Thanks for calling by. I hope you enjoy what you see, feel free to leave a comment and call again to catch up on my news.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A bargello workshop

A group of twenty of us ladies from the Embroiderers Guild and  beyond met up yesterday to learn how to make a bargello needle case. I've done canvas work before but never any bargello. These wonderful zig-zag designs are such fun to do and, once you've got the first row in, quite easy to follow. I was enjoying it so much that I just continued on after dinner yesterday evening and should get it completed later today.

I also did more to my crazy patchwork block earlier this week and I think that this is almost finished now. I've posted a photo in SharonB's group album to get feedback from her on what else I might need to add but, having started out being very unsure about the whole crazy quilting process, I have to say that I quite like this block now. Maybe I just need to add a little something into that plain cream patch in the centre? Then I just need to decide what I'm going to use it for.

Our Monday Lacers' group have been working on a group project - a dresden plate sampler of gros point stitches and techniques for decorating the cordonnettes (the edges of the finished piece). There are six of us altogether and three of us have completed our plates. It's lovely  to see how different they all are. This is mine.

And finally, I did a tiny bit more work on the hardanger pages of my sampler book.

Not a bad week's stitching!

Friday, 24 August 2012

The doorway to Rose Cottage is complete

Time to catch up on some minis again I think. The plan now is to make scenes which will use up my stocks of minis, rather than buying any more. It's strange how much you accumulate over time isn't it?
My little cottage doorway is complete. This has been such fun to do - and so very quick. It only measures about four inches from back to front so takes up very little space too. How I wish my own front door looked like this!!

Here is the inside. Can you see the little siamese cat peeking out from under the table?

And another cat sitting on the doorstep. He's actually watching a bird which I've placed on the top of the door since taking this photograph. I decided to name it Rose Cottage.

The rest of my mini-time this week has been spent clearing up my workroom again. I don't know about you but I seem to accumulate so much stuff around me when I'm working on something, despite my very best intentions. And then I get until I can hardly move on my workbench and really need to spend a couple of days putting everything back where it belongs.

When I got up this morning I found that it had rained during the night - that's really no surprise this summer to be honest, but I had to rush outside to take photos of the raindrops on the leaves in my garden.

A whole pool of water had collected at the base of these leaves on one of my teasel plants.

There was just the start of some blue sky amongst the grey clouds.

Isn't this flower amazing? It's just in the process of unfurling into this ...

And finally here's some pink - just because I love pink.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Saturday stitching round-up

First of all, I have to share the fact that I actually won first and second prize last week in our local Flower, vegetable and handicrafts show! My Stitched Therapy book won 1st and my 17th century lace motif won 2nd prize in the hand embroidery section. I am so thrilled!

This week I've been concentrating on my crazy patchwork blocks and feel that finally I'm making progress with these.

I'm beginning to like the purple and green block more now I've got some silk ribbon embroidery on there. Lots more to go on here yet though.

I started beading the pink block. This one is my favourite of the two, I have to say. Well it is pink!

I finished off the first half of the hardanger page in my sampler book - my first ever piece of hardanger embroidery. It's really quite scary cutting those threads.

Then, just for fun, I made a little box to hold my embroidered postcards - very quickly stitched on the machine.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Mini inspiration

I've been struggling to motivate myself to make more minis for a few weeks - ever since the retreat was moved out of my workroom and into its final resting place in my lounge. This weekend was our local Flower, Vegetable and Handicrafts show (I won two prizes but I'll tell you more about that another day) and our Dolls House and Miniatures Club always puts on a display. Those of you who've been following me for a while will perhaps remember this from last year. Anyway ... seeing all our wonderful models has refreshed my enthusiasm so this week I have something new to show you.

First of all, though, here are a few pictures from the show ...

 Each year we work on a group project, and this year it was this table-top sale. Each member of the group made a table from a kit given to us at the club and then we decorated it with whatever goods we chose. You can see my patchwork table right at the front there.

A few years ago each member made a shop, which we make up into a street scene for the show. Each shop is different - a pet shop, a dress shop, a toy shop, a charity shop, take-away, barber's shop, shoe shop, craft shop, hat shop, taxi firm, cafe, wool shop. Together they look really impressive don't they?

And last year we made an allotment. This is just a small selection, there are twelve in all. I love this man sitting with his flask of tea and his gardening magazine - and the fox in the plot next door eyeing up the chickens.

So - freshly inspired, I decided to make myself a doorway.

 It's just made from pieces of foam core and balsa wood. I glued some bricks in place on the outside and coated the whole wall in lightweight filler. I've made a two part door so that the top half can be open and an open window to fit into the window frame and I'll probably put either a kitchen sink or a table and chair beneath the window on the inside - undecided yet. I'll make that decision when the filler is dry.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Saturday stitching round-up

There doesn't feel to be much to show this week - don't know why, though I guess it's been a pretty busy week and, as the weather seems to have taken a temporary and long awaited turn for the better I thought I'd better get out into the garden and try to tame some of the weeds at least. My Monday Bunch did come round to stitch so I've finally finished my Point de Gaze flower.

I know I've said it before but I'm going to say it again - I just love the purple!! I'm very happy with this one. I'm planning to stitch it onto a cushion I think as it's quite large.

I did some work on my sampler book. This is the Hardanger page, still not completed.

Because I've been trying to get to grips with the crazy patchwork for the online class I'm doing. This is really not coming together at all. I added a purple lace butterfly to see if that would help me to like it more but it hasn't done the trick. I do have another block in pinks and creams which I pieced and I'm thinking at the moment that I'll turn my attentions to that one and come back to this one at a later date (maybe) ... or maybe I'll just remove the butterfly and throw the rest in the bin.

Now I'm heading off to our local Flower and Vegetable Show as I have two pieces in the handicrafts section and there's also a display by our Miniatures Club. I'll try to get some decent photographs to show you. I'm hoping that it might spark some inspiration in me to get me back into making minis as I've not touched them for two or three weeks. I need a new project - or to revisit and revamp an old one I think.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Saturday stitching roundup

I have quite a few pieces of stitching to show this week, but first of all I want to show you the latest visitor to my garden.

I'm no expert on butterflies so I have no idea of his name (I mean, what type he is) but he is beautiful and he made my heart sing. He wasn't alone but this was the best photograph I managed to take. They and the bees are loving all the flowers in the garden and, for me at least, it makes having allowed the wildflowers and the nettles to have space to grow so worthwhile. Not sure that my neighbours with their neatly cut lawns and regimented flower beds agree with me though.

So ... on to the stitching ...

The point de gaze lace flower is coming along - slowly but surely. I was thinking this morning, whilst I was stitching this piece, that this probably represents around 60 hours 'work' and there's probably another four or five before it's finished. I'm now laying the cordonnette - i.e. laying extra threads around the outline and buttonholing over those to neaten up all the edges. It's quite a large flower - 5" (or around 12.5 cm) across, and I'm not at all sure that I would ever stitch such a large motif in such a fine thread again. Still, this is the point when it all starts to come 'to life' so to speak and I am very pleased with it.

I've finished two more pages of the sampler book - and cut the pages to size now. I'm not sure whether the blackwork page was complete last week, but it is now ...

and so is the Assissi work page. The next page is Hardanger, which I've never done before so this week's sampler might be a bit of a challenge.

I also, in a moment of enthusiasm following the last online class I did, signed up for SharonB's encrusted crazy quilting class. I've regretted it a bit since. I didn't need to learn how to do crazy quilting and I have no idea what I shall do with the two blocks I created when they're completed. However ... here they are.

The top one was the first one I made - too green and too bitty but I added lace and I stitched a lace butterfly to sit in the centre and now I think it has potential. We will see. The second block I made is far more in keeping with my usual colour palette and the composition is better, I think. Perhaps I'll make them into the covers of a book. Hmmm.

I also made a little shabby lace heart to hang on my pin board, but you'll have to wait until next week to see that as it's not quite finished. Quite a productive week this week! You can tell that I've not been making minis.