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