Friday, 24 April 2015

A few little stitches

Hello there!
How has your week been? We have been enjoying some beautiful summery days here in the north of Scotland & I have been making the most of sitting outside the back door in the warm sunshine stitching away. I have also been busy in the garden & the greenhouse & wanted to share some of that with you today but I can't find the pics so that will need to wait for another post.
Sometimes I think finishes are a bit like buses, you don't get one for a while & then a whole bunch come along at once! This week has been a bit like that, starting off with another Christmas finish (I know, how seasonal right?!). This is a little kit that I couldn't resist at the Quilt Show last year & I jumped right into it when we returned from this years' show having delivered the quilt from hell  Geek Quilt to my son. It's produced by Rachel's of Greenfield who have some lovely designs available as both kits & patterns. This is the first time I have ever worked from a kit like this & I would say that for me the jury is out as to whether I would buy a kit or just the pattern in the future. On the plus side you do get all materials you need to complete it (so no hunting around for fabrics that work together) but they might not be the exact same as the fabrics pictured on the cover & a few of mine weren't. I swapped out the cream fabric supplied for the snowman's head and body as I felt there wasn't enough contrast with the background fabric plus I wanted a white snowman! Also you have to be really careful when you cut your pieces as you don't have much margin for error - I started cutting the black pieces in the order listed & discovered that was not the same as "biggest piece first" which sent me running to my stash for some more black! (Lucky I have plenty of plain black left over from that Geek Quilt huh?!) Well you live & learn & once it came to the actual sewing I really loved working on this! Very little of it used a sewing machine, oh I know a lot of applique methods are so much quicker but I thoroughly enjoyed all the hand sewing involved with the traditional needleturn applique (that link leads to an excellent tutorial on it by the way). After all, this little guy had sat on my shelf for a year so there was no big hurry! Once all the pieces were attached it was time to give him eyes & a smile. I decided to use some shiny black buttons from my stash instead of embroidering the eyes as the directions suggested. Then it was on to the hand quilting, this time following the suggestion of using a dark red thread for all of it. I wasn't too sure about this but figured it would be easy enough to unpick if I didn't like it and wanted to go another way. I also thought this would take me a lot longer to complete but, sitting in the sunshine with my non melting snowman friend, it seemed to fly by! All of a sudden it was time to sew the binding on (which I did use the sewing machine for) & then one final bit of hand sewing to attach the binding on the back & he was done! I am really happy with how he has turned out!

 
I think this is now my favorite method of applique, I felt it was gentler & more controlled than doing fusible applique on the sewing machine. You can really take your time over the trickier bits rather than having the machine rush you, & let's face it, it's much easier to unpick a few hand stitches than a bunch of tight machine zigzag! So until I get more practised at other methods I think this will be my go to method... 
My second finish this week is the Somebunny to Love design which I have been working on since January. Part way into stitching  the second bunny I realised I had made a huge mistake & cut the fabric too small (I have no clue how & can't remember when I last did that!). Rather than take out a whole bunny and a bit Hubbie & I decided to make these bunnies into a wall hanging rather than put them in a picture frame because that will take a lot less fabric round the sides of the design. So right now they are all washed & pressed & I'm deciding on a fabric to use for round the edges, this is my current favorite - what do you think?

I also thought it would be kinda fun for you to see how this grew so every time I finished stitching on it I snapped a photo on my phone. Here they are put together into a little video - enjoy!

video

I hope that works ok? I'm not particularly techy & haven't tried anything like that before so please let me know what you think!
While I was sorting out what to stitch next I remembered the stitching I started on our trip last fall. I had planned to make this advent calender for Little H for Christmas but got hardly any done the whole time we were away...
The pattern is from an old issue of Crazy magazine and has been on my "to stitch" pile for a few years! Well once I realised it wouldn't be ready for Christmas 2014 I put it away but the other day I thought maybe I should try & stitch a couple of motifs a week now & then it really should be ready for this year!! So this is how far I have gotten now.... 
...four down, twenty to go... I gridded out the aida with a blue washable fabric marker so each design will go in a box & then once they are all done I can cut them out. I've never worked this way before but figured it would make the best use of the fabric & if the pen doesn't wash out for some reason it won't really matter as all the squares will need trimmed down anyways. It feels very strange not working from the center of the fabric, working each design in the confines of a little box (even though I measured & remeasured I am scared at the start of each new one that it won't fit!), & working with a big bit of fabric in my hand & no hoop (that will probably change as I move across the fabric) - I will let you know how this goes!
Finally I have a new start to share with you. I fell in love with this Lizzie Kate chart the instant I saw it online, and couldn't believe my luck when I spied it for sale in a needlework store in Canada on our travels!
It's called Promise Me & is a quote from Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree by A.A Milne that Christopher Robin says to Pooh Bear. I plan on stitching it twice, once for my daughter & once to hang on my sewing room wall. This time round I am stitching it on 16 count aida in a mushroomy color that I had in my stash & using the DMC equivalent colors rather than the speciality threads listed on the chart. The 16 count keeps it the same size as the suggested 32 count linen (I think my eyes/head would totally baulk at that!!) and looks less obviously aida than the bigger 14 count I think? This is where I am after one day spent on it...
Do you think I'm enjoying this so far?! I am loving the softer, older color palette, and the simpler sampler style of it & if it wasn't for things like cooking, laundry, & walking the dog I could spend all day every day just sat with this! But then I guess we wouldn't appreciate the time we do get to sit & stitch? Well I hope you enjoyed your visit here today, I hope you have a lovely weekend doing something you love too!







6 comments:

  1. Lovely finishes!!! Love that little snowman and your bunny stitching!!
    Great new start will a very pretty LK design :)

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    1. Thank you Mii! I am LoViNg stitching the LK design, it's like a good book - just can't put it down! Hope you're having a lovely stitchy week :-)
      Helen x

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  2. Your snowman is just perfect, so cheery. It's been lovely with us too this week but it's already changed this afternoon and I think we're in for a much cooler week next week.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comments Ann! It's a lot colder here now, we've even had snow again! I hope it's warmer where you are & you're having a lovely week,
      Helen

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  3. Wow! That's a whole lot of amazing finishes ^_^ The Snowman is gorgeous! Aww! I love your Some Bunny stitch. Yes, I think that fabric goes perfectly.Oh wow! That video is fab! What a clever idea. It's lovely to see things grow like that. That's a brilliant idea for the Christmas stitch. I look forward to watching that grow too. OH!!!! I LOVE that Lizzie Kate chart! That is beautiful. Lovely post. Take care of you love n hugs from me ^_^ XOX

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    1. Thank you for all your sweet comments Steph ^_^ I still haven't sewn the fabric onto the Somebunny... hopefully this week... Well once I have stitched the LK again for E if you want the chart it's yours k? Hope you've had a lovely weekend, lots of love & hugs :-) xox

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