Monday, 10 August 2020

Response to RetroFabulous

 Hi RetroFabulous!

Apologies for not being able to reply directly to your comment about the Triple Pouch but you are a 'No-reply blogger' and therefore I cannot return your email.

I can't really remember the specific of making the pouch two years ago now, but as the blog post says, it is really important to read every word and just do what it says even if intuitively it might not feel right.  It did come together for me when I did that especially with the folding and tacking parts.  I hope you are able to complete the pouch without too much stress and that your daughter loves it!!

Kind regards.

Multi-coloured Blackwork

You will have noticed that hand stitching featured very heavily throughout my lockdown activity.  Mainly, because of lack of access to my sewing machine, but also I suspect because it felt smaller and more manageable at a time when my head was full to bursting with all sorts of concerns.

Scrolling IG one night I happened upon a reference to Peppermint Purple and was intrigued. Of course, I fell down the rabbit hole into a site of the most beautiful counted blackwork designs.  What I really loved was how modern these designs looked.  I have a history of cross stitching with a little blackwork thrown in, but it has been some time since I opened those supplies and tackled any counted stitch work.  If anything was going to tempt me back in, it was these designs and more specifically a couple that reminded of quilting.

So, I purchased two patterns.  This one is the Rainbow Cross Quilt and I just love how the stitches are worked in all of the colours!  Check out the other quilt inspired rainbow patterns here.

I had forgotten how intense counted work can be, especially on middle-aged eyes, but oh my, the results are lovely.  The grid outlining alone took me hours and hours but now that it is at this stage, it's a lot of fun just to choose one or two of the grid sections to fill when I pick it up again.

You can see that I still have a lot to do.  I'll admit I'm a bit intimidated by the yellow section that's next as it's pretty tricky to see your stitches well, and to be sure you've stitched correctly.  It's been so dull lately too, and that isn't helping.  But, I guess I should try and make the most of summer light while we still have it and stop putting those yellows off!

Let's see if I have any progress to show soon.

Friday, 7 August 2020

Follow Your Dreams Embroidery SAL

Following the huge success of the first Un Chat Dans L'Aiguille SAL, Christel kindly obliged our many requests for a second.  In June, I once again had the pleasure of working through some new and some familiar stitches to complete the stages of this gorgeous butterfly garden design.

For this one, I ordered the pre-printed fabric and the thread pack (and maybe one or two other pretties while I was there).  I must say that the finer printing of the design and the better quality threads than the ones in my stash made more of a difference to the outcome of my stitching than I expected.  Lesson learned.  I also learned quite a number of new and tricky stitches on this one.  Some of them still need a lot of practice but I think I made a fair stab at them.

The video tutorials for this SAL are still available on You Tube if you are interested.  I cannot recommend Christel's teaching enough, please do check her out and keep an eye out for the next SAL planned for sometime in Sept/Oct. I think I heard Christel hint that it might have a Christmas theme.  I will definitely be hoping I have time to participate in that one when it comes around.

Huge thanks to Christel and her team for all the work they generously put in to providing this SAL, and the previous one, during the lockdown days of global pandemic.  It was a refreshing diversion! 

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Lotus Flower Embroidery SAL

A few weeks into my #sewalittlehappinesseveryday sampler I spotted that Christel from Un Chat Dans L'Aiguille was planning to host her first ever Facebook and IG embroidery SAL.  I have long admired Christel's embroideries but thought they might be a little beyond my ability, so this free SAL seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out more complex stitches.

Although it was possible to order a fabric pre-printed with the design and a thread pack, I downloaded the free design and traced Christel's Lotus Flower with my lightbox and water erasable pen and made a thread selection from my stash.   I, and many others, then waited patiently for Monday afternoons from late-April to mid-May when each week's SAL instructions were released on pdf and video tutorials.

It was wonderful to follow along with the FB videos which were hosted live but which I could only manage to watch on replay as I was working during the live transmission.  I learned so much and really loved hearing Christel speak passionately about her craft and her products.  Her teaching was amazing and I will definitely be referring back to some of the video tutorials for stitch refreshing in the future.  They are all available on the You Tube page for Un Chat Dans L'Aiguille.

My little Lotus Flower was bliss to stitch every Monday and Tuesday for four weeks!  Christel's teaching is in French, Spanish and English - really remarkable language skills - and I followed along really well in spite of my initial worry that I wouldn't understand.

I don't have any plans for my finished Lotus embroidery yet.  It was stitched just for sake of it really, but I will keep it somewhere safe until inspiration strikes.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Rainbow Embroidery

We've all seen many rainbows since the beginning of Coronavirus Lockdown.  They've been in our windows to display our unity, our solidarity, our thanks to NHS workers during this pandemic, our hope and reminder of the promise of better days to come.

At the very beginning of our time confined to home, Sarah Edgar of A Happy Little Place was generous enough to share the rainbow sampler pattern she designed for her daughter as a Lockdown homeschooling activity.  You can find the link on Sarah's blog post here.

Little Miss and I had a colouring-in homeschool session with a printed version of the rainbow and pinned it in our front window. But that was just my justification for having a go at stitching it myself ;-)  Simple, colourful and pretty.  Just the ticket for a few, otherwise dull Lockdown hours.

Thank you again, Sarah for sharing your rainbow with us!

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Key Fob Gifts

Last week I got a little production line going to make some key fobs from fabric scraps and woven cotton webbing tape.  Originally, I had intended to make these for my son to share with his friends at the end of his final school exams but since A-level examinations didn't happen in the expected way this year, we're now making them in advance of highly anticipated 'off to university' celebrations next month.

I managed to use up lots of scrappy offcuts from DS's university quilt - all those maths, music, chemistry and physics fabrics for keyfobs for his subject classmates.  I added a few more general fabrics and some for his female friends too.  But then I must confess, they became quite addictive and I made some for future school gifts too. (Miss CT is due to start Primary School in September, so my round of teachers' presents begins all over again.)

I must admit there was highly satisfying therapeutic element to hammering on that hardware 35 times!!

I also whipped up a few pencil cases from the remains of these grey and black science prints which will hopefully be acceptable for DS at university in the physics course he aspires to. He can hide them in a drawer, if not.  Then, because I was in pouch making mode, I pulled some Sweetwater Reunion and created a first aid zippy for him too.  It's a little bigger than I expected it to be but at least he'll have plenty of paracetamol, plasters and savlon to hand should he cut himself making pot noodle for diner ;-)

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Reply to gone2k9z

This is a message for gone2k9z - you emailed me a question about quilting your charm pack quilt and I replied, but realised afterwards that you are actually a no-reply blogger so my email reply will not have reached you.  I hope you spot this response -

Hi there! I'm glad you have been enjoying the charm pack quilt, and thank you for your kind wishes for safe health.  I hope you manage to stay safe too, it is indeed a very peculiar time. Sewing is my sanity too!

My walking foot measures ⅜" from the needle to its edge so that is pretty simple for me to line up with the fabric seam I want to distance from.  If I am quilting a distance that I cannot measure by the edge of my foot, I will rule lines on my quilt with a white Chaco chalk pen  (it's like a powdered chalk capsule with a little serrated wheel that draws on the fabric) or with a Hera marker which is not a pen but a little hand held plastic item with a sharp edge which makes a kind of indentation on your fabric which you can follow.  Sometimes for wider spaced lines I use painters tape. It is low adhesive so doesn't leave a residue on your quilt top. You position in on the fabric where you want and stitch right along the edge of the tape. Best to remove the tape immediately. I wouldn't leave the tape on for more than a day, so just tape up a piece of your quilt at a time. Of course I'm not sure painters tape comes as narrow as ⅜".

I hope that I have explained that properly and maybe it will be some help.  I hope you find a solution that works for you.

Kind regards,
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