Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Books, sewing and things.

Today started well. My order arrived from Amazon! One of my favourite Shakespeare plays. It will be interesting to see what this version is like.
A knitting book I really just had to have. There are some lovely designs in here.
The last book. Well, I really admire the work of Linda and Laura Kemshall. This is jam packed full of some of the techniques they use.

My pincushion got finished yesterday evening. I have already started using it. Such a very useful design. The whole thing is weighted, so it stays where it is placed.

This afternoon saw me walking down to the next village to post my page for the Traveling Pages project. This page should have been sent off in May, but I got woefully behind with a mental blank. I really just could see how to interpret the subject - Coastline. It took me some time, but it has been completed and posted. Photos will be posted once this has arrived safely. Perhaps in a day or two...........

The path I took goes past these very architectural electricity pylons.

The fields here are full of wheat. I just love the colours.

These plants at the edge of the path lie next to the fence. Tints of red with green.

On the way I picked up this beautiful piece of mossy bark. It now sits on a piece of wet paper on my window sill.

I can just see this as a series of french knots - the real colours are a bit brighter than you can see here. Wonderful stuff.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Exciting times.

This evening, I have been busily sewing a weighted pincushion organiser. Hopefully this will help me to keep everything easily within reach. This is currently a sew-a-long on the http://www.mysewingcircle.com/ site. The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman for Sew Mama Sew. I can really recommend this pattern since it is really well written with a lot of useful photos.

This is the completed bag.
The first photo shows the construction of the weighted bag which is later concealed inside the pincushion. I ended up making mine out of a rather darkly patterned fabric. This will not matter when the whole thing is finished since I have made the rest out of some curtain material I had left over in my stash.

Part of the morning was spent very usefully in the garden.

With my husband's help, I now have a printing board! Yes!!

Why is this so exciting? Well, I have been planning for this for some time now. I can't remember when I bought the felt for the first two layers - it must have been some time back in the autumn. The old striped cotton sheet was bought around that time too - a lucky find in a charity shop.

Now I can start playing around with some screenprinting.

I bought the screens and the fabric printing medium some time ago too. I know I bought my first screen at a show last year. Now I just need to prepare the first screen and I am set to go!

Oh, and I started knitting a pair of socks during the week. The yarn is Happy by Wendy and the colourway is Scorpio. I picked it up rather cheaply in a yarn sale at Hobbycraft. Despite the photograph, I have actually almost finished the first sock - just another four inches to go.

There has been a lot of quilting going on too - the first strip of four squares has been sewn together for Rosie's quilt. The sashing has been quilted too since I took this photo.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A successful week.

Just to get up to date with some of the fabric I have been buying lately. These are all fat quarters and have just been washed and put out to dry on my washing line. All, barring the black and white cartoon cat fabric, will be added to the collection for my Hearts and Flowers Hug - a quilt I am making for a friend who is rather ill. Photos of this will have to wait until it is finished and has been handed over.

The cat fabric was one of those purchases I may regret, but I really could not resist the comical cats with their pink noses and tongues.

Another fabric for the Hearts and Flowers hug. The flower pins have been needed for rather a long time. My elderly long pins are sadly depleted and have been getting very bent. I really like these long pins with the flat heads so useful in preparing quilts for basting.

I have started work on repairing these two bags which I lined some time ago. The jute outer had been getting very thin and going into holes.

The first to be worked on has been disassembled. You can see the state that the jute had got into in the photo above. The original plastic which used to adhere to the jute is coming away. The handles are still in excellent condition, and so is the lining. These will be kept as they are. The rest of the bag now it is a kit of parts will be reassembled and fabric added to give strength and interest.

After quilt group on Thursday (Dot's group meets during the morning), I went into Chester to Jaycotts. Since it is quite a journey from here, I took along a shopping list of things.

As you can see, I was able to purchase everything I needed. The two reels of blue thread are those I mentioned in the last post. They are needed so I can continue quilting Rosie's quilt. Since getting the thread on Thursday, I have completed all the squares for the quilt and have started cutting the squares down to their finished size.
As you can see from the collection of items above, I am fully intending to get more dressmaking done this summer. The new pair of shears will replace my old pair which has developed a flat area which has not been remedied even though the scissors have been sharpened a couple of times.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Its been rather a busy and single-minded week this last week or so. Lots more quilting completed on Rosie's Quilt.

Here is a close-up of the blue sashing. Leaves moving out from the centre of each square, with a small flower stitched in the centre.

The reverse of each square looks something like this. The irritating thing is that I just cannot get the tension to let me have just the light coloured thread on this side. (YLI Machine Quilting thread Sand, 16V) I always get some of the darker thread leaching through from the other side. (YLI Machine Quilting Thread Paris Boutique, V74 for the flowers, and Danube Blues, V80 for the sashing.)

Coco just loved lying on top of this pile of completed squares. Yes, for all the world she looked like the Princess in The Princess and the Pea.

Then the worst happened...........I started quilting the blue sashing strips on the nineteenth block when I ran out of thread! Disaster! I won't be able to get back to Jaycotts for some more thread until later this week. It is just too far to go for a few sewing items. Yes, I could phone and get them to send me some, but I am trying really hard to be good. I have rather a lot of other things I should be getting on with.

The Traveling Pages for May still needs completing and I need to make a start on June.

There is a longstanding UFO I really need to look at and baste - there is something not quite right with the piecing which will drive me mad if I don't get it sorted out before finally quilting the thing.

These photos show the top of the quilt.

And this is the back. The design was the Mystery Quilt for the Quilters Guild some years back. As you can see my photos date from 2007! I really should get this one completed.

Then there is the mending............ as usual, this has become rather a large pile. Also the altering and completing of dressmaking projects - three skirts in there............

Then the two bags which need a rebuild.

This is a photo of one of the bags in healthier days - the corners are now getting rather large holes in them and the whole bag is being kept together by the lining. So they really do need some work. The handles are still good.

Yes, there is rather more than a weeks worth of work there, so I shall not phone Jaycotts.
That apart, my whole workroom is a muddle and needs sorting out before anything else gets started. I wish I could work and keep things tidy at the same time, but that is something I find impossible. I am such a messy worker.
A well, off to work - I think I shall get some handstitching done on my Traveling Page for May ready to post it later on.