Images of Japan - Some embroidery

Monday, 21 May 2012

At the Knitting and Stitching Show last year I saw a beautiful quilt called Images of Japan. It is a block-a-month programme run by Village Fabrics.

After umming and aahing for a while I signed up in February and have now received the first four packs, all complete with fabrics and instructions.

Last week I decided I had better make a start on this project, so out came all the bits for block number one. It features a geisha, wave and flowers, and was a rather tricky one to start off with!

The images are all built up using applique, so out came the iron and the Bondaweb. It was like putting a jigsaw puzzle together and rather frustrating at times but I have all the pieces in place now. I finished the wave off first, adding in some embroidery and sparkly threads.

The geisha and flowers are at the just bonded stage and ready to be embroidered and embellished.


I am very pleased with this project so far as it allows me to explore hand embroidery, something I have been neglecting in favour of patchwork recently. However, as I am blanket stitching round each applique piece I may soon tire of that part!


Quillow progress

Monday, 14 May 2012

Good progress is being made on the quillow from the beginners' patchwork sessions at the WI office.

I have now finished six blocks, with one left to do at the final session next month. Better still, they have sashing on and are quilted, with two rows joined together.

Getting there ...


Cross stitching

Thursday, 10 May 2012

I have rediscovered an old love recently - cross stitching.

Cross stitch was what first really got me into crafting a few years ago. In fact, a couple of these pieces were done in those early days - chrysanthemum, wisteria and tiger lily.

There are 12 flowers in the series, each with an Oriental feel.

I now have them all but I have only recently begun to work on them again.

I have another two finished, camellia and lotus blossom ...

And magnolia just needs a few more gold outlines and it will be finished too.

It is also only recently that I have decided what to do with them all once finished - they will become a wall hanging. Or probably, three or four wall hangings.


Weekend sewing - A quilt top

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

What did you do with the bank holiday weekend? I decided to make a quilt top. Yeah, just like that!

A while back I purchased a book on quilts using charm packs, jelly rolls and layer cakes.  There was one pattern that really struck me.

And then I saw the Good Fortune fabric range by Kate Spain for Moda.

The two came together nicely and I ordered a nice big stash to make said quilt, including a layer cake and lots of yardage for the sashing, binding and backing.

Having sat in my stash for a few months I decided to put some time aside this weekend to make the quilt top.

Here are all the pieces cut out and ready to go. It doesn't look like it, but they are laid out on the arrangement I wanted.

The blocks were nice and easy to do - snowballs using the 10ins squares from the layer cake, then twist blocks using a smaller square and sashing.

The pattern actually called for two different fabrics in the sashing but I wanted the trellis effect to really stand out so I just used one.

After several hours of cutting and sewing on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning my quilt top was finished, borders and all.

Here's a quick pic to give an idea of how it will one day look on my bed.

Yummy fabrics! I love this range and I think I will call this my Japanese Trellis Quilt.

Now I have to get some wadding and decide whether to brave the quilting myself. And if so, how to quilt it.


Do different things: an owl embroidery

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Something I really must do more often is experiment and play with my sewing.
Most of the time, whether I'm doing cross stich or patchwork, I work from a kit or a pattern. I often make changes or do things differently along the way, or I make up the finished piece in my own way, but I feel the need to truly do my own thing sometimes.
I feel it a lot after our monthyl Embroiderers' Guild meetings. There we have such an amazing group of women who take inspiration and guidance from things they see all around them and incorporate them into their work.

Well, I'm not quite at that stage given that my technical abilities leave much to be desired, but I am trying to "do different things".

This little owl is one of them. It's not exactly cutting-edge, but it is nice to play around with some different techniques - a bit of applique, honing my blanket stitch, testing out some ribbon flowers.

The only other thing I have to contend with is not spending hours looking at inspiration on the internet and actually getting down to some stitching!


A new craft - beading

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Art Library in Leeds is a truly marvellous place. Aside from the millions of books, friendly staff and inspiring exhibitions they also hold a craft workshop once a month.

This time we had two ladies showing us how to make a beaded bracelet. Rather fiddly but very enjoyable and I managed to get mine finished in time to wear home.

We're doing Japanese beading at Buns & Roses next week so hopefully I will now be able to cope with that!


Exciting goodies

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

I have been crafting a lot recently, but today I just wanted to drop in to share some exciting goodies that I haven't made.

First up, my lovely friend Kat sent me a box of biccies. Just because she is so darn nice.

They came from  Biscuiteers and are now almost all gone!

And not only are they yummy biccies - they're sewing biccies! Balls of wool, buttons, cotton reels, thimbles and pin boxes! ALMOST too good to eat!

And an exciting purchase from a charity shop...

Love, love, love it! Looks so cool with the tissue smoke coming out of the chimney. I have some plastic canvas somewhere so I must try to make one.


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