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

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Flowers Bloom and Red Delicious.

Hi Everyone,
Have had a good couple of weeks but ran out of time to post last week as got carried away with Hexit after going to group on the Tuesday where fantastic progress was made by the teams of ladies.


Laid out on the floor all the hexagons are made and most of the rows sewn together. Only on problem, I had stitched my side pieces along the wrong edges so they wouldn't match and had to be unpicked. And I took so long making sure they were correct. Lol
With the rows completed it was dropped back to me so I could add the side sections and also the final row of diamonds.


Hexit has grown into a rather large quilt as you can see from the photo.

Before this of course part two of Flowers Bloom was released and I had great fun with this block after a couple of false starts as thought I would use more of the vegetable fabrics for my leaves, when that didn't work I tried another leaf material I had.


Also had a poppy fabric that I thought would work so made a couple of flowers out of that but they still looked like poppies and the colour didn't gel with my first block so tried my next fabric.


Took a wee while to sus how I had to place my fusible to get the petals to work.


laid out can see it will work.



Went back to a batik for my leaves, a green purple mix and a light green/yellow for the stems



The center is from a fabric with oranges on it so decided to use pens to add to the round blotches it already had. Stitched with variegated thread which really highlights the shape.


For the leaves I used  a deep purple thread to bring out the purple in the fabric.
Apale variegated with touches of mauve on the stems.


All done and happy with my final choices


First two blocks put together.

Had one little hiccup putting my blocks together as when I added the bottom sash my second vase was set an eighth inch to high. Not a lot but you just see a line of sky between the vase and the sash so unpicked the bottom of the vase  up to the band and trim it away then slip a new base under the band and restitch.
Then it was back to Red Delicious. Rose Delicious was my next block, had no set fabrics in mind but selected deeper tones for the leaves and stems.


Liked the fabrics but was a little concerned there was not enough variation. Buds were easy as only needed one fabric a deep mottled batik. Knew I would stitch the leaves with a contrast thread  so carried on making my flowers.


Needed some contrast so used a pink/yellow batik and a deeper pink as well.


More variegated thread and the leaves have popped along with the flowers.


Dark sashings are the making of these blocks  and with the swirly in place as well I love how Rose Delicious is looking.
Next up, Fanfare. Spent a few days just thinking about this one. I wanted an oriental look  but nothing in my oriental scraps that would work and I couldn't find enough different reds that I was happy with, the pattern used seven but I came up short at five so decided to take a risk and use only two for the blades of the fan and another for the sides.


Some might remember the mini eggs in Esther's easter pattern, same material here, positioned so that I got angles rather than straight lines.Edges for the sides are satin ribbon as per the pattern. the braid was interesting as I cut narrow strips of a mottled gold fabric and edges them with blanket stitch in a gold mettalic and they just sat there and looked back at me. Not what I wanted at all !!



Used a dark burgundy thread and a stitch that does about 7 stitches very very close together before moving forward and stitched two rows in the center of my braid and it worked,  so went ahead and added bthe same to the sides.


happy and time for the center


Burgundy center is a synthetic satin and the little circles are the fabric I used for the base of my braid.
left the tassels as I didn't want to just stitch lines on the fabric so had to experiment to create little 3D ones.


Hooray they worked.

Didn't take any photo's as wasn't expecting them to look any good but here is what I did.
Used about 12 strands of embroidery thread mostly burgundy with a few of two pink shades. Miles longer than I needed as tassels are only about an inch long. Doubled them over the bar of a safety pin to get the folds flat than added a strand of the dark burgundy through the fold alongside the pin, knotted that thread leaving long tails.Machine stitched across the threads several times below the knot to secure them together. trimmed them down to a bit longer than needed, teased out the strands then trimmed to size. Threaded the tails and took them to the back then brought them up again one each side of the tassel and crossed them over and back down on the other side and secured them to create the band and secure the tassel. 


Just pinned in place at the moment as sashing goes across two blocks.

My design wall is in good use, under these blocks are my windows blocks and under those is Secret Garden.
If you have read this far you will know I am loving making these blocks for RD, Hope you are enjoying my journey with this fun pattern, it is avail on Esther's website if any of you are tempted to make it.
Linking to Esther's blog then making a start on the Cherry Thieves block.
Enjoy your week  whatever you are doing.
Cheers Jenny