Thursday, 11 October 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 204 - And Another Hen


Almost finished... the hens quilt is quilted and bound, but still needs a little work on it.  There is a little fullness in the background, which shows up shadows when the quilt is seen from across a room.  Rather than leave it and be irked by it, I have decided to do hand stitching to hold the layers together.  So for the moment, here is a preview.  I quite like this particular hen.  She is calm and composed, whereas one of the other hens is an absolute brute.

All shall be revealed next week.

Here goes for week 204:-

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, 7 October 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Sika Stag


Had this stag used the twisted branches behind him as camouflage, echoing the shape of his antlers, or was it just coincidence?  He wasn't at all timid, browsing just a matter of yards away from a very busy path at Glendalough.  Just like the grey wagtail I photographed about half an hour later, he seemed used to an endless stream of curious people with cameras.

I was really pleased to be able to identify him as a sika deer, because this is a different type to the roe deer we see at home.  The roe deer are prettier (I'm biased), but seeing this solid sika deer has made me realise how scrawny the little roebuck is.  Our local deer must have been suffering in the drought this summer.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Knitting a New Stitch


This is my first foray into brioche rib.  It is a reversible, two colour stitch, which is thick enough for a tea cosy and ideal for woolly jumpers for winter.  I used to stare at the single colour version of this stitch when I was a kid and rack my brains trying to work out how it was done.  I never did fathom it out.  Then when I saw the two colour version a few months ago I knew I had to find out how to do it.  Hooray for Youtube.  After watching a few videos and finding that there are different ways of doing it, I settled on the method that I liked best.

Rather than making a high contrast between front and back, I opted for blues.  This is the front...


… and this is the back.

I am making a little baby cardigan, using the soft snuggly random blue for the inside and the plain blue for the outside.  

I am killing several birds with one stone - using up the wool I have stashed, adding to the reserve supply of presents ready to give to new babies, and working out various problems that might arise on a small project rather than getting myself into a twist on an adult sized project.  Just looking at the picture of the tea cosy this morning I have realised that I have to work out a better method for the beginning and end of each row than the one I have been using.  The joys of knitting! 

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 203 - It's A Hen!


Done over the past three days... at last I have made a start!  

This is the beginning of my 12 x 12 quilt for this year's exhibition at Midsomer Quilting.  After taking months to come up with a subject for the theme, which is "think of a number", I have ended up with poultry.  Because I have left it so late, I needed to decide on a quick method and bold design, so the emphasis is on outline.  I have been using my oldest machine, the Willcox and Gibbs Automatic, which gives a bold line of chain stitch.  The quilt should be finished in a matter of days, and it should be a bit of a laugh.


Here goes for week 203:-


Many thanks to Janice for linking up last week with the beautiful quilt she made for her daughter.  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.

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.


Friday, 28 September 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 202 - More of the Same


On a roll or in a rut?  I'm not sure.  

The trouble with making these strips of squares is that I always end up with a batch of eight, and I only need five to make a cradle quilt.  So I make another set of eight, which added to the three left over, gives me enough strips for two more quilt tops, and I have one left over... and so it goes on...

So here is the third top, and the fourth won't take me long.  One of these days I will get round to quilting them.  I'm just not sure how soon, because we have just started an Indian summer, which is infinitely more pleasant than the actual summer, which quite frankly I was glad to see the end of.  I am finally getting the gardening done, and am inclined to leave sewing until the next time it rains.

Which leads to my next quandary.  Doing all this easy piecing has kick-started my imagination.  The annual 12 x 12 exhibition at Midsomer Quilting is fast approaching, and I haven't started anything yet because I couldn't think up a project for this year's challenge, which is "Think of a Number."  I have had since last December to come up with an idea, and didn't have anything approaching a brainwave until last week while waiting for a bus.  Then this morning the brain decided to overburden me with a second flash of inspiration.  Serves me right for mulling it over at a bus stop and letting the idea think it was a bus.  Nothing for months, then two in a matter of days.

Can I finish two mini quilts in six weeks?  Or shall I be an adolescent about it and not even bother?  It all depends on the weather.

Here goes for week 202:-

Many thanks to Yanicka for linking up last week with her kitty quilt.  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, 23 September 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Grey Wagtail


Grey wagtails  are usually fairly timid, and fly off before I manage to get the camera out.  This one, however, was plainly used to people.  I snapped him last month dabbling in the river at Glendalough, where we took a day trip while we were staying with our son and daughter in law in County Wicklow.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Little Boy Blue Cardigan


For Sunday best or visits only - this little cardigan will fit a baby boy once he is crawling and toddling.  In other words he will get it grubby in no time.  Navy blue would have been far more practical, but this is what I had in the wool stash, so pale blue it is.



I don't think I will ever stop loving random yarn.  It keeps you knitting until way past bedtime.



For the raglan shoulder shaping I tried a different method of decreasing from previous cardigans knitted in the same stitch.  Sooner or later I shall decide which method I like best and stick to it.  This is one of the reasons that I knit so many little cardies, so I can try out different stitches and keep ideas in reserve for bigger projects.
   

Of course, there is the element of fun.  I couldn't resist these spotty buttons.  

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

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