Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Cross stitch...

I know that most quilters also have other hobbies related to fibres  or textiles. I myself love anything with fibers, --, stitching, embroidery, knitting, crocheting.....
I particularly like alphabets samplers.  During my latest hiatus from Crosstitch it seems like a new style has emerged, called quaker style. It has quite large motifs stitched in solid colors. I like them quite a lot
Of course I have to try one or two we'll see
And of course since I had a spare 18 in.² of Belfast linen,  there was nothing to stop me from starting right away. The threads are variegated for a change, again something new for me.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Maybe one more row

I sewed the 42 blocks that I needed for the propeller quilt and laid them out in the 6 x 7 grid.   Now I'm thinking I might need one more row,  which means I'll need to sew six more blocks.  It won't be exactly like it is in the book, but I think I might like the proportions better. I can always figure out the new size of the border and binding I guess.
I made this big Crosstitch Q for fun.

 I used a bunch of strands of schoolbus yellow yarn for the Cross stitches. It's base is a wire grid. Because the edges were pretty sharp, I covered them with masking tape. Then I had to cover up the masking tape, so I crocheted the yellow all around the edges.
It looks sort of pretty sitting in the sunlight.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cross stitch styles

There are quite a few different styles of Crosstitch that people have done over the years. Yesterday I I completed the stitching on this alphabet sampler which I got as a kit a few years ago in France.  The company's name is "Picoti, Picota" in case you want to Google it for some of other projects.
I been liking alphabet samplers for a while already and the mono chromatic style appealed to me.
I think I might add a little simple band at the top and the bottom to make it more vertically  rectangular but I will just leave it as is for today.
The photos below show another type of Crosstitch. I purchased these at a  flea-market a few years ago for three dollars each.

They are unframed and stitched on Aida cloth.  the bird pictures are rather charming in my opinion.  I don't really know what to do them but I just thought they ought to be appreciated, and so i brought them home with me.  

All of these samplers are about 10 or 11 inches wide and 12 to 14 inches tall.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A couple of small finishes

It was a productive Thursday, yesterday, as I worked on a variety of projects, 
The little stars tablerunner is now finished!

It is definitely for someone who likes blue!  The fabrics aren't overtly Christmassy.  Many of them have non-seasonal designs on them, and the others are more winter themed, with snowmen and snowflakes.   Although I used a blue thread in the border, I used smoke coloured invisible thread for the central area.  It has an all over meander, so I wanted something subtle. 
And for the second thing, this is the tea towel on which I embroidered a monogram:
I used a combination of back stitch and stem stitch.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and now I want to monogram something else! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

all Directions

Today is a day when I want to get lots of things done. Which is good because I have lots of projects on the go.
Every so often I get that feeling that I need to cut down the number of things I'm working on. That means that I have to finish some things off. Well a lot of these projects are work-related ha ha.  Having the shop lets me rationalize making all sorts of things, just to see what they will  look like. That way I can display them at the store and other people who have been wondering the same thing, will know what they look like and then be able to decide if they want to make them or not.
So today, this is some progress I have made…
Okay well not technically this morning but last night I got the findings also non-to this beautiful starburst quilt. I talked about it sometime ago, and it's made almost all from art gallery fabrics. I just love it. It's been washed and dried in the dryer so it's all wrinkled and thick.
I sewed on the binding by machine to my little stars table runner  sewn from primitive gatherings fabrics. Now I just have to hand stitch the binding to the back.

I finished the 42 blocks for my propellor quilt!
And ever since this little booklet on monograms Arrived last week I've been itching to monogram something.  I decided that my love of decorated tea towels would be a good collection to add to, And so I'm going to monogram this striped tea towel with dark olive coloured thread. 

Finally, for those of you who like Crosstitch I thought I would let you know that I am still progressing on my counted cross stitch alphabets sampler and have only eight letters left to do
That's the Thursday morning Roundup of things I'm working on today. Do you think I might have attention deficit disorder?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New scissors!

Not just any old scissors-----shears, from Italy,  

They swish when you cut

Monday, July 22, 2013

One mini charm pack table runner

I finished the table runner that I mentioned a couple days ago. I wish I could come up with a better name for it, maybe something like floating squares. Anyway, it's composed from one many charm pack and a background fabric.

And the big news is that not only did I finish the table runner, but I have written up the Pattern for it. :)
That's the pattern right there,
This afternoon I'll be taking it to Staples and getting lots of copies made. You can get one for the low price of one dollar.

Oh yes, another thing is if you get three mini charm packs you can make three sections and sew them together for a really cute little baby quilt that would measure about 42" x 50". Yay.
It was so sunny this morning when I got up, and I saw this vase of delphiniums that I cut yesterday from the garden and they look so pretty in the light.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mini charm squares

I'm not sure if you've noticed this new type of precut lately. They're called Mini charm packs and each square measures only 2.5" x 2.5"
There are still I think 40 in each pack like a regular size of a charm pack. They are so cute. And each one costs just a little more than one fat quarter.  Many times, people say, "what do you do with them."
This is a good question, and so I have put my mind to what to use for. Actually we do have one table topper displayed with our selection of mini charms: Jen sewed it up a little while ago. She used four patches and set them with some setting triangles and it makes a pretty nice sized piece.
I brought a few packs home last night to try to play with and figure out another option of what to do with them.
 I have one pack of "Comma" and two packs of "Sunnyside".  
I think part of the challenge will be to find a way to add a background fabric that will contrast with the whole range of light and dark fabrics in the charm pack.
I'm not sure if I'll have to take out some of the squares or whether I can use the whole pack in one project. I think I will revisit a table runner that I sewed last year, if you can guess which one that was!

On another note, I am still working away at my propeller blocks. Just about ready to sew them into four patches.
I hope you're having a great weekend, it's a bit chilly this morning here out in Asquith, but that's okay I'm going to sew.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Oh what Fun!

That's the name of this new quilt we have hanging in the store.  Miriam sewed it up and did an amazing job, she had it machine quilted by Lynette, who quilted little Christmas ornaments all scattered through the design.  Doesn't it look great?   It uses the new Christmas line of fabrics by Basic Grey,
The Christmas ball ornaments are all different, and some have really fun piecing in them.
Miriam made  sure to have everything going right side up for the directional fabrics which can be sorta  tricky sometimes.  I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have accomplished that feat.  
We made lots of kits up for it, because each time we've made one using basic Grey fabrics before, they have been really popular.
Well that really is Christmas in July!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Continuing project

I've been working away at my propeller blocks, That I talked about a few days ago. It's made from A set of 2-1/2 inch strips.  It's quite a repetitive unit to sew, but sometimes you like a project that you just have to sit and sew on and not have to think too much. 

i really like the finished quilts that have these repetitive patterns.
After the triangles have been sewn on I'll need to sew these units together into blocks and then the blocks altogether for the quilt top in and then add borders......
Well, a little bit at a time....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ordering Fabric for the autumn

Yesterday I spent several hours with our fabric rep going through samples of fabric looking at all the beautiful new collections that will be available this autumn. It was a big job.  
You can see that where I sat I ended up having mountains of fabric samples in front of me. But it was time well spent, and we have lots of wonderful stuff scheduled to arrive each month for many months now.


Recently I discovered a partly finished Crosstitch sampler I had started some years ago. I'd forgotten how peaceful it can be to just stitch quietly.  It is also satisfying to see the letters and patterns take shape on the linen.  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jelly roll batiks

I like to use jelly rolls- the precut 2 1/2 inch strips, Sometimes.
However, I've never tried a pattern from one of the strip therapy books. Considering that they are now on book 10, I thought it would be a good idea to try one,
I decided on this one From book 6. It uses a propeller block.

The jellyroll has lots of greens blues and purples, much like my garden at the moment.

Also like my slippers.

I realize that I have forgotten about my works in progress list. I think I'll have to update it in the next few days.
It was a pretty good day for sewing today, with all the rain.
Hope you had a good day too.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fabric book cover

A prettier home office, 

As I was tidying up my sewing room I thought of a project that could make it a little prettier.   the room also functions as my home office since my job is quilting, after all.
 One way that I organize information such as patterns and records and old papers that I need to keep, is in binders.I have a lot of binders.  Even though lately I have only been buying white binders, I thought they could look a little nicer on the shelf. 

When I was in elementary school, one of my favorite activities when school started was covering the textbooks in those brown or white paper book jackets. I don't know when they stopped doing that.  Anyway, I decided I would make pretty fabric book jackets to slip over the binder covers.  
This is a great project if you have lots of fabric that you just like but have no real plan for. Ha ha, who doesn't have that!

In a nutshell, this is how to make a super simple book jacket:
1. Measure the height of your book.  Add half an inch to this, that is how wide you will need your fabric to be.

In the case of this binder which is just over 11-1/2" inches tall, my fabric needs to be just over 12 inches wide.

2.  For the amount to wrap around the book or binder, measure the width of the two covers and the spine. you will need to add 8 inches or so to the amount 

I just wrapped the fabric around it and added the margin to the end.  
Now, my rectangle measures about 12" x 32"

3. Press the fabric.  
Turn back the fabric at each end about 1/4 inch or 3/8" and stitch.

4. At one end of the rectangle, make a pocket by folding back about 3 1/2 inches of the fabric, right sides together and sewing a 1/4" seam on both the too and bottom edges, back stitching at both ends.  
Trim away the little corner with the folded edge. 
Turn the pocket right side out and press.
While you are doing that also press under 1/4" on the long raw edges of the top and bottom,

5. Fit the jacket to the book.  Slide the front cover of the book into the pocket, place it all down flat, pulling the fabric under the binder so there are no wrinkles, and place a pin marker at the top and bottom corner of the binder.  This will mark where you need to turn back the fabric to make the  back pocket.  
You want the jacket to fit the cover pretty tightly so that it doesn't slip around when you use it, but not so tightly that the book won't close.

6.  Take the binder out of the fabric jacket and sew the back pocket in the same way as you sewed the front pocket. Turn it inside out. Topstitch the folded under raw edges, stopping and starting before you hit the edge of the pocket.

7.  Press it all, and then you can slip the binder covers into both pockets and your book jacket is finished! 

Hmm, I wonder how many more I need to make.....

After you"ve made a basic cover or two you might want to start adding things to them. For instance, a label on the spine would be very useful.
I think it would be pretty easy to just fuse a rectangle of lighter colored fabric onto it and write with a marker.  Maybe you could stamp the title with rubber stamps.  Or you could get really technologically advanced and print from your computer onto fabric.
Also, other fabrics might work toto, I want to try the heavier cotton we have in the store to make handbags and cushions,

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