Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Splendid Sampler Challenge: Bonus Block Completed

As you may be aware, earlier this year I signed up to take part in the Splendid Sampler Challenge which starts later this week and, I am really looking forward to it!

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At the end of January, to encourage everyone participating to try out some of their chosen fabric combinations, the organisers (Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson) released a 'bonus block' for everyone to try.

There were also instructions to make the block into a cute block folder.  I opted to make the bonus block but not the block folder.  It was a fun block and I used scraps from my scrap box to make it.  I am hoping that this sampler project will use up a few more of my scraps (which are rather numerous!) during the course of the year!

Even if you are not taking part in the challenge, you should have a look at the Splendid Sampler blog as some interesting designer tips and projects are being shared.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Doll Quilt Sew-a-long Progress!

You may recall that I am taking part in a doll quilt sew-a-long hosted by Katrin at Cattinka

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We are not allowed to share our finished quilts until the end of the sew-a-long at the end of February but, we are allowed to share our progress to date.

I decided to make the sweet little doll quilt that appears in the book 'Red Home' by Natalie Bird.  If you look carefully, you can see it at the bottom right-hand corner of the photograph on the front cover.

Last time I mentioned the sew-a-long, I showed you that I had traced out the little stitcheries onto their background fabric ready for stitching and, chosen the thread I was going to use. Now, I have completed some of the stitching and have chosen the fabrics I am going to construct the quilt with.

There is still quite a bit of stitching to do before I am ready to cut out the fabrics and construct the quilt top but, I am pleased with how it is all looking so far.

I hope that I will have it finished for the end of the month!

I am linking this post to the next stitchery link-up at Super Mom - No Cape! and also to Design Board Monday over at Bits 'n' Bobs.  Don't forget to pop over and have a look at the projects that others have linked.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hasenbach Challenge: February Block

At the beginning of the week the February blocks for the Hasenbach Challenge were released by Claudia as part of her block of the month quilt. This month there are two stars, the 'Rising Star' and the 'Arrowhead Star'.  

Having been quite successful (after some guidance from Katrin) completing a block last month depicting a school house, I was excited to try this month's blocks.  The first star, called the 'Rising Star', was another fairly simple block so I thought I would start with that. As you can see, it went together quite well and, I have to say that even though I had my reservations with the foundation paper piecing technique when I started last month, I really quite enjoyed piecing this latest block.

The second block is another much more complicated star block called the 'Arrowhead Star' and, if I am feeling brave enough I may try it before the end of the month!  I know that the blocks I have made look very simple but, if you consider that the finished size is only 6 x 6 inches, you will realise that some of the fabric pieces are really quite tiny!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

TAST Week Twenty-Seven: Bonnet Stitch

It is Tuesday again which means another TAST stitch released! Stitch twenty-seven of the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle  is bonnet stitch. I had never heard of this stitch before but, luckily Sharon has posted another great tutorial describing how to execute it on her blog.  There are plenty of photographs showing examples of how you might use it too.

I stitched two back to back rows of bonnet stitch in another of the boxes marked on my sampler.  I used variegated silk thread and then finished the perimeter of the box using the same thread and stem stitch.

Bonnet stitch is a member of the buttonhole stitch family but is also similar to herringbone stitch which, is one of my favourite stitches.  So, it will come as no surprise that I enjoyed working this stitch.  Another stitch that I will have to remember to use in a future project! 

Monday, 1 February 2016

A very pleasant weekend...

Happy February! Can you believe that January has already disappeared... where does the time go?!  I hope you all had a nice weekend.... mine was very pleasant.  It started well on Saturday morning when this lovely Gail Pan book arrived in the post.

It is Gail's latest Christmas Book and I had been eagerly waiting for it to arrive.  Now that it has, I shall look forward to having some time this week to read through it and decide what I would like to make from it. There are lots of cute patterns to choose from! 

The Long Walk in Windsor Great Park

Then we went out with friends for a meal to celebrate my husband's birthday (which was earlier last week) at lunchtime on Saturday. The food was very nice.  We walked along the 'Long Walk' through Windsor Great Park to get to the restaurant which was lovely.  We were lucky with the weather as we have had a lot of rain recently but, it stayed dry for us. All in all a very nice outing!

On Sunday we just had a relaxing day at home so, I was able to get started on a few of the projects I want to get finished in February. I started by planning and cutting fabric for the table runner I have promised my son and his girlfriend.

He wanted the colours to graduate from light (at either end) to dark (in the middle) and then to have some cacti appliqued at each end.  For the moment I have just printed out the cacti to give me an idea of the size and spacing but I am happy with the progress I have made. We are going up to visit them later in the month, so I hope to have this finished to take with me when we go.

Later in the day I traced the embroidery designs and chose the thread I will use to make the doll quilt for Katrin's Doll Quilt SAL.  I am using the pattern from Natalie Bird's 'Red Home' book.  Just need to get these stitched, the fabrics chosen and cut and, the quilt put together!

I also traced the Gail Pan embroidery pattern Summer Pears Pincushion which I am making for the next Patchwork with Stitchery SAL link up at the end of February.  I even got this stitched in the evening too! Now I need to choose some fabrics and piece the pincushion together!

I am linking this post to the next stitchery link-up at Super Mom - No Cape! and also to Design Board Monday over at Bits 'n' Bobs.  Don't forget to pop over and have a look at the projects that others have linked.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Patchwork with stitchery SAL: January

I have to confess that I wasn't very good at keeping on track with the 'Patchwork with Stitchery Sew-a-long' hosted by Martina of Sunshine Quilting towards the end of last year and, I had intended on doing a better job this year.

Patchwork with Stitchery SAL

However, January has whizzed past so quickly that I didn't get a new project made.

Instead, I thought I would share with you a pretty little stitchery I completed which is from the book 'Red Home' by Natalie Bird.  In the book this little stitchery is made into a tiny wall hanging but, I chose to frame it instead.

Such a simple design.... very quick to stitch and so cute.... it made the perfect gift! To see who else has linked up with a project, why not pop across and visit Martina

Next month I am going to be more organised and I have already chosen the little Gail Pan pincushion project pictured above to stitch.  This was Gail's free pattern  from a Buttermilk Basin blog hop that she took part in during the Summer of 2015 but which, I haven't got round to stitching yet!! 

Doll Quilt SAL

On the subject of sew-a-longs, I am also taking part in a doll quilt SAL hosted by Katrin and taking place in February.  If you want to participate too you can get all the details here.  Actually, there is a very cute little doll quilt in the Red Home book which I am tempted to make for it! 

TAST Week 26: Arrow or Arrowhead Stitch

Another Tuesday gone and another TAST stitch released! Stitch twenty-six of the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle  is arrow or arrowhead stitch. Sharon has posted a well-written tutorial describing how to work this stitch on her blog.  There are plenty of photographs showing examples of how you might use it.

This is a very straight forward stitch which is really just a combination of straight stitches. Having said that, I did have a job keeping both sides of the arrowhead the same length (not easy if you are not using an evenweave fabric.)  I decided that it would look nice in one of the smaller boxes on my sampler and just filled in a small rectangle using variegated silk thread.

I think the next time I would make the arrowheads a little deeper so that they come to more of a point but, I am happy with these for now. The perimeter of the box was stitched with the same variegated thread using a stem stitch.