31 March 2015

Q1 Finishes and review

I very enthusiastically jumped on the band wagon and signed up for the 2015 finish along hosted by Adrianne over at On the Windy Side

I listed all my projects in a post HERE looking back I may have been slightly optimistic about my chances of finishing any or all of them!

I did finish the scarf I was knitting - number 25 on the list

I did turn this group of lovely materials into a sampler - number 23 on my list

 I have kept up with the Stonefields BOM - number 24 on the list -  you can see all my blocks to date HERE

I do have a plan for Angelica - number 6 on the list

I did complete a small sewing bag

and start a couple of new (!) projects

Not too bad for me, more work done on current projects than new ones started has to be good! I need to think about my goals for Q2 now :)

27 March 2015

Quel désastre!

I missed the last embroidery class of this term as I had the flu; I knew roughly what I still needed to do to finish my Goldwork sampler, so I set up in my small room and took few stitches as I started to feel better. This is as far as I had gotten when disaster struck!
Our main bathroom is immediately above my little sewing room; the bath decided to leak and water poured through the ceiling all over my desk and embroidery (insert several swear words of your choice!!) We managed to get the leak fixed and I cleaned up my space, however my sampler was ruined. Luckily the centre 'Tempus Fugit' section was unblemished, so I have cut it out and will look for a small frame for it.
The initial idea behind the sampler was to give me a chance to learn various Goldwork techniques, in that respect it served it's purpose. I have cut around the small sections I had finished and have mounted them in my project journal, at least I will have them to refer to when I want to work one of these techniques again.
To cheer myself up, I decided to start a new project! Several months ago I bought these Metalwork feather kits, from the lovely Helen Richman at The Bluebird Embroidery Co
I chose to start with the 'Jay' feather, in blues and browns; the kits come with the design already traced and all the threads etc you need
I stab stitched the silk and calico backing together and stitched down the felt padding for the cutwork
I then added some colour, in the form of blue silk shading
and some fly stitches
Working the sampler has given me the confidence to stitch this kit, I now know how to work all of the techniques needed, and can just enjoy the stitching.

18 March 2015

Stonefields Month 5

I have done very little of anything this past week as I have been sick with flu, I couldn't even stitch! I am feeling a bit better today, and managed to press and trim these Stonefields blocks

Jasper has spent most of the week dozing by my side, waiting for someone to have the energy to take him for a run...

11 March 2015

Slowly Progressing

I am still working on my Goldwork Sampler, progress as with all hand embroidery seems to be very slow. One of the reasons I try to blog each week, is that it helps keep me motivated, I can see some progress even if it is small.

This is where I left off last week...
 And after class yesterday...
I have finished all of the basket weave section - a mix of single and double pairs of jap; I just need to finish plunging all those ends (Note to self - Plunge as you go next time!)
I also tried Or Nue for the first time, adding my initials and optimistically the year! I really like this technique, this is passing couched in pairs; a coloured silk is used to produce the design by placing lots of couching stitches close together, almost like satin stitch. It is very effective and one I will use again.

The last class for this term is next week and then we break for Easter, I hope to get the rest planned out so that I can finish this sampler at home. I have already thought about what I want to stitch next.

I have finally decided what to do with Angelica's Head!
You may remember that last July I decided to convert this cross stitch design into a canvas work piece. I stitched the head and then realised that I had miscounted and it was far too large for what I had in mind (insert lots of swear words here!!) I blogged about it HERE My canvas was too small and it would take forever to stitch.
 I had even collected a lovely selection of wools and cottons to stitch it with; It has been sitting in a basket ever since.
I have now calmed down (!) and decided to use the face I have stitched and to work the robes etc in a combination of appliqué and embroidery, she will be a lot bigger than my original idea, but it should work up reasonably quickly if I don't have to stitch everything. I have taken the wools out of the original mix and added in a few perle cottons. I also bought some small pieces of silk dupion for the robes. The dark silver grey silk will be my background. The silk ribbon will be for the bouquet of roses.
I just need to finish the sampler and then I can really start planning!

06 March 2015

Early Spring in the Garden

I adore Spring, it is my favourite season and this year it has finally arrived!

A few weeks ago the garden was a sorry sight the only thing flowering were some ever resilient Snowdrops...
So I planted a pot of cheerful polyanthus by the front door and waited...
Mother Nature soon did what she does best, and provided me with some welcome colour in the form of these crocuses...

The first of the daffodils...
And my absolute all time favourite, these gorgeous hellebores; I planted these when we arrived 3 years ago and they come back better every year, I love, love, love them!

This week I am linking to Five on Friday