Thursday, 18 September 2014

The finished cosy....

Today I'd like to share with you my finished bee hive tea cosy.  You may recall this was an unfinished project that I rediscovered a few weeks ago.

I have been working on it here and there over the few weeks since I found it and now it can finally be added to my 'completed' list!!

I bought the pattern/yarn as a kit and it was designed by Debbie Mumm.

I would also like to say welcome and thank you for visiting to any new friends joining me here! Happy stitching!! 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Sew-a-long: Project two!

So here we are, another week has passed and it is time to show you my second finished project for the Patchwork Loves Embroidery Sew-a-long. You will be able to see all of the other finished projects by visiting our host Martina's blog, Sunshine Quilting, where she has set up a link to all the participating blogs.

Garden Delight Needle Book on the cover of Gail's delightful book

For my second project I chose the 'Garden Delight Needle Book', which is featured on the cover of Gail Pan's wonderful book Patchwork Loves Embroidery.

Possible fabrics for the project

Last time I showed you my choice of fabrics for this project but, I did mention that I may change my mind about them and, I did!!  In the end these were the fabrics that I used.

Final fabrics chosen

I decided that the fabric with the green background and blue flowers had too large a scale pattern for such a small project.

My finished version of the Garden Delight Needle Book
A close up of the stitching
Inside the needle book

Here is my version of the 'Garden Delight Needle Book'.  I am thrilled with how well it went together and, although it looks very nice with the 'Bloom Pincushion' that I made last time, I have decided to send it to a friend who I know is in desperate need of a new needle book.  It may mean that I have to make myself another one!!

Bloom Pincushion and Garden Delight Needle Book

For my next project I have decided to make the 'Little Blue House Wall Hanging' which is a charming little pattern.

Little Blue House Wall Hanging as pictured in the book

I am excited to get started on it as I have some beautiful variegated silk thread which is hand dyed by Stef Francis to use.  My pattern is all traced out ready to go.

Pattern and thread ready to get started

These are my chosen fabrics this time.  As you can see, I have included the fabric with the green background and blue flowers which I left out last time.  I really love this piece of fabric and I think it may work with this project!!

Chosen fabrics
Why not pop across to visit Martina and have a look at all the other finished projects?

Monday, 15 September 2014

Thrilled to be part of the ....

Today I am writing a special blog post as I have been nominated by Martina of Sunshine Quilting to participate in the 'Around the World Blog Hop'.  I have only recently 'met' Martina through the Patchwork Loves Embroidery Sew-a-long that she is hosting, which is great fun!!  Martina's blog is always fun to read and, I am thrilled that she wanted to nominate my humble little blog!! The idea behind the blog hop is that I answer a few questions which will give you a little insight into the person behind the blog.  So, let's get started.... here are a couple of photos of my little sewing room where I make all my projects....

My Sewing Room

I am currently working on a number of different projects.  The first is my next project for the Patchwork Loves Embroidery Sew-a-long, so I am not going to reveal too much of what I have done as it will spoil the final project when I link it up with the other blogs participating.

I am also working on a couple of crochet projects.  I am in the middle of crocheting a 'Bee Hive' tea cosy which is nearly finished... perhaps this week?!!

And, I have started a project following an online crocheting class at Craftsy.  So far I have only made a few granny squares but I hope to be able to make a few more of those this week too!!  By the end of the class I should have completed a blanket!!

I have also recently signed up for a mug rug swap, so I shall be starting work on those in the coming days also.

I am also about to make a baby quilt for a dear friend's daughter who is expecting her first baby but, I can't show that to you just yet!

How does my work differ from others? Well, a lot of the time it doesn't differ greatly as, many of the projects I make are from patterns or books that I have bought.  Sometimes I add an extra embellishment or alter the pattern slightly but for the basic design I have followed a pattern. I think the fabrics you choose for any project make that project unique to you.

Finished pincushion made from the book Embroidery Loves Patchwork by Gail Pan

I do have a substantial quilt book collection and what I really like about this is being able to mix and match creations.  I like to have afternoons where I browse through books from various designers and take a little idea from one and add it to a project that I have seen that I want to make from another.  So I suppose in this way I am creating something that reflects my own individual personality.

Some of my books!

Over the years this process of adapting patterns has also encouraged and inspired me to design and make things from scratch myself.

Projects made from my own ideas

Why do I create what I do? I love the whole creative process of making a quilt or a sewing project.  It is wonderful to sketch out an idea or, to leaf through the pages of a book, choose a pattern and then to audition which fabrics, threads and embellishments you are going to use to complete the pattern.  This is then followed by the organisation and precision of the cutting/sewing and ends with the reward of a finished item.  You just can't beat the satisfaction it gives you!!

Sketched ideas

How does my creative process work? Sometimes it starts with a pattern I just must make. Other times it is a piece of fabric that I just must use or an idea that niggles in the back of my head until I have made it come to life.

Crocheted critters!

I always like to have a sewing project to hand that I am working on but, I also like to crochet and I love to learn new techniques.  I think that is another reason why I like to gather books. I taught myself to sew, quilt and crochet and I am aware that this may mean that I do not always use a recognised method.  I am always keen to add to my needlework knowledge.  I think that is what perpetuates your interest in what you are doing and keeps you up to date.

Free Motion Quilting: My newly learned technique!

I do also like to carry a notebook and pencil with me to jot down ideas when I see something that I think would translate to a great quilt/embroidery pattern. It is amazing where you can find quilt inspiration!!

Ideas Notebook and Sketches

Well, that is enough of me!  Now, it is my pleasure to nominate three further blogs to keep the Around the World Blog Hop moving along.  My first nominee is Janet of: Cards, Cats and Coffee. Janet is my sister and, although she isn't a needlewoman, she is a crafter who makes some absolutely fabulous hand made cards. Her blog is definitely worth a visit!! 

My second nominee is Jenny of: StitcheryJen.  I have been following Jenny's blog for some while and feel that I have got to know her through her posts. She makes the most elegant and beautiful stitched works of art and you simply must take a look for yourself!!

My final nominee is Linda: of The Road to Oklahoma.  Linda's blog is one I have only recently discovered and, I am really enjoying getting to know her beautiful work. She also makes the most delicious-looking bread!!  I hope you will pop across and have a look too!

Thank you very much for calling in to see me here, I hope you have enjoyed your visit!!

PS. I took the banner at the top of the page from Amy at NanaCompany as she invited anyone to use it.  You're welcome to use it for your blog post too if you'd like to.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Something pretty in the post!

Don't you just love it when something pretty arrives in the post?!!  I do and, this morning was just such a morning as, I was lucky enough to receive some fabulous silk threads.

It is true to say that I did order them, so they weren't a complete surprise but, they have brightened up my day!

These beautiful variegated silk threads are hand dyed by Stef Francis and they are a real delight to sew with!

I'm off to return my daughter to university now! I have a long drive but it should be a nice weekend!! Hope you have something nice planned for the weekend too!  

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Tea Cosy Update

The last few days have been busy and the coming few days will be busy also, as I am driving my daughter back to university.  This means that there has not been much time for sewing. However, I have made some progress on my rediscovered tea cosy.

I have managed to get the other side completed and have woven in all the yarn ends (which is a very time-consuming job!) I have now started work on the crocheted bee embellishments.  

The two below need some wings and then three more complete bees need to be made. Once they are ready they will be stitched onto the two sides of the tea cosy and then the sides will be stitched together.

This cute little cosy was a Debbie Mumm design.  I bought the kit many years ago and I am keen to finally get it finished off.  Fingers crossed there is time to get it finished this coming weekend!!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Mug Rug Swap!

Hello! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!!

Flushed with the success of my adventure on Friday, I decided to try something else new this week.  I have registered to join in a Mug Rug Swap.  The swap is being hosted by Quilting Gallery and you can find all the information you need to register on their website.

Once you have registered (and paid) you are sent further information and two very sweet little mug rug patterns. These have been designed by Lenna Green of 'The Stitching Cow'.

The idea is that you are sent a swap partner (this will take place 21st September) and then you each make the two mug rugs and send them to each other by the set deadline date.  I am looking forward to getting started and I have already had a good rummage through my Tilda fabric scraps to see what I might use.

The patterns are really cute and I can see that I am going to enjoy making them both!  If you think you might like to join in why don't you register for the swap.

I did start a couple of other projects this weekend.  I have started a new project for the sew-a-long but, I can't show you too much as I don't want to reveal what I am making before I am supposed to!!

I also started a new crochet project but, I will share more on that another day!

Have a great week!!

Friday, 5 September 2014

A little adventure.....

I'm a little later than I usually am publishing this post today.  That is because I have been on a little adventure!!

A short while ago I volunteered to help in a local craft shop.  It is a beautiful craft shop where everything for sale is lovingly hand made.  This morning was my first shift in the shop.  As I was unsure whether I would be able to park close by, I took the train... an exciting start to the adventure!!

I met some lovely new people who showed me what was involved and, I had the opportunity to look round the beautiful shop.  Lots of lovely hand made things for sale, perfect for those one of a kind gifts and I met some nice customers too.

At the train station I found two wonderful new magazines to buy!  Perfect for reading over the weekend. The first is the latest edition of 'Your Handmade Home' published by Immediate Media Co. This is fast becoming one of my favourite magazines and this latest issue is packed with ideas!! Love the fabric Christmas pudding on the front cover!!

The second is a magazine I hadn't seen before called 'Your Crochet Home' published by Future.  As I have been trying to improve my crochet recently, I thought this might have some inspirational projects for me to try.  I was right, there are some wonderful patterns published in the magazine and I am looking forward to getting started!!

One of my favourite featured projects is decorating glass bottles and jars with crocheted covers.  It just so happens that I have one or two jars in my sewing room which I saved ready for a project like this to come along!!  I'm going to have a go at making one!!

All in all I enjoyed my adventure... I must venture out more often!!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!