Thursday, 23 January 2020

A Lane in May


Every year I try to get out for as many walks and outings as possible in May.  It is the time of year when the English countryside is at its most most beautiful, with vibrant shades of green, hedge parsley in every verge, and sunlit views against steely grey skies.  When it came to choosing a landscape to stitch last year, I settled on this scene, less than ten minutes' walk from our house, and set to work.

It wasn't easy.  Many a time I felt like giving up, but the prospect of entering it into the annual 12 x 12 exhibition at Midsomer Quilting made me carry on.



For speed and the sheer pleasure of it, the holly tree was the greatest joy to stitch.  I am looking forward to concentrating on more trees in the future.



By contrast, the most difficult part was where the hedges on both sides of the lane appear to merge together and the track disappears into shadow.  The track actually takes a right angled bend to the right, so the hedge on the left cuts across the picture.  To make it even more difficult, to top of the hedge blurs into another hedge and line of trees into the middle distance.  I had to make sure that the great mass of greenery didn't end up as a great mess of thready scribble.  It took a while, partly because it took me a while to distinguish what was what on the photo, and then because I was worried that if I rushed I would ruin it.  In the end, taking the time paid off.



Here is the picture I worked from, a square section from a photo I took in 2016.  However hard I tried, the shades of the threads couldn't capture the glorious colours of that day.

When I visited the 12 x 12 Exhibition in December I was told that a lady had walked into the room, seen my picture, and recognised the lane instantly.  On hearing that, suddenly all the effort felt worthwhile.  I was delighted. 

Sunday, 19 January 2020

A Picture for Sunday - January Sunrise


Late sunrises in winter mean that I am sometimes able to get out in time to enjoy a beautiful sky.  Often there is cloud on the horizon blocking the sun as it appears, but on this occasion a pocket of blue with salmon pink clouds came as a pleasant surprise.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 263 - Holly Tree


The long break from sewing over Christmas and New Year has been valuable thinking time.  I needed to reflect on what sort of project I could immerse myself in over the coming year.  

Much as I enjoyed completing the stitched landscape, I had no pleasure in starting it.  It was the biggest sewing headache I have ever given myself.  Once I was past the halfway point and I could see the scene coming together, then I could breathe a huge sigh of relief and sink myself into the project.  When it came to the last element to complete, the holly tree in the foreground, it just fell into place.  It was the first time I have put a tree in the foreground.  In the past they have been just shapes in the background, bumps in neutral colours to draw the eye to the middle distance or horizon, or a break in rhythm in a hedgerow.  This time the tree was going to make or break the whole picture, and I had to put it in last.  It turned out to be quick, relatively easy, and I was delighted with the result. 

So that's it, trees.  When I am out on my walks I am now scouting for interesting trees in stitchable settings.  There are a few gnarled oaks that immediately spring to mind, and I am already hoping for a colourful autumn. 







Here goes for week 263:-


Many thanks to Gretchen for linking up last time with her beautiful feathered star 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 five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

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.


Friday, 3 January 2020

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 261 - Happy New Year



Now that the New Year is here, I hope that you are all well and have had a happy Christmas and looking forward to exciting challenges in the months ahead.

As expected, we have had a quiet Christmas, with just our daughter at home.  Despite ridiculous amounts of rain and the fields being sodden, I have been out for a good walk nearly every day, and managed to capture this redwing on one of the few sunny days.    

The sewing machines have been idle, but I have been busy with the knitting needles and wondering what sort of projects to tackle this year.  I'm still pondering, but have a few ideas brewing...








Here goes for week 261:-


Many thanks to Vasudha for linking up with her divergent quilt last time.  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 five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

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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