25 February 2015

Nature's Journey Month One

I have finished all the blocks for month one of my 'Nature's Journey' quilt. They still need to be trimmed down, but I prefer to wait until I am ready to assemble them before I do that.
The pattern is by Anni Downs at Hatched & Patched
The blocks are fun and quick to appliqué and embroider, I like the embroidered buttonhole stitch that frames each appliqué; I am using a variegated DMC stranded cotton number 4065.
I optimistically embroidered 2015 on one of the small blocks, maybe I will have to embroider another with the year I finish ?!
I am glad I chose a different palette of fabrics than I normally pick, it is nice to work with these cool greys and cheerful colours
I have ran out of hand work to stitch in the evenings, so I plan to spend this afternoon preparing the next set of Stonefields blocks. I seem to be drawn to working on small blocks at the moment, I think it is because they are quick to stitch, I feel I have accomplished something each time I complete one.

Lots more ladies are stitching 'Natures Journey' too, you can see all their work over on the stitch a long  group blog HERE

17 February 2015

Time Flies but Progress is Slow

Embroidery and Goldwork in particular is a slow but very enjoyable process; I think I may speed up as I become more practiced, at the moment I spend a lot of my time trying to decide on the best threads and stitches to use. I have spent a few more hours this week with my Tempus Fugit Goldwork Sampler. This is how far I got last week...
and after another 6-7 hours work this week...
I have carried on with basketweave, but for the right side of this piece I am stitching single pairs of Jap, it is exactly the same technique as the left hand side but produces a different effect. I still need to plunge those ends!
I worked this section in open laid work, I need to practice my stitch spacing, and I've only just noticed that I missed a couching stitch!
I also worked a bit more on the centre section, the face of the watch is silk shading (long & short Stitch) in white silk
Since I started learning embroidery almost 2 years ago, I have been keeping a notebook; I find it invaluable for keeping records of stitches and threads used, I always think I will remember but of course I never do!
I have packed this away now ready for class again next week, back to some appliqué!

10 February 2015

Tempus Fugit Silver Sampler

This term in embroidery class, I really wanted to learn some of the more advanced Goldwork techniques. I assembled a lovely selection of silk threads...
Silver metalwork threads and other goodies...
I looked through my reference books and came up with a list of all the techniques I wanted to learn...
I drew out a careful plan for my sampler...
and then completely changed my mind once class had started lol! I decided that the flower motif would look really nice as a standalone design, and that as this was to be a learning piece, I could have some more fun with it. I bought a design for the centre from Urban Threads  (they have some really nice line drawings for embroidery etc for US$1) This one is "Tempus Fugit" -"Time Flies" which seemed apt as it always seems to when I am stitching!
I also decided that the green cotton I had originally chosen for the background, would detract from the stitching and the coloured silks. I had a piece of beautiful 55ct white linen and so decided to use that backed with a cotton instead. After four weeks of classes this is where I am at...
I appliquéd some circles of silver kid leather and suede...

This section is laid work - a variegated silk laid down on the linen and then a silver passing thread was couched down to hold the silks in place; I outlined the rectangle with some over stretched pearl purl wrapped with silk. I think in future I will mark the placement of the laid stitches, it bothers me that they are not really evenly spaced.
This section is two different kinds of silver plate: The top section is silver broad plate over three layer of felt padding; the bottom section is silver whipped plate over hard string padding. I really love the way plate catches the light - definitely a technique I will use again in future.
My favourite technique however has to be this basketweave,  pairs of silver jap thread are couched down between alternate pieces of hard string. It is very easy to do and very effective, although I am not looking forward to plunging all those ends!
We have a break for half term next week when I hope to get some more of the padding and ground work done, and then four more lessons before term ends. I am really enjoying Goldwork and am so glad I chose to work a sampler, it gives so many options for trying new combinations of stitches etc. Next up is to complete the centre piece, I have lots of ideas for it!

02 February 2015

Falling off the WIP Wagon!

I knew it wouldn't last! I have been really good for the whole of January working on my old projects and resisting the temptation to start something new, but not any longer! I have been following the SAL blog run by Chookyblue for the last few years but I have always been too late to join in the projects. This year I was on time! we are making 'Nature's Journey' by Anni Downs, a lovely lap size quilt with a mixture of appliqué and piecing, just the sort of project I love :)
you can buy the pattern direct from Anni at Hatched & Patched HERE

I also bought some fabrics for it (!) If you are going to fall off the wagon you might as well do it properly right? I bought some 1/2 yards of pale grey on sale from the US for the background and a few FQ's from Anni's fabric range "About a Boy, About a Girl" The rest came from my stash.
I am really looking forward to stitching this quilt, I made Anni's "An Angel's Story" quilt a few years ago, it is one of my favourites and my niece loves to sleep under it when she visits.