Tuesday, 30 June 2015

micro macrame bracelet

I still have some pieces of jewellery to show you but I haven't got round to writing posts, or, in some cases, even photographing them.  Photographing jewellery is a nightmare for me.  I usually use my little light box, but that was on the top floor and I was downstairs.  It was a sunnyish day so I thought I'd go outside.... just a shame my garden isn't picturesque.

I'll put it on the edge of the bunny run and take pictures there, that should work.

Oops, I got my garden trainers in the shot and they're FILTHY.  Let's try something a bit more artistic.

Hmmm, it's not really sitting right and if I show this picture everyone will know that my lone flowerbed only contains weeds.  Overgrown weeds.  And a patch of mud.  And straw and sawdust from the hutches.  And bunny poo.  Back to the run.

Oh no, now Harry's photobombed the shot!  As if anyone is going to look at my bracelet with Harry there.  He's so cute and sweet, I'll just spend a few minutes stroking him instead.  Right, Harry stroked.  Back to the photos.

Not only is there a bunny in this one, there's also my filthy trainers AND a torn up toilet roll tube (What would Sandra think?).  It's going to have to do.  I clearly can't take a better shot.

This micro macrame bracelet was made in a workshop at The Bead Shop Nottingham a little while ago.  It's made using C-lon cord in grey/silver, silver 8/0s and some faceted beads that might be 6mm.  Or might not.  I love this bracelet and wear it a lot.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Circle of geese - soon to be covered in sauce

It really will be covered in sauce soon, it's a trivet.  I've been working on this one for ages.  It all started with this circle of geese which I made sometime last year, before the non-making set in.  I think it's a pattern by Jeliquilts, but I've forgotten, if anyone knows I'll update this.

I attempted to do a rainbow and thought a patterned black fabric would set it off nicely.  Alas, I didn't have any patterned black fabric so a solid had to do.

Last month I added some 2" borders of yellow, orange and red.  The red is from Petit Ecole, I'm not sure what the other two fabrics are.  I sewed it right sides together with the backing and turned it through, leaving the Insulbrite on the inside this time!  Then I quilted.

I got a bit fancy with my FMQ this time.  I know it's a bit over the top for a trivet, but I wanted to practice and I might as well practice on a functional item as on a scrap sandwich.

All the quilting patterns I used are from Leah Day's book 365 Quilting Patterns, also available on her website.  The centre is Day 221 Maelstrom and I'm really chuffed with how it turned out.  It's black thread, Guttermanns if you're even slightly interested in the brand!

The black bits between the geese got an echo of the shape, I went all over the place with this one!  I didn't backtack over my stitches to start and end each thread, I sewed those babies in!  The yellow border is Day 9 Cursive Fs in yellow and I loved this pattern, I could do that on a whole quilt.  The orange border is Day 18 Spiral Chain and the red border is just matchstick quilting.  The most matchstick quilting I'll ever do!

Getting a motif in the corners was tricky!

Here it is from the back, it's easy enough to see the black quilting and even the orange and red, the yellow is lost though.

So what do you think?  Am I mad to custom quilt a trivet?

Linking up to the 2015 FAL Q2.  My original post is here.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Viennese Waltz - update 3

Good morning and welcome to another three-weekly update on Viennese Waltz.  I've had a good three weeks.  Actually, that's not entirely true, this last week has been awful, but in terms of cross stitching I've had a good three weeks.  I think it's mainly because I have an embroidery project and a beadwoven bracelet that I want to get started on, but I never seem to have the motivation and it's easier just to do some more cross stitch!

Here is where I was three weeks ago:

I worked on the pink/red background piece first, then I had to move the frame.  Here is a picture from before moving the frame:

I took that one indoors one evening so the colours are terrible, but it shows the progress.  After moving the frame I did the pink/red background strip on the left and half of the man's leg/dinner jacket:

I've finished the first page of the two-page chart so I'm more than halfway done.  I'm going to have to go to Hobbycraft to pick up some more thread though as I've run out of a couple of colours and another couple are going to run out soon.  Don't you just hate that?  I just have to figure out if the numbers refer to Anchor or DMC or if they're just totally made up!

You can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Red scrap bucket

I finally, finally finished the red scrap bucket I started about 26 years ago.  OK, maybe not that long, but it was before Christmas.

I made a panel using the Scrappy Trip Around The World method.  I presume I quilted it, but looking at the photo below, it doesn't look like I did.  Ooops, well that was an oversight then!  When I came back to it after the 26 years, it was fused to a piece of fusible fleece and sewn into the basket shape, but i'd forgotten to put the heavy duty interfacing in, and it's that that makes them stand up, so I fused a piece to the lining instead.  I think that's why this is slightly squarer than the others I've made.

I did iron down the sides to make it square, but the others definitely flop more.  Maybe it's because they're 26 years old.

I lined it with a piece of pink/red/yellow fabric as I didn't have any large pieces of red that I was willing to sacrifice for a scrap bucket.  The panels are 33" long to start with so fat quarters are no good unless I seam them.

And here it is with all my neatly ironed red scraps!

Now I have 6 baskets.  I've only got brown, grey, white and black to go.  I don't think I'll do individual baskets for all of those colours, but I'm not sure yet where the split will be.  I'll let you know in 26 years.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

soldered circles

I'm afraid this is a bit of a dull post (aren't they all!) with only one photo.  The Wonderful Mum and I went to a class at The Bead Shop Nottingham to practice working with solder again.  Last time we made copper components and I made my favourite piece of jewellery: this copper bunny necklace.

This time we were working with sterling silver wire and I made my second favourite necklace ever!  I really should get it together to do some soldering at home as I really do love the results.

This simple piece is 3 wire circles, hammered to give them texture (I only hammered the outer two), then soldered to make continuous circles.  It's then simply hung on a chain.  I like it because it's understated and though I usually wear more statement kind of jewellery, I like something elegant once in a while.  

Saturday, 6 June 2015

A Time To Stitch 7

It's time for the A Time To Stitch 7 blog challenge that I signed up for back in February.  Hosted by Christine and Therese the idea is to bead embroider a piece around a cabochon, something I've never done before.  I was lucky enough to win one of Therese's beautiful hand-cut cabochons so that became my starting point.  The cab is Laguna Lace Agate - a type of stone with a wonderful pattern in it.  It is so smooth, it's lovely to touch.

I got out my copy of The Art of Bead Embroidery and looked for a suitable design.  I chose the Free-form Brooch as it was the kind of look I was after, but also let me do pretty much what I wanted - it was free form after all!

Sorry about the rubbish photo, it was taken on my phone one night and posted to Instagram.

I started with the cab glued onto some bead foundation.  I then used Nymo thread to backstitch a row of white 11/0s round the cab.  I then went into beadweaving and used peyote stitch to build up a couple of rows to enclose the cab at the front.  I figured it out myself!  I was so proud.  Well, when you're generally rubbish, you have to take your pride where you can find it.

The next row is copper/rose coloured 8/0s which were a bit of a pain as they weren't uniform in size or shape, then a row of gunmetal 11/0s.  They were Miyuki seed beads so were pretty regular and easier to use.  I then very carefully cut out the embroidery, cut a piece of black ultrasuede the same size and glued the two together.  

When it was dry I used gorgeous copper crystals topped with a 15/0 Miyuki gunmetal seed bead to work a beaded whipstitch round the edge to hold the two pieces together.

I'm pretty pleased with the finished article, I just need to sew a brooch back on it so I can wear it.  It's quite a large brooch, so I think it will be worn on my coat.

Thanks Christine and Therese for the opportunity to try out bead embroidery again.  I thought this piece was going to take me weeks, but it only took a couple of evenings.  It's made me enthusiastic about bead embroidery again!

You can visit the other participants here:

1.       Therese (Host) 
2.       Christine  (Host)
3.       Amy
4.       Lola
5.       Lori F
6.       Kim
7.       Becky Pancake
8.       Karin G.
9.       Debbie (Kepi)
10.   LizE
11.   Maryanne
12.   Paula
15.   Janet
16.   Jasvanti
17.   Ginger
18.   Alicia
19.   Bobbie
20.   Shirley
21.   Sarah
22.   Cynthia
24.   Lizzie
25.   Samantha
26.   Sally
27.   Niki
28.   Karen W.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

mixing bubbles

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

You're not going to believe this, but I've finished something from my 2015 FAL Q2 list!  OK, so it was the smallest item on the list, but it's done so it counts.My original post is here.

This trivet is about 17" square.  I started with a mixer block.  This is a paper pieced block and was designed by Kristy from Quiet Play for her Sew Kitschy BOM last year.  I framed it with a round of blue fabric and a round of navy fabric.

Instead of quilting and binding, I sewed it right sides together, with a piece of Insulbrite inside, then turned through.  That's when I realised the Insulbrite was now on the outside, so I unpicked it and tried again.

Then I quilted it.  I wanted to practice the design I'm going to use on my Cuzco quilt which is Day 123 Angles and Circles from 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs by Leah Day, Mr CA bought me the book for our anniversary and I love it.  There are no instructions included, but they're not generally needed and if I do need them, I can find the video on her website.

The circles and angles to the right were too small, they were fine on this trivet, but would be much too small on the quilt and this was a practice piece, so I increased them.  Much better.  I then went on the quilt 4 columns of this design on Cuzco, I'll have to get some pictures to show you.

It's backed in this funky toaster print.  I love this print and it's perfect for my kitchen.

More trivets to come...