Thursday, 19 July 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 194 - Red Bluebell Cushion


Reunited at last!  Our settee and armchairs arrived home from the upholsterers on Tuesday, and we couldn't be more pleased with the result.  No more tired and faded brown, we now have a lovely moss green three-piece suite in our front room.  The transformation is incredible.  When I bought my first house in 1983, the vendor, who was in her eighties, included the settee and chairs in the sale.  She had had them since she got married in 1930.  The upholsterer had an interesting time working on them.  Even for their time, they were very solidly built, and the lack of extra tack marks in the wooden framework indicated that they had never been reupholstered before.

When they were delivered home I had three cushions ready use straight away - the poppies cushion, the snakeshead cushion and this one that I finished last week in the William Morris bluebell design.  I have loved working with this fabric.  The overall effect is one of calm symmetry.  Exactly what I want after a busy day - a bit of peace and quiet on the settee.



The symmetry didn't quite carry over to the back.  I decided to make the button band in the same fabric.  The pattern doesn't exactly match, but it doesn't jar either.



The settee is fairly small, so two 20 inch square cushions are more than enough.



The poppies cushion is a little smaller, at 18 inches square, just the right size for the armchairs.

Now I am in a bit of a quandary, not knowing what size cushion to make next.  One, or possibly two more, will probably be enough, but I want to carry on and make hundreds.


Here goes for week 194:-

Many thanks to Cynthia for linking up last week .  If you haven't seem her blog post yet, nip over now and see more:-



It's still hot, so whether you are overheating in the northern hemisphere or shivering in the south, if you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.


If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.


Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Dry Summer


One of my favourite walks is impassable at the moment.  Just over four months ago the way was blocked by snowdrifts.   Now, after nearly two months of hot weather and virtually no rain, the crop of rapeseed is a dry woody tangle and the path through it is overgrown.  Here is the same field at the same time of year in 2014.  A mini monsoon would be a pleasant change.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 193 - Thrifty Wadding


Fiddly but gratifying.  I have a bag full of small offcuts of wadding left over from previous projects, and at the moment I am putting them to use in the quilted cushions that I have been making.  I would much rather stitch together four or five small pieces and use them rather than chucking them away.  Should I have been a surgeon?  Herringbone stitch always looks so clinical.

There has been more interesting progress on the sewing front this week.  The William Morris bluebell print is finished.  I was all ready to take a photo of it on Wednesday and realised we were in too much chaos for me to do it.  The settee and armchairs are away with the upholsterer and I was far too addled by the heat to think of taking the cushion upstairs to my daughter's bedroom, which has good daylight.  However, finally the big redecoration project is coming together.  The carpet fitters were here this morning, and next week the settee and armchairs should be back home.  We shall be relaxing in a fully transformed front room, and all the stuff that has been temporarily shoved into my sewing room should be back in the right place.  Can't wait!

So, a little later than usual, here goes for week 193:-

Many thanks to Tami for linking up last week with her mid-year review.  If you haven't seem her blog post yet, nip over now and suggest what she might make with this set of fabrics:-



It's still hot, so if you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project that is still in the planning stage.  Someone might be able to help with suggestions!

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.


Saturday, 7 July 2018

Where Were You When...?


You always remember where you were when something big happens.  Argentina getting knocked out of the World Cup, for instance.  


I was on the third yellow stripe on the back of my latest cardigan when the boys in sky blue and white stripes were crying on the pitch.  France had given them something to think about.  Allez les bleus!

More drama followed a few rows later, when both Spain and Denmark were knocked out on penalties on the same day.   



The next yellow stripe marks the end of a truly classic match, when Belgium scored in the last 15 seconds of play to beat Japan 3-2.

The next match I watched was England v Colombia.  Boy, was I glad of my knitting because I could barely watch.  The Colombians were frustrated rugby players trapped in the wrong sport.  When they equalised in the 93rd minute I felt the dread rising.  When neither team scored in extra time it was unbearable, because England and penalties usually spell bad news.  I had just finished the last yellow stripe on the back, the last before the raglan shaping, and had to leave the house for a walk.

While I was out I heard cheers rising from a nearby house.  England's got one in, I thought.  Then there seemed to be a scream.  Ominous.  Then another cheer.  Another one in?  Then, oh woe, more screams.  That's it.  Rubbish result, only two in.  So I started walking home, wondering which team I might transfer my allegiance to for the rest of the competition.




When I got home my husband deadpanned me along in my misery, and then told me what had really happened.  Then it made sense - the first cheer was for England's save, and the second for the winning penalty.  Oh miracles - through to the quarter finals!  Hope is not in vain!  What else was I to do to celebrate but transfer the back onto a circular needle for the shoulder shaping and cast on the right front?

With the break between the round of 16 and the quarter finals I had knitted a few inches when the matches started again.  Then the fun started. 



Brazil scored an own goal on the Goodbye Argentina Yellow Stripe.  It was a thrilling match, with Belgium scoring a truly astonishing goal at 31 minutes, a final score of 2-1, and Brazil were out.

Then today came the nail biter, England v Sweden.  It was too hot in our front room to watch the match properly, so I just bobbed in and out to keep tabs on the action.  A very respectable 2-0 win, with some star saves from the goalkeeper.  The joy.  The relief.

Now Russia and Croatia are level at 90 minutes and about to start extra time...  The winner will play England in the semi final next week.

Yes, I'm enjoying the World Cup.  The knitting is absorbing all the tension.  If England get knocked out I am not, repeat not, going to unravel all this knitting in disgust.  I'll live with it.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 192 - It's Too Hot!


A photo of a courgette plant.  What has that got to do with sewing?  Absolutely nothing.  It is just my way of saying that the whole rhythm of life has been disrupted by heat and lack of rain.  Too hot to sew, the allotment is parched and our prevailing wet westerly winds have deserted us.  This courgette is the one vegetable that is actually producing the goods at the moment.

A couple of days ago I read that this heat wave is affecting huge areas of the northern hemisphere, which makes you wonder how long it will be before we have a plague of locusts.

So this week, because it was my birthday yesterday and sewing has, for the time being gone out of the window, if anybody wants to link up with a summer themed post showing what they are doing in the hot weather, please do so.  It can be anything you like - sewing, cooking, gardening, art, craft...  

The usual rules of the linky are listed below, but feel free to ignore them.


If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.


Sunday, 1 July 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Spotted Longhorn Beetle.


Resting on top of a hollyhock bud, this beetle stayed still long enough for me to photograph it.  At first sight it looked worryingly like a wasp.  

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Baby Boy's Cardigan with Cables


Perhaps this little cardigan is a slightly odd shape, so I am hoping that its new owner will mould it to his own fit.  This was knitted for my latest great-nephew, who was born in late May, and my husband and I were his godparents at his christening last Saturday.

This turned out to be a project with elements I love and others that I hate.  I shall start with the minuses.  The decreasing method that I used for the raglan shoulders doesn't go particularly well with the cables and rib stitch.  I must remember not to use it again except with a plain stocking stitch.  Also the rib makes the whole cardigan seem narrower than it actually is.  Rib might be the perfect stitch for a slender young lady with a pleasing figure, but I'm not so sure it works particularly brilliantly on babies.  The sleeves look the ideal length for an outfit for a baby gibbon.



However, with the cuffs turned up they don't look too bad.  Now the cardigan has the look I was aiming for, a miniature version of an elderly gentleman's cardigan, ideal for an evening relaxing in an armchair with pipe and tartan slippers.



I love the colour of the buttons, a nice deep red to go with the edging.



As for the edging yarn itself, I absolutely love it.  There are shades of red, deep purplish pink, grey and turquoise.  I had slight misgivings at first, thinking it might look too girly with the pinks and reds...



… but there is enough blue and grey to tone it down into a more boyish mix.

Now I am wishing my husband could be persuaded to wear cardigans, but he's always been a jumper man.  Shame.  I would enjoy seeing an adult version in a grey-green tweedy fleck, complete with pockets for cough sweets.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 191 - Following the Lines


You can't really tell from the photo, but despite the heat, I have done a fair amount of quilting this week.  Treadling can be hot work in the summer, and suddenly we are in the midst of a scorcher.



A quick look at the back shows where I have been.  The curves and symmetry of this pattern are so beautiful.  This is going to be a square cushion.  There is enough fabric left over to make an oblong cushion afterwards.  It could be slow work.  This heat is set to last for while.

Here goes for Week 191

Many thanks to Andrée
for linking up last week with her wholecloth quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.



If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Monday, 25 June 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Seed Head


Ready to fly on the next breeze... shame I don't know what the flower is.

PS.  Many thanks to Kerry, who hit the nail on the head with goat's beard, otherwise known as Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Autumn Cardigan


Autumn will be here before we know it, and I have amazed myself by having a cardigan finished already for when the cooler weather comes.  It is version 2 of the winter cardigan I made a few months ago, and which turned out to be an absolute godsend when the blizzards came in March.


The mixture of yarns includes a pink flecked cotton and wool mix in place of the grey mohair that I used in the winter cardigan, so it should be just right for cool weather before winter sets in.

This time I thought ahead about the decreasing for the raglan shoulders and ended up with a much neater finish.  For the winter cardigan I made the pattern up as I went along, and the stitch didn't match when I had all the pieces on a circular needle.


The buttons are the same as on the last cardigan.  I liked them so much when I bought them that I came away with ten rather than just the five I needed at the time.

There is loads of the pink flecked yarn left over.  I am itching to make a summer cardigan for next year, but can't decide what colour to use with it.  I'm a bit bored of grey now.  Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 190 - Fabric and Faceplate Twins


Morris Bluebell is such a beautiful fabric.  I have been looking forward to starting this latest cushion, and today I got cracking with the quilting.  I was half dreading it, thinking I might get lost, as I did with the snakeskin design, but this pattern was far easier to follow.  There are only two colours, as opposed to four or five in the snakeskin fabric.



When I was taking the photos I noticed how similar the fabric design was to the faceplate on my sewing machine.  I wondered why the swirling leaves and flowers all felt so familiar.


Here goes for Week 190

Many thanks to Yanicka
for linking up last week with her red, black and white quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.



If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part. 
The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.





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