Monday, September 28, 2015

Patchwork, Quilting and Embroidery

Hello Dear Reader,

I am again joining Super Mom - No Cape's Stitchery Link Party (No 25).


Some time ago we bought a wine filter kit, made up of 3 items, stand, funnel, and filter.  It wasn't easy to keep the pieces together, so I decided it would be best kept in a pouch.

And, as I was now into my embroidery "stride", it had to have an embroidered picture on the front of the pouch.

This was my second foray into embroidery, the first being my Town Ruck. I drew a test sketch of the wine filter (however the drawing turned out to be far too small).  I then enlarged it in order to do  the embroidery.

Pinning the layers together
Just finished the quilting here! 

After adding the lining, the next job was stitching the layers together with zig zag stitch.

Close up of the detail
Close up of quilting and embroidered flowers

View of the filter pouch after layers have ben stitched together
Please ignore the rather bright fabric I have laid my sewing on
to take the shot, as it is nothing to do with the actual project. 

Pouch stitched together, lining inside.
The little pink tab in the middle of the seam is my name label.


Base in progress
Maybe a little elaborate for the bottom of a bag,
but I do get a little carried away sometimes!

Base quilted!
Still the base of the bag!  Ready to piece the bag together.

Joining base to body of pouch
Joining base to the body of pouch.

Front of pouch

Back of pouch
Back view of bag and that's the wine filter next to it.
The last two pictures show the carrier and ribbons added to the top of the pouch to finish.


And here's a quick update on my Cocoa Sampler.

This is where I was last time:

Cocoa Sampler in progress

 And this is today's picture of my Cocoa Sampler:

Cocoa sampler in progress
This is where I'm up to today.
A little more progress!


Do have a look at Sue's linky party to see the amazing range of projects people are working on and maybe next week you can join in too and show your current stitching project?!


Our latest feathered visitor

This week we had another little visitor to our garden. (Please enlarge to view, he's so sweet!) He seemed to be around most of the week.






He is a sweet little chap who is really quite tame.  I guess he is old.  He had plenty to eat and drink but he seemed a little slow and so, sadly, I expect one of the many cats around here will catch him before too long.


Well, I hope you have a super week!

Do say "Hi".  It's lovely to see you here, and then I will be able to visit your blog too!

Bye for now.

Barbara xx

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cross stitch mice! and an update.

Hello Dear Reader,

Today, I am again linking to Super Mom - No Cape's Stitchery Party.


Years ago, before I started free hand embroidery, I stitched this picture from Cross Stitcher magazine.

I thought the little mice were cute and I loved the patchwork quilt.

Sleeping mice

It was sweet to work, with all those little patches.

Sleeping Mice

And I enjoyed stitching the words too:

"Ease your whiskers, rest your paws,
Pies and puddings fill the stores,
Sweetly dream the night away,
till sunrise brings another day."

Sleeping Mice

I was intending to make this into a nightdress bag, but somehow that hasn't happened yet!

Just a shame its been sitting in the cupboard ever since.


And an update!

This was where I left my Cocoa Sampler last time you saw it:

Cocoa Sampler

and here it is now!  

Cocoa Sampler

I am keeping up my idea of stitching 10 stitches a day, and in doing that I find I generally stitch more.  I also thought that if I fill small areas of the pattern at a time, it might help to stop me feeling daunted by the number of stitches still remaining.

After reading Renee's blog, where she notes the number of stitches she has worked on her pictures, I calculated that my picture has approximately a total of 15,688 stitches, but I don't know how many I have stitched already!


Do have a look at the other participants in Super Mom - No Cape's Stitchery Party to see what everybody else is making - there is a lot of beautiful work there!

Have a great week, and I hope you will visit me again soon!

Barbara xx

Monday, September 14, 2015

Izzy Gets a Dress / A Sweet Little Breakfast Guest

Hello Dear Readers

I am sorry I haven't visited and commented on as many blogs as I would have liked to recently, but unfortunately our window replacement is not progressing anywhere near as quickly as it should, due to a few hiccups that I won't bore you with.



I have started making a dress for Izzy, which will be completely hand stitched, and so today I am linking to Super Mom - No Cape.  Thank you Sue, for hosting this party.

Once again I have looked  to Runo's amazing blog: Nuno Life, for ideas for Izzy's dress.

introduced Runo's blog on a previous post with reference to making Izzy's eyes, but although I used Runo's shape for the eyes I "borrowed" Pickled Okra's idea for embroidering the pupils and irises. (Go here to see how I made Izzy's hair.)

Runo's dress pattern was a good place to start. Runo doesn't give measurements (other than seam allowance) you estimate the size for your own doll.

I started by placing my doll on a sheet of paper, and drew, with a pencil, around the shape of the doll onto the paper. I added approximately 0.25" for seams.  I then extended the arms to form sleeves (black outline).

Drawing round Izzy to make the pattern

Pattern preparation
The pencil lines on the "Front" are the lines I drew around Izzy
I traced the front onto tracing paper, folded it in half and drew round that to make the "Back" and added 0.5" for the "interfacing" on the back seam.

Time to stitch
Ready to start stitching the bodice.

 In the order Runo suggested:

  1. pin front and back pieces at shoulder, and stitch,
  2. seam under arm,
  3. gather skirt and stitch top onto skirt,
  4. fold sleeve cuffs, and stitch,
  5. fold neck edge under, and stitch, 
  6. sew gathered lace to neckline,
  7. attach snaps.


We had just sat down to eat breakfast on our terrace, when hubby suddenly noticed this cute little guy dozing in the sun next to him.

Breakfast guest

Sweet guy!


Sunbathing 2!

Sweet guest!

He must have been there about 5 or 10 minutes, I think he thought we should go away and leave him to the sunny spot he had found!


Today we have been more than a little worried, as it has been raining quite heavily here, and we discovered our windows are not as waterproof as they should be yet.

After two frantic telephone calls from my husband, plus emails with photographs, they have now been sealed more thoroughly this afternoon, and a planned date has now been given to complete the work fully.


I will show a little more of my cross stitch next time, as it hasn't grown very much more at the moment.


Have a lovely week everyone, and don't forget to pop over and have a look at the other blogs linking to Super Mom - No Cape.

Barbara xx

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Calling Cross Stitchers, and Some Garden Life.

Hello Dear Readers,

Thank you for looking in, and an especial thank you for the comments on my previous post.


Our replacement windows and door have taken much longer than the 3 days originally forecast - this is the third week!

Most of the work outstanding, is now external making good which won't be finished for some time yet, as we have had issues with the company on the standard of work. The original team has been moved away at our request.  We have been assured the work will be completed ASAP, as soon as more suitable labour is available from the company, as they are currently working elsewhere on other jobs.

However, we are feeling a little happier as this weekend we were able to put our curtains back up in our living room, giving us some much needed privacy again in the evenings, now that we need lights on from about 8pm.  And I'm really looking forward to getting the net curtains up tomorrow after our workman puts the finishing touches to the inside of our bedroom window.

As we were unable to connect to the web while our front door was being replaced I've not kept up to date with everyone's blogs.  I'm feeling a little left out at the moment!

I really hope to be able to get back to visiting and commenting on your blogs again this week.


Calling Cross Stitchers!

Thanks to your encouraging remarks I have picked up my Cocoa Sampler, telling myself if I just do a few stitches every day it will soon be finished.

Where I left off stitching in 2004....
Where I left off stitching in 2004

So, whilst we couldn't go out anywhere, and were back to making coffees every hour for our workmen I had time to discover where I had gone astray with the picture of the house in the sunset.

Wouldn't you know it - it was only one row of about 8 stitches which had held me up!

I ripped out the row where the stitches were back to front, and happily carried on.

A little progress!
A little progress!
I felt I had stitched a lot, but when I saw these photos I realised it doesn't look much.

The owl is finished, bar the white stitches,
which I always do last.

Bedtime scene.
Just starting on this scene, and, again, it has a lot of white stitches
 which will also be the last job.

But, I wonder, can anyone help me with the following:

This is a Sue Cook pattern, which was published in The World of Cross Stitching about 2004. I am working from a photocopy of the chart and sampler key (and don't know what happened to the original magazine with the colour picture of the pattern), and looking at my photocopy chart now I see I have a tiny problem.... There are 4 different coloured back stitches and looking at the black and white key it is very hard to tell one from the other.

Have you stitched this chart and, if so, do you have the colour copy of it?

Or do you have the picture itself?  If so, are you able to help me discover which backstitch lines are which colour?

I do hope you may have stitched this too!


Some Garden Life

On Sunday we had a sudden warm burst of sunshine, and I was in our garden having a little photo shoot - taking close ups of my cross stitch. The sun was a real bonus because it brought out lots of beautiful wildlife, there were mating dragonflies and a mayfly, bees, wasps and something I hadn't seen before - a hummingbird type moth which I videoed but the picture was not good enough to show here sadly

Lovely butterfly on Buddlea

I am afraid I cannot name these butterflies, but they look so pretty I wanted to show them.

Butterfly on Buddleah

Butterfly on Buddleah

A couple of mornings ago we opened our kitchen blinds to see that the night animals (which we assume to be badgers) had been busy, yet again.

The work of the night animals.
Night animal action, outside our kitchen window.

Quite extensive digging, although it may not be easy to tell what it is.
And outside our kitchen window again, from a different angle.

Night digging
Under our apple tree

All this ground is under our bird feeders and hubby tells me the soil is very good there due to the seeds dropping and growing and eventually fertilising the soil so that there must be lots of worms there for the night animals.  We don't mind too much, but we did have bulbs planted in both these spots, but it is hard to get anything to grow when they keep being dug up.


I hope you have made it this far, and I'd like to thank you all for visiting today. 

It was really warming to read the lovely comments you made on my previous post, it helped bring a smile to our faces during a trying time, they were all very much appreciated!

Barbara xx

Hope to see you back here again!