Friday, 1 May 2015

One Lovely Blog Award

Earlier this week I was reading one of my favourite blogs to visit and was happy to discover that Renee of Living my Dream had been nominated for a 'One Lovely Blog Award'. Renee's blog is lovely, so I was not at all surprised that she had been nominated but, I was surprised that she in turn had nominated my blog for the award! Thank you Renee... I am touched!

The purpose of this award is for bloggers to nominate fellow, mostly newer, bloggers that they wish to recognize. The goal is to bring attention to blogs that we think are 'lovely' and enjoy reading.  We hope others will enjoy reading these blogs also.

In order to accept the award the nominated blogger must:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers for the award.
Here are my seven facts:

1. I am British by birth and I now live back in England but, I also lived in Switzerland for nearly 19 years, so speak and understand a reasonable level of French.

2. I am married to a man whose work involves a lot of travelling around the World, which is why I have so much time for stitching!!

3. I have three grown up children, two girls and a boy.  My eldest daughter has just finished an MSc. My son and youngest daughter are currently still studying at university.

4. I have two cute little dogs, one female called Poppy and one male called Dexter.  They are brother and sister and are seven years old.

5. I enjoy singing and have just joined a local choir.

6. Before I lived in Switzerland I also lived in Belgium for a couple of years.  I lived in a little town called 'La Hulpe' which had a lovely fabric shop called 'Notions' and it was here that I bought my first quilt book.

7. I find quilting and craft books and magazines irresistible and hence, I have a large collection of them in my sewing room... including that first one that I bought in Belgium!

Now, here is the hard part of this post, choosing just 10 of my favourite blogs to nominate. It was a difficult decision but here goes....

Mary Anne from Magpie's Mumblings

Marly from Marly's Quilts

Karen from Moose Bay Muses

Dasha from Patching Pixies

There are lots more blogs that I like to visit which you can see listed on the side bar to the right hand side of my blog.... I was very sorry that I could only choose ten to nominate!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Gail Pan Patterns: April Show and Tell...

Hello, today is the next link up for the Gail Pan Patterns Sew-a-long hosted by Martina at Sunshine Quilting.

My project for April is taken from an older book of Gail's called 'Baskets in Bloom'.  It was published in 2009.  My project from the book is a sweet little needle case pattern called 'One Red Flower'.  

As Gail now has a fabric collection out called 'Baskets in Bloom' I just couldn't resist including some of the fabrics in the construction of my needle case.

The embroidery was a very simple design and stitched up nice and quickly and the construction of the needle case was very straight forward.

I added a piece of felt inside for pins and needles as well as the pockets.

I love the finished result and, I am especially pleased as it really coordinates well with the pincushion I made in our Gail Pan Sew-a-long from last year.

To see what everyone else has made in the Sew-a-long this month pop over to visit Martina.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Stitchery Link Party

It is Monday, so this is an extra little post to link up with 'Super Mom No Cape' for another embroidery link up party.

Each Monday, 'Super Mom No Cape' is hosting a link up party for embroidery projects. Pop over and visit her blog to see the projects others have shared for the link up, you are sure to find something that you like!!

For my project this week I am revisiting another old post to show you a little embroidered scene which I drew and then hand embroidered.

I love beach huts and, inspired by some little wooden beach huts my daughter bought me as a present, I drew the scene ready for embroidering. Once finished, I framed it and now it hangs in the same bathroom where the ornamental beach huts stand.

We have had some great weather here over the last couple of weeks and I am looking forward to the Summer!! 

Pattern Testing

A couple of weeks ago Nadra at Ellis and Higgs wrote a post asking for quilters to volunteer to test some new patterns that she is in the process of preparing for her online shop.  I have always liked Nadra's designs and decided that I would volunteer.  At the end of last week I was sent a cute little pattern to test, called 'Sugar Candies'.

I was excited to get started on this sweet (excuse the pun!) little quilt but, before I tested the pattern, I thought it would be a good idea to make sure that my sewing machine was in perfect working order.

I cleaned out all the fluff and lint that was underneath the stitch plate, gave it a drop of oil in the appropriate places, changed the needle and gave it a general clean up.  It is incredible how much fluff you can find and, how much more smoothly the machine runs after it has been given some attention!

Once my machine was ready, I set about choosing some fabrics.

I was careful to cut only the amount that had been specified in the pattern so that I could give feedback as to whether the amounts had been calculated accurately.

I cut out all the pattern pieces carefully and started to sew them together. As this is a 'mini' quilt some of the pieces are quite small and I had to pay close attention to my stitching.

I had a really fun day yesterday putting this little quilt top together.

Today, I will start on the quilting.  When it is finished and Nadra is happy with it, I will show you more!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

CQJP Challenge 2015: Finished April Block

Hello! Today I would like to share with you my finished April block for the CQJP Challenge 2015. The challenge is run by the wonderful Kathy Shaw and I am having a great deal of fun designing, piecing and then embellishing the blocks.

You may recall that my pieced starting block for April included some 'fans' pieced onto a base piece of fabric. A few seam embellishments later and the block looks like this....

I am really pleased with this block... I think it is my favourite so far but, I think that every time I finish a new block!  Here are some closer photographs of the embellishment and seam treatments.

A pretty silk ribbon flower in each corner.

A feather stitch branch decorated with silk ribbon lazy daisy stitches, colonial knots and some short bugle beads in the centre.

The fan edge seams were covered using ric rac.  The blue held in place with colonial knots and the cream with a zigzag chain stitch.

The individual blade seam treatments include:

Stem stitch with lazy daisy leaves and beads.

Zigzag blanket stitch combined with fly stitch.

Double herringbone stitch combined with straight stitch.

Double feather stitch combined with colonial knots and lazy daisy stitches.

Finally, here are the four blocks I have completed to date. I am pleased with how things are going and I think the finished quilt is going to look pretty!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Stitchery Link Party

Today I am linking with 'Super Mom No Cape' for the second week of her embroidery link up party.

Each Monday, 'Super Mom No Cape' will be hosting a link up party for embroidery projects. Pop over and visit her blog to see the projects others have shared for the link up, you are sure to find something that you like!!

For my project this week I am revisiting an old post to show you a favourite little embroidery of mine which I drew myself and then hand embroidered.  I made it into a mini wall hanging which is pinned onto my pinboard just above my desk.  I love to be able to see it while I am typing away at my computer!!

Hope you like it too!!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The finished project!

After teasing you last time with a few little sneak peeks of one of my latest projects, I now have my camera back (my son came home from holiday but has gone again now... back to university) and I can show you the finished cushion!

As some of you guessed, it features a cute little owl.  

Just before my youngest daughter also returned to university last week, she picked out some fabrics for a couple of things that she wanted me to make for her. Firstly, she wanted a new cushion for her room at university (and one for a friend) so I actually made two.

I used fused applique finished with hand worked blanket stitch throughout. The 'tendrils' were stitched using stem stitch on one pillow and chain stitch on the other.  I added some tummy feathers to the owls using fly stitch.  I also used fly stitch to quilt the cushion fronts to some batting before constructing them.

The owl applique design came from a book called 'Buttons and Blooms' by Terri Degenkolb of Whimsicals Designs.  I scaled my owl down in size a little from the original pattern and, added some borders to the cushion.  

Secondly, my daughter also needed a shoulder bag to carry a few bits and pieces with her when she is on placement during this coming term.  So, I made this little bag for her to put across her body so that she has her hands free to take notes, etc if she needs to.

I appliqued a cute little heart to the flap which I embroidered with a lazy daisy flower and added a little ribbon message inside.  

It also has a couple of useful pockets, so I think it will be ideal for it's purpose.

The bag is a bigger version of the bag I made for my sister at the end of last year following a tutorial I found on a blog called 'Susie's Country Garden'.  This bag will be posted off on Monday all ready for my daughter to use it when she needs it.

The house feels very quiet now both my son and daughter have gone again!