Saturday, 30 April 2011

Right Royal Stitching

We spent a very "royal" evening . . . in front of the TV - along with the other 2 billion viewers - watching "the" royal wedding last night - having our own little wedding party. While the boys watched with us under sufferance, Kelly got into the spirit of things, glamming up for the occasion, complete with tiara!

We enjoyed tea . . .

and scones with jam and cream.

And in keeping with the Englishness of the evening, and since weddings mean hearts, I stitched this little Union Jack heart from the Cross Stitcher magazine.

What a lovely couple. I thought the bride looked beautiful. I loved the elegant look of her dress, which looked like it could have come from another era. I thought the bridesmaid was very elegant and regal as well. The groom and best man scrubbed up alright, too. And, from a quilter's perspective, I loved the tiled floor of Westminster Abbey . . . here's a link, if you're interested.

Pattern: Union Jack Heart
Designer: Lucie Heaton
Publication: Cross Stitcher Magazine - Issue 236

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Civil War Block 17 Done!

I've been fortunate to have had quite a bit of sewing time over the last few days, which I have really enjoyed.

I worked on Block 17 - Comfort Quilt - over the weekend. This block was super quick to put together and sized up perfectly. I think this is definitely a block I could put to use in other projects.

This week, when making my fabric choice, I was reminded of a friend's comment that "a little bit of pink in a quilt goes a long way".

And indeed it does.

I've really only used pink in one other block (Block 8 - Cotton Boll), but it makes quite a statement amongst the other blocks. So it needed a little something to balance it when the quilt is made up . . .

And because I liked this block, I thought I'd do it twice!

I'm really loving the process with this quilt. By virtue of the fact that it's only one block a week, I find that I can take my time and not feel pressured by a need to "get it done".

I enjoy the anticipation of what this week's block will be and the story that goes along with it.

I enjoy delving into my stash to make the fabric selection - which most weeks is the longest part of the process.

I enjoy the cutting and piecing.

I enjoy knowing that if nothing else, at the end of this year I will have a quilt done.

I enjoy the sense of community that has evolved with this quilt and the inspiration and encouragement that comes from that.

For me, all these things typify what this great stitching sister-(and brother)hood is all about.

Really, I can't ask for more than that!

Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Block 17 - Comfort Quilt
Designer: Barbara Brackman

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Civil War Blocks 15 and 16 Done!

I'm pleased with both of these blocks, which turned out exactly to size and easy to make.

Block 15 - Fort Sumter . . .

and Block 16 - White House . . .

The past couple of weeks have gone by in a bit of a daze, so I was pleased to get these blocks done yesterday . . . and I'm ready to get going on this weeks block once it's released. A big thank you to American Homestead for posting alternate cutting instructions for the White House block - taking away the hassle of matching stripes!

I find myself spending more time selecting fabric than actually stitching, but really that's all part of the fun.

Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Block 15 - Fort Sumter & Block 16 - White House
Designer: Barbara Brackman

Friday, 15 April 2011

"Girl On A Tree Swing" Mini Quilt

I absolutely love love loved working on this little mini quilt! It's my first time with raw edge applique and free-motion embroidery . . .

This quilt is from a tutorial by the very talented Aneela Hoey at Comfort Stitching. I fell in love with the imagery of Aneela's quilt, but thought that it was not something I'd probably do. Well, after doing a bit of mending with the darning foot on Francene, I thought I'd give this free-motion thing a try . . .

and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. I found the whole process so relaxing - I felt like I could lose myself for hours in just stiching. While this technique is not for every project for me, this is definitely something that I will do again. I love finding new ways to be creative with fabric and thread and I love it even more when they joy takes me by surprise. Ahh, the possibilities!

Pattern: Girl On A Tree Swing
Designer: Aneela Hoey

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Cross Stitch Finishes

This little (red) blackwork Angel is from the Stitching By The Lake day hosted by Sylvia and Fiona last year. I've had the stitching done for a while and now I've made it into a hanging ornament / pin keeper.

And this little Snowman is a gift for a friend . . .

I enjoyed putting these two together . . . choosing the backing fabrics . . . twisting the cord . . . and finishing a project (even if they are little ones). Sometimes the sense of achievement in finishing the little things can be just the motivation you need to keep going with the bigger projects.

Pattern: Blackwork Angel
Designer: Fiona - Peaceful Threads By Fiona
Fabric - Aida,18 count
Thread - DMC 221 - 1 thread

Pattern: Snowman's Quaker Christmas
Designer: Midnight Stitching
Fabric - Linen, 27 count
Threads - DMC 4045, 4124, 4210, Blanc Neige, Coates 7403 - 2 threads

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Blocks 13 and 14 - Done!

I've had Block 13 - Little Blue Basket - cut out and ready to go all week. But it took me until Friday night to get the time to put it together . . .

I'm quite pleased with the way this one turned out. I'm not sure yet about putting a handle on it. If I think it needs one when I'm putting the blocks together I'll probably add it then. But for now, sans handle it is!

And Block 14 - Fox and Geese - is done, too. This is a block that I could probably do a version 2 or possibly even 3 of.

I found both of these blocks went together quickly and the measurements were spot on.

I'm starting to think about colours for sashings now. I saw an article in a magazine about a group of quilters who had made a similar style of quilt to this one (many, many different small blocks to make up the quilt). They were all holding up their gorgeous quilts and had a variety of colours on their sashings - one had red, one navy blue, one chocolate brown, one caramel . . . They all looked beautiful in their own unique ways.

And it got me thinking about what colour I'm going to use. Luckily there's still quite a while till I need to make that decision!

Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Block 13 - Little Blue Basket and Block 14 - Fox and Geese
Designer: Barbara Brackman
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