Cross stitching latest

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Still getting through the Oriental-style cross stitch flowers. 

Here is Iris finished.

This week I also put together the second block for Images of Japan.


Still embroidering for Images of Japan

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Just a quick update on the Images of Japan project. I received the kit for block five in the post last week ... and I have nearly finished making block two.

The second block has some butterflies and leaves ...

Cherry blossom ...
And cranes ...


Finished quillow

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The quillow is finished! Hurrah!

This was the last block, Tangled Star. I like this one very much and it was fun to put together.

This is how it looks when it is folded away into the built-in cushion ...

And here it is all spread out, ready to be snuggled under. It's a good lap quilt so will be accompanying me to the sofa when I watch films or motor racing.

I am particularly pleased with my binding efforts ...

And also very happy with the backing fabric I chose.


Still cross stitching

Sunday, 17 June 2012

I am making good progress on the Oriental-style cross stitch flowers and now have another one finished. In fact, this is a scheduled post and there's a good chance I have another done by the time this goes live.

Here is tree peony. I did a lot of this while in London for the NFWI AGM and made good progress while watching some motorsport last week (TT and Formula 1).


The Warm and The Cold art project

Friday, 15 June 2012

My good friend Hayley is part of an art project in Manchester called The Warm and The Cold. She is working with fellow artists and homeless people at The Booth Centre and Big Issue to create quilts and blankets documenting their stories, particularly their relationship with and feelings of being cold.

I had already donated an old pair of jeans and Hayley asked me to embroider one of the pieces which will form part of a quilt

The text was written by one of the homeless people involved in the project and says "warm", although Hayley couldn't remember the language.

I chose this piece to embroider as I like the smooth, flowing lines. Initially I thought I would use stem stitch, but as I looked at it a bit more it made me think of neon signs at the takeaway. Bearing in mind how they often say things like "hot food", I thought that worked quite well with the project and decided I would try to emulate that effect of the light, giving off warmth in itself but also as a pointer to how to get warm.

So I went for a neon embroidery thread and couched it down on to the denim.

Here is my finished piece.

A very enjoyable bit of hand embroidery and I am glad to help this interesting project. You can find out more on Hayley's blog.


A finish! Quilted patchwork bag

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Remember the quilted patchwork bag kit that mum bought me from the Knitting and Stitching Show last year? It is finally finished! 

It is easily the wonkiest, messiest bag ever made, but I still think it's fab.

My patchwork leaves a lot to be desired, but it was rather fiddly for a beginner, and the least said about my attempt at machine embroidery on the applique flowers, the better.

Still, it's a good size bag and I love the colours. But mostly, I'm just glad it's finished!


A running bag

Monday, 11 June 2012

In a moment of madness a few weeks ago I signed up for the Spartan Sprint, a 5k obstacle course event in August. A couple of friends from Buns & Roses have done it before, and despite having to jump through fire, swim through mud etc, they survived, so I figured I would join in this year.

No big deal, except I can barely run for the bus, so something had to be done. I'm on a couch-to-5k training plan that means I have to go out for a run (read: slow jog with regular walking slots) three or four times a week. It's actually going pretty well but with no proper exercise gear apart from some running trainers I was a bit stuck for what to do with my keys and BlackBerry (so I can listen to music) while out sprinting round the park.

So I made myself a little bag.

Just a main pocket for my phone and a Velcro pocket on the front for my house key with a long strap to go across my body.

If it ever stops raining I'll be off to try it out!


Images of Japan - Block 1

Saturday, 9 June 2012

I have now finished the first block in the Images of Japan quilt. It came together rather nicely I think and I really enjoyed getting back into a bit of hand embroidery, even with the seemingly endless miles of blanket stitch around each appliqued piece!

Anyway, here is block one done. Yay! Ten more to go! The kit for block five is due to arrive next week so I'm still playing catch-up.


Some highlights ...

Detached chain stitch flowers with seed beads in the centres and some spangles.

More seed beads in one of the flowers. There is also some stem stitch detail as the veins on a couple of the leaves.

The wave with a gold lattice work section and glittery blue thread.


Dorset buttons

Thursday, 7 June 2012

This week was the monthly free craft session at the Art Library in Leeds. Each time is a different project or technique, usually taught by one of the attendees.

For June, the crafts were Suffolk puffs and Dorset buttons. Having been a WI Member for nearly three years I have made more Suffolk puffs than I've had hot dinners (or so it seems) but I've never made a Dorset button, so I gave that a go.

It's quite simple really - you take a curtain ring or similar circle, doesn't matter whether it's wood, metal, plastic, and do a blanket stitch all the way around the edge.

You then create spokes across the circle and weave in and out like a spider web.

Here are my efforts.

The little one is a glittery thread and is simply awesome. The big one is a lovely soft tapestry wool. I left that one open as the spokes look really cool. You can use all sorts of thread, wool or even ribbon, add beads, weave in different ways etc to make lots of different effects.

Did someone say: "But you don't have enough time for ANOTHER hobby"?!


Fabric shopping

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I have been doing rather a lot of fabric shopping recently (sssshhh!) so my stash is now bulging rather unelegantly. Which means I must begin more projects! Oh well!

Here are some highlights.

Japanese fabrics from

Pinks and purples from the amazing fabric shop in Scarborough.
Lots of yardage of Parisville by Tula Pink. Now out of print so took me ages to find the bits I wanted.
Washi by Rashida Coleman Hale.
More fat quarters from near Hampton Court Palace. An amazing shop, how I only bought these 13 pieces I don't know!
A collection of Heirloom by Joel Dewberry.
At the moment I only have definite plans for one of these lots, so plenty of new things to decide upon!


A trip to that London

Friday, 1 June 2012

Apologies for my lack of blogging recently. I have been crafting, and working, and having some time off, and doing lots of WI-based things.

I am still working on the Images of Japan quilt and the cross stitch flower series, so will have updates on those soon.

For now, here are some pictures of my trip to London town. I went down on Sunday and stayed for a few nights. It was the WI AGM on Wednesday at the Royal Albert Hall, which was the reason for the visit, but I decided to extend my stay a little so I could do some sightseeing. I timed it just right as the weather was glorious!

I saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
Visited the Queen's Gallery to see the exhibition of Da Vinci's anatomical drawings.
 Went to the V&A and saw the fashion exhibitions, Japan gallery and Golden Spider Silk textiles.
 Nipped through Leicester Square for pizza and had a quick look in the National Portrait Gallery.
 Went to the AGM at the Royal Albert Hall.
 Ate ice cream with Hayley at Hampton Court Palace.
Phew! And then back home for some rest! It's raining up north now, quelle surprise.


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