Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A finish

I don't have a huge amount to show today, after my recent flurry of quilty activity and my sewing lesson at the weekend I've pottered on with other projects.
My finish is a crochet project I've been working on for some time, just using up yarn in my stash.
It's not a huge piece. Just big enough for a pram or bassinet. 
 Big stripes in two shades of oatmeal, and a pretty shell edging.
It just needs a Loulee label and it is done.
I've made a start on another smaller and probably slow crochet project, they are easy to take along.
I just grab my basket and go.
I've also been picking away at M'Lady, adding a few stitches each day, and hopefully quite a few more later today.
It was nice to work with the pink threads for a while after all those yellows and mustards.
Time to do the domestics, meet a pal for a cuppa then sit and stitch the afternoon away.
What ever your plans, enjoy your day. 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Sewing Lessons

Yes, for me.
A long time ago, I used to do a wee bit of dress making, nothing too fancy, a few maternity items for myself, some pretty dresses for my daughter and even a wedding dress! 
Yesterday, with advice and support from both Debbie and Claire I got stuck in and made myself a shirt. It is the first time I have worked with knitted fabrics and also the first time I have used an over locker. 
I'm rather pleased with the outcome!
Might have to get my hands on my own over locker. Might be the first of many.
Today is most definitely a stay at home and sew type of day. It's rather wet out there!
As you know I have many projects to chose from, but didn't decide yet, what to do?

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Two more finishes

My bitty rows quilt is just about done, I quilted it on my frame on Wednesday with a lose meander and included a few hearts in there too. The back does show some tension issues, but on the whole I'm really happy with it.
It just needs a hanging sleeve or tabs and it can take it's turn hanging in the hallway of our home.
Many of those bitty little scraps have memories of previous quilts.
Do you remember a couple of posts ago I showed this piece? It wasn't square, but I couldn't find another piece of chocolate fabric.  Well eventually another piece came to the surface in the scrap bin and I was able to get a slightly too skinny wedge to add to the end.
 It is still not square! The above image in an illusion. LOL
But I'm happy with it. It makes a great mat for my sewing machine, which I push away and pull toward me all the time. 
My old machine was quite light and easy to move. The skyline is a bigger girl and takes a bit more effort to move, so a wee mat is just perfect. Now she slides easily back and forward.
What to do next?
Watch this space.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Ready for quilting.

My bitty rows quilt is ready for quilting!
The pattern does actually call for two more rows, one of pinwheels and one of friendship stars, but I have opted not to make them. I like it just the way it is.
I did make a few changes. When I made up the heart row I could also see butterflies and angels wings made using the same blocks. So they were added. 
I love the way this one has turned out, the blue sashing unified it beautifully and the second wider border finishes it off perfectly.
I did purchase enough fabric to add another border, but I don't think it needs it. 
I just need to sort out a backing and this one will go onto my frame for quilting.
Sew, what am I sewing now?
I have a new start, but I'll save that for another day.
My Spring Queen, or M'Lady, as I have taken to calling her, is progressing slowly.
 Here you see the folds in her gown. It will eventually become obvious that she is seated, with her knees to the right of this image and the differing shades are the folds in her gown.
I'm still working on page one of the chart, and  have a looooooong way to go.
This design is much larger than some of my more recent cross stitch pieces.
My day off today. I have loads to do before I can play.
What ever you're doing today....
Have fun and sew.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Ta, Daaaaa!

Spring Sprouts.
Designed by Edyta Sitar for Laundry Basket Quilts.
And sewn by me!!
All finished and hanging in my hallway. 
I love, love, love this quilt.
Santa bought me the kit a few years ago and last year I finally made a start on it.
It went on hold while I procrastinated over a huge quilt for DS Joe and is now finally finished, quilted and hanging. 
The bitty row quilt is coming along close behind.
Here is where it is up to.
I hope to get border rounds done today.
We'll see how that goes.
House work is pretty much done so nearly play time.

Monday, 4 September 2017

You better grab a cuppa!

I hope you are sitting comfortably, with your cuppa. I have loads to show and tell this week.
But first, something I didn't do. After vowing to make one Christmas ornament a week, I didn't make one this week! I'll get onto that later today. I haven't been idle though.
I finished another of my bitty rows. I had been calling the bitty houses row Coronation Street.
 But now that they are done, they look more like British beach huts.
 I love em!
 I went out last week with Claire and bought fabrics for sash, borders and binding for the bitty quilt. 
After I had finished with the beach huts, I couldn't resist starting to put it all together.
You can see the colours I chose for the borders and binding to the right in the photo below.
I'm tempted to call time on this one. There are two more rows to make if I follow the pattern, but I've already made changes so I'll see how it looks with the current rows all joined.
 Also in the above image, my batik Irish chain top. I started that way back on the Isle of Man in 2013
I did fiddle with it in 2014 but put it all away again. Well out it came last week and I had another little play. I had and still do have issues with getting all of those little pieces to line up nicely. I've been contemplating it a lot recently. Sometimes I think I should just get it all together as best I can and get it onto my frame, other times I think maybe I should quilt as I go for each block. More thinking required I think. That's a lot of thinks! 
I couldn't settle to anything yesterday and spent some time just pottering.  Recently Maria and I exchanged emails discussing all those tiny pieces that get cut off when we sew 45 degree seams. She suggested that we find a way to use them up. I have two little bundles of said triangles, the first bundle is of batiks. Yesterday while pottering I came across four packs of coffee and cream charm squares, that I purchased many years ago and I really cannot remember what I was going to do with them. You know how it is right?
 Well out they came and two ideas came together. Obviously not a single stitch was made yet and, I'm not making any promises, or stating any facts here you understand, but this just might be how some of them come together. LOL
And when I had finished dreaming about stars, I came across some leftovers from another project and decided to put them together, with a piece of red that was lurking in the strips bin. 
Yes, I know it is an odd shape, sadly  I couldn't find a scrap of chocolaty fabric quite big enough to make another triangle and there is just not quite enough red to square it up. I'll have a look about today and see if I can come up with something for another border and square it up that way, or I may just leave it as it is. 
On Saturday I pulled my Spring Sprouts top out, along with it's backing and batting. I finished the top in May of this year and  I have been dithering ever since. I really want to get it finished. I love it and can't wait to display it. The reason I dither is because I'm afraid that I may ruin it, especially if I try to quilt it on the frame. I talked with Claire on Saturday evening and she had the simple solution, don't put it on the frame!! Stitch in the ditch! Simple. Why didn't I think of that?
 Well I have this huge quilting frame, I made a fuss and begged and pleaded with Santa, after waiting for a few years I eventually got my wish and now, I feel guilty as I have barely used it. 
I had a talk with Santa on Sunday morning and he told me he understood my dilemma, He is so very good and very supportive. He even kept Belle occupied while I pinned the layers. Little rascal was fascinated by the shiny wee objects. I need a trip to the shop today to find just the right thread, then I'll dig out my walking foot, or maybe accept Claires offer to borrow her ditch foot. 
Time to quilt.
Away from all of that drama!
I've been very slowly pecking away at my latest crochet project. I keep saying I will add an image of it, so here it is. Not terribly exciting.
I've a few more bands of the two shades to add, then I'll do a simple border and call it done.
And the cross stitch time that should have been spent on a Christmas ornament was spent on Spring Queen. There still really isn't much to see.
This one may take a while.
Right, you should have finished your cuppa by now, and I've blathered enough for one day, time I move myself and get on with my day. It's going to be busy.

Thanks for sticking with me to the end, enjoy your day.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Sunday Sewing

I spent some time in my wee room yesterday working on my bitty row top.
I cut fabrics for the row of bitty houses and then went onto sort fabrics for the bitty trees.
The trees are foundation pieced, something I haven't tried before. I decided there was no time like the present to give it a go.
I have to say, I am pleased with the results, but I find it rather wasteful, with lots of trimming off here and there, though I did get better at picking and aligning just the right piece of fabric as I progressed. 
Lots of those tiny off cuts were saved for future rows.
If there is one thing this project has done, it has taught me to rethink just exactly what is a scrap of fabric and what is truly too small to use!!
I still didn't sew the butterfly row. Maybe later today.
As you know I've been busy getting started on my next cross stitch project, Spring Queen.
While I was sorting the beads I discovered that I had mistakenly ordered the same colour twice.
As I was unable to get all of the colours I needed all in one place I became confused and ordered the same colour from two different suppliers, completely missing out on another colour.
As supplies arrived I put them away in the box, all together, then as I was getting everything ready I discovered my mistake. But I also found something else....
Both of these packs of beads are supposed to be the same colour. They are all sealed up and brand new. They have the same number on them, but clearly they are different!! The one on the right is the one that corresponds with what I had stashed from previous use, it will be used again.
I guess beads have dye lots, just as threads and yarns do, but that is one big difference!!
Oh well, I've put them away with a note and will use them in 'something' at 'some time' LOL
Just in case you are wondering, I did make a start on Queenie, but all there is to see is a creamy yellow blob with a slightly darker patch that will become one of the folds in her pretty frock.
And finally, a quick finish.
The Grinch.
He was completed on Thursday evening.
I know the very person who will be delighted to hang this fellow on her Christmas tree.
Although I probably won't be showing them off, I will continue to stitch a Christmas ornament each week until I have enough. They are quick to stitch and I'm enjoying getting a good start on the season!
Well I had better move myself, Claire and I are going shopping today, I'm hoping to find just the right fabrics for the sashing and borders in my bitty rows top.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Yay! I finished

The froggies are finished for now. 
I completed the cross stitch last night, staying up a little later than usual, determined to get them done.
Nelson, Kermit and Trump (I'll let you decide which is which. LOL) have had a wash this morning and are awaiting the final treatment.
I plan to finish them quilt style.
 So, for my next bigger stitch I'll be doing Mirabilias Spring Queen.
I have stitched her before, back in 2007. The same year I started blogging, but it must have been just before I started this journey, as I can find no record of her here on the blog.
However, I did take a photo of my finished queen.
She was then gifted to a friend, something I have always regretted doing. I'm not sure she is treated quite the way she should be.
The new model will receive the correct treatment. :-)
I've had everything kitted up for some time and spent a few minutes this morning making final preparations to begin sewing. She is a rather different shape to the froggies and I had to pull out shorter scroll bars.
It will be nice to work on something feminine again. :-)
Right, time for some domestics, then it's play time.
I may make bitty butterflies, or I may do some Christmas crafts.
What ever I decide, it will be relaxing and fun.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Another Itty Bitty Row.

 I was slicing away yesterday, thinking about how things can change. If you had told me even a year ago that I would be making this quilt, I wouldn't have believed you.
Here I am cutting up pieces of fabric that not too long ago I would have deemed too small and consigned to the rubbish bin. And now I'm cutting them into even smaller pieces! 
 I have a wee tub of pieces cut to make more of the heart/wing blocks I showed previously. I am going to turn them upside down, so they look like butterflies. I did look at that tub yesterday and decided I really couldn't be bothered with the 45 degree thing!! So I got busy and cut tiny pieces for log cabin blocks.
 Then got on with the process of chain piecing.
 And I made me an itty bitty row of cabins.
And that was enough of that.
Besides I had to de fluff the ironing board, for the other kind of pressing!
I may have to take myself on a shopping trip soon. I've had a look through my wee stash and there isn't really anything in there that I might use to sash and border this one. 
I'm sure I will be able to come up with something for a pieced back though. 
While I was digging I came across some charm squares that I had purchased with half a plan in mind. The plan didn't work out, as sometimes happens.
Now I have a new plan.
I think maybe I ought to make a note some place of all the ideas that come to me and which fabrics I might use in order to make them happen.
Of my latest crochet projects, I have a finish and a slow grower. LOL
Pics another time.
My froggies seem to be the speedy project at the moment. Geez, the wee beggars have lots of toes!! Only one pair of eyes left to stitch!
And his head of course.
This is one of those projects that doesn't make a lot of sense up close.
That branch up on which they are sitting is a muddle of browns and the toes are 5 - 6 different colours and the whole thing is a riot of colour as I'm stitching it, but step away for a moment and look from father back and all of a sudden it makes perfect sense.
I'm fairly certain this one will be finished as a fabric backed wall hanging. It is to be gifted and has to go in the mail. I really don't want to put glass in the mail.
I will however have to find just the right quilt hanger!
And I finally decided on my next cross stitch project.....
It's all kitted up ready and waiting.
Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

One last rescue

 Remember in my last post I showed you a picture of some tiny cross stitch pieces I had made into cards for for my Mum?  I was touched that she had kept them and delighted that I had the fortune to find them. They are wonderful mementos of both my Mum and also my very early days of cross stitching. I had done quite a bit of tapestry and needlepoint as a child and teen. Kits were often received as Christmas and birthday gifts. Sadly all of those pieces are now gone. Then there was a break until my second child was due in 1992. There was a new cross stitch magazine on the market and it was advertised on tv while I was pregnant. I went out to look for a copy. I didn't really like that one, but noticed others on the shelf beside it. One had a freebie on the front!  I was hooked!
I didn't have to wait long before the next issue and another freebie came along.
While I can't tell you the exact dates these pieces were stitched, I can confidently say they were all freebies, from magazine fronts.
Sew anyway, I had a look through my scrap bin and tried out a few different fabrics, the original thinking was this layout but all bordered with the same fabric. Nothing seemed to feel right though. Then as I continued to mine through the scraps I came upon a seam of batiks.
Now we're talking. And as they were off cuts from charm squares, I didn't even have to trim much away.
Unfortunately one piece required a little addition! But I can live with that.
 Then I wondered what to do next and remembered a neutral Bali pop that Tony had gifted to me a few Christmases ago. When I pulled it out I discovered some off cuts tucked into the back of the open packet. (I cannot for the life of me think where I used these fabrics). and again, there was just enough to add a little to each side of the colourful pieces and three pieces to join them all top to bottom.
Then back into my pop I went and found the same design but in a slightly darker colour way. 
 Enough to border the whole thing and a final two very similar slices to add binding. 
The back is just a piece of boring beige fabric.
I quilted it using my walking foot and some of the pretty vine stitches on my sewing machine. 
I didn't want anything too much, just simple stitches to show case the tiny designs I had stitched for my Mum. 
The addition of the hanger and it is almost complete. One day I'll make a hand sewn label  that explains the piece.  It is a little too big to hang with my other recent rescue and refinish jobs.
So has a space of its very own in my quilting room.
I'm delighted with it. Sweet but simple.
For those of you who are waiting.......
A froggie update.
This first picture was taken on Sunday morning. 
I did get to stitch on Sunday evening for a while.
Then after I had finished with the wall hanging on Monday, I stitched until Tony came home and then again after dinner.
Sometimes a cross stitch project can seem to drag on and on. So it's nice to take and date progress pictures then I can see the difference made in a session or two. The first half of this piece did seem to draw out a little, not so this second half! 
Today, after I do the domestics, that middle frog will get his eye!
Maybe today I'll make another row of the bitty quilt too. But if I'm going to do that I need to put the lap top down and get on with my day!

Have fun today, what ever you choose or have to do.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Slow Sunday.

I've been doing some more rescue work.
This first piece was originally stitched for mum. I'm not sure when as I didn't sign or date it.
It was another of those pieces I had amateurishly framed in a £1 store frame and was falling apart as we packed up her house.
I threw the frame but rescued my stitching. And today I came across it while searching for some off cuts of aida for another project. I mounted it onto a board covered in batting. Then added a padded back board too before adding the pink ric-rac and pretty ribbons. 
It's now hanging with some good company in my quilting room.
They will soon be joined by some other smaller pieces I stitched for mum. I think they were mostly birthday or mothers day cards. Again I can only guess at the dates.
LOL With one obvious exception! 
 One piece I have already re finished. This lovely lady was a Christmas card and is now an ornament for my tree.  The other four pieces I think will all be finished together as a single project. I just need to figure out the how. That's a job for tomorrow.
Still on the Christmas theme, I've been busy stitching and finishing a few ornaments.
These two designs are from mini kits produced by Orchidea.
They are perhaps a tad on the small side for the 4 inch hoop, but that's ok.
 I finished them with a layer of felt across the backs.
I want to make a few more of these and have things all set up ready.
Tonight though I'll be back onto my froggies. They are growing pretty fast, but will grind to a halt if I allow my self to be side tracked by other things.
Right, better go cook some food.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Angels wings, hearts and butterflies.

And a Frog!!
My cross stitch is progressing.
I finally have a whole frog. Someone to keep me company while I stitch the other two.
Is it just me, or does he look like he is smiling?
I spent a pleasant little while in my little room yesterday working away at my bitty rows top.
I made some bitty hearts 
These finish at 3.5 inches square.
I noticed on the model image in the book that the way some of the hearts were stitched together, made them  look like angels wings.
Well, I had to have me some of those!!
So I cut an extra row and turned them into wings.
 Then yesterday, as I was pressing my rows, I noticed that if I turn the wings upside down....
 I get a different kind of wing.
I need to make me a flutterby row too!!
I think that might be a job for today.
Here are the rows that I have so far.
I think that my bitty quilt is going to look a bit different to the model.
Well that is my news.
Time to get domestic, then once that is done I can play.