Thursday, 14 December 2017

Secret Garden update

Hi Everyone,

Summer weather has come early this year, has been more like mid Jan temps so have been splitting my time between stitching and the garden.
1st Dec brought part 11 of secret garden though it did pop up in my inbox early which I loved.

Loved this block as soon as I saw it and immediately knew I would stay with my butterfly fabric.
Had to fiddle a bit to get the corners to match on some of my blocks as had problems when making some of my little squares and they weren't perfect.

The borders fitted perfectly and am so happy with how it looks.

With it all together was able to study the blocks and the first block seemed not quite right in the fabrics I had used. With block one had no idea what would come after it and my colours and fabrics volved as the blocks came along. The other blocks used mainly batiks for the flowers but the first one didn't and it just didn't seem to sit as well so decided now was the time to change some of them.
Had already changed the bow so was confident about unpicking and all went well.

Am pleased with the new fabrics but have one more flower to change, Was happy with the peachy one but now it looks out of place to me so will redo it as well. Am gradually adding more butterflies as I decide where I want them.

One more added to this block, used two butterflies to create the one in the centers with both wings up, a friends suggestion as she loves seeing them like this and they are hard to find on fabric.

Was going to write more as have started another project and yes it's another of Esther's patterns.
In The Pink another early pattern from before I joined her group, has always appealed to me so have made a start, photo's next time.

Enjoy your week everyone,
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

WOW 29th Nov Flowers Bloom is finished

Hi Everyone,
Not sure where the time has gone but a month since I last blogged. Spring weather has been good so have been spending time in the garden so not as much stitching has been done.
Having to think what I have done during the month.
Put the borders onto Red Delicious so another one joins the growing pile of those waiting to be quilted.

Very happy with how it looks, a pattern of Esther's that I have wanted to make for years nand it was so enjoyable to make.

OMWFB is now a finished quilt top as well. Block 4 was fun to do and went quickly as had my fabrics all picked and ready to go. Did remember to take photo's as I went.

 Chosen fabrics and testing a vase fabric using a template
Didn't work with the side vases like I had hoped.

Pieces for flower all cut out ready for assembly

Starting to build one layer at a time

All together and ready to stitch

Mettler variegated threads for all my stitching.
Did a round of triple stitch next to my blanket stitch around the center

Changed the size on an embroidery stitch I use a lot and use metallic thread to stitch the pistil around the center.

My bottom blocks together.
With this done it was time to decide my last two fabrics and put the top together.

These were what I chose. 
Tried several but these two worked together and added the little bit of bling that I so love.

On My Window Flowers Bloom
Love how it looks, had concerns my flowers in part 4 might have been too bold but my top vases are very strong colours and am happy with the balance the dark edges has brought.
Another for the must quilt pile.

Work on OMWFB stalled for a while when Part 10 of Secret Garden was released and it was time to put the center together. Was so pleased that what was pinned to my wall was the layout and even more pleased when it went together without a problem. Having reduced the pattern it was fingers crossed I was making the right calculations  especially when it came to final trimming.

It was at this stage that I seriously looked at block 1 again as have not been completely happy with the flower colours against those of the other blocks. Maybe not the colours so much as the actual fabrics I used, made up my mind and very carefully unpicked and replaced two of them.

Not a huge difference but a bit more depth and the fabrics I didn't like are gone. Now have to replace the bud over the vase as it needs to be dark. and think about adding more butterflies which is what I am doing this morning.

Linking now to Esther's WOW and back to my butterflies

Enjoy your week everyone

Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

WOW 25th October Catching up

Hi Everyone,

Missed blogging last week as I was busy playing with my new toy.

A portable quilting frame complete with a Juki machine. First place to set it up was on my sewing table and yes it takes up a lot of space, 72" like this but has an extension that takes it to 108"
Played with the machine firstbefore putting it on the frame and what a fantastic straight sewer it is, already love it but boy is it fast. Lots of practice going to be needed before I attempt one of my quilts.
At the weekend Steve refurbished a desk he had in the garage and the frame has now moved to our 4th bedroom/office and I have got my sewing table back. 

Set up in its new room, won't be able to use the extension in here but least it can stay set up while I practice. Have been told am not having any more rooms two is the limit, garage is out of bounds also.

Gracie very happy as the single bed from that room has moved to the sunroom and is now her favourite place to spend the day. 

Fingers are crossed that she doesn't decide to eat it, as she ate the secondhand couch we got for her last year and we had to dump it as it was beyond repair. Must remind Steve it would be nice to get the walls finished as well, the joys of having a builder husband.

Took Hexit back to the group last week, decided to cut off the zigzag ends and add top and bottom borders to make it more functional for whoever is lucky enough to win it when it is raffled.

The Dargaville ladies throughly enjoyed making it and it looks stunning

 Enjoyed making part 3 of OMW Flowers Bloom as had just bought some batiks that were on sale ot spotlight and knew I wanted to use one in particular for my leaves as it had just the right look. Did concentrate on my vase and flower first though.

Used a lighter fabric for the back of my flower and the cut my petals from the poppy fabric I had tried for block two. Triple stitch for my stamens in a variegated lilac thread and a double blanket stitch in varigated metallic for the little circles. 

Added my leaves and again varigated Mettler threads for the stitching

One done and one to go.

Very happy with how they have turned out.

Inbetween I have been slowly working away on my Red Delicious blocks. very different working with shades of one colour and at times it is a challenge but its also lots of fun.

Cherry Thieves was the next one up, here all the fabrics are in place but nothing stitched.

All stitched, the metallic on the wings and tail make a huge difference

The eye is a real feature on these birds so decided to use reverse applique placing a slightly deeper plain red under the cutout of the eye. Meant I could blanket stitch outwards around the eye giving it better definition. Used a pigma pen for the eye itself and a dot from a metallic silver pen as a highlight.

In place under the Cherry Basket
Next up was Love Apple another smaller block with two Pomegranates and an Apple.

I cut the outside of the pomegranates as one piece and darkened the center with pencils as it didn't show up as much as I wanted, the highlight on the apple is reverse applique.

Finished and sashing added.
With these blocks done it was time to add the small swirly block to the bottom and join the first two panels together

Yay, Had been worried about matching the join between the two swirly blocks but had taken the precaution of leaving the last couple of inches of the vertical one unstitched and unfused.
The edge was out but I was able to trim for a perfect match and then finish my stitching. 

Last of the small blocks in the center panel was Nightshade. Bought another couple of fabrics before starting this one as had use most of my reds and wanted to have different ones rather than reusing the same fabrics

Assembly done and first flower stitched, new fabrics used for the leaves.

Glad I bought the extra fabrics.

Paired with the fan block to complete the bottom of the first two panels.

The last block of all is Peony Bloom though to me I see Carnations and that is the look I went with.

Fabrics all in place with using my second option for the stems. Had cut them first out of a black fabric with a tiny red dot all over but it was just too dark and hard looking. Found this blackberry fabric and though it is still very dark it is dark purple and works much better.

Stitched with a purple, yellow and green variagated thread it has come to life.

Flowers come alive with stitching as well.

The final block finished

Yesterday I joined the completed the third panel and assembled the top, this morning have put on the final sashings so only the outer borders to do once I decide on my fabrics.

Red Delicious.

Love this pattern and have had so much enjoyment making it, now to practice lots on my quilter so that I can do it justice with the quilting.

Linking now to Esther's WOW for 25th October,
Enjoy your Wednesday everyone

Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Secret Garden Center

Hi everyone,
Loved it on 1st Oct when it was the center block for Secret Garden that Esther gave us.
Having no idea what it would be it was fabulous seeing the so romantic looking block with all its flowers. Dived straight in as it was an easy choice for the stems and little flowers in the corners.

Same fabrics as my triangles 
Love the shape of the stems, a knot celtic look to them although from some angles they do remind me of fish, cute fish though.

For the center decided to use my contrast fabric and also use the dark fabric from my little squares.
Don't have a lot of that so had been keeping it for the right time.
With my contrast fabric a butterfly became perfect choice for the very center.

Next to go one was the leaves below the flowers, are they the sepals am never sure. used fabric that I thought would work but in place it was a little washed out looking, not quite green enough so used pencils to colour them up a little.

In the left photo the top left leaf is the fabric only while the others have been coloured. On the right is the same leaf with extra colour, not a huge change but a big difference overall to how it shows up.

Easy so far but the flowers were next. Knew I wanted to tie in the colours of the blocks especially block one where I used a mix of colours for my flowers while the others are more a single theme and all in shades of pink/purple.

My design wall got a lot of use while putting the flowers together so I could check the balance.
Ended up with two each of four different flowers, Pink, peach, pink/peach and peach/purple.
Stitching I did with variegated thread and again there were different threads for each tone of flower.

Thought for a bit about what to do for the stamens, then tested out my idea and it worked using my favourite gold metallic thread, Maderia No 3 which is a very soft almost antique looking gold.
To stitch them I stitched out with triple stitch right to the end of the stamen then turned and set machine to an oval embroidery stitch  ( #94 on my Bernina 440 ) with the width reduced from 5.5 to 3.5.
Stitching over my triple stitch with it gave fullness to it as well and ensured a good coverage with a fine thread. Changed back to triple stitch and stitched back to the start giving thickness to the stem.

Just how I wanted it to look.

Last decision was to add the butterflies. I have them in every block and while they have filled the open spaces on each side they don't seem to have taken anything away from the block.

I have sewn the little blocks into rows for the border but not attached them yet and my design wall is so full of Secret Garden that not sure where I can add anymore, wish it was big enough to pin it out to the measurement and I could try and guess what else is to come.

Now I can go back to my Red Delicious blocks until the 15th and the 3rd part of On My Window.

Linking to Esther's WOW

Enjoy your stitching Everyone,

Cheers Jenny