Wednesday, 13 September 2017

WOW on Wed 13th Sept, More Red Delicious

Hi Everyone,
Normal spring weather this week, temps are slowly rising but has been a real mix of sun and showers everyday, great for the sewing room as can't do much outside.
Got back on a roll with Red Delicious after finishing my Secret Garden corners.

Finished my flowers then used a few rows of triple stitch to do the leaf veins

Found my sashing fabric while at sit and sew on Thurs so was ble to add that and the give and Take swirly border to the block.

Wondered if my sashing fabric was too dark but with it stitched in place, perfect, or I think so anyway. Was planning to make Ruby Tea next but wasn't sure what to use for the teapot etc. It needed to be light and felt I didn't have anything suitable, Went through the fat quarters at Country Dawn  and there it was, my perfect fabric for an old fashioned storybook teaset.

Ruby Tea

The larger motif cut perfectly for the teapot down to getting the butterfly on the handle' Only piece I cut seperately was the knob on the teapot lid.

Cut different motifs for the cup and saucer and strawberry bowl. Can't see clearly but its kittens on the bowl and rabbits on the cup.
Took several attempts to find fabrics I liked for the strawberries, getting them to show up enough without being center stage. tried out something I had only heard abot for the stitching as felt that full metallic might be too much. Stitched them with both metallic gold and a red thread through the eye of the needle together and it worked, really well!! 
The metallic shows but not every stitch so it is much softer. Believe you can get a double eye needle for doing this but have never seen one locally.

Happy with progress, now to decide which block is next as if the weather stays like this have a couple more sewing days before the 15th and part two of Flowers Bloom.
Link now to esther's WOW so
Enjoy your week everyone.
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Work on Wed 6th Sept

Hi Everyone
Spring is here or its meant to be, having mixed weather with sunny periods but lots of showers and a few days that are just perfect for the sewing room as wet and miserable outside.
Decided it was time to make some more blocks for my purple pieced quilt but my heart wasn't it cutting up more of one of the purple fabrics as just love it, had bought more of it for the borders but if I made this quilt queen size as I planned would have none left and the local shop had sold out (to me) so decided to make it a single quilt which will also fit our dining table.

By putting half blocks all the way around have ended up with a center that looks balanced and finished and didn't have to cut into anymore of my purple fabric.These were very simple blocks to make but the half blocks were like putting a jigsaw together as to which square and rectangle went where and even when I thought I had stitched correctly, unpicking and turning edges around was a regular occurence.

Very happy with how the border looks but sun streaming in this morning, darker purple on the left is closest to the true shade and this the fabric I don't want to use up.  Now just need to buy batting and backing.

With this done I still had a 10 days till part eight of Secret Garden was released and I didn't feel like quilting DHill so what to do. There has been a quilt / wallhanging I have wanted to make for several years, in fact from when I first found Esther's BOM group. I bought the pattern a couple of years ago and it seemed like what better time to start as I can just make the blocks as I have time and have the right fabrics. The pattern is Red Delicious which is the first BOM that Esther shared back in 2008
One block has always intrigued me so that is the one I started with.

Forest Reds

The reason I had never started this was I don't have many red fabrics in my stash except in batiks for applique but a few weeks ago I purchased a fat quarter pack from Craftsy hoping they would be suitable for Red Delicious. The three florals and the narrow border are from the pack and have worked well for this block.

The Lady Bird was my first problem as could not find a red with black spots that was suitable any where. Remembered I had an old red silk blouse that I had cut up for the fabric so tried using a permanent marker for the spots and it worked. Rinsed the fabric afterwards and the spots didn't run so used it along with a shiny black for the body.

Both the Lady Bird and the toadstools are lightly padded

The magic mushroom is my first time using the chennile technique.
Still need to mist and brush it a bit more I think.

Back in my comfort zone with these.

By the time I had finished this block I was hooked, no wonder Esther got so many followers of her blog with this pattern. The fun thing making it now is I can choose which order to make the blocks in. Next for me was the Cherry Basket which I knew would be a challenge fabric wise, especially as this is the central block and it needed to be right, but what a mess I made of the start

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Found this basket weave amongst my oriental fabrics so traced and cut my basket. Overthought it and cut the base on the vertical thinking it would make the rim look flat on the table. Was then that I realised I had traced the pattern from the right side so the basket was the wrong way round, to make it worse I had cut my tablecloth fabric away from behind the basket as well.

Basket the right way round and with a slight change in the position of the righthand leaf it covers my tablecloth so disaster avaerted.

This was fiddly getting all the cherriers in place plus their tiny stems, not sure whether my medium and dark cherry fabric would work but really wanted something mottled and this was what I had.
Felt the red leaves needed something to lift them so there is a touch of colour with my varigated thread,  variegated thread on the mottled cherries as well.

Cherries Finished.

Time for the top of the basket and the bow and couldn't find the right redsso my love of purple comes back into play.

May be too dark but I really like it.

Cherry Basket.

Only the 31st at this stage so time to prep one more block. This time something simple so time to make the three Give and Take Swirly blocks.

Another fat quarter from the Craftsy pack was ideal for these. only have the longest one stitched so far because 1st Sept arrived and so did part eight of Secret Garden.

Printed pattern at 75% and it matched perfectly to my 21 inche calculation for the long side of the triangle but was hesitant to start as no mention of using the contrast fabric listed in materials. Do I or don't I, someone else was wondering the same and Esther quickly answered the question so time to get underway with the little applique blocks first. And gosh they were little.

Used the same fabrics as last months triangles, again stitching the leaves and stems before adding the centers.

Trimmed to size these blocks are two and seven eight inches square with seam allowance.

Had problems with the 40 little blocks not stitching square so decided to foundation piece the three parts of the block center and it worked a treat with my block going together quickly and everything matching perfectly.

Soooo love my butterfly contrast fabric.

Pleased I had started using my second background fabric as it is let me use my blocks background for the lighter stripe. Wish I had started using it earlier as just hope I don't need to remake my 40 little blocks at the end.

Rearranged my design board to include the corner blocks.
This has to be one of the most beautiful patterns I have made, Thankyou Esther

With the four corner finished should have gone back to stitching my swirlies but couldn't resist starting another block, this time Cherry Blossom.

This is as far as I have got at the moment with only the frame and the first flower completed though my other flower petals are stitched down.  Can't put the bottom leaf on until I decide on my sashing fabric as the leaf extends over it.

Hope you have all been having as much enjoyment from your stitching as I have. Once I link to Esther's WOW will be doing some more stitching on this block as having another day of rain.
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Work on Wed 23rd Aug - Couldn't Resist

Hi Everyone,
Hand is feeling much better so have had lots of time in the sewing room this week. was going to stitch my butterfly wings but the Kaffe Fasset version of Esther's new BOM stopped me in my tracks, it looked so vibrant. Country Dawn where we meet for sit and sew on Thursdays has a range of KF fabrics so was sure I would find some that appealed as I always admire them as I walk past them to where my favourite fabrics are, BUT I pulled them out and tried my cut out vase template on them so I got a clear picture of how my vase would look and nothing grabbed me. Maybe I am just not a KF person, would explain why none in my stash.
Moving to the brights that I do like, one that I have looked at several times jumped out at me and as soon as I put my template on it, that was it I had my vase fabric..

Had looked at their website and knew which sky fabric I wanted, from the Winds and Waves collection for Wilmington prints. Most sky fabrics have too much blue or are too clearly defined clouds and sky for me but this one is like an early morning sky with soft puffy pinks and blue  with touches of yellow and lavender, in other words totally me.
Tried several different fabrics for the frames hoping I would find one with the look of timber like the picture or a neutral that was the right tone for with the sky fabric. Only one I loved was a brickwork pattern, not what I had hoped but it was soft and the perfect shade so went with it.

All set and ready to start as had added in some vegetable fabrics and some batiks with stronger patterns than I normally choose along with a perfect fabric to fussy cut for my flowers

Had called in at Northland Bernina earlier in the morning to see what they in KF fabrics, they didn't stock them but this fabric jumped out and tapped me on the shoulder saying take me home. Didn't need to be asked a second time, the colours were so divine.

Spent the afternoon at a girlfriends where I prepped my pattern and traced all my petals onto fusible web ready to make a start the next day

Everything numbered and ready to go.

Following the pattern I cut my sky blocks then all my border strips from the brick fabric. When I looked at the strips for the horizontal border - absolute horror - the pattern was so so NOT straight on the fabric.

This was not going to work, luckily I hadn't cut my templates for the block but I was eating into my fabric and if I recut these strips would I have enough fabric plus had already cut the lengthwise strips so no longer had full width of fabric either
Decided to go ahead and cut my templates for the blocks, lining up my template to the pattern and not the straight grain and it worked, they looked fine though knew would have to be careful handling the fabric so it didn't distort. Left an inch seam allowance top and side to help with this as well.

Stitched, the fabrics look great together and the brickwork pattern is very soft looking
and doesn't stand out unless you look closely.

From the fabric I had left I recut strips for the borders again following the pattern not the grain, took time over matching the joins which I now had to have, unless I buy more fabric, still thinking about this but with the degree of crookedness am probably better with joined lengths.

These I can live with.

Time for the flowers, no idea what they would look like so just kept looking back at the right side and placing a petal where the colours looked right trying not to place numbers next to each other on the same colour. then came the fun of putting together and seeing the finished flower. this is the second large flower but all made the same way.

baking paper to build my flower on

Outer petals placed first

Second ring in place

Third round

Last three petals

Centers with the splash of green bring it to life.

I didn't think it would look this good'

Used my artichoke fabric for the leaves, the deeper batik for the stems and had the block fabric with gold metallic lines for the vase in my stash. After taking this photo realised I had put the bottom dark strip on the wrong side and hadn't cut out the vase for the flower that went over it.

Traced a template for the flower onto freezer paper and then cut it out quarter inch inside the lines, placed it in position and marked it onto the vase, was able to ease up my vase to be able to cut the fabric away.

First flower stitched.

Used my favourite small blanket stitch for all my stitching. Thread is mettler variegate in pinks, mauves and yellow which has added definition to the petal edges but blends with the fabrics at the same time. For the centers I used a Maderia green metallic to bring out the green even more, still thnking about some extra stitching in the centers but will try on a sample first.
leaves and stems are also stitched with variegated thread for softness.

Same threads for all flowers and a black / gold metallic for the vase

So happy with this block

I didn't need another project but this block is now one of my all time favourites and I can't wait for next month, am already thinking colours. It is only eight day till the next part of Secret Garden is released so time to do some stitching on Hexit ready for next month and really should do some quilting on Diamond Hill as well so my days will fly by.

Enjoy your stitching everyone,
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Catch up time, again.

Hi everyone,
Nearly a month since I blogged, time has flown and not sure why but just haven't felt like sitting at the computer for any length of time. Fine days which have been few and far between found me outside trying to bring order to the garden ready for spring. Unfortunately though my thumbs took a hammering so was back to the doctor a couple of weeks ago for another cortisone injection as was struggling with prepping any stitching as well. Now that the cortisone has kicked in am back in the groove once again.
Before my hands packed up I got D Hill pin basted and made a start on quilting but hasn't been touched for last few weeks. Hearts Desire has been named  "The Ties that Bind" and will be going to  the Auckland Festival of Quilts in November, at present it is covering the spare bed and I am just enjoying seeing it finished.
Decided to play with a fun pattern I have had for a while but wasn't sure what fabric to use for it

In my stash found a fabric, though not a quilting fabric that I had bought because I loved the hydrangea colours and couldn't resist it.

 It's woven so has lots of texture and also shimmers so really appeals to me.

Not a good fabric for fussy cutting as no real definition so thought would try another technique and just trace the whole wing pattern onto fusible and see what resulted.

The wing background is the same purple as I used in D Hill and really pleased with how the colours flow.

Shows the fabric texture a little better.

Different wing stitched with a dark multi colour mettalic.

Have two wings stitched and two more ready to stitch so have started looking at backgrounds and again want to use my stash, this time an unbacked drape fabric that has been waiting for the right project, just have to decide which side to use.

No rush to decide but tending towards the lighter right side but
the wrong side has lots more texture.

My 16 Secret Garden blocks for August are completed though it took a while prepping them as my thumbs were at their most painful then. The little centers were so fiddly to cut out and kept dropping them while getting them in place but got there in the end.

Used a darker version of the fabric I used the previous month and made life easier by cutting my leaves as one piece and using my stitching for the definition.

Both my stems and the leaves are stitched with variegated threads, finding myself loving the softness I am getting from them and with the leaves it is hard to even see the stitching.  Centers are stitched with my favourite Maderia metallic No3 soft gold.
Have been concerned from the start that I won't have enough of my background fabric as with my reduced size should need 4 meters and only have 3.6 so changed this month to my second fabric.
It is a little darker but the same shade as the deeper tones in my block backgrounds so think it will work. Will use it for everything that looks like it is a border and just hope I don't need to remake those 40 little blocks at the end.
Here's how my design wall looks, can't bear to take it down as loving how it is developing.

Sooo in love with this pattern.

Yesterday the quilting group met and it was time to see how everyone had got on making their diamonds for Hexit and to work on trimming and stitching them into hexagons. So many fantastic diamonds had been made we divided into a production line of trimming, pinning, stitching  and pressing with others making up even more diamonds.

By lunchtime sixteen hexagons complete and we could get an idea of how it is going to look. So many different scraps and it is looking amazing. End of the session and twenty eight hexagons made, only ten to go so next month we will be stitching rows together.
This pattern by Esther is working beautifully as a group project and has been a great introduction to foundation piecing for some of the ladies as well.

Today I really should do some quilting on DHill but know that once I link to Esther's WOW for this week I will be printing out the new free BOM that she released yesterday and studying the pattern. I don't need another project but am finding it very hard to resist since seeing the Kaffe Fasset version, don't have any KF fabrics in my stash but am so tempted to buy some for it.
Until next time,
enjoy your own stitching
Cheers Jenny