Sunday, 17 June 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Rosemary Beetle


New species pop up in this country from time.  This beetle was on a sage plant, and when I looked closely I saw it had beautiful blue-green and red-yellow iridescent stripes.  I would love to know which wag christened it the Fresh Prince of Bel Ladybirds.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Weaving In Tails


It has to be one of the most boring jobs ever, but at least it means I will have a brand new cardigan in a few days.  Most of the tails are already woven in and ready to snip off, but I like to leave that until the very end and snip them all off at once so it feels like a quick finish, which of course knitting never is.  I started this cardigan in early May, and it was the ideal project to keep me sane while we turned the house upside down for decorating.  It has been tricky getting sewing done, but knitting is an absolute tonic.  It grows every evening when you sit down and relax after a busy day.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 189 - Snakeshead Cushion


Grey and neutrals are terribly chic at the moment.  For the first time in my life I could be on trend.

So here it is at last, the cushion that has taken me just over a month to make, and the second cushion finished using a collection of short lengths and remnants that I bought for the new colour scheme for our front room.

Quilting the printed fabric wasn't a huge amount of fun, but now that the cushion is finished it gives a certain amount of body and texture and I'm pleased with the overall effect.  Most of all I am ridiculously chuffed with the seam across the middle giving the mirror image to the pattern.



On the back I used a tartan weave, with more of the snakeshead print for the buttonhole band.  I'm not convinced a meander was the best quilting design for the tartan, but had I tried quilting straight lines I would have made them wavy, and I was so keen to get this project finished that I didn't want to spend time agonising over a pattern.  Once this cushion has been well and truly sat on I really won't fret about the quilting.

Now I have to decide on which fabric to use for the next cushion and try to take less than a month to complete it.

Here goes for Week 189

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, 10 June 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Large Skipper


Rusty orange with beady black eyes and basking in the sun on a sage leaf.  This little butterfly stayed still for just long enough for me to take his photo.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 188 - Slow Work


It hasn't been the most enjoyable piece of quilting that I have ever done, but it's finished at last.  I threw it across the back of a chair next to a window, and the texture is just about visible.



Here is a view of the back, which shows what a fiddly piece of work this has been.  There are a couple of pleats in the backing, and plenty of wrong turns in the stitching, but this is a project where I can happily say that once it is finished the errors won't be visible.  This time next week I might even have a cushion cover to show you... and we might have decided on the colour for the new carpet, there will only be a fortnight to go until the curtains are ready, and a week or so before the upholsterer starts work...   It's slow work, completely transforming a room.

Here goes for Week 188

Many thanks to Andrée for linking up last week with her cuddle quilts.
  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.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Nigella


Very intricate and dainty - I love nigellas, otherwise known as love-in-a-mist if you're feeling romantic.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 187 - More Symmetry


This mirror image is version 2 of Snakeshead remnants cushions which I am making.   I think I prefer version 1, but this one should prove quicker to quilt with the bold repeated shapes in the centre.





Meanwhile, I have made a start on the quilting of this one.  From this photo it is impossible to see the quilting, and in real life it isn't much easier.  In fact, at one point I wondered why I was even bothering, but knowing that the cushion cover will end up stronger and firmer I just kept going.



Here is the back.  It's fiddly.  Following the outline sounds straightforward enough, but when there are hundreds of them you are bound to go astray.

On the decorating front, we are seeing real progress now.  The decorator finished on Wednesday, and by yesterday the paint was dry, so we are able to use our front room again.  We can admire all the fresh paint and look forward to new curtains, upholstery and carpet.  There is still a way to go.


Here goes for Week 187

The project in week 186 that caught my eye was Andrée's Morning Has Broken 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.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 186 - Distraction


Ever needed an excuse to take a couple of hours off from decorating?  This is the fashion moment that couldn't be missed.

So after another nil sewing week, I have to thank Olena for linking up last week with her beautiful Secret Garden quilt.




If you haven't already seen her blog post yet, nip over now for a closer look.

Here goes for Week 186.

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.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 185 - Bare Walls


Every scrap of wallpaper has to go.  The decorator is coming next Thursday, and we are busy stripping the walls and clearing the front room so he has a clear run.  This was the state of the place earlier this week, when my husband had taken the fire surround off to do a bit of work on it, and before the chimney sweep came.  After all the anticipation, progress at last!

So, as you can see, it has been a nil sewing week, but for all the best reasons.

Here goes for Week 185.

The project in week 184 that caught my eye was Vireya's charity quilting. 
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.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Blending Yarns


Winter has finally gone (it took its time) and the cardigan I have lived in for several months is now a little too warm for comfort.  It is time to make a lighter version, so I have been playing at yarn mixing again.

The dusky pin fleck in the foreground is a wool and cotton mix.  I found bag of ten balls at my local wool shop.  It was an end of line, so it was reduced, and I wasn't sure how far ten balls would go.  Rather than risk not having enough for a complete cardigan, I decided to use some of the yarns I already had.  Out came the raspberry and the grey random yarn that I used in the winter cardigan.


Once I set to with the knitting I quite liked the tweedy effect and the overall pinkishness of it, very different from the grey blend of the winter cardigan.

Essentially I am knitting the same cardigan all over again, just in different yarns, and this time I shall actually write down what I am doing a little more carefully.  At the end of it I might even have a proper pattern to share. 

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 184 - Symmetry


Spot the seam.

The beautiful Morris print remnants that I bought last month included three 11 inch strips of the Snakeshead print, cut across the fabric, all three of the same section of the design.  The only way I could get the pattern to match was to turn a strip upside down to give a mirror image.  This is how the design will look on the front of the next cushion.  Quilting it could be a bit tricky with such an intricate design.


Here goes for Week 184.

The project in week 183 that caught my eye was Chris's star cushion. 
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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