Thursday, 27 June 2019

Shark's Dinner Month 6

I'm still going strong with this block of the month... here's month 6's offering! I think this might be my favourite block so far....

And guess what!? I quilted one of the blocks this month too!

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Bloom SAL (A Finish)

Earlier this month I finished a little embroidery I started back in March. The pattern is called Bloom by Jessica Long at Namaste Embroidery and it was run as a Sew-Along which I failed to keep up with! After my success using colour-tinting on my February embroidery, I had another go for this, and again I'm really pleased with the results. I love the depth it gives the piece without the need to infill entire flowers or leaves, yet it doesn't over-power the embroidery. I have bought a greater variety of pencils already so expect more colour-tinting to come!

I've done embroidery for a long time, firstly cross-stitch and then free embroidery, but I rarely use any more than 2 threads (of 6-stranded embroidery thread - normally DMC). This was a little different as large parts of the work were done in all 6 strands. And much as I love the finished look with the large flowers popping out boldly, I did not enjoy sewing it. Even after changing to a larger needle, there was a lot of stress on my hands gripping the needle to pull it through the fabric. It was good experience and it's good to know for future embroideries.

But it certainly wouldn't stop me buying more of Jessica's patterns - the instructions were well written and she has some beauties to chose from!

This is a Finish Along finish. You can find my original list here

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

EPP Geo Diamonds: Four months in

Back in March, I introduced you to a new project: Geo Diamons is an EPP project designed by @anomiealicec and run as a block of the month. All of the blocks are the same, and whilst I'm using slightly different fabrics, mine are all the same colour. I'm hoping this will result in some really good patterns with the repeats, but it also means it's a bit boring to share here every month.

But we're up to month four now, which means I can start to show you how some of those repeats are going to look... here are a couple of different layouts!

I'm really pleased with progress and aiming for this to be finished and on Josh's buggy next May.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

NEMQG with Chris English

This month's meet up of the North East Modern Quilt Guild was a special one! Chris English headed north to join us for a day of sewing our scraps! It was such a good day - there was a real buzz in the room, there was fabric flying everywhere, and we all learned something new!

Chris teaches two techniques: crumb blocks, combining scraps with an old shirt, and Portholes. Here's what I made in the workshop:

I used an old shirt of Michael's - and I love that green colour, and the portholes are filled with a stripey maternity T-shirt which I'd embellished (otherwise known as hid a stain) with a Tula frog. I have no need of it anymore, so it was nice to be able to recycle it!

And when I got home I kept going. And instead of a cushion, which was the aim of the workshop, I ended up with a whole quilt....

The added borders are leftovers from quilt backings (otherwise known as Asda duvet covers). I need to find an appropriate, recycled, backing and then I'm going to hand-quilt it!

Monday, 10 June 2019

February Embroidery Along [A Finish]

I've really been enjoying my embroidery this year, after not doing very much last year. One of the challenges I set myself at the start of the year was to learn to colour tint my fabric before adding the embroidery - I love buying the pre-printed panels, but I'd like to do this myself as well. And the opportunity to learn this arose in February. Meg Hawkey of Crab Apple Hill Studio hosted a stitchalong to celebrate National Embroidery Month, and the first step was colour your fabric.

I bought the pencils she advises,  the blending stumps, something called fabric extender and the pigma pen. And I gave it a go. My first attempt ended badly. Because the one thing I didn't buy was a new, clean paintbrush. So when I came to add the fabric extended, it went all bleary and muddy as, despite cleaning the paintbrush thoroughly, it obviously wasn't clean enough. It was unsalvageable so I started again, and I was so much happier with the results. The practice piece was, in the end, worthwhile! The colouring pencils I used are Prismacolor, and I bought just the few I needed from the The Coloured Pencil Shop in the UK.

Once coloured in, it was time to add the embroidery. Each little square is just an inch, and the idea was you stitched one a day. Needless to say, that's not quite how I did it, as the colouring in issue had already put me a week behind... I was amazed at how adding the embroidery really lifted the colouring! Here are some of my favourite blocks.

This is my favourite block: I had a bit of a whoopsie with the pigma pen when I was tracing the bobbin and it looked awful and really annoye dme every time I looked at the piece. So I added the yellow roses and leaves to hide it, and it's now my favourite part. The rose stitch wasn't featured in the original pattern at all, so to make it look more in keeping, I then did the same stitch further on, replacing a rose made from cast-on stitch.

Speaking of cast-on stitch... this was new one on me. I found it to be a bit fiddly and the finished stitches didn't alway lie how I wanted them to. But in a popularity contest between cast-on stitch and bullion knots, cast-on stitch wins hands down. I do NOT like bullion knots. It took me an hour to do four on my first attempt. Whilst later attempts were more successful I didn't enjoy doing them and I'm not keen on how they look. So I won't be adding bullion knots to my list of favourite stitches!

The final block was a bit different: you added a button using embroidery. Something else I'd never done before. But this I enjoyed. It adds something a bit different. And to finish it all, there are a couple of applique blocks. I've mounted it in a white frame I got from Amazon and I actually laced the back - I haven't laced a picture since my cross-stitching years, and even then only rarely!

I'm so pleased with the result. I'm pleased with what I learned, and it's so very pretty - much "prettier" than anything I would normally make! Sometimes it's nice to make something a bit different: the finished pieced is just shy of 7" x 9". I used Primacolor Pencils, and DMC threads throughout and Kona cotton in white as my basecloth.

And this is a Finish Along finish. You can find my original list here.

finishalong logo 125px

Saturday, 1 June 2019

May Furtle

May has been quite the month! It's my final month of maternity leave and has been dominated with chicken pox... Mia got her first spot on 9th May and by the end of the month both Jessica and Joshua were covered in spots... But at least it's over and done with before I go back to work...

My highlight of the month was ticking a box on my bucket list: two years ago we visited Belsay Castle and viewed the quilt show held by the Quilters Guild local region. At the time, I was just finishing off my 365 Quilt Challenge and said how much I would love to see it hanging at the next display at Belsay. The show happens every two years, and was on over the bank holiday weekend. Here is my quilt hanging in the Library!

Despite the chicken pox, I have been sewing! I finished my Trinket Quilt:

A pincushion:

And a cushion:

I finally framed the Moon Moth embroidery I was working on 6 weeks ago:

And finished off the set of zipper pouches I'd been working on

I've done loads of EPP for various different projects including the below and a Mandolin block!

Brimfield De La Luna

Hexie Shutter Burst

Sharks Dinner BOM

I finished the Tula Nova quilt top and basted it ready for hand quilting

I finally pieced the fourth unicorn and got the blocks sashed:

I'm up to date with Coming Home:

I made progress on the Kittens I started about 18 months ago

And I started two new projects (and signed up for two more!): Dear Jen:

And the Summer Sampler 2019 (I may change the fabrics and redo this one):

I fear that sewing productivity may fall in the coming weeks... back to work on Monday!

I'm linking up with Archie the Wonder Dog's Furtle!

Archie The Wonder Dog