Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Getting Started - Nature, The Endeavourers

Hello everybody, new friends and old!

Thank you for your sweet and encouraging comments on my introductory post for "The Endeavourers", I really appreciate them. I am trying to reply but please forgive me if I take a little while replying to all of you ..... most of my waking hours have been taken up with working out how to paint my "Nature" quilt. .... or maybe I should say quiltlet!

When I saw the title "Nature" I thought "Oh, that will be quite easy" ..... Nah!

I found my inspiration photo:

The Flashing Scissors

then thought a bit about what I should do, which led to this:

The Flashing Scissors

I started out with ideas of drawing the branch with leaves and berries, but soon realised that including leaves would be too complicated in the time I have left!

Then, it just so happened that, around the time I was deciding what to do I received an email from the Surrey Wildlife Trust with an article about Dormice .... problem solved, I thought! But I'm not very good at drawing, so this is my attempt ..... now to work out what colours to use.

The Flashing Scissors

First job was to sketch out my pattern:

The Flashing Scissors

Then I cut out a 16 1/2" square of muslin ..... but didn't realise that I hadn't pre-washed it, (I normally wash all my fabric as soon as I get it home!) hence after rinsing the fabric it is no longer a square! Oh, and then, I'm sure you know the process ..... after ironing, I traced my pattern onto the fabric.

I found some lovely fabric for a border too ..... sorry no photo yet.

The Flashing Scissors

Then, next morning, in a rush to get started I wet the fabric again and started painting! Duuh!!!!! Of course it started seeping!!!!

So last night I did what I should have done in the first place, and made a test piece ..... which turned out perfectly!

The Flashing Scissors

But by now I had to abandon my first piece of fabric and start sketching again! 

The Flashing Scissors

The next job is to paint a tester of the dormouse.

After my problems with the paint I don't think I have any hope of finishing in time for the 1st February, but I'll carry on trying!

I hope you will pop over to visit "The Endeavourers" and see what everyone else is making.

Wish me luck!

Barbara xxx

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Endeavourers - Nature

Hello Dear Friends, old and new,

Thank you for visiting me today. No sewing today, although it doesn’t mean I’m not busy sewing! Just wanted to tell you about my latest project .....

While visiting the lovely Janine on her blog "The Rainbow Hare" a few months ago, I read an invitation to join a quilting group that she and a friend were forming called "The Endeavourers".

I liked the idea ..... and so, I decided to join the group.

Our first subject is “Nature” ...... boy that gives us so much choice, doesn’t it! We can make our quilt whatever size we want, using whatever method we like. The idea is that our quilts be ready for a “big reveal” on 1st February 2018.

I took the following photos a few years ago and I'm wondering if I can actually make a quilt inspired by them! I haven't had much experience with quilting .....  but I'm hoping I will be ready!

The Flashing Scissors

The Flashing Scissors

I haven’t started yet, I always find I have the best inspiration the closer the target date!!! I know .....mad! I’m thinking of paints ..... and tiny, as is my way!

If you would like to visit the other bloggers involved do have a look at "The Endeavourers" blog to see who is joining in.

In any event, do come back and visit me on 1st February to see if I've achieved! Tee hee! 

Barbara xxx

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Yay! I have a finish! - Teeny tiny purse

Hello Dear Friend,

Today I am linking to Amanda’s “Crazy Mom Quilts” for “Finish it up Friday” with my first teeny tiny finish for 2018!

I was making this badge (that's the purple fabric on the right) and had just made a pocket to go on the back (the green check) when a necklace arrived through the post. It's a fox necklace for a friend. But I had the idea of making a teeny pouch similar to the green check pocket for my friend to keep the necklace in.

The fabrics used were Osnaburgh, cotton and flanelette for the lining.

I wanted to stitch this Mini Purse completely by hand, but there were a couple of parts that needed to be machine stitched so the purse won't fall apart with use. The flap was made separately and inserted in the back seam, along with the handles, before being machine stitched in place; and of course the hair elastic needed machining too.

The final measurements were:  3.5" width x 2.25" height x 1" depth

I hope my friend will like it. I did get just a little carried away, what with the embroidery, oh, and I almost forgot to mention, the most important part of it, the toggle was made from a piece of a branch from our own cherry tree, cut and polished by DH!

Barbara xxx

Gifted Gorgeousness - January 2018

"GIFTED GORGEOUSNESS" ..... a monthly link party run by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching. Link up runs from the 15th until the end of the month. If you would like to find out more and maybe join up go HERE!

I nearly forgot to say "Butterfly" and "Stitch by Stitch" were both gifts I've received ..... and, as such, they qualify for Gifted Gorgeousness - read all about who's joining in with GG this month HERE (on Jo's blog).

Some of you may have already seen the next two pictures, sorry about that but it is relative to my tale! 

There has been a little progress this month on "Stitch by Stitch" (a gift I received from Jacquie of My Journey) ....

The Flashing Scissors

I had just managed to stitch this "frame", there are two circles of stitches, one white and one grey, and then one of those "I can't put it down" projects appeared! 

And, in case you haven't seen my "TUSAL" post, this is how "Stitch by Stitch" looks now .....

The Flashing Scissors
"Stitch by Stitch"
The "I can't put it down" project is next to my badge and it's pocket under construction .....

The Flashing Scissors

This is to wrap a gift for a friend, and as “a gift for a friend” it qualifies for "Gifted Gorgeousness".

I know ..... it's not cross stitch, but most of it is hand stitched!

I'd been working on my name badge (see above) ..... and I thought I'd make a pocket on the back of the badge, and that's the green check you can see above on the right (of course when it is a pocket it will have the pattern on the inside, or it will never be seen again! Tee hee!); and then a necklace we had ordered on line for a friend's belated Christmas pressie was delivered. I decided the necklace just had to have a pouch to keep it safe, and you can see the start (top left).

I originally intended the gift pouch to be no more than a pocket like the one for my name badge ..... but then I thought the chain might catch on the seams inside the pocket ..... so, of course, it had to be lined ..... then it had to have a handle - makes it easier to pick up!

The Flashing Scissors

But, as often happens, it didn't work out as I'd planned ..... there were problems with the flap ..... which then had to be cut off, made separately, and then machine stitched into place.

I am really happy with the finish, just hope my friend likes it! (She's not a stitcher.) 

The Flashing Scissors
As it happens two of these cotton reels 
fit comfortably in this little purse!

Coming soon:

  • Oh, oh, I think I really must make one of these for me! But it will have to wait a little while as I have so many other things I really must make first. I'll be back very soon to share a little more detail on my mini purse.
  • and shortly I want to tell you about my new quilting adventure ..... I'm joining in with The Endeavourers ..... and I'll be back to tell you about that too very soon.
Bye for now,

Barbara xxxx

Friday, January 19, 2018

First TUSAL of the year - January 2018

There are two things I want to tell you about today .....

Firstly, I totally forgot this was the start of a new year! Duh! 

Eeek! What am I like?!!

Hence you will see last year's TUSAL jar in the photo below along with my mini thread catcher and my almost finished butterfly. 

(If you haven't heard of TUSAL or ORTs before do pop over to Daffycat to find out all about them, and maybe even join in?!?!)

Still, at least I left the current ORTs in a pile on their own for this photo, so I can now see how it needs to be sorted, and in a minute I will go look for a new jar.

The Flashing Scissors

I know my ORTs pile looks teeny, but I do use the cotton as close to the end of the thread as I can and that's why there isn't a big pile!

That said, a lot of the ends came from tidying up "Stitch by Stitch" ..... and were just the knots from starting the new threads. I've only worked on this light coloured part lately, others were from tidying "Butterfly".

The Flashing Scissors

Another view, just to show you how it's growing:
The Flashing Scissors
"Stitch by Stitch" by Anchor

And, Secondly ..... I knew I'd seen a way to use ORTs! 

This week a lady from the Embroiderers Guild gave a talk at my handicraft group ..... and during her presentation she showed a few items she had made using tiny pieces of cotton! They weren't actually ORTs but they were as tiny as some of my little ends shown above.

I know some of you were wondering whatever you could do with all your ORTs so I thought I'd just mention ..... this lady used sheets of double sided fusible web ..... and I think it was *Steam-A-Seam (other brands are available) by arranging the coloured threads pleasingly, then covering with Organza, iron as directed on the packet, then you will have a "fabric" you can use as you want. The lady had made butterflies with hers and attached them to pictures and a vase cover she had designed. 

So there's something to try out sometime!

*Re: Steam-A-Seam, this is just something I use and I am not being paid to say this!!!


Now I'm off to visit some of you and see what you have been up to!

Happy stitching everyone! And keep warm/cool out there ..... depending where you are!

Barbara xxx

Don't forget, as I said earlier, if you haven't heard of TUSALs just pop over to Daffycat to find out all about it, and maybe even join in?!?!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A shout out to my English and Welsh blogging friends

I wouldn’t normally ask for your help in this way, but I feel this could affect any one of us or our families!

When I visited my Blogger Dashboard this morning I read that the UK Government are currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulations and that the Cats Protection want us to make ourselves heard.

Cats Protection say:-
  • “UK press reports show that three cats are killed or injured by air guns each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations. “Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in England and Wales where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.”
  • “These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets,” adds Jacqui. “This is an unacceptable state of affairs and we want to see England and Wales follow the example of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without a licence.”

Last year the Cats Protection organised a petition which 90,000 people signed asking the government to license air guns in England and Wales. 

I know many of you have young children and pets and I feel sure you must be as concerned as I am about this issue. 

If you haven’t already done so, I hope you will take a few minutes to pop over and visit the blog, where the Cats Protection are asking for as many people as possible to write an email to the government in support of the petition ..... there is an adaptable email ready for sending. (You will be asked for name and address, as is normal for any communication of this type.)


I know there are a lot of bad things happening in the world but I hope you too will feel we should do our bit to try to stop some of them if we can.

So I’m sorry to go “off piste” like this but I hope you will agree with me that it’s important to do our little bit when we can.

Thank you soooo much for reading and I really hope you will feel you can speak out to help too, even if you have signed the petition already, the Cats Protection are asking if you could support the petition with their email.

Barbara xxx