30 May 2014

Thrifty Finds

In keeping with the spirit of the original depression era quilt, and the challenge issued by Brigitte, I wanted to make this quilt entirely from my stash. I did purchase the red dot focus fabric as that was an integral part of the challenge. I have had great fun rummaging through my baskets looking for suitable fabrics, I am however short on a couple of the colours I want to use.
Last week I popped into one of our local charity shops to drop off some books, and spotted a blouse in the exact shade of blue that I needed, it is a pretty blue/yellow floral 100 % cotton hardly worn blouse, perfect I thought for using in my quilt. Further down the shop I found an even better treasure - a brand new mens shirt in a lovely duck egg and red stripe, even better was the fact that it was sized XXXL - that's a lot of fabric!!!

washed, disassembled, and ready to cut up for the quilt...
I think they will work really well with the rest of the fabrics I want to use. I know most of you probably do this all the time, but this is the first time I have bought clothes to cut up! I will definitely do it again!

Here is the piece after round 11, I love how the whole feel of the patchwork changes each time another round of colour is added.

26 May 2014

There is no stopping me!

I am really enjoying this simple hand piecing project! I have been working on it every evening after dinner while 'watching' TV with the family. I have always enjoyed hand piecing, but normally chose complex designs that are too difficult for me on the machine. There is something really satisfying about piecing a simple design, the squares finish 1 1/2" so each seam stitches up quickly and as each colour is stitched continuously around the previous row, there is no awkward stopping and starting thread you just keep stitching around and around :)
Here it is after row nine...
and some possible fabrics for the next few rows...

24 May 2014

What a Difference a Polk a Dot Makes!

After posting my picture of Brigitte's TATW challenge yesterday and looking at all the fabulous other versions springing up, I felt it looked a little safe and boring :(
The challenge issued by Brigitte, is to use a red spot fabric in the centre and twice more in the quilt; I didn't have any red spot fabric and so I thought I would go with the red/cream. However after seeing the original again, I realised that it was the red polk a dot that drew me to it in the first place! Nothing for it but to go fabric shopping :) I found a fabulous fabric in our local shop for a very good price - however the spot was a little too bright for me, so I tea/coffee dyed it to knock it back a little, you can just see the original here and the small coffee dyed square.
I changed out my centre square and used the spot again for round six, I really love the way it makes the paler blue fabric pop and changes the whole feel of the quilt.
In line with the rest of the challenge, which is to use as many fabrics from stash as possible, all the rest of this quilt will come from my not very small collection (!) I have decided on the navy/cream floral for the next round and am auditioning fabrics for the next few rounds too.
We are only meant to go to the end of round 9 in June, so we haven't been shown the rest of the quilt, I am not sure whether to wait or go with what I think looks good to me. I am so enjoying this simple hand piecing project and the beauty of this pattern is you can stop whenever you get bored and call it done!

23 May 2014

Trip Around The World

Last year lots of photos of gorgeous Trip around the World quilts started appearing all over blogland; Many of them based on Bonnie Hunter's free Scrappy Trips pattern (you can find it HERE) I loved all the scrappy variations and whacky colour choices, but I am not a huge fan of fast machine pieced projects so I didn't join in.

Last week on Facebook I noticed that Brigitte Giblin had posted a challenge to hand piece a TATW top based on a depression era quilt from Oklahoma. Definitely had to join in this one!

This is a picture of the original inspiration quilt, and my fabrics for the first 9 rounds, we have to complete this part by the end of June, when I think Brigitte will show the next part of the quilt. The challenge was to use a red spot fabric for the centre and in two more rounds. I didn't have a spot fabric as in the original, so substituted the red/cream swirl. I love the quote from that time "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!"
Mine will be a lot more muted than the original, which is fine by me. I laid out the first couple of rounds to see if I was happy with the colours. The blue fabric is by Liberty which I bought at the V & A quilt exhibition a couple of years ago, it feels good to be using it :)

I had barely enough of this black/blue for the first round. The squares are 1 1/2" finished size and I had a 5" square so just made it!
I would really like to make this whole quilt from stash, so expect some odd colour choices! I am going on the principle that each round only has to look good next to the previous and following rounds, we will see how this works out! I use very little black or blue in my quilts, so I am not really in my comfort zone, but this year I am determined to challenge myself!
I have sewn the first five rounds

19 May 2014

Everything in the Garden...

Is coming up lovely, thanks to the deposited river silt from the winter floods. The Clematis have started to flower and look wonderful
especially Nelly Moser...

and Dr Ruppel...

The new Weigela I planted flowered this year for the first time...
The dutch Irises are just coming out...
as is this beautiful bearded Iris...

and the first of the Roses - this is Benjamin Britten
We had some visitors to the bottom of the garden yesterday, it was so lovely to watch them...
all of which explain my lack of stitching! the weather here these last few days has been glorious so I have spent all of my free time outside.

10 May 2014

Tipsy Thistle - Back on the Wagon

Do you remember the Tipsy Thistle Crewelwork design I am stitching?
I haven't worked on it in several weeks as I couldn't decide whether or not to include, or cover up the hands on the design. I wasn't sure if I liked that part of it or not; however as I want to use this as a work bag when it is finished I think the hands are appropriate and so I am back working on it again!
The first square I tackled was elongated Feather stitch, I think mine are a little too elongated!
Next up was a square worked in close Fly stitch, I started it a couple of times but didn't like the effect, so I decided to stitch random fly stitches instead
Then I thought they looked a bit lost so I addd some French Knots. Now I think they look like aliens! Will have to unpick these!

The last square I have stitched is in a combination of Stem Stitch (one of my favourites) and a new to me stitch - Pekinese, really just a backstitched line with a contrast thread looped through, but it gives a really pretty line stitch and you can vary the loop size; definitely a stitch I need to practice and use.
Here is the whole piece so far

02 May 2014

I Have a Plan!

Yesterday was spent drawing, erasing and colouring in! This is the front of my cottage with the garden we inherited, just given a tidy up for now although I did plant those orange tulips!
For the embroidered piece I have drawn the garden as I would eventually like it to look, full of cottage garden flowers, with room for Jasper of course!
All I have to do now is decide on fabric, threads and stitches!