Monday, April 19, 2021

Another Month Gone By

So much to show after a month!

This is probably the finish that has been the longest in the making -

This is my version of the Pieces of Time quilt by Lori Smith. It started as a block of the month with friends in 2013. I have had the blocks made for a while and had to start on the appliqué border. I finally realized that it would never get done and a finished quilt would be better than blocks sitting in a box, so I added sashing, corner blocks and a border and finished it up. I am happy with how it turned out, and more importantly that it is finished.

This is how the quilt was supposed to look.

I did some more cross stitching using some fabric and floss that I had dyed. The motifs are from the Ultimate Sampler Motifs Source Book by Brenda Keyes.

The pin cushion on the left started out as an old thread spool and two circles of wood-
I covered the circles and added mother of pearl button to the bottom one.
And glued and stitched everything together.
I was inspired by something I had seen on Pinterest.

I finished a few more pairs of socks (all from handspun yarn) -

Socks are the only thing I have been knitting recently.

Finished weaving another set of tea towels-

The pattern is from the January/February 2015 issue of Handwoven Magazine.
These are woven with 8/2 cotton. One has white cotton for the weft.

I tiled the backsplash in the laundry room-

The cross stitch pictures on the little door are ones that my Dad stitched (all garden themed, and since the laundry room is also where the grow lights are it seemed appropriate).

I started a couple new hobbies recently (something I definitely don't need, but I love learning new things)-

One of them is wood carving! I received some knives and a spoon blank for my birthday and carved my first wooden spoon - we were surprised with how well it turned out (lots of sanding really made it nice). It was so much fun and easier than I thought it would be - it helped to have the proper tools and the wood was a soft hardwood.

Photos from around -

A Starfish cactus bloomed under the grow lights (the flower is about 15" wide, and so stinky!).
Best friends!
Enjoying the shade on a hot day.
We had a whole year's worth of weather in the past month - all the snow melted, to +20ºC sunny days enjoying cold drinks in the sun room, 
to more snow than we has all winter in a couple of days last week.
We are back to waiting for all the snow to melt and things to dry up again.
The dog is not allowed upstairs so the cat sits just out of her reach.

All the best!♥︎

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

All the Pillows

I have been enjoying my new crafting space/work space/sewing space/studio (I still don't know what to call the space) so much that I haven't spent anytime on the computer, so I have lots to show. This post I'll just show some pillows I have recently finished.
The first is a stitching one. 

This is a piece of cross stitch that I had started last year.

The chart is from this Sajou book. I used almost a whole skein of a Thread Worx floss (colour #1070), and stitched (3 over 2) on a 25 count natural linen.

I backed the piece of cross stitch with a dark fabric because I thought it showed off the texture of the fabric better (in the top photo of the cross stitch I was trying out a white piece of cotton and a dark piece).

For the back I used a scrap of blue velveteen, and just did an overlap (it is covered in down in the photo - more on that in a minute).

The next pillow is a quilted one - although there is some stitching too, but not mine.

These are some cross stitch pieces that my Dad has been making recently (the charts are from the book 'Répertoire des Motifs' by Valérie Lejeune). I tea/coffee dyed them (they were on white aida cloth). I pieced them together with 1+1/2" pieces of fabric, and quilted it with a walking foot. The back has a button closure.

I used 1+3/4" single binding to put the front and back together.

I couldn't be happier with the results - I stepped out of my box for the colours for this (there are no reds!).

I made the pillow forms for these two pillows out of a very old, worn out down parka (such a messy, time consuming job - I don't know if I would do it again).

The cross stitch pillow needed a specific size and then I just cut up the rest of the ticking and made the other pillows. The large one needed a bit of feathers from an old pillow because I didn't have enough down from the coat (I am sure only about half of the down from the coat made it into the pillows - I wore a mask and a large plastic apron, and worked in the craft room storage room with the door closed to try and contain the mess).

The next two are tiny pillows ('pin-keeps') that I cross stitched using linen fabric and cotton floss that I dyed (more about that on another post). Both are stitched one strand of floss over two linen threads (1 over 2).

This one is a free pattern from Blackbird Designs - Souvenir de France. I stitched it on a 28 count linen.

This is one that I designed. It is stitched on 36 count linen (I wanted to see how it was to stitch. It was easier than I thought it would be - with a good light and 3x magnifying glasses).

I finished them both off by machine stitching them all around, making a slit in the back to turn them around, and stuffing them (they are stuffed with shredded wool batting). After the slit is whipped stitched and covered with a felt heart. I learned this technique from a Lori Holt video.

They are only a couple of inches in size,

and fit perfectly in an old basket with sewing things (the basket was given to my Grandmother by her Father-in-Law - full of fruit, when my Dad was born - 86 years ago)

These are more tiny pillows that I finished for my parents - my Dad has been doing lots of stitching during the pandemic (I believe the charts for these are all from the book 'Point de Croix Retro' by Véronique Enginger).

All the best


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

All the Crafts!

Instead of blogging recently I have been making things! I love my new craft room - it is wonderful being able to easily access all the tools, books and supplies, and I have been spending a lot of my time there. Here are some of the things I have been working on (picture heavy)-

I turned a piece of the card weaving braid from earlier in the year into a door hanger.

I added a couple of tassels, twisted and braided some of the fringe, and added lots of bells and bobbles. For some of the beads I used jewelry making skills to make little charms.

Along with the other piece of braid they should be good for Christmas decorations.
Quite a while ago I read about a quilter that made test blocks, and class blocks out of Christmas fabric, because if nothing else she would eventually have enough blocks for a Christmas quilt - I apply this to other crafts and make things in Christmas colours, so they could always be used for decorations.

I made a little bit of Russian punch needle (igolochkoy).
The circle is about 1.5".

I used 1 strand of embroidery floss (the three were all handdyed).

My oldest son made the box - he is working on his new laser cutter and trying things out.

I made a couple of pairs of moccasins (my husband and I needed new slippers).
They are made from moose leather and beaver fur, with a fleece lining.
It is the first time I made moccasins with a sewn on extra sole, and it worked surprisingly well. For one pair I used the smooth side of the leather for the foot and the suede side for the top with the beads, the other is reversed. Both have the soles made with the suede side, so that they aren't slippery.
I took a class on making moccasins and mukluks many years ago, and use a book from MacPhee Workshop that is still available (there is also a video link on making mukluks).

The beading starts with a drawing on paper.

The designs are outlined, the paper removed,

and then filled in. 
The first pair had more beads than the second one because my fingers were getting tired of beading.
Apart from machine sewing on the soles (with a walking foot) the moccasins are hand sewn (I used imitation sinew for the first time which was much easier than what I had previously used - nylon thread and beeswax).
There is nothing like a new pair of moccasins!

I couldn't resist participating in the new Temecula Quilt Company's Mini Monday Sewing Bee.
These are the blocks for January and February (4" blocks).

Recently I have been watching Floss Tube (the term cross stitcher's use for their YouTube channels). It seems that cross stitch has changed recently - there are lots of new-to-me terms, so it has been interesting. 
I love the overdyed fabric and floss that people use, so since I have lots of floss and scraps of fabric leftover from other embroidery projects, plus dyes for plant fibres, I tried my hand at dyeing fabric and floss. They all came out really well and I hope to dye more.

The first thing that I embroidered with the floss and fabric was this little pincushion - it is a free pattern from the Primitive Hare.

With a little bit of fabric I stitched just the hand and turned it into a tassel.

Last time I showed a skein of yarn that I spun, now I am knitting a cowl with it (I am participating in a spin/make along). This is just a simple 6 stitch entrelac cowl.

This isn't something that I made recently - this is my Quilt Along quilt from 2011! It is a very big quilt and never fit on any of our beds. Last week my husband and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary, and bought ourselves a new queen size mattress ("love you, but need a bit more space"). Our antique brass bed was converted into a queen size by cutting the side railings and welding on extra metal, and longer wooden boards were added to support the mattress. It worked out well and we were pleased that we could keep the bed frame.

Photos from Around-

Miss Maggie enjoying the sun.
Miss Molly enjoying the cold (she runs like the wind!).
She loves pushing her ball down the snow banks and running after it.
The snow from the surrounding fields seems to have blown into our yard.
We have had strong winds and cold temperatures,
Such cold temperatures (-35ºC) that one of the windows cracked (really exploded - there were tiny shards everywhere) - this is the inside pane, luckily there are 2 more panes of glass (hopefully they will hold until temperatures warm up enough that we can change the window).

All the best!♥︎

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