Sunday, December 21, 2014

And then there was Christmas.......

So much for me blowing off the cobwebs last time!  Here we are almost 2 months later, but…..I’m here, still full of the best intentions to keep blogging so let me share some Christmas stitching that has been going on. 

Has there been much stitching going on?  No, not really, and over the last while the little bit that I was doing I wasn’t able to share because I didn’t want to spoil any surprises.  Two of those gifts have now been received so it’s okay for me to post them here.

For the last few years I’ve stitched an ornament for my daughter and SIL’s tree.  This year I went with the cute freebie from Little House Needleworks, Seven Pines, which you can find here.

Given that you can’t see the backing fabric in the finished picture I thought I’d share an ‘after’ and ‘before’ one mainly because when I saw this fabric I loved it and it’s too nice not to let you have a glimpse of it!

Next up, another gift which has been received and is hanging on a tree so I’m not spoiling any surprises.  Another freebie design, this one from Shepherds Bush (found here).

It’s just as well I signed up for a Christmas ornament SAL on IG last month as it means I do have one new ornament on my tree this year. 

This is from the PS booklet Redwork Santas. 

And talking of PS Santas.  Look at the lovely package of goodies I have received from Carol over at Stitching Dreams. 

I do love PS Santas and love that I’ve another one to add to my collection.
As ever, Carol’s stitching and finishing is perfect.  I love how she stitches on the higher count fabrics, something that totally defeats me! 

Aside from the ornament you can see the other lovely goodies as well, ribbons, snowflake charms and the sweetest autumn chart from With thy Needle & Thread.  Carol, thank you my friend.  These past few months have been so difficult for you and I appreciate you finding the time to make an ornament and send a gift this Christmas.

Earlier in the year (before my stitching mojo decided to go walkabout) I had stitched this Lizzie Kate piece, A Little Christmas Sampler, and riffling through my stitching stash I came across this frame and decided to take the easy option of framing it rather than making it into a little pillow (likely wouldn’t have seen the light of day this Christmas if I’d been aiming to do that!!).

Next up, a finish from a number of years ago,  I probably shared this on the blog back then but, it has been one of my finished pieces that just ended up sitting in the pile of my other finished, but haven’t done anything with, stitching.  I think I had even bought this frame back then thinking it would work for this piece……I get there in the end!!!!!!

This is an older Carriage House Samplings chart, Companion  Quaker Tree Christmas Sampler.

Even though I seem to be on something of a stitching hiatus I do have some ideas and plans running round my head.  Given how much I enjoy setting smaller monthly goals I am hoping to start that up again next year so, watch this space!!!  Maybe, just maybe, 2015 will see my stitching mojo return!

I don’t know about everyone else but I feel as though December has flown in.  Tomorrow DS#1 arrives home, Tuesday will bring DS#2 and then it will be the countdown to Christmas.  After Christmas we have the joy of our daughter, SIL and 4 month old grandson home to see in the New Year with us.  It will be a full house but I can't wait for us all to spend some time together!

Whatever your plans this Christmas and New Year, I wish you happiness and health.  Thank you for sticking with me this year, on my increasingly infrequent blog posts.  Here’s to 2015 being the year when I get back on track!!!

Until next time…

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blowing off the cobwebs......

An appropriate title for this time of year don't you think as I dust this place down and finally do a blog post!!!!  Somehow July turned into August, August into September and, here we are, almost to the end of October......

Life has been busy and there really hasn’t been too much stitching going on, anything creative has been more on the quilting side and my stitching mojo continues to take the long route home but I'm not giving up on it yet!

I will start off with some stitching, not my own though, but a long overdue sharing of a sweet birthday gift that I received back in the summer from my dear friend Carol who many of you know from her wonderful blog Stitching Dreams.

This package arrived in perfect time for my birthday and, as ever, it was a delight to open.  Inside was this lovely scissor fob from an EE&F design, a sweet chart from With Thy Needle & Thread and these lovely quilt notecards.    I did thank Carol at the time but thank you again my friend, the fob has been much admired and I look forward to stitching this chart.

We had a major event in our family this summer……our first grandchild arrived!  Daniel made his entrance towards the end of August and, what can I say, he is a total joy! One of my daughter’s best friends was getting married and they made the journey home when Daniel was 3 weeks old.   I will always treasure this picture, my 91 year old mum meeting her great grandson for the first time……

I have been making regular trips back and forth to England to spend time with him, my daughter and my son-in-law.  He is now 9 weeks old and DH and I are off again next week to spend a few days. 

I’ve taken two quilt classes since I last blogged.  First up was this Plus Quilt. It’s a cot size…….. no guesses who it’s for!!!! 

While I was making it we still didn’t know whether it was going to be a boy or girl so you can see that I went the route of covering all bases as regards colours!!!  The fabric I used was from the UK company Dashwood Studios and their fabric line Prairie.

I’ve recently finished a class where I made this giant hexie quilt.  I decided to go way out of my comfort zone and go with bright colours.

My first time going with a scrappy binding…..

The hexies are made from a layer cake and I went with Moda Folklore by Lily Ashbury.  If you’re interested in the pattern you can purchase it here.

Christmas seems to be just around the corner and I do have some seasonal stitching I need to get too so, maybe just maybe, I’ll have some stitching to share next time round.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

Until next time…

Monday, July 7, 2014

Some stitching (at long last!) and a RAK...

Hi everyone! Well, guess who has some stitching finishes to share this time round (albeit small ones!!!!).  There’s no doubt spending two weeks being a couch potato and watching tennis as much as I could did mean that I picked up a needle and thread.

I managed to stitch the second part of SB’s Fold for this year – the My Home scissor fob – we’ll not talk about the fact that part one is sitting here and I haven’t started it! 

and the back….

A cute, fun stitch which, of course, took me no time at all once I sat down and started it!  It’s the ribbon edging finish again – have to say I still find that somewhat fiddly!!!

And here’s my other finish…

This is the first part of the series, World of Small Club, from Nikyscreations that is running this year. 

I love the knitted woollen fabric under the sheep and when it’s attaching it with primitive cross stitches….even better!

Never mind my little bit of stitching!  Last week I had an unexpected package from Sally who many of you will know from her lovely blog Stitchyangel’s Treasures. I had passed on to her the BH&G book that the Bright Needle chart, Lo How a Rose, was in after I’d finished stitching it. 

Look what Sally stitched for me as a ‘thank you’ for sending the book to her….

Isn’t it lovely?!?!  Here’s a pic of the fabric inside which is perfect for it!

Thank you Sally, there was no need to send me anything but I appreciate your thoughtfulness and it was lovely receiving something so nice in the post other than the usual things!!!

And there you go – fingers crossed my stitching mojo is slowly returning!!!  Mind you, this evening I’m off to take another quilt class with this lovely lady, Judith, so be prepared that quilting could be to the fore again next time I blog!

Enjoy your Monday – I’m off to the dentist for a check-up and hoping he won’t find any work to be done!!!!

Until next time…. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Less stitching, more quilting.....

Hi everyone!  I know, it’s been a while.  I have to say that my stitching mojo has well and truly gone walkabout so if any of you find it….please send it back to me!!! Given that this is the first day of Wimbledon and I love this next fortnight – I turn into a complete couch potato watching tennis and usually have some stitching to hand – I am hoping that maybe that mojo will return, at least a little bit!!!!

So, here is my small amount of stitching since last time!!!  A little bit of progress on BBD’s Agnes Platt Strawberry Sampler.  

A few of the letters and a little bit more border.  Instead of doing the alphabet in eyelet stitch I decided to go with Smyrna.  I just prefer that overall when working on more than a couple of letters.

Other than that?  Well, yes, it’s fabric related!!!!!  Last time I blogged I was looking for suitable fabric to bind this quilt. 

As you’ll see, I ended up going with a yellow binding after a search for a stronger pink was unsuccessful.  The couple of pieces I bought just weren’t right and I grew to like the yellow more and am now glad that that is what I went with. It’s from Three Sisters as well but from their Avalon line.  With the dark pink flower bud I felt it brought some of the pink into it.

And then I started on another one!!!!  Again, this was a packet of 5” charm squares that I bought years ago (see how good I’m being about trying to use fabric I already have?!?!?!?). It’s Allspice Tapestry from Fig Tree Quilts so, of course, I ran into the same difficulty as the Three Sisters Faded Memories one – the fabric line was long gone.

Again, I started to look for something that would work from the same designer and, by complete chance, found some Fig and Plum, in a fabric shop here.  I added some Stof Quilter’s Shadow and that was the border sorted.  Rather than just do squares stitched together again I decided to be a little bit more adventurous – now, remember, I am still very much a novice quilter so, for me, cutting squares up and putting them back together and then getting them all to line up correctly isn’t as always as straightforward as others would find it!!!!  Plus, I know I'm far too self-critical as some of the square layout, seeing it finished, I would put in different spots!  But, it's all a learning curve, isn't it?! 

Overall I’m pleased with how it turned out.  Again, it’s more a lap quilt size and I now have it over the back of one of the settees in our living room.

And that’s about all that I have been up too lately!  Hope all is well with you and yours!  If you’re a tennis fan like me enjoy watching Wimbledon!

Until next time….

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mixing it up....

Hi everyone!  Well, I think it’s fair to say I’ve been hit by the quilting bug so stitching has sort of taken a back seat lately.  I am planning to stitch a little today as it’s the Wednesday SAL on IG working on BBD’s Agnes Platt’s Strawberry Sampler and I’ve been very neglectful of her the last two Wednesdays.  I promised a picture last time and here she is….

Such delicious, summery colours.  Once again I’m going with the threads that were already in my stash so it’s a mix of the suggested overdyeds and DMC alternatives.  I also didn’t go with the suggested R&R Vintage Grey in 30ct but I’m using Zweigart’s Dove Grey in 32ct.  Oh, and I went with DMC931 instead of the suggested GA Dungarees (DMC930).

Slowly but surely the BBD LF piece is getting closer to a finish…..

Now if I could just find my stitching mojo to actually concentrate on this one and finish it!!!

And now, on to my latest addiction!!!!  I shared a sneak peek of the Christmas quilt I’d started last time.  Here it is all finished!

The pattern I used for the brick layers you can find here at the blog Sew Me..  Thanks to Sarah for sharing such a great pattern! As you’ll see, I ended up doing my own version of it and, instead of doing more bricks round the outside, I went with an ordinary border.  The bricks are from a Moda Layer Cake which, along with the border, red binding and backing fabric, are all from the same fabric line – Aspen Frost by Basic Grey.

Well, it didn’t even take me to finish that one before I’d started on another one!!  I’d been going through my fabric stash and came across one of the Moda tins of 5” squares.  This one is Faded Memories by 3 Sisters.

I’d bought this years ago with the intention to use the squares as backing fabrics for stitched smalls and had used a couple of them.  Once again, I just did my own thing with the squares.  Lined them up 7 x 6 and then added a first border using 4 of the squares I’d left over in the corners.  I wanted to make it a bit bigger so added the green border but felt it needed broken up a little so did the cream strip in the middle of that.  Here it is now…

It’s quilted and I’m now on the hunt for some binding fabric.  Of course, it has been so many years since I bought the tin that the fabric line is long gone but I managed to find a green that would work for the outside border so next up is either a deep pink or maybe more towards a yellow for the binding.  I’m a little undecided.

Meanwhile, I’ve unearthed two other tins and they’re sitting calling my name so could be I’ll still be on my quilting addiction next time around!! 

And that’s what’s been going on around here lately.  Hope all is well with you and yours and thanks for all the lovely comments last time round!

Until next time….

Friday, May 2, 2014

Where did April go.......?!?!?!

Hi everyone!  Hmmm, can anyone tell me where April disappeared too?!?!? So much for me aiming to make April a better month for blogging – that certainly didn’t happen!!! Seemed like it was one thing after the other including my old, faithful computer of almost 14 years giving up the ghost midway through the month.  Everyone else in the family had stopped using it years ago but it was still where I always headed when I was doing a blog post!!!!  Now I’m into the world of laptops and I’m still not quite in my comfort zone yet!!

Anyway, with a crazy, hectic month there were quite a few days that I never even managed to pick up a needle and, often if I did have some spare time, I have to admit that it wasn’t stitching I turned too but the sewing machine and fabric.

Stitching first though, I have BBD’s Hannah Lovina Joslin finished all but the personalisation.  I don’t know why I never seem to take a good picture of this one, it always tends to come out quite faded and yet in ‘real life’ it is such sweet colours.

We have gone on to another BBD piece for our next Wednesday SAL on Instagram.  It’s Agnes Platt’s Strawberry Sampler.  Perfect for a summer themed SAL.  Of course, two weeks into it and I have next to nothing to show for it because my last two Wednesdays have been busy but, next time I’ll share a progress pic. 

The only stitching I’ve done this week was a little more on BBD’s Loose Feathers from 2011.  As you can see, the bird is almost finished. 

If I really stuck at this one I could probably have it completed in next to no time.  I can’t say I’m feeling the love for it yet but I am keen to not having it sitting around as a UFO!

I signed up for SB's Fold this year.  SB and I go way back, it was the designer who got me stitching on linen when I wanted to try and stitch one of their band samplers and I still have such a soft spot for them even though it's mainly their Christmas designs I tend to stitch now.  When I heard they were doing a Fold this year, that was it, I was in!  Have I started this yet?!?! No........but hopefully soon.

And on to my ‘new’ addiction!!!!  My quilt from the class is finished.  I’ve been asked for details of the quilt and it’s called Over and Under, by Kim Brackett from her book Scrap-Basket Sensations.  I’m so chuffed with how my first quilt turned out and have signed up to take another class during the summer!

Meanwhile, I’ve been dabbling myself.  Here’s a Christmas one I’ve started….

(just realised I've uploaded this one upside down!)

It’s from a Moda Layer Cake – Aspen Frost by Basic Grey.  I loved the bright Christmas colours in this one although I found myself going in circles with colour placement.  That’s one thing I’m still on a huge learning curve with as I tend to want to find the ‘perfect’ placement but I’m still only a beginner at that. 

And that’s been about it!! I hope all is well with you and yours!  I don’t even want to tempt fate by saying that I’m hoping May will be a better month for blogging – let’s wait and see what happens!!!!

Until next time….. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday morning chat.....

Good morning everyone!  I remember at the start of this year thinking about trying to blog more regularly and keep up-to-date better on my blog reading.  Well, can’t say March was too successful a month for that!!! Here I am scraping in at the end of the month having last blogged three weeks ago!!!  April can only be better…right?!?!?!?

I don’t even feel I have much to show stitching-wise although there is nothing like checking back on your last blog post to realise that you’ve done a bit more than you thought!!!

First up, I need to share what has been occupying my time a little more than stitching – my quilt.  Oh yes, I have become well and truly hooked on working on this!  Here’s a picture of  before it was quilted to let you see the overall design…

And here it is quilted and with the binding halfway done as in, the binding is attached and I’m now in the middle of hand sewing it to the back….

This evening is our last class and those seven weeks have gone in so quickly!  I have loved this learning curve.  There was one week when I was quite discouraged (precision sewing on the machine is not my strength!) but with the encouragement (and help) of our class teacher and my friend Margaret I got back on track and haven’t looked back since.

Another quilt on the horizon?  Oh yes!  Hoping to take another class in the autumn and probably dabble here at home before then.

You may remember last time I was talking about how I’d grand plans of finishing the first quarter of SL’s Mary Gail by the end of March.  Well, I can’t say I’ve managed that but I do have a bit of progress to share….

Next up is BBD’s Hannah Lovina Joslin and straight off I have to apologise for such a terrible picture!!! Only when I got it ready to post did I realise how bad it was!!!  I have not done justice in any way to this beautiful sampler with my picture-taking!!! 

I’d say only a couple more Wednesdays and I’ll be reporting a finish.  Several people on this IG SAL have finished and the rest of us are all nearing completion.

Finally, having neglected the BBD LF’s since my last blog post I did pick it up at the weekend and have a very little bit of progress to share….

Yes, the poinsettia in the top right corner has been started!!! 

And that’s about all for this time.  Thank you for all the lovely comments last time round. I really do appreciate hearing from everyone.  It is such a boost and an encouragement to hear from others. I hope all is well with you and yours and that some Spring weather is starting to appear.   And now let me hit ‘publish’ and get back on track with my blogging!

Until next time……

Monday, March 10, 2014

Letting Mary go first......

Hi everyone!  As it’s Monday, and I usually try to work on Scarlet Letter’s Mary Gail (but haven’t managed to today!) I thought I’d start off by sharing my progress on her. 

She tends to get pushed to the side a little, mostly I think because I’m looking on her as a year long project so in my head I’ve got plenty of time!  Who am I kidding, here it is March and when I started out in January my ‘plan’ was to complete the bottom right hand ‘page’ of the chart by the end of this month!!!  If I don’t step up a gear I doubt that that will be happening!  I think I’m going to try for a Mary March (March Mary?!?!) and make sure I give her more attention.

Next up is BBD’s Hannah Lovina Joslin from Honeysuckle Manor.  Such a pretty one and I’m exercising huge self-control only stitching on her on Wednesdays.  I think all of us in the IG SAL feel much the same way.  She is very hard to put down!

I’ve changed the house slightly, it’s more like the house of the person I have in mind for the personalization.

I’ve been good to my word and worked a little more on BBD’s Loose Feathers 2011.  I’m going to be having a little company on this one.  Cindy of Never Enough Thyme suggested we have a mini SAL and keep each other going as she’s been in a similar situation as I was with this one.  Having company is exactly what I need to keep working on this one!

And remember the quilt class?  Well, here are my strips all ready to be sewn together.  After I uploaded this picture I realised there was a bit of fluff on one of the squares – ignore it – it’s not there any longer!!!!!  

Sewing the strips together is the next part and I’ve been feeling a little daunted by that but Deb over at Threadgatherer said what I needed to do was use pins, pins and more pins so, hopefully I can keep everything aligned and by the end of class this evening I’ll have something resembling a quilt top!! 

Until next time……

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Falling back in love.....maybe......

Hi everyone!  Given that today is Wednesday and it’s the IG SAL for BBD’s Hannah Lovina Joslin I think it’s about time that I sat down and updated the blog otherwise the pictures I took almost a week ago are going to be out of date!!!  I’m planning on stitching on this one tonight.  Last Wednesday I got started with some house building and this is where I’m too….

I’m going to continue with the house this evening and maybe try and get some of the grass stitched at the front of the house. 

I have really managed very little stitching in the last while. Life has been busy, the final clearance of my parents’ home and taking that next step of putting it on the market.   As such I have no emotional attachment to the house I’d left home when my parents moved to this house and the longest time I ever stayed there was probably a week. Having said that, doing the paperwork and handing the keys over to the estate agent made me realise that this very much a chapter closing, not just in my life, but for my parents as well.  Now we just wait and see if anyone likes it enough to buy it!

I have pulled a WIP out of the depths of my stash.  Back in 2011 I had started on BBD’s Loose Feathers for that year, the one with the three birds and the alphabet top and bottom.  I had loved the first section but, let’s just say that while stitching the middle section, I started to fall out of love with it.  It was just something about the large bird and all the browns.  So, I ground to a halt and it has floated around here every so often popping up to let me know it hadn’t gone away!!!!  Don’t know why, don’t know how, but sure enough, I’ve felt inclined to pick it back up again.  I checked back through my blog posts to see if I could find the last time I shared a pic of this one and it was in January 2012!! That’s how ‘out of love’ I’d become with it!!!

I still have this middle section to finish but I’ve done the border so I can start the next section and added some of the berries (or whatever they are!).  I’m thinking that as I like the 3rd section (winter) so much I might get started stitching on that and then come back and finish the middle bit.

And for a total change of direction…….I’m going to a quilting class (aimed at beginners)!!!!   Yes, me who is a complete couch potato come the evenings is heading out to a 2 ½ hour class each Monday evening for the next little while along with my friend Margaret.  Now, to be honest, this Monday past I started to sew some of the pieces together so this picture is a little behind the times….

But I wanted to let you see the fabrics I was using.  The reds are from a French General jelly roll and the background fabric is a cream with a small floral print.  So far, so good.  I’ve really enjoyed it although now that we’re putting pieces together I’m doing that thing of starting obsess about everything being ‘perfect’ both my stitching and putting the fabrics together.  I’m trying to curb that!!!!

And that’s about all that has been going on around here.  I feel like I’ve stitched very little this past week or so but hopefully I can rectify that soon.  Poor Mary Gail is feeling a little neglected and I really need to watch that I don’t forget about her.

Hope all is well with you and yours and that the Arctic weather in parts of the US is starting to ease.

Until next time……

Friday, February 7, 2014

Some hearts, some flowers & a little bit of Christmas....

Hi everyone!  Well, now that it’s February I’m going to start off with something that has been waiting a long time to actually be put together!!!  I stitched this February Word Play piece back in 2012 when Linda of Keeper of the Crowes very kindly passed the chart on to me after I’d admired it on her blog.  As you know, I can be something of a procrastinator when it comes to the finishing part.  Stitching?  No problem.  Finishing?  A completely different matter!  I’d great intentions of having it finished- finished for last February.  Obviously, that didn’t happen but, here I am, two years later having finally put it together last week…….

Such a sweet piece, makes me smile every time I look at.

Having come to terms with ‘that’ sheep in Simple Guidance I have everything stitched but the personalisation. In the original two full names are stitched but I’m not sure I’m going to finish it that way. I’ve a couple of ideas rolling around in my head so I’m putting this to one side for now while inspiration comes to me.

Up next is my progress on Hannah Lovina Joslin from BBD’s  Honeysuckle Manor.  This is our current SAL piece on Instagram on a Wednesday.

I’m loving this honeysuckle border and didn’t want to put this one down on Wednesday night!  One thing, it would appear this booklet is becoming increasingly hard to find.  We’d no idea when we decided on stitching this piece that there would be a problem finding it but a number of people were hoping to join the SAL and weren’t able to.  So, I guess what I’m saying is, if you have this booklet hang on to it, if you don’t, and would like it, look for it sooner rather than later!

Having managed to finish the Word Play pillow I kept going and put Sleigh Bells together.  Now, this one isn’t quite finished-finished yet, I want to add some trim round the edges but thought I’d share a picture this time round.

And I’ve stitched my first Christmas ornie for 2014!  This is Homespun Elegance’s Festive Redbird….

I stitched this one using some fabric from my stash and a mix of the suggested overdyes and DMC. I’m a bit undecided about the ‘4’ in the year.  It is as charted but every time I look at it it catches my eye and not in a good way.  So, that might change!

Another week almost over, it’s feeling like February is going to go as fast as January!  I’m hoping to pick up SL’s Mary Gail this weekend as I’ve been neglecting her a little bit and I really need to get back to her.  Whatever your plans are for the weekend – have fun!  I know many of you are still in the grip of severe ice and snow so stay warm!  For those of us in the UK where it seems to be doing nothing but rain, rain, rain. I hope you’re not affected by flooding and can stay dry!

Until next time……