Wednesday, 13 December 2017

I can hardly believe it.....

Yes, I can hardly believe that it was September when I last wrote a post.... I am sorry that I have been absent for so long.  Although I haven't being doing a lot of writing or even a lot of stitching in my sewing room, I have had the pleasure of attending several different workshops in the last few months which I thought I would share with you.


The first was a workshop covering free machine embroidery and was held at the lovely studio of Tigley Textiles in Birlingham, Worcestershire and was run by Julie Brand who is a very talented textile artist.  We had a lovely day being shown step by step various different techniques giving you the skills to make a free machine embroidered piece of artwork.  I thoroughly enjoyed the day and came home with the finished sample you can see above.  I was very pleased with it and, I so enjoyed the day that I signed up for another of Julie's workshops there and then.


This second workshop was to create an embroidered seascape.  This time the embroidery was by hand and Julie guided us very skilfully through the design process which for me is always the hardest part of getting started on a project.  It was another extremely enjoyable day and everyone left with a framed seascape to take home. I have mine in my sewing room and I am very happy with it!


The latest workshop I have attended was not actually sewing related, although I have been to quilting classes with the same lovely ladies, Terry and Hazel of InStitches in Wokingham earlier this year.  However, this latest workshop was using quite a different material..... willow.... and the instructor was a lovely lady called Judith Needham, who guided us through making several different types of willow Christmas decorations and ornaments including a wonderful stripped willow angel.  Another lovely day with some beautiful items to take home.



As I have rather neglected my blog the last few months, I thought that it might be nice to have a Christmas giveaway to end the year on.  I have collected together a few bits and pieces from my sewing room which I will package up in a box and send to the lucky winner.  All you need to do to enter is to leave me a comment wishing me a Merry Christmas!  I will pick a winner at the end of the day (GMT) on Friday, 15th December.


Now all that remains is for me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! I am expecting to have more time on my hands both for sewing and for blogging in 2018!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A couple of small finishes.....

It is still busy, busy here but, my two daughters have both now returned to university so, I am expecting that I will have a little more time to myself the next few weeks and I may just have a little more time to visit with you all.


Today I would like to show you the finished picture that I made using my final TAST sampler which I shared with you earlier in the month.


The third picture is now proudly hanging on my sewing room wall with the other two.  I am very pleased with how they all look together.


I have also framed the Laura Wasilowski inspired embroidery that I recently finished. That is also hanging on my sewing room wall and is a firm favourite with me!


I am very pleased that, although I haven't had much time to stitch the last few months, I have managed to add a couple of pretty pictures to my sewing room! Hope you are all finding some time to stitch! Until next time....

Friday, 15 September 2017

My latest embroidery project.....

As those of you who follow my blog know, I have had a very busy Summer this year, with not much time to stitch.  However, I recently saw a beautiful embroidery design on Facebook which I just couldn't resist stitching my own version of.


The original design is by Laura Wasilowski of Artfabrik.  I love Laura's designs and I have her wonderful book 'Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts' on my bookshelf.  The quilts and projects Laura designs are always full of colour and they always include an element of hand-stitching which I love.



This particular project is a hand-stitched embroidery landscape and I think was designed by Laura as a workshop to practice hand stitches.  Sadly, I don't live close enough to participate personally in one of Laura's workshops but, I do have a couple of her Craftsy classes and I have really enjoyed them.


I love how this little embroidery has turned out and I can't wait to get into my sewing room to turn it into a quilt.

Thank you for visiting and have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Take-A-Stitch-Tuesday: The Final Stitches!

The TAST Challenge is hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle and the very last stitch of the Challenge is the week 100 stitch which was released by Sharon today!  I was very excited as the stitch that Sharon has chosen to finish the TAST Challenge with is Drizzle Stitch, which is one of my very favourite stitches.  It is such a lot of fun!


I added two versions of the stitch to my sampler.  The first using a very pale green hand dyed crochet cotton and the second using a variegated fine silk thread.  The second version also had a seed bead added.


I have used drizzle stitch in projects earlier in the year.  You may recall the little wool quilt project that I completed in April.  Some of the embroidered wool circles had drizzle stitches in the centre.



You can find Sharon's excellent tutorial for drizzle stitch here.


There are a couple of stitches that I have completed since I last wrote about TAST which I haven't yet shown you.  These are:


Triple Chain Stitch which I added to my sampler with variegated fine silk thread and


Woven Chained Bar Stitch also stitched using variegated fine silk thread. (If you click on the stitch names you will be taken to Sharon's tutorials for the stitches).


I am really pleased to have taken part in this wonderful Challenge and would like to express a huge thank you to Sharon Boggon for her generosity in sharing all the beautiful stitches. My last sampler will now be stretched over a canvas and made into a picture to join the other two that I have made since the start of the Challenge.  If you feel inspired to try the TAST Challenge for yourself Sharon will be re-running the Challenge starting from January 2018.  You can find out more details of how to get involved here.


I think it is going to make a perfect addition! Thank you for visiting me here.... until next time! 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Take-A-Stitch-Tuesday: Latest Stitches

Hello! I know it has been a while but, behind the scenes it has been very busy here and all I have had time for this Summer is trying to keep up to date with the TAST stitches.  I have even managed to get a little behind with them too!! However, this afternoon I made the effort to catch up with the latest stitches.



The TAST Challenge is hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle and is rapidly coming to an end as the last stitch that Sharon will be sharing is the week 100 stitch.  I am really pleased to have taken part in the Challenge and I am excited that the last few stitches will fill up my latest sampler.  It can then be made into another picture to join the other two on my sewing room wall.



Here are the stitches that I have caught up with this week:

Week 94: Portuguese Stem Stitch:



I worked this stitch using a variegated fine silk thread and I really enjoyed stitching it.

Week 95: Zig Zag Coral Stitch:



For this stitch I also used a variegated fine silk thread.

Week 96: Reversed Buttonhole Bar:



With this stitch I used a cotton perle (no 8) thread in a pale lilac colour.

Week 97: Feather and Chain Stitch:



Again I used a variegated fine silk thread.

For those of you who follow my blog you may have noticed that there are a couple of stitches missing between those detailed above the those that I wrote about in my last post they are:

Week 91: Linked Double Chain Stitch:


Which I worked using a variegated cotton perle (no 8) thread.

Week 92: Closed Herringbone Stitch:


Which was worked using a variegated fine silk thread.

And, Week 93: Crested Chain Stitch:


Which was also worked using a variegated cotton perle (no 8) thread.

Clicking on the stitch names will take you to Sharon's marvellous tutorials of how to stitch them.  Hope you are all keeping well and until the next time........


Sunday, 9 July 2017

Take-A-Stitch-Tuesday: A quick update....

Just in case you were thinking that a busy Summer here means that no stitching is taking place, I thought I would pop in to give you a quick update of the TAST stitches that I have worked since my blog break started.

The first stitch is week 84 of the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle and is the Woven Cross Stitch. 


It is a very pretty stitch which I really enjoyed working.



I added a line of stitches to my sampler using variegated silk thread. I really think the variegation of the thread adds to this stitch.  You can find Sharon's tutorial for it here.


For week 85 the stitch was Breton Stitch (above).  I used variegated silk thread to add an example to my sampler.


Week 86's stitch was Knotted Cable Chain Stitch (above).  I again used a variegated silk thread to add an example to my sampler.


Next, week 87, was Herringbone Square/Laced Herringbone Square (above). The base herringbone stitches of this combination of stitches was worked using cotton perle (8) thread in blue with the lacing worked in variegated silk thread.


This was followed by Sorbello Stitch for week 88 (above).  I stitched this example using variegated cotton perle (8) in a light green.


I also used the same light green variegated perle cotton thread to stitch week 89's stitch which was Wrapped Coral Stitch (above).


This week's stitch (stitch 90) was Woven Trellis Stitch (above).  I worked the base in cotton perle (8) thread and the weaving was completed using variegated silk thread.  So now you are all caught up with the stitches I have been adding to my sampler which you can see below.


Thanks for visiting and until next time.....




Monday, 5 June 2017

Scotland.....

As I mentioned in my last post, we recently had a stay in Scotland and, I thought you might like to see some of the photos I took while I was there.  I have added captions under the photos so that you can see where we went.

A rock pool on a walk from Loch Ard to the top of
Ben Venue

A shy orchid along the path on the same
walk

Another beautiful waterfall and pool on
the walk between Loch Ard and Ben Venue

The William Wallace Memorial taken from Stirling Castle

A view of Edinburgh from the top of Arthur's Seat

There is quite a lot going on here at the moment and I know that the Summer is going to be busy, so I have decided to have a little break from my blog.  I hope that you all have a nice Summer (or Winter to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!) and I will see you back later in the year!

Hugs xx

Sunday, 4 June 2017

An embroidered gift...

We recently had a trip away to Scotland, visiting some beautiful places which I will share with you in a different post.  On the way, we stopped to visit some family members who live in Carlisle.  As we stayed a couple of nights with them, I wanted to take a few little gifts with me as a thank you.  I bought one or two bits and pieces and I also made a little hooped embroidery.



The pattern came from a book I have called 'Modern Primitive Embroidery' written by Jennie Baer.



I added some more colour by decorating the hoop by wrapping it with blue yarn.  I think it turned out quite nicely and my sister-in-law liked it!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Free Motion Quilting and Beyond!

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I had been at a free motion quilting course in my local area at a studio called In Stitches.  The workshop I attended was called 'Free Motion Quilting and Beyond' and was held over three consecutive Fridays.  It was extremely interesting and I learned a great deal about the design and construction of an art quilt.








Terry and Hazel, the lovely ladies who run the workshop are very talented textile artists and allowed us to take photographs of some of their fabulous quilts (shown above).

The workshop started with us making three different sample squares with the same applique designs on each.  We then tried differing approaches to quilting them so that we could see the effect this had on the look of the applique.  Here are my three samples and I have indicated below each how I quilted them.

Sample One: The applique was fused and the shapes
quilted over with an all over pattern

Sample Two: The applique was fused and the shapes 
finished with outline quilting.  The background was then
quilted around the applique shapes

Sample Three: The background was quilted first.  The
applique shapes  were then fused.  Extra quilted details
were added to the applique shapes.

The second day of the workshop we concentrated on working on a much bigger quilt (1m x 1m), dividing it up and quilting the different sections with different quilt designs and different threads.  


On the last day we were shown some paint techniques which could be used to enhance our quilting.  The only detail I have to show you of this are the tendrils on my last pumpkin sample which I enhanced using 'inktense' pencils which I set with textile medium.  It did make a big difference to the look of the tendrils making them stand out much more.







I also added a lot more detail to my quilt which I still need to finish.  All in all, I had a marvellous time and my head is now full of lots more quilting ideas!