Thursday, 16 March 2017

Seasonal stitches

Hello there!
Well here we are on another windy, rainy March morning and before I go back to the sewing room I thought I would share a few recent projects with you. None of these are from The List, but are (mostly) part of the bigger project of making seasonal decorations. My aim is to have a table runner & wall hanging for the kitchen and cross stitched smalls for the front room for each month of the year, so after finishing the January Snowman I went looking for wall hanging ideas for February. I found a beautiful free pattern available on the Janome site here and started pulling fabrics. The project finished a bit bigger than I wanted so when I printed the pattern out I only enlarged it by 200% instead of 225%. It was only later that I joined the dots and realised I had made life harder for myself - by making all the pieces smaller all those beautiful flowing curves were smaller and tighter and how on earth was I going to applique them without ruining those tapered points???? So I played with settings on my new sewing machine (did I mention it has A Lot?!!!) and practised and looked at projects online and worried some more and practised some more... In the end I decided I needed to do some of the bits I felt I could tackle so I made a start satin stitching the hearts. Then I blanket stitched the flowers and then the swirls inside the hearts. Finally I decided to use the raw edge applique technique for all the remaining pieces. I am not a fan of the messy, frayed look that often results from just straight stitching round a shape but as this will never go near the washing machine I am hoping it won't fray much and I had to get this done before it got put aside & became a UFO... Once the applique was all finished and the borders were on I decided to try echo quilting rather than free motioning round the shapes. This technique had seemed way beyond me when using the walking foot on my old machine, I don't know if it was because it was a cheaper generic foot or because it was an old machine but it didn't walk so much as jumped like a grasshopper and it was kinda nerve racking to use! The first time I put the walking foot on my new machine - wow!!! It walks like an old man with a zimmer frame! Very unthreatening and for me it opened up a whole host of possibilities for trying quilting ideas I'd seen but discounted in the past. Anyways... echo quilting... how did I get on?? I love it!!!! :-) I actually enjoyed the quilting process on a project for the first time!! I added some jewel like heart shaped buttons for the flower centers and am really happy with the result :-)



I did vow to have a break from applique projects after I finished this but then I fell fast and hard for a project in the current Quiltmaker magazine which I discovered in WHSmiths on Wednesday so last week this started happening...


I have also been fitting in some cross stitch (head is behaving much better thank you :-)) and completed the last in the set of 2004 Cross Stitcher's Surprise Series from Rainbow Gallery. Stitched on 14 count cream aida with DMC colors and finished with button, fabric, & ribbon from my stash...


Next on the cross stitch list is a restitching job. Some of you may remember the three little bunny pillows I stitched way back here? Three years ago now! They have become known round here as the "vanishing bunnies" because as soon as you back away from them they disappear (!) and each spring I take them out and think "oh I really must do something about these!!". Well this year I decided they weren't going up until they were sorted so I unpicked and unstuffed the wee pillow & then unpicked the bunny and the flowers around him. I chose much stronger solid colors to restitch him and voila!


He vanishes no longer!!! I am working on the other two now...
There has also been some knitting going on because the day after I finished the Hermione scarf Hubbie and I took a day trip which just happened to involve a visit to Nairn Wool Shop. This is about 30 miles from us so I don't go that often but I just love it when I do! She has a great selection & very friendly staff and I was only going with the intent to squish some yarn and make future plans but a ball of Stylecraft Head Over Heels jumped in my bag... It is sooooo soft and I couldn't resist the colors....


It's a beautiful pattern called Daydreamer which came in a supplement with a knitting magazine last year or you can buy it direct from the designer here. It's the first time I have tried a lace pattern on a sock but it's a nice simple one & I'm really enjoying it. I have one sock done and am working on the other one now, I don't have sock blockers so for you to see the lace pattern you have to see the sock on my foot...

 

Well I hope you are enjoying March, whether it is bringing you warmer days as Spring approaches or cooler ones as you head into Autumn. The first true daffodils are starting to bloom around here and there are buds on trees and shrubs, everything is starting to wake after it's winter slumber. Yesterday I didn't even need mittens or a scarf when we went for our walk! It is time to make a start on tidying up the garden and getting ready for a new season out there (although that might wait till tomorrow as the wind is howling down the chimney and throwing the rain against the window right now!). Wishing you a lovely week whatever you are up to :-)






2 comments:

  1. Wow! Well your finishing bug is out in force, unlike mine :)
    I am not a big fan of quilting but really like your February finish. This is so neat, it really looks beautiful.
    Also congratulating you on your stitching finishes.... I'll go and hide in shame ;)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ingrid, I am making the most of it while it hangs around, you never know when it will scarper! ;-) No hiding in shame allowed it happens to us all! Plus by focusing on your stitching you are getting more stitched than those of us with the finishing bug ;-) Have a lovely week,
      Helen

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