Sunday, 28 April 2019

A Picture for Sunday - A Lively Breeze


How the camera can lie!

It was windy yesterday, and I enjoyed a good blast of fresh air in Clevedon.  From the promenade above the beach I noticed this girl watching the waves.  On this picture it looks as though she is about to walk into mountainous waves.  It is all an illusion, caused by foreshortening by the lens and the fact that the camera was angled down.  She was quite safe, walking along a low jetty, where I had been enjoying the view myself about an hour earlier.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Fisherman's Rib


The last few knitted projects I have finished recently have all been in fisherman's rib.  I absolutely love the texture, and the effect when alternating stripes of two different random yarns is very pleasing.  It keeps me enthralled until well after midnight, and with two nieces having babies within a few weeks of each other this spring, I have been churning out little cardigans at a rate of knots.

I shall soon be ready to post instructions for the cardigan, but before doing so, here are the instructions for the stitch.  There is more than one method, but this is the method I prefer.

The first picture shows the back of the work.  Essentially, it is knit one purl one rib, but with a slight difference.  There is nothing unusual about the purl stitches.





However, for the knit stitches, the needle is not only put through the stich, but also the yarn that was carried over the needle on the previous row.



On the next row, the knit stitches are worked in the normal way, and the yarn brought forward as if ready to work the next stitch as a purl.



The stitch is not actually worked, it is just slipped from the left to the right hand needle.




Then the next knit stitch is worked.  Because the yarn has been left at the front of the work, it has to be carried over the needle, and over the slipped purl stitch, to go round the back to make the knit stitch.  This row is very quick to knit, because half the stitches aren't being worked, just slipped.

If you have never tried this stitch before, knit a little sample square.  It is really quite easy.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Framing A Stitched Landscape


It's almost a year and a half since I finished this landscape, and finally we are getting round to framing it.  My husband has made a frame for it, and today I have been working on mounting it on the board.  Rather than using card, I decided to use fabric to surround it.  The cotton fabric is a lovely creamy ivory colour, just right for the job.

For the outline, I used one of the threads that I had used in the picture.  The Willcox and Gibbs machine makes a nice bold line of chain stitch.  Thank goodness I have the manual, because I have to check how to thread the machine every time I use it.

This was one of those jobs that takes a few minutes to think out and about three hours to actually do.  Plotting the position of the stitched outline and centring the landscape itself onto the back panel took the best part of the afternoon.  Now it is over to my husband for the next step.  The wood of the frame needs to be darkened just a shade, so he is going to try out some test pieces tomorrow so we can see them in the daylight and choose the best colour.




Free Motion Mavericks this week is at Andrée's blog Quilting and Learning and I'm linking up!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 225 - Zero Progress



Well, that's not entirely true.

Last week I sorted out the threads for my next stitched landscape.  They are still sitting in the bowl waiting for me.  So there has been zero progress on the free motion quilting front, but plenty of progress elsewhere.

The sewing project I was doing for someone using fabric from an unused curtain is finished.

The potatoes are planted just in the nick of time.  They are supposed to be in the ground by Good Friday.  That never made any sense to me, because the date varies by about four weeks, and this year it is a late one.  Then I found out that it is to do with the phase of the moon, with the pull of the full moon helping them to establish more quickly.  It sounds like fanciful folklore, but when I attended a lecture by a potato expert who told us that controlled experiments had been carried out at a horticultural research centre, and the theory was borne out, I decided to play by the rules. This year I have planted my potatoes with six hours to spare before Good Friday.

Yesterday my daughter arrived home for the Easter holiday, so for a few days the emphasis will be on talking and cooking.  She has her final exams at university next month, so she needs looking after...





Here goes for week 225:-




Many thanks to Vasudha for showing us her Manhattan quilt on week 223 of the linky.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.






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.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

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, 14 April 2019

A Picture for Sunday - Bluebells by the Wayside


Deep purplish blue and with a strong scent, bluebells are always a welcome sight in spring.  This year they have arrived early.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

A Little Cardigan Taking Shape


Edging towards the finish, with just the ribbing down both sides of the front and around the neck left to knit.  This time the shoulder shaping went smoothly, unlike last time, when I spent hours unravelling and reknitting the neckline of the green and orange cardy.  I think my husband got a little bit fed up of hearing about it, and told me quite emphatically that I needed to write down what I was doing.  Like a good girl I have been doing as I have been told, and taking lots of photographs too.  

After Easter I should be able to post the entire pattern, so if anybody is keen to get started, hunt out some double knitting baby yarn and size 10/3¼mm knitting needles and be ready to go!

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Threads


Very slowly I am getting into the frame of mind to tackle a free motion landscape.  

Here are the threads I have pulled out.  I won't necessarily be using them all, but I need to check that none of the essential colours are about to run out.  Some colours I can only get by mail order, which can take a few days.  Also I have made the  preliminary sketch, which is a grand way of saying I have traced a few lines from a photo.  This will have to be scaled up to measure 12 inches across, and cropped at the top and bottom so I have a 12 x 12 inch design.  I have plenty of fabric, and I shall oil the machine and let it stand a couple of days so I can be sure it won't leak oily smudges as soon as I get down to serious work...


Free Motion Mavericks this week is at Andrée's blog Quilting and Learning and I'm linking up!

Sunday, 7 April 2019

A Picture for Sunday - Blackthorn Blossom


In spring the blackthorn lights up the hedgerows with snow white blossom, and in late summer and autumn gives us sloes, tiny bitter black plums which can be used in jam.  Or gin.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

A Quilt With No Quilting


Every quilt has a story, even the old battered ones.

This little quilt was made for my first nephew, who was born in 1980.  At the time I was living in a shared house in Liverpool with three other girls, and so far as I remember I had borrowed my mum's machine for a while, a Singer 28K hand machine.  I was determined to make him something, but had neither the time nor the space to learn how to do it properly.   



So I did it the hard way, cutting triangles with scissors.  I enjoyed piecing the pattern together, but essentially the whole project went downhill after that.




The backing is pretty, but not particularly boyish, and not a brilliant match for the top.



For some reason I put a corded edging all the way round, made of 2 inch long strips of lots of different materials.  This was a piece left over from a skirt I made.  It is interesting to see that the only piece of viscose I used wore out, or perhaps a moth found it particularly tasty.



This piece is from another of my skirts, a beautiful cotton print imported from Japan.  If I saw anything similar on sale now I would snap it up straight away, but I have never found anything quite like it since.

As for the quilting, well there isn't any.  The wadding was a large piece of felty stuff, and of course it shrank, so the well worn informal look set in immediately after the first wash.

Perhaps I should just take the whole thing apart and quilt and bind it properly.  After all this time there's hardly any rush.

Linking up with Andrée's blog Quilting and Learning for Throwback Thursday.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 223 - A Batch of Four


Camera batteries have a habit of running out at the most inconvenient times, so the mobile phone had to make do this evening.  I finished the binding on the latest quilt at about midnight last night because I knew I was going to be out for most of the day today, and I wanted photos for tonight's blog post.  So here it is, laid out with the previous three, all looking very floral, and one considerably pinker than the others. 

The good news is that having concentrated on girly items recently, my hunch has paid off.  A brand new great niece arrived on the 24th March, so the Little Miss Marple cardigan is reserved for her, because her mum, my niece is a great lover of pink.  She already has two little boys, so she is totally pinking out with the arrival of her baby girl.  If she wants a quilt, I shall rummage through my stack and find her the pinkest one of them all.









Here goes for week 223:-

Many thanks to Margarita for showing her beautiful trapunto quilting on the last linky.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.






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.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

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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