26 March 2012

Postcards, a Banner and a Deckchair

The past week has seen some sewing in between work and playing with my new i-pad.  Haven't yet figured how I put on the photos into the blog using this so am writing this from the desk computer.

This postcard swap this month was curved piecing so I have taken my influence from the current Stitch magazine and a project by Chris Gray called Tribal Cloth.  This has a central stamped fabric appliqued to a backing with embroidery and beads, but for the postcards I've used some African fabric and pieced wide and narrow pieces with black fabric and embroidered with variegated threads.  The fabric came from a collection of pieces from the African Fabric Shop when I was living in Yorkshire and this seemed an ideal opportunity to use them.  When I did my prototype card it had one panel here. I didn't send this one - it's going in my sample folder. As you will see I had this bird upside down when working the stitches, although some might say it doesn't matter really.

Below are the actual cards that I sent out yesterday.

I'm quite pleased how they turned out.

On Saturday I received my package all the way from Clare in France
This is my name banner that I won in her giveaway that I mentioned here and it's lovely to see the result.  Just have to add some curtain rings on the bag to hang up.

David and I met up with his brother and sister-in-law in Bournemouth as they were visiting for the day.  Here we've had lovely warm weather which bought a lot of people to the beach as we saw when going to the Pier Approach to see a giant deckchair - there wasn't much space left on the beach!
And here they are taking photos and David being silly with an ice cream
Going back into the town through the gardens were some glorious flowers in the Lower Gardens
My sister-in-law and I did some shopping and I bought these, just a bit bright, aren't they!

17 March 2012

Friday Night Sew In Saturday Update

Further to my post of Wednesday I started sewing my Dresden Plate block but I also started some new sewing.  As today is International Quilting Day, I joined a few friends at Corfe Mullen for some sewing and there was a challenge to make something with orange and another colour.  People who know me will probably not need to guess what colour  - Purple! 

I took my inspiration from Sew We Quilt blog, where one guest tutor, Quiltjane made some Four Seasons Hexagon placemats here as part of table runner month.  So a spent a Wednesday morning in my room with the radio on sewing away.  I then spent the Thursday evening at Bourne Quilters sewing in ends from quilting and last night I hemmed the binding - done!  So here's the finished article.

I also carried on last night with my Dresden Plate block and here it is
I've now tacked it to the background and started the applique.  I have made further progress since then today and the block is now finished!  Still got the block with the pointy points to finish though.

While out today we had a small project to make set by Brenda F to make some little birds just before lunchtime and here they are.  They aren't very big - only about 3 inches when stood on their paperclip legs, but they were fun to make.

I thought that I would take photos of the quilted items in the challenge

From a quilt to a tea cosy, canvas picture to wall hangings they were so varied.  A lovely day was had and a good way to celebrate quilting, thanks to 2 Brendas.

When I got home David bought me one of these.  It wasn't a surprise he ordered it last night and pick it up today
We're already an Apple household - our main computer is a Mac Mini and he has a laptop and i-phone. This i-pad is mine to play with (apparently!).  The photos uploaded today have already been uploaded on the i-pad too.  Let's see where it takes me....

14 March 2012

Friday Night is Sewing Night

I've signed up to the Friday Night Sew In this Friday hosted by Heidi and I'll try to remember to post about it on Saturday morning before I go out for the day.  I'll be working on my Dresden Plate sampler and this is the progress that I've made on this block which I cut out last Saturday

I can only describe this as an "orange segment block" as it looks like the segments of a Terry's Chocolate Orange.  As you can see I've got to join the segments together before sewing onto the background.  This is the fifth block and you can see the other four in my previous posts.  The January one here as well as the dreaded pointy one (which still hasn't been completely sewn onto the background), one in November here and the first one in October here.

In my last post I'd mentioned about having all my sewing machines in the dining room whilst my room was being decorated.  Well it's all done - carpet was laid on Thursday morning and David made me a table to give me a cutting and ironing area here

He also put up a cafe rod on the opposite wall for quilt hangings
There are a couple of shelves inside the wardrobe
But that still leaves the mess near the sewing machine.  That's up to me to sort out - said it would take a while!

Some of you may know that David has a model railway in the garage.  He's just finished a warehouse building for it and it looks rather good. That was taken on the dining table - he doesn't have a lacy mat on the railway!!

11 March 2012


Two postings in one day!  I thought I would share the postcards that I've made this week.  The first one is another birthday swap this time for Carole, who requested cats.  I've used Katharine Guerrier's mini quilt style to add a frame around a couple of cats.  This fat quarter of Makower fabric has been used time and again for fussy cutting the cats from it.  I also add some interest with doing wiggly cutting of the postcard before sewing with zigzag stitch.
The second one that I made was for an Embellisher Group swap and it was a postcard of something starting with the letter A.  I received this one while I was away from Denise with A for Apple and it came with this lovely machine embroidered card

So I had to think of what to make for Eileen, to whom I had to send.  And is a very common word often using the Ampersand (&) symbol, so after playing about with Word and the WordArt to make the symbol to get the size right I was able to use the print out to make a template to cut out some pre-felt.

Using some black felt and needling some roving on top I used the cut pre-felt and needled that in.  I then free machined around the edge of the character and did some &'s in and around the symbol.

Due to ongoing decoration I had all 3 machines on my dining table.  My main sewing machine (at the back) was set up for normal stitching, the smaller one (at the front) for free machining (the foot and the darning plate was still on that machine from the previous week's course) and the embellisher.  I think it may be the first time that all three were out together.

I could almost pretend that I had a sewing machine shop!  Here's the completed card below
Last, but not least, is the postcard that I received from Lesley with the Fabric Painting theme, and she painted this very luscious pear (there was some metallic paint with this which added to the texture)

An Early International Quilting Day

Yesterday was the International Quilting Day event run by Pauline's Patchworks of Dorchester at the Memorial Hall in Sturminster Marshall.  It is a week earlier than the official date of 17 March, but due to the hall being booked next week, it took place Friday and yesterday.  We were kept quite busy with a general knowledge quiz, a big workshop session making a felt flower and bag, lunch and demonstrations.  Pauline and Sarah had also bought their shop and teacher Stevie demonstrated photo editing software and there was another trader with beads. It was all well organised and ran like clockwork.  It was an enjoyable day to catch up with people that I know as well.

Here's the little bag and the corsage that we made

  Luckily I still had some of the beads from the Three Corner Workshop day in my workbox to add to the middle of the flower.

I took part in the challenge of making a postcard on the theme of Spring  - how could I not make one! Here it is

Made just on Friday night, it's my interpretation of Clemetis Montana which is an early flowering variety.  There weren't many entries, just 6 and to my surprise I won second prize with............. some fabric! A lovely roll of 6 fat quarters all in Spring like colours.  As you can see it was too nice to unwrap, but I did!

I could not resist the urge to buy one fat quarter of fabric too, it had welly boots, not sure what I'm going to use that for but it looks good.
I'm going to celebrate International Quilting Day again next week with a small group of friends just having a gathering to sew.

04 March 2012

Away Days

Further to my last post when I said I would be away for a few days on a course using the embellisher and free machining, I've got some photos to show.  Kingcombe Centre near Toller Porcorum, between  Dorchester and Bridport seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, having ventured down Dorset country lanes to get there. No phone signal and very limited wifi I thought I would have withdrawal symptoms from not having the technology but we were kept very busy with sewing.

I made several samples of practice techniques, shown here
layering roving and yarns

Adding pre-felt pieces onto background and free machining the petals and leaves

Practising my bag piece
I made a corsage

I went on to make bag front and backs, but still a work in progress, which I hope I can carry on with next week.  The button eyes on the birds are from the buttons I had when at the Three Corner workshop day, I just had enough!

Here are some views of the Kingcombe Centre. Below is a view to the accommodation, called The Cowshed.
And just around the corner, along the lane was Beech House, where the workshop took place and there's further accommodation

And I took a photo of the snowdrop on the bank near the house.
Here's Brenda enjoying herself with her embellisher, making some bright pink pre-felt.

And she took one of me at work. We were surrounded by lovely countryside.
It was a shame to leave there. Returning home on Thursday afternoon, I found that David had been busy decorating and I took a photo of the room as it was.
He's taken up the old carpet and we've ordered and new one which will be coming this Thursday.  So this is how it looks today.
Looks like I will have a fair bit of sorting out to do.