Thursday, January 30, 2014

Soft & Sweet

I finished up a private exchange piece as one of my first finishes of the year.  I was asked to do a private swap piece with a lady called Marion who lives in Germany.  As our seasons are opposite we decided that I would stitch her a Spring themed piece and she would stitch me an Autumn themed piece.  I posted out to her last week and received an email that she has already received.  WOW, that was quick for a nice change!!

Here is the piece that I stitched for Marion.

LHN - Soft & Sweet
Stitched on a piece of hand dyed linen using silks provided in the kit
Finished as a mug rug

As you can see I didn't stitch the whole design, just the middle portion and then I graphed the word "Spring" to fit inside the banner.  Another cross stitched and quilted finish that I just loved putting together.
Marion posted out to me the other day so I'm hoping it will be a quick delivery too.

I have also finished and packaged up my piece and extras for the Initial Heart Swap being run by Cheryll at Gone Stitchin.  

I have managed to get a little stitching done, I am back on my SAL Sorpresa 3.  I really want to catch up as I love this design and the way it is coming together.  I just find stitching the many trees and snowflakes are what puts me off.  After this one is done I think I will concentrate on getting my CHS Alphablocks finished and Sarah Spurr and then my big WIPS will all be done.

Until next time, happy stitching

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mini Quilt Finish

I'm doing the "Happy Dance"!!!
This patchwork/quilting sure is contagious.  I'm already putting together some blocks and thinking of a table runner for my Mum, and I had a heap of 5" scrap squares from when I originally started quilting (yes I have hung onto them for 15 years), I guess one day I'd hoped to make them into something.  Well my Cousin has announced that he and his new wife are expecting, so I'm thinking there is a possibility of a cot quilt.  Who knows!
Anyway back to my "Happy Dance" moment.  I have finished up my practice mini quilt I was working on. What an experience it was, I enjoyed myself so much.  Some bits had me on the edge of my seat whilst using my sewing machine, but I'm sure the more I get used to it I will learn the tricks of the trade.  So here is a photo.  Don't look too closely as its not perfect and I know that, but as mentioned this really is my practice piece.  There were no instructions on where you were supposed to quilt it so I just went with it, I would probably do that differently a second time round but hey, you live and learn, and that's the fun of crafting.  I don't think its too bad for my first try back at this craft.  Its not the proper way of binding either, this one had instructions on using the backing fabric, making it bigger than your front and folding and bringing it to the front, making sure to mitre your corners.  I was happy to do it this way to start, but will be trying the proper way with future pieces.
Without further ado, here is my first mini quilt.

PS. The flower embellishments came with it and I'm still deciding on placement for them, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

My Son returns to school in a week.  Here in Australia our school year runs from February to December, with the week before Christmas right through January as their Summer holidays.  I have been getting his stationery together and other requirements but this year decided to make him a library bag.  I had some boyish fabric and basically just put it together, no pattern, I just went for it.  I think it will do the job and it saves me having to buy one, plus its one of a kind so he shouldn't go losing it.  He turns 10 this year and he is really getting into things like zombies, monsters and aliens, so the skulls made him very happy.

Well I really don't know what I am going to get up to next.  Things just spring into my head and I decide to give them a go.  I have been going back through some magazines and marking ones that I would like to try that can be either patchwork or applique, its just the buying of supplies that holds me back at the moment.  I have been doing cross stitch for soo long now that I have built up a lot of stash and really only need to buy the odd pattern that takes my fancy every now and then, but with this new interest I really am starting from scratch and will have to build my supplies up.  The only problem is that I am running out of room in my small study.  I have told my husband that we will need to buy a bigger house soon just so I can have a bigger craft room and study. hehe

Until next time, happy stitching

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Catch Up & A Win

We have been having some very hot days here, especially last weekend.  We had a terrible bushfire in the Hills that destroyed around 52 homes, such a terrible start to the New Year.  It turned out that one of the streets that 5 homes were destroyed on was where we lived about 10 years ago.  I'm not sure if our old house was one of the ones lost, but it deeply saddens me to know that some of our old neighbours are now dealing with such heartache.

Onto lighter news and here is a photo of an exchange I sent before Christmas (Dec 1 actually) only to have arrived in Canada last week.  And the parcel I'm waiting for sent at the same time from Canada hasn't arrived here yet.

As mentioned in previous posts, I am dabbling in quilting/patchwork again.  Now its been a good 15 years since I did this and back then I was taught the paper piecing method.  Now I have my new sewing machine I'm going to use that instead.  Here is a photo of one of the very first things I made back then.

It's not the greatest, especially the colours as I had to take what was given to me at the time, as I was learning and had no supplies.  It was given to my Mum and she has it sat on her dressing table.

Well I decided to give a mini a go and probably  picked out the hardest one to try first, even though it looked easy (and it probably is for some) but I really have to practice on getting the seams to match up better.  All those tiny squares lining up was a bit of a challenge for me and I definately have to work on them more and just get used to my sewing machine, but I have to say this is my first practice quilt and I can look back on it in years to come and see where I started and hopefully how far I have come.  It now needs the batting and back to be added and then quilted and then of course the binding, which will be an interesting thing to learn.

I have also hand appliqued some small coasters, but will leave them for another post as I am still working on them.

I was also the winner of a giveaway on Kim's blog and here is a picture of what I received.

That's all my latest news for now.  To all in the Eastern States of Australia, stay safe in this heatwave, especially if you are in a Hills or rural area prone to fires.  And to everyone else in the world in a lovely cold climate at the moment (lucky things!) stay warm and toasty.

Until next time, happy stitching

Monday, January 6, 2014

Starting Out Fresh

Hi dear friends, I hope you all had a lovely start to the New Year.
I decided not to make any plans in regards to my stitching for 2014.  I looked back at my plans for 2013 (there were 3 designs I wanted to stitch) and didn't end up stitching any of them.  So I figure that I might as well not try to pin something down and just go with the flow.
One thing I am definately going to do this year though is learn more quilting and applique.  I picked up a bag load of Christmas applique pieces and I'm going to experiment with them over time and dabble more into quilting again.  I say again as I did use to quilt about 15 years ago, my husbands grandmother taught me some basic blocks, but when she passed away my enthusiasm for it just wasn't the same.  Having joined some wonderful Aussie groups lately and seeing some beautiful finishes I am inspired to get back into the swing of it and give it another go.  In fact, I finished up a piece over the weekend, a little mug rug which is half cross stitch and half quilted, but I am saving it for an exchange piece, so will have to show you later. Sorry!

I do have an exchange to show you though.  This is for the Christmas Joy exchange at Stitch, Create, Exchange and here is what I sent to my partner Kim.

This is what I received from my partner Melanie.  I have kept the snowman pillow out as I'm going to have it on display all the time.  Its just too cute to put away.

I have also taken the 2014 Swap Pledge of Integrity.

I Lisa, will try my utmost...
   To always swap on time.
    To always email a THANK YOU to my partner.
    To be considerate and thoughtful when choosing a gift.
    To give my partner the quality of gift that I would like to receive.
    To communicate when it's required.
    To NEVER over commit and let a partner down.
    To advise the swap mama when I receive my gift.

This I sewomly pledge.... 

Until next time,  happy stitching