Thursday, 23 February 2012

WIP, ermm... Thursday

The last few weekends have been all about family and I have managed to do next to no sewing, as well as ignore my poor little blog, so back for a quick update on my lettering practice;

I have completed a further two words; "brown" in a whipped backstitch and "over" with a button hole and stem stitch (which, the way I did it, are practically the same.)

I also have two of my bee blocks back now for my month in the Brit Bee, and am still as excited as ever! Thank you to Hadley and Judith.

So I can start to think about layout, I have way too many different ideas for how this quilt will go together, I guess I really should wait to see what the other blocks are going to look like :) ... but it's too exciting to not think about.

AND I have made a tiny bit of progress on my Maple Leaf Rag, the first octagon is half finished (not much progress I know but at least it's some and I am hopefully back in full gear now!) Photos on that tomorrow because I have to go to work!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Halfway To Winter Stitching

Ooops, so I missed the linky update by a couple of days, but I figured I might as well still post, so I am not really linking up to Fairy Face's Winter Stitching List.

Since Christmas I haven't been too motivated by my list as I have had other sewing plans in mind, but hopefully this little update will help me to get back on track. So here goes...

1. finish my woolly christmas tree garland Done!
2. wrap some woolly wreaths, from ChristopherAndTia I had great intentions for these, but couldn't find any ring forms for a reasonable price so they are on hold until next Chritmas... maybe!

3. make a series of felt stockings for the garland, by Dutch Blue I made a single Santa tree decoration for the Brit Bee Secret Santa and made a cotton paw stocking for Shep, but as Christmas is over these are no longer on my priority list.

4. trio of applique and embroidery christmas scenes (when Helen brings some hoops back from China for me to play with) by Pilli Pilli My embroidered Christmas Scenes are predominantly from patterns purchased from Sew Deerly Loved and although the embroidery is nearly finished, but they are not hooped as I was waiting for my hoops to arrive from China with a friend (but they have been home now for about a month and I should do this tonight so that I get a tick!)
5. stay up to date with my Brit Bee (and finish October's this week) I am proud to report that I am completely up to date with the Brit Bee, AND I came up with my month's challenge and posted them out on time and everything!

6. enjoy the local quilting festival on Sunday 23rd, by Lutterworth Piecemakers
Check, it was awesome to see to many quilts in person

7. quilt and bind Numero Uno 100% finished and sitting happily on my spare bed
8. quilt and bind it's twin; Uno Gemelo (sticking with the spanish naming theme for these babies) Ummmm, not so much- I kinda got sidetracked once I had done the first one!
9. quilt and bind my Baby Mystery Mixtape another 100% finished task, this guy was finished and gifted for a beautiful little girl's birthday back in December and I am so so so pleased that it spends most of it's time in her pram :)

10. start (and finish the big sister quilt) Yup, yup, yup, also gifted for my Goddaughter's Birthday in November (even though it wasn't finished in time) I saw them at Christmas.

11. cushion for Nan of all her grandchildren's handprints Done and gifted!

12. decide what I want for my Bee month and order the fabric Done, and the packages are curently with the other Bee-ers, driving them insane from the sounds of it!

13. finish the embroidery lettering tutorial, over at Needle N Thread I started months ago! Hmmmm, still not so much, I have done the first two words but I had planned on doing some tomorrow while waiting for our new sofas to arrive as I have has to pack my machine away in anticipation! Photos to follow.
and in true list-making tradition, you have to put something on that you can check off immediately...
14. write my winter stitching list Finished before I even published the original post!

Recap:  I can happily report that I have 9 finishes, 3 wips and 2 projects that I will probably never get around to (am I allowed to permanently remove them from my list and call in 11 finished?) Fingers crossed for a finish before the end of March or I am going to look a bit pathetic!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Curio is a go

First off, thank you to Laura for sending me the pattern pieces I needed to get started on my Curio quilt, I have been working on it for just over a week now and haven't made as much progress as I had hoped, but it is coming on and I am loving the accuracy of paper piecing!

My first job is to make the kite sections for the centre, in the pattern it calls for crazy piecing and then just cutting out all the kite shapes, but I wanted a bit more order than that so I have been strip piecing my kites.

So far I have 8 full sets, for the full 8x8 block quilt I will need 32 sets but as I am concerned about the amount of fabric I have, I have decided to start off making a 4x5 block quilt and then expand row by row until I run out.

I really like this layout and I am wondering if I should put a Rocky Road quilt on my Master List of quilts to make?

These are my 'leftovers' they were full sets of 4 kites, but I have used up pairs of them for the half Rocky Roads around the edges, these kites will be used for other edges of the quilt- but for now they are waiting patiently until I catch up.

Last night I laid out my current pieces in place on my suitable makeshift design wall and starting cutting my octagons. Hopefully, by keeping everything organised I won't run out of fabric but I think I am going to have to keep my eyes out for some more... really wish that I had bought a full fat quarter pack first time around, but lesson learned I guess!

I have chosen this set as my first octagon;

And these as my second;

As I have 5 full octagons, and a host of partial octagons to do just for my little 4x5 block baby I guess I had better get piecing.

J x

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Grumbly Machine

I have had a grumbly sewing machine tonight, why do things never just 'work'


Photoshop tutorial for creating pattern pieces

I told my Bee ladies I would put up a photoshop tutorial for creating the pattern pieces I use for my Chris block and then promptly forgot all about it!

I'm not sure if anybody has access to photoshop, but it's all I know so at long last, here it is in 10 easy steps!

1. open you chosen photograph in photoshop. I tried to pick a picture that had a good contrasting background (this was harder than I expected as all my photos seem to be taken with detailed backgrounds.)

2.  Using the magnetic lasso tool (L) mark around the area you want to cut out, then double click on the layer to unlock it.

3. Once the layer has a name other than "background" you can delete the contents of the lasso and you will be left with a grey and white check where the background used to be.

Then you can clean up any remaining bits of background with the eraser (E)

4. Select "colour range" from the "select" menu.

5. From the drop down menu, select "highlights," and on a new layer, flood the selection with a pale grey.

6. Go back to "layer 0" and repeat for midtones, colouring with a mid grey on a third layer.

7. Go back to "layer 0" and repeat for shadows, colouring with black on a fourth layer.

8. Turn off the layers so that only one is showing at any one time.

9. Print each layer onto a separate sheet of a4 to create your templates, I found it easier to stack the applique from shadows (on the bottom) to highlights (on the top) and so that I didn't end up with any gaps. I printed the first sheet with all the layers turned on.

The second with midtones and highlights turned on.

The third with highlights only.

10. Then you can applique the shapes to your block using fusible fleece.

Let me know if you have any questions!

J x