Wednesday, 19 December 2012

I rather like making cushion covers. Here are two I have done recently.

The purple one is for Helen. The patchwork block was a reject from my quillow. And I know the purple in the borders doesn't 'go', but I wanted to get it finished without buying more fabric!

And the Mario is for my friend Paul. He's awesome.


Images of Japan - Block 3

Saturday, 15 December 2012

This month I receive the final pack in the Images of Japan quilt series. And so far, I have managed to actually get round to making three of the 11 blocks! Here's the latest ...


Super Mario Bros patchwork block

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

I finally got round to finishing off my Mario patchwork block.It was a very labour intensive process - cutting dozens of 1.5 inch blocks, ironing them to the interfacing, sewing all the grid lines - but well worth it.

I'm calling this technique "pixel patchwork" and I think the finished look is just brilliant.

This will now be made into a cushion cover for my best friend Paul, hopefully in time for Christmas!


Crafting with the Embroiderers' Guild

Sunday, 9 December 2012

At our final Embroiderers' Guild meeting of the year we enjoyed a whole day of crafting.

In the morning Hilary showed us how to make felted bowls. Using merino wool tops and olive oil soap, along with some very hi-tech equipment including bubble wrap, a towel and a sandwich bag, we carefully crafted our vessels by layering the fibres then rubbing them all together. We could have gone on for hours! I made an extra one at home and decorated them with buttons and beads.

And in the afternoon Judith got us making some felt decorations. You can probably guess my favourite colours given that I did both projects in them! Very predictable!


Making bath bombs

Thursday, 6 December 2012

My friends Sarah and Lynne run a fab monthly craft group in Bramley and every now and then I manage to attend to have a natter and do some sewing. But last week they did something a bit different and organised a hands-on session at Lush in Leeds.

We got to make a bath bomb by mixing up the magic powder and squashing it into a mould. Although my first attempt wasn't quite up to standard (I didn't pack it well enough so it was a bit crumbly) it still made for a very relaxing bath after my 10k race!

This is my second attempt, which came out much better.


Bad blogger

Monday, 3 December 2012

Yikes, nearly two months since my last post! I'm so ashamed, and the worst of it is I'm not even sure where all that time has gone. There has been a lot of WI business to keep me busy, not to mention a few days out for filming, the Knitting and Stitching Show and lots of spare time spent running. But still, how is it December already?!

Time for a quick picture then. This is my purple and pink quillow on display at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate! The West Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institutes has a stand and we showcase the entries from the craft competition as well as items made by Members at craft workshops.

I helped out for one morning and it was great fun. Then I spent the afternoon shopping!


Applique picture

Friday, 5 October 2012

Here is the applique sample that I started at the Embroiderers' Guild meeting last weekend.

Hilary had washed all the fabrics in tea to give them a worn, vintage look. I think it's rather sweet, especially the shaysho (hedgehog) button.

No idea what I will do with it at the moment though!



Monday, 1 October 2012

Saturday was the monthly Embroiderers' Guild meeting in Headingley. It's been a year now since I started going with Hayley and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. There are so many talented ladies and loads of inspiration each and every month.

In the morning we have a stitch group. It is organised by a member each time and has different themes. This month Hilary put together an applique kit for us to work on. I'm hoping to get it finished soon so I can show you later this week.

Remember the chain stitch maps we did a while back? They had been stitched together to go on display and are now back with us. Mine is in the top right corner. We'll be getting our own squares back so it might be the start of a new project for me!

In the afternoon we had a talk from Sue Seeger of the National Society of Costume and Textiles. She took us on a journey through ladies dress over the last couple of centuries, which was absolutely fascinating. I now really want a bustle skirt!


Japanese Trellis Quilt - Finished!

Friday, 28 September 2012

I am very pleased to report that my Japanese Trellis Quilt is now finished and on my bed.

I decided to tackle the quilting myself. Having never wrestled with a whole double quilt under my machine before I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it wasn't too difficult really.

I stuck with straight tram lines on either edge of the big blocks that went right across the whole quilt, so it was a bit of a mission wrestling it through, but I managed pretty well.

I also just stuck with white thread so as not to complicate things further.


Very pleased with my new quilt. I had a quick nap under it this afternoon and all was well. Chalky likes it too.


Ssshhhh ... Canvaswork

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Confession time again ... I started another project.

I can't help but have lots of different stitchy things on the go.

My friend Sarah runs a monthly craft club in Bramley, and I went along this month with Alix and Hayley. They had a sales table and I spotted this lovely canvaswork cushion kit.

It should complement the candlewicking cushion kit from my step-mum rather nicely.

It took me three attempts to start this correctly - I was in a bad mood so I kept reading the pattern wrong, using the wrong colour wool etc.

The trend has continued and every time I work on it I do a bit wrong it seems (much to Alix's amusement) but I am pressing on anyway.


The cross stitch peacock

Monday, 17 September 2012

I'm afraid progress on this has faltered somewhat.

So close, yet so far!


A taste of a new craft - bobbin lace

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Last Friday I attended a workshop organised by the West Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institutes at the office in Rodley.

The very clever Anne Starkey was teaching us bobbin lace and we got to make a snake bookmark.

Here are my bobbins (Anne had painstakingly 'spangled' them all - putting beads on the end so they look pretty) and the pattern we would be working from.

This is what we were aiming to make ...

So I wound a lot of cotton on to my bobbins ...

And made a start! It was rather therapeutic - the same movement using two pairs of bobbins at a time, weaving them over and under each other.

Nearly at the end!

And I managed to finish my snake!

Very pleased with my efforts, although my tension leaves a little to be desired. I will definitely be doing more of this.


Leeds Art Library craft session

Thursday, 6 September 2012

On the first Wednesday of the month Leeds Art Library has a free craft session. I've been going for a few months now and it's always a lot of fun. The group is mostly ladies, and we bring projects to work on and share and there are instructions and ideas for more.

This week, a lovely lady called Margaret had some cute little things for us to make - a triangular thread catcher and a tiny crane.

Here's my little fabric box ... I think it would make a great gift with a few choccies inside (if any of my family are reading this you have just found out what you are getting for Christmas!).

And here's the crane. He is called Tsuru in Japanese. I am going to make more of these and put lavender inside (possibly as extra Christmas gifts!)


A sewing tidy

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Thanks to the long weekend I managed to get round to working up a sewing tidy from a kit I bought at a craft show a few weeks back. 

It came together quickly as it was all glued on to cardboard pieces - no sewing! The fabric is a piece Hayley bought me a while back and has all sorts of sewing sayings and notions on.

This can now sit nicely on my desk or the arm of the sofa to catch all my threads and rubbish. The magnet for needles will be very handy as I am always losing them!


My first ever embroidery

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

While doing some clearing out I came across this, which is likely to be my first ever embroidery piece!

I stuck it to a card and gave it to my mum for mother's day. There's no date on it, but I think I managed to capture her look pretty accurately!

Note the weaving of the purple thread in the blue stitches on the skirt - quite advanced methinks!


Cross stitch peacock latest

Friday, 24 August 2012

Here's the latest update on the cross stitch peacock. See! I have been getting some stitching done! 

He's coming along rather nicely and is going together quite quickly too.


Candlewicking embroidery

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

When I went home the other week for a few days my step-mum gave me a beautful candlewicking embroidery kit. I believe that the name comes from the thread used - back in the day, if you couldn't afford lots of silks you could embroider with candle wick string.

There is a lot of satin stitch going on, and the flower in the middle are rather fiddly. Plus, the knotted stitch on those big loops was a nightmare to figure out!

But I have made a good start ...

Here is how it should look when finished ...


Festival of Quilts

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sincere apologies for being a very bad blogger recently. I have been doing some stitching, but there's a lot of stuff getting on top of me at the moment so I'm not in the best frame of mind, to put it mildly.

But yesterday I went on a coach trip with some fellow WI ladies to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, so that was a nice distraction.

We saw a lot of amazing quilts and spent many hours wandering round. I did a reasonable amount of shopping, although I didn't buy fabric!

Here are some highlights ...

At the Embroiderers' Guild stand, putting some stitches into a group canvaswork project.

Meeting Jennie Rayment - amazing quilt lady and so fun to talk to.

Beautiful quilts ...

This lady's were my favourite of the whole show ...

And some more quilts ...

Finally, my stash. A hexagon die to cut out my papers for English paper piecing on my Big Shot. So much quicker! A book on fabric origami. New embroidery scissors. Bobbins. And a postacard of a kimono quilt.

Hayley and I also did a short workshop on Baltimore quilting and this is what I created ...

And finally, I stopped by to see the lovely Katie of Japan Crafts and decided to buy myself a vintage Kimono jacket. It is beautiful. One day, when I am rather more practiced at Japanese embroidery, I will do some decorative stitching on it.


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