Monday, December 28, 2015

Just knitting

Quilt hanging up - borders added
Well, not just knitting. Just before heading off to my daughter's for Christmas, I did manage to complete the borders on my African Crosses quilt. It now looks like this and awaits the wadding and backing.
The wadding is currently drying out. it is a cotton mix and I have washed it before using it. It is one of those waddings which will shrink by around 5% when washed, so I prefer to wash it first, before any quilting starts. At the moment the quilt is 52inches wide and 66inches in length.It will be interesting to measure it again once quilted and bound.
Beanie hat and fingerless mittens for my husband
I took plenty of knitting with me down to the house. The first item to be completed was this hat. A very quick make, I had sufficient yarn left to make the pair of fingerless gloves. These came in very handy when we were out walking over Christmas. It was windy, so I gave the hat and gloves to my husband Ian to keep his ears and fingers warm. He was delighted, which was rather sweet.

Interrupted cables
My main project was the green aran waistcoat which I had been struggling with over the past few weeks. In all the time I had been working on it, I had only completed four inches. For me that is far too slow. I had become rather bored with the project and so I ripped it back and started something else. The working name for this is "Interrupted cables". I have no fixed idea as to what this will become. It will probably be either a waistcoat, or a sleeveless top. There isn't enough yarn for anything else. Started on Christmas Eve, I have almost reached the shoulders............ You will have to be patient since I am making this one up as I go along.

My revamped workroom
Today has been rather busy. We arrived back the day before yesterday with a vintage desk which Ian had bought at auction. A lovely item, it now sits proudly in his office. As a result, his old desk was without a home. I suggested that I got his old desk and we discarded mine. Ian's old desk and my own work table had been computer desks owned by our daughters when they were at home. Mine had been damaged rather badly by the bench fastenings of my two working lamps. They gave very good light to work by, but were breaking up the surface of my old table which just wasn't strong enough to support them. The lamps have been put away for a later date when I may be able to use them again on a different surface.
My work table now looks like this. My quilt top waits patiently for me along with some of the fabric which may be used for the backing. Both my large cutting boards occupy one half ready for action. I have sorted through the contents of my little drawers and relabelled them. These hold my specialist machine feet and extra bobbins, scissors, rotary cutters and machine needles. Yes, I do have separate compartments for all my machine needles - there are eleven different types. ( Universal, Microtex, Embroidery, Quilting, etc, etc.) I like being able to keep track so that I know when I am running low on a particular type.........
My sewing machine is cleaned and ready for action. A new needle is in position.
The lamp shown is usually the one I take along to workshops if it is dull outside and might be rather dark inside the venue. It gives a really good light. It remains to be seen if it is enough. I am rather fussy about light quality.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Presents and cards

Christmas card
It has been a busy time here with presents and cards being made and given to their recipients. The card design came from a requirement by one group I attend, that presents and cards had to have a tree theme. Pinfold has a rather interesting idea in that everyone makes a card and a present and these are handed randomly using raffle tickets. This makes it fun in that no-one knows who has made their card or present until these are opened. This is done all together and then everyone goes round to see each card and present.
The red card of the pyramid box has a design incorporating trees and tree decorations. The design comes from a pad of papers and card which I picked up in Lidl earlier this year. Great fun!

Christmas present packaging
Christmas tree pin cushion
This was the tree-themed present inside the box. The star at the top is made from two star-shaped buttons stuck to the top of a flat headed flower pin. The tree is weighted down so that it won't easily be knocked over. I can't remember where I found the tiny flower pot. I would have liked to make more of these.
Article in Burda magazine
I found this delightful design in Burda's magazine from November this year. Sadly, I could not find the promised pattern on their website, so made my own.

hedgepigs in progress

My sketch
Hilary now has my first hedgepig pin cushion. This is the second which will be handed over to my younger daughter. Such fun to make.

Number two hedgepig
The project I am currently working on is the quilt top mentioned some time back. All the squares have been stitched together and the little motifs are in the process of being bondawebbed in place.

Quilt top in progress

Motifs pinned ready to iron
The next stage will be to add borders around the whole quilt. I haven't decided whether to have a fleece fabric as a cosy backing or whether to use quilting cotton.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Unfortunately there are some things I can't show you yet.

This is going to be one of those posts where I really cannot show you anything I have been working on. For the most part these are presents which will be passed on soon, but not before I post this. Anyone reading this will just have to be patient.
"Pebbles" is an interpretation of a design by Alexandra Waylett which was printed in the current "Stitch" magazine. I got rather excited about having a go and so this was my trial run. It was a lot of fun rooting through my "interesting fabrics" collection to find pieces which might just go together. I'm not yet sure what I shall do with this piece, since it incorporates purchased acrylic felt, chiffon, silk, velvet and various other fabrics. The circles of fabrics are held between layers of gauze and felt, being free machined into place. It was quick and fun to make, so I may well try something similar again.