Wednesday 27 June 2012

TAST and WIP Wednesday

I have just added a button for Take a stitch Tuesday run by Sharon over at Pintangle. Each week she explains how to work a different stitch. Over time that is a lot of new or different embroidery stitches. Having visited this blog regularly I decided it was time to join in. The stitch this week is Palestrina stitch. I had a little time spare and tried it out. I was pleased with the result and will certainly be able to use it in the future. I found it a little difficult to do at first but soon got the hang of it by following the excellent instructions. I run out of time so haven't completely finished my little sample.

Also on Pintangle Sharon is running Work in Progress Wednesday to try and encourage people with large projects that are progressing very slowly or may have stalled all together to try and complete them. I am linking my work on my millennium sampler with WIP Wednesday as since I have included it on my blog I have managed to move forward and I am starting to see a possible finish date. 

This week I decided to see how long I actually spent working on the sampler and considering there isn't very much progress to see I was staggered that it had taken me four and a half hours. I worked on the top of the column and I also added quite a few single stitches throughout the work where there was just one stitch of a colour waiting to be added. To get this finished this year I am going to have to find some more hours for it from somewhere.

Even though progress is very slow I am pleased with what I have achieved and I have actually started to like the piece again. As it was taking me so long I had become very bored and disillusioned with it.

Do use the TAST button to take a look at pintangle as it is an excellent site. It has a wealth of inspiration and ideas and loads of instructions for stitches plus hints and tips. It is well worth visiting.

Monday 25 June 2012

Baby Quilt finished

This week has been quite a lean time for stitching as I have spent time helping to get an elderly gentleman friend settled into his new care home. He seems quite happy and loves the fact that it has its own bar. Even better is the fact that the beer is free.

On Wednesday I met Indie's baby Isobel for the first time. She is really cute and I am pleased with the cot quilt I have made for her.

The quilt has already had two washes. Whilst pinning the outer border I stabbed myself with a pin and the injury bleed over the white border. In trying to avoid the quilt I made it worse so into the washing machine it went as I didn't want any blood stains on it. Then when hand stitching the binding I did exactly the same thing. Never mind the quilt looks good, is all finished and clean and ready to go to Indie.

I also found time to stitch this top together. This one is destined to go to Project Linus. I hope to get the borders cut out today and to have it finished by the end of the week.

Taking part in Work in progress Wednesday also got me thinking about how long I spend on the different projects. When you are doing something you enjoy you lose all sense of time, however I thought it might be interesting to see just where my time goes over a week. So from this morning I am going to try and keep track of just how long things take to do.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Update on work in progress

Yesterday I spent a little time reviewing my various projects and identifying how far I had got with each of them and I thought I would share this with you.

My project that is way behind schedule is my millennium sampler. I was given this as a present for Christmas 1999 and thought I would have it finished by the end of 2000. However life got in the way of this project and here I am 12 years later still working on it. The good news is that since starting this blog in April this has really moved forward and I am starting to think that this will be the year it is finished. I find posting about what I have done spurs me on to complete things. This week I have completed the space shuttle. As you can see there is still a lot to do.

I thought I would share some detail with you. First the space shuttle.

Beneath that is the hot air balloon of the Montgolfier brothers. I am really pleased with how this project is looking.

Not sure why this photo has a darker strip across it but it certainly isn't there on the cross stitch.

I have moved forward on the quilt I am making for Lucy using the old patchwork quilt pieces I was given and mixing with the stamp collection blocks. I have cut the patchwork pieces into 12inch blocks to match the stamp collection blocks. Just need to make another 4 blocks of each. I am also trying out quilt as you go. I really like the ease of quilting a 12 inch block.

This afternoon I started the quilting on the baby quilt and I hope to have that finished for tomorrow as Indie is visiting us and I will meet baby Isobel for the first time. The grandmothers garden quilt for my daughter is slowly growing. This is my travel project as it is so portable. I am up to about 40 'flowers'. My Dresden plate quilt is also waiting to be finished. The blocks are completed but I need to stitch the strips for the sashing.

My knitting projects are also moving forward. The hexipuffs pile is slowly growing and Richard is excited about his blanket. Unfortunately I haven't done any knitting on my jacket. Part of this is because the ball of yarn is so big. I am going to divide it into smaller balls which will make this a more user friendly project as I will be able to take it with me when I visit friends for coffee.

My other failure to finish is my daughters rabbit. I had planned to have him all repaired by the time she finished university for the summer. However he is still awaiting the final bits of work. I am hoping to complete this next week.

However my failure to finish projects doesn't stop me starting something else. I have cut the blocks for a quilt for Linus. Although we have finished the Guide project for Linus my Brownies are still working on their quilts and this won't be complete until later in the year. I decided to try and make 3 larger quilts to go with their work as I did for the Guides. I will also try and knit a couple of baby blankets.

Saturday 16 June 2012

Baby Quilt top finished

I haven't had  very much time for sewing in the last week. Last weekend I was away with a group of Brownies on a PGL weekend. They really enjoyed the activities; archery, abseiling. fencing. aero ball, giant swing, zip wire and raft building. Since then I have been trying to catch up on marking as the University year draws to a close.

However yesterday I got back to my machine and finished the quilt top for Indie's baby daughter Isobel. Now I need to decide on the borders. I am hoping I have enough of the batik to do a thin border of this and then I need to see what else I have. I will have to buy material for the backing as I have nothing suitable.

Today I went to the Imperial War Museum with my daughter Lucy. Whilst looking through the first and second World War galleries I came across 2 pieces of embroidery. The photos aren't great as they were taken through glass. The first was made by an Auxiliary Territorial Service volunteer and is a beautiful map of the UK.

The second piece was made by a member of the Land Army and is entitled Dig for Victory.

Thursday 7 June 2012

I need a holiday!

As the weather has been very wet this bank holiday I would normally have completed a lot of sewing. Unfortunately work got in the way because I had a heap of marking to do. At last that is out of the way but I am busy all weekend and wont get to my projects until at least Tuesday. However it isn't all dome and gloom as I did find time to make a 12 inch friendship star block.

I decided I am going to make a quilt of stars and hand quilt it using the quilt as you go method which will make it more portable. I will take it with me this weekend and should have found time to quilt it by Sunday.

I also completed cutting out the blocks for Isobel's baby quilt  I have put some of the blocks together. I am very happy about how it is coming along.

I have also completed the hot air balloon on my embroidery whilst relaxing after a day spent marking. The next area is a picture of the space shuttle. I am starting to feel that I might actually finish it this year.

Over the weekend I am also going to set myself some goals for June / July so that I can plan fitting my sewing around my work and family commitments This will include finding time to create a little quilt for a quilt swap at another little quilt swap

Saturday 2 June 2012

End of our Linus project

On Wednesday evening the Guide Linus project came to an end as they gave their quilts to Jacquie, the Linus representative for the area. She was very impressed with their work and the nice bright colours of the quilts.

Earlier in the day Scamp had tested the Rainbow quilt for the comfort factor  and was very impressed with it.

He had already tested it as a sleeping place prior to quilting. I think I am going to have a lot of photos to enter for the Pets on Quilts show in August. Follow the link for this on the side of my blog to see photos from previous years. 

Raindrops had been appliqu├ęd onto the design but we never made the pot of gold for the end of the rainbow. The girls were very pleased with the quilt when they saw it complete with binding.

Just some of the pile of completed quilts and baby blankets.

A picture of some of the baby blankets.

Jacquie very kindly presented the girls with their community action badge completed by taking part in this project and she completed Lucy's queen's Guide award booklet for this activity. All in all a great evening.

In addition this morning I completed the 80 feet of bunting needed to decorate the 2 boats. If I am given a photo of the decorated boats I will post it here.