Sunday 25 August 2019

Paisley + Embroidery = win! win!

I've written before that I really like Carina Envoldsen-Harrison's book Mandalas to Embroider and from time to time I hope to take a wee bit of time to stitch up more of her designs.  These are perfect projects for Sunday night stitching in front of the latest TV drama (I am currently suffering from the lack of a good period drama, though).

I chose Paisley Constellation (design no 6 in the book) as my next effort, mainly because I adore paisley patterns in pretty colours.  For as long as I can remember I have loved paisley design - can you imagine how beside myself I was when Bonnie and Camille included a paisley print in their Scrumptious collection?!  Anyway, it was no contest when I wanted to stitch up one of Carina's designs just for me (though there are plenty of others I'm keen to try too).

This is stitched on an off-cut of linen which I am informed is the very same linen which the Obamas ordered for curtains in the White House during their tenure.  Very swish!  Actually it is very beautiful, fine white linen and a dream to stitch on.  It just looks a little lumpy and bumpy in my pic because I haven't stretched it properly and have just folded the excess in behind roughly for the photo.

I sometimes find getting colour balances right a bit tricky if I am not working to the same palette as the original design, and I don't always achieve it.  I'm sure I have much to learn in that regard, but for now it remains just trial and error.  In this instance, I wonder if there should have been a little more of the deeper blue (almost navy) to balance things out a bit, but in general it will do nicely.  I hope to finish this one off in a slightly smaller hoop and maybe fabric wrap the hoop, too.  I'll come back and show you when I order up the right size hoop.

For me paisley and embroidery is definitely a winning combination!

Monday 19 August 2019

Crocheted Mandala Play

One of the other things I did while on holiday earlier this month was to have a wee play at crocheting a mandala for a hoop.

I took some scrap yarn just to play with and armed with the free Spirit Mandala pattern from Lillabjorn Crochet I spent a happy evening hooking away.  It got a bit tricky when the final round was joining to the hoop - only in the sense of getting my hands in a tangle but it was very satisfying to finish the project and have it look like the pattern picture.

I won't keep this one on the hoop though because I don't really like the appearance of the yarn.  I don't like my colour balance and the DK acrylic is a bit too heavy looking for the wallhanging I would eventually like a mandala to be.  But this was play, and exactly the time to discover these things.  My main aim was just to see if I could do it.  Maybe when I'm ready make one for real, I'll try  a finer cotton yarn.  There are lots of possibilities and the fun part is that it can be hooked up in an evening!

Monday 12 August 2019

Holiday Stitches

We've been away on our summer hols in Scotland for a few weeks and I took some simple hand sewing with me to pass the evenings in our holiday apartment and caravan.

I stitched up hexies for my hexie diamond project, but to intersperse the hexies with a wee something new and interesting, I decided to take some appliqué hearts to work on as well.

I've been SO tempted by Sarah Edgar's Perfect Pairs quilt since she first posted it to IG and her blog.  It's gorgeous!  I would dearly love to make a whole quilt one day and so I recently invested in the acrylic template from her shop.  It's a fab wee doofer with an inner heart shape and a quarter in outer heart which allows you to add on your seam allowance.  Sarah also designed the template with alignment lines and a centre hole for fussy cutting - genius!

For now, a whole quilt is out of the question, but nine little hearts to make a cushion panel seemed like a perfect holiday project.  I enjoyed every stitch of these pretties, and am very much looking forward to making up the cushion front, perhaps with a little hand quilting to finish.

Thanks to Sarah for the inspiration and the template to keep my hearts nice and standard.

So now that hols are over, normal chaotic services will resume - wish me sanity as I have 8 loads of washing to put through, I am running outside every hour to rescue my laundry from the rain and my tumble dryer is broken!!  Home sweet home.

Thursday 1 August 2019

Mini Archie's July Furtle

Archie The Wonder Dog

This month I made a Hold Everything! Bag.  It was quite a challenge but it's done!

My Spelling Bee Quilt progressed another couple of letters and a typewriter block this month.  I also did quite a wee bit of cutting for future blocks too.  It takes a wee while cutting all the little pieces, but sometimes it's an effective use of time that I can't spend at the machine, in preparation for time when I can.

As a wee scrappy aside I stitched up some Cord Keepers which I've been meaning to do (literally) for years now. They take just minutes really if you have supplies to hand.  I added a little tutorial for them to my blog post if you're interested.

Aside from having to purchase some zips and vinyl for the Hold Everything! Bag, I've been continuing to work from stash - saintly me!  Surely, one of these days I'll actually notice the difference, don't you think?

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