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.

Saturday 5 August 2017

Another rescue.

Well two rescues really. But more about those in a moment.
It's Debbies birthday tomorrow and I gifted this wee wall hanger to her.
 She actually gave me the cross stitch kit a couple of years ago. She had started it, but didn't really enjoy stitching and thought that I would. Well, I finished it a while ago and today got stuck in and made it into a quilted wall hanger.
Debbie was delighted.
Happy Birthday my friend.
Now onto the rescues.
This first item is another cross stitch piece I stitched way back in the 90s! 
I had made it for my daughter Kaiy. And had put it into a £1 /$1 store frame.
I'm really not sure how she ended up back in my possession, but as we were preparing to leave GB I came across her. The cheap frame was falling apart, so I finished the job and tucked the stitching away into my portfolio. In time she was moved and hung in the cupboard with some other finished pieces. When I went in to get Debbies roses today, she asked to come out too.
 So out she came and was finished off, in much better style than last time.
I have mounted her onto a piece of thick card, covered in batting and backed her with a piece of fabric covered card. Then popped on a pretty coordinating trim and that beautiful bow, which I assure you looks much better in real life.
I think she will probably go back to Kaiy at some point. But I will enjoy her company for a while first.
My second rescue came from the op shop.
Tony wanted to call in to look for something, so I tagged along too.
You just never know......
I found a grocery bag about half filled with fabric scraps and I could also see a quilt block.
$2? Yes please.
There are lots of scraps here.
Some larger pieces, some only tiny.
 And more than one ready made quilt block.
 Someone has been busy.
 I wonder what they were for?
Are they left over from one quilt?
Or several?
I love this tiny square. It looks stitched, I was very excited when I spotted it. 
It is a printed piece, but I think the stitched look is pretty and I want to find a lovely way to use such a pretty piece.
So while I ponder what to do with the pansies, I'll adjourn to my throne and stitch on my froggies until dinner time. 
Froggie number one is almost finished, he finally has one eye and will get his second one today.
Then I will have completed page one of the design!
It feels like I finally have company.
And a milestone has been achieved.

Thursday 3 August 2017

A rescue job

My Santa ornaments are all done.
As I said in my last post, I stitched these many years ago, but made some amateur mistakes.
A few years ago I undid the poor job I had made of turning them into ornaments and it has taken until now to re finish them 
 I have to say, that although they are still not perfect...
 I am much happier with this new outcome.
 I know I mentioned my plan to add a ruffled ribbon around the edges, but when I saw the plaited green, red and gold trim...
 It just had to be!
Then I added the wee tartan ribbon as a final flourish.
I've fallen in love with them all over again.
I'm itching to finish my bigger froggie project now, so that I can make more ornaments.
They are progressing very well and I'm almost done with page one. 
And I have found out through a Facebook group that there is a tree skirt pattern with the same Santa's on it. I also have patterns for a red and a blue version that finish at about 10 x 12 inches.