Thursday, April 27, 2017

Theme-tas-stitch - April - Water

Hello Dear Friends,

When I saw Kerry's (Ramblings of a Biscornu Adict) theme for April (Click here to visit Kerry's blog) was water I instantly thought of a project, buried at the back of our wardrobe!

Started a couple of years ago ..... and something well outside my comfort zone!!!! My craft group had suggested our members would embroider pictures on tapestry with the connection of water ..... just not in tent stitch ..... what a coincidence that Kerry's theme is water too! Back then I'd found a view of a lighthouse that I thought might be fairly easy to stitch! I never got very far with it ..... in fact all I'd done was consider what stitches I could use.

Stitching plan

Well, I had found some wool ready .....  but all I stitched was the foreground ..... which took me a while as I wasn't used to the stitch, two little roofs oops! rooves, and the light of the lighthouse!

Sea Stitch
And this week I started stitching the sea!
The purple stitches are the start of the sky!

I am intending to stitch the tiny buildings, and lighthouse, this week ..... wish me luck!!!

I have another water project, but I haven't decided how I will embroider that yet!

Thank you, Kerry, for the inspiration to pull this old project out, I really must finish it now!

I hope everyone else managed to stitch more than I have!

Not sure I will be able to join in next month as I don't think I have any projects with only one colour ..... for Monochrome May!

See you soon,
Hugs, Barbara xxx

Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: "Painting for Quilting" Workshop with Mary Gamester

Hello Dear Friends,

A few weeks ago I took part in a Workshop "Printing for Quilting" at my Handicraft Group. Our group consisted of ten members with one visitor who in all honesty was was the most industrious amongst us (and by visitor, I don't mean our tutor!)!!

We were instructed by Mary Gamester, on how to load our paintbrushes with paint to cover the blocks we were using for printing, and how to use sponges ..... dipped in paint ..... for different background effects.

After a fun introduction, and guidance from Mary who brought along lots of samples of her printed work, to give us inspiration, and a large collection of Indian printing blocks, and paints for us to use, we all set to, to see what we could do!

I have to confess I didn't make a note of the manufacturer of the paints we used, but they were fabric paints.


I used some fabric which I had previously dyed in a tie dying workshop, others commented that they thought the tie dyed fabric worked well as a background for the block printing! However, I'm wondering, looking at my photos now, whether or not I applied sufficient paint to my printing blocks!

BTW - nearly forgot to say - all fabric needs washing before painting .... hence the crumpled appearance!

My printing
My experimental printing

In comparison the photo (mine again) below shows printing on a plain yellow fabric which looks a little stark to me.

My painting
My printing, again.

Looking at the visitor's blocks I think she had a lot more idea in respect of applying the paint to the blocks than I!

The Flashing

The Flashing

Some of you will no doubt recognise that the following three blocks involved sponge painting .....

The Flashing


When we sat down for our lunch break we noticed these cute little critters just outside our window ..... they obviously thought they had found a lovely quiet place to hunt, but had no idea how many pairs of eyes were watching them!!!

The Flashing

You can't see from my photos, but they were sitting, side by side, just a foot apart from each other .... proper hunting buddies!


After lunch we worked towards the projects we each intended to make from our blocks.

The Flashing

The Flashing Scissors

The Flashing Scissors
A future book cover

The Flashing Scissors

The Flashing Scissors
The long piece here is going to be made into a cover
for the tissue box.

The Flashing Scissors

The Flashing Scissors

Don't forget you will need to iron your painting to "set" it (Protect your iron and ironing board with sheets of baking parchment or baking paper either side of your fabric.) Once ironed your precious masterpieces, will be washable!


Well, I hadn't been sure what to expect from this workshop, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and only wished I had produced more painted pieces! 

It would be nice to have another go sometime!

Barbara xxx

PS I see Benta from SLIKstitches has blogged about a "Lino block" workshop held at her Crafty Group, and she also shows the use of "Magic" blocks for printing - Click here to visit Benta's blog.

You might also be interested to visit Svetlana's blog SOTAK for her quick tutorial on stamping and printing - Click here for Svetlana's blog.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

WOW:WIP - Catching up

Hello Dear Friends,

In March I joined in with Kerry's Theme-tas-stitch - "March Madness".

I haven't managed to add the pretty button for Kerry's post but you can find her at "Ramblings of a Biscornu Addict".

You may have seen my previous post, with details of some of the projects I worked on during March, but there were a few I haven't had time to mention until now.

March projects:

The following are the updates for these three projects I wrote about in my post over at Kitten Stitching and The Friday Frolics (Click here):

Honey Bee


Stitch by Stitch
"Stitch by Stitch"
I'm very pleased with this kit, it came with a sharp cross stitch needle which enters the fabric very precisely, and the cottons seem to be very good quality - they seem to be easier to stitch with than many I've used before. (Details of kit can be seen on my post at Kitten Stitching and the Friday Frolics.)


Another new start, again, in March:

Patchwork start

I haven't fully decided what I am making! I was going to make a Pinnie Pendant - I saw a tutorial over at Fabric Mutt, by Heidi Staples. But Heidi was using smaller scrap pieces ..... and I have this supply of 1.5" squares of vintage fabrics that I wanted to use! So this won't be like Heidi's Pendant at all really, but that was how it started !!!!

I am always on the look out for the perfect way to store/hold my needles and paraphernalia when I'm stitching "on the go" ..... travelling that is! Now to put my thinking cap on and try to come up with something suitable!


And I was still experimenting with quilting in March:

Quilting/ basting
This is my test piece ..... and I know I left it with the pins
in far too long!

Previously I pieced a patchwork house for Jen & Jan's brilliant Mini Blog Hop QAL ..... and I am still wondering how to quilt it!

After my failure with free motion quilting I decided I would have to use my walking foot but I was am still undecided how I should finally quilt the proper block. 

Firstly, I doodled on paper, then I machine quilted the shape of my final block onto my test piece.

Quilting - front

I was really pleased with the result ..... apart from the slight indentations left by my safety pin basting, which I think should disappear in time ...... as there was no bunching or slipping of fabric!


In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say! I thought I should test out machine binding too! I've bound things by hand but never by machine!

Trying to guess what it will look like with this fabric
for binding.

Most people seem to use 2.5" binding, so that is where I started.

I didn't know which fabric to use for my test .....
I'm so loath to part with my fabrics just for a test!

Binding a quilt
Not finished yet! This is the back, you might just be able to see the pins!

And this is where I have to leave you, as it is getting late for one thing, and I haven't quite finished my binding anyway!

I promise hope not to be so long before I post again ..... and I'd like to have a Friday Finish to share this week.

I haven't forgotten or abandoned my "Printing Block" post, it has just taken longer than I expected to prepare!

See you soon!

Hope you are having fun with fabric and thread!!

Hugs, Barbara xxx

Linking to:
Susan Arnold's Midweek Makers @ QuiltFabrication

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Theme-tas-stitch 2017" - March Madness!!!!

Hello my friends,

Today I am joining in with Kerry over at Ramblings of a Biscornu Addict for her "March Madness"! ..... because it tickled me when I read about the idea, and I just had to have a go!!!

By the way, if you don't know what a Biscornu is, you will see one or two in Kerry's blog header as soon as you visit. You will also be able to read more about Kerry's themes for each month! Look in her header bar for the category "Theme-tas-stitch 2017" ! I think it's a really great idea to have a different target each month .... well done Kerry for sharing!


The idea for March was to work on as many projects as possible.

My first project for March was something totally new to me!

This was a workshop, entitled "Printing for Quilting", held by my local Handicraft Group, (and I will blog about it in a separate post) so, for now, I'll just say: it was block printing onto fabric ..... tell you more in a few days.

Printing for Quilting Workshop
The fabrics you can see here were my attempts!

The yellow and green fabrics were scraps I had tie dyed a couple of years ago at a Summer Workshop, which I thought might look better with some printing. Not terribly good photos .... you can't really see my printing very well!

Printing for Quilting Workshop
This one is mine too - destined to become a book cover ....
one day!


Then I joined in with a wonderful blog hop: Quilter's Laundry Day blog hop ..... it was such fun! You can read all about it in this post!

I met lots of bloggers I didn't know, and rediscovered a few I'd found earlier, and had lost track of! Shows how important it is to "follow" those blogs you enjoy! 

Quilter's Laundry Day


After all the patchwork, and basting I wasn't sure how to actually quilt my block, hence I cut out, and basted an 11" practise block (basically a sandwich of 2 calico squares with polyester wadding in between them).

Quilting practice block - basted

But I panicked when I found I couldn't FMQ (Free Motion Quilt), despite covering the feed dogs and using an embroidery foot!

Embroidery foot and feed dog cover

Quilting Disaster Strikes!
It was pretty disastrous!

Quilting Disaster Strikes - Yikes!
Such a waste of cotton!


On my train journeys I was able to stitch a little more of my tulips in vase project, (mostly the stems)

Cross stitch - Vase of Tulips


and, on last Friday's journey I started this project .....

Cross stitch - Heritage Kit - Butterflies


Stitching in the evening, I added a few leaves around the little blue flowers on this one!

Cross stitch - Rosebud pattern by Jane Greenoff


And yesterday I was working on "Cocoa Sampler"

Cross stitch - Cocoa Sampler
It took ages just adding the heart
surrounded by purple stitches (not blue)!

Oh dear, only seven projects, I thought I would do more, I had another cross stitch kit poised ready to stitch, but "reporting in" date was yesterday, so all stitching is on hold for now! 

I haven't been able to work on the number of projects Kerry has! Tee hee! But, it was fun seeing how many I could stitch in March ..... and the month isn't over yet!

Now I'm off to do some visiting, and see what everyone else is stitching! Why don't you come and have a look too, at 

Kerry's Ramblings of a Biscornu Addict for "Theme-tas-stitch 2017"

but don't forget to say "Hi" here first! Tee hee!!!!!

I look forward to hearing from you, and I especially love to know if I've given you that little push to join in somewhere along the way! (Smiles ... tee hee!)

Barbara xxx

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Quilters Laundry Day Blog Hop!

Hello Dear Readers,

Today I'm joining Jen of A Dream and A Stitch, and Jan Holton of Colour Creating & Quilting for their Quilters Laundry Day Blog Hop. Thank you Jen and Jan for organising the hop, it has been great fun stitching this block.

Unfortunately I have run completely out of time, and I only have a flimsy to show although it is ready for quilting. I am not really confident enough to quilt quickly as I haven't done much quilting. I am using a polyester wadding ..... I like a puffy finish to my quilting, but I find it a bit tricky to quilt with this thickness.

I really enjoyed stitching this gorgeous free pattern, designed by Jen Rosin. However my sewing machine completely slowed me down ..... the needle shaft isn't quite straight, meaning I have to be very careful stitching my seams, to stitch them the correct width. So, I was really pleased with the way my little block has turned out, and even with the way the back looked!!! It all measured up perfectly!

My lovely finished seams! Yay!

I thought a "Friendship Star" block would be really appropriate for the blog hop! 

4 1/2" / 5" Friendship Star

But, whoops! .... I stitched a 4 1/2" pattern which worked out at 5", then I couldn't find a 4" pattern .... so I drew the block to scale, and used the measurements from the larger block, taking 1/8" and a titchy bit off each measurement! It worked! Yay!

Finished 4" Friendship Star ..... Yay!

 I was really pleased how well all the critical little pieces went together:

New to me - Trimmed diagonal squares!

Look how those pieces went together!

Finished house!

The hop is running over two days ..... 10th and 11th March.

Backing fabric, with binding!

I found it very difficult to take a picture without a lot of shadow!

House shown with proposed binding fabric
That's the fabric I will use for  binding, behind the house!
Do visit some (if you can't visit all!) of the other participants ..... there is some wonderful quilting to see! You will be amazed how this block looks so different depending on the fabrics other people have used. Most of them have been quilted too!

March 10 Reveal Day

Jen Rosin  A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats

Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Diann at Little Penguin Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy & Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizzie the Quilter
Sandra Walker at Mmm! Quilts!

March 11 Reveal Day

Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps
Mary Marcotte at Fleur de Lis Quilts

As this is a "Finished" block I am also linking to Crazy Mum Quilts for "Finish it up Friday".