'm really enjoying it - I can do it all from the sofa, rather than having to sit at the table with a sewing machine, which is really nice. Once I've completed a few more blocks, I;ll take some photographs and share the progress.

Our local fabric shop, The Fat Quarters (Blackhall Mill), started a new block of the month this month. We went along to the shop on the second Saturday in October, paid £5 and got the pattern for the first block (12"). We'll go back on the second Saturday of November, prove that we've made the first block, then get the pattern for the second block free. Me, Linda and Aunty Barbara all handed over our £5. Linaand I had intended to use fabric from our stash, but the end result will be twelve blocks that we stitch together to make a small quilt. In order to maintain some degree of continuity (as each block will have a different design) we decided that we would pull it together using the same fabrics, so we bought a new selection - 1meter of the background fabric, then half meters of four other patterns. I chose pastel greens and pinks, which will look really fresh and summary - Linda bought the fabric for me as my Christmas Present. Linda chose greens and purples, but unusual shades, and her first block looked stunning. I bought Linda's fabrics has her Christmas. We convinced Aunty Barbara to have a go and her fabric was her Christmas present - she picked blues, reds and creams. Last Sunday we all went to Aunty Barbara's and we all made our blocks together. All three looked stunning. And we all successfully managed to complete Y seams for the first time!

In the meantime I've also been working on Charlotte (the Elegance desin by John Clayton from Heritage). I'm making good in-roads with her hat, though it's a lot of counting - I've tacked in grid lines which has really helped. I've also worked on the Jazz music piece, but that is slow going. And yesterday I completed my first Christmas card - a small design by Margaret Sherry, that I won't show you a photo of until after Christmas!

At some point soon I'll have to start Unlce Terry's birthday present. My concern is, that because it is quite Christmassy in style, I won't want to stitch it come January....but I have quite a few works in progress already.... I also want to stitch the quilt for James..... so many projects, so little time.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

September's Work

Another month is over and a few more projects have been completed. I haven't finished as much this month as some other months, but larger projects have been started and not yet finished, plus I spent a week working on a secret project for Debbie from Letters Tied With Blue.... more information will come, but not yet.

The first thing to show you is a bit of a cheat, because I actually stitched it whilst on holiday in Sidmouth in August, but I only mounted and finished it off today: it's a small picture of swallow in a tattoo style that was originally a cover kit on cross stitcher. Instead of stitching it on the provided 14hpi fabric it stitched it on 22hpe hardanger fabric to minimise the pixalated effect. I've stitched it for Steph's birthday, so hopefully she doesn't look at this blog, cause she won't actually get the card till Tuesday!

It was Natasja and Ruben's wedding last weekend (I stitched the hardanger ring pillow for them), so I stitched a wedding card. It was a design downloaded from Creative Poppy Patterns and was designed by Faby Reilly. The design is stitched on 28hpi white evenweave in DMC threads, included variegated and metallic and embellished with three gold beads. It also included to speciality sticthes, and although the majority of the design was cross stitche, back stitch and half cross stitch, there was also a Rhodes Heart and some lazy daisy. The end result was gorgeous and very stylish - definitely one to stitch again!

And finally a house-warming present for my nephew. Phil, Jane and James moved into their new house on Friday and this morning I finished off a name sign for his bedroom door. It's from a recent issue of Cross Stitch Collection (designed by Lucie Heaton I think), and I stitched it on white 28hpi aida in DMC threads. Unfortunately th colours used mean that J, A, M and E were in one colour scheme and the S was in a slightly different one. Once I'd finished the cross stitch I wasn't sure about it as it didn't seem to hold together very well. I made it into a quilt with some pale green fabric (very close in colour to DMC 772) that I had bought at the show in Harrogate, but still wasn't happy with it once I'd pieced it. I put the wadding behind it then quilted a red (DMC 350)running stitch line between the design and the edge of the evenweave, which introduced more red into the design, which previously was only really on the S - this pulled the design together a lot. I then did a row of blue (DMC 996) running stitch on the green fabric round the edge of the design. Once finished these two lines of stitching made all the difference, and I was far happier with the end result that I had been earlier in the process. When finishing off the tabs, I attached the quilt to a plastic hanger, making it easy to hang - this is another brainwave I am very please with and may well use again.

So those are the finished pieces from the month. I continue with the Elegance design of Charlotte by John Clayton, and of course, a lot of time spent on the secret mission. Last night I also started a new project - this time a commission. It's a picture of jazz musicians silhouetted against a musical stave. Most of the design is in black, but with gold instruments. Needless to say, that much black is already quite boring.... it may take a while to complete with a lot of other projects in between. I will of course, keep you all updated.