Monday 28 December 2020

Kindred Spirits QAL - Weeks 14, 15 &16


For the Christmas weeks, Judith has assigned the flying geese borders on her Kindred Spirits QAL.  It gives us time to make them amid family Christmas commitments and children off school and allows a little extra time for anyone who needs it to catch up on a block or two, or three!

These are the largest flying geese I think I've ever stitched at 3" x 5.5" unfinished, but it was actually really nice to work with bigger ones for a change.  Judith's video tuition was superb as always, showing us more than one technique for creating accurate geese.  I used both methods because sometimes I didn't have enough of a particular fabric to cut for the no-waste method but it was a good way to compare each.  I liked the speed of the no-waste method, but somebody else will always have to do the maths for me if ever use it again ;-)

As you can see, I've been able to attach the top border of flying geese already and the bottom one is waiting patiently for another few weeks while the final blocks get made.  I can hardly believe there's just one month of this fabulous QAL left.  I'm psyching myself up to stay on track and try to have a finish in the allotted timeframe.  Now, that will be an achievement!!

I hope you are all managing a little fun stitching in these days between Christmas and New Year.

Sunday 20 December 2020

TATS Christmas Swap


My lovely Threads Across The Sea (TATS) friends and I have been secretly sewing for each other again.  We decided that we would each make a table runner or centrepiece for one secretly assigned partner as a Christmas gift.  Setting yourself up in a little stitch swap with your sewing besties is absolutely the way to go if you want to ensure that you get a great Christmas present!!

We set little inspiration mosaics for each other on IG and specified any preferences or limitations on colours and size and then let our partners go for it.

I was sewing for Di who chose to fill her inspiration mosaic with lots of curvy drunkard's path designs and Swedish folk art shapes and florals.  She also had a preference for a runner measuring 12" x 58" max.  It took me a while to fix on a design I could make almost fit those dimensions - it is surprisingly hard to keep a table runner to 12" wide, which is why this one is approx 13.5" instead.  I hope Di can forgive the extra borders to preserve the flower points in the central unit.

The centre is a quartet of 'pac-man' flowers with cheeky little yellow birds in their centres.

Coming out from that central flower quartet is a drunkard's path tulip, one on the right and one on the left.  Do you like the low volume background prints I chose to give it all a subtle base for those bold Tilda florals? 

Then, from the tulip centres three little hearts in decreasing scale flow out to fill the rest of the runner.  

The binding print, also used in the centre flower drunkard's path units is from a Makower line called Tea Party.  I thought it worked really nicely with the Tildas that I have.

I did a little outline quilting by hand in mid-grey aurifil but it wasn't really enough to hold everything so I used a cotton quilting thread by Gutermann to quilt a chevron design into the background. I've never hand quilted a background I like that before but I think it works well here and the less than perfectly straight lines perhaps add to the folksy feel of the runner.

This runner would be perfectly at home on my table (though is the full length of my table) and I must admit that I do like it enough to keep it, but I did post it to Di with fingers crossed that I met her brief and her expectations.  There's always a worry that something isn't quite right with swaps I find.

And, what did I receive?

Only this amazing table runner courtesy of all the magic and skills that Trudi (IG @trudi_wood) knows how to perform! 

I'm not sure there are enough superlatives to describe this stunning piece.  The colours, the echoing Carpenter's Star design, just could not be more perfect for my dining table.  I only wish I could get a better photo to do it justice.  Of course, Trudi's amazing talent for long-arm quilting (well, any kind of quilting actually) is very much to my benefit in this swap.  Sorry, Di and Judith!  

The four of us had our Christmas Zoom call during the week to open our secret Santa swaps together.  It was such lovely time to share the inspirations and ideas and process of the four beautiful table toppers that we made for each other.  2020 hasn't had much going for it in my experience, but this little community and connection with my TATS sewing besties has been one of the lifelines I found this year.  I do hope that 2021 is better all round but also that we are able to continue to share our friendship and stitching together by whatever means Covid restrictions will allow.

Friday 18 December 2020

Scalloped Trivet


I have long wanted to make the Scalloped Trivet from Sedef Imer's Zakka Home book.  So, a few weeks ago I gathered some Tilda scraps and went for it. 

It was a great wee pattern with a photocopiable template and didn't take much time at all to whip up.

The big stitch hand-quilting took me a bit longer to get around to but I think it finishes it nicely and now it is keeping my perfumes and lotions from spoiling the dresser top in the bedroom.  

I do like a quick, satisfying make!

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Tooth Fairy Pillow


My little Miss lost her first tooth last weekend.  We spotted the wobblers (both lower bottom ones) during the week and were surprised that this was happening so soon.  So, when the most wobbly one wobbled its way out we had to think quickly about how the tooth fairy might collect this lost treasure, especially since CT does not sleep on a pillow herself!

Of course it was a good excuse to pick some cute fabric and get stitching a special tooth fairy pillow.  CT chose the Heather Ross bee print herself.  It was fun to let her choose her own!

If you fancy having a go yourself, all I did was:

1. Cut 2 5.5" squares of fabric for the front and back of your pillow.

2. Cut a tooth shape from white felt.  Ensure that it is no larger than 3" square.

3. Stitch the tooth shaped felt to the front pillow fabric.  You can see I offset mine because of the Bee position on the fabric, but you could centre it if you wish.  I top-stitched approx ⅛" from the edge of the felt, securing the right side, across the bottom and up the left side, leaving the top of the tooth unstitched as the opening to receive the Tooth Fairy's offerings.

4. Blanket stitch in cotton perle all the way around the tooth felt.

5. Pin two lengths of ribbon to the top edge of the back pillow fabric and tack in place.

6. Now, lay the front and back pillow fabrics right sides together.  Stitch all the way around the pillow leaving a small opening at the bottom edge to allow for turning through.

7. Trim off excess fabric at the corners, turn though and stuff the little pillow, closing the gap with an invisible ladder stitch.

8. At this point I added the pompom trim by hand (only because I could get it to work at step 6 while sewing the little pillow by machine.

CT was very excited as I cut and stitched the simple little pillow, and thankfully it was ready on time for the Tooth Fairy's visit!

Monday 14 December 2020

Mini Christmas Stockings


It hardly feels like Christmas if I haven't had a Christmas stocking to sew.  They are one of my very favourite things to make at Christmas!  I didn't think I would have the opportunity this year as we all have stockings and really don't need more.  However, when @trudi_wood (IG) put out a call last month for quilters to help her make 170 stockings to include in her Church's Christmas food parcel deliveries to families in need I was thrilled to pull the festive fabric and whip up these five little stockings.  

I got to scratch an itch and all for a good cause.  Trudi's IG feed is full of lots of stocking deliveries from our fabulous stitching community.  I really hope she makes the 170 she needs and that families will feel a little bit more blessing at this Christmas season.

Saturday 12 December 2020

Wedding Embroidery


In October I was busy stitching this little embroidery hoop to commemorate a special young lady's wedding day.  I used silver essex linen, white dmc embroidery floss and a 4" hoop.  Although the wedding was to be on 3rd November, Covid impacts meant it was necessary to change the date to 2nd.  That poor bride and groom had so many changes through the course of the months of planning their big day.  In spite of it all though, they are now happy newlyweds.  The bride decided to keep the date as it should have been on the hoop as part of the story she has to tell of her wedding that wasn't, but was.

Thursday 10 December 2020

Kindred Spirits QAL - Week 13

 This is week 13 and our block in the Kindred Spirits QAL is the Light of Life Lantern.  

I spent way too long finding the right amount of the right fabrics for this block, but it was worth it, I think.  I love the curvaceous outline of this block.  I think this block design looks a little exotic, don't you?

There aren't too many blocks left now, but there are a gazillion flying geese to come next week!!

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Kindred Spirits QAL - Week 12


I didn't quite make it to the Crossed Paths blocks on time but I did play catch up this week.

I was so eager to get the top half of this Kindred Spirits QAL quilt together that I forgot to take a photo of the Crossed Paths blocks on their own, but you get the idea.  The colours aren't great in this night-time pic.

And, here's the top half of the Kindred Spirits quilt all stitched up.  Hasn't Judith designed a beauty?

I'm really rather chuffed with it so far!
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